"One thing that we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don't assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be -- and then the opportunity that they seize to get you."
The main problem with this defense is that Sarah’s embarrassment arose from exposing her boneheaded ignorance and stupidity over and over and over on national TV. Katie Couric may have suspected that Sarah Palin was politically illiterate, but exposing that fact was a public service. A free press is supposed to do that sort of thing. On the other hand, Rand Paul has expressed a well thought out but wrong headed opinion. He has also been pounced on by the press for this, but once again, the media has made a judgment that Paul's philosophical opposition to one cornerstone of the 1964 civil rights act is newsworthy. How can you argue with that? At least Paul's opinion is not born of abyssal ignorance, parochial isolation and innate feeble mindedness.
Going only on his decision to cancel an appearance on Meet the Press, it seems possible Rand Paul might try to retreat from the national spotlight to preserve his political chances in KY without compromising his principles. Sarah Palin doesn’t have to do this, because she allows her principles to be carefully vetted, and modified as needed. She also has gotten better at the twin arts of prevarication and misdirection, and employs them freely at the rare unscripted events she attends.
It’s not like she’s worse in this regard than many another politician on the national stage, but in her case, we’ve had a good look at the noodle head under the constructed political image. Rand Paul is not a noodle head. He’s an idealistic libertarian with a touching faith in private enterprise. Whether he will allow himself to be transformed into a nationally saleable product like Sarah Palin remains to be seen.