Could Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin use public speaking lessons and public policy tutoring from President George W. Bush? The mere fact that this is a legitimate question a few days away from her debate with Senator Joe Biden, and five weeks away from her possibly being vice president-elect, is both laughable and frightening.
So how are Palin's handlers going to prepare someone Kathleen Parker, writing in The National Review, declared was "painful to watch," and Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria wrote, "what she has to say is often, quite frankly, gibberish."
One needs only to look back at the 2004 Presidential election when another unintelligible and intellectually challenged governor (President George W. Bush) was going up against a Senator (John F. Kerry) with far more knowledge and experience.
Quite simply, you cheat.
A television camera image (ironically from Fox News) at the first presidential debate in 2004 clearly showed that President Bush was wearing something underneath his suit. Veteran Journalist Dave Lindorff, who originally broke the story in Slate, published a follow-up about it a few weeks later in Mother Jones in which he interviewed a NASA scientist who analyzes enhanced space images.
Robert M. Nelson, a senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, told Lindorff that "George Bush is obviously wearing something -- probably a receiver of some kind -- under his jacket for each debate."
Nelson also enhanced photos of the Bush "bulge" from the debate that are still available for viewing at Mother Jones.
Another expert Lindorff interviewed, Alex Darbut, technical and business development vice president of Resistance Technology, Inc., said that Bush was most likely wearing a back-mounted transceiver with a wireless earpiece, something his company makes and sells to military personnel and other professionals.
In addition, Bush's behavior was strange in the debate. For instance, at one point Bush bellowed out "let me finish," even though neither Kerry nor debate moderator Jim Lehrer interrupted him. And it should also be noted that in pre-debate negotiations, Republicans demanded cameras could not shoot behind the candidates.
When asked about the bulge on his back by Charlie Gibson on ABC's Good Morning America, Bush replied, "I don't know what that is. I mean, it is--I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."
Not very convincing.
Lindorff, who should be commended for his tireless reporting on the issue, wrote another article in Extra! critiquing why the media hadn't pounced on the story. His conclusion was that newspapers such as the New York Times killed it because it was too close to the election. But this wouldn't be the first story The Times killed (or held) because of the proximity of an election.
If this actually happened four years ago and Republicans got away with it, there is no reason to believe that they won't try it again. And given the fact that Palin in her one-on-one with Katie Couric, just last week, "looked like a high-schooler trying to BS her way through a book report," (on a book she never read), Republicans may have no other choice.