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Experts Helping Palin Brush Up on Foreign Policy

Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate,
Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, "doesn't pretend to be a foreign policy expert, but neither is she somebody who hasn't thought about the issues," one campaign adviser said. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
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"I am thankful for the foundation I have with energy to allow us to become dependent less and less on foreign energy sources -- those sources of course being controlled in some cases by very dangerous, volatile regimes," she said at a Republican Governors Association lunch Thursday. "This is all about energy independence and all about national security."

As an example of Palin's international credentials, the McCain campaign on Thursday provided a list of 15 foreign trade representatives she has met with as governor, including officials from China, Thailand, Norway and Seychelles.

Palin has spoken about Iraq in terms of both policy and her personal connection to the war. During her acceptance speech Wednesday night, she mentioned that not only is her 19-year-old son, Track, headed to Iraq next week with his Army infantry unit, her nephew Kasey is now serving on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

"I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way," she told the convention crowd. But she also mocked Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in her speech for his policy on the war, saying he would undermine the gains the United States has made in the Middle East.

"Victory in Iraq is finally in sight; he wants to forfeit," she said. "Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay; he wants to meet them without preconditions."

As recently as March 2007, however, Palin indicated that she was not immersed in the details of America's war effort. In an interview with Alaska Business Monthly, she said: "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president . . . I want to know that we have an exit plan in place."

One of Palin's few meetings this week with outside groups was with AIPAC, a sign of how politically important it is for the GOP ticket to demonstrate its support of Israel. "We had a good, productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Governor Palin expressed her deep, personal commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel," AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said. "She also expressed her support for the special friendship between the two democracies and said she would work to strengthen the ties between the United States and Israel."

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