September 12, 2008, - 2:17 pm

On Sarah Palin’s ABC Interview

By Debbie Schlussel
As I’m sure you all did, I watched the Sarah Palin interview with Charles Gibson. Tonight, there will be an hour-long, extended interview on ABC at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. I’ll have to tape it and comment later on Sunday or Monday.
Overall, I think she did a good job. Charles Gibson’s smug, arrogant, almost angry demeanor was a huge turn-off and worked for her, contrasting starkly with her nice, homey demeanor. As some of you may know, I think there are a lot of drawbacks to Sarah Palin, but most of them were not evident in last night’s interview.
First, I’m not bothered in the least that she invoked the name of G-d regarding the war in Iraq–the video that has already been played over and over and over again, and was replayed in last night’s ABC/Gibson interview. As you know, I think we made a giant mistake handing Iraq to Iranian-backed Shi’ites. But that’s a different topic altogether. I don’t find any offense in Sarah Palin invoking G-d, and I’m glad she has such strong religious faith. That’s one of her strong points, which will provide a strong foundation in the areas in which she is weak and ignorant.

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Many readers have sent me quotes from Palin and/or from her church. As readers know, I have a tremendous respect for evangelical Christians, and I’m not bothered at all by those things she and/or her minister has said. I am, though, bothered by the Jews for Jesus visitor that spoke once at her Church saying Israel deserved terrorist attacks. But he was a one-time visitor, and I don’t think he represents her views at all.
Back to the interview. I was glad she repeated that it’s not for us or anyone else to second-guess Israel in the steps it takes for its defense. However, when she repeated it, she also wouldn’t answer when he asked would you support Israel if they strike Iran. A simple, proud “yes”–which she declined to do–would have been good and more reassuring, but her answer was fine.
That she couldn’t enumerate the so-called “Bush doctrine” doesn’t bother me, since I think Bush frankly can’t either, not that Bush should be the base benchmark. I also noted that, like Bush, she, too, thinks it’s “New-Kyuh-ler.” It’s “nuclear.” Pronouncing it correctly does a lot for the image.
But as for the Bush doctrine, it doesn’t bother me that she couldn’t describe a doctrine. If she has the right sentiments–and it sounds like, after the McCain tutoring session she does–that’s what counts.
Doesn’t really matter whether or not she’s rarely traveled around the world or hasn’t met a foreign head of state. She seems to have the handshake and riding on an airplane stuff down.
During the portion of the interview at a portion of the Alaska pipeline, during which she talked about drilling in ANWR, I think she was spot on. That was her best portion of the interview.
Overall, I’d give her a B on the interview.
What do you think? How did she perform in your mind?

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26 Responses

I agree completely with your assessment and your grade of B or B+. Pretty good for her first interview with all Gibson’s hostility, both verbal (including sighs) and body language.
I also find striking the hostility of much of the Republican establishment, politicians in Congress, foreign policy hacks and former hacks. A hostile neutrality in general. I think this is all to the good. I agree that there are serious weakness in her record & positions, such as illegal immigration, not to say the least, but she is definitely not part of the establishment.
I don’t know how she will turn out if she is elected, but she can’t be worse than what we’ve got. I’m sure she is not pleased with the hostility of the Republican establishment, and she realize who constitutes her base. I’ve been waiting for a long time for a real populist who is responsive to the electorate. If I could have picked an ideal candidate that person would not be the same as Sarah Palin, but I think she is as close as we are likely to get, at least for the foreseaable future. I think that conservatives should support her, while at the same time, as you are doing, articulating differences when they exist.

c f on September 12, 2008 at 4:25 pm

I’m waiting for the YouTube cuts; I didn’t get to see it.
But “nucular!” Damn…
It’s one thing to mispronounce, I guess, but at least she’s not a “stumbler” like George W. Dingbat. She can compose sentences sans missteps.
You should hear how I used to speak when I moved from a certain pocket of the East Coast to the Heartland. Phew!
Some things, like dialect, take time to overcome.
Will comment more once I see this!

Second City on September 12, 2008 at 4:30 pm

sometimes I think the nucular pronunciation is intentional. Bush has been doing it all his life; certainly during the 8 years a speechwriter or aide has told him the correct pronunciation. It may just be stubborness, or a desire to irritate the elites. Palin? who knows, but if Bush has been doing it 8 years, someone had to tell him & I think he just doesn’t care.

c f on September 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm

As a woman, you probably echo the reaction of most women in the country: that’s not how they would treat a man in an interview! I do think she should be asked tough questions but fair questions so we learn more about her and what as she thinks. Being a journalist yourself, I’m sure you know the right way and the wrong way to conduct an interview. This was conducted the wrong way. The condescending, sneering, hectoring tone made it sound more like an interrogation rather than a conversation. We all know Democrats get asked softball questions so they are never truly vetted for office. I think Sarah came off rather well and when the MSM does “gotcha” journalism conservatives come out strengthened. She strikes me as a likable and competent person with strong values. That’s not to say I agree with her on everything or approve of all the things she’s done as Governor Of Alaska. But the yardsticks don’t matter since I’m more interested in a person’s character than whether they have a fat resume. That’s important in a potential President.

NormanF on September 12, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Chris Matthews just accused her of being indoctrinated into neoconservatism! Shorthand for being pro-Israel. Its also code for Jews who happen to be conservative or people who just are pro-Israel! What kind of people are there who think Israel doesn’t deserve to survive that you find on the Left? Its becoming more deranged.

NormanF on September 12, 2008 at 5:37 pm

That “Bush Doctrine” question was…well, “bush league”!
Simply put: THERE IS NO BUSH DOCTRINE!!!
If anything, it is a “strategy” and even Gibson has defined the “Bush Doctrine” in the past as being something OTHER than what he said it was last night!
Here is the ACTUAL Bush “Strategy”:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2002/nss.pdf
And look here for how other journalists (including Gibson) have described the “Bush Doctrine” in the past.
http://mcnorman.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/the-bush-doctorine-according-to/
Sarah Palin answered the question JUST FINE for there being NO BUSH DOCTRINE!
Chuck Gibson on the other hand was an ASS.

nodog on September 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm

This lady is a warmonger and she scares me.

ramjordan on September 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Debbie,
Sarah Palin is a disappoinment too.She thinks only a small minority of Muslims are extremists. She is as ignorant as Bush the dummy. McCain’s position vis a vis Russia is basically lunatic. Georgia crisis would not have transpired if idiot Clinton had not wrest away Kosovo from Serbia and Bush the dummy had not sanctified it. Russia is the second biggest white nation on earth. The Orthodox church has been witnessing an increase in church goers. There could be more Christians in Russia than entire western Europe. The Russians may have paranoia (after being invaded by Swedes, Teutonic Knights, French, Ottomans, Selchuks, Arabs, Chinese, Mongols, Germans, Persians and Japanese in the last 300 years…who won’t be?)but they could have been brought into the western fold but Clinton the Clit and Bush the Dummy squandered it. Now McCain is sounding as lunatic just when it is imperative for Russia and USA to work together in face of Islamic monster. I so much want to vote for McCain but his position on Russia is really crazy and Palin is just parroting it while saying only a minority of Muslims are extremists. Ugggggs.
[RJP: CAN’T DISAGREE WITH YOU HERE. DS]

rj pad on September 12, 2008 at 9:41 pm

She did well enough. I think she should have brought an “Obama/Biden” button and given it to Gibson, along with the words, “you must have left yours at home.” I think his tea kettle would have blown its lid.
The venom directed toward Palin (media, Hollywood, Republican establishment) has worked wonders for McCain. On CNN, your pal Campbell Brown had a panel of Palin-haters on tonight (Dana Milbank, Jeffrey Toobin, etc). They were feasting on Palin-meat. Could almost see the blood dripping from their fangs. Toobin actually had the nerve to say he’s not for one candidate or another. OMG!

sonomaca on September 12, 2008 at 10:12 pm

I think the same opportunity for questions should be afforded to Sen. Biden. And Debbie should ask the questions.

rickster on September 12, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Biden has a love affair with the Mullahs. Biden has Muslim supremacists on his staff, and deep contacts with Iranian-connected individuals. He, like Obama, is now fan of Israel.

sonomaca on September 13, 2008 at 12:08 am

Well, after Ronald Reagan, exery fricking American President has been a butt kisser of Islamonsters. Bush the Senior, Clinton the Clit and Bush the Dummy. Both McCain and BHO are in the same league. Election talk is all hotair. Once they win the votes, it would be business as usual 1) butt kissing Saudi Barbarian 2) Islam is a religion of piss hijacked by an extremist minority 3) no embassy in Jerusalem 4) veto on Israel’s military plans to attack Iran 5) kissing up to Pakistani ISI despite their fornication with OBL, AQ and Taliban 6)troops remain in Iraq & A’stan to enforce Shariah law. With monkeys like these for leaders the future should look great and I have a bridge for sale over the Bering Strait.

rj pad on September 13, 2008 at 2:10 am

I thought Saracuda did just fine in the interview.
Gibson is a tool. I just reviewed his softball interview with the One during his ‘world’ tour, and there wasn’t one condescending question about gun control, religion, abortion, or even policy.
It was an inside job. They were smiling, Gibson practically giving the obamessiah a handjob on camera. I’m surprised they didn’t kiss when it was all over.
I think Gibson just helped decide the presidency with his despicable interview tactics.
You can see the obamessiah/gibson interview at youtube to compare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAEnu89dxCY

ConnectTheDots2006 on September 13, 2008 at 6:33 am

I think she did well enough to help make sure Obama doesn’t win which is the most important goal.
After that if we are lucky McCain and Palin won’t hurt the country anymore than it is.
Also, if they win we won’t see Israel attack Iran before January 18, 2009 (as they would have had to do if Obama is elected).
However, it is almost certain that we and/or Israel will have to take out Iran’s nuclear ambitions during the McCain term.
Let’s pray that McCain doesn’t fail to realize that.

robscottw on September 13, 2008 at 10:45 am

Pakistan developed a nuke right under the nose of Reagan, Bush Sr and Bill Clit. None of them did didly squat. Ya think McCain or Obama gonna do something? Don’t bet on it. After much hew-hawing and finger pointing at Europeans, Chinese, Russians etc and after blocking Israel’s military plans it would be business as usual.

rj pad on September 13, 2008 at 10:58 am

I am sorry but I would give her a C and when it comes to foreign policy. I would give her a D. Sorry but she is an empty dress. Obama is an empty suit, she is just as empty. Obama has been grilled for the last year, she hasn’t. However she isnt running for President. Obama is running against McCain who has a serious vision of protecting our country not giving it away like Obama.
She may have some talking points down or memorized but she is clueless. There is no depth or passion in her speaking. Maybe first time jitters. But being in the White House in serious meetings about terrorists, China, Russia, Venezuela, Mexican drug cartels, Pakistan, Iran and any other hot spots, you dont have cue cards. Just think of our current VP Dick Cheney, he knows what he wants regarding his world view. Do you think Cheney would hesitate on any question Charles Gibson would give him? As for domestic politics I would give her a B.
No matter what, Obama is the worst, the most liberal candidate America has ever seen, the most arrogant, most unexperienced, and the biggest threat this country has ever seen. Mickey Mouse would be a better choice than Obama. So with all the flaws of McCain and Palin, the default choice is McCain/Palin. Unfortunately the most qualified for VP would have been Duncan Hunter, he is in the district next to me. Ann Coulter wanted him for President, and that was my initial pick. Hopefully Duncan Hunter will be in any McCain administration as Defense Secretary or Homeland Security. However in our society, people dont care about qualifications, it is about what makes you feeeeel good about your choice. So Palin was picked because she makes the base feeeeel good and her draw to independent women is the other reason she was chosen. As the Raiders say “Just win Baby”. That is all is needed till November. We will deal with the consequences later.
[CS: AFTER WATCHING ALL OF IT, I THINK YOU HAVE AN EXCELLENT ASSESSMENT HERE. BUT DUNCAN HUNTER WOULD NOT HAVE HELPED MCCAIN WIN, AS MUCH AS I LIKE HIM FAR BETTER THAN MCCAIN OR PALIN. DS]

californiascreaming on September 13, 2008 at 11:06 am

She did well. Dealing with a hostile interviewer isn’t easy, just ask Obama. Oreilly pasted him good but if Obama had any positive substance he’d have defended better. Gov. Palin made a good impression, once again on me and anyone else I know that saw her interview. I didn’t know the Bush doctrine either but now that I do I think it is a sound policy. Maybe we could’ve fought the war differently but with the gutted intelligence organizations that were left behind from the Clintons, what the hell.

samurai on September 13, 2008 at 11:32 am

I give Sarah Palin an A +++. I learned more in that interview, than 2 years of Obama’s prattling platitudes. And, considering nobody’s ever grilled Obama, the past 2 years, the way they’ve grilled Palin the past 2 weeks…
The interview felt like she was running for President, not VP.

Maxine Weiss on September 13, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I thought Palin was fine under some very disturbing conditions. But what bothers me is the constant finger pointing that she has never met a head of state. So, I have been trying to find how many BHO had met prior to becoming a candidate. Does anyone have any idea? From what I can find…he was no better.

sueb on September 13, 2008 at 3:49 pm

You can all argue as much as you want about where Gov. Palin stands regarding Israel. One thing I am sure of is what, we as Americans, will get with Obama. He has never even mentioned that Israel is the only democratic country in that region, except for the recent Iraq election. I would take Biden over Obama. Can you say Pastor Wright and Terroist Ayres? As for Palin, what she has done or what McCain has done in choosing her is make the Dems terrified. That’s enough for me.
[A: WELL, THAT’S THE SAME PROBLEM WITH PRESIDENT BUSH FOUR YEARS AGO WHEN HE WAS RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION. WAS CONDI CLUELESS AND BUSH’S PUSHING SHARON AND ISRAEL TO GIVE UP GAZA AND KICK JEWS OUT OF THEIR HOMES AND THEIR REPEATED PRESSURE ON ISRAEL NOT TO RESPOND TO TERRORIST ATTACKS AND NOT TO BUILD JEWISH HOMES IN ISRAEL AND TO GIVE UP THE GOLAN HEIGHTS AND HALF OF JERUSALEM REALLY ANY DIFFERENT OR BETTER THAN A JOHN KERRY ADMINISTRATION WOULD HAVE BEEN? DREAM ON. AND THE SAME GOES FOR MCCAIN V. OBAMA. BOTH WILL BE BAD AND WILL FORCE ISRAEL TO FURTHER SELF-AMPUTATE. AND PALIN COULDN’T EVEN GIVE A SIMPLE “YES” ANSWER TO THE QUESTION AFTER A WEEK LONG TUTORING SESSION FROM THE MCCAIN TEAM.
MCCAIN HAS BEEN–OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS–BAD ON ALL OF THESE ISSUES REGARDING ISRAEL, AND SO HAS LIEBERMAN–WHO “TUTORED” SARAH PALIN ON THE MID-EAST. GOOD LUCK. YOU WILL BE SADLY DISAPPOINTED. IF ONLY YOU AND OTHERS SET THE BAR HIGHER THAN “BETTER THAN OBAMA.” THAT’S A PRETTY LOW BENCHMARK AND VERY EASY TO BEAT, THOUGH ON THIS ISSUE, THEY WILL PROBABLY BE THE SAME. DS]

adorabl on September 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I agree Debbie you. I wish Sarah was bolder. I wish she would said Yes and was a 100% for Israel. But think she was a little intimated. Do you know what firestorm there would of been if she said that? But give her time. As for the jews for Jesus. I know some of them. Good people. Grew up in New York. Had two messianic jews as pastors (not jews for Jesus). A male and female. They had nothing but love for Israel and the Jewish people. Never heard any comdemnation. Never pushy to Jews either. Just loving. They gave me a even greater heart for Israel and the Jewish people. I also loved them like a mother and father.
True Evangelicals who loved Israel and the Jewsish people.Hands down.
Danny

dannygirl on September 13, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Sarah Palin is maybe a little more (not much) religious then Joe Lieberman who also thought he was some how should be someone we respect on a relgious level. (Interesting that McCain was thinking about picking Lieberman as well.) Praising Hillary Clinton and saying Obama should have picked Hillary (who is very anti family). She (Palin) belongs to a church that has female clergy (and is a member of feminist for life which is feminist but pro life) and this Mr. Mom with her husband doesn’t give me the impression she is TRULY RELIGIOUS. Yeah she may have a clergy that she can hide behind but I don’t believe she is a G-d fearing woman from reading about her. The Jewish Bible is a sexist book according to the way she has lived her life.
I wish we would leave G-d out of Iraq. We have been fighting a half ass war there and bush has been persecuted our soilders and at this point main people feel there are other motivation other then G-d for this endless war we have in Iraq.
I am sure Sarah Palin will support Israeli agencies and religious groups that push feminism. Since Israel has a big problem with feminism I guess it is good for the corrupt leaders. Sadly Israel’s men are passive because of all the feminism but Palin is pro the feminist Israeli gov’t. THat is great. Why bring Israel into this anyway? I am not convinced Sarah Palin is good for America (so if she isn’t good for America she isn’t going to be good for Israel) other then McCain-Palin from a 0-10 being maybe a 1 and Obama-Biden being a 0.
I am very bothered by her holier then thou atitude and giving her a free pass. As I said Judaism and Christianity seem to hate rank and file men and Debbie more concerned about Islam then our own relgious corruption and there are people who have problem with Islam but don’t throw the whole religon out the window. This book Jewel of Medina about Mohammed’s child bride was written by a woman who has issues with Islam but doesn’t feel the relgion should be destroyed. SHe was interviewed on the Laura Ingraham show which I heard on MP3.

adam6275 on September 13, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Without any doubt, Georgia and Ukraine shoud be part of NATO. Any political figure or country that says otherwise is appeasing Russia. We heard the same thing about encirclement of Russia by its enemies (and how that justified aggressive Russian actions) when Russia invaded the Eastern European countries and took them over after World War II. That is one of Palin’s strong points. I am surprised at the amount of misunderstanding of this issue. Not that I have any illusions about this, but I was surprised to read a recent article by a an emeritus expert in Russian history (who has written a number of articles for conservative publications) that came close to rationalizing Russia’s recent behavior.
Of course, politicians promise anything during campaigns and then consistently take foreign policy positions that are ot in the long-term or even short-term interests of our country. But I am surprised at the far-reaching hostility, not only in the media, but among all the elected and non-elected foreign policy hacks to the thngs Palin is saying. At least she is saying them. That is the first step. Not to mention the increasing cooperation between Russia and the Muslim fanatics and despots in a number of countries. Just like the Cold War.

c f on September 14, 2008 at 7:10 am

And of course, re the peace process, even their promises are faulty, as the peace process, designed to strenghen our enemies is supported by hacks of both parties. While I respect Lieberman for denouncing the Democrats on Iraq, his position on Israel and foreign policy in general, isn’t much different from Clueless Condi’s. We need a whole different world view.
Cheney would have mopped the floor with Gibson, but in spite of his intelligence, experience, and seemingly conservative positions, his actions have not differentiated him from the hacks that, based on rumors, he disagrees with.

c f on September 14, 2008 at 7:16 am

I suspect there was cutting that purposely left out her full answers. Via Mark Levin and Pamela Geller, there this about Israel:
IBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Whoís right?
PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, weíre talking about Israel, weíre talking about Ahmadinejadís comment about Israel being the ìstinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth,î thatís atrocious. Thatís unacceptable.
GIBSON: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?
PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.
GIBSON: But, Governor, weíve threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasnít done any good. It hasnít stemmed their nuclear program.
PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe theyíre going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.
When you have the full context of the interview,
everything becomes much clearer. The only thing I don’t think is on target is the notion of effective sanctions against Iran. Its a pipe dream. One way or another Ahmedinenazi will have to be stopped!

NormanF on September 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm

There is a Bush-Doctrine. The elements were first spoken to in his May 2002 speech at West Point. Pre-emption is at the core; also, there would be no respect for inviolability of frontiers, should states harbor terrorists. Further, American intervention would enhance regional stability. Unfortunately, taking out Taliban and Baathist Iraq, actually further radicalized both Sunni and Shiite forces.
Central Asia and the Levant have never been less stable. However, the biggest mistake of the Bush presidency was the strengthing of Shiite Iraq. Don’t even think of defending the Surge as the initiator of a lasting peace; Iraq is a powderkeg. As I write, tbe President is in the position of begging Iraq’s Parliament to throw a bone to McCain and himself on the Status of Forces Agreement.

supercargo on September 15, 2008 at 6:04 am

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