Sunday, October 05, 2008

Palin's Reading Habits

"Will America choose the old hero who favours tax cuts for business and the rich and backed George Bush’s wars? Or the young man who promises health care for all, a swift exit from Iraq and more money for the average worker?"

-- The Economist, Oct. 2, 2008
A lot of people -- the ones with brains -- scoffed when Sarah Palin couldn't name for Katie Couric a single newspaper or magazine she reads. Yet, just two days later, she suddenly claimed on Fox News (of course, it would be Fox!) that she reads "the same things that other people across the country read." Then, she reeled off the names of three publications including the politically right-of-center "Economist" magazine.

Understandably, that same crowd of people with brains was incredulous. "Does Palin Really Read the Economist?" Think Progress asked.

The answer might be "yes." Her personal brain-trainers may well have forced her to glance into at least one issue.

We say that because, as Johns Hopkins professor Hillary Bok points out (writing as "Hilzoy") at the Washington Monthly blog, the current issue of The Economist shows that when it comes to economists, "the majority" -- at times by overwhelming margins -- believe Mr Obama has the superior economic plan, a firmer grasp of economics and will appoint better economic advisers" than John McCain.
Eighty per cent of respondents and no fewer than 71% of those who do not cleave to either main party say Mr Obama has a better grasp of economics. Even among Republicans Mr Obama has the edge: 46% versus 23% say Mr Obama has the better grasp of the subject.
Even so, we doubt Ms. Palin got far enough into the article to see this excerpt:
Where the candidates’ positions are more clearly articulated, Mr Obama scores better on nearly every issue: promoting fiscal discipline, energy policy, reducing the number of people without health insurance, controlling health-care costs, reforming financial regulation and boosting long-run economic growth. Twice as many economists think Mr McCain’s plan would be bad or very bad for long-run growth as Mr Obama’s. Given how much focus Mr McCain has put on his plan’s benefits for growth, this last is quite a repudiation.
Click on the chart, below, to get the detailed polling numbers.

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