Palin's unblinking certitude gave way at other times in the interview to a striking imprecision, as when she struggled to respond to Couric's suggestion that the $700-billion bailout might be better funneled through middle-class families instead of Wall Street firms.
"That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in . . ." Palin began, before meandering off in fruitless pursuit of coherence.
But I'll let the governor speak for herself:
" . . . where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh -- it's got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that."
That mind-bender prompted Couric to muse, almost charitably, on "The Early Show" that Palin is "not always responsive when asked questions, and sometimes does slip back to her talking points."
I've thought from about two days after her selection that she would have to withdraw at some point.
The trouble with this is that McCain would have to concede that he didn't vet her, made his decision impulsively based on no real knowledge of her, and that his first serious judgment as a presidential candidate was so monumentally irresponsible that it doesn't just disqualify her for the vice-presidency. It disqualifies him for the presidency.
Hence the insane campaign since. They are improvising and gambling just to keep alive for another news cycle. No strategy; no policy; no judgment. It really should be over - and Obama should have double-digit lead.
Speaking of Palin: Her fans went nuts because the Washington Post published the following Oliphant cartoon on-line.