Democrats can’t escape questions about Sarah Palin
Democrats can’t go anywhere these days without being asked about Sarah Palin, and some of them are not overwhelmed.
“Look, she is interesting,” Senator John Kerry told CNN’s “Larry King Live” program Wednesday.
“She represents some of the transformation of American politics into entertainment,” he said.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and defeated Republican vice presidential candidate, spent last week skewering Democrats.
She went after President Barack Obama at a gathering of the grassroots conservative Tea Party movement, calling him a “charismatic guy with a teleprompter” and saying to win the war against al Qaeda, the United States needed “a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at a lectern.”
Palin also ridiculed his campaign slogans, asking his supporters, “How’s that hopey, changey stuff working out for you?”
“If you come up with a phrase like, ‘How do you like that hopey-changey stuff?’, that’s a pretty good phrase, to be honest with you,” Kerry said.
“But it’s more on the hot-button, push-button side of politics than it is, I think, on the real answers side of where we’re going to go.”
Kerry said he thought political views of Palin would shift during congressional elections this year and then moving on into the 2012 presidential campaign.
“Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned … but I still believe that accomplishment and ideas and thinking and … a record makes something of a difference. And I don’t see of a lot of that there,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden, speaking on the same program, told CNN he liked Palin.
“I do, I like her,” he said. “She’s an engaging person. She has a great personality.”
But that’s about where it ends.
“I don’t agree with what she says. … Some of the comments made are just so far out there, I just don’t know where they come from,” he said. “But … if you met her, she’s an engaging person.”
It’s not clear Palin has the same feeling about Biden.
She unleashed her “hopey, changey” line last week while in the middle of rubbishing the vice president’s handling of spending to pull the economy out of recession.
The administration put Biden in charge of ensuring transparency because “nobody messes with Joe,” Palin said.
“I tried to look into that transparency thing, but Joe’s meeting with the transparency and accountability board, it was closed to the public,” she said. “Yeah, they had a transparency meeting behind closed doors.”
Biden said he didn’t fear Palin as a political threat.
“My sense is that Sarah appeals — Governor Palin appeals — to a group of people who are generally frustrated, feel disenfranchised, are very conservative — not all of them.”
Her appeal includes the Tea Party groups, although it goes beyond that as well, he said.
“But I don’t know that it represents anything approaching a significant portion of the population.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Josh Anderson (Palin at Tea Party convention in Nashville last week); Reuters/Carlos Barria (Biden, Palin share a laugh after a vice presidential debate in St. Louis in 2008)