POLITICS
10/03/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Surrogates Struggle To Defend Palin's Experience

There is, it seems, a dearth of effective talking points on Sarah Palin's lack of foreign policy experience. On Monday, McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds went on CNN to defend the vice presidential pick, only to come up blank when asked to name one specific decision Palin has made as commander of Alaska's national guard. Democratic operatives quickly circulated the video.

On Tuesday, Sen. Jon Kyl, another McCain confidante, was given his turn. And the results were equally problematic for the presumptive Republican nominee. Asked by Fox News' Chris Wallace whether Palin was "ready to be president" Kyl's response was, basically, "in time."

"Obviously, in terms of national security decisions over the first months of the McCain administration, that will be done by John McCain," he said. "But also she is a quick study. I suspect that very soon the American people will believe she has got what it takes to be in any situation, even a tough national security situation."

There is, it seems, a sense of glee within Democratic circles that the Palin choice has effectively made the experience argument moot. But, despite an absence of solid talking points on the matter, McCain's camp is clearly still invested in painting Obama as the one wet behind the ears. Earlier on Monday, they sent out an email to reporters lambasting the Democratic nominee for citing his own presidential campaign as an indication of executive gravitas. Bounds called it "desperate circular logic."

And yet, at least right now, the abundance of attention is going to Palin's resume. Asked whether the Alaska governor was ready from day one to take over for McCain, Kyl again was something less than assertive.

"First of all, in a McCain presidency, John McCain will be calling the shots. I think he believes that, through the campaign and the early part of this administration, she's a very quick study and she is tough. And I think he sees her as someone that could clearly step into his shoes should be necessary. She brings other things that relate to the economy, oil exploration, to the kind of issues that John McCain tends to talk about less. Therefore, they complement each other very well."