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Charles Krauthammer On Sarah Palin's Bus Tour

I meant to post this clip from Bill O'Reilly's show last week -- but given the infrequency of my posting lately, never got to it.

For your consideration, Charles Krauthammer:



Analysis:
[Y]ou said in the introduction the rap on her is that she isn't smart. That is not so. She is very smart. And adept. Great political instincts. And is a star. The problem with her, I think, is that she is not schooled. I don't mean she didn't go to the right schools. I mean when you get into policy, beyond instincts -- I like her political instincts. I like her political overall view of the world. But when it comes to policies, she's had two and a half years to school herself, and she hasn't. And that's a problem. You want a president who will be able to not have to learn on the job. We've already had that with President Obama and with others. ... It's not only lack of schooling. It's the lack of effort to school herself and the lack of insight to see that she needs it.
My emphasis.

Support Sarah Palin all you like, but you must admit that Krauthammer has a point here. The half-term governor from Alaska does not appear to want to educate herself.

Palin seems completely satisfied to do as many Fox News Channel appearances as is humanly possible, and listen only to political aides regarding what commentary to post to her Facebook page on any given day. This is not the road to a broader political experience.

If she decides to run -- and that's a big IF -- her opponents' political ads will pretty much write themselves. 'Palin quit before the job was done' and 'she is a reality television star' are the first two viable critiques that come to mind.

It's not like Palin quit her elected office to become a senior political lecturer at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. She could have -- as Krauthammer suggests -- really educated herself on various policies that would help her advance her political career. Instead, she got a reality show on TLC and is cruising across the country on a pimped-out, Constitution-wrapped tour bus for which her political action committee is paying.

[yet another reason that I stand my previous prediction]

Check out this article written by Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg at Salon, and what they have to say regarding intellectual curiosity:
The most obvious reason to read regularly, and read in depth, is to exhibit the kind of curiosity that makes you a more interesting person. We are wont to ask our students what reading they do outside of class. It's only a gotcha question if you do not read. Should Palin get a free pass when she displays her outstanding lack of curiosity about American history?

What is ignorance? It has nothing to do with where you are born or whether or not you are comfortably situated in the middle class. To be ignorant is to be unaware: the state of being uninformed, unknowing, unlearned. The word comes from the Latin ignōrans, ignōrāre -- to not know. It is related, of course, to the verb "to ignore." Our society values competence and the ability to think clearly. Whether to read and discover, or to ignore, is a choice.
(you really should read the whole piece)

...all of this in relation to the (in)famous 'What newspapers do you read' kerfuffle from the 2008 election cycle.

Bottom line: Sarah Palin may be a political star. She may be the go-to commentator for analysis on how evil the socialist, America-hating Democrats are. She may be the 2012 Kingmaker -- especially for Roger Ailes' minions at Fox News.

But, she will not be a heavyweight contender in any presidential election. At least, not until she bones-up on some policy issues. Policies other than ANWR.