In her WSJ OP-ed, Noonan asks the question that many voters, Democrats, Republicans, and others really want to know after 7 short weeks of campaigning:
"She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I've listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite-a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.
But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things".
""In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower..."
Ms. Noonan understands the significance of speaking style..you can be folksy or wonkish but when style is coupled with an apparent lack of substance the GOP V.P. candidate becomes: "Talking Points Palin". She can dish it out but she cannot reply to follow-up questions, she can blurt out "red meat" attacks, but she cannot explain her own positions, or amplify a positive agenda. Noonan tears into the blurby empty attack style of Palin and recognizes its consequence on the McCain Campaign
"In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism."
As a conservative, Noonan is obviously disappointed with Palin's performance as a V.P. candidate and recognizes the "blowback" she faces for offering up her honest opinion. Her observation is "spot on" regarding Palin's candidacy: its a symptom of a larger problem in the conservative political sphere.