Sarah Palin on Newsweek Cover, Vetted by McCain Aide Doped Up on Vicodin
Tracy O'Neill - College On the Record
October 8, 2008
Sarah Palin may have been a beauty queen on the Alaska pageant circuit back when she was attending University of Idaho during the 1980s, but now the soon-to-be grandma is a cover girl. Today you can run to the bodega and buy Sarah Palin’s smiling, Kazuo Kawasawki 704 series glasses-donning face, which appears on the cover of Newsweek.
In the cover story Jon Meacham argues that Palin’s strong ability to relate to ordinary Americans may not make her a strong political candidate, his tagline reading, “Yes, she won the debate by not imploding. But governing requires knowledge and mindless populism is just that— mindless.” He also reveals that a McCain adviser admitted, “Palin is on the ticket because she connects with everyday Americans.”
A key argument for Palin, in essence, is this: Washington and Wall Street are serving their own interests rather than those of the broad whole of the country, and the moment requires a vice president who will, Cincinnatus-like, help a new president come to the rescue. The problem with the argument is that Cincinnatus knew things. Palin sometimes seems an odd combination of Chauncey Gardiner from "Being There" and Marge from "Fargo.”
…Perhaps Sarah Palin will somehow emerge from the hurly-burly of history as a transformative figure who was underestimated in her time by journalists who could not see, or refused to acknowledge, her virtues.But do I think I am right in saying that Palin's populist view of high office—hey, Vice President Six-Pack, what should we do about Pakistan?—is dangerous? You betcha.
None of this rehash of Palin's commonness is all that illuminating. Rather, the most important discovery made upon reading the Newsweek cover story regards the much-speculated about and seemingly insufficient vetting process followed by the McCain campaign. If you’ve been wondering how the conservatives let a rookie governor with an unwed pregnant teenage daughter, who can’t even identify a single Supreme Court decision with which she disagrees, become the presidential running mate, Meacham provides an answer: one of McCain’s key aides sent to vet Palin, Nicole Wallace, was doped up on Vicodin at the time. Oh now I get it! Palin was chosen because a McCain aide was “dazed by the meds,” not because the campaign is being run with the impetuousness of a "maverick"…