One jarring revelation in which the movie reaches beyond the book comes when Schmidt makes a query to assess nominee Palin’s awareness of foreign affairs, asking McCain’s VP pick how she would respond in the White House to news of waning British support for the war in Iraq.
The Palin character, sitting opposite Schmidt in a campaign bus, says McCain would “continue to have an open dialogue” with the queen of England on the subject. Flabbergasted, the Schmidt character informs her the queen is not the head of government. Palin asks who is. He informs her that the country has a prime minister.
Strong said he uncovered that additional episode during the 25 interviews he conducted with principals from Team McCain. Schmidt confirmed the account.
I would have found it incredible that Palin really could be that ignorant, and would have guessed that some passing exchange was being willfully misinterpreted and blown out of proporition – a sarcastic remark or stray misstatement treated as though actually intended and representative of a state of knowledge. At one point, IIRC, she is supposed to have seemed to think that Africa was a “country.” I thought it more likely, and still think it’s possible, that she made a slip of the tongue during high-pressure debate preparations, or that some other exchange was turned by those hostile to her into something it really wasn’t. Yet by now, after having seen her prove and prove again that her critics were justified in their suspicions of what she represented or would come to represent, I find the alternative view – in short, that she was and is kind of an idiot, in no way qualified for high office unless you presume that no office is worthy of respect – more persuasive.
You might have thought it was par for the course had you not been stuck in what you now rightfully refer to as “the conservative nuthouse” for the years just prior to that. Of course, the thing nuts have going for them is that they’re less morally responsible for their actions. I hold liberals, including myself, more accountable for everything being the way it is on a political level.