The subject of Republican candidates for 2012 was part of the discussion on July 1. When the discussion turned to Sarah Palin everyone agreed that Palin should be busy studying foreign policy issues to prepare herself if she decided to run. One of the panelists recommended that she send for policy experts to visit her in Alaska to provide a tutorial.
And everyone nodded.
This is the conventional wisdom and it’s wrong. Why should Palin be held to a different standard than the people who won the election in 2008?
Quick ... when did Obama get quizzed on foreign policy?
Obama’s foreign policy consisted of pulling out of Iraq before we were successful and closing Guantanamo before he knew what could be done with the terrorists there. Oh yes, the other leg of his foreign policy was to hold talks with Ahmadinejad of Iran without pre-conditions.
Can anyone remember Obama getting a “test” on foreign policy during the campaign? Can anyone remember anything about the Obama campaign other than “hope and change,” “yes we can,” and “we are the ones we have been waiting for.”
Why is Sarah Palin going to judged on a different standard that the recent winner in the Presidential sweepstakes? Is there a different test that Republican women must pass? Why is there a demand that Sarah Palin be required to prepare a doctoral dissertation and be subject to an oral exam as if she were attending graduate school while the winner of the last election not only does not have her experience, he was not even asked about his knowledge.
It is easy and obvious to point out that there is a double standard in the MSM. But to see it exhibited – rather mindlessly – by a person for whom I have as much respect as Charles Krauthammer and someone who is as reflexively conservative as Fred Barnes is infuriating. It’s like a reflexive tick. It’s as if they view her as the SNL’s Tina Fey claiming to see Russia from her house.
What is the matter with the people inside the Beltway when it comes to Sarah Palin? Is it because she’s a woman? Is it because she too good looking? Is she too middle class? Is it her accent? Is it her religion? Is it because she’s from Alaska? Is it because she did not attend an Ivy League University? Is it because she appeals to people in "flyover country?" Why do the people who sell access to Obama administration officials and the editors of the Washington Post for $25,000 and up hate her so?
What is it?
UPDATE: Here's the video of the discussion.
Watch the video. Krauthammer said that "You cannot sustain a campaign of platitudes and cliches over a year and a half if you're running for the Presidency." Was Charles Krauthammer, for whom I have the utmost respect, living in an alternative universe during the last presidential campaign? "Hope and change" is the very definition of a platitude while "we are the ones we have been waiting for" does not aspire to even that level.
Mind you, I am not in favor of electing ill-equipped demagogues to any office, let alone the presidency. But that's just what happened in 2008. The idea that you can't do what Barack Obama so obviously did makes Krauthammer's comments silly and makes me question the motives behind his dismissal of Palin. He appears to favor Romney who is a very rich man.
In his defense, he may have meant to say that Republicans - unlike Democrats - can't run an empty suit and win. But Ronald Reagan proved that you can win an election on big ideas without taking a test in which you are asked to name the second assistant vice chairman of Bulgaria.
UPDATE2 : The comments are so good that I wanted to bring them into the body of the essay.
Palin is going to have to do a lot of studying to live up to the foreign plolicy standard set by Obama in his first six months:
First travel around the world and blame America for .....fill in the blank
Bow to the Saudi King and be sure to diss your European allies every chance you get.
Promise to close Gitmo and send four maybe terrorists to Burmuda but don't tell the British
Iran: support the Mullah's and stolen elections
Honduras: support who guy who would violate his own constitution and is supported by Castro and Chavez,
Israel: show Netanyahu the bottom of your shoe and tell him that he can't build houses for his expanding population and promise to divide up Jerusalem
Gaza: give Hamas millions of dollars.
Secretary of State: give the job to Hillary Clinton to bury her at State and then appoint special envoys to be the real Secretary's of State
Yup, that's a lot of brilliance to live up to. Getting this good is going to be a full time job, maybe she should resign as governor.
I'm not sure what the problem is either, but besides this high brow reaction, bottom line she connects with people and draws the crowds and I am not sure if there is an explanation for charisma.
Francis W. Porretto (of whose blog I am a very big admirer) said...
There's what would be "fair," and there's what would give Governor Palin a decent chance of being elected president.
Because of the multiple calummny campaigns mounted against her, Governor Palin will have to prove, beyond anyone's ability to conceal or deny, that she's the equal of anyone else contending for the Oval Office -- and she has to do it without sacrificing her grace or her dignity. That will take not merely intense preparation on all manner of national issues, foreign relations issues prominent among them, but also a severe course in the indelicate arts of political posturing and sloganeering.
Governor Palin will have to learn how to cope with accusations and imputations from the mainstream media types who so obviously hate her. She'll have to learn how to deal with a hostile question from a hostile interviewer. She'll have to learn how to deflect inquiries about irrelevancies -- and how to direct attention away from indecent rumor campaigns and onto the motives and backgrounds of those who've orchestrated them.
She has to learn how to do all this...and then she'll have to do it, all of it, without besmirching her own gorgeous image.
Then there's this: She'll have to figure out how to break the GOP Establishment's barriers against her, and then do it, while doing all the above and maintaining her stainless reputation for integrity and decency. It wasn't easy in Alaska; it will be one hell of a lot tougher with the national party, whose kingmakers believe themselves to be God's chosen, above all critique.
Governor Palin is conservatives' dream candidate in many ways. Unfortunately, to become more than a dream, she'll have to study and work five times as hard as anyone else in the Republican Party. I hope she's up for it; another round of the McCain / Romney / Huckabee / Giuliani / Keystone Kops festival would nudge me perilously close to suicide.
Hmmm, what about hiring Chuck Norris as Governor Palin's chief "adviser?"