Thursday, October 29, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson and Charles Krauthammer

Victor Davis Hanson and Charles Krauthammer are two smart commentators. But, who is smarter? The one who makes gratuitous hits without supporting evidence or the one who gives easily substantiated praise?

Hanson in a wide ranging piece on problems facing America under Obama policies gives praise to former Governor Sarah Palin on understanding the nation's energy resources/needs.
We should be on a dash to build nuclear plants for the coming demand from plug in hybrids and spikes in electricity usage. We should be leasing as much natural gas lands as possible, to gain the supplies to run energy plants and to power vehicles. There is plenty of oil in the Dakotas, California, Texas and in the Gulf and we should be drilling there like mad. Sorry, even Santa Barbara should either ban SUVs or have oil derricks on the horizon. Sarah Palin knows far more about ANWR than does Van Jones.
[link added]
It's pretty clear that Sarah Palin knows a lot more about ANWR and oil not only than Van Jones but than any other major political figure in the U.S. The comparison advances Hanson's overall argument that Obama policies are bad for the nation while showing that Hanson respects Palin.

On the other hand, Krauthammer in a long interview conducted by Der Spiegel criticizes President Obama. But, in talking about 2012 GOP leaders, Krauthammer goes out of his way to label Sarah Palin "not a serious contender":
SPIEGEL: Who will be the next leader of the Republican Party?

Krauthammer: Some presidential candidates from last year will return in 2012. Sarah Palin is not a serious contender, but somebody like Mitt Romney will be. He is a serious guy, he understands the economy. There will also be some young people many haven't yet heard about, such as Rep. Paul Ryan or Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Or outsiders like the mastermind behind the surge in Iraq, General David Petraeus, who might retire from the military and run for President on the Republican ticket.
What's interesting is that the polls say that Palin is in the top three--number two in the most recent poll (CNN) after Governor Huckabee, with Governor Romney coming in number three. In an earlier poll this month (Rasmussen) Palin scored third after Huckabee and Romney. Krauthammer doesn't even mention number one in both polls: Huckabee.

No one knows what will happen in 2012, but if Palin is the nominee or among the top candidates what does that say about Krauthammer's political smarts? Especially since she is the only candidate he names as "not a serious contender". Krauthammer's comment was a gratuitous hit without any basis in fact. It's basically a statement about Krauthammer's personal dislike for Governor Palin rather than a serious reading of Republican politics.

Win-win for Professor Hanson and likely lose-lose for Dr. Krauthammer.

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