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    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    Palin needs to improve

    Now that we have seen Sarah Palin perform in 3 national interviews (Gibson, Hannity, Couric), I think I can say that I still like her, I still think she is a good thing for the GOP and Conservatism, and she has certainly provided energy to the ticket.

    While I don't think Palin is an empty suit (pantsuit?), as I blogged about here, and here, in a recent article by conservative writer Kathleen Parker, at National Review Online, she calls for Palin to step aside. Like this writer, over at Redstate, I agree it is no time to get wobbly on Palin.

    But, and you knew this was coming, it is time for Palin to step up her game, or risk becoming the next Dan Quayle. Palin is clearly not used to the kind of media scrutiny and "gotcha-ism" of the national press. But, even in her interview with Hannity, about as friendly as you can get, I found her, while charming, and clearly a person of some conviction, not able to really express those opinions in a way that connects.

    To be effective, both in this campaign, and for her future, she needs to work on her answers to these journalists. Take this question from Couric, for example:

    While the submariner in me appreciates taking a lookup, the political side of me says "No, No, No!" Submarine training also tells us that, when presented with a casualty you don't know the immediate actions to, change it to one for which you do. The same is true of these questions. Even if she knew a couple of obvious answers (he voted for Sarbanes-Oxley, and he sponsored McCain-Feingold), we wouldn't want to remind anyone in the GOP about those votes.

    Regardless of whether she knew those easy answers, what McCain has done is immaterial. This was a golden opportunity to point out that John McCain and Sarah Palin were interested in solutions that worked for the American people, whether they needed new regulations or not, and that, in the current crisis, Obama was sullie by his connections with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. She has got to learn how to turn the tables on these kinds of gotcha interviews. I don't chalk this up to stupidity or vapidity on her part, I chalk it up to inexperience. She has never had to deal with this kind of questioning from the Alaskan press. She has got to get better to be an effective campaigner, and to keep whiners like Kathleen Parker off her back.

    She's not John McCain's biographer. There is no requirement that she know every bit of arcana about him. What she does need to know, though, is enough about the opposition to be able to attack them at will.

    Let's hope she improves, and soon.


    reddog said...

    They don't have enough time to clean up her act. The best they can do is keep her out of sight as much as possible, until after the election. If they win, they can start working on her, that is, if McCain lives that long.

    She's just going to have to rope a dope and take a beating at the debate next Thursday. Joe's a gentleman and a sucker for a pretty girl, maybe he'll take it easy on her.

    The other problem is the National Enquirer. There is no doubt that all of their accusations against her are true, just as the ones against the Breck girl were. The question is how much proof do they have. They will be bringing out what they've got, before the election, issue by issue, to maximize sales.

    Jay said...

    Red, I am a big believer in the National Enquirer, and a subscriber. I have little doubt that what they report is true. However, having read the article, while slightly salacious, there isn't a lot there. We basically learn that her teenage kids are, drumroll, teenagers and that she may have had an (uncomsummated) relationship with her husband's business partner.

    Wow, shocking revelations! It's the secular left that thinks these things have some meaning, that they somehow prove that Christians are hypocrites. I don't expect some non-Christians to understand this, but, every Christian is a hypocrite. This is why the charge of "hypocrisy" is so lame. You see, we know it already.

    We also know, because we're imperfect, that others are, too. Does turmoil in Palin's private life have mean that she is not able to lead, to govern? Clearly Bill Clinton put the lie to that.

    We all deal with problems in our lives, and as a parent of two teenagers myself, I can certainly relate to Palin's predicament, and, if my kids put themselves in the same positions as her son allegedly did and her daughter surely did - they'd be finding themselves in much the same circumstance as hers are now (joining the Army and getting married).

    So, it'll sell some issues, and many will get a good laugh out of it. But, that will be about the extent of it.

    Like I said, if the Clinton's relatives couldn't scare us off, no one can.

    Eric Dondero said...

    The elitist wing of the conservative movement has always been wary of us libertarians coming into the GOP. Sarah Palin is one of the top elected libertarian Republicans in the country, (along with Idaho's Gov. Butch Otter, and Cong. Jeff Flake of AZ).

    Of course, she's going to make some conservatives nervous.

    They are wary of her libertarian cultural views. This is the woman, after all, who famously fought back against social conservatives in Wasilla who wanted to run all of the bars and taverns out of town.

    They even started a whisper campaign in Alaska during the 2006 primaries that Sarah wasn't really a Republican, but rather a "closet libertarian." She had attended a couple local Libertarian Party meetings seeking their support.

    But what she loses from the social conservatives, she gains 10 times over in libertarian votes.

    Figure, Libertarian Bob Barr was polling 6% nationwide in mid-summer. As high as 10% in New Hampshire. And post-Palin he's now down to 1%.

    Ever since Goldwater the eastern establishment Republicans have distrusted Western cowboy individualists in the GOP.

    With Sarah Palin, the libertarian wing of the GOP has finally arrived. Of course, that's going to make some other Republicans nervous.

    Get over it Conservatives, THE LIBERTARIANS HAVE ARRIVED!!

    Jay said...

    Eric - I didn't think I was going to like your blog, but, I must day, I really, really like it alot.

    I disagree that social conservatives (of which, I am one, but, I'd have to day I am probably a "Palin conservative") have really anything to fear from Libertarians, and should welcome our friends who are Libertarians into the GOP. As a matter of fact, an alliance between social conservatives and libertarians could just minimize the damage the country club set has done/is doing to the party.

    I might also disagree with any notion that Bob Barr is really a Libertarian, but, hey, I guess he'll do in a pinch.

    Anyway, glad to have found your site.