"John Thomas has lots of reasons to support John McCain for president. Like McCain, Thomas is a former Navy officer. They're about the same age, and Thomas considers himself a political independent with a conservative bent."
"But Thomas, a one-time supporter of President Bush, said McCain running mate Sarah Palin's recent interviews sealed his decision to vote for Democrat Barack Obama. 'She's not prepared at all,' Thomas, 70, said as he loaded groceries into his car outside a Sam's Club warehouse store on the outskirts of Huntsville. He said listening to Palin argue that Alaska's proximity to Russia was a foreign policy credential 'frightened me to death.' 'I went out on the golf course Thursday and that was what everyone was talking about,' Thomas said. 'They're very frightened about McCain and his age ... and to have Palin a heartbeat away.'"
Can Sarah Palin recover these skeptical votes (even from the South) with a good debate performance tonight? Possibly. I think it might depend upon whether they buy the fact that she really knows what she's talking about and can convincingly articulate it. I think her 'aw shucks' Joe Six-Pack facade isn't going to work anymore. Most people really don't want their next-door neighbor 'a heartbeat away' from the Oval Office.
But even if she performs well tonight, with memorized talking points and her vivacious beauty, isn't the reality of her unpreparedness already out there, as a scary reality that won't go away? As someone wrote, how do you prepare for the Bar exam without going to law school? Perhaps a genius who has been studying law on their own for years might be able to do it (Think Abraham Lincoln here, or perhaps another small-state governor, Bill Clinton, or a state-senator and short-time U.S. Senator, Barack Obama).
But Palin is clearly no genius; she can barely put words together into a coherent sentence about serious issues, if you've watched the CBS interviews. She is so clearly 'out of her league' as one conservative columnist put it, that honest conservatives who haven't been completely warped by partisan politics or Rush Limbaugh are bailing out on supporting her.
It seems to me that the only politicians who should be brought up from the 'minor leagues' to the 'majors' in one fell swoop are superstars (like Clinton and Reagan--and Obama, if you honestly think that coming out of the U.S. Senate, with the strong support of dozens of your Senate peers, is coming from the minor leagues).
Palin is obviously no superstar, except in the most superficial way, if you know what I mean.