No Interviews For You

NO INTERVIEWS FOR YOU.... At campaign stops with John McCain yesterday, Sarah Palin introduced the Republican nominee, but still relied on a teleprompter to help her get through her lines.

And if Palin still needs a script to introduce McCain, it's not at all surprising that the campaign doesn't want her anywhere near an inquisitive journalist.

A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won't submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she's ready -- and until she's comfortable -- which might not be for a long while -- the media will have to wait. The campaign believes it can effectively deal with the media's complaints, and their on-the-record response to all this will be: "Sarah Palin needs to spend time with the voters."Not out of the question are appearances on lighter, fluffier television shows. But -- not for a while.

Good lord, she needs more "time with the voters"? That's the defense?

There's been plenty of talk over the last eight days over whether Palin is prepared to be vice president. Perhaps the more salient question is whether she's prepared to be a vice presidential candidate.

To be sure, Palin has spent her career in public office focusing exclusively on local issues. Given her responsibilities, there's nothing wrong with that in the slightest. Palin hasn't demonstrated any interest in, or knowledge of, federal issues, in large part because she hasn't had to. Of course she's not ready for "Meet the Press." If I worked for McCain, I'd be panicked about the notion of reporters asking her questions, too.

But as Kevin noted, this tells us a great deal about the McCain campaign's state of mind: "The McCain campaign is scared to death. They knew nothing about Palin before they announced her, they relied on a cursory vetting process that has turned out to be shot full of holes, they realize now that she has no settled views on any issue of national importance and could blurt out anything at any time, and they're terrified about what might crop up next. So they're keeping her in the deep freeze."

This might work in the short-term, and if recent history is any guide, the Mayberry Machiavellis running the McCain campaign are exclusively interested in short-term success.

But it's not sustainable over the next 59 days. The campaign has to hope desperately that Palin is a very quick study in Federal Government 101.