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George Will: Palin Is Not Qualified

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Famed conservative columnist George Will told a gathering of Senate aides on Monday that Gov. Sarah Palin is "obviously" not prepared to assume the presidency if necessary, two event attendees told the Huffington Post.

Appearing at a Senate Press Secretaries Association reception at the Cornerstone Government Affairs office, Will offered a harsh assessment of John McCain's running mate.

Palin is "obviously not qualified to be President," he remarked, describing her interview on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric as a "disaster."

Will did state, according to a second source, that Palin has received rough treatment from the media; arguing that the Alaska Governor would have been "skewered" by the press if she had made some of the same gaffes as Sen. Joe Biden has in recent weeks. But his sympathies only extended so far.

Will has already been critical of the other half of the Republican ticket, calling McCain's handling of the financial crisis "un-presidential" just one week ago. And in offering his take on Palin, the longtime Washington scribe becomes the latest in a list of respected conservative figures who have now soured on the Palin pick.

Last week, Kathleen Parker of the National Review penned a column calling on the Alaska Governor to be dropped from the ticket. New York Time's columnist David Brooks and former Bush speechwriter David Frum have also expressed their doubts about Palin's capacity for the vice presidential post.

Will, who could not be reached for comment., had also been previously critical of McCain's choice of Palin, writing a week after it was announced: "The man who would be the oldest to embark on a first presidential term has chosen as his possible successor a person of negligible experience." One week ago, meanwhile, Will penned a blistering op-ed about McCain, accusing him of practicing "fact-free slander," holding a "Manichaean worldview," and "characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence."