Conservative Columnist: Palin Must Go

Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addresses supporters before introducing Republican presidential candidate Sen., John McCain, R-Ariz. during a campaign rally at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Intelligencer Journal, Vinny Tennis ) AP Photo/Vinny Tennis

A conservative columnist who welcomed Sarah Palin's entry in national politics now says she's proven to be a dud, and called on her to step aside as John McCain's running mate.

Kathleen Parker, writing in the National Review Online, says her "cringe reflex is exhausted" after watching the Alaska governor stumble through TV interviews and it's become clear to her that Palin is out of her league.

"No one hates saying that more than I do," Parker writes. "Like so many women, I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I've 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."

Palin, new to national politics, boosted Republican presidential nominee John McCain in polls and excited the party's core conservatives when he chose the first-term governor for his ticket.

Some of that shine has since worn off in polls.

Parker said she thought Palin was a "refreshing feminist of a different order" when she joined the ticket, but it's become clear she doesn't know enough about economics or foreign policy to be president should that become necessary in a McCain administration.

Writes Parker:
"Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there's not much content there. Here's but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: "Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we're talking about today. And that's something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this."

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama's numbers, Palin blustered wordily: "I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?"

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself."
Parker suggests that Palin could bow out for "personal reasons," such as to care for her infant son: "No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first."

Parker wasn't the only national Review writer to call for a shake-up in the McCain campaign. Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote that Palin is not coming off at her best in interviews, and notes that in keeping Palin on a tight media leash the campaign is potentially hurting the ticket more:
" If Sarah Palin is John McCain's secret weapon, let her go, whoever is holding her back. And, frankly, if it turns out that the 'authentic' Palin of rallies and the Republican convention is just good speech delivery in a woman with some good spirit, I want to know that sooner rather than later. (Mitt's still available … "
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