From today’s Real Clear Politics, a story based on interviews with Palin advisers:
Palin has taken a particular interest in the European debt crisis as of late, and SarahPAC recently hired Joshua Livestro – a Dutch newspaper columnist who has also contributed to the pro-Palin web site Conservatives4Palin.com – to research the topic for Palin on a freelance basis.
Reach to floor, pick up jaw, reinsert in mouth.
The potential collapse of the Euro is one of the most urgent and frightening economic crises on planet Earth. Sarah Palin of course is a likely candidate for president of the United States. As such, she has access to the nation’s and the world’s leading economic minds.
The president of the European Central Bank? Available. Any of the governors of the Federal Reserve? At her service. The economics faculties of every university in the United States? Ready to take the next flight to Anchorage. Heads of the bonds desks at every American bank and financial firm? That conversation might have to be conducted by telephone rather than in person, but still easily arranged. Prime ministers of Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece? Accessible.
Frankly, it’s hard for me to imagine any expert in any subject who wouldn’t feel it an imperative public duty to talk to Gov. Palin if asked. Instead she turns to a journalist with no formal training in economics and no experience in public finance. I mean no disrespect here to Joshua Livestro, who may well be a very able person. (You can read a sampling of his work in English in NRO, Pajamas Media and the Weekly Standard at this link.)
But why is a potential president relying for economic advice on freelance journalists rather than Nobel Prizewinners? It’s almost as if Gov. Palin finds the idea of expertise – not merely incomprehensible – but actively repugnant.