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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Conservative Columnist Calls For Palin To Withdraw From Race

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 26, 2008

The National Review’s Kathleen Parker — an early champion of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s candidacy for vice president — is now calling for Palin to withdraw from the ticket, in the wake of weak nationally televised interview performances.

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion…

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

Ouch! So Ms. Parker, what is the solution?

McCain can’t repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP’s unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability. Barack Obama faces the same problem with Biden.

Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

But the McCain campaign is in a Catch-22. If Palin stays on, they basically have to keep her muzzled as much as possible — clearly, there has been a very good reason for hiding her from the press. But continuing to keep her quiet will only invite more criticism. If Palin withdraws herself from the ticket, it will invite “others to second-guess McCain’s executive decision-making ability,” as Parker fears. Whatever happens, unless Palin somehow turns this thing around, people are second-guessing McCain’s decision to pick her as a running mate.

Palin withdrawing herself may be the campaign’s best move — we won’t really know for sure until November — but it would be the best of a bunch of bad options. If Palin bows out with just 38 days left until the election, McCain could find himself starring in a re-run of George McGovern’s debacle with Thomas Eagleton in 1972. It’s hard to feel sorry for him — McCain created this mess himself, by cynically choosing someone who he thought would help him get elected, rather than help him govern.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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