Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflections on the Sarah Palin Interview

Although this is a real estate blog, I must admit the election that lies ahead has captured my imagination. First off, let me make it clear that I am excited by the selection of Sarah Palin by John McCain, a selection that has made me a strong supporter of that ticket.

That said, I would judge Sarah Palin's performance, especially when dealing with the area of foreign affairs as OK. She didn't blow herself up and she didn't hit it out of the park. I suspect that those people who supported her going in still support her, those that thought her unqualified still hold that view and the undecided are still undecided.

I do think she made a mistake when answering questions in the area of foreign policy. She struck me as wanting to answer all the questions, when there were times she would have been better off questioning the validity of some questions or the premise of the question. It appeared to me that she was trying to demonstrate a complete understanding in an area that it is impossible for her to have a complete understanding, and that was a mistake. To even attempt to answer what she would do in a hypothetical situation created by Charlie Gibson is a no win situation.

She would have been far better off, in my opinion, to state the obvious. As a governor she has no responsibility for foreign policy, so it is completely unrealistic for any reasonable person to expect her to be fully versed in that area, especially after being thrust into the campaign just two weeks ago. She should state that she is confident, should she need to assume the Presidency, that with the outstanding team John McCain will have assembled that she will have the judgement to conduct a foreign policy that will protect American interests abroad.

At times the tone Charlie Gibson's questioning was almost as if she was the one running for President and she would be making decisions on day one. That I think was unfair, but her mistate was to answer the question with that as the premise. She would have been far better off pointing out that she is running for Vice President and should she find herself in the Presidency she would have the benefit of the John McCain team in place to supply her with the information and options that would enable her to make decisions that would protect the interests of the American people.

As for the hypothetical questions, like those regarding Israel and Russia, she should have answered in only the broadest terms. She should have pointed out that she can't possibly say what she would do without all the facts at her disposal. At this point, it is not possible for her to have all the facts, none of the four candidates do. The only person who does is the sitting President. In my opinion, it would have been better to question the validity of the question or simply state it is unwise to answer hypothetical answers with specifics because they are only that, not actual circumstances.

I think her interest would have been better served to state what we all know, that she does not have all the facts in areas of foreign policy or understand all the nuances of our current foreign policy because, as Governor of Alaska, that is not part of her job description. She should state that she is confident that will a quality team around her and good information on which to make decisions she has the head and backbone to make decisions that will protect the interests of the United States.

No doubt she will practice more and perform better in the next interview. The Democrats are still confronted with the same problem. If they and their minnions in the press are unable to destroy her, John McCain will be the next President

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