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How Democrats set Sarah Palin up to 'win' Thursday's VP debate

According to a news release from CBS News, Harry Smith will have an exclusive interview this morning with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, on "The Early Show."

It's not really exclusive, of course. CNN's Drew Griffin interviewed the proud father of the Republican Party's first female vice presidential candidate way back on Sept. 8 (see video by clickinSally and Chuck Heath parents of Alaska Governor and Senator John McCain's running mate Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Paling on the "Read More" line below), when her father said, "She's still my little girl."

But, hey, this is TV and the CBS interview is exclusive for this morning.

It'll be the last peek into the family of Palin before her much-anticipated debate Thursday in St. Louis against longtime Sen. Joe Biden. But have Palin's Democratic opponents overplayed their hand in portraying the 44-year-old mother of five so derisively in recent days?

Was John McCain manager Steve Schmidt's puzzingly strong attack on the New York Times last week really a trap, an intentional bid to call even more attention to negative coverage of Palin to lower expectations? 

Harry Smith flew all the way up to Alaska last week and drove out to Wasilla with his crew to learn that Chuck Heath, who looks like the high school track coach he was when his daughter ran to a cross-country championship for him, thinks:

"She is ready to do anything she wants to. She perseveres. She works so hard. She learns so fast."

Knowing full well what he's going to get back from the worried....

. . .parent of anyone in American public life these days, but desperately hoping to generate at least some news for all those trans-continental expense dollars, the prominent member of the media himself puts words into the father's mouth.

Harry: "There’s a sense that she hasn’t been treated fairly by the media.”

Chuck Heath: “That’s what I feel. Someone said, ‘Well they have to get to know Sarah Palin.’ But Sarah Palin -- there is a good side of Sarah Palin and they’re digging and digging for the bad side and there is no real bad side. They’re fabricating a lot of things that I don’t want to go into.”

That much news is certainly worth getting up early for. But here's a really silly idea for this gotcha society:

If a candidate's family is not being arrested or not out on the campaign trail inviting news coverage as McCain's 96-year-old mother, Roberta, does, why don't we just leave them alone?

The way the U.S. media has so conscientiously managed to deny itself virtually any inquisitions of Barack Obama's poor half-brother in Africa and his half-sister in Hawaii and Joe Biden's mother and Michelle's family.

Republican Arizona senator and presidential candidate John McCain and vice presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in Pennsylvania recently

It's not new that American political campaigns, beneath a thinning veneer of public gentility, can be intrusive, brutal, even disgusting affairs, especially online.

McCain knows this too well from personal experience in 2000 when his adopted daughter from Bangladesh was portrayed in South Carolina as the illegitimate child of a biracial affair.

All big-time candidates develop very thick skin; some staffs even collect the worst insults in scrapbooks as badges of honor and humor. It's the candidates' defenseless families who really suffer.

And by keeping the governor herself largely away from the media, the McCain campaign is, in effect, playing a prevent defense, ceding the public relations playing field to others to describe, define and caricature Palin, strangely unanswered by her for a week now.

One recent Alaska poll showed Palin's approval rating there had tumbled to 68%, which is still about 20 points higher than either presidential candidate and seven times greater than Congress' approval.

The upcoming downside for the Obama-Biden campaign is that its supporters became so flustered over Palin's surprisingly explosive popularity coming out of the GOP convention. They have so successfully mocked, derided and lowered expectations for Palin in Thursday night's VP debate that if she doesn't drool or speak in tongues, many millions still open to persuasion will be impressed.

Al Gore's campaign made the exact same mistake going into the 2000 debates. So all Texas Gov. George W. Bush had to do was not lose.

In that sense, Democrats may have played right into a PR cul-de-sac. Biden, for instance, described Palin as merely better-looking than him. A far better communications strategy would have been to insincerely portray Palin with superlatives as a superwoman, making it harder, not easier, for her to impress. Too late now. 

It'll be difficult for Palin's parents because they so want to keep up and cheer their daughter on. But if they are wise, for their own mental health, they'll pretty much avoid the news for the next six weeks or so. What the threatened Alaskan Republican establishment tried to do to stop Palin, the political insurgent, back in 2005-06 is nothing.

And Chuck and Sally should never ever go online where they might stumble upon the sites portraying their "little girl" as, among other things, a naked porn star in action. Welcome to American politics 2008, Web-style.

--Andrew Malcolm

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Top photo: Sarah Palin's parents. Credit: Al Grillo / Associated Press

Bottom photo: Joseph Kaczmarek / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (349)

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I doubt that sparring with Katie Couric is going to get the
'Thrilla from Wasilla' in shape for the big one. But if all else fails, she can still gut a moose.

...if she doesn't drool or speak in tongues, many millions will be impressed.

That's where the Republican Party failed by chosing Sarah Palin for its VP candidate. They assume that we'll all be dazzled by her gender, mesmerized by her pretty family, and be charmed by her folksy 'down to tundra' ways. Sorry. Not impressed, regardless of lack of drooling and/or speaking in tongues. She may be a nice lady, but she's simply not qualified enough to be the second in command of our nation, especially when her running mate is so advanced in years. I think the debate will make it clear just how little prepared she is for the job.

America has bipolar disorder. The false dichotomy is retarded.

Sarah Palin is clearly overqualifed for the job for she has more morality than most of them to start of with, including the news media

Debates are 90 minute political sideshows and that's all. Sarah Palin believes in public service. She is not looking for her piece of the power and money pie. She will never descend into the subhumanity and corruption that infests our government. That's why she has my vote regardless of the debate outcome. I'm sick of the unbelievable greed and the incessant dishonesty in Washington. We need a true reformer. And certainly not another product of the Daley political machine like the always calculating Barack Obama.

The Big Problem is ...McCain is too old.

Sarah Heath Palin and my party's (Republican) problem is that she is woefully inadequate. John McCain had a lot, make that a whole lot of better choices for VP a/k/a "One Heartbeat Away".

This would not be such a problem ala Dan Quayle if it were not for McCain's age..72, and POW stresses which surely have to impact his life expectency.. Ave for someone John's age is 11.4 best his is 11.4.

Sometimes I wonder if McCain is trying to thow the election, like Ross Perot did.

Why is your newspaper always so geared towards taking sides with the Republicans? Even if you are for them, as a news source for the public, isnt your role to be more neutral and less bias to one party or another? It makes me not want to trust or read your newspaper quite honestly.

Do not sell Palin short, she is very well qualified to lead the republican party. She is well versed in the abuse of power, vindictive ignorance of the law and moral values, waste of public money, and the attitude that she is God's chosen one who can do no wrong. Sounds like a perfect republican to me, another brain dead religious nut waiting to be saved while skating through life taking everything she can along the way while sharing nothing with the peasants who pay for it all. There in lies the major difference between republicans and democrats, the willingness to share with those who hold a lower "standing", though just as important, in the bigger picture of America and more importantly, the world.

Sarah Palin will do just fine. She does learn quickly. She is a leader and being governor of Alaska gives her expierence which neither Obama or Biden have. Sarah could be a Margaret Thatcher. What the democrats do not want is a woman in the white house before they can get one there. It is a matter of which party gets a woman elected as president or vice president first. That is where the war and hate spewing is coming from. Sarah will win the debate because she will not let anyone make her sit down to a man and the media supporting the man trying to put her down. Go Sarah....

I'm sorry, but Katie Couric's interview was more than revealing. This was a chance for Sarah Palin to introduce herself fully to the country. She had time to reherse her answers, and still failed miserably.

It's pretty hard to assume now that Mccain picked her for little more reason than he had hoped to siphon off Hillary Clinton's voters.

And the truth is: Mccain and Sarah Palin are the true sexist in this campaign, because he did not pick her based on her merits, but purely because of her sex. There are literaly thousands of republican women who are better educated, more experienced, and, hell, more intelligent than Sarah Palin; any one of them would have made a better choice than her, but Mccain made his choice not based on her abilities or intelligence, but instead on her looks.

Mccain, just so you know, your VP choice helped make this Independents final decision.

Obama - Biden 2008!

...but she's simply not qualified enough to be the second in command of our nation... (Anonymous 9/29 at 4:32a)

And that's why you'd rather vote for someone less qualified to be first in command, right? Enough with the patronizing. The reason you won't vote for her is because she has an R next to her name. You have every right to do so, but you're being boldly two-faced with your experience argument.

There is no bigger fool in national politics than Joe "Hair Plugs" Biden. The man is an idiot and anyone who doesn't see that is also an idiot. Sarah Palin will do just fine. I am looking forward to the first female vice president. God know this country doesn't need a used car salesman and a blabber mouth in the White House.

"The way the U.S. media has so conscientiously managed to deny itself virtually any inquisitions of Barack Obama's poor half-brother in Africa and his half-sister in Hawaii and Joe Biden's mother and Michelle's family."

True... but Andrew forgets to add Rezko, Wright, Ayers and virtually anything or anyone that might taint the New Messiah. All hell is going to break loose when when "The Big O" loses in November.

'...a sense she (palin) hasn't been treated fairly...'
well - was hillary ever treated fairly? how about Barack Obama? did any of you listen to 'the rush show' all summer long. the lies, the venom, the dirty, evil tricks the republican party always uses against challengers?
millions of Americans are sick of this. in my state, Barack Obama enjoys a broad coalition of support that includes people of every race, religious, economic, & political background. we are ready for change we can believe!

Many of us have dear and loving parents who love us and feel proud, but that does not qualify us to be VP. Palin and her far, far right wing views and polices are Taliban like and her inability to speak coherently about anything is telling. John McCain has been reckless in his choice for VP. Of all the things which tell me not to vote for McCain, she stands out the most as a real liability. I hope Americans can wake up and not be fooled by the rhetoric.

Sarah Palin is not qualified, her views and are so far, far right she reminds me of the Talian. McCain was already struggling and this was a reach and reckless decision. It is telling for what kind of president he will make. I pray Americans will not be swayed by a pretty face and gender and ignore the reality and the dire straights the world is in, we cannot afford another George W.

I thought myself that Kathleen Parker should have been
less derisive. Is she a Democrat now?

Ah, the unconditional love of a parent for their child. Of course they will never see their little girl as anything but honest no matter how many facts emerge about her accepting gifts from lobbyists, accessing personnel files illegally, lying (repeatedly) about her track record in Alaska, lying (repeatedly) about the bridge to nowhere, lying (repeatedly) about her support of Ted Stevens, accepting contributions from people who had been indicted, pushing for favors for herself and friends.....

Complain all you want that the media have been too harsh on her - but facts are facts. She's rotten to the core.

"...if she doesn't drool or speak in tongues, many millions still open to persuasion will be impressed"

Well, that certainly assumes many voters in the U.S. really are shallow in their thinking or mayhbe they don't think at all! You may very well be correct about it. After all, so long as he/she doesn't drool, there's little more to be expected of a potential POTUS these days. If there were, we wouldn't wouldn't even be having this discussion. The GOP of decades ago would have hung their nominee out to dry for such a pick for VP. Not these days, though. Nosir.

It's called the Dumbing Down of America.

The Democrats haven't been treating her derisively. They've been ignoring her. It is the general population and even conservatives who have been appalled at her nonsensical interview answers and the way she ran Wasilla and Alaska.

If Palin were a man they would have put bullet in his head and put him out of his misery already. She does not get a pass from the American people. Can you imagine her deciding if our children should go to war? She is merely the latest puppet of the same people who brought you the George W. puppet. Want more of this vote for the tainted two. Want some change we can believe in and some intellect in the White House vote for Obama! OBAMANOS!

If nothing else, she deserves some respect for her willingness to take on the role of VP Candidate. Why would anyone want to go through THAT? She has endured more than she deserves. The last 5 weeks have revealed more about the media and about ourselves than it has about her. One can argue about her qualifications. One can debate her 'readiness'. But what we've done to politics in general and what we've done to her specifically... is just wrong. Civility is gone. Restraint is gone. Moderation is gone.

Politics and Punchlines. It's an unfortunate combination. Perhaps it's is 'We the people...' who need the 'Change' that is so oft spoken of.


Do you people get it there is a very good cahnce if and I say if McCain wins this woman will be president. Now I ask you would you want this person to lead our country. Some one that has put her personal life into her position by hiring friends to fill the post instead of who would be best for the job. She has also encouraged people to break the law by not showing up to be questioned. Me I don't someone swearing to up hold up the laws of our county can be trusted if she is already breaking them

Everyone ho does not drool and does not speak in tongues is qualified to be a VP?? Are the American people already THAT stupid? Brilliant and wise persons (and REAL patriots) like Andrew Bacevich (see go unnoticed and war-mongering clowns like McCain and ignorant extremists like Palin get a pass?? Has America gone totally insane and ready to make one more step to self-destruction?

Yeah, all the stupid things she has been saying was all a clever trap. Great analysis.

I think Sarah is wonderful. I just think she should be herself. In the debate Obama sounded rehersed. Sarah is bright,intellegent & smart woman . I could sleep at night if she had her finger on the button. Not so If Obama gets in. I am a democrat but voting McCain/Sarah this year. Obama scares me. He is so radical. He is dangerous. It is only bitter women that has turned against Her. For some reason they feal threatened by her. Relax girls. She is happily married.
Keep up the good work Sarah.
God Bless you .

Palin was a great choice! Dems are visably shaken by the excitement that she's created and how that has completely blown away any excitement from "The One". She will hold her own against Biden, after all she knows that FDR wasn't President in 1929. You cannot judge a candidate be 1 or 2 interviews, she has a long record the hasn't been given enough credit, while Obama is at the top of the ticket and has less credible experience.

Help us show Obama the door, join us at !

Whether Governor Pallin speaks English, Spanish or in the glossolalia has no bearing upon her qualifications to be vice president. It becomes an issue to those so unsure of their own candidate's abilities and qualifications that their only response to Palin must be cloaked in hate speech and bigotry.

Election decisions based on fear are unhealthy for this nation. Obama & Biden fall back on class warfare and race baiting to achieve their goals. McCain and Pallin tell you straight up what they stand for and place their confidence in the American people to put our country first - and they leave the class warfare and race baiting to less honorable people.

This is truly the worst newspaper in America.

Have these reporters ever been right?

(1) I think Palin showed her restraint during the Couric attack; I would have skinned Katie like a moose.

(2) Palin has run a small town and a huge state. The Obama Messiah has not even run a lemonade stand!

The idea that anyone would give this woman command of the most powerful nation on earth is frightening.

Clear demonstration of 'campaign first' mentality in choosing her. She's incompetent. There are many women that are truly qualified but McCain's choosing someone unfit for the office is tantamount to treason, putting us at risk like this.

Picking someone random off the street would probably give us a more capable candidate.

Governor Palin is a down to earth, uncomplicated leader and doer who is human and quite unlike the polished media androids and politicians who've made careers of polishing snake oils of every sort, in order to simulate a pseudo reality for cover, only to benefit their agenda[s]. This is the only reason she doesn't fit in it and is mocked by these illusionist fools. I, and millions of other Americans don't want her to fit into that illusion. That time, like the illusions of Wall Street thugs, are gone. Go Sarah!.

why are we talking about the qualifications of someone running for VP - when the democratic candidate for PRESIDENT is grossly underqualified to run a gas station. Where was this level of interest for his ties to the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers; what about his admitted relationship with a confirmed member of the communist party Frank Marshall Davis; what about his own admission of attending socialist conferences and reading Marxist materials???? And yet that is ok and of no concern to the liberal media who are doing their best to elect the least qualified candidate of the four as PRESIDENT. No person of any sense can claim that George W Bush did a good job as president....but can anyone honestly believe and tell themselves and others that Lord Barry would do a better job? He can't even make a decision unless it relates to raising taxes - which the answer is alway yes.

Why doesn't Palin's dad stand in for her thursday? At least he can string two sentences together without sounding like a clueless teenager. If he has ever been outside the USA, he has more foreign policy experience than his daughter, too. Plus dad 's age means he would have that geriatric connection with McCain. They could be the Geritol Express.

Considering how poorly Palin was vetted and her disastrous interviews this past week, I am actually beginning to question McCain's senility. What was the man thinking? He used the word "exciting" over and over in one interview to say how he felt about her being part of the campaign. Uhhh, okay, Grandpa, we all get it. She excites you. However, the fact that her geographical knowledge is at about high school level (if that) is not exciting, it is frightening. The fact that she runs her mouth offering poorly thought-out opinions about distinguished politicians such as Henry Kissinger is not exciting, it's a sign that she is in way over her head with no road map.

All Americans should be offended that this unqualified person was offered to us as VP. Send her back to Alaska.....where she can stare hard across the water at old Putin! I bet he's laughing right now. Russia, China, Iraq and Iran would probably like nothing better than to have these two win. Then when McCain keels over, they can tear her to pieces.

Malcolm sounds like all the other idiots looking for anything to hang Sarah's hat on. She's woefully unprepared - and incapable - of being vice president or president. From day one it was a cynical ploy by the Schmidt and the rest to distract people from McCain's own deficiencies. She's at her best standing at a podium and playing junior high-school "ranking" games. But when someone asks her a substantive question, she babbles on - stream of conscious - making little sense. What a joke! Again, Malcolm is an idiot.

If Palin is able to pull a 180 over her performance in recent interviews, then she deserves credit and more careful consideration. However, I find it very unlikely that this will happen -- and I don't see that as a personal flaw. She has been thrust into a situation that she is not prepared to handle. She's spent years thinking local, and now she has to think global in a little over a month. Too much, too fast.

I used to like McCain. I supported him in the primaries. Now I see him as nothing more than a political stuntman. And a bad stuntman at that. He should apologize to Palin for using her for a cheap marketing ploy.

Sarah Palin is the weakest VP candidate since Dan Quail. Iit is time for her to step down and let someone with real credentials be John McCains backstop. If for some unfortunate reason he were to become I'll we can not afford to have someone so weak leading this country. Wake up everbody!! We deserve much better than this.

It is ironic how we as Americans can simply forget the issues and place our concerns on gender and race. As in this situation with Pelan. We can thrust her into the Vice Presidency, allow her to make the mistakes so many unqualitified presidents and vice-presidents have made, which mind you is the reason we're in this mess now. I think that as Americans we need to stay focused on the issues, who is better able to handle those issues as president and vice president. We are going to hell in a hand bag because of all of the distractions of race, gender and religion taking a strong hold on our lives. I'm sure she'll be a great vice president if we want more of the same inexperience, and on-the-job training in the White House.

The speculation should be wonderful prior to this debate.
Rather than thinking about what is going to happen - lets allow the debate speak for itself - then the pundits can figure it out and tell us what we should be thinking.

BTW - did the democrats really earmark money for ACORN into the original bailout proposal ? If so- they should be tarred and feathered in the press.

It seems to me there are more important things in a presidential campaign than establishing expectations for a debate. If the cost of exposing Palin as an inexperienced, doublespeaking, obstructionist, ingenue is that the public actually gets the message before the debate, then that's a tradeoff I can live with in the long run. There's only one VP debate, and it's hardly the most important thing the running mate does in an election cycle. Speaking coherently in softball interviews (Katie Couric is hardly Tim Russert, RIP) and possessing a modicum of knowledge on the top of the ticket's record (still waiting for her to get back to me...) probably rank as more important. So, as an Obama supporter, it's cool with me if she keeps lowering the bar like she has.

Time will tell if she is ready. In my opinion, since no one person has too much decision-making control in our government, I'm not too concerned with her 'lack' of experience. When I really think about it; out of many new people in our 500+ person product launch team, many times the ones with less experience perform much better on the actual job, under the normal pressures it comes with, than the ones with greater experience. There's more to leading this country than experience. Character, morals, motivations, and work ethic are just a few.

Speak in tounges? What the?...... get a grip! let's discredit an individual because of her religious preference. That sounds a lot like bigotry to me. And besides, everybody speaks in tounges unless you are dumb. She just happens to speak in the English tounge. And I TOTALLY APPROVE HER AND HER VALUES!

Dear Mr. Frederick and Mr. Malcolm,
"Biden, for instance, described Palin as merely better-looking than him."
Alas. This is why alternative news sources are fast becoming more popular than MSM sites like yours. This quote is SOOOO taken out of context. Gentlemen, Biden was making a self-deprecating joke about his own looks!

"The reference is to a report of Biden joking that one of the differences between Palin and him is that 'she’s good looking.' But the report...doesn't characterize Biden’s remarks as dismissive. Instead, ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe describe a moment when Biden 'ham[s] it up' for the crowd, with one woman telling Biden that he’s 'gorgeous.' The Democratic candidate then says he’d like to end 'on a serious note.'
Here’s the quote in context:

ABC News, Aug. 31, 2008: 'From our perspective the whole deal is how does the government help you get back up without getting in the way?' Biden asked. 'There's a gigantic - gigantic - difference between John McCain and Barack Obama, and between me and I suspect my vice presidential opponent. And that is that - '
The crowd laughed.
'Well there's obvious differences,' Biden said, beginning to ham it up. 'She's good looking,' he said, laughing. 'You know there's obvious differences. But there's a whole lot -- '
A woman shouted: 'You're gorgeous!' to Biden.
'Where's that person?' Biden asked. 'Who said that? Who said that? Would you say that again for my wife?'
'You're gorgeous!' the woman yelled.
'Oh, I tell you what, would you make sure Jill hears that?' Biden joked. 'You know what I mean? I just want to make sure she hears that. I haven't heard that in a long, long, long time. And hanging out with this lean, young-looking guy is making me feel pretty old, you know what I mean?'
Biden continued his riff. 'I thought I was in pretty good shape til I hung out with this guy, you know what I mean?'
'Joe's looking good,' said Obama.
'Yeah, I'm looking good alright, I tell you what,' Biden said. 'But look, folks, let me end with, on a serious note here. On a serious note -- I was a pretty good football player, man,' he said to Obama 'We oughta talk a little bit after this. Okay? --But look, on a very serious note ...'
He then continued with his very serious note.

Our ears don't hear Biden's 'good looking' comment as dismissive. To the contrary, it's clearly a self-deprecating remark made in joking about himself and his looks...."


Its Palin herself that has lowered expectations. She and the McCain campaign have made claims about her experience, and when those claims are examined they never pass the test. -Never!
As far as speaking in tongues, in all three of her past interviews it seems she actually did that. Lots of what came out of her mouth made zero sense to anyone. A series of bumper sticker catch phrases strung together masquerading as an answer to legitimate questions. If she can do no better than that in the one will be impressed.

When I hear Sarah Palin talk, I KNOW I am smarter than she is... and that's scary.

I think thnk the article missed the point entirely.

The American public will be looking at Palin under a magnifying glass and any mistakes or missteps she makes will be drastically amplified by the scrutiny and a public looking especially for mistakes.

----" If a candidate's family is not being arrested or not out on the campaign trail inviting news coverage as McCain's 96-year-old mother, Roberta, does, why don't we just leave them alone?

The way the U.S. media has so conscientiously managed to deny itself virtually any inquisitions of Barack Obama's poor half-brother in Africa and his half-sister in Hawaii and Joe Biden's mother and Michelle's family. " ----

Inviting Bristol's shotgun fiance to the GOP Convention wasn't campaigning?

A reporter calls Sarah's parents and requests an interview and they ***invite him*** into their home for a feel-good interview and you think it is too much?

What the heck are you, Laura Bush's former press secretary, talking about?

As for the debate, the McCain camp has set the bar sooooooo low that all she has to do is show up and no opinions will be changed, but since her numbers are already so negative (higher than any of the other big 3) that won't change much in the big picture. And we're still a month out. Unless there is a major debacle, no one will remember Thursday night when they mark their ballots.

There is a good reason why the media focus on Palin's (and other Republican's) family matters and why it would be wrong to "just leave them alone?"

The Republicans make "family values" an important part of their campaigns. They want the government to regulate personal moral issues like abortion or gay marriage or other areas by either denying equal rights or by punishing (through social ostracism) those who do not hold the Republican conception of morality and family values. They are quick to condemn poor inner city blacks for their high unwed pregnancy rates, while at the same time dismissing their own failures in these "personal" areas. If these areas are "personal" as Republicans like to claim, then they have no business trying to pass laws in these areas. But unfortunately they want to eat their cake and have it too.

Bristol Palin is a perfect example of this inconsistency (and there are others) and Sarah Palin should be held to account for this inconsistency in her beliefs, since her beliefs in these "personal" areas will affect legislation for the rest of us.

I have to laugh every time I see liberal postS about how unqualified for the VP Sarah Palin is. Substitute Barack OBama and president in there and you have the exact same situation.

So you are saying it is OK to be unqualified for President, but not to be for VP?

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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