As ABC's Charlie Gibson started interviewing Governor Sarah Palin (R-AL), asking her this series of questions:
"Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?""
"...didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?""
"Didn't that take some hubris? [to run for VP]"
"When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?"
"I'm just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy".
"Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?"
"Have you ever met a foreign head of state?"
I found myself wondering why no reporter EVER sat down with Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and asked him these same questions during the 19 months of Obama's presidential campaign, when here they are asking Palin within 2 weeks of her VP nomination. Obama, with no executive experience, no governing experience, no management experience, no foreign policy experience prior to running for the presidency, no experience running any type of military outfit, indeed, no military experience of any kind, and none of the energy experience that Palin has either. Why didn't they ever ask him if HE had hubris, if he had the experience, if he had the qualifications, not just to be Vice President, but to be the leader of the free world, the Commander-In-Chief, the President of the United States ??? Even during 21 Democratic primary debates, I don't remember any reporter ever questioning Obama's credentials, not for one second. Hillary Clinton did question Obama's credentials, and the media castigated her for it. They called her mean-spirited. What incredible double standards we have in this country. Charles Gibson's first EIGHT questions all implied that Sarah Palin is not qualififed for the job.
When Gibson got done impugning Palin's experience, he tried to cast her as a religious kook, with these questions and statements:
"You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?"
"I take your point about Lincoln's words, but you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."
"...are you sending your son [to Iraq] on a task that is from God?"
Again, Obama, who is a Christian, has never been asked any questions of this kind that I can recall. Apparently, "God's plan" is only important if you're running for Vice President. The only questions asked regarding Obama's church had nothing much to do with theology, they had to do with Obama's spiritual mentor of 20 years being an anti-american racist.
So, Gibson tried to establish right up front that Sarah Palin is a provincial holy roller who has never set foot outside the igloo. All in the spirit of fairness, I'm sure.
That being said, I thought the interview was tedious and repetitive (how could it not be, with Gibson asking the same question over and over and over ?), and I thought Palin looked nervous, and at times confused. She made some errors. She referred to Russia's aggression toward Georgia as "unprovoked", but that is an oversimplification. It was reported that way in the American media, but Russia's actions weren't unprovoked. Russia's response wasn't proportional, however, and was a clear act of aggression. In the later part of the interview that was broadcast on Nightline, Palin said we should do something about global warming whether it is man-made or merely the result of natural weather cycles. Uh, no. If global warming is the result of natural weather changes (i.e. solar activity), there isn't anything we can do about it. The last I heard, we don't have any control over the sun.
Gibson asked Palin over and over whether the USA should support Israel if Israel decided to act to take out Iran's nuclear facilities, and Palin repeatedly gave the same answer, that Israel is an ally and we shouldn't second guess Israel regarding it's own national security. Gibson tried real hard to get Palin to say Israel should destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, and I applaud her for not saying that.
Gibson asked Palin over and over whether we should cross into Pakistan without Musharraf's permission to take out Al Qaeda, and Palin repeatedly gave the same answer, that we must do what is necessary to defeat Al Qaeda and shouldn't take any options off the table. Gibson tried real hard to get Palin to say we should invade Pakistan, and I applaud her for not saying that. Gibson tried to get Palin to say we'd have to go to war with Russia if we let Georgia into NATO, and Palin took the bait on that one a little bit, indicating that was perhaps a possibility according to the terms of the NATO alliance, which, of course, it is.
Are y'all getting the drift of all these 'will you take military action ?' questions from Gibson ? The more times he can get Palin to answer in the affirmative to military action, or even acknowledge the possibility of military conflict, the more the media can portray her, and Republicans in general, as warmongers. Or maybe I'm just being paranoid from watching this same sort of thing happen my entire lifetime. When Obama says we should invade Pakistan, well, that's just sensible, because that's where Bin Laden is. When a Republican says the same thing, they are unilateral fascist warmongers.
I heard some response from the left. I heard Alan Colmes allege that Palin didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was, but that was specious. Palin only asked for clarification on that question from Gibson, for specifics. I heard Clinton supporter Lanny Davis say he was shocked by Palin's declaration that we would go to war with Russia, but that was a severe misrepresentation of what she said.
I'm sure the furious spin will start today, as every word Palin spoke will be parsed, dissected, and recast.
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