Palin vs. May -- a different angle

By Jared Wesley on Sep 13, 2008

Beyond references to their attacks on "the old boys club" (overt and rhetorical in Palin's case, and more symbolic in May's case) comparisons between the Republican Vice Presidential nominee and Canadian Green Party leader have been few and far between.  Perhaps this is because few people would place the two in the same political league.

Having watched both Charlie Gibson's lengthy interview of Sarah Palin on ABC News earlier this week, and Elizabeth May's interview on Global News (Focus: Decision 2008) this evening, I tend to agree.  Elizabeth May is a far stronger candidate.  Yes.  I said it.

While Palin spent most of her interview on the defensive, reaching for rhetoric in response to policy questions, May demonstrated that she may be more prepared for the leaders' debates than most pundits believe.   Granted, Charlie Gibson was far more forceful than the Global anchor.   And granted, May has had a far more intimate relationship with her party's platform than Palin.  Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised with the Green leader's candor, conviction and knowledge -- particularly on questions of the economy, crime, and taxes.  Her responses were a solid combination of sound bite and substance.

If these performances continue, Palin may not be the saviour, nor May the liability, that most observers believe.  The former may suffer from high expectations later in the campaign, as people see more of her.  The latter may benefit from low expectations for the same reason.

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