At last night's town hall meeting in Michigan, NBC/NJ's Matthew E. Berger reports, Palin offered to be quizzed on foreign policy issues, but did not give her specific qualifications on international affairs. She was asked what "specific skills" she would bring to the White House on international issues. She responded by saying she was prepared and has the confidence to be vice president, but did not enunciate them. "I have that readiness and if you want specifics with specific policy or countries, go ahead, you can ask you can play stump the candidate if you want to," she said. "But we are ready to serve."
McCain picked up where she left off, reminding the audience that she is commander of the Alaskan National Guard and had been involved in the construction of the natural gas pipeline in Alaska. He also mentioned that her eldest son is being shipped to Iraq, but mistakenly said he was going as part of the Guard. Track Palin enlisted last year in the Army.
Berger adds that Palin spoke several times during the hour-long event, asking to speak at the end of questions McCain answered and handling questions aimed directly at her. She spoke repeatedly of her experiences in Alaska and her plans to promote energy independence. She also criticized President Bush for going overseas to seek increased oil development from Saudi Arabia. "That's nonsense," she said, "When we have the domestic supply here in America."
"Palin, in her second national interview since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee, said last night that she and running mate John McCain disagree on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but that she's 'going to keep working on him."
Once again, Karl Rove called Palin a "political pick" by McCain. "'Nothing lasts for 60-some-odd days,' Rove told The Associated Press after appearing at a health care conference. 'Will she be the center of attention in the remaining 48 days? No, but she came on in a very powerful way and has given a sense of urgency to the McCain campaign that's pretty remarkable.'"
"Rove said Palin was a 'political pick' just as Sen. Barack Obama's choice of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden was, and that she is not the most qualified candidate. Biden, well-versed in foreign policy issues after more than three decades in the Senate, makes up for the Illinois senator's lack of experience in that area. Palin has been governor for less than two years, and was mayor of small-town Wasilla before that. But Rove said he had no qualms about her ability to lead.
Palin's hacked e-mail account could bring another round of anti-media rhetoric from the McCain campaign.