Kathleen Parker is a nationally syndicated columnist, a conservative woman writing for the right-leaning National Review Online. She's in the unique position of having the authority to speak candidly about Sarah Palin's candidacy without detractors screaming that she's a tool of Team Obama's massive campaign machine.
And what she wrote on September 26 - after seeing the Palin/Couric interview - took a great deal of guts to publish. In effect, she said she was initially wrong about Palin and that she's since changed her mind:
[S]ince Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick...a more complicated picture has emerged....[I]t is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesnít know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.Parker gives examples of Palin's significant inadequacies. She points out that Palin's responses lack real content, citing examples taken from her interviews with Sean Hannity and Katie Couric. And she says something publicly that many of us have thought privately but lacked the courage to say out loud - Palin should step down:
Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state....She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistanís president wanted to hug her.... [S]he has common sense, something we value. And...executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively). Finally, Palinís narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged...I confess I was delighted. She...personified the modern successful working mother.
Palin didnít make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.
It was fun while it lasted.
Palinís recent interviews...have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, Iíve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. Iíve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted....
If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.
If Palin were a man, weíd all be guffawing....But because sheís a woman ó and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket ó we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.
McCain canít repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOPís unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability....Kathleen Parker's entire commentary should be read from first word to last. I've tried to share the flavor of it here, but she deserves your time and attention. If you only read one assessment of how Palin is doing and why her candidacy presents a challenge to women intent on breaking the glass ceiling, Parker's is the one most deserving of your efforts.
Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
Do it for your country.