Friday, July 10, 2009

"She Might As Well Have Been A Bonbon"

An absolutely sizzling piece by Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, about soon-to-be former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Among other quotes from Noonan's surgical strike:

"In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough."

"Mrs. Palin's supporters have been ordering her to spend the next two years reflecting and pondering. But she is a ponder-free zone. She can memorize the names of the presidents of Pakistan, but she is not going to be able to know how to think about Pakistan. Why do her supporters not see this?"

"Her lack of any appropriate modesty did her in. Actually, it's arguable that membership in the self-esteem generation harmed her. For 30 years the self-esteem movement told the young they're perfect in every way. It's yielding something new in history: an entire generation with no proper sense of inadequacy."

"The elites made her. It was the elites of the party, the McCain campaign and the conservative media that picked her and pushed her. The base barely knew who she was. It was the elites, from party operatives to public intellectuals, who advanced her and attacked those who said she lacked heft. She is a complete elite confection. She might as well have been a bonbon."

Perhaps the best quote from the article is one I highlighted above: "She was out of her depth in a shallow pool." I find this to be a dead-solid-perfect statement which is why her VP nomination was so frightening, especially in a post-9/11 world. Vice President Joe Biden may have to have some of his comments walked back from time-to-time, but no one, no serious person, questions his "depth" or understanding of the issues. In the future, I hope all presidential candidates, regardless of party, pick the very best person to serve instead of looking to the electoral map or attempting to shore up the base.

Hat Tip: Political Wire.

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