Former Secretary of State Says Palin Not Ready

Created: October 31, 2008 11:08 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

With a new CBS/New York Times poll finding that 59 percent of registered voters don’t think Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is ready to be vice president, one of Sen. John McCain’s most prominent supporters is publicly saying what much of the rest of the country seems to be thinking.

During an interview with National Public Radio in which he was supposed to be making the case for McCain, Lawrence Eagleburger, a former secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, was frank in his response to whether Palin was ready to assume the presidency, if need be.

From The Huffington Post:

“It is a very good question,” he said, pausing a few seconds, then adding with a chuckle: “I’m being facetious here. Look, of course not.”

Eagleburger explained: “I don’t think at the moment she is prepared to take over the reins of the presidency. I can name for you any number of other vice presidents who were not particularly up to it either. So the question, I think, is can she learn and would she be tough enough under the circumstances if she were asked to become president, heaven forbid that that ever takes place?

“Give her some time in the office and I think the answer would be, she will be [pause] adequate. I can’t say that she would be a genius in the job. But I think she would be enough to get us through a four year… well I hope not… get us through whatever period of time was necessary. And I devoutly hope that it would never be tested.”

Following former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s cross-party endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, McCain has repeatedly pointed to his own endorsements from five other former secretaries of state, including Eagleburger, each of whom he said he admires enormously.

However, if Eagleburger is correct in his assertion that in time, Palin could become “adequate,” it would seem to call into question McCain’s sincerity when he said, “the Oval Office in wartime is no place for on-the-job training.”