Thursday, November 25, 2010

Palin Is At It Again- Or Not

It's easy to ridicule Sarah Palin; easy and usually, justified. It's so easy that we shouldn't reach to do so when unjustified.

Asked by Barbara Walters, for an interview to be aired December 9, whether she will be running for president, Sarah Palin responded

I'm looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing....

Pretty standard stuff for a potential candidate to say: I'll do whatever is best for my family, and I'm not going to tell you now.

Then asked by Walters "if you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?" Palin replied "I believe so."

Apparently eager to make news, or appear to be doing so, commented

Sarah Palin says she is seriously considering a run for the White House, and she believes she could beat President Obama in 2012.... The headline itself was "Sarah Palin Says She Could Beat Obama."

Uh, no. Walters asked "if you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?" Immediately prior, the former governor had stated she is "trying to figure out" whether she would contend for the GOP nomination- which, no doubt, will be affected by her calculation as to the likelihood of success.

For any potential candidate (such as Palin) with a realistic chance at gaining a party nod (unlike, say Democratic presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel in 2008) the probability of actually winning a nomination and the general election is a major consideration. Just ask Beau Biden, who was scared away from seeking (and no doubt gaining) the Democratic nod for U.S. Senate in Delaware because he would have to opposite U.S. Representative Mike Castle, who would have whipped him. (Later, it turned out to be the estimable Christine O'Donnell. Stay away from the betting parlors, Beau.)

Palin merely had remarked that if she were to run against Obama, she "believes" she would prevail. That would be contrasted with "no, I don't think if I were nominated I could win." If she had thus responded, no one would have been happier than Mitt Romney or, especially, Mike Huckabee, both of whom would have told GOP primary voters (diplomatically) that they would be have to be stark, raving mad to nominate someone who already had conceded the race to Barack Obama.

But don't despair: Palin said something far more important, in an interview with a powerful ally. Again according to ABC News (non-video video below)

Was it a simple blunder or did a possible 2012 presidential contender really get her geography wrong?

That's the question being debated after Sarah Palin said in an interview with Glenn Beck Wednesday that North Korea was a U.S. ally.

When asked by Beck how she would handle a situation like the one that was developing in North Korea, Palin responded: "This is stemming from, I think, a greater problem when we're all sitting around asking, 'Oh no, what are we going to do,' and we're not having a lot of faith that the White House is going to come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is going to do."

It is unclear whether Palin is talking about sanctions against North Korea, or U.S. sanctioning -- i.e. approving or supporting -- its actions.

Palin continued: "Obviously, we gotta stand with our North Korean allies," when Beck interrupted and corrected her to say "South Korea."

"And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes," she responded.

Exaggerating the importance of a routine statement customarily made by a politician is unnecessary, especially when that public figure frequently makes a comment that is confusing, even rambling, and often disturbing.

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