Deference (UPDATED)

Tomorrow night, Sarah Palin will give her much-anticipated first interview to Charles Gibson. I expect it’ll go extremely well–the McCain campaign has spent weeks feeding her talking points, while Gibson has been very friendly towards John McCain in the past.

Palin’s interview will be the latest in a long line of heavily-scripted campaign events–the McCain campaign has kept her away from the media, instead feeding her talking points and putting her in front of large, pre-selected crowds.

Why are they being so cautious with her?

A few weeks ago, the McCain campaign sniffed that they were going to keep Palin away from the media until they started showing her ‘deference.’

Deference?

Sorry, John, but Palin isn’t running for Miss Alaska, she’s running for Vice President. The media shouldn’t be showing her deference–they should be examining her positions, her beliefs and her policies as much as possible. The media’s duty is to put candidates under a microscope and to report what they find so that–come election day–we the people know exactly who we’re voting for. So no, John, the media shouldn’t be showing Sarah Palin ‘deference.’

I remember when Hillary Clinton shed a tear on the campaign trail–conservatives roundly mocked her for it, and one high-profile right-wing blogger said that ‘the crying tactic’ wouldn’t work very well with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Well, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won’t show Sarah Palin deference. Vladimir Putin won’t show her deference. Kim Jong Il won’t show her deference. Robert Mugabe won’t show her deference. Moqtada Al-Sadr won’t show her deference. Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and Hamas won’t show her deference.

What’ll happen when they go toe-to-toe with her? What’ll she do when they attack and criticize and insult her? Will the McCain administration complain about how mean and unfair they’re being? Will Palin hide in a Cheney-like undisclosed location until they all agree to play fair?

Come on, John. This is just ridiculous.

Now, I’m sure some people will say Palin doesn’t need to be ready on day one because she’ll have years to learn foreign policy under John McCain. Well that’s ridiculous, too. The Vice President has to be ready to take over on inauguration day; if something happens to the President, you have to be able to fill in. Period. There’s no room for on-the-job training. And if Sarah Palin can’t stand up to the news media, how can she stand up to America’s enemies?

In this dangerous world, America needs a steady hand. What we don’t need is a reckless President and a woefully-unprepared Vice President. The stakes are just too high–and the world is just too dangerous–for McCain-Palin.

UPDATE: Case in point, the latest McCain ad.

“Oh my God, guys, they’re being disrespectful to Sarah Palin! They’re so mean!!

Sarah Palin is running to be Vice President of the United States, the second-most powerful person in the world.

There are countries out there that hate America.  There are people out there who want to destroy America.  They’re not going to treat Vice President Palin with deference and respect.  If she can’t handle a simple political campaign, how is she going to handle being Vice President?

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.  If you can’t stand the campaign, don’t run for office.  But don’t sit there and whine about how the media and your opponents are just so mean to you–it’s shameful to the office Palin is running for.

America needs strong leadership.  What we don’t need are self-centered politicians whining not getting enough respect. It’s pathetic.

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