Thursday, November 6, 2008

But Can Palin Spell "Potatoe"?

Photo of multicolored potatoes by Flickr user libraryman, used under a Creative Commons license.

Dan Quayle was roundly mocked when he couldn't spell potato without adding an E, but he had nothin' on Sarah Palin. Via the HuffPost, Fox News is reporting that Palin was way more clueless than even the Katie Couric interview revealed. She thought Africa was a country!!!!

(I promise not to get in the habit of citing Fox News, but I bet they'll offer a great view of the Republicans' circular firing squad over the next few days. I'm not above a little schadenfreude.)

Not only was Palin unable to name the NAFTA countries when quizzed by her handlers. Worse, she didn't even know which countries are on the North American continent!

What did she think: Alaska, Canada, and "pro-American areas of this great nation"? That makes three, all right.

Wow. This goes way beyond potato, potahto.

I've said before that Palin lacks curiosity but can't be dumb as dirt. Otherwise she wouldn't have come this far. Now I'm wondering if I overestimated her. Or if she learned her geography from the Alaska Independence Party.

Either way, I'm hoping she won't slip into Washington on the criminal coattails of Ted Stevens, assuming Alaskans really were daft enough to re-elect him the day after his conviction on corruption charges. Sarah Palin does not need to replace Stevens in the U.S. Senate. She needs to rev up her snowmachine and do a little racin', maybe some moose huntin', and a lot of forgettin' about another run in 2012.

Update, 11/13/08: Okay, so at least the "Africa" comment appears to be completely fake - confabulated by a certain Martin Eisenstadt - which the New York Times describes as the fictional creation of a couple of filmmakers, Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish. No word yet on whether Palin's NAFTA comments were also cut from whole cloth. Go read the Times article anyway; it's very, very funny.

This is my karmic punishment for having cited Fox News. Bill O'Reilly, no less. I deserve ten strokes with a loofah - or was it a falafel?


hesperia said...

Ok so maybe Palin is that stupid. What does that say about the notion (and I shared it with you) that she couldn't have gotten to the post of Governor of Alaska if she was? Do many political jobs no longer require a grade school knowledge of geography? Or are grade schools no longer teaching that stuff?

Sungold said...

Well, I think the reason Palin made it this far is twofold. First, she's had handlers and advisers ever since she left Wasilla. Second, I do think she has "political intelligence" - she has a good sense for what pleases a certain constituency. My guess is that her much-mocked folksy act goes over well with that constituency, for instance.