Sizing up Sarah Palin
The Hiller Instinct: Sizing up Sarah Palin
A true fresh face in national politics, the first woman ever on a Republican national ticket, she made the GOP Convention a smashing success and helped push McCain past Obama.
But now Obama is back in front, and the hockey mom is getting some of the blame, for hurting herself and her party's ticket.
"My job has been to oversee nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of gas and oil," Gov. Palin said.
But, in fact, that's wrong: Alaska accounts for 7.5 percent of the nation's oil and gas. And McCain was forced to correct Palin after she contradicted his policy on Pakistan. But what's potentially most damaging is that she is widely ridiculed, and nothing is worse for a politician than to become a joke:
"Did you see this? Sarah Palin wrote a children's book, it's called, Goodnight Moose," Jay Leno joked.
Now Palin is preparing for the most important political moment of her life: tomorrow night's debate with Joe Biden:
"I'm looking forward to meeting him, too. I've never met him before, but I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since was in the second grade," Palin said.
And McCain is trying to set expectations for her as low as possible:
"Oh, look, the American people have taken to her in a way that I have never seen before. They don't, they don't expect... their appreciation for her is not because she has got a Ph.D from Harvard. She doesn't," McCain said.
Picking Palin was always risky, which makes the debate as important for McCain as it is for his running mate. Because how she does will not only help voters measure Palin's knowledge, but, also, McCain's judgment.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
(Copyright (c) 2008 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)