Skip to comments.The Palin Problem
Posted on 09/26/2008 3:24:39 AM PDT by acsuc99
WASHINGTON -- If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream -- away from Sarah Palin.
To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president -- and possibly president -- is to risk being labeled anti-woman.
Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.
Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick -- what a difference a financial crisis makes -- and a more complicated picture has emerged.
As we've seen and heard more from John McCain's running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn't know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.
Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan's president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)
And, yes, she has common sense, something we value. And she's had executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively).
Finally, Palin's narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain's running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood -- a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.
Palin didn't make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.
It was fun while it lasted.
Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I've also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.
Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there's not much content there. Here's but one example of many from her interview with Hannity "Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we're talking about today. And that's something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this."
When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama's numbers, Palin blustered wordily: "I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?"
If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.
If Palin were a man, we'd all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she's a woman -- and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket -- we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.
What to do?
McCain can't repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP's unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability. Barack Obama faces the same problem with Biden.
Only Palin can save McCain, her party and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
Do it for your country.
Nothing new here - she’s been running down Palin since the announcement. It’s tough being irrelevant, isn’t it, Kathleen?
This has got to be satire. I cannot believe that she meant what she said, any of it.
he’s really really great with words. I liked all of his speeches. I can understand why many conservatives liked him.
But then I looked at his record and it really bothered me.
And not only that, McCain and Obama (and Biden) are all sitting Senators who have claimed authority over and expertise about the national economy, including the banking system that is currently in turmoil. If there's anything we can be sure about, it's that the Governor of Alaska doesn't have any responsibility for the mess that the FEDERAL government has made of this.
Someone might point out to the nit wit that wrote this piece that it's the "brilliant" politicians and "professwional money men(?)" i.e. those who are "in their league" who did this to the nation in the first place. Does (whoever is) the author of this piece really think these clowns can be trusted to fix it? Haven't they already done enough damage?
I wonder if some plain old common sense might be in order. Bush isn't the guy either, although he belongs at the wheel. That's his job. Still, he won't be around to do the heavy lifting when the fix is completed. At lease some Republicans in DC have said, "Slow down just a bit." I doubt they can fix it either, as we really are going where few men have gone before.
Perhaps the person who really wrote this article can explain which person running for the Big Chair has the knowledge and experience to make things better. It says right here that I would trust Sarah Palin's judgement at least as much and probably more than anyone else, and way more than the two Bozos on the Democratic ticket.
yes, I see character and conviction in palin. You need to have that to be commander in chief. Some very smart people have no character and they back down easily during a crisis or when the poll numbers change
And even if it were between Palin and Obama, Palin is clearly more qualified, especially on the economic front over Obama. You can make fun of Palin running a small state population wise but Obama’s experience is running his household budget and zippo more.
Parker, you just jumped the shark.
Whatever the validity of your observations of Palin’s performance to date, and there is some validity, for any supposedly astute political observer to suggest that ANY vice presidential nominee drop out at this point in the race is just plain ignorant.
Did it ever occur to you, Kathleen, that, instead of reacting only emotionally to what you view as Palin’s lack of substantive skills (which, as you note, is typical of politicians in general, it’s just that you[re more okay with it when it’s a man-thing), some sort of analysis about the impact on the election, and, therefore, on the country was what was appropriate and warranted-—before you published your OMG-feelings-rant?
How do your think your embarrassing half-baked suggestion that Palin withdraw from the race because she filibusters only as well as typical Washington pols would affect McCain’s chance of winning the White House?
How do you think aiding and abetting the election of Obambi, which is the first immediate effect if Palin were to drop out of the race, would help the country?
Would you be happier with Joe Biden as Vice President? Oh, wait: that’s not as emotionally painful for you to watch because he’s a man.
How do you think following your suggestion would impact, not only the outcome of the election, but our country right now-—while McCain is in the midst of trying to get his hands around the throat of this financial crisis, you come along whining that he ought to go back to the drawing table and spend valuable time and money finding a new VP?
Obviously, Kathleen, you didn’t think.
May I suggest that next time you feel like hitting the mute button, you hit “delete” on your computer instead.
And those are her examples of how inept and hopeless Palin is? What did she expect Palin to say?
Seriously who is this woman, and what has she accomplished?
Bush didn’t have a clue on foreign policy facts but he stayed the course in Iraq and we are winning. Unfortunately he had an MBA...maybe that’s why the economy isn’t so good? His conservative instincts were clouded by the keynesian economics that he studied.
How does Parker not get how Palin has galvanized the ticket for McCain?!
Parker's not getting it! Palin's handled corruptness in Alaska and turned that state around. 80% approval rating should show Parker how effective Palin has been.
Maybe she's just jealous. What other explanation could there be?!
Just read now CBS is working to diminish Palin. Palin must be doing something right for CBS to make such a move.
Palin is the BEST SPEAKER IN POLITICS TODAY... anything else said is a LIE!
Palin does not ramble... but some of you certainly buy the dnc’s propaganda.
Another opinion piece from the Peggy Noonan school of journalism. Palin’s problem in interviews is that she is bound by the McCain platform. It does make her answers seem contrived boilerplate at times. But not any more than Obama’s answers (and he’s at the top of the ticket). Dismissing common sense, sound principles and their affect on Palin’s judgment is just offensively stupid.
I’m seeing the Dems using this strategy in their campaign - paint Palin as out of her league then attack McCain for his health. Seems there are some conservatives sold on the idea too.
What happened to Parker?
Couric and Gibson are VIPERS....VIPERS.....and for some reason, McCain sent her into their pit......ENOUGH!
Palin may be fine in terms of her conservative credentials, but I am certainly not convinced she is ready to be POTUS.
When I have heard her speak she did not seem particularly bright. Her education is limited to a bachelor's degree. The POTUS needs more than that.
She appears to be afraid of the press (sure its hostile, but that isn't going to change if she were President). the interview with Hannity was a joke.
She didn't know what the Bush doctrine was. She led a town of 5000 people and then a state of 600,000. She has not traveled outside of the country in any manner worthy of mention (yes this is extremely important when dealing with allies and enemies) and her ability to be Commander in Chief seems to boil down to an affinity for hunting.
I don't get the excitement about her and would have much preferred Mitt who is up to the job (and quite possibly turned it down to run in 2012).
Of course she is still better than Obama or Biden, but that is beside the point.
It is amazing how anyone can take their cheap shots at Governor Palin as the VP nominee and say nothing of Obama, who is the most unqualified candidate to be nominated for president in anyone’s memory. And when forced to discuss issues sans teleprompter, he’s proven to be incoherent, inarticulate, and actually embarrassing to listen to.
The truth is, there are few politicians, or people in any field who can discuss the complexities of the current financial crisis with any real depth of knowledge. I’ve heard several experienced in the field admit that they don’t understand all the implications. It is to an extent uncharted territory. To pretend that a lightweight like Katie Couric has the knowledge to address the issue is laughable. None of the four on the two major party tickets can discuss this situation with real depth of knowledge and this Parker columnist just wanted to take a few cheap shots, and she exposed herself as just one more zero integrity member of the MSM.
Parker’s “analysis” is inexplicable. And inexplicably stupid.
Even if Parker were completely right in her observations (and she is not), her call for Palin to withdraw from the race showed a stunning lack of intellectual self-discipline.
Once again, the problem with this narrative is that if Palin is unqualified, NObama is uber-unqualified. He is the ultimate empty suit, and he’s at the TOP of the Dem ticket.
For any rational person, an attack on Palin of this nature only amplifies the necessity of electing McCain - since the alternative is NObama.
Amazing that the media keeps falling for this...but I like it! =:-D
Perhaps one too many at the Carolina Cup!
Yes, it is. Pretending that newsreaders have any special knowledge of national or international affairs is one of the more bizarre fictions of our time ... right up there with imagining that actors know something the average voter doesn't know.
“When I have heard her speak she did not seem particularly bright. Her education is limited to a bachelor’s degree. The POTUS needs more than that.”
What elitist BS. So, you’d automatically disqualify a candidate with on a BS from Eureka College.
And Truman, with no degree, well, he would surely have offended your sensibilities to no end, Lol.
First of all, I’ve never heard of this Kathleen Parker broad....who the hell is she anyway?
Second, did anyone hear the liberals complain in 2004 that Howard Dean was from a small New England state with a small population? Insert here the sound of crickets.
Alaska is half the size of the lower 48 states and is one of the most important energy producing regions of North America.
What disqualifies Gov. Palin in the small minds of these liberals, especially these liberal women, is this....
(1) she’s a conservative
(2) she’s a Christian
(3) she gave birth to five children, and didn’t abort any of them
(4) she hunts
(5) she’s pro 2nd amendment
(6) she has common sense
(7) she’s not part of the Northeastern liberal establishment
(8) she didn’t go to an ivy league college
(9) she’s pro Iraq war and has a son fighting in that conflict
(10) she has an “R” after her name and
(11) she, like most conservative women, is attractive, unlike most democrat women, who fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
You go, Sarah. And thank YOU, Senator McCain, for choosing Gov. Palin as your running mate.
“Her education is limited to a bachelor’s degree. The POTUS needs more than that.”
Why is that? Advanced degrees focus on one narrow discipline. The President must be a true executive, delegating expertise, taking the best advice, and making the hard decisions.
Those talents aren’t something you learn in college. Sarah will do fine, just as many Presidents and Vice Presidents who lacked “advanced degrees” have done in the past.
A final thought, regardless of NObama’s educational achievements, his character is unsuitable for President. Sarah is quite the opposite.
I wish the same standards were applied to Obama and his fellow gaffe machine, Joe Biden. What exactly makes Palin out of her league?
Actually McCain has a law degree which is generally considered an advanced degree.
Palin is the best that America has to offer?
Parker's column focuses on social issues related to family, children and gender. Having grown up in Florida with four stepmothers and a variety of siblings -- half-, step- and whole -- Parker says, "I know of what I speak." She lives in Camden, South Carolina with her husband, son and a variety of pets.
Sounds like another case of vagina envy ala Peggy Noonan. She just can't stand the fact that this "rube" is actually the VP candidate.
Wow. Or rather, meow.
Remember last year Parker declared Hillary Clinton “well qualified” to be president. I’ve read whatever she’s written with a grain of salt since then.
I will comfortably assume by making this statement that you do not have an advnaced degree. Of course you are not running for President so that does not matter
An advanced degree in the form of a Masters degree is a much deeper look at a broad field - for instance business, finance, engineering, agriculture. The real focus comes with a PhD - which indeed is far more than a President needs.
However, the level of complexity of the problems currently faced are not to be made simpy via "gut feeling". It helps to understand that problems have many layers.
Education teaches you how to analyze problems. AAn advanced degree will help you focus on particular field, but it also helps with thinking in general.
Simply put, Palin does not strike me as a person who spends as much time thinking as I would want the POTUS to spend.
The degree thing is a proxy for that - the current POTUS doesn't appear to think enough either.
I don't believe that is correct. All the education bios I've seen for McCain only mention that his is a Naval Acad grad. They do not mention any masters or doctorate degrees. I'd be happy to be proven wrong so if you have a link that shows the law school he attended and year please post.
Are Obama and Biden the best America has to offer?
Hey Kathy, can I get you a saucer of Milk??
Pray for W, McCuda and Our Troops
I agree with you on this. I know a lot of really stupid PhDs. But, common sense and a little bit more what is needed when faced with an extremely complex financial problem. Or multi-layered and ancient foreign policy issues.
The POTUS should have both. Like Mitt.
Roughly half of Congress is made up of lawyers, each of which have an advanced degree. They are indeed wizards at solving problems.
I don't hold that against him as there is no correlation on leadership nor how people do in their careers based on rank in their class, 20 years after graduating.
As you wish... another Mittbot crawling out from his hole to pipe up at negative news. Probably to crawl back in your hole the next time a news cycle is favorable to Palin.
Your faith in advanced degrees is misplaced. Bush 43, Bush 41, and Clinton had advanced degrees. Ronald Reagan had just a bachelors degree from a small midwest college.
Romney would gave been an excellent selection. He was my number one pick, and Palin was my number two pick. But despite my liking of Mitt, I was thrilled when McCain picked Palin. She’s only been governor for two years, so it’s impossible to pick up the knowledge of international and national affairs in that short period of time. Especially since she hasn’t been campaigning for president, like Romney has, since she was elected. What makes her a great candidate is her instincts which are conservative. There’s no way she’d be a high tax-high spender on the economy. She’d keep the military strong. She’d keep her paws off the business of America.
Sorry, you are right. He doesn’t have a law degree.
Still, he is an expert on Foreign Policy.
I am not sure what Palin is an expert on. What she has really focused on to know the different layers of complexity.
As mentioned, I see an advanced degree as a proxy, not a must for the type of deep experience I want the POTUS to have. Palin doesn’t do it for me like Mitt did.
Mitt’s problem is he had the paper credentials, but not the principles to lead.
The Presidency is in the Executive Branch for a reason. Being President is an executive job. You are being paid to manage and make decisions. I have no idea what you mean by "thinking," in terms of the job, but the President and VP are surrounded by "thinkers" who provide them with expert advice and information, e.g., the intelligence community, cabinet officials, etc. The President must have the ability to make decisions based on the best possibile information available. And he/she must have leadership qualities.
Palin's record of executive experience and achievement, inside and outside of government, make her more qualified than Obama and Biden who have never supervised or managed anything larger than a senate staff. And even ahead of McCain's experience in the USN. The fact that Palin is a Washington outsider is a plus for me.