John McCain has repeatedly defined “the battle and struggle against radical Islamic extremism” as “the transcendent issue of our time.” If he’s correct, of course, one would expect his chosen running-mate to have said something publishable about the issue since she entered public life. But I just did a Nexis search for anything Sarah Palin may have said or written about that issue — I searched her name with “Muslim” and “Islam” or any variant of those words — and didn’t find a single citation. Of course, there probably aren’t many Muslims in Alaska and she doesn’t profess any foreign policy expertise. But if this is indeed “the transcendent issue of our time” on which just about every national political figure has said something in the last couple of years, …well, I leave you to reach a conclusion. (She hasn’t said anything noted by Nexis about Israel in the last two years either.)
Just a couple of other thoughts about the Palin selection beyond what I wrote in my news article about Palin’s selection today for IPS: (1) I think it bolsters the Democratic case that McCain is reckless in the sense that he picked a possible successor who has absolutely no experience — or previous manifestations of interest — in foreign policy whatsoever; and (2) I think her choice is going to substantially damage McCain’s efforts to woo all but the most right-wing Jewish voters and donors. Where before he may have had an opportunity to approach the 39 percent of Jewish votes scored by Reagan in 1980, I think Palin’s past embrace of Pat Buchanan, as well as her positions on social issues, will make it very difficult for McCain to get even 25 percent. Her presence on the ticket may even dampen Joe Lieberman’s enthusiasm.
Update: She has said something about foreign policy. Matt Iglesias has a recording of her wisdom on Iraq here.