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The Palin Watch Widget

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin burst on the scene from nowhere - Nowhere, Alaska, that is. You know, the place where they wanted to build that bridge to. And despite the fact that nobody in at least 49 states knew the slightest bit about her, she >rocketed to stardom as the leading light of American conservatism.

Consequently, some Americans wanted to know more about the person who may become a 72 year old heartbeat from the presidency of the United States. They will be disappointed. The McCain campaign has sequestered Palin and will not permit reporters to interview her.

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They will allow no questions on the vetting process, or the abuse of power investigation that is currently underway. They refuse to clarify her positions on foreign policy or Congressional earmarking. There will be no direct examination of her record as governor or her fitness for national office. In short, the American people should shut up and be happy with whatever happy talk the campaign wishes to engage in via staged rallies and campaign ads. That is almost exactly what McCain spokesperson Nicolle Wallace told Jay Carney of Time Magazine.

I created the Palin Watch widget to record the elapsed time from her entry into the race, until she agrees to answer questions in a fair, independent, national media forum. There is simply no other way to assess her ability to perform the job she seeks. A candid give and take with probing journalists reveals more of a candidates knowledge and insight than a speech that was probably prepared by aides. The job she wants is far too important to give to an unknown quantity who arrogantly declines to open herself up to the people she would serve.

The Palin Watch was inspired in part by the Obama Watch, a device that Chris Wallace used to goad Barack Obama into appearing on his Fox News Sunday program. The difference is that I am not pimping my own show, or any show, so long as Palin makes herself available to press scrutiny.

Americans must rise up and demand that McCain free Sarah Palin. Republicans like to complain that this isn't about celebrity, so they need to call off the PR flacks. The time is now to come clean so that voters have sufficient information to make an informed judgment. Democracy is in a sorry state if political strategists can hawk candidates like soda pop without ever disclosing the ingredients.

Originally posted to KingOneEye on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 10:10 AM PDT.

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