Three interviews with Palin: The good, the bad, and the ugly

posted at 4:54 pm on August 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

None of them are actually bad or ugly, but even the hint of an unkind word directed at our heroine (heroin?) is enough to get righty readers to click, so there’s your bait. First comes the fluff, from her and Maverick’s sitdown with People magazine. What are the odds that they’d choose a magazine available at every checkout counter in America as a diversion for grocery-shopping moms to introduce the ticket?

What does Governor Palin need to know about working with your dad?
MEGHAN: He likes to get up early in the morning and go. Seems like she likes to do that too. I guess with a baby…
JOHN MCCAIN: … she has to be. (Laughter)
SARAH PALIN: Morning person. Yup. We don’t sleep much. Too much to do. What I’ve had to do, though, is in the middle of the night, put down the BlackBerries and pick up the breast pump. Do a couple of things different and still get it all done…

Do you feel ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?
SARAH: Absolutely. Yup, yup. Especially with a good team around us…

What’s on the dinner table most often in the Palin house?
TODD: Our favorite is moose hot dogs, caribou hot dogs. We get caribou, get ’em ground up and put them into hot dogs. They’re Polish.

Note well the photos. Next comes an interview with Time conducted two weeks ago in Alaska featuring lots of talk about oil and biography, as always, and little talk about anything else — as, apparently, always. I get that her background’s a major asset and the campaign wants to emphasize the personal side of her first to introduce her to voters, but the left’s going to be hammering her soon for having no apparent position yet on Iran and nothing a whole lot more concrete on Iraq than that her son’s serving there and we really need to end our dependency on Middle Eastern oil. For obvious reasons she should start there first, especially now that both campaigns are more or less on the same page anyway. This is gratifying, though:

Did being younger and being a woman gives you a better perspective on politics and government than a more traditional politician?

What’s more of a challenge for me over the years being in elected office has been more the age issue rather than a gender issue. I’ve totally ignored the issues that have potentially been affecting me when it comes to gender because I was raised in a family where, you know, gender wasn’t going to be an issue. The girls did what the boys did. Apparently in Alaska that’s quite commonplace. You’re out there hunting and fishing. My parents were coaches, so I was involved in sports all my life. So I knew that as woman I could do whatever the men were doing. Also that’s just part of Alaskan life.

But the age issue I think was more significant in my career than the gender issue. Your resume not being as fat as your opponent’s in a race, perhaps [but] being able to capitalize on that… being able to to use that in campaigns — I don’t have 30 years of political experience under my belt … that’s a good thing, that’s a healthy thing. That means my perspective is fresher, more in touch with the people I will be serving. I would use that as an advantage. I’ve certainly never been part of a good old boy club. That I would use in a campaign. And that’s been good.

Finally, a quickie with the New Yorker that might surprise you. Like the Time interview, it was conducted two weeks ago; I can’t gauge from ABC’s story yesterday where she thought she was in the running at that point, so it’s hard to tell how much of what she said here was with an eye to how it’d play as VP — specifically, as a maverick VP — and how much of it was off the cuff. You make the call:

[T]he possibility that Obama might win Alaska did not worry Palin: “Turning maybe purple in the state means, to me, it’s more independent, it’s not the obsessive partisanship that gets in the way of doing what’s right for this state, and I think on a national level that’s what we’re gonna see.” And she added, “That’s why McCain is the candidate for the G.O.P.—because he’s been known as the maverick, as the conduit for some change.” In the state’s Republican caucus, McCain came in fourth, trailing Ron Paul. “I always looked at Senator McCain just as a Joe Blow public member, looking from the outside in,” she said. “He’s been buttin’ heads with Republicans for years, and that’s a healthy place to be.”

McCain wanted to shake up the ticket, did he not? Well, there you go. Exit question: What do you suppose the New Yorker’s trying to convey with its conspicuous phonetic spellings of her speech?

Update: Some commenters claim that phonetic spellings are standard practice at the New Yorker. Forced to choose between taking them at their word and cross-checking this with the NY’s pieces on Obama, a lazy blogger eyes his Saturday night schedule and declares: mea culpa.

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Apparently ever site has a troll. – 1sttofight on August 30, 2008 at 5:40 PM
Several of them, in fact. Don’t mistake me for one of them.

ManlyRash on August 30, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Guys, I’ve enjoyed your comments here on HA, and welcome btw. But I’ve gotta step up and say that RightWinged is anything but a troll.

He, like me, has been here since before HA officially went live. Cut him some slack. It was a joke and he’s valued and respected here.

He’s definitely on our side. I’ve been covered up with massive amounts of work lately, and haven’t been able to post much. But RW is solid and someone has to speak up for him.

Like I said, welcome to HA and I look forward to reading more posts from you both.

techno_barbarian on August 31, 2008 at 12:33 AM

troll = alphie, freevillage, Nonfactor. MB4 is troll-like in his silly-giddy sabotaging of threads with a dozen or most posts within an hour, none of them with any substantive comment and most of them not an actual response to anyone but fake or nonsensical quotes

Janos Hunyadi on August 31, 2008 at 12:51 AM

rockhauler on August 30, 2008 at 11:30 PM
So where does one go to learn the job of Vice President, or President?

Some are trained in law, which gives the Constitutional law background. Many are retired military officers, which allows one to hone expertise in national defense, leadership, foreign policy, and organizational skills. Some have served in the military, which shows their willingness to fight for this country, put this country first, and results in an understanding of our service members, which also translates into greater respect from said service members when they are called to bring violence on our enemies. Some are governors or former governors (who have at least completed their terms), which provides the insight into the relationship of state vs. federal governments. Some are former CEOs who grew their own companies into major successes. Some are former heads and founders of great, successful philanthropist causes. Some are former diplomats, agency chiefs, or statesmen who’ve served in Congress with distinction. While there is no set career path by which one travels to become President, there are things a President (and Vice President) needs to know ahead of time, both learned from experience and from study.

Is it not true that the main requirement of that job is understanding human nature?

Partially. One must understand not only human nature but also how to win the trust, respect, and fear of others: trust of the American people and our allies; respect from all; fear from our enemies and potential enemies. The President must have a sound, well-rounded mind whose thinking is grounded in the Constitution and Christian ethics. His character must be impeccable, above any and all reproach. His patriotism should be beyond question, grounded in a life of service and sacrifice to the nation. His desire to become President should be from a sense of duty, not selfish ambition. Taking the oath of office should come with a solemn reluctance, not a joyful smile. His will should be one that is founded upon a desire to do right, maintain the nation’s security, build and properly employ our military strength, preserve liberty, and encourage prosperity. He must have proven leadership qualities, meaning that he knows how to: relate to and influence people; manage resources; maintain perspective no matter how great the magnitude of the situation; sift through the periphery, find the crux of the matter, and make a well-informed decision and stand by it.

Everyone knocks Obama’s community organizer experience but what better place to learn how to organize people than to do just exactly that?

If you feel he fills what you think are the qualities necessary for President, has the experience, and proven potential for leadership, then that’s your call.

What do you think is the job of the VP?

“The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”
“If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President.”
“In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”
Beyond this, the President has, historically, used the Vice President as a confidant and adviser. In recent history, he’s also been assigned special projects and an occasional diplomatic role. He also has his own budget.

Send_Me on August 31, 2008 at 12:53 AM

Allah, I know this is a dead thread, but hopefully you’ll catch this…

I’d like to apologize for my earlier comment. I believe I misunderstood the point you were trying to make. To me, it sounded as if you were siding with the Democrats against Palin.

From my point of view, Palin was not the risky choice. Any other VP choice (that I was aware of), was much riskier.

In one announcement, McCain has completely turned the campaign upside down by energizing the conservative base. I can tell you as an absolute fact that I was not going to vote for McCain before Palin. Now, I am excited and will happily vote for the GOP this fall. I have already talked to many conservatives that feel exactly the same way.

I predict that if McCain didn’t listen to conservatives and find a way to energize the base, conservatives would have left and it would have been a complete disaster, with the party disintegrating over the next few decades… and I would have placed the blame on McCain and the moderates in the party.

To be clear, I still don’t trust McCain. But I believe that I can trust Palin, and will vote for the ticket, and hope that she has a positive effect on him and his policies.

dominigan on August 31, 2008 at 1:25 AM

techno_barbarian on August 31, 2008 at 12:33 AM

Haha, thanks tech. I was starting to think I was going crazy here… I made a simple, relatively mild “McCain is old” joke, and a couple of guys I assume must be newbies start jumping all over me, calling me a troll, and one borderline wishing I don’t live to be old and die from AIDS. Weird, weird stuff. I had to go back and reread my own joke a few times to see if there was something in there that crossed a line that I didn’t realize or something, because I couldn’t understand the outrage.

Anyway, I appreciate ya backing me up here so I don’t think I’m losing my mind, haha.

And FYI guys, I’m borderline an extreme RightWinger. Obviously this means I disagree with McCain on things like immigration, global warming, etc. but if you’d been here longer you know that I’ve fought with others who are going to “stay home” on election day, to protest McCain’s candidacy (because he’s too liberal), using the argument that they’re essentially giving a vote to Obama. I will most definitely be voting for McCain no matter what, because I’m terrified what might happen to the country under Obama or any other modern day Democrat for that matter. And McCain infuriates me over his stand on the global warming hoax (something I’m glad he’s not bringing up a lot in the campaign), I was still going to vote for him, just not with any enthusiasm. Palin joining the ticket scored him some enthusiasm points with me.

RightWinged on August 31, 2008 at 1:31 AM

I have been advocating for this appointment since I first heard about her in May.

The reason I think she will be strong for the ticket is simply DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW. She will be able to wax ANYONE in a debate on the issue of national energy independence. She knows better than anyone else on either ticket what all is involved to get energy out of the ground and down to where it needs to be used.

This election is going to be very much focused on energy. I know obama has to be saying, “dayum, I wanted to coast to the white house on my retreat and defeat stand in Iraq”. Once that issue was off the table, because of McCain’s input by the way, what is he left to run with? You can bet he came up with this lame change thing from a focus group.

I can’t wait for these debates. Pass the popcorn.

karenhasfreedom on August 31, 2008 at 1:41 AM

Send_Me on August 31, 2008 at 12:53 AM

Thank you for a well reason reply.

You also confirmed that there is not one path to the Office of President but many, unlike the French who have institutionalized the education of government officials (the name escapes me).

The remark about Obama’s community organizing was intended to demonstrate that he has experience with only a few constituent groups unlike Gov. Palin who had to deal with all the factions and special interest groups in her state.

So I conclude that your primary concern is simply ‘time in grade’, and what better place to accumulate that experience than under the tutelage of the old master like John McCain?

In the worst case scenario, she will have the organization that McCain has assembled to back her up, should that become necessary.

There are still the risk of the unknown. Disqualifying Gov Palin simply because we can not be certain of the outcome is overly cautious.

John McCain did what he was required to do; make a decision.
I want to help make that decision work.

My day is done. I hope to engage you again, and thanks for your response. Good night.

rockhauler on August 31, 2008 at 2:06 AM

My Palin video:

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 2:39 AM

Exit question: What do you suppose the New Yorker’s trying to convey with its conspicuous phonetic spellings of her speech?

They are not her buddies; however, her speech patterns are not typical of pols (exceptions are allowed for the protected minority club which is translated by the MSM into the King’s English)

In particular: Yuh is a common form of ‘you’ but not heard a lot on Sunday Morning political round tables, so it does stand out. I noticed it.

The MSM obviously thinks they are putting her down. It won’t hurt her unless the public turned against her. Right now, they will not even notice the snub, they are so captivated.

Beauty has has privilege that cannot be dislodged except by age or indictment

entagor on August 31, 2008 at 2:41 AM

There are still the risk of the unknown. Disqualifying Gov Palin simply because we can not be certain of the outcome is overly cautious.

John McCain did what he was required to do; make a decision.
I want to help make that decision work.

rockhauler on August 31, 2008 at 2:06 AM

Those are constructive attitudes; I wish more people had them.

YiZhangZhe on August 31, 2008 at 5:21 AM

One aspect about the VP picks that appears to have been overlooked is that in Slow Joe Biden, the electorate knew instantly what it was getting. Only Ted Kennedy (who I think engineered the pick via Caroline) is more of a veteran of Dem affairs. The only thing the MSM and the electorate is waiting for with Biden is the next faux pas. In Sarah Palin, the electorate, especially the undecideds, have a new interest in the Convention, if not the next 60 days. Is she everything she appears to be? Is she going to hold her own? Where does she stand on the single most important issue to me? Is she politically correct and afraid to say certain words in public? Is she really going to kick Biden’s arse in a debate? If McCain had picked a known entity, the Convention would have been a big yawn for everyone except the people making money off of it. Business not as usual may stoke fires for many, many people. I know I’m stoked.

sbynyc on August 31, 2008 at 7:33 AM

I encourage all good HA readers to click this link to Mark Steyn’s initial foray into the Palin pick.
There’s been a void left, naturally, in Conservative punditry since the passing of WFB, Jr. but I think Steyn and Ann Coulter have stepped up to the plate (with Chris Buckley filling in some gaps). In this piece, Steyn makes some less obvious points much more obvious.
What a weekend for the Conservative base!

sbynyc on August 31, 2008 at 8:01 AM

The pessimism towards Palin doesn’t surprise me at all. Ever since the Mark Foley Folly Elections of 2006, pessimism has been the “safe strategy” for a lot of “Conservative” pundits (by their fruits ye shall know them)..ahem*…

The Pessimist-Pundits (let’s just call them the PP’s) have chosen a path that always guarantees themselves, not so much a never-wrong position, but rather, a “never-wrong-about-failure” position.

You see- if they predict a negative outcome that proves to be a positive outcome, then they will happily accept their faulty analysis (with caveats of course), and in the euphoria of a positive outcome, the victory-starved Conservative base will quickly forgive and FORGET.
And the PP’s will readily LET the base forget.


If the PP’s are proven correct in their negative analysis- WELL THEN- carve it in stone!

And keep that stone handy for future reference. And don’t hesitate to haul it out frequently!

Simply put (for the PP’s):

Victory is always fleeting-

Failure is always permanent-

FiveWays on August 31, 2008 at 11:50 AM

My Palin video:

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 2:39 AM

Liked it. Thanks. I’d almost rather lose with a McCain who picked Palin than win with a McCain who picked Lieberman or Ridge. Palin and Jindal and Steele are the real expressions of multi-ethnic nation that values individual character and integrity and not the quota-addled ‘diversity’ of the MSM-academia-Dem world.

silverfox on August 31, 2008 at 2:04 PM