Palin/Africa BS Dissected

Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 06:46 am


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Palin and Africa, Etc. [Rich Lowry]

I talked to Steve Biegun, the former Bush NSC aid who briefed Sarah Palin on foreign policy, and he considers the leaks against her on the international stuff "absurd."

He says there's no way she didn't know Africa was a continent, and whoever is saying she didn't must be distorting "a fumble of words." He talked to her about all manner of issues relating to Africa, from failed states to the Sudan. She was aware from the beginning of the conflict in Darfur, which is followed closely in evangelical churches, and was aware of Clinton's AIDS initiative. That basically makes it impossible that she thought all of Africa was a country.

On not knowing what countries are in NAFTA, Biegun was part of the conversation that led to that accusation and it convinces him "somebody is acting with a high degree of maliciousness." He was briefing Palin before a Univision interview, and talking to her about trade issues. He rolled through NAFTA, CAFTA, and the Colombia FTA. As he talked, people were coming in and out of the room, handing Palin things, etc. She was distracted from what Biegun was saying, and said, roughly, "Ok, who's in NAFTA, what's the deal with CAFTA, what's up the FTA?""her way, Biegun says, of saying "rack them and stack them," begin again from the start. "Somebody is taking a conversation and twisting it maliciously," he says.

In general, according to Beigun, Palin had a steep learning curve on foreign issues, about what you would expect from a governor. But she has "great instincts and great core values," and is "an instinctive internationalist." The stories against her are being "fed by an unnamed source who is allowed by the press to make ad hominem attacks on background." Biegun, who spent dozens and dozens of hours briefing Palin on these issues, is happy to defend her, on the record, under his own name.

UPDATE: J-Mart has more here.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 07:00 am
When Palin aids wouldn't support her .... Though it wouldn't really be such a huge surprise.
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Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 07:01 am
Despite her demonstrated public incompetence, Im sure the GOP conservative base , will be looking at her future career. Im exstatic that the GOP feels she has future potential. She will be an interesting target. The gOP is feeling that they must become even more conservative rather than more inclusive. There is a HUUUGE upcoming latino population (youve seen the predictions) . Latinos have, pretty much the same values as any one else and , the GOP, by using "value" bases for admission to the party, is missing the entire boat with latinos and the majority of more centrist Republicans.

The GOP will be faced with a fundamental decision from here on.

1Republicans will be ideologically pure or.

2 They will be able to win elections

I dont think that, from present viewpoints, Sarah Palin should have a place in the future GOP mainstream.
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Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 07:54 am
I'm certainly no fan of Sarah Palin. But I have to say that the money spent on clothes and the comments of "anonymous" sources are completely irrelevant to me.

I prefer to see the real data right from the horse's mouth, and one thing I know for sure is that every time I've seen Sarah interviewed without a scripted presentation, she has sounded like an idiot on a wide range of issues. Many people complain that it's the "gotcha" media which makes her look bad, but it's the media's job to getcha, and if you can't keep up with Katie Couric, then you have no business even being in the same room with Vladimir Putin or any other foreign dignitaries.

If a large percentage of the GOP want to fall in line behind Sarah that's fine because I suspect that 100% of Democrats would just love to see their opponents go that direction.
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Reply Sun 9 Nov, 2008 08:07 am
When I saw it was from Rich "Little Starbursts" Lowry I thought the defense would be more ringing. This is still admitting steep learning curves and fumbles.

rosborne said it well. If none of these latest attempts to make her the villain of the election (attempts made by fellow-Republicans) turn out to be true, that doesn't affect my opinion of her much. (As in, my opinion of her was bad even before the addition of these charges.) But if Republicans really want to hitch their wagon to Palin... well, that'll be interesting.
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