Sarah Palin and John McCain were both interviewed on the NBC Nightly News tonight. Anchor Brian Williams asked Palin what she meant by Obama wanting to sit down with dictators without preconditions. Palin mentioned Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The problem is that Ahmadinejad isn’t a dictator.
Brian Williams asked her what a precondition was, and Palin answered, “You have to have some diplomatic strategy going into a meeting with someone like Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-il, one of these dictators that would seek to destroy America or her allies. It is so naive and so dangerous for a presidential candidate to just proclaim that they would be willing to sit down with a– a leader like Ahmadinejad and just talk about the problems, the issues that are facing them. So that– that’s– that’s some ill-preparedness right there.”
Unlike Kim Jong-il who is a dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran in 2005, before this he was the mayor of Tehran. He is an elected official, and not the most powerful person in Iran which is essentially a theocracy that according to the Iranian constitution is run by the Supreme Leader of Iran, who is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. How are we supposed to believe Palin’s attacks on Obama’s readiness when she has no clue who is in charge in Iran?
Her complete cluelessness undermines the credibility of her argument. She thought that North Korea and Iran have the same kind of government. What is even worse is that John McCain was sitting beside her, and didn’t jump in to try and offer her a life line.
Notice also that Palin never explained what she meant by a precondition. A precondition is not a diplomatic strategy. A precondition is something that must be done before talks can take place. For example, a precondition for talks with Iran could be that they have to suspend their nuclear program before talks can take place. That is a precondition.
The McCain campaign is trying to scare America into believing that Barack Obama would be a risky foreign policy choice, but to many Americans the more frightening alternative would be having Sarah Palin one heartbeat away from the presidency. She makes George W. Bush look like an intellectual giant. I think that the McCain campaign should spend a little less time worrying about Palin’s clothes and makeup, and spend a little more time getting her up to date on politics and current events.