Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Interview

Sarah Palin's first interview with Charlie Gibson came out tonight on World News Tonight.

Overall, not bad. Not as good as the speech, but she didn't hemm and haw much. She did steer the 'What is your background national security issues' question back to her background in energy, which is a pretty typical dodge to familiar ground. In her defense, many of her critics would tell you we've been fighting the Iraq War for oil, so there is some bearing on the issue.

She did duck the Russia question. Being able to see Russia from shore in Alaska is not a recitation of the issues you've dealt with as governor -- fishing rights disputes, etc. Hey, she's a governor. I'm pretty sure the governor of Virginia doesn't have much national security experience either.

The 'not widely travelled' meme was brought up, which is to my mind a bit of a hollow criticism. How many people grow up without significant means and yet manage to do a full tour of the Louvre? She did manage to add Canada and Mexico to the countries she's been to -- which may be easily dismissed were it not for the fact that Canada is our largest trading partner and Mexico is not far behind. I somehow doubt she got beyond Cozumel, but hey.

She is no Miss Teen South Carolina. She was wise to question Charlie Gibson about what aspect of the Bush Doctrine he meant, there have been several breaks with tradition in the Bush Administration, and virtually none of them have been labelled 'The Bush Doctrine' by GWB himself. My first thought when he mentioned that term was supporting democracy and opposing totalitarianism.

I don't believe Charlie Gibson can be fairly accused of pitching softballs. His questions were tough but fair. There was a series of questions at the end that discussed her views on God and the Iraq War, she referred back to Abraham Lincoln though I would honestly say that her reference is a bit strained. She did manage to not come across like a total religious kook on the issue, she gets rather impassioned about extending freedoms to people, which is admirable though she comes across as trying to sell something Gibson's not buying in that segment.

Apparently Gibson's quote of what she said left out a couple of words. She said, "Pray that our national leaders are sending our troops on a task that is from God." Abraham Lincoln's quote fits better into the context of "Pray that our national leaders..."

This interview will not endear her to those that dislike her already. They will call her 'George W. Bush with lipstick', and will interpret extending NATO membership to Ukraine and Georgia as warmongering even though that is clearly a cooperative agreement. She pronounced 'Saakashvili' properly, still having issues with 'nuk-yu-ler', but I'm not going to quibble about that one. Jimmy Carter was a nuclear engineer and pronounces it worse, if possible. I am glad she was unequivocal about the Russian aggression in Georgia, I see it that way as well.

She needs a little more work on these questions, but maybe the domestic issues will be better for her. I hope she can put a stake in the "she lied about the Bridge To Nowhere" issue. There was a lot of editing, which can either help or hurt. She could have looked worse or better depending on what they cut out.

I think there is going to be a big sigh of relief at the Obama HQ tonight, particularly from the VP section. She may not be the Terminator in heels.

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