It is indisputably a good thing to ask a possible future Vice President tough and substantive questions. What is bothering many (my email is bulging) is the seeming unwillingness of the press to subject a possible future President to the same rigorous examination.
Bill from Ahwatukee Musings passed this along to me, from a Hillary Clinton forum, of all places. I don’t know anything about the writer, Nancy Kallitechnis, but she makes some interesting observations about the difference between Charlie Gibson’s interview with Obama, when he became the presumptive nominee, and his talk with Gov. Palin:
Even the camera angle was designed to be prejudiced against Palin. She is filmed from the side and slightly with her back to the camera. …In contrast, the film crew placed the long shot camera facing Obama so at all times when he is speaking the camera looks him in the face rather than looking at his back.
…Obama was asked much easier questions mostly about feelings about winning, breaking the glass ceiling and 2008 campaign decisions. In contrast, Palin was asked numerous specific policy and military strategy questions that required extensive knowledge about treaties, U.S. anti-terrorism strategy and world history. And Gibson misquoted Palin… The following is a breakdown of the questions asked of the nominees:
How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?
How does it feel to “win”?
How does your family feel about your “winning” breaking a glass ceiling?
Who will be your VP?
Should you choose Hillary Clinton as VP?
Will you accept public finance?
What issues is your campaign about?
Will you visit Iraq?
Will you debate McCain at a town hall?
What did you think of your competitor’s [Clinton] speech?
Do you have enough qualifications for the job you’re seeking? Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?
Aren’t you conceited to be seeking this high level job?
Questions about foreign policy
-territorial integrity of Georgia
-allowing Georgia and Ukraine to be members of NATO
-Iranian nuclear threat
-what to do if Israel attacks Iran
-Al Qaeda motivations
-the Bush Doctrine
-attacking terrorists harbored by Pakistan
Is America fighting a holy war? [misquoted Palin]
There’s no doubt the Charles Gibson interviews showed extreme prejudice against Palin and extreme favoritism towards Obama…He constantly questioned her ability to lead but never questioned Obama’s ability to lead, all the more amazing considering that Palin was the only one with executive experience and the presidency is the highest level executive job in politics.
The Bush Doctrine: Josh Trevino has an exhaustive look at what it is, and decides Palin, not Gibson, got it right.
Meanwhile, Okie is taking apart Newsweek’s cover story on Palin. What struck me, immediately, was that the press is using exactly the same script over Palin vs Obama that they used in Bush vs Kerry, that being the Democrat candidate is “the sophisticated world traveler who does nuance” while the Republican is “the backwoods simpleton too stupid to experience existential angst.” You do remember how they tied Kerry to “nuance” often that some of us dubbed him Pope Nuance I?
Palin is not regarded as an introspective or intellectual type—not the sort who likes to mull the deepest nuances of every issue. In that sense, she’s the anti-Obama. While Barack Obama of Hawaii, Indonesia, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Cambridge, Mass., Chicago and now Washington has been on a well-chronicled lifelong search for his identity, Sarah Heath Palin seems just fine being a woman of Wasilla.
Maybe it’s because Sarah Palin has always known who and what she is, unlike the confused, confounded and still searching Obama? Maybe because she’s her own woman, and a damn strong one at that — and Barack’s looking in the national mirror to find out what kind of man he really is?
Do ya think? I just touched on this very theme the other day:
…what I’m getting is a sense of man who is looking to satisfy something inside himself, and his satisfaction (or validation) cannot be found within, so he is looking externally – and taking action externally – to bring it about. He needs to “save” the whole country, to “save” himself.
People do this all the time on a small scale, but to want do it on a large scale – a “world-changing” scale, complete with grandiose pageantry – suggests an appetite that cannot be sated in “ordinary” and “authentic” ways. And that is a little troubling.
Speaking of authenticity: Ed Morrissey points out that Palin is an authentic reformer
“Should I worry about being a slave, again?” Dear God in Heaven! My Li’l Bro Thom (center-left, but moving rightward more every day) wrote asking me if I’d heard of Whoopi Goldberg’s absurd and deliberately distracting “concern” about becoming a slave if the evil Republicans get in the White House and start appointing judges who base their rulings on the constitution, rather than legislate from the bench. He sent me a link to Huffpo with the video clips from this mornings broadcast of the execrable “The View.” I couldn’t watch more than a few seconds of it, but found Ms. Goldberg making her faux point here.
Note Barbara Walters’ “joke” to Whoopi: “…us white folks, we’ll take care of you…” Egad. I is astonishing to me that this is how Barbara Walters wants to finish what had been a distinguished career. Whatever.
McCain has more patience with these women than I could ever have. Oh, and he’s supposed to be the “hothead,” right? He’s not cool like Obama!
Don Surber says bring back Rosie. I wouldn’t go that far. Goldberg is smarter and funnier.
Quick question: Do you think any “big time professional journalist” will ever ask Obama about how he’s threatened to sic the justice department on inconvenient writers like this one? Or, you know…ask him about what Stanley Kurtz is reporting?
Closer looks are good ideas, for both parties, but this article by the always great Gerard Baker urges Europe to <a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4735295.ece"
You can argue the merits of each case. But let me try to explain to my fellow non-Americans why Mr Obama’s problems go well beyond that. Even if you think that Americans should want to turn their country into a European-style system, there is a perfectly good reason that you might have grave doubts about Mr Obama.
You’ll want to read it all
So there, you have it – another utterly insane day in American politics, where “big time professional journalists” ask Presidential candidates how they feel about being so great while drilling vice presidential candidates on Russia, where old scripts that didn’t play four years ago are being hauled out and replayed because there is a dearth of both imagination and understanding in those same journalists. Where authenticity must rule the day because in the end, it is all there is left after this 19 month masquerade. Wherea a rich, privileged African-American woman with a successful American life can turn to a public servant who has never betrayed the least bit of racism in his whole career and declare that she’s worried about “becoming a slave again” (to a round of applause, mind you) while her white, even more privileged and successful boss-lady says, “us white people will take care of you…” Yeah, it’s just a stupid joke, but that’s some appallingly childish stuff before our eyes. All neutralized, of course, by the fact that the offenses are being committed by the elite, noble and morally authoritative Blue Americans. Meanwhile a candidate can get testy with a journalist who dares to bother him with actual investigative questions, and the country ignores its own substantial disruption of her enemies (probably because it is too busy misidentifying “the enemy” as “each other”) and also misses a seeming admission of election-results tampering in the last election. Troops are being withdrawn in Iraq by a most reviled president who – in the midst of this insanity – just keeps doing his job and avoiding the spitballs.
Oh, and there is a contingent out there – who apparently do not find things dramatic enough – who, watching The One travel hat-in-hand to The Don, have decided that the bottom of the Democrat ticket is about to be thrown under the bus. I don’t believe it, for several credible reasons. But it would certainly be the cherry on top.
That’s just one day – barely scratching the surface of one day – in the surreal election of 2008.
Whew. Who wants a Guinness?
Also, Read Krauthammer