Saturday, September 27, 2008

In search of Sarah Palin's leadership qualities

The American blogosphere is buzzing about the horror that is Sarah Palin as revealed in the Couric interview. James Fallows presents one of the best analysis I have read of that dismal performance. And Fallows is frank and sweeping about what he thinks it tells us about the candidate. In his long career as a journalist, he claims to have met only three other politicians so empty-headed. Fallows highlights a passage that is scary partly because it echoes other spooky things she has said:
COURIC: If this [Wall Street bailout plan] doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

PALIN: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this as it's been proposed has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression.
James Fallows blogs:
There is no sign, listening to Palin, that she has any idea of what another world depression might mean, how loaded a term "another Great Depression" is, how this relates to what John McCain or her Republican party is saying and doing, or anything else involving public finance.

I submit: no one could have read a novel (Grapes of Wrath), seen a movie (Cinderella Man, to choose an easy one; or Annie, or Of Mice and Men or Bonnie and Clyde or All the Kings Men or They Shoot Horses Don't They), or read any history book about the Great Depression and have said these things. Implication: Sarah Palin has never seen or read, or never absorbed, any such material.
Fallows goes on to note that Palin is most certainly not the intellectual equal of President Bush. "George W. Bush is in a completely different and superior league to what we've seen from Palin."

Fallows' comments reminded me of what had struck me most about Palin's response to the "Great Depression" question. That is, I was shocked by how similar in expression her answer was to a question asked of her by Charlie Gibson of ABC:
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.
It is almost as if Sarah Palin might have no more knowledge of the era known as the "Cold War" -- during which time Russia acquired its nuclear arsenal -- than she evidently has about the complexities of the "Great Depression" period. From what we have seen, it is fair to say that Sarah Palin most likely lacks the ability to put major contemporary world historical events into any kind of larger context -- except perhaps, a pseudo-Biblical one.

Needless to say, such a person lacks a leadership quality indispensable to any American vice-president.

1 comment:

  1. Just because Sarah Palin messed up on two questions does not mean that she is not ready to be the Vice President. Leaders have many qualities, but not every leader has the same qualities. So what if she made an oops, people are aloud to make mistakes, even if they are running for a ploitical office. People need to focus on her good qualities like being able to deal with everything thats going on in the campaign and in her personal life. It's hard to keep those things balanced and Sarah is doing a great job with it. Why does everyone want to mess with peoples minds and dig up dirt about the candidates?? All it does is get someone in trouble and tick others off. Sometimes I feel that ploitics are worse than a bunch of high school girls full of drama!


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