The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

No interviews for you!

Posted by That Other Mike on 06/09/2008

It’s come to my attention that Sarah Palin won’t shut up when she’s behind a podium and has nothing to say when she’s in front of it.

What I mean by this is that she is refusing to give interviews to the press. This is deeply worrying in a candidate for national office, especially one running for VP, an office which is traditionally used as an outrider for the more outrageous or unsure ideas floated by the President or as a lightning rod for criticism.

It’s worrying on many different levels – the decision was clearly not taken by Palin herself, but rather McCain or his campaign manager. Either way, it shows an astonishing amount of contempt; either for the press or for the candidate herself.

If it’s the candidate, that speaks to poor judgment on McCain’s part; in that case, he picked a candidate for whom he has no respect or trust to serve as his potential replacement in the event of death or disaster. If this is the case, it shows contempt for Palin personally, relegating her to little more than a token candidate chosen to blunt the old familiar sting of the anti-woman policies espoused by the Republican Party. If she is nothing but a cipher to draw in the base and strengthen McCain’s credentials amongst the hardline religious right, what good would she be to the US in the event of McCain’s death or inability to fulfil the duties of his office? She would be about as welcome as a spare prick at a wedding; less, even. A spare prick at a Jewish wedding whose owner was eating a ham sandwich would be more use.

If, however, McCain does respect her for her wealth of policy experience… no, wait. Foreign policy knowledge? No, wait, Alaska being next to Russia doesn’t translate to that. Economic experience? I guess she does have experience in fucking up an economy; ask Wasilla about its $19,000,000 of long term debt. Her experience in executive positions? Wait, no, she had to hire a city manager while she was governor due to her own incompetence. Her grasp of history is impressive, though, right? Oh, wait, no, it isn’t.

Anyway, let’s suppose that McCain respects Palin as a candidate despite her creationism, inability to govern and general stupidity. That leaves us with contempt for the press, which is even more worrying.

There’s a reason why we call the press the fourth estate: it is the unofficial fourth arm of government, a check on the other three, the most directly-accessibly to the people. In this day of the press being open to so many via the internet and new media, a refusal to speak to the press translates to a refusal to speak to the people.

It shows open and naked contempt towards the people while still begging for their votes! It’s not that surprising, though; disdain and viciousness towards the people have been something of a theme with Republicans over the past few years.

There’s also the matter of the fact that the lead up to the election is as important as the election itself in many ways – it is the candidates’ chance to connect with voters and really make themselves known, to showcase their political skills and make plain their manifestos and plans for the future. As such, it’s something like a job interview taken over several months, with the election being the final decision. If you don’t convince people that you’re fit for the job, you don’t get the job, and the way that you convince people to elect you is by connecting with them and, you know, actually doing some campaigning.

Not doing so spits in the face of the whole enterprise; it gives the impression that you feel like you should be given the office, not that you have to earn it with blood, sweat and tears. Every hand shaken, every baby kissed and every townhall meeting is part of the process of earning the right to hold high office; you don’t get it just handed to you. That process includes being roasted by the press. If you can’t handle Fox News, what will you do if you ever have to deal with a hostile foreign power? Will you refuse to engage because you don’t feel ready? Sorry, no dice. You either engage with the people and their representatives in the press, or you go back to being mayor of Buttfuck Wasilla, AK.

Mind you, not wanting to go through the hassle of actually having to earn elected office has become a trend for the GOP in recent years.

The Vice-Presidency is not a legacy, it’s not a prize you get for waiting during that inconvenient election period. It’s something you have to earn, and you certainly won’t earn it by showing to contempt to everyone not sitting next to you in your campaign bunker.

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