Will Palin Get the Same Scrutiny Hillary Got? ... E.J. Dionne, Washington Post

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    Sep 15, 2008 2:56 PM GMT
    ...good column in today's Washington Post

    So now we learn that Sarah Palin did not go to visit troops in Iraq, as the McCain-Palin campaign originally claimed, nor did she visit Ireland, as a spokesman claimed – she went through Ireland only for a refueling stop. Good reporting by the Boston Globe got to the truth of the matter. The McCain- Palin campaign was forced to concede the facts, but only after being pressed.

    There’s a pattern here, two patterns actually. The first is that the McCain campaign is willing to peddle all sorts of untrue and half-true claims. The second is that the McCain campaign is clearly so uneasy about Palin’s patent lack of engagement with foreign policy that it has felt the need to greatly exaggerate what small bits of engagement she has had. (When ABC News' Charlie Gibson asked her how Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her insight into that country, Palin replied: “They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” That’s reassuring, isn’t it? The Gibson interview also revealed the thinness Palin's knowledge of domestic policy, particularly on the budget.)

    There is also a question here for the media. When Hillary Clinton claimed last March that she had to evade sniper fire during a landing in Bosnia in 1996, the media came down on her hard. It was a huge story. But at least Clinton actually visited Bosnia. Will the media focus the same attention on the false and exaggerated claims about Palin?

    Journalists gave Al Gore endless grief about supposed exaggerations and even suggested he said things (about inventing the Internet) that he actually didn't say. Aren't Palin's claims about opposing earmarks, when she actually tried to get them, and about saying "no thanks" to the bridge to nowhere, when she initially supported it, part of a larger narrative of deception?

    The media made a big deal about whether John Kerry, when he served in Vietnam, did or didn't cross the border with Cambodia. Why doesn't Palin's relationship to the Kuwait-Iraq border deserve at least as much attention?

    Since we're talking about travel here, let's stay focused on the Clinton comparison: Is there one standard for Hillary Clinton -- a tough one -- and another, permissive standard for Sarah Palin? I’ll be curious about this and so, I suspect, will Hillary Clinton’s supporters.

    A Note on Gibson: In an earlier post, I suggested that Gibson should stay away from questions about Palin’s family life and focus on policy and her public life. I salute him for doing exactly that. And to conservatives who are going after Gibson, I’d point out that (1.) he did not press her at all hard either on Troopergate or on the controversy over her relationship with the Wasilla public library when she was mayor; (2.) he was still far tougher on Barack Obama in last April’s debate than he was on Palin; and (3.) he treated Palin as a serious person who presumably had something to say beyond index card briefings about policy. That’s the opposite of sexism. (Click here for ABC’s lengthy excerpts from the interview to judge for yourself.)

    I continue to believe that Palin’s lack of engagement with most national and virtually all international issues until the moment of her selection will eventually become a bigger issue. So will McCain’s extremely limited personal knowledge of Palin before he picked her.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Sep 15, 2008 3:08 PM GMT
    The Palin woman should receive the same scrutiny.. and there will be people who state that the media "are the bad guys" as on RJ member condemed the Gibson intereview of the Palin woman as inappropriate.

    Being a Hillary supporter, I thought some of what happened was a little rough, but the "sniper fire incident" was unfortunate and should have been a big story. She handled the pressure well and endured as best as possible.
    The Palin woman is the Vice Presidential nominee... hell yes she should be
    scrutinized.. if elected, she could be president if McCain "keels over".
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    Sep 15, 2008 3:33 PM GMT
    Are you trying to say that there is a conservative media bias? Heaven forbid. Just ask BillO, he'll tell you that you're wrong.

    She's not even getting the scrutiny that some Republicans have received, such as the one that spoke to the Nazi group.