John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden get calls from Bob Gates and Condoleezza Rice about the ongoing Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) being discussed with the Iraqi government because of their respective roles on the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees. Sarah Palin… not so much.
According to the State Department, Palin is a governor with no relevant jurisdiction or oversight of the State Department or Department of Defense, but as this briefing shows, some people aren’t going to be able to help but interpret it as a snub of the Republican vice presidential candidate. From Friday’s daily State Department briefing:
QUESTION: You called Senator Biden, you called McCain, you called —
MR. MCCORMACK: Chairman Biden, I guess I should have said.
QUESTION: Yeah. Did you also call Governor Palin?
MR. MCCORMACK: No, no. She – if you hadn’t noticed, she’s a governor, not a senator or congressman.
QUESTION: She’s a vice presidential candidate.
MR. MCCORMACK: Right.
QUESTION: She also has extensive foreign affairs experience. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCORMACK: Look, I explained to you the reasoning behind the phone calls.
QUESTION: Anything that has to do with Russia, you would have called her?
Regardless of the substantive issue of whether or not a governor has jurisdiction of foreign policy, as vice presidential candidate, she or any other candidate – regardless of gender or political affiliation – are entitled to get a briefing or courtesy call on this subject so they can be informed as candidates. If she is entitled to receive classified intelligence briefings from the DNI, I see no reason why she shouldn’t be filled in on SOFA.