Yesterday, one of the Democratic Party’s self-appointed commissars in the media, E.J. Dionne, was mightily dismissive of Sarah Palin based on what he found in a New York Times story:
“Aides traveling with Ms. Palin have reported back to associates that she is a fast study — asking few questions of her policy briefers but quickly repeating back their main points — who already has considerable ease and experience before cameras.
“A former aide in Alaska who had helped prepare Ms. Palin for her campaign debates there said she had a talent for distilling information into digestible sound bites. The aide said she generally prefers light preparatory materials to heavy briefing books, and prefers walking through potential questions and answers with aides to holding mock sessions.”
So it doesn’t look like Palin will be joining E.J. soon as a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution. But apart from reminding one of the frequent ridiculing of Ronald Reagan for his fondness for information distilled onto an index card, one can also see in her “talent for distilling information into digestible sound bites” a political skill — requirement — that she is obviously only beginning to hone on a national scale. Had she been a candidate for president and thus a participant in countless debates, she’d have the routine down cold.
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