Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IF Sarah can't handle the press, how can she handle the job?

By l.t. Dravis

NEW YORK – Tuesday, September 23, 2008 – Why did the McCain campaign try to prevent the press from witnessing Sarah Palin’s vaunted meetings with a world leader in New York today?

As the Governor of Alaska was about to sit down for a face-to-face meeting with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Palin’s handlers suddenly decided to ban everyone but camera operators from the room.

The whole world knows that the McCain campaign orchestrated this series of meetings with world leaders to try to fill-in a huge gap in the rookie Governor’s foreign policy experience . . . so this last-minute tactic came as a complete surprise.

But, when the media threatened to take its cameras and go home if reporters weren’t allowed to ask questions, the campaign caved in.

After all, what is a photo-op with no photos?

The campaign desperately needs film and still photos to try to convince voters that a couple of minutes of idle chit-chat with a foreign leader, any foreign leader, transforms Sarah Palin into a foreign policy expert (they do think we’re stupid, don’t they?).

But, like her or not, Sarah Palin, everyone’s favorite hockey mom, is by no means a sophisticated, educated stateswoman.

So the McCain campaign is justifiably worried that voters will see her as an ‘empty dress’, completely incapable handling the foreign policy aspects of the Presidency should a President McCain ever be unable to handle the job.

Lest you think that the McCain campaign did the right thing and let reporters in to ask questions so voters could learn how candidate Palin handles herself, it didn’t . . . in fact; the campaign showed its true colors and conned the media.

The con worked like this: Palin’s handlers allowed cameras, camera people, sound folks, and reporters into the room for the Karzai/Palin meeting for all of 29 seconds . . . just long enough to get the film and stills they wanted, but not long enough to risk the media catching Sarah with her mouth open.

The question that begs to be answered is, why is the McCain campaign so afraid of the press witnessing a simple photo-op conversation between Sarah Palin and a foreign leader?

For the same reason the campaign won’t let her hold a press conference . . . it knows she doesn’t know what the heck she’s talking about.

Now, before millions of Palin-ophants start praying for my demise, I’ll ask you to objectively consider the following exchange between a voter and Sarah Palin at a Town Hall Meeting in Michigan on September 18:

The voter asked, Governor Palin, there has been quite a bit of discussion about your perceived lack of foreign policy experience. And I want to give you your chance. If you could please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have to bring to the White House to rebut that or mitigate that concern.

The best the could-be-next President of the United States could come up with was to give the following non-answer: Well, I think because I’m a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of try to beat the candidates here, who chose me as his partner, to kind of tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think that I am prepared and I know that on January 20th, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness.

Come on . . . you’d expect a better answer from someone running to be 8th grade class president!

If Palin really was the best qualified person in the United States to be John McCain’s running mate, she would have answered the question, directly, concisely, and intelligently by listing the specific foreign policy skills she would bring to the White House.

But she didn’t.

So let’s not pretend the truth is something other than what it really is . . . Sarah Palin was a political choice; she gave John McCain a way to get lots of media attention along with the hope that she might attract enough women voters to make a difference on November 4th.

No thinking American actually believes Palin was chosen because she’s the best qualified person in America to be Vice-President.

If the McCain campaign really believes in her, it would prepare Sarah Palin to learn everything possible about foreign affairs . . . not with meaningless two minute ‘meet ‘n greets’, not by sending her for a tutoring session with Henry Kissinger, but by sending her to meet with world leaders where they live.

Why not send Governor Palin to Israel to meet with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni . . . the woman who just might become the next prime minister?

Why not send her on a fact-finding trip to North Korea to talk with Kim Jong Il’s regime about its plans to renew activities at the nuclear weapons facility at Yongbyon?

Why not send her to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to learn more about his recent diplomatic initiatives in Georgia and Syria?

Why not send her to meet with President Felipe De Jesus Calderon to gain some insight into Mexico’s perspective on illegal immigration?

Why not send her to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss ways to strengthen economic ties between the U.K. and the U.S.?

Why not?

Unless the McCain campaign decides to help Sarah Palin acquire the foreign policy knowledge, understanding, and wisdom she would need to be a fully functioning President, it is setting her up for failure.

And I wonder, how does that put “Country First”?

Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

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