October 21, 2008

Sarah Palin, Still Hiding from the Press

After the American Century

With just two weeks until election day, Sarah Palin still has not held a press conference, and she has permitted almost no interviews. Joe Biden has been interviewed more than 90 times since becoming the Democratic VP nominee, and he has held countless press conferences in his career as Senator.

The closest thing to an actual vetting by the press was a parody on Saturday Night Live, where Ms Palin appeared briefly. Even there she did not take questions, however. Meanwhile, she runs around the US asking "Who is Obama?" as if anyone knew anything about her, or had even heard of her before late August. In fact, she apparently has not released anything like complete medical records either.

There is no precedent for a candidate remaining so remote from the press. The possible conclusions are:
A) Palin is afraid to meet the press without a script to read.
B) The McCain campaign is afraid that she will reveal egregious deficiencies in her knowledge of national policies and world events.
C) Palin and McCain think that a press conference is really not important.
D) All of the above. (This is likely the correct answer.)

Until she stands up and proves otherwise, it seems thatMs. Palin knows incredibly little . I doubt that she has ever read a complex book in her life, and do not think she could analyze a complex situation. She may smile nicely, but she appears to be a vindictive, self-centered person and an inveterate prevaricator. She also appears contemptuous of those who do not share her limited views. Nuance is not her forte.

Colin Powell was correct when he said that Palin is not ready for high office. By putting her on the ticket, McCain has made it impossible for a thoughtful fellow Republican and friend to vote for him.

But Palin has done one signal service to the world, giving us accurate polling statistics about the size of the brainless vote. It appears that the feeble-minded remain a large constituency, as the re-election of George W. Bush already suggested in 2004. An astonishing 37% of those who watched the debate between Joe Biden and a Barbie Doll spouting memorized text that often had nothing to do with the question asked, thought the Barbie Doll won. More than one third of the American public lacks critical judgement, at least when listening to her. Polling statistics further show that people making between $40,000 and $100,000 narrowly favored Palin over Biden, as did those over 65. This is more than sad. Since McCain at best is now polling about 43%, this strongly hints that his base, the Republican base, the base that supports Creationism and is anti-abortion and pro-gun, live in a world befogged by slogans, and that a mere handful of McCain supporters doubt Sarah Palin's ability. With US voters like these, who needs foreign enemies?

Fortunately, more Americans can see the rearview mirror, though this is not really enough when voting on future leaders. More than 70% of the public understands that George W. Bush has done a poor job. Nevertheless, the inescapable conclusion must be that 37% of those who watched the VP debates showed interest in the political process but lack judgement. Such people presumably do not care whether Palin has held any press conferences or not.

Palin remains the least vetted candidate in American history. Dan Quale conceivably could have lost his title as the least qualified vice president. But it appears that he can hang on to that distinction, though Palin most certainly can be crowned the least qualified VP candidate, ever.