October 2nd, 2008 08:45 EST
Reading is Fundamental for Everyone except Sara Palin
I write an opinion column for a newspaper, and I also contribute to a couple of Web sites. I am on a pace to write over 500 essays this year; I get my ideas for my editorials by reading over 15 print and Web publications on a daily basis. I`m often asked to name a favorite newspaper or Web site, and I`m always quick to respond: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, The Drudge Report and NewsBlaze.
I`m a lowly newspaper columnist and blogger, and to keep abreast of current events I have no choice but to be a prolific reader. It`s imperative that a vice-presidential candidate read newspapers and magazines to keep up with what`s going on in the world.
"During the latest installment of her multi-part interview with Palin, Katie Couric tried three times to ask the Alaska Governor to name a newspaper or magazine she read to learn about the latest goings on around the globe and Palin refused all three times.
`All of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years,` Palin says.
Feeding the growing perception that she lacks the knowledge, curiosity or readiness to be vice president, Palin inexplicably dodged the simple question about her reading habits three times. No names, not even a shout out for the Anchorage Daily News or the Juneau Empire."
It`s alarming that Sarah Palin couldn`t mention a single newspaper or magazine that she reads. Even before I was a newspaper columnist, I would read two or three newspapers daily because I had an insatiable curiosity about current events, pop culture and politics. For a politician to be unable to mention a favorite newspaper, is like a movie critic unable to mention a favorite film.
Palin should put aside "Moose Hunting for Fun and Profit", and pick up a real newspaper. She might learn what McCain`s Pakistan policy, and not contradict him in the future.
A candidate who isn`t curious about the aspirations and concerns of the electorate will probably lose, and he won`t be an effective leader if he does win. A smart politician will read ever scrap of information to learn everything he can about the citizens he wishes to represent.
The McCain campaign should advise Palin to subscribe to Time, US News & World Report, The New York Times and the Washington Post. But even if Palin is forced to subscribe to "all of them", her lack of curiosity is just one more reason she`s utterly unqualifed to be John McCain`s running mate.