As someone who was ready to give Sarah Palin a second chance after her wonderful speech delivered in Hong Kong, I must say that I am walking away with little to be hopeful about after watching the batch of Going Rogue interviews. The book itself was only partially revealing; some issues were conspicuously glossed over — her shotgun wedding, for instance — while some genuinely had light shed on them (such as the early campaign press release about Bristol’s pregnancy). But then there were the endless interviews. Has the former governor taken time to train her impulses and gain some depth on the issues? This list, which goes in order from the least-cringe-worthy remarks to the most, should reveal why I have been highly disappointed by her recent showing. She is not anywhere near ready to take on President Obama.
10. “Obama’s got it all back-asswards.”
This wasn’t folksiness. It’s just dumb.
Remarking upon Obama’s economic policies, Palin stated: “Those are back-assward ways of trying to fix the economy.” Interviewer Barbara Walters replied: “You certainly have a way with words.”
Politico had the story.
9. “My critics are lonely and need prayer.”
This just drips with bitterness. Try to imagine Ronald Reagan whining like this.
Palin said: “These are probably some lonely people, some shallow people…and we need to pray for these people…”
David Frum is in Palin’s prayers.
Read all about this one here.
8. “The ‘lame-stream media’ is out to get me.”
I have a natural aversion to self-styled victims. Especially for a woman who’s supposed to be such a fighter, this is embarrassing.
Speaking to Sean Hannity on his radio show, Palin remarked that “some on the left, that lamestream media, they’re contradicting what I wrote in the book…Yeah, lamestream…They are contradicting those facts that I laid out regarding what Reagan had to say.”
Speaking of Reagan, he used a much more potent weapon than whining to defuse the bombs laid by his critics: humor.
Politico covered this one.
7. “If you don’t agree with me by now, then I’m not even going to try to win you over.”
This was not the sign of a woman sure of her convictions. It was the sign of a politician who doesn’t know how to communicate with the public. Even conceding that there’s a good forty percent of the public who would never credit Palin with any smarts at all even if she penned the new Nicomachean Ethics tomorrow, there are certain things that an aspiring president just does not say — and one of them is “screw you.”
Palin’s remark to Greta van Susteren was: “Well, for instance, the book is a good tool to get – hey, read the book, and if you still don’t like the positions that I take or if you don’t like who I am after reading the book, unfiltered through the media, then so be it. You know, I’m never going to win you over…I’m not going to try.”
David Frum covered this the other day.
6. “The Newsweek cover was sexist!”
One thing that Sarah Palin has done extraordinarily well is reveal the latent PC nonsense in the right-wing base. The former crusaders against political correctness are now crying sexism at every turn.
Palin wrote on her Facebook page: “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin.”
Live by the sword, die by the sword, madam! If Palin looked like Helen Thomas, she would never have been on the McCain ticket. Moreover, there is no double-standard. I know that it’s a ‘DC elitist’ magazine, but…
5. “I would consider Glenn Beck for VP.”
4. “Let’s primary Lindsey Graham!”
About center-right South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, Palin told Rich Lowry of National Review: “His constituents may want to send him a message to say ‘shore it up’ and come back to some more commonsense, conservative ideals.”
Is she kidding?
3. “Israel’s settlements are required due to…population growth!”
There are many good geopolitical and philosophical justifications for the continued expansion of Israel’s settlements. This preposterous explanation is not one of them:
I disagree with the Obama administration on that. I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon because the population of Israel is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.
That is an answer given by someone who literally has no idea what she is talking about.
The Jerusalem Post picks this apart here.
2. “India and Pakistan need to stop fightin’, ya know?”
A shockingly embarrassing BS answer. In full, the exchange with Greta van Susteren about India and Pakistan went like this:
SARAH PALIN: Geez, well, with India, we have to make sure that we’re working closely with India, the largest democracy in the world, such a strategic partner of ours. We have to make sure that India and Pakistan know that, Hey, the last thing that this world needs is conflict between these two countries. That’s the last thing that we need. In fact, they both need to understand that each other are not the problem, the Taliban is the problem.
OK, so her remarks are: conflict is bad. “Hey, the last thing that this world needs is conflict between these two countries. That’s the last thing that we need.” A little late for that.
1. “Has Katie Couric learned anything about Alaska yet?”
Palin can’t seem to decide whether she wants to concede that her interview was truly disastrous or continue the charade that Katie Couric was out to get her. Regardless, I don’t think that she understands that an interview with a candidate for the vice-presidency is not an exchange of ideas involving what the newscaster thinks about the candidate’s home state!