Becker Blog

The world according to Brian Becker

The Palin Interview: Deer in the Headlights

Posted by Brian Becker on September 12, 2008

As you know, Sarah Palin gave her first interview yesterday with ABC news’ Charlie Gibson. You can watch it yourself here. I was a bit surprised by the line of questioning. I was expecting softballs to be thrown her way but there were a few tough questions and her answers were troubling to me.

I’m not gonna go through every question and analyze the answer, but I will note that throughout the entire interview she seemed a little hesitant, and her answers regarding foreign relations were extremely coached. Not exactly surprising. You can’t tell by reading a transcript but her body language and voice gave me a sense that she was reading from index cards, or at least trying to remember the talking points shes been studying for the past week and a half. Compare her talking about Georgia to Joe Biden talking about Iraq on Meet the Press last Sunday. There is a world of difference between the two. Biden projects an aura of confidence when talking about international relations because he knows what he is talking about. Palin seems very timid talking about the subject.  I noticed it a little bit in her RNC speech when she talked about Iraq and Afghanistan, but her shyness on the subject was clearly evident in this interview.

There are two parts of the interview I think that will be talked about extensively though. When asked about a nuclear Iran and our relationship with Israel, she was only able to give a simple, typical answer of any politician.

“We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself. ”

That’s fine. I don’t really have a problem with that answer because its what everyone says when discussing Israel. The problem is when pressed on the issue, she gave the same canned response three times at which point Gibson moved on. This was the clearest point, to me, that showed Palin has no idea what shes talking about when discussing foreign policy and was just giving pre-packaged answers that shes been studying for two weeks.

The second was when Gibson asked her if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine. She looked like a deer in the headlights for a moment after the question was asked. It was obvious this was something they hadn’t covered and her answer proved it. She had no idea what he was referring to. After stumbling for a bit Gibson explained it to her and she gave an okay answer but the damage was already done.

I was just watching CNN a little while ago and David Gergen said it didn’t matter that she didn’t know what the Bush Doctrine was because most people probably don’t know what it is. I submit to him that most people are not running for Vice President of the United States of America. The Bush Doctrine is pretty basic stuff when it comes to foreign policy.  Just because she is a rookie on the national stage doesn’t mean she should be given a pass on things like this.

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One Response to “The Palin Interview: Deer in the Headlights”

  1. Thanks for the post. It’s troubling, indeed, to know that a person who may be president before the four years are up, has no clue about any of this stuff and is cramming like she’s got a calculus test in the morning.

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