Not my words, but those of Peggy Noonan:

But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks 
now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, 
the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and 
expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great 
ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the 
ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I've 
listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or 
Reaganite­a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem 
untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is 
shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles 
are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward 
what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know 
America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and 
move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't 
think aloud. She just . . . says things.

Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big 
"egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But 
what instincts? "I'm Joe Six-Pack"? She does not speak seriously but 
attempts to excite sensation­"palling around with terrorists." If the 
Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as 
thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable 
interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than 
the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent 
her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, 
understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows 
what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and 
broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She 
could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She 
doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? 
You can't be president or vice president and govern in that style, as 
a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush's style the past few 
years, and see where it got us. You must address America in its 
entirety, not as a sliver or a series of slivers but as a full and 
whole entity, a great nation trying to hold together. When you don't, 
when you play only to your little piece, you contribute to its fracturing.

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new 
vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for 
conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against 
John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.

I gather this week from conservative publications that those whose 
thoughts lead them to criticism in this area are to be shunned, and 
accused of the lowest motives. In one now-famous case, Christopher 
Buckley was shooed from the great magazine his father invented. In 
all this, the conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have 
done for five years. They bitterly attacked those who came to stand 
against the Bush administration. This was destructive. If they had 
stood for conservative principle and the full expression of views, 
instead of attempting to silence those who opposed mere party, their 
movement, and the party, would be in a better, and healthier, position.


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