|October 2, 2008|
|Long Knives Are Out for Ifill as World Breathlessly Waits for Sarah's Big Show|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Sarah Palin must have been celebrating her Vice Presidential nomination in Minneapolis at the Republican National Convention that ran from Sept. 1-4. [Full Disclosure: I also celebrated Palin's nomination.] That's the only explanation for why the self-professed newspaper hound, who reads 'em all, missed Howard Kurtz’ Sept. 4 Washington Post profile of Gwen Ifill, moderator of tomorrow’s debate between Alaska’s Governor and Sen. Joe Biden.|
Kurtz wrote that the host of public TV’s “Washington Week” is:
“...working on a book called 'Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.' She focuses on the Democratic nominee and such up-and-coming black politicians as Massachusetts Gov. Devel Patrick and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.”
Nearly a month following that revelation, conservatives have erupted in fury, crying that Ifill is bound to be biased, or at the very least not an honest broker when she handles tomorrow’s showdown.
After all, they wonder who is going to buy Ifill’s book if McCain pulls a rabbit out of his hat—assuming Sarah doesn’t shoot it—and wins the election?
Michelle Malkin wrote in her syndicated Sept. 30 column that Ifill is “so far in the tank for the Democrat Presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.” Matt Drudge posted today that Camp McCain knew nothing about the book. That’s pretty hard to believe in these days of the Internet.
Staffers at the inept McCain campaign can pre-order Ifill’s book on Amazon at the bargain price of $16.47. Bad news: Team McCain will have to wait until The Age of Obama is published on Inauguration Day. Good news: McCain’s people will have plenty of time on their hands in January.
This blogger suspects that attacks on Ifill on the eve of the debate are designed to lower expectations about Palin’s performance to Core of the Earth level. Ifill, if anybody, is on the hot seat. She faces enormous pressure to get any answers (not even straight ones) from the mouth of the perky Palin. Note to Jumpin' Joe Biden: Keep your cool. Count to 10 and then do it again and again while Palin rambles on about the reform-minded Maverick.
Andrew Halcro, who debated Palin more than 20 times during the race for Alaska's Governorship, wrote in today’s Christian Science Monitor:
“Palin is a master of the nonanswer. She can turn a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she's met people on the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.”
Halcro also wrote that Palin once asked him why he spouted out facts, figures and policies during the debates. Palin was amazed and fessed to Halcro “when I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?'” That might work in Alaska, but Washington is the big time.
Tomorrow’s debate matters. The country has suffered through amateur hour for the past eight years. Palin (God, save us) could be in line for the Presidency. Ifill can’t let Palin slither off the hook as she did when Katie Couric asked for one single push for regulation made by John McCain did during his 26 years in Washington. “I’ll try to find ya some and bring `em to you,” responded Palin, who makes George Bush II sound downright Churchillian. The self-professed newspaper hound also could not give Couric the name of a single paper that she reads.
Don’t let her wiggle away, Gwen. And good luck with the book.
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