Is Palin Qualified? Obama's Not Saying

DETROIT – Senator Barack Obama said in a television interview on Sunday that voters -– not he -– would have to judge whether they believe Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska is qualified to serve as vice president.

To three separate questions from Bob Schieffer on CBS' "Face the Nation," Mr. Obama offered up essentially the same answer: He's not saying. In case you missed the show this morning, this is how this portion of the interview unfolded:

Q. Sarah Palin claimed in an interview that Alaska's proximity to Russia somehow enhances her foreign policy experience and credentials. Do you agree with that?

A. "I will let the American people make a judgment on that."

Q. Well, do you believe she's qualified?

A. "Again, I think it's important for the American people to make a judgment based on what they hear from Sarah Palin herself. More importantly, I think we're electing a president before — alongside a vice president – but the president ultimately is going to be in charge.

"I think what people have to ask themselves, is John McCain equipped to deal with the 21st century challenges that we have? Is he able to look to the future and not to the past?"

Q. But don't you think what she says is important? She could be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

A. "I think it is important. And I think that I'm more concerned about the fact that she doesn't seem to have any differences with President Bush when it comes the foreign policy."

With that, Mr. Schieffer moved onto the next topic.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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