Days of Change

Day 1224 – The Unvetted

March 12, 2012

As starts a 2012 vetting process on Obama, I think back to 2008. Barack Obama was not vetted in any way. The glowing biographies by news channels had more detail than any election story. Then there was Sarah Palin. As coddled as Obama was in interviews, Palin was challenged by the same people. A vice presidential candidate became more investigated than the presidential candidate.

The narrative of HBO’s Game Change is that Sarah Palin was an unqualified candidate who became an unqualified failure. However, Danny Strong and Jay Roach claim that Palin was out of her element but was able to rise to some occasions. What Strong / Roach mean is that whenever there is videotape evidence of Sarah Palin hitting out of the park, it is a momentary triumph. Any time she is alone, she suddenly falls apart because there is no hard evidence to the contrary. Strong / Roach talk about their multiple interviews, but most of the character assassination takes place at times where only a handful of people were in the room.

Andrew Breitbart pointed out in “The Undefeated” that the real damage of the Palin narrative is how few Republicans and even some conservatives let it continue as if she were a mistake they’d like to forget. Even her running mate John McCain has been slow to defend her, even as Palin helped him win his primary race for Arizona Senate. She didn’t exactly lose him that election, did she? The history of Sarah Palin belies all the histrionics of her critics, but the narrative persists.

After seeing “The Undefeated” and witnessing attack upon attack on her, I have one question. Exactly where did the McCain campaign fail to vet her? It’s a simple question but it goes to the heart of the anti-Palin narrative. The premise of “sympathetic” analysis has been that Sarah Palin was over her head and she was unqualified for the job. The McCain campaign was so interested in getting a woman that they failed to find out what they needed to know about Palin. If that’s the case, tell me what they didn’t know. What is there about Palin in reality that was not known? What was the silver bullet that ended the McCain campaign from Sarah Palin?


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