"Sarah Palin, do you guys really like her?"
My dad's doctor asked me this a couple of weeks ago. His smile seemed to shout, "Are you guys crazy?" I had taken my 94-year-old Republican father to see him several times, but politics never came up. Did the doc really want to go there? It went something like this:
"What's the problem with her?" I said.
"Well, she's, she's --"
"Really? Why, because she isn't as glib or articulate as you elites like? She didn't answer Katie Couric or Charlie Gibson the way President Obama would have?"
"Yes -- I'm one of those elites."
"How stupid do you have to be to take on the establishment in Alaska and win? How stupid do you have to be to have -- at the time Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked her -- an 84 percent popularity rating in Alaska? She had more executive experience than Obama."
"Well, she doesn't come across as prepared."
"I don't know what qualities you look for. But I'll tell you what counts for me: character, competence and vision. She's likable. She has a strong, stable marriage with a down-to-earth husband. She has convictions that I agree with. Government too big? Check. People taxed too much? Check. Stay on offense in the war on terror? Check. For me, what's not to like?"
"I'd worry about her judgment."
"Do you worry about Vice President Joe Biden's?"
"No, why should I?"
"Where do I start? Put aside all the gaffes. He's the one who, during their debate, cited the wrong part of the Constitution when asked to describe the role of the vice president. As a new member of Congress, he voted to cut off funding to the South Vietnamese. This helped lead to the slaughter of millions in that country and Cambodia. Biden routinely challenged President Ronald Reagan on fighting the Cold War, even though even some Reagan haters now believe Reagan's policies helped speed up the fall of the Soviet Union. Biden opposed the first Gulf War. Wrong. He supported the Iraq War, then argued that Iraq should be divided into three parts, then opposed the surge -- said it wouldn't work -- and then opposed the war that he earlier voted for. Wrong."
"C'mon, you're entitled to change your opinion."