(Sept. 29, New York, New York) There are certain journalists known for their probing, tough, relentless interview style. Some of these print and TV journalists are feared by certain politicians who have watched as their colleagues have withered under intense scrutiny. Katie Couric is not one of them, yet, she was more than capable of rendering GOP vice-presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, appear like a blithering idiot. In a sense, the Republican ticket should be grateful that Tim Russert is no longer with us. He’d have a quite a time with Governor Palin.
Palin’s initial luster is rapidly fading. Her introduction to a national audience was by any measure one chooses to assess a brilliant performance. Considering her unfamiliarity playing the political game at the highest level, having to deliver a speech, live, from the Republican National Convention while 99.9% of Americans had never even heard of her, she presented herself as intelligent, capable, humorous and at ease. A remarkable feat given that in just a matter of days she was thrust from relative obscurity (except in Alaska) to being a vice presidential candidate, a position literally a heartbeat removed from the most powerful position in the world, the Presidency of the United States.
Aside from the bruising from Katie, Palin has not fared well in other interviews. She appears to be an asset on the campaign trail; she has her stump speech down pat and delivers it with gusto and, at times, subtle charm. Despite her public speaking skills, she has demonstrated a remarkable lack of knowledge in every area from the current financial crisis, domestic and foreign affairs of every kind, and has even made statement contrary to the positions espoused by her running mate, Senator John McCain. These are not beneficial indicators considering the election is 36 days away.
Her glaring lack of the breadth and depth of the challenges the next President will confront is not to imply she is unintelligent. She is no fool and, in her brief political career in Alaska, proven to be an ambitious, shrewd and tough politician tactically. Her meteoric rise from the local PTA to Mayor of the small town of Wasilla, to the Office of Governor of the State of Alaska is impressive and proof positive of her political skills. (Granted, we’re talking Alaska here.) The fact of the matter is that being a gifted campaigner as a political candidate is in no way an indicator that once elected; such a person will be a capable, effective elected public official. The stakes as far as Palin are concerned are raised exponentially given the prominence of the office she now aspires to. The second highest elected official in America, The Vice President, a literal heart beat away from the Presidency of the United States, (arguably, the most powerful position on the planet) should be possessed of the knowledge, leadership abilities and other vital attributes we expect and deserve in our President.
Given the current domestic conditions, being engaged in battles on two fronts and the myriad of complex range of national, international if not global challenges the winner of the rapidly approaching general election will confront, the ramifications and repercussions of electing the wrong ticket will reverberate for many, many years to come.
Perhaps, if victorious in November John McCain will surround himself with a stellar Cabinet and advisors that would, to some degree, off set Governor Palin’s weaknesses. We may find out. The simple arithmetic and medical history of electing a 72 year old, four time cancer survivor to the unimaginable pressures and stresses of the Presidency with a 44 year old virtual novice as Vice President could potential be disastrous.
Conversely, we have witnessed and are living through what our current Yale and Harvard educated MBA, CEO President, his highly experienced Vice President, his veteran Cabinet members have wrought. This Administration will go down in history as the most inept, criminal, arrogant, defiant collection of conscienceless scum that has perpetrated more damage, death and destruction of every type on our country as well as around the world. They have shredded our sacred Constitution, violated domestic and international law and engaged in a war that continues to this day that was a war of choice, greed and hubris. Unfortunately, John McCain and, by default, Sarah Palin are joined at the hip to the George W. Bush presidency and legacy. McCain especially cannot in any logical, honest, understandable way divorce himself from this President and all that has transpired over the last seven plus years.
So, this seems to bring us full circle in a sense. Hopefully, considering all the facts, we, the American people will vote thoughtfully, wisely and in great non-apathetic numbers. Time will tell if we will have voted correctly.
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