Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin's Interview With Charlie Gibson

I watched this video of Charlie Gibson's interview of Sarah Palin after class last night. I thought Palin held her own quite well, although it wasn't as much of a home run as her convention speech. I was less than impressed with Gibson however. I cannot imagine him asking the same questions, using the same tone, or interrupting Obama, Biden, or even McCain for that matter. Overall, I thought he came across as quite disrespectful. Even The New York Times thought so:
Mr. Gibson, who sat back in his chair, impatiently wriggling his foot, had the skeptical, annoyed tone of a university president who agrees to interview the daughter of a trustee but doesn’t believe she merits admission.
Watch and see if you agree:

Glen Reynolds has a round-up of reactions to the interview. The consensus seems to be a win for Palin and a loss for Gibson and ABC. Lou Dobbs says Biden better do his homework before the debate.

I wish this was a video of the whole interview. Apparently, Gibson also completely misquoted Palin about a comment about the war in Iraq being "God's plan." Here's how she responded:
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.
I think Biden isn't the only one who needs to do his homework.

Much is being made of Palin "not understanding the Bush Doctrine." Here is Talk Left's reaction:
This is seriously nuts. Palin asked Gibson to define what HE meant by it. (NOTE: Stellaa points out that Gibson tried the same game with Obama and Media Matters ripped Gibson for it then. Guess Sargent is ok with it when it is done to a Republican.) Indeed, her eventual answer to the question is extremely sensible (unlike Bush and McCain's actual policies) and smart politics. She did not accept the premise of Gibson's question and then gave a sensible answer to the question.
More thoughts from The New York Times, including a bit of fairness about Gibson's questioning about the Ukraine and Goergia joining NATO:
One last thing. When talking about Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO, she might have mentioned that not only Mr. McCain supported such a move, but Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden did too.
It will be interesting to see the rest of the interview over the next couple of days. I'm also interested to see how the prediction markets respond.


Merge Divide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merge Divide said...

Absolutely hilarious. You cite Glenn Reynold's "round-up" of blog reaction to Palin's speech as some kind of balanced representation. Every blog he linked to is a conservative one. Of course her supporters are going to bring out the lipstick.

Still the best they can muster is "Palin held her own and didn't make a 'fatal' gaffe"

That's high praise indeed.

thinking said...

Palin was clearly out of her element and gave canned answers. To me she came across as rather a phony.

I think overall the reaction was mixed. I can find many reviews, for instance from the AP, as well as conservatives, that are very critical of her performance.

Her answer or rather the lack thereof to the question of the Bush doctrine was very revealing. It was a deer in the headlights moment.

Seeing as the Bush doctrine is what is responsible for us being in Iraq, it's kind of important to know what it is. She clearly did not.

Her citing Alaska's proximity to Russia as some form of foreign policy qualification is laughable. I guess when I'm near a hospital that makes me a medical doctor.

The problem with her response to the question about Georgia and the Ukraine isn't that she was for them joining NATO, but when asked about going to war against Russia to defend Georgia, she said what no wise person would: that perhaps we would have to go to war. That's a rather shocking statement no matter how you parse it.

Ironically, Palin is the Britney Spears of politics now; all celebrity, no substance.

Obama is a man of substance who happens to be popular; Palin simply lacks substance but is popular.

She is Bush in a dress; nothing more. I agree with conservative David Frum, who is a former speech writer for Bush:

"George W. Bush had very slight executive experience before becoming president. His views were not well known. He won the nomination exactly in the same way that Palin has won the hearts of so many conservatives: by sending cultural cues to convince them that he was one of them, understood them, sympathized with them. So that made everything else irrelevant in 2000 - as it seems again to be doing in 2008."

Overall, the McCain/Palin campaign has devolved into one of the most deceptive in modern history. I guess Palin doesn't care so much about the commandment against lying.

thinking said...

I should also add that Gibson did his job. She needs to be grilled hard on the issues, because she has not been sufficiently vetted.

The American people have a right to know her, and not just in scripted environments. Given that McCain made this choice so hastily, without preparing the public, and that there is so little time left before the election, there needs to be some tough questioning and quick.

It's rather revealing that I guess because Gibson was too tough, Palin's next interview is with Sean Hannity, who of course is going to give her a soft ball interview.

After this interview, I realize that McCain/Palin would even be worse than Bush. These people are not serious.