Palin is something quite different, and a good deal more dangerous than the lumpish and frequently strident Gingrich. She knows nothing of foreign policy and even less of security and defense related issues and is basically a neocon creation being promoted by them as a national candidate. Palin was discovered by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol in 2007 while he and a group of National Review stalwarts were on an Alaska cruise. Kristol assiduously pushed the right buttons to get her on the Republican ticket with John McCain. Palin returned the favor, describing how she had an Israeli flag on display in her governor’s office and describing her love for Israel during the debate with Joe Biden, but her ignorance of foreign policy issues was palpable during the campaign. Palin continues to be in contact with Kristol and has benefited from a recent hagiography The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star by Matthew Continetti, who bears the title of “opinion editor” at the Kristol’s Weekly Standard. Continetti’s critique of Obama administration policies appears to include all Muslims, “Since 2005, Americans have been worrying about Iran’s ambitions for regional hegemony. Maybe it’s time we started worrying about Turkey’s regional ambitions as well. The Turks ruled the region from 1453 to 1922, after all. A renascence of Turkish power, in an Islamist guise, would cause all sorts of troubles no one can anticipate.”
Palin’s closest foreign policy adviser appears to be hardliner Randy Scheunemann, who advised John McCain and is perhaps most famous for his working as a lobbyist for Georgia, likely motivating his boss to declare “We are all Georgians” in a war that Tbilisi initiated against its neighbor Russia. So much for getting things wrong, but that has never in any way slowed down the neoconservatives. Another close adviser on foreign policy is Michael Goldfarb, who is the partner of Scheunemann at lobbying firm Orion Strategies, also worked for Kristol at the Weekly Standard, is an adviser for the Emergency Committee for Israel, and has also been associated with Liz Cheney’s Keep America Safe.
Palin’s boasts of being the mother of a combat veteran – her son with the somewhat unusual name Track – and has repeatedly asserted fatuously that American soldiers overseas are fighting to preserve freedoms in the US. Her simplistic bumper sticker analysis is perhaps not too atypical of the political chattering class, but even by their standards she is sometimes overly adept at reducing complicated issues to neocon crafted soundbites.
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