11/07/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Withholding Sarah Palin is Not Transparency

Campaign after campaign, year after year, accountability, responsibility, transparency are recited no matter which party is speaking. This year is no exception.

The withholding of Sarah Palin from the media is not transparent. It's one thing for a political party to obfuscate and bamboozle when there is a potential legal mess that might screw with their election chances. Loading up Alaska with lawyers and political PI's is expected, though no less galling. What is truly unusual and should be noted is that Palin is a scripted candidate. She cannot live away from that script. So what do you do? I guess they can't drop her so they refuse to let her testify to the media, the people, anyone but her hand picked, dyed-in-the-wool, supporters. Is she incompetent? Is is safer to ask if this tactic is incompetent? In her words - "You Betcha!"

Keeping her away from questions is likely to do two things - one is arguably good and one bad. In not sticking her foot in her mouth she will retain her supporters - arguably good. But given that they are already her supporters at this point it's probably more neutral than good. What's bad is that she can not break that mold of the scripted politician to those not too sure of her. She won't ruin them for her but she cannot sway them to her either.

This is a smart play for the McCain campaign, especially if you believe that Palin is incompetent. You allow the McCain to do the lifting and get undecided voters, especially since they tend to vote for the top of the ticket anyway, and your VP who, while she won't help in that respect, has automatically bolstered the ticket with supporters who only need to be spoken to in keywords and scripts.

That leaves a ton of work for John McCain, especially when he tries to sell us on his campaign's accountability, responsibility and transparency.