Washington, Sept.30 : John McCain's move to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate may have seemed brilliant to most people a month ago, especially Republicans keen to kick start their campaign to wrest the White House for another four years, but now, according to CBS, that first publicity attracting stunt is coming unstuck.
Now, McCain can't hide Palin anymore. He couldn't hide her from CBS's Katie Couric last week when she was asked to reveal her foreign policy credentials and he won't be able to hide her on Thursday night when she squares up for her first and only vice presidential debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden in St. Louis. Maverick McCain, it seems, will clearly do or say anything now to save his last chance at the presidency.
It maybe recalled that during the interview with Couric, Palin came across as embarrassingly nave on foreign policy.
When she was asked why Alaska's proximity to Russia should be seen as a part of her foreign policy experience, Palin said:" That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land boundary that we have with Canada." When Couric asked her to explain why that enhances your foreign policy credentials, Palin said: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I'm executive of. When Palin was asked whether she had ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians, Palin said: "Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia."
She also created a diplomatic faux pax of sorts when she referred to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rearing his "ugly head" and coming into "the air space of the United States," where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border."
When Couric switched gears and began talking about the economy, she asked Palin for "specific examples in [McCain's] 26 years of pushing for more regulations."
Sarah Palin said, "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring 'em to you."
She was never supposed to be in this position. Only now she is in this position because McCain apparently thought he could fool enough people into thinking this was another example of some kind of rogue Republican, the maverick that only he can possibly believe he still is.
All that is gone now, except for all the die-hards who think that it doesn't matter what Palin thinks or what McCain thinks as long as they're not Obama. There will be those who declare her a winner on Thursday night in St. Louis if she remains standing.
Senator Biden will be called out for bullying her or patronizing her if he comes close to breaking arbitrary rules that would never be set up for a male candidate running against him. It won't change what she is and has been from the start, which means a prop. She will leave the stage Thursday night, having hurt McCain as much as she helped him at the beginning.
And then the campaign will finally become what it has really been about all along - race - and how many people are going to vote for the black guy (Obama) on November 4.
Palin can't save McCain and neither can publicity stunts. Maybe race can still drag him across the finishing line.