According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don’t care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace — in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough’s show — the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin’s scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads. Here’s the exchange:
Wallace’s bash-the-media exercise has its merits as a campaign tactic. It certainly rallies the base. But the base won’t lift McCain to 50% in November. More importantly, in her smug dismissal of the media’s role in asking questions of the candidates, Wallace was really showing contempt not for reporters, but for voters. I bet there are a lot of undecided voters out there who were intrigued by Sarah Palin last night, but who don’t yet know enough about her — what she believes, what she knows — to be comfortable with the idea of her as vice president of the United States. It’s important to them to know if Palin can handle herself in an environment that isn’t controlled and sanitized by campaign image makers and message mavens. Maybe she can, maybe she can’t. As far as Wallace is concerned, it’s none of their — or your — business.