Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fareed Zakaria: Palin Should Drop Out For The Good Of The Country

CNN's Fareed Zarkaria, interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room," 9/29/08, stated that Sarah Palin should "drop out for the good of the country."

Zakaria was alarmed by Palin's answers in her interviews with Katie Couric. Excerpts of his comments were supplied by Talking Points Memo:

"I think that there is a fundamental test of governance that...applies all the more seriously to the people we are considering having as president and vice president. They have to be able to govern. You know, we can talk about the games and the gaffes, but what has become absolutely clear watching Sarah Palin in her responses to interviews and the Katie Couric interview was the last straw frankly, there were others, is that it's not that she when asked these complicated questions or difficult questions, it's not that she doesn't know the right answer. It's that she clearly does not understand the question. This is way beyond anything we have ever seen from a national candidate."

He dismissed Palin's experience in Alaska as a basis for her vice-presidential candidacy:

"Well, you know, if you delve into that, you discover that the executive experience is running a very small town. Alaska itself is an unusual state. 85 percent of its budget comes from oil revenues. Basically you're just distributing oil revenues that are being provided for you by digging holes in the ground. This is good training to be president of Saudi Arabia, not the United States. Look, what is absolutely clear is we are dealing with very, very difficult issues."

Zakaria also warned that Palin is out of her depth in dealing with the economy:

"The financial crisis is probably the most complicated financial crisis we have experienced yet. And it was absolutely clear the most scary answer in the Katie Couric interview was not on foreign policy. The foreign policy stuff was funny. The scary answer was on the economy. The one you displayed switching back and forth between "Saturday Night Live" because it was absolutely clear that she simply did not understand any of the issues involved. She did not understand the question. This is a woman who is going to be as the phrase goes 'a heartbeat away' from a 72-year-old man if McCain wins. The actuarial odds of her becoming president are very high. They are actually significant. It's sort of about a one-in-five chance."

The only area in which I disagree with Zakaria is on Palin's inept foreign policy responses, which on one level are funny and on another disturbing. The foreign policy issues we'll face over the next few years are every bit as complex as the economic. In both cases there's absolutely no reason to have any confidence in Palin. On the whole, though, I believe that Zakaria's warnings should be heeded for the good of the country, something that, as Zakaria put it, John McCain clearly did not have in mind when he chose her as a running mate.

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