Oh yes, he went there. We’ve been having a running debate on Twitter this afternoon about Sarahcuda and my contention that criticism of her is verboten among righty blog readers, HA’s included. This thread will be an interesting test case. Most of the heat Kraut takes will be for his contention that “You cannot sustain a campaign of platitudes and clichés over a year and a half if you’re running for the presidency.” Didn’t Captain Hopenchange do exactly that? Well, yes and no. Granted, the most memorable line he uttered in 18 months on the trail was “Yes we can,” but he’s done countless policy interviews, debated Hillary 20 times and McCain three, and held numerous press conferences. The TOTUS jokes are fun but The One’s perfectly capable of straying off script when need be. Is Palin? She seems at ease when discussing energy or life issues but the jury’s still out on most everything else, which is why Kraut feels comfortable asserting that she hasn’t (yet) brushed up on national policy the way we all thought she would.
While we’re on the subject of uttering anti-Palin heresies, I guess Frank J. from IMAO and I are the only two who thought the ‘Cuda came off worse in the Palin/Schmidt campaign e-mail exchange about the Alaska secessionist party published this morning by CBS. Quote:
“That’s not part of their platform and [Todd] was only a ‘member’ bc independent alaskans too often check that ‘Alaska Independent’ box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan,” Palin wrote. “He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed.”
Palin was attempting to bend the facts ever so slightly to fit neatly into her version of events. In truth, the box that Alaskans have the option of checking when registering to vote states the full name of the party, “Alaskan Independence Party,” not “Alaska Independent,” which would make an error by uncommitted voters more plausible.
Clearly irritated by what he saw as Palin’s attempt to mislead her own campaign and apparently determined to demonstrate that the ultimate authority rested with him, Schmidt put the matter to rest once and for all with a longer response to everyone in the e-mail chain.
“Secession,” he wrote. “It is their entire reason for existence. A cursory examination of the website shows that the party exists for the purpose of seceding from the union. That is the stated goal on the front page of the web site. Our records indicate that todd was a member for seven years. If this is incorrect then we need to understand the discrepancy. The statement you are suggesting be released would be innaccurate. The innaccuracy would bring greater media attention to this matter and be a distraction. According to your staff there have been no media inquiries into this and you received no questions about it during your interviews. If you are asked about it you should smile and say many alaskans who love their country join the party because it speeks to a tradition of political independence. Todd loves his country
We will not put out a statement and inflame this and create a situation where john has to adress this.”
The leak is one thing, but on the merits Schmidt’s strategy is the better of the two. Why inflame the story, with bad information no less? Reading this, the Cuda’s decision to fire back at Levi Johnston in press releases starts to make more sense. Like Frum says, before Palinistas start filling her coffers, they’ll at least want some evidence that she can mount a competent national campaign. Right?
I’ll leave you with two pro-Sarah pieces for balance, one from Republican bigwig Fred Malek calling her “smart, curious, hard working, charming, and effective” and attesting that he’s personally seen her hold her own in private discussions on policy with heavy hitters. The other’s from Jim Geraghty, theorizing why it is that the left despises her so. He’s certainly got part of the answer — happy, successful pro-life conservative women are a grievous offense to leftist feminism — but I think he misses the element of sheer contempt they have for her intellect. To the left, I think, she embodies a sort of comfort with ignorance that they think characterizes most/all conservatives. Why they’ve come to see her that way is complicated (part of it’s probably educational pedigree, part of it’s her affinity for rural pastimes like hunting, part of it’s the Katie Couric interview and the canned answers she gave at the debate with Biden), but I think it’s a mistake to assume that their antipathy is rooted in nothing but fear and defensiveness. That’s not true of the right vis-a-vis The One, after all. Is it?