Private Eye | Sarah the Terrible: Palin is either Dan Quayle 2.0 or a performing seal. | Private Eye | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Private Eye | Sarah the Terrible: Palin is either Dan Quayle 2.0 or a performing seal. 

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Despite what all those letter-to-the-editor Utah mamas had to say when Sarah Palin was named as John McCain’s running mate—“We love her! She’s one of us!!”—Palin has subsequently proven to be the weakest candidate for high office since Dan Quayle. For every misspelled word in Quayle’s vocabulary, and for each of his decidedly dumb statements, like how Republicans understand the “bondage” between a mother and child, Quayle looks decidedly professorial next to Palin. Next to Quayle, Palin looks like a dunce, a flunky, a poser. With each of her recent indecipherable statements, Palin has managed to do what no editorial board nor newspaper censor has ever managed: She’s silenced the hypocritical self-righteous pens of those Utah mamas who were so eager to embrace her as their very own. She’s just like them all right, right down to the sand over her eyes.

“Poor Sarah,” goes the current chorus as even her former supporters peel away like the dead skin in a dandruff commercial. Poor Sarah? She bit this off of her own accord. In three major interviews since the Republican National Convention, Palin has commingled McCain’s staff-written talking points, has yet to connect two thoughts and cannot give definitive answers to even the simplest questions. Not counting her interview with Sean Hannity, that is. As is his wont, he phrased his questions with the answers inside them, then asked if Sarah agreed. After his parade of queries that amounted to “What’s your favorite color, Hon?” Hannity, prize-winning water-bucket carrier that he is, pronounced Palin fit for office. That’s like Bonnie being endorsed by Clyde.

It’s actually poor McCain we should worry about. If he had chosen his running mate predicated on skill and leadership instead of calculated electoral math, our country wouldn’t be lacking 25 percent of the important voices needed right now to help Americans of all stripes make sense of our current financial crisis. Instead, Palin is sequestered in some study room prepping for her Thursday debate with Joe Biden. What would she do about this monetary mess and what words of encouragement can she offer the taxpaying public? Your guess is as good as mine. My guess is that she doesn’t have a clue. She’ll have one ready for Thursday night, though, when she delivers the lines her scriptwriters are crafting for her. Assuming she can remember them.

I’d never heard of Sarah Palin until last month. I’ve also never heard of Alan Mashburn, Hunt Willoughby or Brad Ramsay, either. By my take, each of those men are as qualified as Sarah Palin to be United States president, too, but for some odd reason, John McCain looked right past them and their small-town mayoral bona fides. Mashburn is the mayor of Vernal. Willoughby runs the city of Alpine just over the hill. Ramsay is the leader of one my favorite Utah towns, Richfield. Their three cities are nearly equal in population to Sarah Palin’s Wasilla, Alaska. Park City’s Dana Williams runs a city of similar size, too, but, thanks to his farming skills, care for the environment and his performing in a band, I’ve heard of Williams. That shouldn’t have disqualified him.

Isn’t it a bit odd that the Utahns who were once ashen and aghast at the prospect of Ross “Rocky” Anderson running for the presidency were the first endorsers of Palin? They cited her mayoral experience as evidence of her vice-presidential qualifications. I can find fault with Rocky on nearly any day of the week. But if anyone thinks, in terms of burnishing a résumé, that mayorship in Wasilla rises to the level of mayor of Salt Lake City, they’ve likely got a moose rack stuck in a hideous place it doesn’t belong. If that’s the dumb part, here’s the dumber: If the maverick McCain had chosen maverick Anderson—who is eminently more eloquent and more qualified than Palin, and who does not have an unmarried, pregnant daughter—those same Utahns would have forgiven all and gone with a McCain and Anderson ticket. Why? Better a Republican ticket with only one pro-choice, anti-discrimination candidate than a Democratic ticket with two.

It’s well known that Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is a McCain supporter and has been for a very long time. He even bucked conventional wisdom and other pressures by not jumping on the Mitt Romney bandwagon. I’ve agreed with Huntsman on many things and genuinely like the guy. He let a crappy liquor bill get by, but that’s Kahlua under the bridge. If McCain wanted a strong and popular governor, why didn’t he pick Huntsman over Alaska’s governor? Especially since the Rocky Mountain states are going to be critical in November’s election. Two reasons: Left and right ovaries, which he lacks.

Sarah Palin claims that since Alaska is bordered by two foreign countries, she has foreign-policy experience. Using Palin logic, Huntsman could have delivered better political leverage for McCain: Utah borders Nevada, therefore Huntsman’s an expert on gaming and loose women. Our Wyoming border yields him knowledge of rodeo and oil, and Idaho lends him Farmer Steve potato-farming know-how. Colorado and Arizona deliver him the goods on water producers and users. Living in Utah has rounded out our guv. And that doesn’t even count his time as an authentic foreign ambassador. Palin thinks that foreign country was New Mexico—which also abuts Utah—but it was actually Singapore.

Huntsman would have been a brilliant choice compared to Palin. So would Kukla, Fran and Ollie, but why disparage those who cannot speak? Oh, yeah, that would be Sarah Palin, too. Be nice if you want. But if I want to watch a performing seal, I’ll buy a ticket to SeaWorld.

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