I didn't like Charlie Gibson's interview with her -- I thought Gibson came across far too disrespectful and wasn't bothered by all the hubbub about the Bush Doctrine. Unfortunately, she was painfully incoherent in her interview with Katie Couric, who I thought gave a good interview. (See more of the interview here.)
Kathleen Parker has even deeper concerns:
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.I don't know if I quite agree with Parker -- yet. However, I am getting increasingly concerned about Palin's incomprehensible answers. Her lack of experience doesn't bother me so much, but she apparently either gets nervous in interviews or else just doesn't know what she's talking about. The former can be overcome. It's the latter that scares me.
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.
If Palin were a man, we’d all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she’s a woman — and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket — we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.
What to do?
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.
Do it for your country.
McCain's performance last night highlighted his superior command of the facts and his much greater experience with foreign policy than Obama has. Unfortunately, this contrast is also highlighting how far Palin appears to be from either candidate and gives serious concern to her ability to become an effective president. If Palin doesn't redeem herself in her debate with Biden next week and start making more public appearances, it will be difficult to cast a vote in good conscience for John McCain.
P.S. -- Here is more from The New York Times Caucus Blog, David Brooks, Bob Herbert, and Harrison Scott Key.
P.P.S. -- Is Biden much better?