So says Judith Viorst:
It's time for the distinguished members of the Republican Party to publicly put their country over their politics. (That's you, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger and James Baker III.) It's time (Arlen Specter, Sandra Day O'Connor and Olympia Snowe) to say aloud what you no doubt whisper in privacy: that the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's vice-presidential nominee is a dangerous and unacceptable choice.
Don't be fooled by how unexpectedly well Palin did in the vice-presidential debate. She remains the limited woman she was before being exhaustively prepped for this final exam. No matter how quick a study she is, she simply doesn't possess the informed broad perspective or grasp of details she would need if--worst-case scenario--she became president. John McCain should be urged by his fellow Republicans to remove her as soon as possible from his ticket.
Students of history often ask how it happens again and again, that good men and good women keep silent when they should have spoken. The answer is sometimes ignorance, fear or personal ambition and sometimes simply yay-team loyalty. But surely (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christine Todd Whitman, Chuck Hagel) you are smart enough, safe enough and successful enough to declare for the world to hear that McCain needs to divest himself of a choice that's beyond the pale and beyond Palin.
Perhaps you could start by conceding (Richard Thornburgh, Richard Lugar, John Warner) that Palin is energetic, attractive and personable, plus competent enough--and this does take competence--to be governor of a small state while raising five kids. She also shows great flair when she delivers a speech prepared by the best in the business, full of shrewd zingers and noble sentiments. In her debate with Joe Biden she revealed an impressive capacity to memorize her talking points and then--with poise and confidence--to repeat them. What wasn't revealed, because the format didn't accommodate probing follow-up questions, was the depth of her knowledge--or the lack thereof.
Palin's confused and often incoherent one-on-ones with Katie Couric have already demonstrated her distressing limitations when she tries to wrestle, unscripted, with serious matters.
John McCain put his own election above the country's need for qualified GOP candidate for Vice-President. The GOP's only chance for a win in November, judging from the polls, is to replace Palin with someone more qualified.
It will demonstrate the McCain does have the nation's interests in mind. There are lots of face-saving excuses that could be used -- she's decided to stay closer to home and family, etc.
Update: There are signs that Palin is costing McCain Jewish Votes in Florida.
Like many Jews in south Florida, Todd and Jamie Ehrenreich are registered Democrats who have faithfully cast ballots for their party's presidential nominees as long as they can remember. But this year, they'd decided to back Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate. "We are over the $250,000 tax bracket, and we didn't want to lose our money," Jamie says. "We wanted to benefit from our own American dream."
Then McCain selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate--and "lost us in one fell swoop," says Jamie, who lives with her husband and two kids in Miami. She finds so much about Palin objectionable that she almost doesn't know where to begin. There's the abortion issue, for one. Palin "wouldn't want anyone to have an abortion even for rape or incest," says Jamie. "Who is she to judge by telling me how to live my life and overturning the things women have worked so hard for?" Equally disconcerting is Palin's seeming shallowness on some of the most pressing matters facing the country. "She doesn't know what she is talking about and makes it up as she goes along," says Jamie. "The fact that she had to be coached for two weeks [to prepare for the vice presidential debate] tells me she doesn't know anything. She just talks in circles."
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