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 Tuesday, September 30, 2008

John McCain's Judgment Questioned: Palin is Bad News for the Country's Security

  Read here article by Leonard Doyle

John McCain was engaged in a desperate effort to rehabilitate his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin last night after much pilloried prime-time interviews left her open to accusations that she is now a liability for the Republican White House campaign.

The McCain fightback began with a first joint interview for the candidates with the CBS News anchorwoman, Katie Couric. Mr McCain, who was in Ohio yesterday to resume his own stalled campaign, was hoping that his forceful presence alongside his inexperienced running-mate will blot out the memory of a TV interview Mrs Palin did with Couric last week when she offered excruciatingly poor answers on foreign policy and her understanding of the $700bn (£380bn) economic rescue plan.

Mrs Palin exacerbated the situation at the weekend by indicating that she supported unilateral strikes against terror suspects on Pakistani territory, an issue on which Mr McCain and Barack Obama had clashed during last Friday's presidential debate in Mississippi.

But the worst may be yet to come for Mrs Palin who faces the Democrat vice-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, in a debate on Thursday in St Louis.

CBS is reported to have two more un-aired responses on tape from her interview last week that are just as embarrassing.

One of Mr McCain's problems is that high-profile right-wing commentators are now attacking him for choosing an inexperienced running-mate who has not grown into the job.

The best that columnists like The New York Times's David Brooks could offer is that the Alaska governor brings something "fresh and telegenic" to the ticket.

Brooks has defended her as "smart" and said that if she improves in the most important event of her vice-presidential campaign – her debate with Mr Biden – she might rise to the level of "mediocre".

There was more damning commentary from The Washington Post's Carl Bernstein, who wrote: "

No presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country's security as McCain in his reckless choice of a running-mate."
To try to rescue the situation, the McCain campaign has already enlisted top officials to coach the Alaska governor for the debate.

Last night she was travelling to Mr McCain's Arizona ranch to prepare for her showdown in St Louis. Her shaky on-air performances to date have even prompted queries from her husband, Todd Palin, according to party officials.

Mr McCain's gamble last Thursday, of suspending his campaign until Congress agreed a solution to the financial crisis, was meant to demonstrate his leadership qualities, but it does NOT appear to have impressed voters.

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