Alaskans React to “The Interview.”

12 09 2008

Sarah Palin has her first public debut since getting the VP nod under her belt. The first part of her series of interviews with ABC’s Charles Gibson aired last night. I anticipated that Alaskans far and wide from Juneau to Little Diomede would be glued to their TVs and hanging on her every word. I was very surprised when most people I spoke to this morning said, “I couldn’t bring myself to watch.” Lacking anyone to talk to for local reaction, I spent my morning coffee time perusing the reactions on the Anchorage Daily News blog. Interesting.

There were not nearly as many supportive answers as I expected. Here’s a quick tally:

Bravo – 17

Boo Hiss – 51

There were some interesting subsets of comments as well.

Eyerolling at the “You can see Russia” comment – 5

I am so embarrased – 5

Charles Gibson was trying to ‘trap’ her – 5

Negative comments about Obama – 4

The Dems are Desperate – 4

Vote Bob Barr – 1

Vote Ron Paul – 1

Here’s a smattering of comments for your reading pleasure. If you want to read them all, go HERE.

Bravo Sarah! Good job on a interview that was not a calk [sic] walk.

What an idiot!! She has no idea what she is talking about. Having her in there with her religious ideas is scary enough. But couple that with no understanding of world politics is horrific. Vote Obama and Biden and save our country from these lunitics.

It’s sad really. That people just look past how completely unqualified and unprepared she is for this position. Why? Because she’s from Alaska? Because she’s pretty? Charming? Listen to what she’s saying! She may be a great governor, but that certainly doesn’t mean she’s ready to lead the country. Seriously – you can see Russia from Alaska – so that makes her qualified to do what exactly?

Sarah is my ticket for VP. I’m a Democrat. It doesnt matter what any NBC reporter says, or what the OBAAMA dems mythbuster compagne conludes in Alaska, and quit frankly I don’t care what her qualifications are at this point because she will learn as she goes. She has less polical blemishes on her record as compared to any long term politician. Yes…she may have less experience about foreign policy affairs but I know she will do a good job. Sarah is the fresh new face we need as VP. With all the false claims the dems have made has made me change my view about OBAAMA’s tackics. I say keep up the false accusations and more folks will be changing sides to McCain and Sarah.

I think Palin is likable and does come off as an average person, but that is why Bush got elected and I am hoping the last eight years has taught us that one thing we don’t want in the white house is someone who is average and likeable.

Isn’t the candidate supposed to know more than the interviewer? Sarah should go back to TV sports reporter and let Gibson have her slot as VP candidate.

Great job Sarah! We support you and John McCain.

Message to the citizens of the United States of America: Welcome to Mayberry.

Keep it up SARAH, tell Charlie what we’re about, it makes him mad when you stuck to your guns, he was trying to get you to admit, nice try, but, didn’t work, He’s worried that your interviews with him will look good! and Its good that WE are doing this, because it shows how important our COUNTRY is! your doing a GREAT JOB.

Bobbing and weaving. Our Gov can duck and block better than a boxer with no punch.
Cramming for a test and then getting a passing score doesn’t mean you have a real understanding of the problems.

The bashing continues, the liberals are rabid, Sarah continues to push the McCain/Palin ticket higher in the polls. The Democrats have again given the the republicans the election, putting Joe Biden in as VP was a gift and as the saying goes shows the liberals are “dummer than a box of rocks”.

I think McCain mght be voting for Obama in this election because by now he MUST have figured out that he himself is just not the right candidate for the job, considering who he picked for his VP running mate. By now he must be thinking he would really, really like to go in the “way back machine” and change his mind about his choice. Poor guy must be black and blue by now from smacking himself in the head every time she opened her mouth and answered one of Charles Gibson’s questions. Yikes!

My pit bull is smarter than Palin. She’s doing all the tricks the McCain campaign taught her to do. Very trainable.

I’m sure that those who saw the interview and aren’t likely to blog on the Anchorage Daily News site probably had a more favorable reaction. And I suspect from some of the comments I read that the focus will be “Why didn’t anyone ask Obama if he thought he had enough experience?” And “Charlie Gibson was aggressive and tried to trap her!”

Good thing all those world leaders she hasn’t met yet will play nice.

Sarah’s “Grand Plan for This World.”

12 09 2008

I confess to being a little nervous about tonight’s interview of Sarah Palin by Charlie Gibson of ABC News. I wasn’t too worried that she’d hit it out of the park.  Why?  Because she really doesn’t know anything.  There are only so many talking points you can memorize.  And even if you memorize one and parrot it back perfectly, there are still those damned follow-up questions, and that annoying ‘nuance’ you have to deal with.  I was worried that Charlie Gibson would ask her to talk about her lapel pin, or ask her about her favorite recipe for moose stew.  Gibson exceeded my expectations, and Palin didn’t.

Compared to her usual Alaska Governor persona, she seemed tense, and scripted.  And someone must have told her to use people’s names when talking to them, because she must have said “Charrlee” a dozen times in the first 10 minutes.  All in all, I give her low marks.  Why?  Because basically, she sounded like she had no idea what she was talking about.  It was all pep talk, and no substance.  All memorized sound bytes that sometimes were repeated verbatim like a broken record, and no sincerity.  A few things stuck out, like when Gibson asked if she hesitated after being asked to be McCain’s running mate.

PALIN: I didn’t hesitate, no.

GIBSON: Didn’t that take some hubris?

PALIN: I — I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.

Gibson nailed it.  Hubris indeed, and Palin has lots of it.  How else can you have no foreign policy, national or international experience, and NOT HESITATE? Palin is most definitely focused on the mission.  And she is ready because she is confident that she is ready.

GIBSON: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?

PALIN: But it is about reform of government and it’s about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that’s with the energy independence that I’ve been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States.

GIBSON: I know. I’m just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.

PALIN: It is, but I want you to not lose sight of the fact that energy is a foundation of national security. It’s that important. It’s that significant.

Her foreign policy experience is energy.  McCain said it today in Maine, and Palin said it in Alaska.  They’ve said it from coast to coast, and repeated themselves.  So it must be true.

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.

PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.  But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.  That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie.

She was quoting Lincoln…  I can almost see the former Bush PR people frantically Googling “God quotes” and trying to find one that came close.  But as for her intentionally quoting Lincoln, and not mentioning she was quoting Lincoln when she was quoting Lincoln?  This is the woman who, when asked what she thought about keeping ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance said, “Absolutely. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me!”  She was only a couple hundred years off. But she memorizes Lincoln quotes…

PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That, in my world view, is a grand — the grand plan.

I don’t like it when recent mayors of small towns and first term governors start having “grand plans for this world.”  It makes me nervous.  And didn’t someone just say ‘hubris’?

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

This one had me laughing out loud.  Ready for a lesson in Alaska geography/International Affairs?  Off the coast of Nome, 532 miles northwest of Anchorage (the closest city) is an island called Little Diomede.  Little Diomede is 2.4 miles east of the island called Big Diomede, which is in Russia. 

Little Diomede, Alaska has a population of 146.  It is 2.5 square miles in area. There are 42 children in the school.  Nobody drives to work.   Big Diomede is a whopping 26 square miles.  On a clear day you can see the Island of Big Diomede from the western shore of Little Diomede. Therefore Sarah Palin is capable of negotiating with Putin and Sakashvili to peacefully settle the violent conflict that has been burgeoning in the separatist enclave of South Ossetia. 

Why Everyone in Alaska Has Foreign Policy Experience. Big Diomede, Russia (left), and Little Diomede, Alaska (right).

Why Everyone in Alaska Has Foreign Policy Experience. Big Diomede, Russia (left), and Little Diomede, Alaska (right).

GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don’t think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.

GIBSON: So if we wouldn’t second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.

PALIN: I don’t think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.

PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.

Can you find the talking point in the above exchange?  I’ll bet you can.

And I’ve saved the worst for last.

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN:  In what respect, Charlie? (no clue what the Bush Doctrine is)

GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view. (Hopeful)

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

He eventually went on, after she talked in circles for a while, and bailed her out by telling her exactly what the Bush doctrine IS, and all about pre-emptive war and how that’s OK in George W. Bush’s world.  Once she knew what it was, she agreed. 

It’s going to be a long 53 days.  Don’t blink.

Palin Rumored to Be Giving Interview

7 09 2008

My friends, the transformation is almost complete.  After sequestration with Joe Lieberman and the rest of the Republican political brain surgeons, the new and improved Sarah Palin, head now full of fun new facts about foreign policy, international relations, and the economy is nearly ready for her formal debut.

Rumor has it that she will be granting her very first interview since her selection as John McCain’s running mate on August 29th.  The lucky winner?  ABC news and Charles Gibson.  When?  Some time in midweek.  Where?  In Alaska, believe it or not.  This interview, which falls nearly two full weeks after her selection, far exceeds the amount of time taken by any other candidate in history to speak off script. It still comes earlier than many expected.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Sunday that Palin would be made available “when we think it’s time and when she feels comfortable doing it.”

So, apparently, no thanks to all of us, Palin has somehow reached the level of personal comfort necessary to speak to the American people without a script.  Has she memorized enough 3×5 cards full of talking points to pull it off?  Will Charles Gibson throw softballs, or will he ask actual questions about her record, her preparedness, and her policy?  Will she crumble in front of our very eyes?  Or will the newly dubbed ‘Caribou Barbie’ live to fight another day?

The news of the interview was leaked under condition of anonymity, so we’ll have to wait and see how the details materialize.  But it does seem to indicate that her flight north will come in the next couple of days.  It also indicates that Alaskans may be running into Charles Gibson at Jammin’ Java in downtown Anchorage, or having a cold one at the Moose’s Tooth Pizza Pub. 

When will she actually have a press conference?  According to Davis, not “until the point in time when she’ll be treated with respect and deference”.  When the Republicans make THAT call is anyone’s guess.