Richard Carnes: Palin’s got to go |

Richard Carnes: Palin’s got to go

To pass a sophomore accounting class, I would scribble, in letters as small as visually possible, every formula and definition that might be covered in a test onto a single sheet of paper.

Studying consisted of staring at that single sheet of paper for hours on end, cauterizing the mental snapshot upon my corneas in an attempt to memorize every square inch, and thus be able to recall with at least a “B” grade-level comprehension.

Some called this action “learning,” but I referred to it as “passing.”

With that thought in mind, I’m sorry to keep sticking a needle in the Sarah Palin bubble, but like my college level study habits, last week’s vice presidential debate showed her to have little more than an ability to memorize sound bites.

Virtually every answer began with a cute quip of some sort, usually involving Alaska or hockey, and then she would look at the camera, wink, morph into a Stepford wife, and recite the party line answer for that particular subject.

This is the same woman who, just a few days earlier, continued her deer-in-the-headlights stare for the media when asked which newspapers,

specifically, she reads on a normal basis.

“All of ’em,” she replied.


And now we are supposed to believe that practically overnight she ” (at this point I think it comes across better if say it in Wasilla-ese), “Well, gosh darn it all, you betch’a, she’s a real Maverick, that girl, and she done learnt everything there is to learn about the economy and foreign relations and what not, by golly.”

Talk about saying it ain’t so, Joe.

Can you say it without mascara, Sarah?

OK, good for her that she apparently exceeded everyone’s expectations, but the actual problem is that the expectation bar was set so exceptionally low in the first place. I will grant that she avoided being a complete embarrassment to the McCain ticket, but the Republican spin afterwards probably made Karl Rove shudder in his Reagan jammies later that night.

I mean, really, pointing out the fact that Palin did not spontaneously combust into a question mark-shaped cloud of smoke as clear evidence of success is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

And what was that line about “expanding the scope” of the vice president’s responsibilities?

Governor Palin was asked about current VP Dick Cheney’s bizarre interpretation a few years ago that his job was not part of the Executive Branch but instead part of the Legislative Branch. She didn’t even seem to understand the question, or seemed oblivious to Cheney’s unusual (and completely false) claim.

All she showed was a talent for debating, nothing more. It’s not like anyone watching would have changed or even made up their mind on this election based upon the one evening.

I would like to believe the majority of American voters are not that shallow.

Really, I’d like to believe that.

Anyway, back in 2000 we elected a “regular” person who “wasn’t from Washington D.C.” and “spoke to the average Josephine Six-Pack soccer mom.” Do I really need to explain how that worked out for us?

I know there are those of you who think Governor Palin is a wonderful choice and will do just about anything to help get her elected, but I also think you are the same ones who are convinced McCain’s campaign strategy (temporary suspensions, pulling out of Michigan, etc.) is secretly brilliant. Here’s a suggestion: You need to let a few more in on the secret.

I think it’s pretty safe to say most Americans fear the mere thought of her being one heartbeat away from sitting in the biggest chair in the most powerful office in the world. And I say this without even discussing the details of the video clip where she is being “de-hexed” by a witch doctor from Kenya barely three years ago at her Wasilla church (google “palin witch doctor” to see it for yourself). It is verified and real, and speaks volumes on its own.

So like me learning a long time ago why I should never become an accountant, this woman is in way over her head and should never be considered for a nanosecond to lead our great nation.

And that is why no one should even think of voting for McCain until he dumps her.

NOTE: The preceding opinions belong to Richard and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper … but for electoral reasons, he thinks they should be.

Richard Carnes of Edwards can be reached at E-mail comments to

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