Everyone is talking about how Gov. Palin will do on Thursday when she debates Sen. Biden. It appears that part of the strategy of the McCain campaign is to keep her isolated from the press because a) they are afraid she might say something stupid, or b) they think the press is being too mean to her.
I get the first premise, but am baffled by the second. Unless of course it is all a ruse to gain more sympathy for Gov. Palin from her supporters. I’m as sure as I can be that this same group would not be talking this way if Sen. Clinton were the Democratic presidential candidate, nor would Clinton expect or allow such treatment.
So the big question is how will Gwen Ifill treat Palin on Thursday night? Will she put gender aside and ask tough questions, questions that would be asked if Palin were male? Carl Hiaasen had an article in yesterday’s Miami Herald and here are some of the questions he’d like answers to:
If Palin were a male candidate, for example, she would again be asked (as Charles Gibson did) why she took credit for killing Alaska’s notorious Bridge to Nowhere, when in fact she supported the $223 million boondoggle until Congress turned against it.
If Palin were a male candidate, she might also be encouraged to discuss why she chose a high-school pal to head Alaska’s Division of Agriculture at a $95,000 salary. Among her flimsy qualifications, the woman, a former real-estate agent, claimed an affection of cows.
If Palin were a male candidate, she’d be asked why she put another childhood friend in charge of a money-losing, state-subsidized creamery that was supposed to shut down until Palin reversed the decision. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the doomed dairy cost Alaskans more than $800,000 in additional losses before it was finally closed.
In fact, during her short stint as governor, Palin has appointed several school buddies to well-paying state posts. Her legislative director was in the same junior-high band with Palin. Another old classmate was operating a Mailboxes, Etc. franchise when the governor appointed him head of the state’s economic development office.
If Palin were a male candidate who claimed to be a crusading, cost-cutting reformer, she’d be asked what made her any better than other politicians who hand out fat government jobs to cronies.
Well, Gwen which will it be?