It was reported earlier this week that the McCain campaign negotiated a deal to reduce the Q&A time in the vice presidential debate because they were worried about Palin’s inexperience. How little confidence in your nominee do you need to have, I thought, that you would rather silence her than give the famously gaffe-prone Joe Biden more time to put his foot in his mouth?
After watching clips from Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, I’d say this was a good call:
Jason Kuznicki, bless him, took the trouble to transcribe that parade of non-sequiturs:
COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?
PALIN: That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs [being] created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.
This is worse than wrong. It’s complete nonsense, in response to a question about the biggest current issue in politics. There’s no excuse for being unprepared. And while this clip is cherry-picked from the interview, the rest isn’t much better. See here and here, for example.
I’ve been cynically hoping for a McCain win in November, in part because many of his policy ideas are legitimately superior to Obama’s, but primarily because the idea of pairing a President Obama with a supportive Democratic Congress in a down economy gives me shivers. I was also initially warm to the Palin nomination. But after her performance here and McCain’s antics this week, I’m having second thoughts. Divided government is one thing; gross incompetence and incoherence another. Lately even I feel unable to muster enough cynicism to tolerate seeing these two in the White House.