It turns out that Sarah Palin would vote for Gingrich in the South Carolina primary if she could because, she says, an extended GOP primary campaign will help the candidates become fully vetted.
“Iron sharpens iron, steel sharpens steel,” Palin said. “In order to keep this thing going, I’d vote for Newt.”
“I would want this to continue — more debates, more vetting of candidates, because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted to the degree that he should have been, so that we know who his associations and his pals represented and what went into his thinking.”
At first glance, you might think Palin was talking about herself, one of the least vetted vice presidential nominees in the post McGovern-Eagleton debacle of 1972.
In reality, of course, she was talking about Barack Obama. Yes, the same Barack Obama who had been thoroughly vetted after having run for president for 18 months before Palin was even chosen as the GOP vice presidential nominee.
Palin herself received virtually no vetting before becoming John McCain’s running mate. In fact, he had only one face-to-face conversation with the then-Alaska governor before offering her the job on Aug. 28, 2008.
The proper vetting of Palin began only after McCain publicly announced his choice on Aug. 29, 2008.
“In the days leading up to an interview with ABC News’ Charlie Gibson,” according to the book Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, “aides were worried with Ms. Palin’s grasp of facts. She couldn’t explain why North and South Korea were separate nations and she did not know what the Federal Reserve did. She also said she believed Saddam Hussein attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.”
By late October, a majority of Americans viewed Palin as unqualified for the vice presidency, while roughly three-quarters of voters saw Mr. Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden as qualified for the job.
McCain-Palin ended up losing the election, of course. But Palin went on to collect millions by writing books, starring in a reality show and joining Fox News as a contributor.
Where would Sarah Palin be today without weak vetting?