The Right Scoop captured last night’s canny performance from Sarah Palin on Jay Leno’s renewed Tonight Show. How canny? She manages to tie her treatment by the media to the mostly unfair treatment Leno himself got from the entertainment media, a good way to gain the audience’s sympathy. In fact, she gets a surprisingly warm reception for a Los Angeles audience, which only gets more enthusiastic when Palin makes her stand-up comedy debut. No, seriously:
TRS notes correctly that Leno doesn’t plow any new interviewing ground with Palin, but he does a pretty good job in drawing her out on some of the questions that get shorter shrift in other forums. The main takeaway will be how poised and engaging Palin is, but for longtime Leno watchers, it’s also a good example of how much Leno has improved as an interviewer, which was one of his weak points when he first took over the Tonight Show in 1993. He’s respectful but asks Palin more than just softballs, and Palin demonstrates how well she has grown into her role. It’s well worth the long watch, and an impressive performance.