Monday, September 1, 2008

The Sarah Palin Files, Pt. 7

Andrew Halcro is a former Republican, now Independent, Alaskan politician who lost to Sarah Palin in the Republican primary in the 2006 Alaska Gubernatorial race.

Now he's a blogger. Who isn't these days? Hey, join the club, buddy!

Anyway, here is his S.W.O.T. analysis of Palin as McCain's VP pick. On balance, it's a fair assessment, at least as fair as it can be coming from someone who lost an election to Palin.

Most telling:

In April of 2006, Palin and I shared a cup of coffee together in the Captain Cook coffee shop. We had just been at a debate up at the University of Fairbanks the night before and she said although the was impressed with my ability to state policies and figures, when looking out over the audience, she wondered to herself if having a grasp of that really mattered.

* * * *

The threat is that she will try and apply that same recipe to running on a nationwide platform and I don't think that will help her and will be highlighted by the press and in the media.

One subplot about the Palin pick has been how does Joe Biden take her on in the VP debate? In particular, Biden is renowned for both his sharp debating skills and his foreign policy acumen. Does he use his attack dog skills and go after her, at the risk of making her a sympathetic figure being beaten down by a member of the Ol' Boys club? The CW about the Democratic primary result in New Hampshire is that after Hillary was getting attacked by all sides in a debate, voters (women, specifically) rallied around her to create a surprise victory.

I don't think this is a concern though. All Biden needs to do is flash his superior knowledge and keep talking (which he is apparently prone to do). Palin will look idiotic by comparison. The question in my mind was how quick a study would she be on matters she had never looked at before (i.e., foreign policy, or for that matter, national domestic policy). Halcro suggests that Palin has relied on her personality, rather than any real mastery of policy, to get her where she is today, and to date, anyway, has not shown herself to subscribe to the idea that she needs to know anything.

Incidentally, you're probably thinking what I am: "haven't we seen a politician like this before?"

Anyway, you never know how this is going to play out, but her history suggests that she is just not going to get up to speed in time. Her debate with Biden is about 30 days away, and she has a full campaign schedule. It doesn't leave a lot of time for intensive study.

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