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September 28, 2008 - 8:41am

More talk on Sarah Palin's lack of readiness for the job

posted by Howard B. Owens in john mccain, nation and world, Sarah Palin.

Sarah PalinAnybody of any ambition has probably found themselves in an awkward moment, dealing with something he or she isn't simply prepared to handle.

Conservative writer Rod Dreher reminds us what that is like, and why we might have sympathy for Sarah Palin, we're talking about somebody who would be Vice President of the United States.

I remember the morning I woke up in my college dorm room and went in to take my final exam in my Formal Logic class. I knew I was unready. Massively unready. And now I was going to be put to the ultimate test. I sat down in Dr. Sarkar's class and resolved to wing it. Of course I failed the exam and failed the class, because I had no idea what I was talking about. I wasn't a bad kid, or even a stupid kid. I was just badly unprepared, and in way over my head. Seeing the Palin interview on CBS, I thought of myself in Dr. Sarkar's exam. But see, I was a college undergraduate who had the chance to take the class again, which I did, and passed (barely). I wasn't running for vice president of the United States.

I came to this quote through Ta-Nehisi Coates, who writes:

In election season, there is a price for being turned into a symbol. When actual journalists, with a rep to protect, show up, they are going to do their job. Which brings me to the sexism of John McCain. He knew full well what Sarah Palin was going to face if he nominated her. He knew that reporters would go through her past, that they'd quizz her on the present, that she would need to be ready, and he shunted concern aside, and tossed her to the wolves. Think on that for a mement. For one last run at the White House, he risked a future star of the party he claims to call home. How do you do that? I don't meant to rob Palin of agency, certainly she is also a victim of her own calculations and ambitions. But where I am from the elders protect you, and pull you back when you've gone too far, when your head has gotten too big.

McCain has a temper. It's one of the most distinguishing marks of his career. The American people haven't really seen it yet, not on a big stage. McCain is most vulnerable when attacked for what he has some glimmer of recognition is his own personal failings. If Obama really wanted to show America the real McCain, in the next debate, he would repeatedly question McCain's judgment in selected Sarah Palin as the veep nominee.  McCain would come unhinged. He blew it. Surely, he's losing sleep over it.

UPDATE: And this from Fareed Zakaria:

Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start. The next administration is going to face a set of challenges unlike any in recent memory. There is an ongoing military operation in Iraq that still costs $10 billion a month, a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is not going well and is not easily fixed. Iran, Russia and Venezuela present tough strategic challenges.

Nadyne Karas
Nadyne Karas's picture
Last seen: 3 months 1 day ago
Joined: Aug 29 2008 - 3:35pm
This is clearly an example of the Peter Principle where someone is promoted beyond their skills or ability. She may someday be ready for national office, but I am concerned that now is just not the time for Sarah Palin. Given good mentoring, she could be amazing.
lazario Ladou
lazario Ladou's picture
Last seen: 12 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 20 2008 - 5:52am
Someone needs to put out a book on what it takes I keep hearing this everywhere not a single person defines it I mean some try to But nothing they say seems to really matter, to me Have we got it perfect yet? Then maybe all or most of our choices have been poor which means the reasoning we use is wrong which means nobody really knows anything which means it's an educated guess which means anyone educated to some degree gets to make one which means few people are incorrect which means "mentoring" is a good way to produce what we've had all along which means we're doomed to repeat history which means maybe we've hit our apex which means here comes those overseas jobs we had been shipping overseas Ability how do we know what people are capable of we allow them to do things it takes trust you either just give it or you learn about a person Not what they seem to "know" already no?
lazario Ladou
lazario Ladou's picture
Last seen: 12 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 20 2008 - 5:52am
Never heard of peter principal but its problem is that people tend to stay there ..where they are not competent If you were fired for being ineffective Not a problem No other way around this People have to achieve higher rank No way of knowing what one is capable of till you give them the ability to be successful Who do you put your trust in WHY?
lazario Ladou
lazario Ladou's picture
Last seen: 12 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 20 2008 - 5:52am
But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start. load of crap
Gabor Deutsch
Gabor Deutsch's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: May 24 2008 - 4:16pm
She is so crazy she might actually be what this country needs to get things straightened out. what am i saying ? I am just jon doe who has voted the norm and been so pleased with the out come ! I got special intrests in mind. I am Hungry. I want a real job. I am sick of war. I am sick of spoon fed media news. I want REAL CHANGE. I approve this message.



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