On Wednesday, ABC News’ Charlie Gibson interviewed John McCain. An excerpt:
GIBSON: Senator, since I’ve been following politics, every single presidential nominee has said that the first quality they look for in a vice presidential pick is the capability and the readiness to take over as president. Can you look the country straight in the eye and say Sarah Palin has the qualities and has enough experience to be commander in chief?
MCCAIN: Oh, absolutely. Having been the governor of our largest state, the commander of their National Guard.
Later in the interview, McCain said, “Governor Palin knows the surge has succeeded. She’s the commander of the Alaskan National Guard.”
We now interrupt the spin for some facts. After interviewing the service commander of the Alaska National Guard, McClatchy newspapers reports, “Palin has never personally ordered the state guard to do anything.” Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It appears she has no command experience whatsoever. The news service notes, “The governor has granted [the service commander] the authority to act on his own in most cases, including life-or-death emergencies — when a quick response is required — and minor day-to-day operations.”
So it’s clear: when McCain and his surrogates talk about Palin’s experience, the only honorable course is to not mention the Alaska National Guard.