Katrina vanden Heuvel
CBS News' Katie Couric's empathetic interviewing style and smart (but not tough) questioning fully and finally exposed
that vice-presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice-president.
Couric's interview led Newsweek International
's editor Fareed Zakaria, a truly bipartisan commentator, to put it somewhat more forthrightly
: "Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president."
Palin may have a spunky frontier spirit and a life story ready-made for Alaska's first reality show but she is as, as conservative columnist Kathleen Parker (also citing Couric's interviews) pointed out last week
, " Clearly Out of Her League."
Couric's well-paced interviewer's pauses --leaving Palin to hang herself --revealed a politician who is not only inexperienced but also Bush-level incurious. It was clear by the end of the CBS interviews that Palin has no record of interest in foreign policy, let alone judgment about what to do in a geopolitical or economic crisis. She may be able to field dress a moose, and all power to her, but as The Economist has observed, "the moose in the room, of course, is her lack of experience."
Today the Dow sank nearly 800 points. Two million Americans face foreclosures on their homes by the end of next year. Global markets are on the precipice. But today McCain and Palin took time out to blame "gotcha journalism" for the widening concern about Palin's role on the ticket.
Sitting side-by--side for an on-the-campaign trail interview with Couric, they blamed a (tame) media for getting Palin wrong. The media resentment strategy has been a GOP staple ever since Joe McCarthy, Nixon/Agnew, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove.
It is a tougher sell in these bleak days. What's not as tough a sell: John McCain's selection of Palin shows he couldn't give a damn about America's stature in the world or the ability of the next vice-president to step into the role of President/commander in chief.
As Zakaria explains: " In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true."