From former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan:
In the past two weeks [Palin] has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.From Colin Powell (I'd love to quote his entire Meet the Press interview, but this is the quote that has stayed with me the most. It is clear that he feels the need to atone for his part in the ramp up to war):
No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can't be president or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush's style the past few years, and see where it got us. You must address America in its entirety, not as a sliver or a series of slivers but as a full and whole entity, a great nation trying to hold together. When you don't, when you play only to your little piece, you contribute to its fracturing.
In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
I'm also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said such things as: "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is: he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is: No, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she can be president?And from someone I'm more than a little fond of, my wonderful just-turned-89-year-old father, Buzz Brandeis (while he has never been a Republican and comes from a long line of proud Democrats--his dad was a Democratic precinct captain who once ran for Congress--he is a former admirer of John McCain). He wrote this letter to the editor at the North County Times:
We will soon have a new president. The promises, rhetoric and slogans of the campaign will quickly be forgotten. But the character and temperament of our new president will remain constant as he assumes office.
As I recall, "compassionate conservative" was not heard after George W. Bush became president. We listened to his campaign rhetoric, but we failed to understand his character. Eight years later, we suffer from the mistake we made in electing him.
We must not make a mistake this time. We, the voters have the profound responsibility of making sure the right man and his vice-president have those intrinsic qualities that define their strength of character and temperament.
Once again, during the last debate, McCain's anger and temper were so close to the surface ready to explode, a serious character flaw which would dominate the decisions he would make, including going to war. And that flaw is not counter-balanced by Sarah Palin.
That is why I will vote for Obama and Biden who have the inner qualities of strength of character, emotional intelligence and wisdom to lead our country during the very difficult challenges which lie ahead.