Bill Murchison

Palin comes on, politically, like the upperclassman a sorority pledge met late one night at the "Twilight" costume party: best abs ever and, oh, those discreet tattoos! -- but will he still respect me in the morning?

There is no reason to suspect Palin of attempting a con job, saying what she says, in the way she says it, for mere personal aggrandizement. On the other hand, before we hand over the country to her, we need to take the lady's measure in terms of character, intelligence and skills. We need to know her philosophy, her ideals -- not just in glittering outline but instead in specifics. How would she save Medicare? How would she deal with Putin, Karzai, Chavez and Ahmadinejad? How would she like America to integrate newcomers into its national life? How would she have us protect unborn life?

Voters need not to guess at these things; they need clear understandings from candidate A or B, or P, as to what proposals they would advance.

President Palin? We can't rule that out in the long run. But please not in 2012. There isn't time for that -- not a fourth of it, not a tenth. She needs to grow on us as our problems, our challenges, our opportunities grow on her.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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