Palin's First Interview

Friday, September 12, 2008

Last night, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had her first media interview with Charles Gibson from ABC World News. Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, Susan Page, weighs in.


Susan Page

Comments [157]

Larry from Dresden, Germany

In contradiction to a couple of the comments above, as well as to Brian's take, it was not at all clear to me that Palin was only asking (or even asking) her congregation to pray that we are doing god's will in Iraq. The sentence had two parts, with "pray" referring to "for the troops." It seems reasonable to re-write the sentence as: "Pray for the troops in Iraq, who are over there fighting [for] God's will."
That being said, however, I don't necessarily take her words as a direct assertion that our presence in Iraq is "God's will," since she probably uses the words "in Gods will" often, and probably also, less than fully consciously. It might, however, show a bias toward that direction of thinking.

Sep. 15 2008 07:06 AM
PJ from Westchester

Sarah hit the interview - and the interviewER - out of the park. She knows who she is and will make a great Veep for our country.

Sep. 14 2008 06:22 PM

a must-read on Kristol's role in selecting Palin...

"Jacob Heilbrunn, author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, said the interview was "further evidence that she has soaked up the neocon view of the world." He was particularly alarmed by her suggestion that war with Russia is "perhaps" a possibility.
"The neocons surrounded Dan Quayle, with William Kristol becoming his main tutor. Now both McCain and Palin are being closely advised by neocons. Far from being chastened by the Iraq debacle, the neocons are now poised for their moment of greatest influence." Mr Buchanan has predicted Mrs Palin will become a major player for years to come."

the link:

Sep. 14 2008 04:34 PM

(cont.) The other standout interview was a Republican male who wanted to discuss taxes. I got to turn the phone over to a former tax attorney who was volunteering. Only a nerd like myself would think: I get to listen to an actual tax attorney explain the Obama structure - how fantastic! That was a pro sell, and really lengthy - I took notes, and will translate later. Very awesome, though.
Sad to say, for all that, we didn't convince that particular caller. ON THE OTHER HAND, I got almost as many Obama supporters as McCain supporters.
And here's the weird part: not a single person I reached mentioned the name Palin.
Which makes me think: the Palin phenom is a media phenom. Not something red staters are thinking that much about?

Sep. 13 2008 10:55 PM

(cont.) She was receptive to the idea that I, as a Christian, was voting for Barack. Or at least, she didn't hang up on me when I said that! She said being pro-life was really the number one issue for her. As a woman, I sometimes think what women want most is a listening ear, so I just listened to her talk about it for a while. The goal of phonebanking is to determine where these people are leaning, and what their major issues are. But there's a secondary part - as someone calling on behalf of the Obama campaign, I think it's important to show that we care about their opinions. It's a minor achievement, but... I also feel that it was useful to discuss this secondary goal with some of my more doctrinaire fellow volunteers, and they were also receptive to the idea - which I think tells you how important some of the more "radical" members of the Dem Party realize this election is. Everyone seemed to understand how our failure to bridge gaps with inland conservatives had sown more discord than we were perhaps able to remedy... (cont.)

Sep. 13 2008 10:52 PM

weekend update:
phone banking was really interesting (and exhausting!) Good, very diverse group of people - I thought it would look like the "misbarack" youtube video, but ithe office was much less glamorous looking (putting it mildly), and people from all walks of life. Lots of women among the volunteers, so I got a lot of thoughts from them on Palin.
Phonebanking itself: I called through sheets and sheets of numbers in Nevada. A lot of people not picking up, so at one point it felt like I was dialing more than interviewing. One standout interview was with a very, very nice older woman (I feel really bad bothering these people at home, so it's nice to get someone who will talk) who nonetheless said she could not vote for Obama because she's a Christian, and he, according to her, is not. I explained that Obama is a Christian, but she said she didn't "want to have THAT conversation," so I demurred, and just listened for an opening. (cont.)

Sep. 13 2008 10:43 PM
Shawn in the 6th Boro from The 6th Boro- Bergen NJ

At once coy, shallow and dismissive. Just stick a pair of breasts on Geroge W. Bush and you end up with- Sarah Palin.

The strategy that tne McCain campaign seems clear now, attack by innuendo and smear and play keep away from press conferences. Her first interview presses the case for this strategem, as Gov. Palin has shown conclusively that she hasn't a clue about the word outside her own bailiwick- the agenda of Tony Perkins and Focus on the Family.

This will backfire. Gov. Palin has shown herself to be severely deficient in the area of foreign policy and her performance as mayor of Wasila leaves little lustre as a fiscal conservative. No serious person can realistically agree with putting this tandem in the Flag Office at the First Watch.

Not that any of this matters- Sarah will NOT finish this race as the Vice-Presidential nominee. Her Troopergate scandal will see to this and Sen. McCain will go back to his first choice, Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Sep. 13 2008 09:39 AM

Thought I'd pass this along, this was posted by Andrew Sullivan on his blog at 3:18 pm 9/12/08, and it's from one of his readers.(This is not to say that I endorse a lot of what Andrew Sullivan says, but I thought it was interesting...)
"Like many Obama supporters, I’ve been in a poll-induced funk recently. So I went to the Obama HQ in downtown Orlando looking for a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, something, anything, to make myself not feel so damn worried. Here’s what I found:
1. A brisk campaign operation staffed mostly by 25-35 year olds, all at computers, all analyzing data on GOTV operations.
2. After speaking with my precinct captain who was present, she told me that since August 1, the downtown HQ has registered 80,000 new voters. Let that number sink in. In the last 40 days or so, they’ve registered an average of 2,000 voters per day.

The post goes on and gets much more interesting in terms of numbers, I'll let you read it yourself on the atlantic blog site where Sullivan posts. But about the age demographics mentioned by the Sullivan reader: since youthful naivete has been a brush that's frequently been used to denigrate Obama supporters, I feel obliged to point out that here in Norcal, the majority of Obama supporters I have encountered at fundraisers are mostly over 40.

Sep. 13 2008 02:30 AM

on the new recall:
I think it's a huge waste of time. I voted against the first recall, the one "Arnie" started, even though I wasn't a big fan of Gray Davis or Bustamante. As you may recall, the cops and nurses here made Arnie more pliable with their v. effective protest, once he was gov, and to his credit, he listened to them and changed his tune. But the reality is that we just have huge budget issues. I'm not saying the CA state prison guards don't have reason to be angry, I'd be terrified in that job. I myself don't understand the prison-industrial-corporate-complex.
I have family who have worked within that industry, my cousin helped build some of those prisons. My dad was very upset about his involvement in it - he wanted my cousin to build universities and schools, not prisons.
A great short book that deals with CA prison funding is by my favorite woman writer, Joan Didion, and is called "Where I Was From." It's not one of her better books, but it is enlightening about how much fed funding California has received historically. Railroads, then cold war defense factories, then prisons. There's a reason, besides agriculture, ports, and natural resources, that we've been so successful... it's called: everyone else's tax dollars. Kind of like.... Alaska.... but with prestigious universities.

OK, enough of that, I'll let you know how tomorrow goes...

Sep. 13 2008 01:14 AM

Just got home. the new Obama HQ was shut down until tomorrow, but they let me and some people on the street come in before the grand opening tomorrow morning. We will have a meet and greet from 10-11, then we will start phonebanking to Nevada.
I have conservative family members in Nevada, so I feel a little familiarity. There will be local Dem politicians there tomorrow. I may actually travel to Nevada the following weekend, if work permits...
You are more politically active, but this is new for me, so I'm kind of excited. Also, I "organized" a bunch of fun, smart ex-NYC women from my club to come tomorrow, too. If nothing else, it's always fun to see them.
Did you hear Lincoln Chafee talking about Palin? He called her a "cocky wacko."
As for the CA prison guards starting this recall, see the post below...

Sep. 13 2008 01:06 AM
mc from Brooklyn

have a great weekend at the campaign. A little off the subject but since you said you'd check in later: What do you think about the CA prison guards' announcing they will try for a recall of Schwartzenegger? Just curious.

Sep. 12 2008 04:29 PM
Son of Ed from Amenia, NY

I have no problem with members of the print and broadcast media being polite to any "guest," but I believe their first obligation is to the truth; and lies, distortions and factual inaccuracies MUST (as a matter of journalistic ethics) be clearly shown for what they are. In this campaign, I regret that I have seen too many soi-disant journalists pull their punches, with phrases like "seeming," "apparent," "disingenuous," and so forth. The "objective" reporting of outrageous accusations and lies is what permitted the cancer of McCarthyism to metastasize. The journalist whom I heard on the radio Tuesday afternoon (it might have been Bob Schieffer) saying that he couldn't report the untruth of an assertion unless and until the speaker's political opponent challenged it was simply incorrect. In fact, the American journalist is duty-bound to report the truth alongside the false or inaccurate statement in order to satisfy his obligation to the reader. Sometimes, this is referred to as putting a statement in context. The journalist in this country has no obligation whatsoever not to make his "guest" look bad.

Sep. 12 2008 04:12 PM
Janice from NYC

Isabel and Eva -

You are right. We must get out there and talk to people and do our best to avoid another Bush-like administration. However, what saddens and frightens me is that as I do those things, I more and more find myself screaming into a vacuum. When I talk to McCain-Palin supporters about my differing opinion, I am accused of being elitist and liberal, as if these are things to be "accused" of. These people, who blindly follow the lies their preachers tell them, tell me that I am misinformed. They watch Fox News and tell me that everything else is propoganda. How do you have an intelligent debate with people who have turned off their critical thinking skills? Those of us who oppose Bush have been telling the world for 8 years that the emperor has no clothes. Obviously, nobody has been listening.
Still...we march on and hope for the best.

Sep. 12 2008 04:02 PM
Matthew Noah Smith from Brooklyn, NY

and for those who think i am being presumptuous telling lehrer and bernstein how to do their jobs, let me say this: they have great power in how they present the news to us - they shape the conversations and frame the facts. that they have this power opens them up to public criticism. *anyone* who has as much power as lehrer and bernstein have to shape the way that others understand the most important events, *especially* if they present themselves as not being biased, not only is morally liable to be critically assessed by the public, but in fact *ought* to be critically assessed by the public.

the issue here is that lehrer and bernstein, who are the leaders of the political reporting at wnyc, are letting the people of new york down and, in turn, contributing to a culture of poor journalism in the united states.

Sep. 12 2008 03:35 PM
Matthew Noah Smith from Brooklyn, NY

i apologize for going into greater depth, but please allow me to write a bit more on the topic i introduced above. one of the finer examples of wnyc's poor reporting this season was bernstein's constant repetition of the line "voters just don't know barack obama" in the lead-up to the dnc. finally, lehrer called her out on it, although not as he should have.

the "voters don't know barack obama" is a gop talking point. as a factual statement, it applies just as well to john mccain: how many voters know mccain's policies or personality BETTER than barack's? i presume that there is roughly equal ignorance all around.

what IS true is that voters FELT that they did not know barack well enough. but the reason why they felt that way was because they were being TOLD that they felt that way, largely by reporters. had bernstein performed her job appropriately, she would have reported as follows:

"voters report that they do not feel like they know barack obama well, although there is more than sufficient information on his website and in his two books. we have to ask, then, _why_ voters feel this way."

THAT, is reporting. but, alas, WNYC and NPR, in general, is slowly losing its edge and becoming lifestyles-radio.

i have been keeping a spotty journal of these sorts of instances - there have been too many to count in recent days - and i would be happy to share them anyone who is interested in seeing more, especially bernstein and lehrer.

Sep. 12 2008 03:34 PM
Paula B from Chappaqua

I think that Sarah Palin is a dangerous candidate. She doesn't believe in analyzing an assue to arrive at a rational conclusion but believes that "you don't blink"; ie, you just act.She is arrogant,grandiose and belicose, not unlike George W Bush. Her inexperience is very unlike other candidates (Barack Obama) in that her state, Alaska, has a very different culture and possibly, mentality, than most of the country and what seems perfectly appropriate to her in egregious to many others,ie, shooting wolves, moose and whales. Her attitude is her biggest flaw in that she is always right! She pretends to know everything when she has no clue.
Shr must not become our VP or, God forbid, our president!!

Sep. 12 2008 03:09 PM

Eva(135), Berkeley is a bastion of liberal thought. As such, even the most intellectually deficient can live there. Your friend from Berkeley who likes Palin likes her for all the reasons she's qualified to be a Bennigan's hostess and THAT is what's worrisome. It's not worrisome that she's likable. It's not worrisome that more people want to have lunch with Sean Hannity than Paul Krugman. It's worrisome when they can't understand the difference in the validity of their arguments.
The media treating her like she belongs in this race isn't "fair," it's irresponsible. And now the GOP has circled the wagons so that when the deluge of evidence that she is completely unqualified to be VP, it will be greeted as sexism, elitism, or some other prejudice. This goes beyond cynicism. If someone pitched a beauty queen runner up with a University of Idaho degree who was the mayor of a town the size of a community college 2 years ago who becomes VP as a movie idea it would have been rejected as unrealistic. Sadly, it just isn't.
And we wonder how we became an empire in decline?

Sep. 12 2008 01:51 PM
seth from Long Island

#136 Longstreet - Your opinion is duly noted.

#137 the truth from Atlanta/NY - I've reached the breaking point with this insane media infatuation for Sarah Palin. They are building her up like she's this sensational breath of fresh air. For me, she's a big nothing.

Sep. 12 2008 01:38 PM
seth from Long Island


I'm pretty sure that you can post on this board on the weekend.
However, I do wish that the Lehrer show would follow my suggestion and create a 2nd message board (password protected) in which some of us could have more free flowing conversations, exchange contact info, etc. This message board is too restrictive for my taste.

Sep. 12 2008 01:29 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Eva, Love? wow! We fall too fast and too hard as women.

Seth, you are quite right, I have laughed out loud at many of your posts! Don't let 'em get you down. LOL

Sep. 12 2008 01:23 PM
Longstreet from NYC area

I'll put my post up against anyones. In addition to being thoughtful and well-written, they are usually quite funny!

Sep. 12 2008 01:07 PM

Yesterday a friend of mine from Berkeley (BERKELEY!) told me she LOVES Palin. THAT's worrisome. We need to roll up our sleeves here and get to work. Good weekend, and hope you're phonebanking!

THANKS for offering help. I hope you have a great weekend, too! I'll post here over the weekend if I learn anything interesting or new at campaign HQ. (That is, if the board still lets us post on the weekend!)

good weekend, too!

Sep. 12 2008 01:06 PM
seth from Long Island

#128 Matthew Noah Smith

I share your frustration and disappointment with Brian. Sometimes I think he's angling for a job as a press sec'y or communications director for a McCain administration.
Unfortunately, I think Brian, Andrea, and the rest of WNYC have simply been intimidated by the constant chorus of attacks from rt wing bloggers and talk show hosts that NPR is too leftist and too out of touch with the general public.

Sep. 12 2008 12:56 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Matthew you are spot on!

Sep. 12 2008 12:54 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Thanks! Have a wonderful weekend Eva

Sep. 12 2008 12:53 PM
seth from Long Island

I'll do what I can to help Obama. Have a great weekend!

Sep. 12 2008 12:48 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Just got here just trying to catch up but some of the comments are too long so forgive me if I duplicate some of the sentiments already expressed.

On my way into the office I heard my white female receptionist say she was not going to vote until mccain added palin to the ticket. Now granted, I don't know what she voted previously but Senator Obama's advisors are going to have their hands full turning this thing around when their are people who think like my uneducated front desk recptionist from backass GA!!!

Sep. 12 2008 12:44 PM

you're too kind. in my heart, always a New Yorker...
But let's cut to the chase - are you phonebanking for our guy? ;-)
I like this board (a bit too much, as you can tell) but with a little over 50 days to go, it's time to head down to the campaign office... which is where I'm headed now, actually. Check in with you later.

Sep. 12 2008 12:44 PM
Matthew Noah Smith from Brooklyn, NY

I honestly cannot understand how Andrea Bernstein and Brian Lehrer can keep up their spineless version of "media objectivity." I used to love Lehrer, but as the GOP has moved to some of the sleaziest tactics in recent memory, it becomes hard for me to accept that the version of "bias correction" practiced by Lehrer and Bernstein amounts to turning their eyes away from the more odious tactics employed by the McCain campaign. That way, they are not required to present them as news, but only as one guest's point of view.

But, let's be straight here: John McCain and Sarah Palin are telling outright lies and running a disgusting smear campaign that reminds me of the Jesse Helms' racist advertising campaign against Harvey Gantt in 1990.

So, the question is the following: What will Bernstein and Lehrer tell their children when they ask whether they told the truth during the 2008 campaign? Will they answer that they allowed some guests to tell the truth and others to lie? Or will they simply report what has happened:

McCain and Palin are straight-out lying to people and showing absolutely no restraint in doing so.

That is news. And that should be reported as news. Not "Well, Brian, it's true that Palin said the earth is flat, but Democrats are hotly disputed this claim."

Come on, you journalists. It's time to start speaking truth to power. Isn't that your job?

Sep. 12 2008 12:42 PM
seth from Long Island

eva #125

What took you so long to get in on this conversation? You have a first rate intellect and your posts are consistently the most intelligent, well written, thoughtful, and insightful. Once again, you make excellent points to refute that silly Palin-Reagan comparison. I didn't realize you were a Californian, I thought you were a New Yorker.

Sep. 12 2008 12:38 PM
SF from NYC

I wonder if frustrated early 20 year old will vote Palin cause shes a MILF? ... I love this country.

Sep. 12 2008 12:35 PM

right on. thanks for posting that. If everyone here is so worried, I strongly urge you to use that energy to go out and phone-bank or volunteer in some other capacity for the Obama campaign. When Isabel says to talk to people about your concerns, also listen to people about their concerns, and explain how an Obama administration would address those concerns in a manner different from a McCain/Palin admin.
Isabel is also right in pointing out that Palin is no Reagan - California is an extremely diverse and complicated state to govern, as Arnold Schwarzenegger has been learning over these past few years. There is simply no comparison between the two states. You may not be able to see Russia from here, but you need a much firmer grasp of foreign policy issues to manage the trade that comes through here from Asia (not to mention the particulate that is traveling from industrial factories in China across the Pacific) and the illegal immigration issues on our southern border. Not to mention that our economy is a great deal more complicated than oil and outdoor sports, plus trying to keep our vaunted public universities (UC Berkeley, UCLA, and associated law and med schools) funded when there's no cash left. Really... what was so wrong with Olympia Snowe that McCain couldn't pick HER?

Sep. 12 2008 12:23 PM
John Hahn from Glen Rock NJ

Speaking of Bright - check out the Obama interview on this week with George S, or his 4 segment appearance on Letterman. He is not getting caught up in the GOP distractions.
It is up to us the Obama supporters to reach out to people who may not be as astute as my fellow WNYC listeners.
Sarah Palin is an underdone potato. Nothing you can do about it.
Promote Obama/Biden as the smart and right choice for the next 4 years.
It is either forward or more of the same with Palin & McCain

Sep. 12 2008 12:18 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

This country is so full of dummies.

Maybe that's why the GOP doesn't want to spend money on education.

Sep. 12 2008 12:05 PM
seth from Long Island

John McCain's campaign selected Charlie Gibson for the Palin interview.
ABC News did not kidnap Palin at gunpoint and force her to answer questions from Gibson.

What's with all of this Charlie Gibson bashing?
Republicans seemed thrilled with Gibson when he was asking Obama about Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers.

If Palin is such a macho gunslinger, how come so many Republicans are afraid of letting her give interviews to the press?

Sep. 12 2008 11:29 AM

People, do not dispair. It's not over yet. If you are really scared about having a McCain/Palin presidency, then you'd better get out and get involved. Talk to people about the issues that concern you. It's in the interest of some that we are emotional and choose our political representatives as though we were choosing Coke or Pepsi. Let's not let that happen this time. Do not worry about your fellow Americans being stupid, talk to them. Palin is not Reagan. Agree with his politics or not, California is not Alaska and the man was in politics for a long time before he came on the national scene. Palin is also not running for president, it's McCain we need to focus on. Don't be fearful. Think about what matters to you and fight for it.

Sep. 12 2008 11:29 AM
Maria from Jersey City

Regardless of the fact that I don't beleive she has the credentials to be VP, I think someone in that position should at least "blink" when making decisions. But as she states - she didn't even "blink" when asked by McCain to be VP. Didn't she even consider what effect her decision may have on her family? Her 4 month old? her 17 yr old? Her son going into the armed forces? Did she discuss it with her husband? Did she consider her own experience and even worry that she may not be qualified or the right person for the job? She made it sound like she just jumped right in and didn't consider the consequences. She just said yes - let's reform the nation. It is scary to think that it is possible that we will vote for someone so un-informed, so inexperienced, yet still over-confident, that makes rash gut-reaction decisions into one of the most powerful positions in the world. But then again - we already did that didn't we?

I want someone who can make an informed rational decision that considers and understands all aspects of the issue and understands what longer term effect the decisions will have on not only our lives, but the lives in other countries and in all the generations to come. I want someone who is willing and prepared to listen to and consider opposing arguments and then make a choice that they believe is best. I want someone who "blinks".

Sep. 12 2008 11:29 AM
john harms from nelsonville ny

After watching the endless days of the odd couple Sarah Palin and John McCain, my wife and I have noticed a little added pep in McCain's step. Maybe she adds that "look you want to know better" appeal to the campaign, but we think she offers a stimulus package to McCain himself... something akin to emotional viagra!

Sep. 12 2008 11:27 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Longstreet #115,
I actually did not make a reference to "foreign policy experience" because I think it is a red herring and a buzz phrase devoid of meaning. What I meant is that Biden seems to have a more fluent grasp than she does on how to talk about the events and policeis that have been widely reported in the news for years. She seems very uninformed about what has been going on. Not a comment on either of their policy leanings, more a comment on their ability to talk intelligently about it. This is her main failing IMO. His failing is his tendancy to make verbal gaffes. You may be right. This may be checkmate. I also think that your conflating Marxism with liberalism with socialism is over-simplified. If anything, Obama is a left-centrist.

Have to go. I'll check in later.

Sep. 12 2008 11:25 AM
Ellen Sackstein from Long Beach, NY


we're having a big rally on Sat- AK Women against Palin- however, the women organizing it have already gotten several HATE voicemails- it's really really scary when you have gun totin Christian right wingers mad at you!
>> See what SMART women in the U.S. have to say about Ms. Palin:
>> Excerpt:
>> I say: Stop Sarah. McCain is old, not well. Sarah Palin is the epitome of an old-style woman: a ruthless pawn of powerful men, spewing platitudes that fit a by-gone world where human beings thought nature was to be harnessed, surmounted, as the means to progress. We know better now. Nature is telling us we are too many, too careless, too heedless of the natural consequences of our wasteful ways. We can use wind, solar power, conservation, diplomacy, intelligence, education, thoughtfulness, science, creativity and wisdom. Palin is against all these. She is a patsy for Rove and his greedy schemes. I am against her and all she stands for. I stand for being a thinking woman with brains and choices and rights and respect for the Earth.

Sep. 12 2008 11:18 AM
seth from Long Island

To McCain supporters complaining that Palin's interview was heavily and unfairly edited

Who is preventing Sarah Palin from holding a LIVE interview?

ABC, like any other tv network, has to edit taped segments in order to fit the total alloted time for the program.

It would not be in ABC's interest to edit the interview to make Palin look bad.

It's far more likely that ABC edited out Palin's Ralph Kramden-like utterings of "HOMINA, HOMINA, HOMINA, HOMINA"

Sep. 12 2008 11:18 AM
anonymous from Brooklyn, NY

The pertinent comments have already been made though I would like to re-emphasize that almost all her answers were logical non-sequitors that Gibson let her get away with.
I also object to the schoolgirlish hyped-up emotion and perkiness with which she delivered her answers. The emotion sometimes hid the lack of sense in the content.

Sep. 12 2008 11:18 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

mc: I assume that by foreign affairs experience, you mean like voting for the war, then turning against it when the going got tough? Wanting to quit, no matter the cost to the country?
Like opposing the surge and instead calling to partition the country into 3 pieces? Yeah, he's really going to wipe the floor with her.
She'll be like Obama in that she has no fingerprints on foreign affairs, and will easily deflect the attacks. The big difference is that she's # 2 on the ticket whereas Obama's # 1 on the ticket. The Dems have been checkmated on this, plain and simple. And, not being a socialist/ Marxist/ progressive/ liberal, I'm lovin' every minute of it.

Sep. 12 2008 11:14 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Let's #113,
Didn't give myself one. Wondered if you had one for yourself.

The way what works?

Sep. 12 2008 11:14 AM
Let's from Bklyn

MC whats the nice little label you give yourself? I'll wait for your answer. But I can guess.

Sep. 12 2008 11:11 AM
Let's from Bklyn


the way that works is you wear your glasses at the tip of the nose, you look down at the interviewee, you ask them SAT test questions, you play gotcha, and you make believe your snot nose reporting job at GMA made you worthy to be a no nothing anchor. Charlie Gibson is an effete snob.

Sep. 12 2008 11:10 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Oooh, nice imagery. I hope you don't consider yourself a "progressive."

Sep. 12 2008 11:10 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I know that I did not see the whole interview and that ABC heavily edited it, but I think the charges that Charlie Gibson was condescending are unfair. How else can you sound if you find yourself explaining to the interviewee what you are talking about when you ask about foreign policy issues that have been in the news for years?

Biden is his own worst enemy. Although it seems to me he could probably wipe the floor with Palin in a debate, certainly when it comes to foreign affairs, he is so prone to gaffes that he may neutralize himself.

It may not matter. I remember the Quayle/Benson debate. Benson wiped him out. Didn't matter.

Sep. 12 2008 11:05 AM
Let's Create A Message Board Just For Seth from Bklyn

Just because Moose eating Alaskans are dumb enough to elect Ms. Teen Ohio to their highest executive position, doesn't mean Americans have to take a chance on this Bimbo. That's Bimbo with a capital B. The media is so PC that no one's going to be as blunt as that. That's because the media has no cajones. Everyones waiting for an SNL skit. Every journalist thinks they're brilliant for make the SNL skit comment. But no journalist has any guts to show this broad for what she's really not. Vote for McCain hope he doesnt die is not an option. Palin makes Paris Hilton look like a particle accelerator scientist.

Sep. 12 2008 11:00 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

arlaina/ 105- what, it is too hard to take on the Reps alone? You have to turn to your chums in the press to do your dirty work? I thought the liberal media was a figment of the rabid right's imagination?

Sep. 12 2008 10:55 AM
seth from Long Island

Palin's interview makes it painfully clear that she'd be an absolute disaster dealing with a 3am phone call. Her first reaction to an international crisis would be let's bomb the blank out somebody. Palin has a shoot first ask/questions later mentality.

Sep. 12 2008 10:54 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

No one is rushing to Biden's defense. I wonder why... Must be pretty hard to overcome his own admission that's he's not the best choice. Gee, I wonder if we'll see that quote again in this campaign.

Sep. 12 2008 10:51 AM
arlaina Tibensky from NYC

I don't know if the country realizes this, but Sarah Palin isn't running for President. Her magnetic pull on media is diverting attention from the man sharing her ticket. McCain on his own will do more damage to the Republican presidential bid than Sarah Palin on her worst day. Oh dear media, do Obama a favor and focus on his opponent instead of his running mate.

Sep. 12 2008 10:51 AM
William Lee from Brooklyn, NY

What was interesting to me -- quite apart from the robotic performance of Scary Palin -- was the ham-fisted editing of the first excerpt of the interview by ABC News. There were numerous "jump-cuts" and confusing segues that produced non-sequiturs between question and answer. This was not just cutting from one-shot to two-shot, but rather what looked like deceptive cutting and splicing (done perhaps to prevent Palin from looking like even more of a fool than she did?). When Charlie Gibson said at one point that he had "got lost in a blizzard of words there", we had in fact only been exposed to a slight flurry. ABC will have to produce the whole interview at some point, or do better in the editing of subsequent excerpts, to allay this viewer's impression that this first, very important exposure of this frightening candidate was carefully trimmed and dressed up to make her look better than she did in reality.

Sep. 12 2008 10:48 AM
David from Manhattan

Brian, you totally let that "journalist" (from US Today?) say that Palin was reasonable on gay rights. But, the story of her veto of the law that would have banned same sex partner benefits "for being unconstitutional" is more complicated than your guest presented.

"The Department of Law advised me that this bill... is unconstitutional given the recent court order... mandating same-sex benefits ... With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of equal rights.

That statement went on to say, "The governor's veto does not signal any change or modification to her disagreement with the action and order by the Alaska Supreme Court. It is the governor's intention to work with the Legislature and to give the people of Alaska an opportunity to express their wishes and intentions whether these benefits should continue."

Then she went on to spend a million of Alaska's dollars on an "advisory vote" so the state could express their disdain for gay coupling once again.

Her website says she is anti-gay marriage.

She is not benign on this issue.

Sep. 12 2008 10:47 AM
seth from Long Island

Brian Lehrer is spinning like a whirling dervish with his claim that Palin's quote about God and the Iraq war was taken out of context.
Palin's quote was ABSOLUTELY NOT TAKEN OUT OF context.
Palin is a religious extremist and Brian is giving her a free pass.

Sep. 12 2008 10:46 AM
Janice from NYC

I watched the interview with Sarah Palin last night at 11:30pm. Yes, Charlie Gibson is condescending. However, somebody needs to ask this woman tough questions. We need to know who she is, what she knows, and what she believes. She shouldn't get to campaign for the next two months using only the same hostile and empty speech she gave at the Republican Convention. Who cares if she's a hockey mom or a bulldog? Can she negotiate with foreign leaders? Can she be President if McCain can't?

Additionally, I am really frightened at the way people can spin anything. The interview clearly demonstrated Palin's lack of intellect, basic knowledge, and experience. She obviously didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is. She wasn't trying to get Charlie to clarify which aspect of the Bush Doctrine he was asking about.

This woman is George Bush in a skirt, and I am saddened by the fact that so many Americans seem to be sucked in by the cult of personality, and that so many of us seem to be willing to dumb down our government rather than educate ourselves. Hasn't 8 years of having ignorance and intolerance run our country been enough? Would we really rather not have Obama-Biden in office because they are intellectual elites? In my opinion, I'd rather have somebody smarter than me in charge than somebody dumber than a pit bull.

Sep. 12 2008 10:44 AM
Graham from Paris

(part two) your character limit is too LOW!!!

A person of the former kind, but possessing all this: keen insight, broad knowledge and much-better-than-average understanding of people, of life's urgent social and political dilemmas and of the great issues of nation and international affairs, is one well-deserving of the public's most serious consideration as a candidate for the presidency.

A person of the latter, one who is lacking in all this: keen insight, broad knowledge and much-better-than-average understanding of people, of life's urgent social and political dilemmas and of the great issues of nation and international affairs, is neither well-qualified nor deserving of the same serious consideration.

Americans have only just endured more than seven years under the administration of a president who is manifestly unqualified to hold that office and who has amply demonstrated that fact by the disastrous record he has produced.


Sep. 12 2008 10:42 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

What about Biden, folks?

Sep. 12 2008 10:40 AM
marilyn from manhattan

Referring to the war in Iraq, Sarah Palin said, 'pray for God's will,' as all Christians would (I am Christian and oppose this war), about all things. But at her son's and others' Iraq deployment ceremony, she specifically told them they'd be fighting 'the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.' That DOES sound like Bush and is alone enough to worry about.

Sep. 12 2008 10:40 AM
yasser aggour from syracuse

Brian: Your comment that Sarah's quote about her talk in her church about Iraq "being a task from God" taken out of context misses several points. First, the US military had to change the name of its mission--infinite justice-- because implying that this war had any religious character is very dangerous. Secondly, she also said in that same church talk to pray that the Alaska pipeline was also part of god's portfolio. Finally her religion does put a very strong emphasis on humans having limited agency against god's plans.

Sep. 12 2008 10:37 AM
harmon michaels from jersey city, nj

it's something of a stretch to compare the sheer idiocy of palin's "you can see it from here" comment with gibson's "task from god" question. it also seems as though people are really desperate to give palin the benefit of the doubt on this. i've heard the quote a bunch of times now and it is what it is. if it is what her defenders are saying then does that mean the war ISN'T worth fighting if it's NOT a task from god?

Sep. 12 2008 10:37 AM
elaine from New jersey

Another WARMONGER! We will be going but this time the DRAFT is a must!

Sep. 12 2008 10:36 AM
seth from Long Island

Charlie Gibson was a model of fairness and objectivity. He showed the proper degree of respect for Palin.

The notion that he was too prosecutorial or adversarial is absurd.

Gibson showed Palin every courtesy she was entitled to and never badgered or bullied her.

Sep. 12 2008 10:35 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

Keep in mind: While Ms. Palin may have crossed the aisle to be effective as governor, she would NOT have this opportunity for flexibility as vice president, whose job in the modern era is to support the president's agenda.

Sep. 12 2008 10:35 AM
Mark Elijah Rosenberg from Brooklyn, NY

Thanks for covering the Palin interview, but I hope now the media attention can turn back to the real issue, the real race, Obama vs. McCain, not Palin. The Republicans want all the attention to be focused on the VP nominee because they're Presidential nominee was losing.

Sep. 12 2008 10:34 AM
Graham from Paris

It's a shame litte or no distinction is made between a person who is, though undistinguished in diplomas, high social standing or personal wealth---the usual measures by which Americans deem a candidate for the presidency qualified---and, on the other hand, a person who is not only undistinguished in the ways just mentioned but also one who, by intellectual breadth and depth, as far as we can judge that from objective and subjective indications, simply lacks keen insight, broad knowledge and much-better-than-average understanding of people, of life's urgent social and political dilemmas and of the great issues of nation and international affairs.

Sep. 12 2008 10:34 AM
Leo in NYC from Staten Island

Here is the text of the "mission from God" quote. It is ambigious. Brian is right that she seems to be saying that she hopes that the mission is from God, but because of the tortured sentence construction it all hangs on one (misplaced) word: "that." So I guess it depends on the meaning of "that."

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God.“

Sep. 12 2008 10:33 AM
Bruce Levinson from Westchester County

So much to say, so little time...

My main broad brush concern is this idea of treating her with she counting on the tyrants of the world to treat her such?

If she is so smart, tough and ready for prime time then let her do real interviews and stop hiding

Also, and while I don't think candidates kids should be involved and attacked it occurs to me that if Chelsea Clinton got knocked up we would be hearing about the end of the world and those decrepit democratic values

Sep. 12 2008 10:32 AM
Jesse from Jersey City

What has changed since the culture wars of the 90s? George Bush. Can we, as a nation, continue to be persuaded by close-minded religious ideology that dismisses intellectual discourse and critical thinking? It's an open question.

Sep. 12 2008 10:32 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

This is what happens when news turns into entertainment. We're so used to Baba Wawa's touchy feely, tell me tragic story, everyone crying together interviews. Or Oprah -- setting people up as saints and giving everyone a car. Any time the ultra polite reporters on NPR's news shows even get close to a tough question, the angry letters come in "how dare you badger that nice person!" We have no idea what political discourse is anymore. Just listen to the BBC for an idea of how it might be -- but never will.

Sep. 12 2008 10:32 AM
gail a. goodridge

sarah came off as a well prepared beauty queen finalist. she can string together meaningless platitudes with the best.

Sep. 12 2008 10:31 AM
Ken Doe from NYC

I was concerned when Palin equated "energy" with "national security". Seems very simplistic, and lacking experience.

Also, she described her task from God statement, as having been used by Lincoln. Is this correct (about having been used by Lincoln)?

Sep. 12 2008 10:31 AM
Owen from Rochester

Another Palin defense from a Palin-hater: she was pretty clearly praying that the war was a just one. Abraham Lincoln said the same thing: "Don't pray that God's on our side; pray that we're on God's side." (or something to that effect)

Sep. 12 2008 10:30 AM
seth from Long Island

Golly Gee!!

You can actually see Russia from Alaska.

What amazing, fascinating insight from Sarah Palin.

Sep. 12 2008 10:30 AM
J. from queens

As journalist you should be critical and prosecutorial. Let Rachel Ray and the ladies of the View treat their guest with difference.

Sep. 12 2008 10:30 AM
dr. sandra r. mann from new york city

i'd like to hear how her her deep religious beliefs and her literal interpretation of the Bible informs her political decision-making? thank you. dr. sandra mann

Sep. 12 2008 10:29 AM
John from Brooklyn

Shocking that you're being an apologist for Palin's "Bush Doctrine" answer.

Gibson followed up with the direct question -- "What do you interpret the Bush Doctrine to be?" -- and SHE HAD NO IDEA!

Sep. 12 2008 10:29 AM
Tami from New Jersey

She's so incredibly unqualified it's scary. If Mcain gets elected, we'll all have to pray hard for his good health. Maybe that's why he selected her as his Veep.

Sep. 12 2008 10:29 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I watched part of the interview (I'm sure it was heavily edited) on "Nightline." Charlie Gibson looked as thought he was trying to be fair but to hold her to the questions. He found himself restating questions because she did not seem to understand the initial questions. She looked like an 8th grader - honestly, it felt as though she had dry mounth and was trying to just get through it without screwing up.

However, I remember Dan Quayle, who looked completely incompetent and yet we ended up with that ticket winning.

Sep. 12 2008 10:29 AM
Robert from NYC

WOW! She can actually see Russia. Do you have to stand on your toes or is it that clear to us all?

Sep. 12 2008 10:29 AM
Robert from Manhattan

Joe Biden was being gracious. He was responding to someone in his audience who expressed delight that Obama chose him instead of Hillary, and he set that person straight with a nice, honest bit of humility. Hillary is terrific. She is qualified. Maybe even more than I am. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT????

Is our political culture so grotesque that a decent comment gets trashed as some have done????

Sep. 12 2008 10:29 AM
David from Scarsdale

I think we are giving her way to credit. What I saw was that she did not have a grasp of any of the issues - not one. I do not want to just give her a chance. In comparison, seeing Biden on Meet the Press, he had a complete grasp and new every aspect of the issues. So it did not matter what she said, she did not even know what she was saying...

Sep. 12 2008 10:28 AM
d10017 from downtown

Why is it that male candidates, media personnel, etc. are always referred to by their last name, while their female counterparts are always referred to by their first names?

Sep. 12 2008 10:28 AM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

re the bush doctrine, she did more to align the mccain/palin ticket with bush than to show a real point of departure from bush's brand of dangerous swagger...therefore, more of the same. this is change?

Sep. 12 2008 10:28 AM
barry from Manhattan

Wow you knocked the lady because she has an accent!
Look in the mirror before you speak

Sep. 12 2008 10:28 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Caller Olivia_ give her a chance?...what elect her and see how she does?...Let her join the fray for 4 years and see wheres she's at after that.

Sep. 12 2008 10:27 AM
Sean from Brookyn

Give her a chance? She is not running for the PTA. This is someone that might be the "Leader of the Free World".

Sep. 12 2008 10:27 AM
Richard Lee from Park Slope

It seems to me that the underlying message of Palin's nomination is that the issues confronting the US are perhaps not so difficult after all: if we just elect McCain as "Father Knows Best" in chief, and Sarah Palin as our hockey mom, our new parents will take care of us all with nothing more nuanced than small town common sense.

You either acknowledge that our problems are more complicated than that, and are terrified of Palin, or you hold to the narrative, and rejoice in her "plainspokeness".

Sep. 12 2008 10:27 AM

I think this is the best example yet that Americans are too stupid to employ democracy in their own best interests. Only in the US can a woman who has never traveled, who is modestly educated, and who has no significant foreign policy, economic, or social policy experience to speak of be considered a candidate to be a fickle 75 year old heart's beat away from leader of the free world. If you were to ask a McCain/Palin supporter why they think Palin's a good VP candidate they'd tell you things like "she's a fighter,'' or "she's tough," or "she knows what working mothers go through." What does that have to do with the position of VP? Isn't "tough" what got us into Iraq?
It's amazing that the discourse is more concerned with Moose hunting, lipstick, and feigned victimization than with the very real pressing issues facing the country. That's not a mistake. It's chapter one of the GOP playbook and it works. It works because democracy is only as effective as the people employing it.

Sep. 12 2008 10:27 AM
Robert from NYC

Well frankly Charles Gibson should be selling hot dogs on a street corner. I can not take that man seriously as a journalist. Come to think of it there aren't very many "journalists" around today that I can take seriously but this guy is about the worst...well tied with Blitzer.

Sep. 12 2008 10:27 AM
Tricia from Brooklyn

I really wish that someone in the media would confront Palin or anyone in the McCain campaign about the current crop of McCain ads, which are so misleading and dishonest. McCain's answer to this seem to be that campaigns are "rough," but the question remains: if you are willing to flood the airwaves with blatant lies and misinformation to win a campaign, what would you, once elected, to lead the nation in the direction you wanted. Given the lies of the Bush administration that lead us into the Iraq war, I feel this issue is central.

Sep. 12 2008 10:27 AM
Peter from NYC

Kind of sad that much of the measure (by some commentators) of Palin's first interview is whether she made any serious gaffes. Is not failing, considered success? The bar is way too low here folks. How about some qualifications or at the very least knowledge of the substantive issues. I was stunned that she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine even was...

Sep. 12 2008 10:26 AM
barry from Manhattan

So what do you think would happen is Palins son was injured on the battlefield over the next 60 days.
Sympathy vote?

Sep. 12 2008 10:26 AM
s2art from Pleasantville, NY

Is there a Democratic ticket in this race? If you were to judge purely on how the news media is covering it (including WNYC) it would be difficult to believe there is.

Sep. 12 2008 10:25 AM
Robert from NYC

She's not going to govern on the Bush doctrine, she's going to govern on her own much more religious doctrine and a more creepy and freaky one. Beware. I've warned you now and, yes, "mark my words" if this person becomes involved in the next administration it will be a sad affair. Sometimes I think "these people" are actually trying to bring about Armagedon! Frightening, really frightening.

Sep. 12 2008 10:25 AM
jl from manhattan

just to folllow up--

we are a nation that has become accustomed to having very imperfect leaders and celebrities. they all behave badly and they are not people we look up to or admire. we wouldn't know what to qualify with a well-educated person with impeccable credentials. It's been 20 years or so that we've wanted our president to be like our neighbor. JFK would never have gotten elected today.

Sep. 12 2008 10:25 AM
jean from New jersey

The world is falling apart and our answer is Palin... My 13 yr old son could have had a better interview..

We will be going to war again and next we will have the DRAFT!

The problem with us is that even if destruction is staring us in our face we will vote for it because we are very prejudice...

WAKE UP AMERICA!... (I am looking to buy land in another country).

Sep. 12 2008 10:25 AM
Chris from New Jersey

Two thngs:

1) Does the media know that there is a Democratic vice presidential candidate? I'd like to see Joe Biden interviewed and given the same amount of "screentime" as Palin. A lot of people around the country still don't know him, and it's a disservice to NOT give him the same attention.

2) The voters can't let the McCain campaign get away with only letting Palin do select interviews in safe situation with safe interviewers. If she can't get out there and speak about issues without a script or without being packaged in a certain way, then she is proving she is not qualified. Either get out there and mix it up with the guys, or forget every getting my vote.

Sep. 12 2008 10:25 AM
Jeff Neuman from Manhattan

Has our political life become so degraded that a candidate demonstrates her fitness for the nation's highest office by memorizing sound-bites and reading a speech? Saying "Palin seemed confident" buys into this absurdity. Who cares if she feels she's "ready"?

Sep. 12 2008 10:25 AM

Even more worrying than her lack of knowledge about the Bush doctrine was her sabre rattling at Russia. She pretty much threatened to attack Russia. And also claimed incorrectly, that Russia attacked Georgia unprovoked.
Also - do you really think she even knows where Pakistan is? I highly doubt it. And I bet if you asked her the nuances of Pakistan's politics she'd be completely clueless. And we're putting her in the White House.

Sep. 12 2008 10:24 AM
Robert from Manhattan

An awful fact of life ...

Most Americans know no more about foreign issues that Palin does, so even if she screws up royally, most won't even know.

If and when she does screw up, those who catch the error ... such as the media ... will be ignored, or even ridiculed ... making her rabid following even MORE rabid.

Machiavelli would be proud.

Sep. 12 2008 10:24 AM
Leo Queens from Queens

We cannot afford to have an 'Average every-day' person who is NOT inquisitive be leading this country

Sep. 12 2008 10:24 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

Would anyone like to comment on Biden's admission that Hillary should have been the VP nominee? Sorry to touch upon a sore subject but this Palin bashing in light of your own side's total ineptness is just too much. I'm busting a gut reading this stuff! You guys are a great pick-me-up.

Sep. 12 2008 10:23 AM
AWM from UWS

The more she speaks on her own (which won’t be much) the more she will demonstrate that she is lacking in specific ideas, nuance, a well cultivated worldview or the required intellect to be, not only VP, but a “heartbeat” away from the presidency in the midst of two wars and an ailing economy.

When coupled with the blind enthusiasm of her party whenever she achieves the bare minimum in a speech or an interview, the pathetic nature of her party is further exposed.

Due to this desperate attempt by the clueless GOP to energize themselves, Palin has been recklessly and awkwardly thrust forward prematurely joining Ronald Reagan as not only one of the most popular republicans ever but as one of the most overrated people in this nation’s history.

Sep. 12 2008 10:23 AM
Owen from Rochester

I loathe Sarah Palin, but I think her asking Charlie Gibson for a clarification of the "Bush Doctrine" question was the correct, intelligent response. It was a ridiculously vague question.

Sep. 12 2008 10:23 AM
Geoffrey Berliner from Chelsea, NYC

Hello, It is clear that Sarah Palin was briefed to answer with key words and with confidence and body language. It is clear that she does not have a grasp of the issues and leads with her feisty attitude. The McCain campaign is relying on the stupidity of the American electorate to ignore her responses and stances on the issues, and rather to react to her demeanor and style. Politics as usual. Geoffrey, Chelsea, NYC

Sep. 12 2008 10:22 AM
Nic Petry from Brooklyn

I'm curious as to why "gaffe's" are relevant? Why support soundbyte-politiking instead of listening to, in this case, the hollowness of the interview?

An embarrassingly empty interview seemingly read from cliff notes on the back of Palin's hand.

Sep. 12 2008 10:22 AM
Nicole from Essex County, NJ

Everything makes since now... 5 undergrad schools in 4 years?

Sep. 12 2008 10:22 AM
Leo Queens from Queens

It is dangerous to reelect Republicans again to the White House as they have NO solutions or ideas for addressing the SERIOUS problems this country is facing - especially with our economic collapse and the destruction of our military capabilities.
McCain and Palin are arrogant and are liers

Sep. 12 2008 10:22 AM
Sean from Brookyn

Well she seems to be handled very well. She learns fast. Lets be real though she just got her passport last year.

Sep. 12 2008 10:21 AM
Colleen Ford from Long Island City

If the new Republican line is "reform and victory", why aren't we talking about Gen. Petraeus' assertion that he will never declare 'victory' in Iraq? Please see BBC article


Sep. 12 2008 10:21 AM
Junko from New York

Her interview footage was awkward from the technical point of views. It looks like that the cheif editor for the show edited unfavorable parts of her interviews.

Sep. 12 2008 10:21 AM
Samira from New York

Palin came off as both naive and hawkish. Sure, Steve Schmidt prepped her and she seemed to do an okay job of memorizing her answers, but saber rattling at Russia? She would have us fight on three fronts-- Iraq, Afghanistan, and with Russia?

And, her foreign policy experience includes the fact that you can "see" a part of Russia from Alaska?

It might do well as an SNL skit, but the joke is totally on the American public.

Sep. 12 2008 10:21 AM
Kel from Manhattan

It's clear she's unqualified. We get it. The bigger issue at hand today is what is Obama's camp going to do now to get the spotlight back on Obama and Biden?

The democrats need to master the art of staying in the spotlight and not take for granted that the general public is intelligent enough to see through the lies pouring out from the other side.

Sep. 12 2008 10:20 AM
Tricia from Brooklyn

I would so love to hear Brian interview Palin!

Sep. 12 2008 10:20 AM
Christopher Deignan from Middle Village, Queens

Palin - Featherweight is right. Where is the heft? Why not the smartest and the brightest. She seems like a nice person and a well meaning person but God forbid she becomes the most powerful political leader in the world. She's just not qualified, plain and simple. Its obvious. Yes, I'm an Obama supporter and I have confidence that what Barack doesn't know he will learn and fast because, damn it, he's just bright and smart as a whip. Why are we so suspicious of bright, intelligent people?

Sep. 12 2008 10:19 AM

on the question of whether previous VP candidates have met with foreign leaders: Time reports that ABC news fact checkers found the claim false. Here's a link (unfortunately the link to the ABC news report isn't active):

Sep. 12 2008 10:19 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Defining gaffe as just a word or phrase or some piece of fact and then judging her total performance on that is low bar indeed. How about evaluating her total performance -- how she answered the questions, what she said and what it tells us about her. Mostly she speaks in platitudes and "sound bites" targeted at her conservative constituency.

Sep. 12 2008 10:19 AM
Leo Ferguson from Staten Island

Sarah Palin is a GIANT DISTRACTION!!!! That is the ONLY thing going on here. She represents no new policy initiatives that will in any way change the live of Americans, she is just a personality -- to use McCain's construction, a celebrity and nothing else. Every minute we spend talking about her is time we are not spending talking about McCain's policies vs. Obama's policies. The McCain campaign loves this because they don't have to talk about the last 8 years or their terrible policy proposals.

Sep. 12 2008 10:19 AM
Laura Rime from New City, NY

I watched some of the interview of Palin, and the thought that keeps coming back to me, is that Palin is woefully underqualified for this job, and few, if any, are talking about that.

People are talking about her personality, her ability to handle an interview or give a speech, but what about her ability to govern? I just think people are overlooking the obvious, that she is incompetent for the VP job, let alone the presidency. Could you imagine what someone with no foreign policy experience would do running our country?

In the private sector, she is the equivalent of a young person with a few years of experience saying they could be a vice president of an entire division. This resume would be thrown out, let alone given an interview.

I admire her gumption, but running the country is a lot more important than a personality or popularity contest.

I hope we wise up in time for the election!

Sep. 12 2008 10:19 AM
Clay Tobias

ABC heavily edited the interview of Sarah Palin by Charlie Gibson with "60 Minute" style cuts.

She still came off pretty well despite the "editing".

Sep. 12 2008 10:18 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

There is a difference between spouting facts and having good judgment. Her ultimate answer to the Bush Doctrine question was excellent.

Charlie gibson: Gotcha!

Sep. 12 2008 10:17 AM
jl from manhattan

People like her because they feel she is not superior to them. Her gaffes will only endear her more to her supporters. Criticizing her for them will only mobilize her supporters more. they don't know the bush doctrine either.

Sep. 12 2008 10:17 AM
Matthew from NYC

Why is that only gaffes should define whether or not someone is qualified to be president?

Can't we all look past the superficial and get on with the analysis of their real qualifications?

Sep. 12 2008 10:17 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Not quite sure how to attach links, but here goes.

Links to the Palin interview

Sep. 12 2008 10:16 AM
Jason from manhattan

"Big fat resume"...ughh......I understand her folksy appeal. I understand that many people connect with her personal story. But if I was picking a heart surgeon I could care less about the personal narrative. I would pick someone who knew what the heck they were talking about. Why is the bar so much lower for (potentially) the Presidency?

Sep. 12 2008 10:16 AM
andy from manhattan

it seems the gop's media experience from last night was unpleasntly parallel in their inability to answer the question asked.

as "experienced" as they are or aren't, they clearly are not ready for answering tough questions from moderators/reporters, and obviously are not ready for the tough issues the oval office would present.

will it matter to their supporters? not at all, unfortunately. hopefully it will matter greatly to those who are on the fence.

Sep. 12 2008 10:16 AM
Lloyd from Manhattan

Palin will be very comfortable meeting with foreign leaders because she speaks in tongues.

Sep. 12 2008 10:16 AM
Robert from Manhattan

As a "reformer" she's peachy keen. But take her act beyond our borders into a dangerous world and she reinforced last night that she would be a disaster. After eight years of living with the calamities caused by an ignorant president, we are now asked to accept an ignorant POTENTIAL president. Unacceptable.

Now that the governor of Alaska has received her 15 minutes, it's time for the Dems (and the media, if those who run vapid garbage for ratings have any integrity left) to turn the attention back to McCain. He was vulnerable before the Palin farce began, and he is just as vulnerable now. Go get him, Barack. The future of the country depends on it.

Sep. 12 2008 10:14 AM
seth from Long Island

#7 RadRepub

Ronald Reagan served 2 full terms as Governor of California and had run for President twice(1968 and 1976) before winning in 1980.

Your comparison of Palin to Reagan is simply ridiculous

Sep. 12 2008 10:14 AM
Abby from Long Island

I'm very disappointed in Obama for not being able to grab the headlines and the conversation back from McCain/Palin. Since the McCain announcement of Palin, they stepped on Obama's bounce from his convention, and have dominated the news ever since.

Sep. 12 2008 10:14 AM
Richard Cohen from Stamford, CT

The Dems need to get off (as tempting as it might be) focusing on Palin and McCain when the strongest arguement for a change in Washington is the Republican record over the past nearly 8 years of power and the current mess with the economy. The more attention they give Palin the more it helps the Republicans. It's like the BMW commercial for their "new" used cars where the wife of the buyer after her husband has told her it's a reconditioned used car says, "Look at it, it's a new car!!" The Rep. candidates are not "a new car!!"

Sep. 12 2008 10:14 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

Like Hulkamania back in the day, Palin Derangement Syndrom is runnin' wild! Keep it up, by all means, keep it up.
We non-lefties are laughing ourselves silly every day at the left's antics. I'm not a McCain fan but at the rate you are all going, you're going to lose control of Congress and the White House. They better close the bridges on November 5. You guys are a riot; please keep it up, no matter what. I'm having way too much fun.

Sep. 12 2008 10:14 AM
David from Queens

The Obama campaign looks like the Hillary Clinton Campaign when he (Obama) grabbed the media spotlight. Charlie Gibson is not ready to be interviewing any candidate - go back to a morning show Charlie!

Sep. 12 2008 10:13 AM
C from Metuchen

I don't think I want a woman who is so sure of her own salvation to have her finger on the nuclear button. I would feel a lot safer if my potential President had more doubts and were not anxious to enter the hereafter.

Sep. 12 2008 10:13 AM
Pat Thompson from Bklyn

If John McCain wins I have three words for him-

Betsy McCalley(sp)Ross.

Sep. 12 2008 10:13 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Exactly: "mission we're on is reform of this country." Talk about a vague generality. What exactly does that mean? Somehow, given her radical politics, I don't think it involves only Washington DC.

Sep. 12 2008 10:12 AM
Snoop from Brooklyn

I didn't see the whole interview, but did see some long clips. She didn't seem to have a good handle on policy.

But I don't think Americans are really concerned about policy. She is like them, has flaws like them, and so enough will vote for her for McCain to win.

Had Gibson hammered her hard on her lack of knowledge, he would have been pilloried for picking on her.

Sep. 12 2008 10:12 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan


From Think Progress:

While Gibson did not get the Bush Doctrine wholly correct, he was at least on the right track. In fact, the Bush Doctrine is predicated on “preventive war” not “preemptive war” — a sharp distinction in which the former justifies launching war in an attempt to “prevent” a threat from emerging (i.e. the Iraq war), while in the latter case, the threat has already materialized.

Sep. 12 2008 10:11 AM
Jeff Putterman from Queens

If republicans really care about us being at war, they should arrest McCain for treason. Palin is in so far over her head it would be funny, except we are talking about the real world.

Sep. 12 2008 10:10 AM
Marco from Manhattan

Democrats should resist the temptation to overly criticize Governor Palin...a tactic which will only backfire. She is patently underqualified, a fact which will surely become obvious to even the most benighted among us in the electorate.

Sep. 12 2008 10:09 AM
CH from Staten Island

She came across as cocky and combative.

I was stricken by her lack of knowledge of the Bush Doctrine. It isn't as if it were just some vague over-arching concept, or Bush's "world view," as she said attempting to get Gibson to give her the definition she lacked. This is now, much to our detriment, our national defense policy. She should know it.

She appeared to contradict herself on the "Mission from God" issue, especially in light of the fact we have her sermon on video.

And I am still wondering why it was deemed appropriate for those running the Alaskan ceremony sending off the troops deploying to Iraq to request only those supporting McCain-Palin attend. Requesting those who support a different ticket to stay away from an event to support the troops is petty and disrespectful.

Sep. 12 2008 10:09 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

It's an embarrassment that Palin is even considered for Vice-President.

It's a disgrace.

As for Regan? He was one of the top five WORST presidents this country has ever seen. W being #1.

I'm afraid McCain will win which will be a VERY sad day in this country!

Sep. 12 2008 10:08 AM
Spence from UWS

I am an Obama supporter and contributer. From what I have seen so far, the Republicans have indeed found their new Ronald Reagan -- affable, shallow and far right. I think she will win it for McCain and become the next president.

Sep. 12 2008 10:08 AM
chris_52 from nyc

Jenny, I think the sound bite might be "you can actually see Russia from Alaska" as if that alone confers expertise on every inhabitant of the state. What I find distressing is that over time she might ultimately master the 3 sentence answer to most of the probably questions, thereby masking her lack of depth. People say she is a "quick study" but as shc suggests, we need someone who has been paying attention to the worls for more than the last five minutes

Sep. 12 2008 10:08 AM
Anne from Manhattan

Headline: "...and You're Suprised?"

Sep. 12 2008 10:07 AM
Saul Gitlin from White Plains, NY

On Sarah Palin's uncomfortable response to the question about the Bush doctrine.

That Governor Palin had to be prompted about what the Bush Doctrine is only reveals that she is acutely 'out of the loop' on even the most prominent current events. Since its articulation by President Bush after 2001, the doctrine has been discussed, and debated ad infinitum, and it represents one of the most significant and controversial shifts in US international affairs in a generation. Where has Sarah Palin been??? Can we afford another national leader who does not keep abreast of the most basic news and information?

Sep. 12 2008 10:07 AM
Peter from Flatbush, Brooklyn

Prior to the interview she linked Iraq to 9/11 (per Washington Post) at her son's deployment ceremony, just FYI.
As for the interview, she was over-prepped and under-prepared. She would spout out pre-prepared answers to some questions and was clearly flumoxed on the ones her handlers didnt coach her on.

Sep. 12 2008 10:06 AM
shc from Manhattan

Wow #7, please be honest! 'Fess up to what all Repubs want, President Palin '08.

Sep. 12 2008 10:04 AM
RadRepub from Upper Left Side

Back in 1980, the Dems were saying the exact same thing about Reagan as they are saying now about Palin. Guess what? He cleaned their clock--and so will she. Get ready for President Palin in 2016, WNYC listeners.

Sep. 12 2008 09:57 AM
shc from Manhattan

From Politico this morning and Mr. Drew Westen, among many others (

"We’ve seen what happens when “the average person” becomes president. The world is simply too complex to do that again....[she] hasn’t even followed the news enough over the last 6 years to know what the Bush Doctrine is. It’s fine for the average person not to know, but it’s not fine for someone who could become President at any moment, any more than it’s fine for your pediatric oncologist to say, “Ah, gee whiz, I don’t read what’s in those fancy medical magazines—I just give it my all and pray a lot when I see a sick child.”

I think there are too many people who don't connect the two analogies and take these public offices (and their outlying consequences) for granted. Votes that last for years are based on sound-bites and emotions of the moment. And yet when one chooses a doctor for your child's sickness, even if it's a common cold, you think about the future, not just the here-and-now. What on earth is wrong with this picture?

Sep. 12 2008 09:55 AM
Jenny Geer from Larchmont

Sad to say, although Palin's answers fell way short of what we should expect from a VP candidate, she did not make any gaffes that could be reproduced as sound bytes to support the opposition. For example, although she obviously didn't know what the Bush doctrine was, and Gibson repeatedly pressed her, she stayed on task by relentless repeating obviously rehearsed and overly general answers. She is clearly a practitioner of the old Kissinger approach to press conferences: "Do you have any questions for my answers today?" The real question is, will the American people care?

Sep. 12 2008 09:46 AM
Gal from Metuchen, NJ

I couldn't believe how horribly Palin's performance was during this interview. I've never seen a politician skirt a question so inadiquitely and I was glad to see Charlie Gibson really stick to his guns and repeat himself when she so ungracefully tried to back pedal out of answering fundamental policy questions.

If McCain took Palin on because of her knowledge of foreign policy where was that knowledge yesterday? And how many times will Palin decide to change what she believes according to what McCain in behind?

Lastly, the McCain camp has gotten exactly what they were looking for...a VP that is going to be nearly impossible to attack, and as a woman I find it despicable that any attacks on her would be first misconstrued as sexism, why must we go to that first, she is a candidate and should be open to criticism as such.

Sep. 12 2008 09:14 AM
seth from Long Island

For the next installment, I hope Gibson asks Palin for a timeline of the bridge to nowhere saga - when she was for it before she was against it, her use of earmarks, her effort to remove polar bears from the endangered species list, and her views on abortion, intelligent design, and censorship.

Sep. 12 2008 09:00 AM
seth from Long Island


I wish you'd give serious consideration to creating a password protected message board so that listeners would have another place to go where they could have a more free wheeling conversation, exchange contact information, etc.

Sep. 12 2008 08:51 AM
seth from Long Island

Charlie Gibson’s interview with Sarah Palin would make a great opening sketch for the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. With her painful performance, Palin established her bona fides as a first class featherweight politician.

If John McCain knew what he was doing, he’d send Palin down to the minor leagues ASAP and call up Kay Bailey Hutchison, Olympia Snowe, or Susan Collins. Palin simply isn’t ready for primetime. She’s breathtakingly inadequate and woefully unprepared.

McCain should be ashamed of himself for pulling this bush league stunt of selecting Palin as his running mate. McCain owes voters an apology for breaking his promise of putting “his country first”.

Sep. 12 2008 08:44 AM

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