Let Sarah Be Sarah

An idea that seems to be rapidly gaining credence on the right is that if the McCain campaign would just set Sarah Palin free, she would wow us all with her insights and authenticity. When Kathryn Jean Lopez got the ball rolling last week, she was quickly seconded by Mitt Romney and now CBN’s David Brody is distilling the Religious Right’s conventional wisdom down to this simple premise:

Palin, by all accounts, is a smart, articulate woman. Why put her in shackles? The political strategy by the McCain camp makes sense from a textbook standpoint but one of Palin’s biggest attributes is her communication skills and her ability to be real. If she’s working off talking points it takes that element away and makes her look like every other politician. Voters I have been [talking] to like her because she’s a breath of fresh air.

If she is this ‘maverick” then maybe voters need to see more of her free-wheeling maverick side and let Sarah be Sarah.

Did it every occur to these people that, until John McCain plucked her from obscurity, nobody in the country knew anything about her?  For weeks, the nation’s only exposure to her was her speech at the Republican convention which she didn’t even write.  The McCain campaign essentially kept Palin under wraps until they finally let her out to be interviewed by Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, both of which were utter disasters.

Basically, the only people who really know what Palin is like or what her capabilities are are those in the McCain campaign who have been working with her since she was tapped as the vice-presidential nominee … and they have decided that their best course of action has been to wall her off from the press as much as possible. That ought to tell you something.  

If “letting Sarah be Sarah” were the solution to this crisis, surely the McCain campaign would have done it by now.  But they haven’t, which raises the question: what are they afraid of?  Maybe things like this:

Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago — about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct — the teacher said.

After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.

Palin told him that “dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time,” Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said “she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks,” recalled Munger.