Steve Lopez, who has a movie coming out this Christmas called The Soloist, is probably the most popular and best-paid columnist in Los Angeles. He’s popular for good reason. He takes on tough issues, including homelessness, illegal immigration, and school bureaucracy, but with bracing good humor.
This weekend he went to Nome, Alaska, to test Sarah Palin’s idea that being able to see Russia gives a person a sense for foreign policy. It’s a good column (and has a video version, if you prefer video).
But best of all, he introduces us to a crusty newspaperwoman named Nancy McGuire, who wrote her own super-blunt column on Sarah Palin for the Nome Nugget, called Lies Fly (see the editorial on this page).
McGuire is a little like Hildy Johnson thirty years later, if Hildy Johnson after "His Girl Friday" had busted up with Cary Grant and impulsively moved up to the Arctic Circle to start over. She’s Ms. No-Nonsense:
Sarah Palin claims she has foreign policy experience because Alaska shares borders with Canada and Russia. Someone please whack her over the head with a geography book.
Sure itʼs flattering that an Alaskan was picked to be McCainʼs running mate. We Alaskans are proud of our state, but letʼs face it; Palin is woefully underqualified to be anywhere near the oval office. It kind of makes one want to go out and find a moose and put lipstick on it.
Lopez, impressed, told McGuire that she might be in line for Secretary of State, since she once actually did come close enough to Russia on a plane trip in college to be chased off by a Soviet MIG fighter.
"I‘ll go for president," she said, noting that she has more Russia experience than Palin. "I’ve seen it closer."
Below Steve Lopez tries to see Russia from Nome, but discovers an island in the way.
[Photo by Myung Chun]