Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh My: Did George W. Bush say Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to be President?

From the New York Daily News comes this bombshell of a revelation. Given the passion of the former Alaska governor and Tea Party power broker’s followers, this is the equivalent of sticking a broom handle into a hornets’ nest.

WASHINGTON - Two years of retirement haven't dulled George W. Bush's political zest - and President Obama and Sarah Palin are among his under-the-radar targets.

The 43rd President has told friends the ex-Alaska governor isn't qualified to be President and criticizes Arizona Sen. John McCain for putting Palin on the 2008 GOP ticket and handing her a national platform.

"Naming Palin makes Bush think less of McCain as a man," a Republican official familiar with Bush's thinking told the Daily News.

"He thinks McCain ran a lousy campaign with an unqualified running mate and destroyed any chance of winning by picking Palin."

I have reservations about the accuracy of this report. While Bush and McCain are superficially friends, the two are old political rivals dating back to the 2000 Presidential primary campaign. But Bush, like his father, is unlikely to question McCain’s “manhood” by criticizing the choice of running mate, and is even more unlikely to have allowed comments questioning Palin’s qualifications to reach the public ear, whether he holds that opinion or not. Questions about the quality of the McCain 2008 Presidential campaign are equally suspect.

The 2008 election was Obama’s to lose, not McCain’s to win. It wouldn’t have mattered if McCain had a solid gold campaign staff and strategy, the mainstream media had Obama already penciled in as the 44th President of the United States. McCain’s choice of Palin for Vice President had no impact at all, if exit polling examined after the election are accurate.

This appears to be a political “false flag” operation, designed to stir up an otherwise united Republican front going into the lame duck session of Congress. While the Palinistas are guaranteed to get fired up about this, perhaps its best if few take the bait.

Bush is certain to be asked about this as he kicks off his book tour this week. Stay tuned—my best is that he denies ever making the comments and questions the source of the material.