This week, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Joe Biden (D-DE) all were contacted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding the Iraq security agreement.
In today’s White House press briefing, spokesman Dana Perino explained that the adminstration contacted the candidates “to keep them equitably informed.” “One of them is going to win the election, and they will be taking over and having to deal with these issues,” Perino explained. But nobody called Gov. Sarah Palin. In today’s State Department briefing, reporters got a chuckle out of Palin being left out:
Q: You called Senator Biden, you called McCain. Did you also call Governor Palin?
McCORMACK: No. If you hadn’t noticed, she’s a governor. Not a senator or a congressman.
Q: She’s a vice presidential candidate.
Q: She also has extensive foreign affairs experience. (LAUGHTER)
McCORMACK: Right. I explained to you the reasoning behind the phone call.
Q: Maybe if this has to do with Russia, you would have called her.
While Sean McCormack insisted the apparent snub was not intentional, it’s puzzling that Palin was left out of the administration’s effort to build support for the agreement. As the AP noted, “presumably Palin is an important political figure too. And, like Biden, she has a son currently serving in Iraq who would be directly affected by the so-called Status of Forces, or SOFA, agreement.”
Is it because of Palin’s lack of foreign policy potential? In a September interview with CNN, Rice was reluctant to say Palin has “enough experience” on foreign policy. “Well, obviously — Of course she doesn’t have that,” said First Lady Laura Bush last month regarding Palin’s foreign affairs experience.