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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gibson and Fey

UPDATE: This should be essential reading. The Mark Levin Show has posted ABC's UNEDITED trnascript of the Palin interview. All of the best quotes from Gov. Palin, especially on foreign policy, were edited out!
Well, a lot has happened in the past few days, notably Gov. Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson and the debut of the Saturday Night Live version of Sarah Palin (played by Tina Fey). Both of these are important developments that I want to talk about.

First, let's talk about the Charlie Gibson interview (click here to watch). I've heard a lot of debate over whether Mr. Gibson's line of questioning was fair, and I personally don't think it was. It was definitely a good idea for him to ask tough questions on foreign policy (I specifically likes the questions about Georgia and NATO), but I do think that the question about the "Bush Doctrine" was out of line. Here's why: there is no set definition of the "Bush Doctrine", a term which has been applied to any number of different policies and which Charlie Gibson clearly has not studied. I would highly recommend Charles Krauthammer's column on the subject, which clearly outlined a number of different definitions which have been applied to the term "Bush Doctrine". Here's what I thought to be the "money quote" from that article:

Yes, Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain."

Krauthammer also brings me to my second point, which is that Mr. Gibson spent the entire interview LITERALLY staring staring down his nose at the next Vice President of the United States. He seemed to have no interest in what she had to say, and premised all of his questions (on everything from the "bridge to nowhere" to "Troopergate") on the idea that she was lying to him. If he didn't get the answer he wanted, he simply got angry rather than trying to understand what was being said. All in all, I think that Gov. Palin did a good job, especially considering the biased line of questioning.

Now, on to Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live (click here to watch). While SNL may not be horribly relevant, it is widely watched and fun to discuss. Personally, I had been wondering for quite some time who would play Gov. Palin if we succeeded. Fey was certainly the natural choice, but I didn't actually expect SNL to bring her back to the program just for the purpose of portraying Sarah Palin. I'm glad that I was wrong, and for my two cents, I thought that her Palin was fantastic. As someone who has had to watch every TV appearance by Gov. Palin for the last year and a half, I laughed my head off at all of the little quirks that Tina Fey managed to pick up (licking her teeth, the way she waved, facial expressions, everything). And on a side note, it creeped me out that I knew so much about the minutia of Gov. Palin's facial gestures. Oh, well.

Next time, I'll be taking on the experience issue by comparing the credentials of Sarah Palin with the pre-Presidency resumes of two heroes of the Democratic Party: Bill Clinton and Woodrow Wilson.


purplecrayon said...


Lehman Brothers will declare bankruptcy tomorrow. I missed the SNL Tina Fey skit but I'm sure she was great. I've been watching the financial news all night. This is a MAJOR financial crisis which will rock not only Wall St. but also Main St. Turn on your TVs.

Significant blame for the crisis can be placed on the Republicans, especially the SEC that eliminated fixed leverage rates. I know this isn't as much fun to talk about as "lipstickgate" or whether Gibson looked down his nose on Governor Palin. I just want to know exactly what the McCain/Palin ticket plans to do to "reform" our crumbling financial institutions.

tom paine said...


Rather than comparing Gov. Palin's resume with Slick Willy's or with an out-dated Woodrow Wilson why not get more relevent?

Compare her resume to Gov. George Bush's resume when he became our president in 2001?

Considering the current condition of our nation's economy, yearly budget deficit, military condition, immigration, negative balance of trade, status in the world, education, foreign policy, and national debt...looking at Gov. Bush might be a better use of your time.

We should have paid attention when candidate Bush said that Social Security was not a federal program and later when he said that Africa was a country!

Let's not make the same mistake this time.

Erin said...

My hubby thinks I'm a little weird, I've watched the SNL skit so many times. I still snort at the way Fey says, "I don't really know what that is..." That whole section just kills me.

Gibson annoyed me with how much he reminded me of my school principal. I spent a LOT of time in Mr. Wood's office BAD memories, and Charlie was just WAY too condescending.

*wanders off to watch SNL sketch again

Bob said...

Needless to say, I cannot believe the smears against this woman. And this has only been two weeks. She has been accused of everything including being a Pontius Pilate. And we know their nail in the coffin will be tasergate. They and their dem legislators in Alaska are holding this card. So what do we do. We stop talking and start with the action. Nomore tossing of ideas. Wrap up the ones we have and do it. As for Palin and the McCain camp. STOP the whining and start the fighting and bring out the guns against them. No prisoners. Take it to them. You cannot play footsie with liberals, you can only hit them hard.

Minnesota M. said...

She is a nice lady, but you should check out the Pre Presidency resume and MSM coverage of when Geraldine Ferraro was nominated. The New York Times felt she could "Grow into the role of Vice President." We were in a cold war with Russia at the time.

techno said...

Prior to Sarah being selected by McCain I made the point that if he went the 'bold' route of choosing a game-changer it should not be considered a 'hail-Mary pass' but a half-time adjustment to change the lay of the land or boost his team's talent and energy level and give his side a better opportunity to win the game (on Nov 4). This is exactly what he has done. Second I tried to make the case that based on the political dynamic immediately after the Democratic convention, that McCain had to unequivocably select a woman for his ticket, but not just any woman: that women had to possess the potential and charisma to pick off as many disenchanted Hillary voters as possible, but at the same time had the capability of shoring up the fiscal and social conservative base of the Republican party so that McCain would not have to look back and worry about the lack of foot soldiers and a lack of enthusiasm to turn out and vote. Finally McCain decided as a result of the failure of the Clinton campaign that had consistently emphasized Hillary's experience over Obama, that he needed to retool his strategy and become a 'change' candidate rather than 'an old war horse'. To bring this off he needed to select a woman who was also a maverick and a woman who could communicate this overhaul of message in a vigorous and convincing manner. Folks as I have previously stated, to find a Republican woman who was youthful, charismatic, a maverick, one who could appeal to both conservatives and to Reagan democrats, to find a woman who had spellbinding political communication skills, that's like drafting a Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods. Well McCain did find one and her name is Sarah Palin. Whatever McCain does in the future he is to be commended for recognizing her political talent and inaugurating the rebirth of the conservative movement in America. Sarah and McCain have had a tremendous 2 weeks and as we stand now on September 15 the ticket is ahead in most of the Presidential polls, both in popular vote and the electoral college and the Congressional races are looking more promising. But folks, this contest is far from being over. With this in mind I want to offer up what I think the McCain campaign must do to prevail and what pitfalls they must try to avoid so as to stumble too much and fall back in the polls. There are 10 points: 1) As recently reported the campaign has decided to go the non-traditional route and have Sarah and John campaign together more often than not-as I previously mentioned Sarah is not a warm-up act or flunky--SHE IS THE MAIN EVENT! 2) John should formally announce what was in the The Daily Telegraph last week that Sarah will be the energy czar of his administration and that any questions regarding energy policy from the media should be directed to her. What this would do for McCain is to allow him to focus on areas of expertise which he is more familiar with like foreign affairs, national and homeland security and terrorism. 3) Let's admit it: John does not communicate economic policy very well. What I would recommend is that he try to avoid explaining the complexity or innter workings of the economy and talk only in generalities (he's no Greenspan. Romney or Larry Kudlow)and leave the intricacies of economic policy more to Sarah or surrogates like Romney, Carly Fiorina,Meg Whitman or people of that ilk. I know this may make McCain appear weak or uninformed but I strongly believe that he has enough credibility with the American people that he could convince them successfully that they should place their faith in the ability of these talented economic powerhouses that he, himself, has faith in. Remember the economy has been traditionally a Democratic issue. Frankly, there is a potential for McCain to screw this issue up big time and lose the election because of it. 4) So far Sarah has not made any major gaffes. Please allow her to continue to express herself in an authentic, personable manner risking that future gaffes may occur. Please, or please don't try to make her over so she sounds like another Washington insider. Don't forget why this initial 'bump' in the polls took place. Don't hold her back--unleash her! 5)Contrary to many right-wing pundits and bloggers I approve of you fighting back and expressing indignation over sexist or ageist language or behavior from Obama's campaign. More and more women and seniors will in turn become outraged and favor McCain with their vote. But I would caution the campaign to not go overboard. Eventually it could make them appear they are 'crying wolf'. 6) What I would recommend is that the McCain campaign host a highly publicized 2 day televised forum in a battleground state for PUMA's or former Hillary supporters and have Sarah be the host--giving a prominent speech but at the same time listening to the concern of these particular women voters. 7) I would have Sarah challenge Biden to more debates and have McCain again publicly invite Obama to make joint appearances with him at town hall meetings and call out Obama if he doesn't agree to these meetings. 8)A brilliant tactic would be to have Sarah continually and relentlessly go after Obama hard for the remainder of the election so that McCain can appear above the fray and presidential; I strongly believe Obama's main weakness is that he doesn't know how to deal with strong women. He will then by instinct or habit turn his attention to Sarah and screw up by being patronizing or sexist or forget about McCain and those scenarios will always favor the McCain campaign. 9) McCain should somehow establish a Latino outreach in the West, especially in Colorado and New Mexico. 10) Finally McCain has to avoid offending the Republican base by making stupid comments, especially about IMMIGRATION or AMNESTY. McCain should stick to a script and not stray off the reservation. And John don't appear on stupid programs like the View; they are totally demeaning and not worthy of a great man like you.

techno said...

The difference betweeen Palin and Ferraro; charisma and communication skills.

Normal American said...

Check out this article from the New York Post.

Ted said...


and McCain (and Palin for that matter) should stop offending the Conservative base by making stupid statements about global warming.

Patriot1776 said...

Techno, you are very wise. All your points make the most sense. Now, we will see how McCain get's this done with the remaining time left in the campaign.

They really need to unleash Sarah. Don't make her scripted. Let her answer question as she does best - without prepared talking points. I have total faith in her being able to handle it.

This has turned the race around, but it is a long way to go.

I hope someone from his campaign takes your suggestions seriously.

Zack said...

I wouldn't worry about Charlie Gibson being condescending or hostile. This only works in Palin's favor with swing voters.

It's a bit sobering, thought, to see how much power the editors have on how an interview is preceived. Overall, I don't think she was treated more unfairly than other politicians. But there is strong bias to edit out specifics and details and highlight the "talking points".

On the "Bush Doctrine", even David Gergen, who has made no secret of the fact he does not like the choice of Sarah Palin, said she should get a pass on that one as it was an unfair question. Although her answer was quite passible, the non-verbals were not good. She looked and sounded rattled and unsure of herself. I am hopeful she will improve as time goes on.

I vote present. said...

purplecrayon said...

They can't bail out these companies. Then we are just what the dummycrats want a socialized country. The taxpayers dont get bailed out of bad spending and no budgeting. Let the weak fall, its the way of a free market

Sarah said...


Brilliant post. You need to do everything you can to get your thoughts into the hands of the top people in the McCain/Palin campaign. Not sure how you do it, but find a way.

caem said...


Email your thoughts to Meghan Mccain and ask her to pass them on to the people that are working directly with her dad and Sarah.

You can do that via her blog. I have done so before, it works! They will pick up the points they agree with and incoporate them in their speeches/campaign strategies.

You can also try forwrding yr thoughts directly to the campaign.

MN has turned purple (45/45) and Sarah and McCain will be here on Friday.

According to DEM/GOP intenal polling, recent events in NY (Gov Spitzer's scandal, Rangel's failure to pay taxes and BO's failure to pick HRC)are threatening to turn the state from deep blue to purple and possibly red (by NOV 4)!!! That will be the end of BO!!

But to win Team Mccain needs to handle the economy issue very well. Carley Fiorna is the best in and most convincing this area, needs to be deployed full time.

And it shouldn't be hard to tie the economic problems we are facing since two years ago to the democratic congress. Before they (Dems) took over congress two yrs ago the economy was doing just fine!! They must have messed it up!!

jill said...

Enjoy this entertaining bit from Ed Rollins on the CNN site today. Here is a little bit of it, but be sure to catch the rest of it.

"It seems like just yesterday when Sen. Barack Obama impressed our troops in Kuwait by shooting his flawless three-pointer into the basket without hitting the rim.

Obama looked unbeatable then. He looked unbeatable the night of his acceptance speech before 85,000 cheering supporters. If victory went to the guy who could make the best speech or could win the schoolyard basketball game of "horse," he was thought to be unstoppable.

The outdoor game has changed from "horse" to "moose," and only one candidate in this race has shot "moose.'"

tom paine said...


You make some good points but also seem to sometimes miss the obvious.

McCain's choice of Palin may have been "bold" but it also could be construed as both reckless and politically motivated. Considering McCain's decades of experience and his connections to qualified possible candidates it's almost absurd that he would choose a person that he had met only once for a few minutes. The fact of the matter is that McCain probably could not have picked Palin out of crowd prior to his 20 minute meeting with her just before making the announcement. Maybe that's what you call "bold" but most people would not want that type of process for the #2 spot in the free world!

Also, if McCain is such a maverick...why did he not follow his heart and pick his obvious first choice Joe Leiberman or his strong second preference Tom Ridge? That reeks of political expediency and bending to pressure rather than being loyal or a maverick.

You fawn over Palin almost as bad as some of the Dem goobers fawn over Obama. Palin has an entire basket of issues that I would be happy to list if you so desire. But I'm wonder why you cannot see them?

You say that you would like for Palin to "challenge" Biden to more debates. You might want to reserve that request until after they have a debate. Biden is a very knowledgable pro. Or as the old saying goes "Be careful what you wish might come true!"

Also, you mention the various issues that McCain/Palin should stress or avoid, but do not mention the elephant in the living room...the disastrous economy over the past 7 years. Could that be because McCain voted with Bush over 90% of the time???

That fact is not going to go away. Yes, you can ignore it when trying to make your chosen team look good...but most average Americans most certainly will not!!

huskyonspeed said...

Adam, good call on the references to Clinton and Wilson (Woodrow was only a gov. fro 2 years before being president!)
Also, Spriro Agnew (Nixon's VP) was only governor for 2 years, and Chester Arthur, who assumed the presidency after Garfield died, never held political office before VP! So it is not years in office that matter, it is judgement and the ability to get things done!
Techno, great suggestions. I like the "energy czar" one, maybe Sarah can convince John to open up ANWR :-)