I hate to keep harping on this but the red flags keep appearing with such alarming frequency that it warrants continued scrutiny. Sarah Palin. Despite her glowing achievements and unquestionable experience and qualifications (she can see Russia from her front porch for crying out loud!), she’s still too big a liability for the McCain campaign for normal media access. The press is understandably frustrated by this and in my opinion it should be cause for concern for all of us. After all, this is the potential VICE PRESIDENT of the United States.
Sarah is probably a fine person but this situation reminds me a lot of that old movie “Dave” where an average look-alike guy is called upon to stand in for the president who is in a coma. Much like Sarah, Dave requires a great deal of ‘handling’ in order to appear presidential. But unlike Sarah, Dave has some redeeming qualities and takes to the role fairly naturally.
I would assume that this kind of media protection is unprecedented. Last night I saw parts of a PBS special about Ronald Reagan and whatever you think of his presidency, it’s undeniable that he had charisma to spare and was a master of improvisational media interaction. He was articulate and quick on his feet. You got the impression that he genuinely understood the questions he was asked and his answers were appropriate and on topic. (Very Obama-like, if I may say so myself.)
Perhaps more importantly – and getting to my point – he actually enunciated his words and his grammar was respectable, educated sounding. Contrast that to Sarah Palin. Contrast that to Bush. The latter two have one particular verbal flaw in common that should, in and of itself, disqualify anyone from high office.
You can probably guess what I’m talking about. One word. Such an important word in times like these. It’s a dark word that strikes fear all across the land and it’s a word that deserves respect. Unfortunately, it’s a word than when mispronounced sounds so idiotic that it should embarrass the whole nation.
Say it with me now…George, this is for you…”NOO KYOO LER!”. “Newkewler?” Whatever.
“Iran cannot be allowed to obtain a newkewler weapon.”
No, Sarah! You – and anyone else that can’t make what little half-assed effort it would take to learn to say this and other words correctly – cannot be allowed to speak on public television representing this nation. And more importantly, if you lack the dignity and wherewithal to master your native language, you shouldn’t even be allowed into the running for public office. This should be a basic qualification.
A southern accent, I can live with. A little Boston non-rhoticity (think Haahvahd)? No problem. Some degree of geographical dialect is understandable, charming even, depending on your tastes. But some words deserve – no - demand some semblance of proper pronunciation. A president or vice president is more than just a role model, they are the face and voice of an entire nation. They are our first impression. Image counts. Articulation and clarity are paramount.
What happened the last time we elected a person who couldn’t pronounce NUCLEAR? How did that work out?
See what I’m getting at here? Let’s learn from our mistakes. What does it say about a person’s competency level when they have the temerity to butcher such a sensitive word in front of tens of millions of television viewers?
Nuclear. Noo-klee-er. Nothing difficult about that but it immediately adds twenty or so points to perceived IQ level. It doesn’t sound elitist, so stop with that already.
I’m not only disappointed with Sarah Palin over this oratorical fallacy but I think her group of handlers should be taken to task as well. They are the ones shaping and molding her image and this would be a quick and easy fix.
As it is, Sarah is in a protective bubble from media contact and if that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, I don’t know what will. Personally, hearing “noo-kyoo-ler” sends a few shivers down my spine.
What’s the implication here? She’s competent and qualified enough to possibly be in command of the most powerful nation on Earth, but…she has to be buffered from impromptu questions from the media.
I caught McCain on sixty minutes the other night responding to the question “Do you think Sarah Palin is ready to step in as president of the United States?”
“Absolutely…absolutely…absolutely”, he chanted. He cannot seriously believe this. And if he does, that alone should be ample proof of his lack of judgment. She’s not even ready to ride the media bicycle without the training wheels. She can’t even say nuclear!
I submit that correct pronunciation of the word nuclear should be a mandatory qualification for nomination/election to any government office. Think of the misery we would have been spared had this stipulation been in place eight years ago. Imagine what future misery we could avoid.
Adding Palin to the republican ticket was a blatant and desperate political move that demonstrates McCain’s wreckless ambition to become president. Sure he’ll pick up a few votes as a result. But understand, the people who are now voting for John McCain because of Sarah Palin are the very same ones who would vote for Elmer Fudd as long as he was anti-choice and an NRA member.
I really have no problem with a hockey mom mispronouncing the word nuclear. But the president or vice president of my country? Come on. They should be held to a higher standard. John McCain is selfishly endangering the credibility and future of this country by having Palin on the ticket. She is absurdly inexperienced and requires a constant buffer from the media lest she open her mouth and say something stupid.
America, you should have higher expectations.