Rising doubts on the right about Palin

David Frum spells out the risks very plainly to the New York Times.

Published September 30, 2008 1:05PM (EDT)

David Frum previously expressed his concerns about John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin. In today's New York Times, he says what other conservatives dare only think privately:

"I think she has pretty thoroughly -- and probably irretrievably -- proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States," David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview. "If she doesn't perform well [in Thursday's vice presidential debate], then people see it.

"And this is a moment of real high anxiety, a little bit like 9/11, when people look to Washington for comfort and leadership and want to know that people in charge know what they are doing."

Well, yeah.

Over the weekend, the Politico reported that some Republicans are talking about dumping Palin. As Harper's Ken Silverstein correctly argues, that's never going to happen. McCain, who prides himself on his stubborn judgment, would be sunk if he dropped her. The base would go beserk. He's stuck with her, so we're stuck with her.

Clear your calendars for Thursday night's Biden-Palin debate. It could be quite the spectacle.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz. Sarah Palin