Yeah, he came off condescending and asked questions of her no one ever thinks to ask The One, like how many countries he’d visited before becoming a senator. The exchanges were chopped to a fine mince too on the editing machine, which is why I didn’t include the bit where he asked her what insight Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her into their actions and she said, “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.” Did she really give a non-answer that goofy or did they just smear her by editing it that way? I would have given them the benefit of the doubt earlier but not after botching the prayer quote.

That said, it’s pretty clear she doesn’t know what he means by the Bush Doctrine and can’t answer the Pakistan question in anything but platitudes about stopping Islamic extremism. Even the gimme about the 9/11 hijackers’ motivations comes out garbled: She’s trying to make the basic neocon point that terrorism is a problem caused by political repression and solved by democracy, but it sounds as if she’s trying to patch it together from mental index cards, which … may in fact be what she was doing. Or maybe she was just nervous. Or thrown by Gibson’s demeanor. Not good, whichever it is, but 99% of the people who love her won’t care and the 1% who do can probably be brought around with a good interview tomorrow and, especially, a good debate with Biden. Now, tell me how brilliant she was and how wrong I am.

Update: Meant to say, I think ABC inadvertently did her a huge favor in their choice of excerpts to highlight. She came off fine in asserting that she’s ready to be VP and in making the mundane McCainish point about admitting Georgia and Ukraine to NATO. The Iraq prayer segment was iffier thanks to Gibson’s distortion, but she did okay in connecting it up to Lincoln. Fearless prediction: The Democrats will make more hay out of the stuff you see below than the stuff ABC was touting earlier.