I watched Sarah Palin’s interview with Sean Hannity and now have my first official criticisms of the Governor. First, I think Hannity did well. Yes, he offered a few lollipop questions but also asked some tough ones. He was cordial but not biased, and he clearly showed that his intent was to give his viewers info on the candidate, not try to trap her with ambiguous questions. It was obvious that Palin was more at ease. With Charles Gibson, she seemed to have her guard up waiting for that gotcha moment, and considering the treatment she’s had from the press I can’t blame her. It was good to see her more relaxed and ready to discuss issues.
All in all, Palin did a good job. She has a tendency to get wordy with answers but her basic ideals and principles don’t suffer as a result. She will get better at this with time. By far her strong point on policy is energy. This woman knows energy and she is clearly excited by it. We most definitely need someone like that in Washington, someone who has and will take on big oil and BOTH parties on this issue. Word of advice for you liberals, if you can put aside your partisanship for a moment and actually listen to what she has to say on energy you may be surprised at how much you agree with. For what it’s worth.
Now, the criticism…two things. First, Hannity asked her if the Republicans in Congress let the American people down. Palin gave an indirect answer that suggested she agreed with this, but danced around way too much. She said the Republicans in Congress need to work more to put government back on the side of the people, blah, blah, talking point. She didn’t give a resounding “yes” to the question. This was a mistake. The right answer is “yes” the GOP in Congress have let us down. Their behavior was unacceptable and is exactly why they were voted out in 2006. The Republicans were behaving like Democrats, and that’s not why the people voted them into Washington. I was a little disappointed she didn’t hammer on them more.
Next, Hannity asked who was to blame for the credit meltdown. She gave the standard all-too-easy answer…Wall Street corruption. Come on, Governor. That’s way too safe, and safe is not your style. You know damn well that it’s not just Wall Street at fault. It’s irresponsible homebuyers. It’s bad lending practices. It’s senior executives who doctor the books to get their colleagues big bonuses, and one of those executives headed Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee. It’s Congress who failed to reel in these GSEs with transparency and oversight. She didn’t even mention Pelosi outright denying that Congress shared in the blame for this. It’s Congressional activity that pressured lenders to finance more mortgages for the lower class in order to have a more diverse population in home ownership. This is called social engineering and it failed. It’s the President for not being more vocal towards Congress to take action. And it’s certain members of his cabinet who failed to do their job. There’s lots of blame to share among lots of people.
Yes, some corruption on Wall Street played a role, but using them as the easy scapegoat overlooks the vastness of the problem. Social engineering may be well-intended, but it is a miserable failure and should never be visited again. She didn’t mention Bush’s attempt to reform Fannie Mae in 2003, or McCain’s co-sponsor of reform in 2005, both of which were shot down by the Dems and a few Repukes in Congress. She didn’t mention Barney Frank, chair of the Congessional Banking Committee who bogged down in this committee any legislation aimed at reforming Fannie Mae. She didn’t mention Obama as the third largest senate benefactor of Fannie Mae campaign contributions, behind only Chris Dodd and John Kerry.
Instead, it was “wall street corruption”. Very disappointing.
McCain’s campaign is missing this issue completely and falling in line with the Dems. Memo to McCain: that’s what lost the 2006 mid-term elections for the GOP. Maybe he wants to avoid criticism after Obama’s out-of-touch charge when he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Maybe he doesn’t want to be politically incorrect. Who knows? But McCain needs to get his act together on this issue and start giving some straight talk to Americans who desperately need to hear it. Blaming wall street, and only wall street will ensure we repeat these mistakes at a much higher cost.
Now, McCain-Palin still have my support but they are off-track on this issue big time. They need to roll up their sleeves and be much more candid. I think the voters will respond much better than they are to the usual safe scapegoating.