Palin Top Pick Among National Security Republicans?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Foreign Policy, Palin, Polls, Republicans

This one’s a puzzler.

The potential 2012 candidate who has the least foreign policy knowledge since George W. Bush is the #1 choice for GOPers when it comes to keep us safe?

More at True/Slant.


This entry was posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 and is filed under Foreign Policy, Palin, Polls, Republicans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

24 Responses to “Palin Top Pick Among National Security Republicans?”

  1. Sharon Ginsburg Says:

    Please share with all of us Mr. Obama’s foreign policy experience before his assuming the office of president. Governor Palin has the only National Guard on full-time active duty 24/7. Her executive experience includes city councilwoman, mayor, head of an energy commission and now governor. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, was a community organizer, part-time college instructor, part-time state senator and AWOL US senator (while he ran for higher office). Oh, and what foreign policy experience do Governors Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee or any other potential GOP nominee have?

  2. Simon Says:

    I sometimes get the feeling that you folks are so desperately in hate with Palin that you actually can’t even imagine that anyone disagrees with you. It’s not even disagreement – I don’t like Barack Obama, I disagree with him, but I understand why people like him. The Palin critics are, like the hardcore Bush critics, pathological: they simply cannot even conceive of any rational individual liking her. So, when confronted with evidence that they do, you don’t know how to process it, branding it “puzzl[ing].”

    It’s not puzzling at all. What is puzzling is how the penny still doesn’t drop when the guy you voted for earned his first day of the foreign policy experience you find so lacking in Palin on his first day in office. The American Presidency is not “Jeopardy.” The ability to memorize arcana is less useful when evaluating a Presidential candidate than experience in setting a broad tone and big-picture vision, surrounding yourself with advisers who share that vision but understand specific issues better than you do, and making good decisions based on their guidance. It does not matter that you know the name of North Korea’s leader; it does matter that you can assess North Korea’s intentions, our capacities, and make good decisions based on what experts tell you. There is little if anything to indicate Palin is deficient in any of these regards.

  3. Papa Ray Says:

    It’s no mystery. Except maybe for you (and a few million democrats).

    Think about it.

    Are you a “foreign policy expert?” Most likely not but I bet you know how to treat friends and enemies and how to support freedom and decry tyrants.

    And what gifts NOT to give.

    See…you know more than our present wanta-be president.

    I think Palin can do as much or more. Send her some of your favorite books, contribute…don’t just criticize.

    Papa Ray

  4. Papa Ray Says:

    Oh I was going to leave you this link.

    http://tinyurl.com/kpf5jd

    It has lots of links for you to read so that you won’t be so puzzled about Palin.

    Papa Ray

  5. Palin Says:

    Palin connects with her base. As for “experts”, they are a lot of the very ones who got us in the mess we are in now…

  6. Justin Gardner Says:

    Simon, that may be how you feel, but it’s not the case. I’m not quite sure why you can’t seem to separate hate from fear, but I can guarantee you that if you ask the moderate Dem, moderate Repub or Indy why they didn’t vote for McCain/Palin they’ll tell you that Palin’s lack of knowledge scared them away. I know Republicans who stayed home because of Palin. They didn’t vote for Obama, but they certainly weren’t going to vote for McCain after he picked her.

    As far as Obama’s lack of foreign policy knowledge, I like how you dismiss it as arcana so you can justify Palin’s lack of it. That’s a pretty transparent tactic and I’m disappointed you used it.

    What’s more, I think most Americans would disagree with you. Maybe not the Republican base, but I think people DO want our leaders to know who the leader of North Korea is. As for your other measure, that’s important too and Palin never showed us that she had that either. Again, how you think she’s not deficient in that regard when she didn’t prove ANYTHING to us last Fall, besides she’s charismatic and will go off script, is beyond me.

    Last, the fact that you or I could successfully argue that we have more foreign policy knowledge than Palin should tell you all you need to know. Again, it’s about fear, not hate, and people are fearful that’ll well get another 4 years of cowboy diplomacy. That didn’t work last time around and Americans won’t vote for it in 2012/2016/2020 either.

    By the way, the Captcha is “thump ing.” And I’m just warning you now, as I did back during the campaign, that’s what Republicans will get if they don’t open their eyes to how unserious and unstudied Palin is.

  7. Chris Says:

    Simon, the fact is we don’t want another “everyman”, they’re not very good leaders. Obama is closer to an everyman than mccain is, but palin is more like a know-nothing, and proud of it.

  8. Alistair Says:

    This is not hating Sarah Palin but wish people will understand that the reason McCain lost was the 65% of American that believe that she wasn’t ready at all to be President of the United Stated, came from Independent Moderates & Liberals. As long as the GOP continue to rap themselves around Sarah Palin she and the right wing base of her Party will allienate Independent Moderates who are the most diverse group of people that is growing in key battleground states that were once a strong hold for the GOP.

  9. Paul Says:

    I agree that Palin needs more education on certain topics, but to a lot of people whom I know it isn’t an issue. They view Obama as a slick Harvard guy and a liberal media darling(I don’t). I predict that his legacy (good or bad) will be diractly related to how he handles the economy. The world may adore him, but only Americans can vote for him…

  10. kranky kritter Says:

    So you’re puzzled by another bad poll, Justin? I for one am not surprised. Barely #1 from among the listed choices is quite different from #1 choice. You really need to begin trying to understand how to contextualize polls. That way, you can stop looking so foolish.

    None of the other names listed can claim foreign policy as a strong suit. That means that respondents just picked who they liked. Whenever respondents are faced with a choice where none of options is especially appropriate or relevant, they’ll just pick the person they generally like.

    So Palin’s small lead in foreign policy from a small group of hopefuls, none of whom has much experience in the area, is essentially meaningless outside of its being indicative of who has a slight lead in general appeal.

    If, for example, Dick Cheney was put on the list, he’d steal the foreign policy approval stamped by conservatives in a heartbeat. I would guess that Romney’s lead on fiscal issues is more meaningful, and will be more enduring.

    A more interesting question to ask Americans is just how much of a $H!T they give about foreign policy compared to the economy these days. I bet you’d find at least 30% support for invading some other country and taking the jobs and giving them to Americans.

  11. TerenceC Says:

    I am not a fan of Palin – in fact I think she is a light weight and I always have. However, I think we can all agree that the Republican base is very simple minded when it comes to politics – not that they are stupid, just not very sophisticated politically as a group.

    Palin appeals to that politically unsophisticated portion of the base. Maybe they vote only one or two very emotional issues – without considering the multitude of other issues a candidate has to represent. I know one thing (and probably one thing only) I may have in common with the Republican base and that is my absolute exhaustion from politicians who don’t tell the truth, can’t state the issues in an easy to understand format, and always attempt to baffle with BS if they can’t talk about the facts.

    Palin has very little grasp of the facts – and never did – but she does understand the need for plain speech in an easy going delivery (even though it’s devoid of fact in many cases the sound bite is already done). That will make her a difficult opponent for someone like Romney who is steeped in nuance, BS, and political maneuvering. Despite the common thinking Romney does not understand the economy, he understands buying up companies and breaking them into pieces to be sold off – that isn’t economics inasmuch as it’s just greed.

  12. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Justin, people didn’t vote McCain/Palin for more reasons than Palin. I would guess 1) Bush, 2) McCain, and 3) Palin. The Dems did a masterful job of painting McCain as Bush III, so much so that they instead voted for the least experienced candidate in the history of the office (foreign policy, economic policy, the list goes on. The one thing Obama knows how to do is campaign). McCain himself was one of the weakest candidates the GOP could have fielded, making it very easy for fence-sitting Republicans, indies, etc. to say “let’s give the other guy a shot.” While Palin was polarizing (I heard as many people excited about her–especially women–as I did who didn’t like her) and performed horribly for the media on key occasions, there’s no way you can pin Obama’s victory on her.

    And I’ll say it now and check back in 2012, but the meme of “Dems are smart, Reps are dumb” is going to boomerang. Obama’s likely going to come out of this with an “ivory tower academic” descriptor.

  13. Simon Says:

    Terence,
    Sometimes, supposed sophistication is just sophistry. ;)

  14. b010gn4 Says:

    Is tu quoque reasoning the only type of reply a conservative is capable of mustering when one of their own is criticized? “Oh yeah? Obama too!,” “You too!,” “[insert liberal name here] too!”. (Yeah, yeah — please don’t point out that liberals use tu quoque reasoning too. We know; we know . . .)

    First of all, the post is addressing Palin, not Obama. Second of all, Obama was not the # 1 choice on foreign policy/national security when he was a candidate, or before that (so even this is a bad analogy if you can’t help but scream “You too!”).

    So, with all the “You too!” logical fallacies out of the way, isn’t this poll stunning? Especially given her apparent lack of knowledge and curiosity on foreign policy that has been on full display ever since her pick last fall?

    If you disagree, why is this not a concern to you? See if you can make a case FOR Palin, rather than crying “You too!” Didn’t your mama ever teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

  15. kranky kritter Says:

    Yes, and it’s lack? Sometimes honesty, sometimes idiocy.

  16. Tully Says:

    Palin’s greatest use to the GOP is to act as a “point man” on issues in base-rallying, and to keep leftie Dems publicly and rabidly frothing in a continued hate-fest that will alienate indies. Any utility she had as a potential national candidate went out the window when she resigned her office. Quitters are remembered for quitting.

  17. nykrindc Says:

    Justin,

    Given the subject matter of this post, I thought you’d be interested in Peggy Noonan’s take on Palin and her advice to the GOP.

    It’s scathing to say the least.

  18. TerenceC Says:

    Simon
    Sometimes – but certainly not in this case.

  19. Papa Ray Says:

    This thread is tiring, and no one here has proven anything with their opinions. Including me.

    If Palin improves herself (which all of us try to do each and every day) and she can get out among the common folk (which out number the rest of everybody and anybody) and get their attention and get them to thinking about their future and the future of this Republic.

    Well, more power to her and yes…God bless her and America

    Because like it was said above, and Peggy said, we are going to need it no matter who wins what or who controls what. Because this world is getting meaner and more dangerous by the day and no matter who is the President, most are going to not be friends of ours and many will be enemies.

    Think about that for a while and consider your options.

    Papa Ray

  20. the Word Says:

    Papa-
    If Peggy’s views are correct then one wonders why there is ANY desire for Palin. The best that can be said is that she may be capable of being something that she is not at present some day. By that criteria, anyone on the planet could be. So why wouldn’t it make more sense to start with someone who has something of value to start with. I doubt if she looked like Susan Boyle even her defenders would not be able to see the massive deficiencies.

    It’s time to embrace excellence.

  21. the Word Says:

    Pursuant to my last post, I’m going for Catherine Zeta Jones and Elle McPherson as our future leaders. I realize they are both from other nations but if we are dreaming here, I think they have less to overcome than the shallowness that is Sarah to get ready for the job And they are Way better looking if that works for you.

  22. Simon Says:

    Terence, I was pushed for time earlier, so couldn’t reply more fully.

    You write that “Palin appeals to that politically unsophisticated portion of the base” who “vote only one or two very emotional issues – without considering the multitude of other issues a candidate has to represent.” But that is no more true for the right than the left, to the extent it is true at all. More to the point, Palin’s appeal is that she understands and can well-articulate certain basic and fundamental truths. Her application of those precepts has sometimes been raw and unsophisticated, but it is far better that a Presidential candidate has a grasp of these fundamental truths without the sophistication to apply them to specifics (that’s what the staff is for) than that they lack a deep appreciation of those fundamentals and cover it up with a “sophisticated” framework built on sand.

    It often requires sophistication to apply those principles to particulars, but no matter how elaborate, the structure must rest on a firm foundation of appreciation of fundamentals. Obama is a good example of a candidate who, in the vernacular, doesn’t get it. No matter how articulate or learned he may be (I question his putative articulateness), he has repeatedly shown that he lacks an understanding of certain fundamental truths that undergird our polity in general, and sound policy in particular. I truly doubt, for example, that Sarah Palin would have passed the so-called “stimulus” package, or rescued GM. In his case, what comes as sophistication is merely sophistry because it doesn’t rest on a sound foundation of the appreciation of the fundamentals.

    b010gn4 Says:

    Is tu quoque reasoning the only type of reply a conservative is capable of mustering when one of their own is criticized?

    The point, as I’m sure you are more than capable of grasping, is not to rejoin with a tu quoque argument but to point out that no one who voted for Obama has any credibility to criticize Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience. It’s a charge of hypocrisy, essentially: how can you criticize her when you voted for someone just as flawed in that regard? I do wish you people would argue on the level instead of resorting to this kind of silly spin.

    As to Noonan, her column adds nothing to the debate that Noonan has not already said. It rehashes old arguments and rakes old strawmen over the coals; those who found her persuasive then will doubtless find her persuasive now, and those of us who thought she was wide of the mark will stick with that view, too.

  23. the Word Says:

    Oh Simon

  24. b010gn4 Says:

    Simon said: “[. . .] no one who voted for Obama has any credibility to criticize Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience.”

    This would be true if Obama and Palin were two clones, differing only in party affiliation (and, gender, which is beside this point). They’re not. It’s the whole package on foreign policy, including knowledge and the ability to express that knowledge in a coherent and factual way. Whether they have ever visited foreign lands, met foreign leaders, or keep current on foreign affairs is also part of that package.

    I hear false equivalency arguments from both sides of the isle. Constantly.

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