The Corner

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How do you solve a problem like Sarah Palin?


    On Fox News Sunday this morning Bill Kristol said let Palin go – that the McCain team is roping her off from the press and surrounding her with Bushie advisors, which sounds like the third ring of hell. She’s a talented politician, Bill advises, so let her out to do what she is good at doing. I think Bill is mostly right.

    Palin is under extreme pressure. But walling her off will only increase that pressure. She needs the give and take with crowds and with the press to get her feet back under her.

    That much having been said, and here’s where I slightly disagree with Bill, Palin was atrocious not just with Katie Couric but with friendlies like Sean Hannity. She needs to devise answers for questions about foreign policy that do NOT rely on recent cramming. That will look and sound false. She may make stupid errors. And it plays to her weakness. She should never again refer to her Alaska experience as preparation for the role of commander in chief.

She needs instead to play to her strengths which are, as I see it, good solid instincts. If she is asked about Waziristan or whateverstan, she should say that (unlike Obama) her desire is always to be firm with adversaries and fair with allies – and to know the difference.

    She should focus on the reflexive weakness of Democrats on foreign policy. This is one area where a little memorization would be helpful – memorize the foreign policy misjudgments of Obama and Biden and recite them often.

    Finally, McCain made a mistake in his debate with Obama that Palin should correct. He kept citing Obama’s opposition to the surge as evidence that he was wrong in the past. But the point Palin can drive home is that the progress in Iraq is still fragile. That war can still be lost and likely will be if Obama/Biden are elected. That would gladden the heart of bin Laden and the rest of the monsters who hate us.