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The Sarah Palin Blooper Reel
A quick look at Sarah Palin's top blunders
Ever since hitting the national political scene in September of 2008, Sarah Palin has been the darling of the conservative movement and the laughingstock of liberals. Her homespun quips have endeared her to many while her speaking gaffes and lack of general political and historical knowledge have topped even "Bushisms" as fodder for the late night comics. Let's take a look back at some of Palin's missteps:
The Country of Africa
In the days following the 2008 election, a lot of juicy news about Sarah Palin spilled out from various sources that had worked to keep in contained during the election season. One story came from Carl Cameron, the Chief Political Correspondent for Fox News, a conservative-minded news outlet. He revealed that the McCain campaign was concerned about Palin lacking "a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president, a heartbeat away from the presidency." They revealed that Palin did not understand that Africa was not a country but a continent. She actually believed that Africa was a sovereign state with a government and a "President of Africa" and so on.
Who is Margaret Thatcher?
Everyone alive in the 1980's remembers the conservative movement, with Ronald Reagan in the White House and his good friend Margaret Thatcher controlling the United Kingdom with an iron fist. Everyone, that is, except for Sarah Palin. Despite tying herself to Reagan's conservative vision, McCain staffers learned early on in the 2008 campaign that Palin had no idea who Reagan's contemporary across the pond was. We're talking about a woman who might be the strongest female political figure in the past 2,000 years, and Sarah Palin had never heard of her.
McCain aids gave Palin some books to read to help her fill in her gaps in history and general political knowledge, and she promptly set them aside and spent the next half hour on one of her Blackberries. When McCain staffers asked her what she was doing, she replied that she was "reading these great emails from the Prayer Warriors".
Ronald Reagan went to college where?
While addressing a group of supporters at California State University-Stanislaus, Palin remarked "and perhaps it was destiny that the man who went to California's Eureka College would become so woven within and inter-linked to the Golden State.''
Identifying that Reagan went to Eureka College is great, even remarkable for Sarah Palin if she had known that beforehand (ummm, but I doubt she did). So what's the only problem with her statement? Well, Eureka College isn't located in California, it's in Illinois. You know, that place in the midwest where real Americans live (outside of Chicago and its liberal suburbs, of course).
Sarah Palin gets pranked
Hey Katie Couric, what's with the hard questions?
In a disastrous October 2008 interview with Katie Couric, Palin was asked which newspaper and/or magazines she reads regularly. Her answer: "all of em". Couric pressed on, urging Palin to name a single magazine or newspaper, she just repeated that she reads them all. This was not some hard-hitting, "gotcha" question on foreign policy or tax reform, it was a simple name-a-magazine question. I could ask my niece to name a newspaper or magazine that she reads, and she'd be able to answer the question. She's 6 years old.
What's the definition of irony again?
In March, 2010, Palin made this remark:
"We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn't that ironic?"
This is the same Sarah Palin who told her supporters that Obama's health care reform would lead to "death panels" deciding who gets to live and who gets to die. So what's ironic here is that Sarah Palin is taking a position that is the direct opposite what she knows is in the best interest of the "real Americans". She knows socialized medicine works, she's seen it with her own two eyes, and yet she's still trying to make everyone scared of it.
Getting the basics of government wrong
The following are some examples of Sarah Palin getting the very basics of United States government wrong:
"They're in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom." - A response to a third-grader's question, "what does the vice president do?" One duty of the vice president is to break ties in a Senate vote, but the vice president is not in charge of the Senate and does not work with the Senate to make policy changes.
"I think on a national level your Department of Law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out." - There is no such thing as the "Department of Law".
"Well, let's see. There's ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―" - Palin was unable to name a single Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade that she disagreed with. Either she agrees with the totality of Supreme Court decisions (even the ones that went against previous decisions), or she really hasn't studied up on the judicial branch of government.
Sarah Palin for President 2012
Make no doubt about it, Sarah Palin will be running for president in 2012 if polls show she has a shot at winning. Right now, Palin is running behind almost every Republican who has thrown their name in the bucket, but that could change with one well-crafted speech. I hope what I've shown you here has not only provided you with a few cheap laughs, but also helped you consider whether or not Palin is qualified to hold the most powerful position on the planet.