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Palin Interview

The first snippets of the Charlie Gibson/Sarah Palin interview are now surfacing on the Internet. Palin says that she "did not hesitate" and "did not blink" when she was asked to be John McCain’s running mate because she is ready and you can’t hesitate when you are committed to a mission like this. Good answer. Better yet, she didn’t blink when Charlie Gibson tried to pin her down as a religious wacko. She very calmly (and sensibly) appealed to Abraham Lincoln’s understanding of our duty to be on God’s side in a just cause rather than praying and hoping that He will be on ours. We have a duty to do right, that is all. Normal people get that and know that it is not some Bible thumping call to holy war--much as the other side might wish that it were.

I will have to watch the whole interview (parts will be aired tonight and I think the whole thing will be shown tomorrow) before I can pronounce it an unqualified success, but I have to say that it looks promising--mainly because she just looks so normal, so real. The more her opponents try to paint a picture of her that departs from that obvious reality, the more refreshing her normalcy is going to feel and the better we will all like her. We will know that what they’re really painting is a picture of how they see us and we will know that it is unfair, unscrupulous and--what’s more--it is silly. We are not in a situation where we can afford to listen to the silly people. When November rolls around, we’re going to listen to the conversation at the grown up table.

In passing, I cannot resist mentioning that the two central references she makes in the outtakes I’ve seen were to Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence. She just looks better all the time.

Discussions - 12 Comments

She needs to remind people too of FDR's prayer on commencement of Operation Overlord, popularly known as D-Day. Then she can say if Lincoln can pray, and FDR can pray, ------------- and men and women currently in uniform can pray, --------------------- why can't the Vice-Presidential nominee pray, why can't national leaders pray. Turn it into a commonsenical observation, and turn the whole thing around. For then Democrats don't simply appear to be overly secular, but anti-historical as well.

If the media wants to make this election one of the sanity of religious belief, ------------- we'll win that one hands down.

She was grilled, far moreso than we've seen Obama.

Bush Doctrine query was a gotcha' question. She needs to have an approach to being asked questions she doesn't know the answer to, and that is to either say the question is asking a detail that staffers should know, not Executives, {which then gets us into a discussion we win, which is the inherent differences in Executive functions v. Legislative ones} OR she needs to remove the question to a level of abstraction she's comfortable with.

One of her natural strengths is that she addresses problems, she speaks to questions, and she tries to do so in good faith. But when the media is like a pack of wolves out for her blood, she needs to develop the skill of moving issues to a level of abstraction beyond the specificity that might trip her up.

It's a law school trick, a trait of the glib, ---------- but a little bit of it can sometimes do wonders.


I concur with your opinion. I was positively encouraged when she referenced Lincoln. As I write this CNN just commenced talking about it where one person yet again called her a religious wacko for invoking Lincoln. But, essentially, you are correct--Palin is no old guard 1980s religious right politician. She is rising to the level of statesman.

Let's hope the full interview confirms our initial reaction.

For such a time as this......
Yes Sarah Palin is everything white evangelical conservatives want from a politician, but she is not ready to be one heartbeat away from the commander in chief and the leader of the free world. If it truly is her time to serve our country as vice president, the good lord will grant her wisdom to out fox the media, liberal and otherwise. The Huffington Post would not be writing about how Sarah the barracuda was stumped when asked about the Bush doctrine.

In her first major interview as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was stumped when asked about the so-called "Bush Doctrine," unable to answer whether she agreed with the six-year-old U.S. policy of military preemption. Asked by ABC News' Charlie Gibson whether she supported the Bush Doctrine, Palin stared blankly for a moment before turning the question back on Gibson. "In what respect?" The ABC anchor responded, "Well, what do you interpret it to be?" clearly testing her knowledge of the policy that has been in place since September 2002, before the Iraq war. Palin couldn't say, offering an answer that didn't even mention preemption. "I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell-bent in destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made, and with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better."

For such a time as this our country needs someone who is truly ready on day one. Today is Sarah's 13th day.

Norman J. Ornstein, Resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute:

She had me at hello Charley-- had me scared to death....a series of knowledge and logic gaps that ought to shake every foreign policy specialist, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, to his or her roots. Reduce...

She had me at hello Charley-- had me scared to death. Not a single doubt that she is ready to be president-- everyone, no matter how experienced, should have doubts about the ability to take that job. A combination of utter inexperience and utter arrogance is about the worst possible combination I can imagine. Not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is would be bad enough, but saying unequivocally that Georgia should be in NATO-- meaning we would now perhaps be in a state of war with Russia-- and then without a beat saying that military action should be the last resort-- shows a series of knowledge and logic gaps that ought to shake every foreign policy specialist, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, to his or her roots. Maybe they can force feed her enough facts to skate through a debate, and maybe her self-confidence will still play well with many voters, but this first cut performance underscores our worst fears.

Charlie Gibson's patronizing and condesending posture toward Gov. Palin will only endear her to American women more! All those who have been talked down to by bosses, car salesmen, auto shop repairmen, etc. will empathize. She is a sharp, principled, and sensible woman. I think many Americans would like to see someone more like themselves being a voice of reason in Washington.

What I saw of the Palin interview was frightening. She was seriously tripped up about the Bush Doctrine question, and even when she tried to talk about the primacy of peace, her tone was war-like and uncompromising. She put sounding tough above sounding reasonable. She should be trying to distance her ticket from the knee-jerk and reactionary GWB, but it sounded like she had taken oratory lessons from him, instead. After eight years of lawlessness, we need recourse to the laws of this nation, military defense and defense of the Constitution. No more of this "I'm the decider" b.s. It's true that many women want to see someone like them in high office, but if she's not competent to the task, she does us no favors.

So when Russia invades Georgia and Obama says that calls for more diplomacy, that's gonna make Russia shake in their shoes, isn't it? She was right that NATO countries are obligated to defend one another. Gibson's interview was so edited, it would be difficult to know what was actually said. Frankly, if she had given "nuanced" sounding answers, everyone would be talking today about her lack of toughness.

She could be tough on principles without sounding like she's ready to go on the offensive. She should talk about what would constitute a direct and credible threat to American defense, and stress the primacy of the rule of law in our republic. That would be change I could believe in. As it stands, it sounds like she's advocating an interventionist mess.

First off, there was nothing remotely "frightening" about her performance. People that want to know what "frightening" is should ponder well the foreign policy impliations of "the blueprint," or "the grand bargain," or American isolationism, or then again the foreign policy implications of NATO becoming nothing more than a talking salon. Or where we would all be had Iraq gone all to hell, with the oil revenues under the control of cuthroat jihadists, {and cuthroat isn't merely a figure of speech with them...}. Sure, she had not at her beck and call a fount of detailed knowledge about foreign affairs. But nobody in our ranks ever pretended she did. It's the Democrats caught up in some collective pretense about their candidate's capacities for high command. On THE most important strategic issue confronting the United States, which is energy development, SHE'S FAR MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE, and has a far better track record than anyone on the Democrat ticket.

HOWEVER, after listening to the interview, it's pretty clear now that the VP debate is going to be nothing but foreign policy. Those things that she speaks well on, because she knows far more about it than most in Washington, energy development for instance, that's going to be shorted in the debate. And we're not going to hear much about environmentalism, because there again, she knows more about REAL environmentalism than urban sophisticates, for whom the environment is more of an abstraction than a concrete reality.

It's a safe bet that the debate is going to be nothing but foreign policy. And Biden is going to try to demonstrate his ticket's seriousness on foreign policy by detailed information. Biden has gotten most of the big issues wrong since his debut in the Senate, way back in the early '70s, but those specific errors we're not likely to hear about.

It was a "no-holds-barred" interview. Tens of millions in the likely viewing audience, where she was going to get hit with questions concerning issues she hasn't dealt with, {because instead of hitting the worthless talk shows over the last several years, she's actually been busy, raising kids, governing a state, negotiating pipeline deals and crushing corruption, little things like that...}, and if that weren't enough, she had a media, wholly in the tank for the fraudulent one, ready to descend on her like vultures had she made the slightest, THE SLIGHTEST mistake.

AND she had that interview on the very day that her boy was deploying to a combat theater!

So all things considered, -------- when was the last time a candidate had all that going on with a single interview.

She did well, she did damn well, and the more I see her, the more I'm stunned by her accomplishments, her energy, her grit, her REAL promise.

There is some Palin fan club website called that has been operating for at least 2 years. On the Palin bio it list the following hobbies: Hunting, Fishing, Snow Machining, running, Alaskan History and studing the American Founders!

That's my type of woman!

Not a single doubt that she is ready to be president-- everyone, no matter how experienced, should have doubts about the ability to take that job. No matter what she had said in answer to that particular question, Palin would have been wrong. To have declared self-doubt, the Democrats would have pounced, saying that even Palin knows she is not ready. Everyone should have doubts, but in this case, that would have been too true for politics. Of course she has a lot to learn. What president has not had to learn on the job? And she will not be president, although everyone is presuming McCain's death on entering the White House, like William Henry Harrison, or something.

Also, I like James Taranto on this topic. In that kind of interview, Charlie Gibson and ABC can take the interviewee's words, edit those words and use them in whatever context, editing to twist meaning, just as they like.

Another also, I look at the field of candidates and wonder if any of them, even doughty John McCain, are ready for the presidency in today's world. I do not just mean on day one, I mean for years to come. I glance through the news of a morning like this one and wonder who can we expect to manage the world in the way we expect presidents to do?

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