There are two interesting articles out now about the McCain campaign’s experience with Palin. First, from CNN:
“Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”
Well, ok, no surprise there. The real question is, how did this situation happen? The mere cynic would assume they knew she was an ignorant candidate and chose her anyway to get some response from the base. However, the mere cynic would be wrong. From the New York Times Magazine:
The following night, after McCain’s speech brought the convention to a close, one of the campaign’s senior advisers stayed up late at the Hilton bar savoring the triumphant narrative arc. I asked him a rather basic question: “Leaving aside her actual experience, do you know how informed Governor Palin is about the issues of the day?”The senior adviser thought for a moment. Then he looked up from his beer. “No,” he said quietly. “I don’t know.”
Mere cynicism isn’t enough. The McCain staffers never asked Palin about what she knew. Either they assumed she must know something, because, hell, she’s a governor, or they were caught up in naming an attractive, right-wing woman on the ticket, they never bothered to ask.
That’s no way to run a campaign, much less a country.