The way we learn about candidates and their preparedness to deal with difficult issues is through their records and interviews. Sarah Palin has no record on foreign and defense policy and, despite her speech to the RNC, her views are virtually unknown to the American people.
By contrast, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John McCain have been forced to give answers in split seconds to difficult questions — without scripts. That’s the least we should expect from someone seeking national office.
Sarah Palin is not giving interviews. The McCain campaign’s defense to the decision to keep her away from difficult questions is as pathetic as anything I’ve ever seen. Via Swampland:
The American people don’t care to know what their potential president knows about national security, foreign policy, the economy or anything else? Of course not. We’re only at war in two different countries, facing a resurgent Russia, multiple crises around the world and living with an economy which is deteriorating by the day.
Now we learn that not only will Palin not be available for interviews with the election two months off, she’s leaving the campaign trial and going back to Alaska.
This is a simple cost/benefit analysis by the McCain campaign. The calculus is this: The campaign loses more if Palin gives an interview in which she looks foolish and unprepared for the vice presidency or presidency than it loses by simply enduring the critisim and suspicison it knows for certain it will face by locking her away.
The campaign can only have concluded that it is better to face speculation that she’s hiding from interviews solely because she doesn’t know the answers to difficult questions than it is to let her give one and confirm it. That’s the only reason to take the enormous risk of keeping her stowed away.
A very good friend’s frequent references to Abraham Lincoln sums it up: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” And this is the kind of removal of all doubt the McCain campaign is trying to avoid (I can’t find the video, but you get the idea):
Texas Gov. George W. Bush is enduring sharp criticism for being unable to name the leaders of four current world hot spots, but President Bill Clinton says Bush “should, and probably will, pick up” those names.
The front-runner for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination faltered Thursday in an international affairs pop quiz posed by Andy Hiller, a political reporter for WHDH-TV in Boston.
Hiller asked Bush to name the leaders of Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan. Bush was only able to give a partial response to the query on the leader of Taiwan, referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui simply as “Lee.” He could not name the others.
Bush gave that interview in November 1999. The 2000 election didn’t happen until a full year later. Between the interview and November 2000, he had time to learn the issues. He hired Condoleezza Rice and studied as hard as could. Look how well that turned out.
Sarah Palin has 60 days.