Lowry: Palin’s Not Ready

National Review editor Rich Lowry:

The fact still remains that she very likely didn’t know any of the possible definitions of the Bush doctrine. I can’t imagine if Obama had picked Gov. Tim Kaine and he had had a similar moment, conservatives would have rushed to say that the Bush doctrine is just too amorphous and complicated for him to know anything about it. Palin seemed weak on economic and budgetary policy too, talking in the vaguest generalities. She was much better, and positively good, on the social issues — which are dear to her and she’s thought about — and anything having to do with her personally or with her record in Alaska. She was magnificent on the Iraq-prayer question. This tends to suggest she’ll be as strong on the national issues, once she’s truly conversant with them. I hope she got up from the foreign policy session and said to her aides, “Dammit. That wasn’t good enough and I’m not letting it happen again. I’m not going to allow myself to be so under-prepared for another high-profile interview again.” Of course, she has a tremendous amount of material to master in a short period of time.

Again, we see a conservative and a Palin fan basically hoping Palin will be ready at some future point when she has the opportunity to learn about such matters as foreign policy and domestic policy. And of course it’s unlikely that McCain will win the election and die in January, so probably we won’t wind up with a president whose not prepared to discuss the vast majority of issues in national politics.

All of which is a reminder of what a crassly political choice this was. The President of the United States has an enormous job. And nobody expects anyone, no matter how experienced, to somehow do it single-handedly. You’re helped by a team. Recent Presidents have used the Vice Presidency as an opportunity to add a key player to the team. And it’s easy to see why someone might think that adding Joe Biden to the Obama Team would allow the Obama Team to govern more effectively. Biden is the kind of guy who, had he not gotten the nod for VP, would have been in the mix to run the State Department. If McCain had gone with Joe Lieberman, I wonder which agency Palin would have been a serious choice for.