Here's how to rally with Palin in Jefferson City

Sunday, November 2, 2008 | 5:31 p.m. CST; updated 6:36 p.m. CST, Sunday, November 2, 2008

When: Doors open at 8 a.m.  Monday; event begins at 11 a.m.


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Where: Jefferson City, the Capitol building, 201 W. Capitol Ave.

Tickets: Free and available at the Columbia Victory Office and other GOP offices

What to bring: Cameras permitted. No signs, bags, umbrellas, weapons, outside food or drink or backpacks allowed.

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John Shoptaw November 2, 2008 | 6:14 p.m.


Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who endorsed Barack Obama for president, listed as one of his reasons John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for his running mate:

“She’s a very distinguished woman, and she’s to be admired. But at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.”

McCain responded quickly:

“This doesn’t come as a surprise. But I’m also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former secretaries of state, Secretaries Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Haig.”

Each of these endorsements came before McCain chose Palin as his running mate. Since then, one of them, Lawrence Eagleburger, Secretary of State under the first President Bush, has voiced concerns about Palin. When asked if he thought Palin was ready to take over in a crisis, Eagleburger answered bluntly,

“Of course not. I don’t think at the moment she is prepared to take over the brains of the presidency.”

Eagleburger then softened his criticism by spreading it around:

“I can name for you any number of other vice presidents who were not particularly up to it, either.”

He didn’t.

What about the other three Secretaries who endorsed McCain? Not one of them has spoken up in defense of McCain’s choice. The current Secretary, Condeleezza Rice, has remained silent; likewise respected Republicans such as Robert Dole. In fact, so far as I am aware, apart from a few conservative commentators, nobody outside the McCain campaign is ready to say that Palin would be ready to step into the President’s shoes if she were called upon to do so.

Silence is hard to interpret, but in this case, when two respected Republican Secretaries of State have raised doubts about Palin’s presidential qualifications, the silence strikes me as deafening.

Why worry? At 72, McCain would be the oldest man to be elected president in U.S. history—and he has had several bouts with skin cancer. He may live a long and healthy life; we all hope he will. But there’s no getting around the fact that his Vice President, Sarah Palin, would be more likely to have to step up to the plate than any Vice President in our history.

I believe that the votes we cast should be based on rational consideration, not unreasoning fear. But the stark unreadiness of a President Palin is real, and it’s something we can’t just ignore.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 2, 2008 | 6:57 p.m.

Betcha "W" approves of a President Palin scenario...

(Report Comment)

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