She didn’t have time to do “Meet the Press” or “This Week” or any of the other big name political shows that are considered a “must” by political insiders. So, where was Sarah Palin?

Now we know the answer to that nagging question. She wasn’t breast-feeding Trig, helping the older kids with their homework, learning the latest stump speech or brushing up on issues great and small for the vice-presidential debate. She was shopping till she dropped at Sacks and Neiman Marcus with the GOP’s charge cards.

She was visiting spas, getting spray tans, having her nails done and her hair coiffed.

When she wasn’t having temper tantrums, she was playing the vixen, parading around in a towel to embarrass McCain staffers.

That’s what unnamed sources told reporters from Newsweek, the New York Times and Fox News. They all drank this Kool-Aid and then regurgitated it for the rest of us to swallow.

Pardon me while I recover from a belly laugh!

How can anyone believe that trash?

Palin, the mother of five and the governor of our largest state, gets an unexpected phone call asking her to put her life and the life of her family on hold to become a candidate for vice president of the United States. For the last two months, she was hounded by the media. The long knives were out for her at every campaign stop. Most of her time was spent preparing her stump speeches and for the debate of her life; and some disgruntled, unnamed staffers want us to believe that Sarah Palin spent her time worrying about such drivel.

Her face was plastered on billboards. The press had her staked out. She couldn’t go anywhere without the Secret Service and an entourage, so when did she conduct these clandestine shopping sprees?

If you believe that, than you are dumb enough to believe that the woman who took on corruption in her state and ousted a sitting governor from her own party didn’t know that Africa was a continent, not a country, or the parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

No less than Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s foreign policy aide, and Steve Biegun, a former member of Bush’s National Security Council, have come forward to say it isn’t so. These men spent hours briefing her, but Newsweek and the New York Times have been too busy fawning over Obama to question them?

Alaska shares a border with Canada. NAFTA is important to Alaska, and Palin was actively involved with Canada on trade issues. As for the charge about Africa, her campaign spokeswoman, Meg Stapleton, told CNN’s Campbell Brown that, once during a briefing session, she was responding to an issue and she misspoke and “in the middle (of her statement) she said ‘country of Africa’ and somebody instantly wrote it down.”

Scheunemann told the Anchorage Daily News that Palin’s debate performance speaks for itself.

“The idea that she could stand up on the stage with somebody who’s been in the Senate for 35 years and discuss domestic and foreign policy as effectively as she did, and yet somehow she doesn’t know who is in NAFTA and doesn’t know that Africa is a continent and not a country is laughable.”

Anonymous attacks by disgruntled political staffers who feel slighted, or are trying to curry favor with the media, or trying to build up their current (or future) bosses are nothing new.

When staffers of George H.W. Bush began trashing Ronald Reagan soon after the Gipper left the White House, they were quickly taken to task by Chief of Staff John Sununu, and the new president immediately called Reagan to apologize.

Reagan was constantly maligned by the media. They called him a “cowboy” and a “B- movie actor,” not ready for prime time. To be sure, getting up to speed on foreign policy is a daunting task for any governor, but let us not forget that Reagan proved to be a master in this arena and, in his plainspoken way, stood up to countries great and small.

While the pundits most adored by the Washington media have written Palin’s political obituary, she is adored by the rank and file. Ninety-one percent of Republicans have a favorable view of her, and 64 percent say she is their choice for the party’s nominee in 2012. That’s four years away, but already “Palin 2012” bumper stickers are showing up on cars, and there is an army of conservatives who are anxious to enlist in her campaign.

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