If she had something to say, that would be one thing, but most of it consists of a lot of whining about how horribly she was treated during her candidacy for Vice President. There’s no question some press coverage, especially in the entertainment and tabloid media, was vicious, false, and totally uncalled for. The rumors about her son, her daughter’s pregnancy and other vulgar insinuations were completely out-of-bounds and it is appalling the extent to which the mainstream media tolerated it.
Does Ms. Palin have a grievance? Of course she does, but how she handles it also matters for it reflects whether or not she has the right chemistry to be an effective leader.
An effective leader needs to know how to stay above the fray and to recognize what the fray is and what sources of conflict require engagement. While it would have been appropriate for her to acknowledge that some media coverage was very hurtful for her family and her to endure, she needed to say a few words and then move past it not to dwell on it. A good piece of wisdom is, “Never argue with an idiot. They’ll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience every time.”
The true story of Sarah Palin is that she lacked the maturity, experience, and intellect to deal with the legitimate media altogether and she made herself look ridiculous not the interviewers who she feels were too harsh on her. Katy Couric is capable of being much tougher than she was with Ms. Palin. In fact, on balance, as biased as the media was favoring the Obama campaign, they weren’t particularly nasty with Ms. Palin. If she had anything important to say, she would have gotten some measure of coverage. The only really idiotic question asked of her was her opinion of the “Bush Doctrine.” The so-called Bush Doctrine was the construction of the elite Washington Media, the kinds of chatterers who dominate the Sunday morning news programs that evolved to mean different things as President Bush’s foreign policy objectives changed over time. President Bush never identified anything as specifically being his doctrine of foreign policy, middle east engagement or anything like that. Ms. Palin’s fumbling with that concept only showed that she did not tune in to the “inside the Beltway” chit-chat which is its own world with its own language. Quite possibly, a good measure of her appeal was that she was not a part of that world, but it was also one of her weaknesses.
The more one hears Sarah Palin, the more one-dimensional and totally unsuited for higher office she becomes. Yes, she seems to be a good person though obviously pretty full of herself. It was surely a moral and brave decision to continue her pregnancy when she knew her child would have Downs’ Syndrome. She is a good roll model for post-feminist America where family responsibilities can be restructured by mutual agreement of both spouses so the necessary family duties are fulfilled but both spouses are free to pursue their lives, personally and professionally, to its fullest.
What Sarah Palin lacks, besides experience, is intellect. The more she is interviewed, the more she reveals there is not much of a deliberative process at work. She’s good with some facts and figures, but to analyze and synthesize the broader picture and to see things in a meaningful context is beyond her intellectual grasp. She is a high energy person who works very hard, but in the great beehive of political activity, she is much more the worker bee not the queen bee.
Why does she give the impression that she is owed some higher honors as some kind of entitlement as a result of how she was wronged during the 2008 election?
Make no mistake about it, the McCain organization handled her poorly. They had no sense of how to maximize her good qualities and reduce her negatives, but what else is new? The McCain campaign was one of the biggest political disasters in Post World War Two politics. What is really remarkable is that he didn’t lose by a much wider margin as the campaign never established a unifying message and refused to play hardball in an effective manner on the myriad of conspicuous liabilities that made Barack Obama totally unsuited to be President of the United States. They refused to deal with the Jeremiah Wright fiasco and only brought in the issue of Bill Ayers after the media more or less forced it one them. They never had anything compelling to say about Obama’s lack of experience and horrible extreme left wing influences and associates.
Against this backdrop of an incompetent organization, and quite likely, the Palin appointment was yet another manifestation of this incompetence, defining Sarah Palin as one heart beat away from the President became a difficult task. As only a recently elected governor of Alaska having little long term political grooming, they absolutely obliterated their biggest advantage against Obama: experience. Sure, the comparison of the Presidential candidate to the Vice Presidential Candidate is not a direct correlation. However, did the voters not have in the back of their minds that John McCain was the oldest man ever to run for President and had previously been stricken with cancer?
Rightly or wrongly, it was easier to think of Palin being a Vice President who’d have a much greater chance of becoming President than Obama’s veep selection, or the Presidencies of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, or George H.W. Bush for whom age could not be made an issue.
To think of Buffy the Moose Killer as Madame President is a horrifying thought. Her casual language of never pronouncing an “ing” along with all the “didja’s, won’t cha’s, and gonna’s” surely made her seem lacking in any kind of prep school or collegiate grooming expected of the managerial class. Yet she never had the gravitas and character to be a modern day folk hero who could get away with it.
Even conservative commentators pointed out her total lack of intellectual curiosity. She’s not a person who has any sense of nuance or subtly. She lives in a world of clear, literal answers, yes and no questions, and crudely defined, intellectually detached notions of right and wrong.
So now she has thrust upon us “Sarah PAC,” the typical first move of someone wanting to run for the big prize, the Presidency. She’s making the rounds as if she is the new face of the Republican Party, and unless the GOP can come up with some new faces, she will win that honor by default. Clearly, John McCain, by losing the election and being so quick to ally with Democrats on the Senate floor cannot claim that honor. There are plenty of Republicans who have scores to settle with the Arizona Senator for not supporting them in their fall election campaigns under his false hope along with Sarah Palin who played into the same mantra to be more of an independent candidate.
Give Sarah Palin credit for being a hard worker, but the more we see her, the less we like her as her limitations become more and more apparent with each engagement. From her nomination until election day, what we did not see was any evidence of growth on the campaign trail. Her greatest performance was her convention speech. The best she had to offer hence was essentially mini-encores of that speech. She has a lot of learning to do and needs to amass some very serious experience if she is to have any hopes of being a Presidential candidate or even a good Vice Presidential candidate. Hard work and experience will only get someone so far if the person in question lacks the true intellect and judgment to be an effective leader in the first place. Clearly, Ms. Palin lacks the depth and gravitas to be taken seriously.
In her own words:
On “Roe b. Wade”
"Well, let's see. There's ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―"
October 1, 2008: Interview with Katy Couric
On the Vice President’s Role in the Senate, Badly Mistaken
"[T]hey're in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom."
October 21, 2008, KUSA, Denver, Colorado, TV interview
Okay, This was a long time ago, but… (DUH!!!!)
"I don't believe in interracial relationships, I was born in Idaho and raised to believe
that whites and blacks shouldn't mix or date each other"
Were There Dinosaurs in Alaska?
"I want creationism as the only theory taught in our schools"
Yeow, What is Her Middle Name?
"He can say he is a Christian but as far as I'm concerned, Obama is a Muslim, look at
his middle name"
Hmm, Has She Ever Looked at a World Map?
“They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan.”
Fundraiser, San Francisco, October 5, 2008.
Would "Universal Eye Care" Help the Blinking Problem?
“I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.”
ABC interview September 2008.
“I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't.”
As quoted Former City Council Member Nick Carney in response to his questioning her on the lavish renovation of the Wasilla mayor’s office.
Keen Insight on Foreign Affairs
“I don't know a lot about Iran, I just heard that they are bad people"