Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Sarah Palin isn’t ready to play by the adult rules

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Originally published on on Fri, 10/03/2008 – 10:54am

“Governor, I watched the debate with Dan Quayle. I saw Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle was a vice president of mine. Governor, you’re no Dan Quayle.”

Congratulations, Sarah Palin. You surpassed James Stockdale last night, but you didn’t make it up to the standard of Dan Quayle.

Clueless pit bull described Dan Quayle. Experienced, but dim-witted. He could articulate the talking points on a wide variety of topics, the clear indicator that Palin hadn’t surpassed Quayle.

Palin didn’t break down as some might have predicted. But her talking points only stuck to a few topics, and when she had a question that didn’t compute, she went back to the tried and true of “energy independence.”

All that time in Sedona, Arizona must have been spent on pounding home a few talking points. So her “knowledge” was longer than it has been, but still 2 mm thick (25 mm equals an inch).

No one on stage seemed interested in knocking Palin off her talking points. Sen. Joe Biden stuck to attacking John McCain and left her alone. And moderator Gwen Ifill didn’t insist on a follow-up of any kind, and didn’t want to ask a question that might throw off Palin for her script.

Not that Palin would have answered a question if she didn’t want to: “And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also.”

The evening reminded me of a game called “Facts in Five” that we played as a family. Players drew cards with topics, and then there were sub-categories. Letters were drawn and you had to come up with something that started with that letter. For example, if the topic was World Leaders and the sub-category was Canadian Prime Ministers, you would have to name a Canadian PM whose last name started with that letter.

But there were “kids rules” to make it easier for children to play. So the kids wouldn’t have to deal with sub-categories. So for the letter D, the kids could answer with former British PM Benjamin Disraeli while the adults had to come back with John Diefenbaker.

Gov. Palin played under the kids rules last night, while Sen. Biden stuck to the adult rules. Adult rules such as trying to answer the question presented, using specifics in answers, and referring to plans instead of vague statements.

Eventually, the kids got smart enough to start playing by the adult rules in the board game. When the adults recognized this, it was a sign of acceptance and of realizing that the kids were handily beating the adults.

So in that sense, Gov. Palin wasn’t ready last night to play by the adult rules. We have 32 days left until the 2008 election. If there were 6 more months, and she showed an eagerness and willingness to learn, there might be some possibility of being to where Gov. Bush was in 2000.

We saw where Gov. Bush relied heavily on his vice president, and what an unmitigated disaster that was. No president should ever have to lean that much on a vice president.

Any elected vice president, whether that be Richard Nixon or Spiro Agnew or Dan Quayle or yes, even Sarah Palin, has to be ready on Day 1 to play by the adult rules and function in them.

Sarah Palin isn’t ready for the adult rules. And she can’t catch up in time.


Written by democracysoup

October 3, 2008 at 10:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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