Apparently, McCain picking an inexperienced, provincial wackjob with extreme political views as his VP candidate finally woke up the long slumbering ‘liberal’ media. His choice has completely called into question his own judgement (or if he’s even in charge of his campaign) while totally smacking of a last-ditch effort to get elected – preferably with as little dignity as possible.
The New York Times waited until the media was finally allowed to speak to Palin before writing an editorial on Palin’s worrisome world view. The strong wording of the editorial reflects the very real concerns about someone with Palin’s views being a major influence in the White House. But I never expected to see a headline like one of today’s articles: Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes. Ouch – those small town politics won’t go over very well on Capitol Hill, where you have to work with people in spite of your differences. And Palin may well be one of the last people I’d want speaking to the head of a country with nuclear capabilities. I doubt the Putins & Kim Jong Ils of the world would respond very well to a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude or other moronic obstinacy.
More non-Fox, non-neocon responses to McCain & Palin:
The Washington Post: “It’s hard to think of a presidential campaign with a wider chasm between the seriousness of the issues confronting the country and the triviality, so far anyway, of the political discourse… John McCain is a serious man who promised to wage a serious campaign. Win or lose, will he be able to look back on this one with pride? Right now, it’s hard to see how.”
The sensible and thought-provoking Thomas Friedman: “Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?”
The Washington Post: “Overall, this was an unsettling interview, with a frustrating lack of follow-up questions. Voters deserve more opportunities for more searching questioning in the short time left before Election Day.”
The columnist Frank Rich: “No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney… The racial component to this brand of politics was undisguised in St. Paul. Americans saw a virtually all-white audience yuk it up when Giuliani ridiculed Barack Obama’s “only in America” success as an affirmative-action fairy tale — and when he and Palin mocked Obama’s history as a community organizer in Chicago. Neither party has had so few black delegates (1.5 percent) in the 40 years since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies started keeping a record… How do you run against that flashy flimflam? You don’t. Karl Rove for once gave the Democrats a real tip rather than a bum steer when he wrote last week that if Obama wants to win, “he needs to remember he’s running against John McCain for president,” not Palin for vice president. Obama should keep stepping up the blitz on McCain’s flip-flops, confusion, ignorance and blurriness on major issues (from education to an exit date from Iraq), rather than her gaffes and résumé. If he focuses voters on the 2008 McCain, the Palin question will take care of itself.”
The last point in Rich’s editorial is REALLY strange – Karl Rove, conservative mastermind, giving some useful political advice to the Obama campaign?! It is, however, a good point – all the attention from McCain has been distracted by Palin, just like his missteps were mostly ignored while Obama & Clinton fought for the Democratic nomination. Considering the response to the interview, it’s pretty clear that Rove’s right – Obama should focus on McCain and let the Palin issue resolve itself. (Rove’s editorial was published on Thursday, before Palin’s first interview aired.)