Sarah Palin may be at home in Alaska right this moment, sitting in perpetual darkness, skinning a moose by candlelight, and wondering why in the hell everyone is being so supportive of Caroline Kennedy’s campaign for a Senate appointment. She was never mayor, she was never governor, she was never a beauty-pageant runner-up. And yet she’s facing a minuscule fraction of the outcry from the left that Palin faced only a couple of months ago. Palin wouldn’t be alone in this sentiment, as a number of conservative voices are speaking up about the double standard of the Kennedy backers. Of course, those wily liberals have found some loopholes that they hope will maintain their intellectual integrity.
• Jonah Goldberg believes it’s fairly obvious “that the liberal reaction to the inexperienced Caroline has been somewhat more gracious than the reaction to the ‘inexperienced’ Palin.” The comparison isn’t perfect, but Palin’s “by-the-bootstraps story was ridiculed” while the feeling seems to be that Kennedy “deserves a Senate seat because, well, she just does.” [National Review]
• Kathleen Parker contends the main reason for opposing Palin was not her résumé but “substantive concerns about competence, as well as wariness about her tone and temperament, which became increasingly divisive.” And that mattered so much because Palin “would have been a heartbeat away from The Button,” while Kennedy “would be a single vote among 100 and otherwise a placeholder until 2010, when she would have to run for election as any other.” [WP]
• Chris Kelly follows the same logic, reasoning that Palin’s place in the line of succession made her situation much different. Palin would have been first to take over after the president, obviously, while the events needed to elevate Kennedy to the presidency would be unprecedented, unimaginable, and probably impossible. Oh, and additionally, only a monkey could “understand the Constitution less than” Palin. [HuffPo]
• Andrea Tantaros suspects that if Kennedy was subjected to questions from Katie Couric about “the Peace Bridge in Western New York or Indian gaming in the Catskills … there would be some stuttering and stammering in her responses but she’d hardly be called a fool as Palin was.” After nominating Barack Obama and now falling behind Kennedy, it seems “qualifications don’t matter to the left as long as you don’t hunt moose.” [Fox Forum/Fox News]
• The Boston Globe editorial board sees a different similarity between the two women — their media rollout. It seems “Kennedy’s handlers learned nothing from the plight of Sarah Palin, who was so tightly managed that the few outings she was allowed with the press became do-or-die missions that she invariably flubbed.” Kennedy isn’t Palin, “but she faces some of the same obstacles in persuading the public, and New York Governor David A. Paterson, that she has enough experience to do the job.” [Boston Globe]
• Byron York says that “some of the same liberal pundits who were hell on Sarah Palin for her lack of experience are taken with Kennedy.” How silly of Palin to run for elected office “when what she needed was fashionable charitable causes and a storied last name.” [National Review]