Sarah Palin responded Wednesday to critics who have tied her rhetoric to Saturday's massacre in Tucson, Ariz., but her speech has sparked further debate over whether the former Alaska governor is presidential timber. In a video posted online, Palin said those who blamed her for inciting violence with her now-notorious "crosshairs" election map were being irresponsible and manufacturing a "blood libel." Critics said Palin was being insensitive, because the term refers to a notorious smear of Jews — and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in the Tucson rampage, is Jewish. Does Palin's forceful response indicate that she's a born leader, or that she is unfit to be president? (Watch the Media Matters CEO lash out at Palin)
Palin blew a chance to show leadership: Sarah Palin never misses "an opportunity to miss an opportunity," says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. She has every right to "feel aggrieved" by the unfair attempts to blame her for the Arizona shootings. That's why this was the perfect moment for her "to look very big" by saying "we all sometimes go too far" but we should try to do better. Instead, she chose to attack her critics, and wound up looking "very small." That's not leadership.
"Sarah Palin's missed opportunity"
This shows why Palin is a presidential contender: Once again, Palin has demonstrated why, if she runs, she'll be a favorite to win the GOP nomination, says Charles Babington of the Associated Press. While plenty of people are questioning the wisdom of use of the term "blood libel," others say her tactics, especially her "selective use of Facebook and Twitter," are "savvy and effective." Palin knows how to get national attention whenever she wants it, and her "provocative words" keep her in the public eye while her more cautious rivals get overlooked.
"On shootings and politics, Palin has her own rules"
The contrast with Obama's response was striking: Palin's "angry denunciation and counter-attack" against her critics showed she's incapable of rising above "grievance-based politics," says Jonathan Martin in Politico. President Obama's dignified speech at the memorial for the six people killed in Tucson — now that was presidential. Palin's petty sniping only "made Obama look even bigger" by comparison.
"Barack Obama takes opportunity Sarah Palin missed"