Palin’s performance with Couric and Gibson have raised doubts in the minds of conservatives and Republicans and scorn and contempt from liberals and Democrats. She stammered, she sighed, she stuttered. She’s not qualified!
This is nonsense. I think it is time for reasonable people to be reasonable. Sarah Palin didn’t get where she is by stuttering. Her foreign policy credentials are at least as good as Obama’s… was.
Let me explain. People seem to have forgotten that Obama has been campaigning for president for a solid 18 months. He’s probaby been campaigning for as long as worked as a senator. Sarah Palin a month ago was the governor of Alaska. For the last two years, she has been doing her job. That job had incidental involvment with Russia and Canada. Not much, perhaps, but It is at least as valid as Obama’s childhood experience in an Islamic school in Indonesia. The point here is that trying to compare Obama’s current ‘foreign policy’ knowledge (we don’t dare call it ‘experience’) with Palin’s current ‘foreign policy’ knowledge is comparing apples with oranges. Give Palin 18 months and I wager she could wipe the mat with Obama. Give her just three and she’ll be ready enough.
If we were to go back 18 months* and reviewed interviews of Obama conducted by Gibson and by Couric would we see the same kind of probing ‘gotcha’ questions about Obama’s foreign policy credentials? Of course not. After 18 months you’d hope a guy would be up to speed on certain essential facts. Decency requires that we give Palin the same courtesy.
Of course, I see that I’m not really being fair. Obama shouldn’t have been asked hard questions and grilled on his ‘hubris’ and lack of experience. After all, he was only running for president, while Palin is running for the second highest office in the land. Right?
People sniping at the ‘vetting’ of Palin regarding her experience fail to take into account the fact that in areas she’s been mocked she hasn’t got the 18 month headstart that Obama has. They also fail to take into account the fact that her innocence in regards to the way the ‘belt way’ operates is precisely part of her appeal. In my opinion, Sarah Palin is allowed to not know all of the answers in so short a time. She isn’t a candidate for the president. I am more interested in her judgment in general and her ability to hold her own in a conversation. The Couric clips that were released** were sketchy, but I’ve seen plenty of evidence that she can discuss things just fine so it seems to me that what we need out of Palin is Palin being herself. The upcoming Biden debate is the perfect place to let Palin be Palin.
And speaking of judgment: Obama had a solid 16 months of hard study and he still got the Russia/Georgia affair wrong, cycling through several responses before settling on something virtually identical to McCain’s. That just goes to show you that there is more to ‘foreign policy’ than being a geography whiz or a quick study.
Partisans can be expected to be partisan, so I’m really writing for those who claim to be in the middle or undecided. Simply put, let’s be fair out there. Let’s make sure we’re comparing apples to apples. Is it time to dump Palin? No. It is time for everyone to give Palin a break. And that goes for you conservatives out there, too. Gosh, I’d expect the other side to be led naively by the nose but I’d think you’d be fair.
*I am not aware of a Couric/Obama interview 18 months ago. If anyone is aware of one feel free to point me to it.
**One must be careful when dealing with the media. They always have to edit, and that means choice, and choice always requires reasons, and reasons rest on belief.