The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

If Looks Could…

Last week was a bad one for the McCain campaign, no matter how you slice it. First, he pulls the stunt of trying to “suspend” the campaign, only to get called out by Obama when the chronology of their exchange reveals an impulsive attempt by McCain to back Obama into “suspending the campaign” and following his lead. Instead, a reporter’s question gives Obama the chance to say that whoever wins the election and ends up in the oval office “will have to be able to do more than one thing at a time.”

Then he cancels on Letterman, only to have Dave catch him in a lie, and show the NBC video feed which revealed that McCain was sitting in a make-up chair, about to be interviewed by Katie Couric. McCain didn’t actually leave for D.C. until the next day. And the big bailout summit he made a big deal of coming back to Washington for (which Obama managed to attend too, without suspending his campaign), but didn’t get his hoped-for photo-op.

I think the way I lot of people felt about the McCain campaign could be summed up with one look.

It was the look on Katie Couric’s face during her interview with Sarah Palin, as she listed to Palin relate the bailout to, well, everything. (Somehow, giving $700 billion to Wall Street, with no strings attached, is going to ensure universal care and create jobs. “Trade jobs,” I believe she called them.) It also gives you an idea why McCain had to stop by and talk with Couric, even if he ditched Dave. He had some clean-up work to do.

If I had to translate that look, I think it would be saying something like “I can’t believe I have to interview this ignorant piece of fluff.”

That screen grab was from this Jack Cafferty commentary on Palin.

Palin’s answer sounded a lot like what I call a “kitchen-sink” answer — throw in everything you know or think you know and hope like hell that some of it’s right, or at least sounds good. I’ve seen it before. Hell, I’ve done it before. It’s what you do if you’re not prepared, or you don’t have time to prepare, so that you appear have some depth of understanding, whether you do or not — memorize a bunch of term of bits of information and throw them all at the question.

The problem is that you it makes you look ignorant, and obviously ignorant to the person you’re dealing with. Thus the look on Couric’s face, which is decidedly not “perky.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Being “ready on day one” is not something you can cram for, like pulling an all-nighter in college so you can slip buy with a “C average.” We’ve already had a “C average” president. Where did it get us?

How in the world are they going to prepare her for the VP debate?


  1. I feel dumber for just having watched Palin answer that question. If McCain wins, it will surely herald the demise of the U.S. Picking a religious nutter barbie doll as a running mate, suspending your campaign because you’re unable to multitask, and being ignorant of our country’s economic problems, is not the material that makes a good president.

  2. Did anyone else notice a little Miss South Carolina Teen USA in Pailin’s answer? I kept expecting a reference to U.S. Americans, or The Iraq, while listening to it.

    How can someone take so long to say nothing?

  3. You know, if this is all a strategy by the Republicans to lower expectations dramatically before the VP debate so that she’ll look great by comparison … yeah, I’m not buying it either.

    Why, why, why did he choose her? Elizabeth Dole, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Christine Todd Whitman … there are plenty of Republican women with much more knowledge and credibility.

    I have deliberately not blogged about her, waiting for the dust to settle to see if I could make some sense of it. It’s a month since the announcement, and my “WTF?” has only changed in tone from confusion to horror.