Sunday, September 28, 2008


For those interested in seeing Sarah Palin interviewed by someone who is asking her questions rather than trying to trap her (not that there's anything wrong with that), we have her in Charlie Rose's Green Room.

I have gone back and looked at the Couric video. I see what the fuss was about, because she was clearly flustered and lost - not very inspiring. On the other hand, what is happening in the interview is that she is being asked to support her claim of a particular good thing that McCain is known for. She can't come up with one, and she does not BS her way out of it as a good politician should. When you look at it, she is being asked about the specifics of McCain's legislative record. I'm not sure that should be the first priority of a governor-turned-VP nominee in getting up to speed.

For comparison #1, look at the questions Couric asked Obama. All are easier to answer. There's nothing of the nature of "What were the anti-corruption measures sponsored by Joe Biden that caused you to choose him for your VP?"

For comparison #2, Hillary Clinton did not finally face the media on a consistent, non-managed basis until this last year, 16 years after she has come into the national spotlight. When she had been interviewed in the past by tenacious people - the Tim Russert interview, her Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and all her "I'm sorry I don't recall" deposition - she was repeatedly a disaster. She's not anymore, but she was sheltered from hard questioning for decades.

I have got to stop writing about politics. I'm making myself crazy.


Anonymous said...

My impression of the question about McCain's record was that it turns out Palin doesn't have a crush on John McCain. She therefore has not memorized all his stats and big plays. I'll bet she doesn't even know how many houses he and Cindy have.

She foolishly has been concentrating on real issues and on being a full partner in the campaign.

jackscrow said...

The debate will be kind of like McCrazy/Obamamania.

Palin will do better than expected. Biden will do a little worse. Probably because he will not be able to stop running-on.

The most important thing is that resident wacky liberal darling Gwen Eiffel will decide the questions and very few of them will be what is expected. The questions will be calculated to make Palin look bad.

I'm a-bettin' that while the candidates are preping for the debate, Eiffel is cribbing up on foreign policy questions. (Who's the Pakistani Assitant Minister of Defense?)

Of course, Palin's team knows that, though, and they will try to ready her. She may be a quick study. Or not.

Will be interesting.

bs king said...

Actually, when I watched the interview I got a little sad that they didn't give her a couple more years and a good mentor. I believe it was you (though it may not have been) that made the comment that people liked her because it proved that our secret belief that we know at least 5 people who would make a better president than who ever actually gets it. I think if you take a step back, she's doing a good job at showing exactly how much freakin work this whole national level politician thing is. She's doing better than 99% of regular people would, and not looking great in some cases. I don't know, I got really irritated when the fad of talking about how stupid Bush was started. I had to endlessly point out to people that no one gets to that level without being quite a bit smarter than others.

By the way....have you seen the Biden-Palin debate drinking game yet? One point is "drink if Biden forgets that he's the VP candidate and refers to the campaign as his own".

bs king said...

Hm. Just googled it to find you a link. Turns out there are MANY Biden-Palin debate drinking games. All rather amusing, and so fair and balanced Fox News is already suing.

bs king said...

Correction: the first three I read took funny shots at both. The next gazillion were Palin bashing. Now I'm mulling what that says about the difference between the two parties.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Or not mulling, but politely hinting to people what you see as obvious. And nicely done.

Ben Wyman said...

Remember the second Bush-Gore debate, where Bush had clearly worked with advisers to up his international diplomacy knowledge? He kept trying to subtly throw in the Nigerian defense minister and whatnot during the debate. Everyone forgets now how fun those two debates were. SNL got about 20 minutes of sketches out of them.

I had the same impression as you on the content of the Couric's questions, which is why it's a shame that Couric was her first interview instead of Rose. Your first interview should never be with someone who can dramatically increase their national profile if they show you up.

She should have eased her way up with a couple cake interviews, finishing with the Daily Show, which has a far higher reputation for being a tough interview than it deserves. McCain goes on it and kills every time.

jackscrow said...

Hard questions for candidates: "Why should a politician/candidate for high office have an easier time of it than a Doctoral candidate during the oral portion of an examination?"

I say "put 'em ALL on the grill", and not just for an hour debate, either. I'm talkin' serious, hard questions asked in front of the American people, complete with instant fact-checking of the answers -- on TV.

But we all know that could never be allowed to happen. The American people would get bored and watch reruns of American Idol.

On the VP debate, I've changed my mind. No prediction here. I have no idea whether Palin will be able to handle the pressure.

But, "If you want to start your watch, it's 49 and a half hours before Gwen Ifill is accused of sexism and bias against moose-hunters."