CNN, ABC, and Fox got interviews with Sarah Palin in the last 24 hours. When the other interviews become available, I’ll add that to this post, but we have the CNN interview, conducted by Drew Griffen yesterday afternoon. It’s lengthy but worthwhile:
ABC has a report out on its interview, conducted by Kate Snow:
“You know conditions have really changed in Alaska in the political arena since Aug. 29, since I was tapped to run for VP. When that opposition research — those researchers really bombarded Alaska — started digging for dirt and have not let up. They’re not gonna find any dirt,” she said. “We keep proving that every time we win an ethics violation lawsuit and we’ve won every one of them. But it has been costing our state millions of dollars. It’s cost Todd and me. You know the adversaries would love to see us put on the path of personal bankruptcy so that we can’t afford to run.”
But when I asked Palin if she ever decided to pursue national office again, as she did less than a year ago when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House, wouldn’t she encounter the same political blood sport? Can such ugliness ever be avoided?
Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House the “department of law” would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.
“I think on a national level your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out,” she said.
There is no “Department of Law” at the White House.
Another major reason that Palin said she is walking away from her first term as Alaska’s governor is because after she made the decision not to seek a second term as governor she would be a lame duck and she said she refuses to “milk” that status. She said most politicians “say it’s a paycheck, it’s a paycheck and I get to travel around. No! That’s politics as usual.”
If Palin wants us to accept this at “face value,” as she says in both the CNN and ABC interviews, then she needs to stop talking about her supposed lame-duck status. She wouldn’t have been a lame duck for 16 months. George Bush was not a lame duck in 2005, 2006, 2007, or even most of 2008 as president. In that time, Bush got two Supreme Court appointments confirmed, began holding the line on spending after the 2006 election, and most importantly kept Iraq from being abandoned by Congress. During the last two years, Bush fought off legal action by Congress and a variety of political opponents, much as the Clintons did in their last term, and neither quit to do it, even after Clinton was invited to do so by the House of Representatives.
Otherwise, the CNN shows a relaxed Palin, more herself than at any time, taking tough but fair questions from Griffen with aplomb. I don’t think this will convince those who have made up their minds one way or the other, but it’s better to have Palin answering these questions directly.
Update: Time Magazine gets the print-venue exclusive with Sarah Palin. And here’s the Fox video: