Benny's World

Friday, September 12, 2008

Charlie Gibson Schools Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin

Last night, I watched the first and second segments of Charlie Gibson's interview of Governor Palin. Gibson had bombed at one of the Democratic debates last year by asking questions of rumor and nothing of substance for the first 47 minutes before getting to the issues. My guess is that McCain's advisers totally underestimated Gibson, thinking he wouldn't probe her with as many questions on foreign policy as he did, or that she would be scrambling to think on her feet. Moreover, the McCain team underestimated that Gibson had something to prove to the viewers as well. Gibson reverted back to the Charlie Gibson I remembered over 20 years ago--a welcome change.

Here's a clip from TPM and the transcript to go with it:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

Charlie is kind enough to give her a fishing pole and some line to go with it here:

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

It's crystal clear she's clueless about it. Gibson does her a favor, and gives her a fish in addition to the fishing pole with this:

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.

GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?

PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.

GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.

PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.

GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?

PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.

For an outdoorswoman, it appears Palin doesn't even know how to fish very well.

OK, by most accounts, including the New York Times today, she struck out especially when the segment started with whether or not she was ready for being Vice-President or President, should something happen to the President. It didn't help that she took a swipe at Joe Biden either with this comment:

“We’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big fat résumé that maybe shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state.”

Despite all of the advisers Palin had available at her disposal this week, it appeared that Charlie Gibson the seasoned journalist was much better than all of them. Team McCain should be paying Gibson instead of all of those gross consulting fees to a bunch of Bush hacks for preparing Palin for the upcoming debate on October 2nd or other upcoming interviews.

I'm reminded of Dan Quayle when I see Sarah Palin. Dan Quayle and his wife at the time were far more conservative than Bush 41 was at the time. Bush pandered to the right and won the election. If we want real change and not a repeat of 20 years ago, Obama's message team has quite a bit of work to do.

Calling Joe Biden.

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