Sarah Palin has a Press Conference?!?

14 11 2008

That whooshing sound you are about to hear is Sarah Palin sucking all the air out of the room at the Republican Governors Conference. I don’t know what happened. Maybe somebody slipped an Ambien in her morning coffee. But the perky, feisty, ‘pallin’ around with terrorists’ ‘you betcha’ Palin looks completely deflated and totally out of her element.

But, part of the Sarah Palin we have come to know is still in there, clad in black shiny clothing that wasn’t hers before August 29th.

I’m hoping that the one thing that will come from the fact that Sarah Palin is inexplicably still in the national spotlight, is that people will realize after a while, that there is no there there. When allowed to speak at will, she regurgitates the same handful of talking points, the same double helpings of word salad, and the same endless High School filler words to inhabit all the space that should be filled with actual thoughts. Scratch the surface, and you’ll find more….surface.

Here’s part of her intro:

I am very proud to be here with this group of Republican governors. There’s something different about this group where we…uh…as a whole what we do in our states is govern with strong executive experiences that are put to good use. We don’t let obsessive extreme partisanship get in the way of just doin’ what’s right for the people who have hired us…our constituents in our states and you know…um…we have to balance our budgets. It doesn’t matter who controls our legislatures, we balance our budgets. We’re in charge of tens of billions of dollars in our states and tens of thousands of public employees all providing services and projects and implementing policies that are best for our states, and again not allowing obsessive partisanship to get in the way. I think this group is going to be looked to and looked at for leadership that had perhaps been lacking in congress and uh…in Washington D.C. This group’s going to be uniquely qualified to provide leadership in this nation.

Now all those governors understand what it is exactly that a governor does every day. At least we are led to believe that she was addressing governors…it might have been middle school students…can’t tell the difference.

And after the intro, we were treated to a very short press conference!

Q. What are the chief issues on which you would like to turn your political celebrity into a new political credibility for your party and yourself?

Palin: I don’t know if it’s political celebrity but I want to put to good use my experience that I have as uh..the governor of an energy producing state to help our nation become energy independent and…and, you know, we’re going to focus here on what we can do as a team of Republican governors together because again, what we do in our states is balance budgets despite who controls our legislature. We don’t let obsessive partisanship get in the way of doin’ what’s right. We’re all about healthcare reform and doing those things in our own states to allow competition accessibility, affordability for healthcare for more of the residents in our own states. Our border states, of course, being very concerned and committed to uh, immigration reform. Those issues that we work on every day. We as a team I believe are going to be looked to and we offer up the solutions that on a national level our elected officials are going to need.

Q. You have lost the vote of women and Hispanics. What can you do to recover? (ouch)

Palin: Well, ya know, I treat everybody equally – women, Hispanics, I..I..am going to…uh…work with this group of governors to serve, um, all Americans and individually in all of our states our residents..um..we’re going to work extremely hard but treating everybody equally and not allowing gender, race, uh, background, demographic representive, we’re not going to let that get in the way of doing what’s right for our country as a whole.

As you’ll notice, she keeps backing away from the podium, wanting to end this, and who knows why, but Texas Governor Rick Perry says Palin will take one more question and actually grabs her by the arm and steers her back to the microphone like she was a child…or a prop. The whole thing is just painful.

It’s nothing wrapped in nothing, stuffed with nothing, and tied in a pretty bow. Usually no matter how woefully inadequate her spoken words may sound, there’s nothing that compares to actually reading a transcript. There’s no visual distraction, there’s no non-verbal communication, it’s just the words. But this time, her obvious discomfort, disconnected tone of voice, and almost dazed confusion at times is quite startling. If you watch her face, and listen to the tone of her voice, much of the press conference sounds like a watered down version of the deer-in-the-headlights moment when Katie Couric asked her if there were any other Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, only without the adrenaline.

Q: Given that this is your first formal press conference on the national stage, what message are you trying to convey?

Palin: I’m trying to convey the message that Republican governors are a unique team, a unique group. They are here. We are here. Together. United and ready to reach out to the new administration to offer solutions that we know will work to meet the challenges that America is facing.

Nothing.

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Sarah Palin Back at Work. (Video)

8 11 2008

Here’s part of Sarah Palin’s press availability on Friday at her Anchorage office. She’s back on the job, sans stylist, sans makeup artist, and sans Neiman Marcus wardrobe. She perks up a little by the end, but she is not looking particularly happy these days.  When questioned about her abrupt change in lifestyle, Palin responded:

“It’s gonna be busy days here like it was busy days on the trail bein’ the governor full-time, in addition to bein’ a candidate. Now, of course, we get to concentrate on just one of those.”

It’s interesting to note, that Palin never actually turned the reins over to Lt. Governor, Sean Parnell while she was gone. Instead, she felt she would be the best person to manage the affairs of state (since she had all that free time to concentrate on Alaska), and took along with her long-time hometown friend and aide Kris Perry to the tune of $1000 a day. Perry was facilitating communication between the governor and her staff in Alaska. This travel bill will be paid by the residents of Alaksa to the tune of $1000 a day. Keep this in mind when you get to that first highlight I’ve marked below.

Highlights:
1:35 – talking about “being prudent with other people’s money”
2:18 – I know that I know that I know…..?!? (A new Palinism for sure)
5:19 – Advice to the girls of America – “You better study hard.” (learned that one at the Couric interview)
6:30 – The other 49 states are behind Alaska in equality
7:30 – A run for the senate seat if Stevens gets elected and expelled? “Not plannin’ on that.”
7:45 – “This is the best job in the world” (Who wanted that VP job anyway…)
9:30 – She wants to help “fix” the media.  There’s a funny exchange in here where Palin tried to discredit whoever reported on those “anonymous sources” in the McCain campaign that said she was a nightmare.  Then she finds out it was the New York Times. 

Now that you know what to look for, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, or a crunchy snackfood, and enjoy 10 minutes of post-election Palin.





Palin vs. Press

23 09 2008

Sarah Palin finally got to meet with a foreign head of state! Her crash course in international diplomacy has moved from the memorization of talking points, to actual face-to-face meetings with several world leaders at the U.N. Palin and McCain plan to meet with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko. Palin was then to “fly solo” meeting separately with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Columbian President Alvaro Uribe, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

So finally, an opportunity for the press to observe and report on Palin’s self-proclaimed “readiness” to handle foreign policy issues. She’s ready because she’s confident! She’s confident in her readiness! She’s on a mission, and the mission is to not blink! Bring it on! Stump the candidate!

So, how will the press cover this? What will Palin have to say when she’s in real-life interaction with those who will potentially be her partners in international affairs that affect the world? We learned this morning that the McCain campaign had banned the press. The TV producer, print and wire reporters in the press pool that follows Palin as she travels the country, were told that they would not be admitted to the meetings. There would, of course be photographers and a camera crew to capture iconic images of the events so we can see Palin meeting with these world leaders, without actually knowing what anyone said. Convenient for the McCain campaign.

The Associated Press, and at least one other news organization objected to the decision, but were told it was not subject to discussion.

In a surprising move of chutzpah, CNN, who was to provide the TV news outlets with footage, pulled its camera crew from the first meeting between Palin and Hamid Karzai, denying the McCain campaign the high visibility (with accompanying convenient silence) they were seeking for Palin. But, after agreeing to allow a CNN producer to accompany the camera crew, CNN relented, and joined the meeting.

According to the CNN producer who was let into Karzai’s hotel suite with the photographers just before noon, Karzai was talking about his son. Palin was nodding, and asked what his name is. Karzai replied his name was Mirwais and explained that it means light of the house.

The media were escorted out after about 40 seconds.

Ah. Now we’ve learned that Palin likes talking about other people’s kids names. I wonder if Palin volunteered that her children are named after sporting events, motor vehicles, and Alaskan towns? Surely our problems in Afghanistan are over.

Campaign aides subsequently announced that reporters would be allowed to accompany photographers into the later sessions with Uribe and Kissinger.

At that point, campaign spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said it was all just a “miscommunication.” Earlier, she had said, “The decision was made for this to be a photo spray with still cameras and video cameras only.”

A photo “spray”? Is that what happens when the decision to ban the press hits the fan?

Stay tuned, America. We may find out whether Henry Kissinger played hockey as a kid, or if Alvaro Uribe knows how to field dress a jaguar! Spray on!