The Christian Science Monitor has published a highly insightful article by Andrew Halcro, a former member of the Alaskan House of Representatives who has faced Sarah Palin in more than two dozen debates. Halcro says that Palin could do quite well despite astounding deficits in her comprehension of public policy. A master of the "fine art of the nonanswer," Palin simply needs to uncork that bubbly personality of hers, according to Halcro. And he should know, having been vanquished by Palin in his quest for the governorship.
Palin’s knowledge on public policy issues never matured – because it
didn’t have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence
and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to
rely on populism instead of policy.
Palin is a master of the nonanswer. She can turn
a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to
healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she’s met people on
the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering
a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.
Halcro suggests that the more specific Biden gets about policy, the more Palin will use her vacuous charms. So what should Joe do against such "glittering generality?"
With shorter question-and-answer
times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore
Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as
though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge
and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in
the role of the bully.
On the other side of the stage, if Palin is to be
successful, she needs to do what she does best: fill the room with her
presence and stick to the scripted sound bites.
If you’re planning to booze it up during the VP debate, we strongly caution you against playing the "Palin Non-Answer Drinking Game."
In other frontierswoman news, it’s been revealed that Palin has never seen Russia from her homestate. Apparently, the only place you can do so so is a wee island called Little Diomede, where some residents aren’t even aware of Palin’s national candidacy. No state governor has ever visited this town of 150, but good ol’ Ted Stevens managed to make his way there, presumably because a leprechaun told him that’s where he stashed his pot of gold.