Okay, so Governor Sarah Palin may not be able to explicate the "Bush Doctrine" (and in fairness, one wonders whether George W. Bush could explain it either), but she deployed it perfectly during her one and only debate with Senator Joe Biden. And when I say Palin's the inheritor of this doctrine, I'm not talking about a foreign policy initiative. I'm talking about a public relations strategy. She used three of Bush's signature moves:
1. Steered all questions to her carefully prepared talking points.
2. Spent half of her allotted time making broad, platitudinous appeals to the American public for common ground so as to avoid utilizing details, specifics, or "evidence," as it is sometimes called, to propose or support a plan or position.
3. Attempted to blame the media for all of her prior nonsensical comments, by stating that in "this forum" she could speak "directly" to the American people, as though this pre-organized, pre-negotiated, pre-strategized, national television appearance more closely resembled the "heart to heart" straight-talking conversation with the public she so desperately wanted, but had been denied by the liberal, elite symbol of journalistic ferocity, Katie Couric.
As the charismatic, pretty Palin entered her post-debate party, televised live on CNN, the Elvis song, "A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action" was playing. This song summarizes the Bush Doctrine: say a lot, get away with nothing, but say little, and get away with murder.
Of course, this strategy of Bush's might easily be called the Reagan Doctrine, and one can almost picture Palin being forced to watch "Stand Up Reagan" between memorizing the deck of Hostile World Leaders Trading Cards.
In a larger sense, Palin has adopted one of Bush's other strategies by teaming up with a running mate who by virtue of his experience, intelligence, and ruthlessness, will actually run the country. Unfortunately, the similarities between McCain and Cheney do not end there: both are power-hungry, impulsive, irratic, ethically compromised, and physically ill.
Hands down, Palin is the prettiest of the bunch running for national office, but this voter is hoping we never get to the action.