Palin a ‘fast study’, aides say

Liberal pundit E.J. Dionne recoils in horror at the following two paragraphs in this New York Times article: Aides traveling with [Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah] Palin have reported back to associates that she is a fast study — asking few questions of her policy briefers but quickly repeating back their main points — who ...

Liberal pundit E.J. Dionne recoils in horror at the following two paragraphs in this New York Times article:

Aides traveling with [Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah] Palin have reported back to associates that she is a fast study -- asking few questions of her policy briefers but quickly repeating back their main points -- who already has considerable ease and experience before cameras.

A former aide in Alaska who had helped prepare Ms. Palin for her campaign debates there said she had a talent for distilling information into digestible sound bites. The aide said she generally prefers light preparatory materials to heavy briefing books, and prefers walking through potential questions and answers with aides to holding mock sessions.

Liberal pundit E.J. Dionne recoils in horror at the following two paragraphs in this New York Times article:

Aides traveling with [Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah] Palin have reported back to associates that she is a fast study — asking few questions of her policy briefers but quickly repeating back their main points — who already has considerable ease and experience before cameras.

A former aide in Alaska who had helped prepare Ms. Palin for her campaign debates there said she had a talent for distilling information into digestible sound bites. The aide said she generally prefers light preparatory materials to heavy briefing books, and prefers walking through potential questions and answers with aides to holding mock sessions.

This is to be expected. She is, after all, a successful politician, and she’s had about two weeks to prepare for this interview. She has to use her time effectively.

But still, it’s not an encouraging description of someone who could very well become the president of the United States someday, is it? Here’s hoping she’s only tailoring her briefing approach to the situation at hand.

More from Foreign Policy

A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed  according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.
A worker cuts the nose off the last Ukraine's Tupolev-22M3, the Soviet-made strategic aircraft able to carry nuclear weapons at a military base in Poltava, Ukraine on Jan. 27, 2006. A total of 60 aircraft were destroyed according to the USA-Ukrainian disarmament agreement.

Why Do People Hate Realism So Much?

The school of thought doesn’t explain everything—but its proponents foresaw the potential for conflict over Ukraine long before it erupted.

Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.
Employees watch a cargo ship at a port in China, which is experiencing an economic downturn.

China’s Crisis of Confidence

What if, instead of being a competitor, China can no longer afford to compete at all?

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Sept. 24, 2020.

Why This Global Economic Crisis Is Different

This is the first time since World War II that there may be no cooperative way out.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Premier Li Keqiang applaud at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11.

China Is Hardening Itself for Economic War

Beijing is trying to close economic vulnerabilities out of fear of U.S. containment.