Monday, September 29, 2008

What are they doing to this woman?

So what's Sarah Palin been up to lately? From the 25th to the 29th, she was preparing for the vice presidential debate in Philadelphia. Now comes word that she is being moved into Arizona, to be "sequestered from her family" for a "debate camp" to run from the 29th to the 2nd.

Do these idiots really think a week of prepping for a debate will do more good than four days? Don't they realize how much they've already blown it for Sarah? Here's the issue.

Item One: The list of questions for this vice presidential debate is pretty much predictable: bailout, surge, Afghanistan, Russia/Georgia, health care, unemployment, experience. The overwhelming majority of those questions can be anticipated, and have stock conservative answers. It doesn't take a week to figure these out. If she's been listening to John McCain over the last two weeks, she knows them. Every follower of American politics knows them.

Item Two: Sarah Palin is a reasonably intelligent woman. She dispatched an incumbent governor in the 2006 Alaska primary, then beat a former governor in the general. I believe that like Bush, her smarts have been de-emphasized for the mouth-breather vote, but that doesn't keep her from being more than meets the eye. Now Bill Clinton or Al Gore intelligent, but smarter than she is being presumed. C-Span has aired a 2006 gubernatorial debate, and Sarah Palin sounds quite in control here:

Palin answers the question, puts it in historical context, and builds a logical case rooted in law. It's an opinion with which I vociferously disagree, but it's certainly lucid. Palin is smart enough to deliver simple answers to obvious questions. So what's the problem?

Item Three: Palin gives every sign of having too much preparation. Take one answer she gave Katie Couric when asked about the bailout:

That’s why I say, I like ever American I’m speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the tax payers looking to bailout.

But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Helping the — Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. A

And trade we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation.

This bailout is a part of that.

Now watch this:

Every American I’m speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bailout. Because our economy is in trouble, and we need to get working again.

We need to get working on shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track, which we do by reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. Americans who need health care reform.

We need an economy that works for Americans, that is about job creation too. Trade is an opportunity, not as a scary thing. One in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that more as opportunity, as another chance at job creation.

This bailout is a chance to start that change.

I added the stuff in italics, but the rest of it is in the original. Palin had a cogent, clear, conservative answer, but she mangled the delivery. She was in such a rush to put in the composite parts that she threw in too much, and made a dog's breakfast of what should have been there.

This only happens through over-preparation. Through the discomfort of using somebody else's words, and nerves so amped up that one is unable to use them well. And that's not something that one week of preparation is going to alleviate. It's going to make the confusion and the nerves worse.

Listen, Palin's own answers to these questions won't be as good as Biden's, but they will be much, much better than Palin's attempts to give Steve Schmidt's answers. Instead of saying what she knows and believes is the right thing to say politically, she will be trying to choose from, remember, deliver, and "customize" somebody else's answers. It won't be'll be as bad as we've seen so far.

I don't feel bad for her, and her ideas and inexperience render Sarah Palin far too dangerous to come near the White House as anything other than a visitor. So I am glad that McCain's campaign seems to be doing its utmost to unwittingly submarine Governor Palin and keep her from doing what she is able to do.


noternie said...

I don't think there's any such thing as "over preparation." What would you say to a student that did poorly on a quiz or test who blamed it on the fact that they studied "too much"?

The reason the answer you cited was mangled was that she was not comfortable giving it. She hasn't done it enough or at least not enough in that format. She had taken in the knowledge required, but wasn't practiced enough in putting it back out in that setting.

In the time they have before the debate, they not only need to teach her the answers to some pretty complex issues, they need to get her comfortable presenting it. And presenting it in response to questions that come in different forms or require her to emphasize specific parts of a talking point more than another.

The more she practices the process of recognizing the question, recalling the answer and presenting it, the better she will be.

The entire "she needs to be sequestered so she can focus, this isn't her strong suit" is also an effort to reduce expectations, don't you think? Their biggest dream is to make her sound just incompetent enough so that when she doesn't faint and say "Praise Jesus, ban Harry Potter" four times people will say she wasn't so bad after all. Don't you think?

FWIW: I'm going to encourage anyone and everyone I know in the Middleboro area to vote against any overrides for schools. I don't want those kids "over-prepared" for college. They might not do so well.

Quriltai said...

Easy, friend. I was with you until the override bit. With my Middleboro teacher friends buying the paper for their own students to use these days, it cuts deep.

Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I thought. It's not over-preparation, it's over-contemplation. It's a team icing its own very inexperienced field-goal kicker in the fourth quarter. It's calling a timeout before your rookie attempts the game-tying free throw. Palin went into the highest stakes with tiny experience, and for a week all that happened was reminders and corrections that she isn't ready. That she keeps getting it wrong.

I've had many a student do poorly on a quiz or a test because they froze up, crossed out correct answers, and did not trust their instincts. They over-questioned themselves in the stress environment. They did to themselves what McCain did to Palin.