The McCain camp has decided to keep their shiny new car under wraps. Last night they said that Sarah Palin will not be available for any interviews. Not only for the upcoming week, but for the foreseeable future! This Sunday the other three candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency will be on the news shows answering questions and sharing their views with the American people. Sarah Palin will apparently be sealed off somewhere cramming for her final exam (which will come in the form of a debate with Joe Biden in October). She has a few short weeks to learn all of John McCain's positions on the issues (which is going to be tricky because John McCain and his staff don't always agree on what exactly those positions are) and absorb a crash course in international politics.
This lack of access to a candidate is surely unprecedented in recent history and it may be a first in Presidential politics. The McCain campaign is apparently so afraid of what Sarah Palin might say that they won't allow her to utter a word a public that hasn't been written for her by one of their staffers. John McCain, who once half jokingly said that the press was his base, is now deathly afraid of them. The McCain camp will claim that they don't want Palin to have to answer questions based on rumor and innuendo (and there is certainly a lot of that going around), but to deny the established news shows access to Palin as well demonstrates an extreme level of fear.
There are some real issues which I am sure they are struggling to come up with answers to. They want to make sure that they have consistent and defendable positions before they allow and to allow Sarah Palin to face the press. Her association with a political party that promoted the idea that Alaska should secede from the United States is one that comes to mind. Her husband was definitely a member of that Party and she may or may not have sympathies toward that group. The now infamous "troopergate" scandal, that she is currently under investigation for by the Alaskan legislature, is another. The list of earmarks that she sought as mayor is certainly an issue that she should speak to. Her family issues are inconsequential but there are real issues that the American people deserve to hear from her about.
The McCain campaign is attempting to create a new set of rules in the middle of the game. They scream from the rafters about what a fabulous pick Sarah Palin was (which is echoed by the right wing of the party), and yet they won't allow her speak for herself. The question is whether the press is going to allow them to get away with this. How can someone who is vying to become the Vice President of the United States be unable or unwilling to speak to the press? Even Dan Quayle (who may have been the dimmest bulb ever to hold the office of Vice President) spoke to the press immediately after he was named as the nominee. This isn't China.
I for one demand to hear from the person who might be called upon to lead this nation in a crisis. I think that the people should demand to hear from her as well. The press should demand to hear from her. This cannot be allowed to stand. Is Sarah Palin a puppet who can only speak from a prepared text? Isn't she supposed to be a maverick? Isn't she supposed to be an independent thinker? What are they so afraid of? The bottom line is that it doesn't matter what they're afraid of, the last time I checked this was still the United States of America and WE THE PEOPLE still have the right to hear from the people who are vying to be our potential leaders. Where the hell is the outrage in the press? Where the hell is everyone????