Monday, January 11, 2010

Game Change: Palin

John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin may have been a bold stroke that narrowed what would otherwise have been a blowout defeat. But it was also, as the authors depict it, an act of extreme recklessness, a seat-of-the-pants improvisation that allowed for almost no serious vetting of someone who knew diddly-squat about the world we live in and who would have been a heartbeat from the presidency.

"In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News' Charlie Gibson, aides were worried with Ms. Palin's grasp of facts. She couldn't explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did. She also said she believed Saddam Hussein attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001."

Where'd they find her? Well, on the Internet, as it happens. "McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, spotted Sarah Palin while searching the Internet for possible female vice presidential candidates." More from CBS News:

"Her foreign policy tutors are literally taking her through, 'This is World War I, this is World War II, this is the Korean War. This is the how the Cold War worked.' Steve Schmidt had gone to them and said, 'She knows nothing,'" Heilemann told Cooper. "A week later, after the convention was over, she still didn't really understand why there was a North Korea and a South Korea. She was still regularly saying that Saddam Hussein had been behind 9/11. And, literally, the next day her son was about to ship off to Iraq. And when they asked her who her son was going to fight, she couldn't explain that."

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