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John McCain, a/k/a John McNasty, had us going for awhile. He suckered us all in by making us think he would actually choose as a running mate someone with zero experience in national politics, zero foreign experience (except for going to college in Idaho), a well-known political corruption scandal, no real budget experience, since Alaska has had the good luck to float on petrol bucks and huge (and corrupt) federal subsidies.

Good one, John! You almost fooled us. But now we’re on to you.

crossposted from unbossed.

There are only two scenarios that make such a pick at all plausible:

  1. The Harriet Myers scenario, and
  1. The Barney Fife scenario.

Taking these one at a time.

  1. The Harriet Myers scenario

Under the Harriet Myers scenario, we would have a week or two of intense focus on the candidate. As more and more evidence of her unsuitability is gathered, leading even Bush supporters to raise questions about the wisdom of going through what could only be a bruising and embarrassing confirmation hearing, the candidate steps aside, we all breathe a sigh of relief, and a super-duper conservative is dubbed a brilliant jurist and intellect who then sails to confirmation.

The scandal is so intense that there is no media air left for attention to the Democratic presidential candidate.

Under this scenario, within a week or two, her name will be withdrawn and someone more suitable, Mitt Romney, is named as a replacement. The Party and people all breathe a sigh of relief, within just weeks of the election, leaving little time for intense testing and scrutiny.

  1. The Barney Fife scenario

The working title is "Not Ready on Day One". This could also be the ALF or Bewitched or other series with a premise in which one character is a fish out of water, constantly getting into trouble, causing all sorts of trouble for the main character(s) with everyone getting a good laugh at the end before the episode fades to black.

I think the best fit is Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show:

The series' plot revolves around Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and his life in sleepy, slow-paced Mayberry, North Carolina. Sheriff Taylor's level-headed approach to law enforcement makes him the bane of local moonshiners and out-of-town criminals, while his abilities to settle community problems with common sense advice, mediation and conciliation make him popular with his fellow citizens. His professional life, however, is complicated by the gaffes of his overzealous and comically inept cousin and deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts).

As described by Wikipedia:

Barney is often overly analytical and alarmist about benign situations, such as the modest Mayberry crime scene. He takes a minor infraction, blows it out of proportion, and then concocts an elaborate plan (sometimes involving inept civilians, like Otis Campbell or Gomer Pyle) to resolve it. This only inflicts mass chaos for Andy to quell. Despite his failings, Barney is passionate about law enforcement, regularly spouting off penal codes and ordinances to thugs and jaywalkers alike.

An emotional powderkeg, Barney easily projects panic, despair, fear or other extreme reactions. He has what he describes as a "low sugar blood level". He is smug and self-confident until a real-life situation surfaces, wherein he becomes flustered. Outwardly "a man of the world", Barney is truly naïve and easily duped. Though constantly warned by Andy, he falls for countless scams. This gullibility is evident in an episode ("Barney's First Car") where he is conned into buying a lemon from a crafty old widow.

A gossip and gadfly, Barney is known for blabbing both personal and police secrets (such as Andy's examination's of women's rings at the jewelry store, or the locale and time of a stakeout, or an armored car full of gold coming through the town). This often makes him appear as a petty halfwit, though at heart he is a caring, amiable soul. Despite a knack for exasperating the townsfolk, Barney is fondly embraced by most of them.

One major comedic source is Barney's lack of ability with a firearm. After numerous misfires (usually a Colt or Smith & Wesson M&P .38 caliber revolver), Andy restricts Barney to carrying only a single bullet in his shirt pocket, "in case of an emergency." The bullet always seems to find its way back into the pistol, where, predictably, it is accidentally discharged. The accidental discharge of Barney's pistol becomes a running gag: Barney gives a lecture on gun safety and either fires his pistol in his holster, or else he closes the gun and it goes off! Another major running gag with Barney was locking himself, or himself along with Andy, in one of the jail cells. When Barney is talking and walks into a jail cell, chances are it will shut with him inside and the keys out of reach. When Andy is locked in along with him, they are forced to embarrassingly yell for help from any citizen that may be within hearing range.

So what I foresee is a weekly sitcom where the aged president has one health crisis after another and it looks as if the wacky veep will have to take over. There will be crash courses on the location of the Iraq-Pakistan border and other information that most people who have held the office of veep would be conversant with.

Each show will end with the president escaping yet another close one. All will hug and make up.

What tipped me off?

Well, there is the name - Palin - an homage, I believe, to the comedian Michael Palin.

There are all the silly things she does that would just work so well into the outsider in the White House comedy. Think of the Moose Burger episode, the meeting of the Alaska NRA life members in the White House kitchen in which the running joke will be plays on the sound of, ya know, Juneau, the colicky infant that makes her too sleepy to hear the phone ringing at 3 am.

Gosh, if this is not the only plausible explanation, then I will eat my snark.

And, here, I think is her audition tape for the part.

Or, implausible, as it may seem, this could be reality, and the Vice President nominee for the Republican Party really is someone of unbelievably limited experience and a temperament wholly unsuited to the highest office in the land.

However, I am open to other suggestions. And welcome them. Including better comedic analogies or plausible scenarios.

Originally posted to shirah on Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 11:00 AM PDT.

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