It is evident that Barack Obama does not inspire confidence in much of the electorate. Once again, his numbers should be higher than they are in the polls. Is that crypto-racism at work? There is probably a lot of that, but there is also unease at the "marble" quality of the man, his unflappability, his unshakable calm, his mastery of every situation. Someone said yesterday that Obama becomes visibly calmer and more in control of himself as situations deteriorate around him. It would seem that these would be desirable qualities in a president but it does not seem to work very well for Obama. People clearly wonder what is underneath that stony surface.
At the same time, "Uncle" Joe Biden is on tape "remembering" that after the 1929 Wall Street crash, President Roosevelt went on television to reassure the American people. Unfortunately, Roosevelt was not president until 1932 and television was not a feature of telecommunications until after World War II. Wow!
On the other hand, there is Sarah Palin. Talking to Couric yesterday she said some truly brainless things. Among them:
– She implied that as governor of Alaska she somehow is involved in defense of American air space and territory against Russia. Wow! It is true that she is by state constitution, the head of the Alaska National Guard, but that power is not effective against foreign threats to the United States. She could use the Alaska Guard against a natural disaster or a riot, but she has no authority at all to do anything about Russia. The US armed forces have a "Unified Command" for Alaska. The "Alaskan Command" with headquarters in Anchorage is altogether responsible for defending Alaska and Alaska’s air space, not the state government. She should know that.
– She also expressed once again the vague idea that Israel should not be "second guessed" in whatever Israel decides to do in the world. When asked a question about the necessity for discussion between the US and Israel over future courses of action, she approved that idea as well. She does not seem to have thought through the consequences of telling a foreign country that the United States will "back their play" no matter what they do and whether or not the United States has agreed to their action in advance.
Then there is John McCain. There will be something in this space about him tomorrow. pl