Just repeating what I've been saying for 18 months. I am lukewarm about Palin, but the evidence her opponents bring up to show she's stupid only shows their own stupidity. The latest is this writing-on-the-hand thing.
I have "Don't take it personally" written on the top line of my to-do legal pad every day. Whatever else I may lack, I do have IQ candlepower. I don't write on my hand, but I do write on random scraps of paper to carry in my pocket and hold in my hand at times. Writing five words on your hand as telegram reminders of the main points to hit during a Q&A period is simply not evidence of any intellectual lack. The objection is entirely cultural, because People Like Us don't write on their hand, and have negative associations with it. To them, it is entirely more acceptable to read off two teleprompters when speaking to a 6th grade class, because that all very dignified looking.
It's just nuts. The Couric interview, even if it is conveniently edited as Palin claims, can be legitimately used as minor evidence that Sarah isn't that smart. But it's not that big a deal. Lots of people in Washington say much dumber stuff yet retain a reputation for intelligence for reasons of smoothness and culture. Lots of highly-placed people, in fact, including...oh never mind. You can generate the high-profile list yourself.
Here's a modest proposal. When making an argument for someone's qualifications of any sort - intelligence, courage, experience, common sense, fashion sense, or kindness to wombats - describe first your criteria, then rate the person. In this way you expose yourself to the very reasonable risk that 1) others might challenge your criteria, or 2) others may point out that your own favorites don't meet the criteria. If you are unwilling to take that risk, you shouldn't be opening your mouth.