While I share the concern of one reader that Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin may “not display the broad base policy knowledge one should have for the office of the Vice-Presidency,” she has displayed one thing on the campaign trail that even Barack Obama has not, a presidential temperament in the face of relentless criticism.
Like Ronald Reagan, she doesn’t let such obloquy get under her skin. When Sean Hannity asked her in September about the harsh attacks directed against her in the course of this campaign, she replied that she doesn’t let it get to her:
You know, though, the shots that I’m taking, I know what the truth is and I know what my convictions are and my foundation is. So I’m fine there. I’m fine there.
The shots that perhaps our campaign has taken, it’s nothing compared to the shots that some people across America are taking today. The things that really matter: Somebody worried about losing their house because of Wall Street collapses. Somebody worried about losing their job or being able to pay for their child’s health care coverage or a parent perhaps having lost a son or daughter in battle, those are the shots that matter.
I’m going to keep it all in perspective.
Contrast that with Barack Obama’s reaction to criticism and tough questions. He lost his cool after having to answer eight questions back in March. During the summer, he whined about Republican criticisms which had yet to happen and would never take place. Last month, his campaign threatened legal against the National Rifle Association (NRA) for running ads exposing his record on guns.
The Republican vice presidential nominee accepts criticism with equanimity. The Democratic presidential nominee complains about it and attempts to silence it through legal action.
Given that all leaders experience a lot of flak for their actions, shouldn’t we want an executive who accepts criticism as par for the course rather than one who whines about its unfairness? Which one has more confidence in his ability to lead?
UPDATE: Mary Katharine Ham has more on Barack Obama’s unpresidential problem with criticism. Click on more to read an excerpt:
If Obama were truly a purveyor of a new kind of politics or a decent leader, in any sense of the word, he’d stick a different sentence into his stump speech. Something like, “Hey, everyone chill out. Joe is a man who asked me a question. As presidential candidates, John McCain and I have faced plenty of tough questions. The good citizens who ask those questions don’t deserve to be torn down for their efforts.”
Obama’s frowning upon the practice would go a long way toward quelling the bad practice of vetting every townhall and ropeline questioner as if he were a Supreme Court justice.
But you see, Obama is not a man of new politics or leadership. He is a man who endorses raising the cost of free speech for everyone who disagrees with him. He is a man who sends out Action WIre alerts to mobilize voters to shout down detractors who appear on the radio. He is a man who sends letters to the Department of Justice to ask it to investigate political ads that aren’t even inaccurate, much less criminal.
UP-UPDATE: Mark Steyn shows how she takes criticism in stride:
Tina Fey plays you sort of bubble-headed…
Sarah: “That’s funny. I play her bubble-headed too when I imitate her.