Today, ABC’s Charles Gibson questioned Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) foreign policy experience, noting that she hadn’t traveled overseas until last year. McCain replied by pointing out that “Alaska is right next to Russia“:
GIBSON: But as you know, the questions revolve really around foreign policy experience. Can you honestly say you feel confident having someone who hasn’t traveled outside the United States until last year, dealing with an insurgent Russia, with an Iran with nuclear ambitions, with an unstable Pakistan, not to mention the war on terror?
MCCAIN: Sure. And one of the key elements of America’s national security requirements are energy. She understands the energy issues better than anybody I know in Washington, D.C., and she understands.
Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that. Look, Sen. Obama’s never visited south of our border. I mean, please.
This argument has quickly become the right wing’s favorite talking point, but today was the first time that McCain himself used it. Fox’s Steve Doocy first used it last Friday, Cindy McCain used it on Sunday, and on Monday, Karl Rove tried to argue that President Bush also had foreign policy experience because Texas was next to Mexico. Yesterday, neocon activist Frank Gaffney summed up the argument, saying that Alaska’s geographical location meant that Palin could grasp foreign policy through “osmosis.”
More on what we know about Palin in The Sarah Palin Digest.