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Amateur Hour: Heckling from the Cheap Seats

October 31st, 2008

Here’s the latest from Palin:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Thursday said Democratic nominee Barack Obama would be incapable of meeting U.S. national security challenges.

There is more to this than just the plainly obvious fact that Palin has zero credibility in this area and has no place whatsoever judging Obama’s abilities. One could claim that Palin is not at the head of the ticket, and is simply selling McCain’s experience as being far better than Obama’s.

Except that Bush and McCain are both now pitching and following Middle East policies first proposed by Barack Obama, policies they both initially mocked and scorned. Bush called Obama an appeaser for wanting to open discussion with foreign leaders that Bush is now opening dialogs with. McCain is now pitching Obama’s Afghanistan policy. Bush is now following up on a time line for withdrawing troops from Iraq by 2010. Neither McCain nor Bush seem to think Obama is a guy who is incapable of meeting foreign policy challenges–not if you judge by their actions.

Palin herself is a pale shadow of even Bush & McCain’s dependence on Obama for foreign policy leadership, and the American people know it:

A New York Times/CBS poll published on Thursday, in which Obama led McCain by 11 percentage points, also found that 59 percent of respondents believed Palin was not prepared for the job of vice president, up 9 percentage points since the beginning of the month.

But you can bet that when Palin made that attack against Obama, she got a great reaction from her audience–you know, the standard Republican-event crowd where you have to prove party loyalty before getting in. For someone who herself is incapable of simply answering a reporter’s questions without getting them fed to her in advance, for a politician who is incapable of holding a solo press conference without training wheels and daddy’s steady hand on her back, she sure has a lot of gall claiming that Obama is the one who is incapable. Obama not only holds up to normal interview conditions, he held up very well even against an unabashedly hostile Bill O’Reilly. Imagine Palin being interviewed by Keith Olbermann–she would be a reduced to a mound of jello quivering on the floor within the first thirty seconds.

But that’s not going to happen, just like a regular press conference with Palin is not going to happen. Even McCain doesn’t have a fraction of the guts Obama has–he’s not going on Olbermann, and for the same reason. Obama has been consistent and reasoned, McCain and Palin have not. That’s why Obama stood up to O’Reilly and came through unscathed; neither McCain nor Palin could do the same under similar circumstances, for precisely the reason that neither has been consistent nor reasoned.

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