It sounds like the Republicans are afraid of more than terrorists. Surely they don't have to protect their candidate who complained about Hillary whining and not being able to take the heat. She said she could take the heat, so why isn't she? She is, so far, simply a publicity stunt.
In Search of Gov. Palin
It is well past time for Sarah Palin, Republican running mate, governor of Alaska and self-proclaimed reformer, to fill in for the voting public the gaping blanks about her record and qualifications to be vice president.
The best way to do that would be exactly what the campaign of John McCain is avoiding — an honest news conference. Instead, she has been the bell-jar candidate, barnstorming safe crowds with socko punch lines and plans for a single interview on ABC News built around a visit to Fairbanks, Alaska, and her hometown of Wasilla.
Just in time for that appearance, Ms. Palin, who was proclaiming her family’s privacy a week ago, will make a political event out of her son’s deployment to Iraq. But as for talking to reporters in general, the McCain campaign sniffishly says they must first show “some level of respect and deference.”
That is a peculiar response for someone who is campaigning as one tough, transparent politician who can take the heat. Why not some detailed questioning? With deference, we believe many questions will arise about this largely unknown politician as reporters properly search beyond the wholesome anecdotes.
Ms. Palin is positioning herself as the kind of politician who knows how to manage the people’s money. She got a big cheer from the Republican convention when Mr. McCain said she had put the Alaska governor’s private plane on eBay.
The running mates both failed to mention that it did not sell on eBay and that she unloaded it later to a businessman for a $600,000 loss. The Chicago Tribune reported that the majority of the plane’s time was used to transport prisoners from Alaska’s crowded jails to Arizona, a job now done by federal marshals.
All of which made it vexing to read the disclosure by The Washington Post that Governor Palin billed Alaska taxpayers for more than 300 nights that she spent at home in her first 18 months in office. The campaign claims the $60-a-day allowance is proper, and various states do have differing per-diem approaches. But voters ought to hear the candidate answering such questions, not for purposes of petty quibbling, but to help fill out their skimpy sense of who Ms. Palin actually is.
She could explain, as well, why she was for the Bridge to Nowhere when it was first proposed and reversed field once it became a symbol of legislative abuse. Even then, the governor helped cycle the $223 million in federal pork to other state needs.
Voters have a right to hear Ms. Palin explain in detail her qualifications to be standby president with no national or foreign policy experience. More is required of any serious candidate for such a high office than one interview with questions put by one selected source.