It's become plain now that she isn't really prepared, and the McCain campaign has acknowledged this fact through its own actions - by shielding Palin so strenuously from any press conferences, face-to-face press scrutiny, or even interviews. U.S. News says that since August 29, Dem VP nominee Joe Biden has granted 89 interviews to the press. Sarah Palin has granted 3. The election may still be partisan, and the issues may still be partisan, but this is not: Palin is unprepared.
Now there are reports that aides in the McCain camp have said that a mock press conference and mock debate with Palin were "disastrous," according to liberal radio personality Ed Schultz.
"One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, “What are we going to do?” The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is “clueless.”
Yes, Palin has rallied the base, energized Republicans, and brought a celebrity sheen to the crusty McCain campaign. But day by day more and more people are recognizing how difficult of a climb the GOP really has for the next five weeks.
The National Review's Kathleen Parker has now famously said that Palin should call it quits:
As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.
It was fun while it lasted.
Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.
The other thing that really strikes me is how much drama there is in this, beyond the bold-face political drama that we're all so accustomed to. She is a real person whom I think is being humiliated by her candidacy. And for what? A liberal blogger at The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has an idea.
The Palin pick was the crassest, most bigoted decision that I've seen in national electoral politics, in my--admittedly short--lifetime.
Sarah Palin never struck me as stupid. When she talked about not backpacking across Europe and working her whole life, beneath the dumb anti-intellectual dig, I saw a gem of truth. I wish she had have mined it, instead of trying to score a cheap point. Rambling aside, she simply isn't ready. Maybe she would be eight years from now, but she isn't ready now, any campaign worth its salt would have known this.
In election season, there is a price for being turned into a symbol. ... For one last run at the White House, he risked a future star of the party he claims to call home. How do you do that? I don't meant to rob Palin of agency, certainly she is also a victim of her own calculations and ambitions. But where I am from the elders protect you, and pull you back when you've gone too far, when your head has gotten too big.
Of course the irony of all this is how conservatives have, for years, lampooned the liberal pursuit of multiculturalism/identity politics. But here's the thing, even when done haphazardly, awkwardly, and imprudently, the fight against bigotry and ignorance has rewards. But when you decide to not be a leader in the fight against sexism/racism and simply criticize those who do ... there is a price--bigger than the black vote--to be paid for disengagement. You become ignorant of a growing sector of the world. They expected Hillary. And if it were a black man, they never even knew it could be someone like Barack Obama.
So these guys go to the well one more time, and ressurect the old spectres of "Us against Them." But the fools haven't been paying attention--the "Us" has changed. This isn't Alabama, and it ain't 1968. There is a whole class of educated, working women, themselves, the children of educated working women. And this is what McCain has to say to them, "I don't care if you know a thing about foreign policy. I don't care if you know a damn thing about the economy. Here is what you are to me--breasts, hair and a lovely smile."