Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taking Palin Seriously?

David Broder has a long record of viewing politicians and the Washington scene, so he should not be quickly dismissed. This morning, he writes in the Post that Democrats are mistaken in being so dismissive of Sarah Palin. He cites her political skills, particularly an ability to connect to a populist crowd, as sufficient reason to take her more seriously than many on the ridiculing left do.

Certainly, the level of vitriol toward Ms. Palin is over the top, but so is Mr. Broder's praise.

If Ms. Palin were serious about future national aspirations, she should have done one thing and not done one other: she should have remained Governor of Alaska, and she should not have become a commentator for Fox News.

As to the former, remaining Governor and winning a second term would have provided a platform for attaining actual experience and accomplishment. An insufficient resume, along with a tenuous grip on many important national issues, remains Ms. Palin's biggest deficiency.

As to the latter, Ms. Palin, not to mention her new employer, fails to appreciate that an actively engaged politician should not be providing news commentary. Sure, many political figures -- George Stephanopholos, Bob Beckel, and James Carville come immediately to mind -- have made a direct shift from activist to commentator, but it is a bit more of a reputable path if they leave the game, at least for all public appearances, in order to become talking heads. Ms. Palin's path lacks even the appearance of reputability.

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