Thursday, November 6, 2008

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: Savaging Sarah

All this jumpin' ugly on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is unseemly and in seriously poor taste.

On Tuesday night, after the networks declared that Illinois Senator Barack Obama had won the presidency, Arizona Senator John McCain gave an eloquent, patriotic speech in which he reached out to Obama and said he'd do what he could to help the new president-elect. Class, all the way.

Twenty-four hours later, cowardly unnamed McCain staffers started dumping all manner of gossipy, trashy stories about Palin, calling Palin and her husband Todd "Wasilla hillbillies" and blaming her for the downfall of the McCain campaign.

Whatever one might think of Palin, one thing's clear: This whole thing is the campaign's fault. Palin didn't lobby the McCain people for the vice presidential post, as far as has been reported. The McCain campaign came to her. If you were the governor of Alaska of whom precious few people had ever heard and your party's presidential nominee offers to elevate you to a household name by putting you on a national ticket, who's going to turn that down?

When I read the stories from these anonymous sources saying that she didn't understand African geography, I thought, "Why did you pick someone you didn't know in the 11th hour without thorough vetting? Why didn't you use all the time you had in early spring after winning the GOP nomination -- while Obama was still battling Hillary Clinton -- to research and interview potential VPs? Why didn't you go with someone who's known on the national scene? Why didn't your campaign prep her?"

When you reach into Alaska and select someone who's an expert in Alaska politics as a vice presidential running mate and know she's not conversant about foreign policy and the ways of Washington, and you don't give her enough time to learn what she needs to know, what the heck do you expect?

All of this vicious backbiting is simply a diversion. A red herring. And really uncool.


Dan Kennedy said...

Ah, but Palin did lobby for the vice-presidential slot, as Jane Mayer reported in the New Yorker. But you're absolutely right about the McCainiacs — they should have known exactly what they were getting, and it's unseemly for them to complain now.

Meredith said...

Thanks for the tip on the New Yorker piece. I'm going to look that up. I hadn't heard that info.