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Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Response to Peg Noonan

I remember once reading a comparison between George W Bush and Bill Clinton that made the point that someone who speaks in fits and starts is often attempting to be more accurate than someone who speaks more eloquently. The idea was that the guy who stammers is actually grappling with reality, while the smooth talker is simply "downloading" his thoughts.

Anyway, I thought of that when I read today's Letters to the Editor Column in the WSJ. The column begins with the following reader's thoughts on last week's Peggy Noonan Column:

Peggy Noonan's "A Farewell to Harms" (Declarations, July 11) contends that Sarah Palin is not smart enough to be a serious national leader. She concludes this from the poor interviews that Ms. Palin did while running for vice president. I don't believe Ms. Noonan really understands what "smart" is. Sounding good is what gets people elected, but unfortunately it is not really a sign of true intelligence. The ability to analyze available data or information and then develop effective solutions to problems by logic and reasoning is far more of an indicator of being truly smart. Along these lines, Sarah Palin did some amazing things. As governor of Alaska she took on the oil companies, got abundant energy production, and increased the share of the resulting revenues to the residents of Alaska.

Another attribute of smart people is the ability to learn from their mistakes and avoid repeating them. It will be interesting to watch Ms. Palin over the next year or so to see if she tries to develop a more impressive presence in interviews and speeches. Understanding that that is what really moves the needle with the population at large is essential for successful political aspirations. She's smart enough to figure that out and I think capable enough to accomplish it if she really wants to become a major figure on the national stage.

Robert S. Weiner

Go Atlanta! There are two more letters which also comment on the same [loony] column.

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