Democrats and Barack Obama supporters made the grave mistake of attacking the experience (and competence) of GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin too soon out of the gate last week. Beginning just a few days after McCain’s announcement that Palin would be his running mate, the left (and some in the center) criticized the pick so harshly that expectations for Palin were quite low when she gave her speech before the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

As such, her performance was largely seen as a rousing success – but not because it addressed any of the policy (or experience) concerns raised by Obama supporters. Because Obama surrogates and supporters had criticized and, in truth, mocked Palin so greatly for half a week (e.g. her beauty pageant past, her motherhood decisions), they essentially put into question whether she could walk and chew gum at the same time. Palin, a smart politician, could not help but far exceed these low-ball expectations with her well-delivered speech – a speech that also gave a surprising amount of red meat to the crowd.

But while Palin’s speech wisely introduced herself to America by focusing on her personal life, it did little to answer questions about many of the economic and policy concerns that America will continue to face in the next four years.

The extent to which Palin is introduced to the nation through more challenging press appearances on programs like Meet the Press is unclear. What is known is that Palin will participate in the 2008 vice-presidential debate on October 2nd at Washington University in St. Louis.

Smart Politics has assembled a list of the eight questions Palin probably would rather not want asked of her at that forum:

1. Do you believe sex before marriage is immoral? (For Palin to answer that question directly she would either have to implicitly call her daughter immoral or show vulnerability on how consistent she is in her religious/family beliefs).

2. Do you believe government should force a woman who has been impregnated through rape to carry the baby to term? (Palin’s anti-abortion stance with few exceptions is out of the mainstream and could force non-political women who are intrigued by her candidacy to face her policy positions head on).

3. Who is the president of…? (George W. Bush struggled with this question in his 2000 presidential campaign, though it did not occur during the debates).

4. Do you think our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be safer if more Americans prayed to God for the success of their mission? (Many Americans, though certainly far from all, had problems when George W. Bush ‘talked to God’ in his foreign policy decision-making).

5. Why have you never taken a public position on the issue of immigration? (This question would highlight the fact that she is the governor of a state that might be out of the mainstream in terms of the problems it faces; i.e. Alaska does not face any significant immigration problems).

6. Do you think Alaskan gun laws should be adopted in New York City? (Again, highlighting Alaskan exceptionalism).

7. (Any question relating to the pending investigation of her in Alaska).

8. Who do you support in the 2008 Alaskan U.S. Senate race? (She does not want to be tied to Ted Stevens, the scandal-plagued Republican, Mark Begich, who is a Democrat, or Bob Bird of the very right-wing Alaskan Independence Party (of which her husband Todd was once a member)).


  1. dweetta adams on September 7, 2008 at 11:52 am

    what is a vp job, what does she mean define her abstinence to sex education plateform? WHAT DID SHE MEAN THAT THE IRAQ WAR WAS A TASK FROM GOD? what is her education qualification ? what kind of diversity and what has she done to promote diversity in alaska? what are her thought on global problems facing america ? what her position on foreigh policy and issues and i do not hink it sexeist to ask her after all mother have been the foe front and bear most of child care these days ALL OVER THE WORALD WELTHER YOU LIKE IT ARE NOT IS HER HUSBAND PREPARE TO BE MR. MOM ARE A HOUSE HUSBAND TO YOUR CLAIM WHEN YOUR OUT SWOLING THE WORLDS PROBLEMS WE LOOK AT OBAMA WHO HAS TWO HEALTHY KIDS HIS WONDERFUL WIFE IS THEIR AND MOTHER LIKE HILLARY WHO WAITED UNTIL THEIR ONE HEALTHY CHILD GROW UP FULLY TO RUN FOR OFFICE THIS IS A 100 PERCENT DEMANDING ALL JOB OUR RACE GENDER AND LIVE DPEND ON THESE VOTE NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE A WHITE WOMEN.

  2. Yoly on September 7, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    There are several more she’d have difficulty with as well, in spite of the fact that she is excellent with double-speak.

    How about adding these?

    9) How would drilling in Alaska help the middle class in the lower 48?

    10) What impact would drilling in Alaska have on global warming and the environment in general?

    11) Where do you go for information and with whom do you converse when making high-impact decisions?

    12) Name one decision you have made as an executive that was as important as speaking to the president of another country.

    13) Name one thing you’ve done as governor that helped the middle class and did not involve your personal interests, such as sports.

    14) Why are you against libraries for children? Why do you want books censored?

    15) List your top 10 values. Where would you place “ambition” and “money” in them?

    16) What is your understanding of global warming and what agencies would you work with internationally to resolve it?

    17) You’ve stated that global warming “isn’t caused by man.” Where did you get this information and why do you think it outweighs all the information to the contrary from the scientific community?

    so many more….

  3. Jacque Denise Yap on September 9, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    well i guess that the election is getting warmer now as the presidential candidates have their strongest VP candidates. this early i saw in pollclash that Joe Biden has now been officially introduced as Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential selection.well you can see the video in

  4. Abbey on September 11, 2008 at 7:53 pm
  5. Laura Thomas on September 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Yet another question: Do you believe dinosaurs were walking the earth four thousand years ago?

  6. Opal on September 21, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    1. How do you respond to lies about your trying to censor books that weren’t published when you were mayor?

    2. What do you say to people who negate the international negotiations you undertook with Canada as governor?

    3. Many citizens want the US to have European style health care, but want to deny European style school choice. Which would bring greater benefits to the nation?

  7. Universalwriter on September 28, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I’d like to know her position on minorities in America.

  8. AmericanPieHole on September 29, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I don’t think Sara would have any problem answering these questions except for # 3 which would scar the hell out of me.

    Here are some suggestions as to how she might answer the other questions.

    1> Yes, I do believe it is immoral to have sex before marriage because it dismisses the value and the responsibility of life as not only with the act which has it owndangers but the life which it may bear. My daughter made a mistake but we forgive and love her and her child. We should reinforce abstinence and make it a strong moral value and issue, and perhaps then we could talk to fewer abortions.
    2> That is a difficult question but I would have to maintain the seriousness of the act on any human life but I would show understanding and forgiveness in the law in those circumstances.
    3> Truly a trick question where any of the four could be stumped.
    4> You are always safer when you are praying because it makes you reflect and focus on thoses things that are important, right and just.
    I would further say that the help of pray has has a long history in our military since our armed forces employ the clergy to sometimes pray before battle.
    5> We are a nation of immigrants which has given us a richness that is unlike any other country. Our diversity makes us strong and we have the most liberal unified rules of nationization that allows millions of people to enter each year.
    6> Each state has it own set of circumstances wherein Alaskan gun laws may not be applicable in New York or other places. However if polar bears, bull moose, and timber wolves start showing up in the middle of town we could be of some help in suggesting the designing their laws.
    7> The state troopers are under my jurisdiction and for me too have any knowledge be it privileged, public or private information I have a duty as Governor to share and peruse the matter through the proper agencies wherein tthey may be inappropriate or against the law.
    8> Alaska has some tough choices this election cycle and many of us are still undecided.

    How did she do?

  9. Ron on October 1, 2008 at 6:52 am

    another question she does not want.
    You and your daughter had and made the commendable choice to keep difficult pregnancies, why do you want to take that choice away from the rest of the nation and hand that decision over to the government to make for us? That seems inconsistent with a goal of less government.

  10. Ryan on October 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    The most important question for the future safety of the world:
    “You are quoted as saying that the Iraq war was ‘a task from God”. Do you stand by that observation today? Whom is God tasking us to invade next?

  11. AmericanPieHole on October 1, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I only hope Dafur is on God’s short list of places to invade.

  12. Jean Standish on October 5, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Don’t ask Palin about terrorism or Iraq either. Palin’s debate statement: “And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, both leaders there and it’s probably the only thing that they’re ever going to agree on, but that it was a central war on terror is in Iraq. You don’t have to believe me or John McCain on that. I would believe Petraeus and the leader of al Qaeda.” Or about the duties of the vice president: “Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.”

    In fact, don’t ask her about anything except Joe Six Pack.

  13. Bill on December 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Always a pleasance to return for a while here and see you active. Always happy to read your newest entries.

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