Governor Palin fired up the crowds at the RNC and stirred up the base of the Republican party. While the left launched attacks against her (gingerly in some cases; as a woman she enjoys a certain protected status in the eyes of some), the right seemed thrilled.
But, that New Palin Glow seems to be fading. Recently Kathleen Parker wrote an essay contending that Palin is out of her league and asserting that she should step aside for the good of the party.
Parker’s positive assessment of Palin seems accurate. Palin does seem earnest and committed to her values. Unfortunately for Palin, Parker seems to be equally accurate in regards to her negative assessment. Palin is not handling interviews very well and there is further evidence that she is not up to the task of being one heartbeat away from the Presidency.
That said, there is the question of whether how she handles interviews indicates her competence (or lack thereof) in executive matters. Based on years of experience involving teaching and debate, I know that some competent people do not fare well when handling questioning on the fly. Perhaps Palin is this way-she has the executive skills, but lacks the media skills needed to present that polished image. Then again, perhaps her alleged failings in the media settings reveals a deeper lack of what it takes. My experience has also taught me that people who lack the relevant knowledge and skills also handle such questioning poorly.
Normally, I would turn to her record to sort things out and determine whether she is a competent executive with weak media skills or just out of her league in general. However, there is not much of a record to examine. As such, I share Parker’s concern that Palin is not up for the job.
That said, Palin would hardly be the worst Vice President America has ever had. That is, of course, not much praise.
As far as whether she should step aside or not, I think that would be rather bad for the the Republicans. It would call into serious question the judgment of McCain and the Republican leadership. After all, they picked her and expressed faith in her. If she bows out now, citing “personal reasons”, the real reason would now be quite evident. Of course, as the Palin Glow fades, she might do more damage by remaining. Then again, she might come through in the debates.
My thought is that people should wait to see her in action at the debate. If she tanks that badly, then it would help prove Parker right. If she does a competent job, it would show that Parker is mistaken.