Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Fair Veep

A brilliant Op Ed by Dowd, asking a lot of good questions that ABC's Charlie Gibson should be asking Palin when she finally makes her debut and actually answers a few questions:

After devilishly mocking Obama — and successfully getting into his head — with ads about how he was just a frothy celebrity, like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, it turns out all the McCain camp wanted was an Obama of its own. Now that they have the electric Palin, they've stopped arguing that celebrity is bad. All they do is worship at her cult of celebrity. As Rick Davis, a top McCain adviser, said: "This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Wasilla will be crawling with four groups — ABC staffers, frantically getting ready for the big showdown; McCain staffers, frantically tutoring Palin for the big showdown; McCain vetters, who are belatedly doing their job checking to see if Palin is a qualified White House contender and doing their best to shut down Troopergate and assembling a "truth squad" posse of Palinistas to rebut any criticism and push back any prying reporters; and journalists — from Sydney to Washington — who are here to draw back the curtain on the shiny reformer image that the McCain camp has conjured for their political ingénue and see what's behind it.

Gibson has his work cut out for him. His problem isn't coming up with a list of questions, but finding time to drill deeply enough into all the unknown territory of her life. It's a task that dwarfs the drilling job the oil companies are doing on Alaska's North Slope.

In the end, none of it may matter, since Palin has rocketed in the polls, drawing women and men with her vapid — if vivacious and visceral — scripted cheerleading. But if you're reading this, Charlie, we want to know everything, including:

What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids between Juneau and Wasilla and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home?

Why was Sarah for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, and why was she for earmarks before she was against them? And doesn't all this make her just as big a flip-flopper as John Kerry?

What kind of fiscal conservative raises taxes and increases budgets in both her jobs — as mayor and as governor?

When the phone rings at 3 a.m., will she call the Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and ask them to pray on a response, as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline?

Does she really think Adam, Eve, Satan and the dinosaurs mingled on the earth 5,000 years ago?

September 10, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

My Fair Veep


The rain in Spain stays mainly in the Arctic plain ...

I hope John McCain doesn't throw his slippers at Sarah Palin's head or get as acerbic as Henry Higgins did with Eliza Doolittle when she did not learn quickly enough. McCain's Pygmalion has to be careful, because his Galatea might be armed with more than a sharp tongue.

For the first time in American history, we have a "My Fair Lady" moment, as teams of experts bustle around the most famous woman in politics, intensely coaching her for her big moment at the ball — her first unscripted interview here this week with ABC News's Charlie Gibson.


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