Sarah Palin "doesn't have any substance there behind her" and her
remarks at the Tea Party convention were "embarrassing at points" since
she delivered "simple, simple thoughts, very simple-mindedly expressed," Washington Post columnist Colby King  charged on Inside Washington.
Jumbling the famous "most of the American people are mediocre. And they have a right to be represented" quote and its source, King, the Post's deputy editorial page editor from 2000 to 2007, applied the "mediocre" label to Palin: "Just as the Supreme Court nominee who was defeated said, you know, 'everybody needs to have a little mediocre representation and that's what I am.' That's what she is."
That's a pretty mediocre recollection of the quote which actually is from a Senator commenting on a Supreme Court nominee, not from the nominee. As James Taranto recounted  on OpinionJournal.com in 2002:
When President Nixon appointed G. Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court in 1970, critics said Carswell was mediocre. Sen. Hruska, a Nebraska Republican, rose to the nominee's defense: "It has been held against this nominee that he's mediocre. Well there are a lot of mediocre judges and lawyers and people. Most of the American people are mediocre. And they have a right to be represented on the Supreme Court." The elitist U.S. Senate, however, rejected Carswell by a 51-45 vote.
King's denigration of Palin, as spouted on Inside Washington ,
a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's
ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS
Sarah Palin does one thing very well, she speaks in cliches, but she doesn't have any substance there behind her. I watched her speak at the Tea Party convention, then I listened to the interview that followed with the Tea Party chairman and it was embarrassing at points, to the point where you just want to avert your gaze when she starts to talk. Simple, simple thoughts, very simple-mindedly expressed.
Look, I understand she's got a following, but just as the Supreme Court nominee who was defeated said, you know, 'everybody needs to have a little mediocre representation and that's what I am.' That's what she is.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center