Courage to Meet the Press

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At the GOP Convention, we heard plenty about the hero John McCain, especially about his courage. Everytime someone praised his courage, I wondered what courage had to do with a modern presidency. I mean, is the presidency like a Hollywood movie — say Air Force One — where John McCain may be in mid air when his presidential 747 is taken over by terrorists and he, in true Harrison Ford style, subdues the bad guys and saves the day? Or maybe they want a Jack Bauer president, or a president, bar knuckled, on the front line and muddied in the trenches.

Maybe the heroism they are talking about is John McCain’s special breed of maverick heroism. The type where you don’t choose the running mate you really want (ie, Senator Lieberman), but rather the one who Carl Rove and Rush Limbaugh want. Or the courage to change all of your positions and cave into the extreme wing of your party’s demands, or to vote 90% of the time with your team’s president.

It’s Sunday and we’re in election season, that means it’s the day where the most important candidates and their surrogates appear on the political talk shows and answer tough questions about their policies and positions. John McCain, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden have spent the past year appearing on these programs so that the American people can develop an informed basis from which to judge them. For example, today Joe Biden is appearing on Meet the Press (his 42nd ever appearance on the show), Barack Obama on This Week, and John McCain on Face the Nation. Sarah Palin is not appearing on any of these shows. With just under two months until the general elections, Palin has yet to give an important interview to the press or participate in a serious debate. Looks like today everybody is ready for questions except for Palin.

After more than a year of this exhaustive get-to-know the candidates election season (where, for example, Obama has already participated in 20 televised debates), the American people should be treated with respect and be allowed to meet Sarah Palin, a person who could foreseeably become the acting President of the United States. You’d think that John McCain would have the courage to let his vice presidential choice meet the press and the voting public.

Hiding isn’t very brave.

UPDATE: McCain/Palin is not scared, but Palin will not do interviews until the press makes the pitbull hockey mom feel more comfortable:

The McCain campaign had this to say with regards to keeping Palin away from any serious political interviews where the journalists were unfair “piranhas” :

She will agree to an interview when she thinks it’s time and she is comfortable doing it . . .

(Translation: She’s not ready)

. . . She is not scared to answer questions. We run our campaign, not the news media, we’ll do things on our timetable.

(Translation: We still need more time to train her so that she knows what her policies are)

. . . She will do interviews, but she will do them on the terms and the conditions on which the campaign decides to do it.

(Translation: With only six weeks until the elections, we can hopefully run the clock out).

If you watched today’s Biden, Obama, or McCain interviews, there were absolutely no references to Palin’s family, only to her fitness to step in as president. So how that makes the Tom Brokaw, George Stephanopoulos, or Bob Schieffer unfair or piranhas is anyone’s guess. I thought that part of running for office was answering tough questions about your record and policies, and that part of being president — especially for the Braveheart warrior class Republicans — was to be able to deal with tough characters.

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

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