One heartbeat away

ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY…. We talked earlier about the fact that Sarah Palin has absolutely no idea what the Bush Doctrine is. It may be the foreign policy principle that led us into the war in Iraq, and it’s been the subject of enormous debate for many years, but Palin apparently hasn’t heard of it. In fact, by virtue of her answer last night on ABC, she apparently isn’t familiar with the concept of a “doctrine” at all.

I suppose the only thing stopping this from being an enormous controversy is the fact that most Americans probably don’t know anything about the Bush Doctrine, either. And since, when it comes to national elections, voters often value an ability to relate to a candidate over a candidate’s competency, maybe Palin’s humiliating ignorance might be a political advantage.

Unless voters are shown a reason to worry about Palin’s confusion over current events.

To that end, the National Security Network put together a very compelling video, highlighting the dangers associated with a leader, seeking national office, not understanding the basics. It captures Palin’s deer-in-the-headlights moment very well, and contrasts it with McCain’s awareness of the Bush Doctrine.

If there were progressive 527s out there this cycle, it’s the kind of video that would likely make a pretty effective ad.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.