GUEST POST BY KATHLEEN
On December 14th, 2010 Bill O’Reilly discussed Sarah Palin’s prospects of becoming the Republican Party’s representative in the 2012 race against President Obama with the leading conservative commenter Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer recently annoyed many conservatives when he suggested on PBS Inside Washington that conservatism does not begin and end with Sarah Palin and previously in July 2009 when he stated that Sarah was not a serious contender for President:
She has star power without any doubt. She has an extremely devoted following. But she is not a serious candidate for the presidency. She had to go home and study and spend a lot of time on issues in which she was not adept last year, and she hasn’t. She has to stop speaking in clichés and platitudes. It won’t work.
It could work for eight weeks if you’re the number two candidate, as she was last year. But even so, she got singed a lot in that campaign. You cannot sustain a campaign of platitudes and clichés over a year and a half if you’re running for the presidency.
It is clear that “The Hammer” has not changed his mind and that he feels that Sarah Palin still has much to learn. Significantly, his latest remarks to Bill O’Reilly regarding her possible candidacy must affect her because as it has been pointed out in a Business Insider article she, or her ghost, has frequently linked to him on both Facebook and Twitter, most likely in an effort to be taken seriously by him.
But I think in part it's that she's not practiced in policy. The Katie Couric interview she originally had was not a gotcha interview. There were fairly simple questions she had trouble answering. I think that damaged her in the eyes of even non-ideological people. Now I would have hoped she'd spend the next years getting really deep into policy and becoming an expert the way a lot of other candidates have done as they mature and approach the presidency. She hasn't. She has a political star. She's out there, she's very attractive both politically and ideologically to a large segment of Republicans. But I think if you want to expand your base you have to get into policy even though it sounds dull.
Krauthammer was correct when he referred back to the Katie Couric interview as evidence of her lack of knowledge. Sarah Palin and her supporters seek to bury the importance of that interview by constantly harkening back to Katie’s question regarding Palin’s reading material. It is my view that such efforts are merely made to distract from the far more worrisome revelation that Palin lacks any real policy knowledge and that this was more than evident when she fumbled her way through the series of fairly basic foreign policy questions that Couric asked. I also think that it is unlikely that Palin will subject herself to the same level of examination again anytime soon, unless, of course, the questions have been pre-screened or she can answer them via email.
Krauthammer also makes a salient point which is that Sarah Palin is a shiny object with no real solutions for the deep problems that the USA presently faces. It is not enough for her to jab her finger at the opposition unless she wants to remain a heckler. If Sarah Palin wants to be seriously considered as a Presidential candidate she has to knuckle down and like all serious candidates get on with the hard work of getting to grips with policy. Can a quitter do that?