28 September 2008

Waning Palin Off to "Debate Camp"

It looks like Senator McCain has shipped Governor Palin off to "debate camp." This week, she'll spend "two 1/2 days" at McCain's place in Sedona, Arizona (with Todd and the kids) where she'll spend the time prepping intesively for Thursday's debate with Joe Biden. It's a good idea: she needs the help. Apparently, footage of her previous debates show that "she has a habit of falling back on generalities and 'happy talk'"; Biden and Gwen Ifill probably won't let her get away with those generalities, and as for the happy talk, well, that can't carry a vice presidential debate.

Meanwhile, the Republican revolt against Palin continues apace. Over at The American Conservative, Daniel Larison writes up his findings after viewing old Palin interviews. His conclusions? They're not encouraging. There's Kathleen Parker's call for Palin to step aside, and Kathryn Jean Lopez, who writes that, while she's not as far gone as Parker, Parker's is "not a crazy suggestion. She's right to say that something’s gotta change" (Lopez).

Peggy Noonan wrote in her 26 September column:
As for Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign continues to make mistakes. They don't seem to understand her strengths and weaknesses. The U.N. photo-ops were a staged embarrassment. Keeping the press away made her look infantilized. When she finally began to sit for television interviews, the atmosphere was heightened, every misstep magnified. With Katie Couric she seemed rattled. In the Charlie Gibson interview it was not good when she sounded chirpy discussing possible war with Russia. One should not chirp about such things. Or one wouldn't if one knew the implications. And knowing the implications is part of what we hire leaders for.
Of course, Noonan has been suspicious of Palin all along (if you don't recall her 03 September talk of the Palin pick as "bullshit," review this), as have George Will, David Brooks, Charles Krauthammer, and David Frum.

As those who immediately approved of McCain's VP choice begin to reconsider, and her polls numbers recede, Senator McCain faces a quandry, and he can only be praying that she can pull through the VP debate, not just by showing up and speaking clearly, but by responding to questions in a substantive, serious manner that appeals to the mainstream voter.

Aside: While the folks named above are intellectually honest enough to reveal their concerns, some institutions reject any doubt: About 9:45 am EDT, Fox News published an online story, "Conservatives Begin Questioning Palin's Heft." The story was removed almost immediately. If you click on it now, you get this:
You've requested an America's Election HQ page that cannot be found. The page you are looking for may have moved or it may no longer be available. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Go to "America's Election HQ" and you see nothing about "Conservatives Begin Questioning Palin's Heft." I wonder if Obama's campaign should arrange a conference call to accuse Fox News of being "150% in the tank for the McCain campaign."On second thought, such an action would be, well, juvenile--wouldn't it?

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