Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin: "She doesn't seem to understand"

Peggy Noonan is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and is conservative. She doesn’t appear impressed by this nation’s hottest gov: (subscription required)

….we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I’ve listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite—a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn’t think aloud. She just . . . says things.

Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she’s not a big “egghead” but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? “I’m Joe Six-Pack”? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—”palling around with terrorists.” If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she 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.

Given Mrs Palin’s troubles in Alaska it will be interesting to follow her home in a few weeks and she how she handles the home team. That “ol black magic” that derives from a crowd of adoring white guys picturing her in a bikini looks to be fading fast…..

2 thoughts on “Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin: "She doesn't seem to understand"”

  1. Black guys probably picture her in a bikini too, although they might not be so adoring. But, “adoring” has very little to do with picturing a woman in a bikini.

    Otherwise, Peggy Noonan is right on the money.

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