or Palin/McCain, whichever is operative this week?
David Brooks writes in the New York Times that Sarah Palin is unqualified:
In the current Weekly Standard, Steven Hayward argues that
the nation's founders wanted uncertified citizens to hold the highest
offices in the land. They did not believe in a separate class of
professional executives. They wanted rough and rooted people like
I would have more sympathy for this view if I hadn't just lived
through the last eight years. For if the Bush administration was
anything, it was the anti-establishment attitude put into executive
And the problem with this attitude is that, especially in his first
term, it made Bush inept at governance. It turns out that governance,
the creation and execution of policy, is hard. It requires acquired
skills. Most of all, it requires prudence.
Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a
corrupt establishment, she'd be your woman. But the constructive act of
governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national
issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like
President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with
brashness and excessive decisiveness.
Ross Douthat agrees at the Atlantic:
Now that we've seen the entirety of the Palin-Gibson
tete-a-tete, I concur with Rich Lowry and Rod Dreher. The most that can
be said in her defense is that she kept her cool and avoided any brutal
gaffes; other than that, she seemed about an inch deep on every issue
outside her comfort zone. Yes, the questions were tougher than the ones
that a Tim Kaine or Tim Pawlenty probably would have been handed, but
they were all questions that a vice-presidential nominee needs to be
able to answer. And there's no way to look at her performance as
anything save supporting evidence for the non-hysterical critique of
her candidacy - that it's just too much, too soon - and a splash of
cold water for those of us with high hopes for her future on the
And in the Washington Post, Richard Cohen goes off on McCain, seizing on the Palin pick as a sign of how far gone the candidate is:
McCain has turned ugly. His dishonesty would be
unacceptable in any politician, but McCain has always set his own bar
higher than most. He has contempt for most of his colleagues for that
very reason: They lie. He tells the truth. He internalizes the code of
the McCains -- his grandfather, his father: both admirals of the
shining sea. He serves his country differently, that's all -- but just
as honorably. No more, though.
His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his
political heir -- the person in whose hands he would leave the country
-- is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for.
Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to
become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all
right; he means to win at all costs, which is not.