Sarah Palin's absence from real press conferences and unscripted political interviews should be a red flag to any thinking person that she is completely unqualified to be running for Vice President of the United States. From Kay Bailey Hutchison to Jon Kyl, the Republican emissaries are breathlessly telling the American public about Palin's extensive experience. Based on their definitions of experience, why is it that the most "qualified" of all candidates was not able to immediately go before the press? Today brings word that the McCain campaign offered her first interview to Charles Gibson at ABC. What people need to recognize is that as conditions for these types of one-on-one "celebrity" interviews, she will be given approval over the types of questions asked as well as have an advanced run down of the questions themselves. It's also going to be on her home turf, set amid a backdrop of down-home Alaska images including her sending her son off to war.
Ever since Ronald Reagan, oratory skills have become frighteningly synonymous with intellect for many American voters. As a communication professor, I appreciate the ability to make a good speech. But that's about performance abilities and not necessarily intellectual capability. I would offer that any number of talented performers could make the same acceptance speech delivered by Palin last Wednesday with even greater passion and commitment. Does that mean they should all potentially be on-deck to run the free world? I'm confident that if you polled any number of top box office names they will all tell you that their abilities as a performer does not qualify them for the office of Vice President. Unlike Sarah Palin, they are not so dangerously arrogant.
With a script she didn't write, Palin smirked, smiled and nodded on cue, trying hard to link her intellect with her performance skills for those voters who don't recognize the difference. She will do the exact same thing with Gibson. It's not hard for a performer with a script. Make no mistake, this is not going to be a test of her intellectual capability nor is it a political interview. It's simply People magazine clothed in a very thin shroud of journalistic value. Put her in front of real reporters for an unscripted press conference and let's see how the pit bull fares. After all, she does have a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Idaho!