Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Don’t Cry For Me, Wasilla

Sarah Palin doesn’t mind being compared to Eva Peron by Bill O’Reilly. And she’s a leader because she doesn’t have an “elite” education.

O’REILLY: You’re a populist.

PALIN: A populist, yes.

O’REILLY: Do you know what they’re calling you now?

PALIN: No.

O’REILLY: Evita.

PALIN: Well.

O’REILLY: Eva Peron.

PALIN: Uh-huh.

O’REILLY: That’s who they’re calling you now.

[…]

O’REILLY: Do you believe that you are smart enough, incisive enough, intellectual enough to handle the most powerful job in the world?

PALIN: I believe that I am because I have common sense. And I have, I believe, the values that are reflective of so many other American values. And I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the kind of a spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite Ivy League education and a fact resume that’s based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles. Americans could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership. I’m not saying that has to be me.

A couple of points here. Mr. O’Reilly and Ms. Palin should do a little research, learn a little bit about South American history, and not base their assumptions on a hit musical.

Second, having an “elite Ivy League education” is a nice talking point for the tea-baggers, but some of our best and most effective leaders had one, including Theodore Roosevelt (Harvard) and his distant cousin FDR. (And as Rick points out in the comments, George W. Bush was Ivy League all the way from Yale (undergrad) to Harvard Business School. That must be where he got that accent.) And becoming the President of the United States requires more than just being able to rattle off a generic cliche-riddled answer as if you were being asked about your qualifications to be on a quiz show. (“And I have, I believe, the values that are reflective of so many other American values.” What the hell does that mean?)

The very fact that she doesn’t grasp that basic concept of what it takes to actually be president should eliminate her from consideration right there. It should be harder to elected president than it is to get on Jeopardy!