As I predicted, Sarah Palin followed up her debate performance with an interview in the safety of a friendly harbor – Fox News. Carl Cameron managed to get the exclusive post-debate sit-down with Palin, and he doesn’t disappoint.
Cameron started off by eliciting an admission from Palin that John McCain gave her an “atta girl” after the debate. He then sought to uncover whether she felt that she had surprised Joe Biden:
“Did you catch him off guard? Was there eye contact between you and he that he didn’t see?”
That sounds like witchcraft to me. How could there be eye contact between them that he didn’t see? Did she hypnotize him? According to Rich Lowry of the National Review, much of the male TV audience was bewitched:
“I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, ‘Hey, I think she just winked at me.’ And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.”
If there were starbursts ricocheting around my living room, I must have been distracted by the burning in my eyes at the thought of Lowry’s perverse infatuation. But getting back to Cameron, his next question addressed Palin’s outright false assertion that troop levels in Iraq are lower now than before the Surge:
CAMERON: There was a lot of criticism that you misstated when you talked about us being at pre-surge levels in Iraq. Walk us through your math and what you were thinking you were talking about.
PALIN: Just — well, as victory’s getting closer and closer, we know that we’re going to be able to draw down those troops. Send them to Afghanistan, not specifically those Striker Brigades or those troops, we’ll have more resources to be able to put into Afghanistan, and start what I believe, and what I believe our commanders have referred to also as, the principles of a surge there also in Afghanistan, in a counter-insurge strategy that should work.
Huh? The only things missing in that response was a bewildered “such as” and a heartfelt “for the children.” Not only did her answer make no sense, it thoroughly ignored the question. Did we hear about how her math brought her to the conclusion that troop levels were below pre-Surge? Nope. Did Cameron bother to follow up? Nope. His next question began by praising her and got sillier after that:
CAMERON: Folks said, wow, that was like Sarah barracuda out there last night. Because it was back and forth and you were taking on Joe Biden. Do you think you surprised him by the way in which you were prepared to sort of go after his record and Obama’s? What was the body language and the psychology between the two of you on that? Because he was sighing a lot. And some folks thought that you kind of exasperated him.
PALIN: Well, again, at least my sort of view was, it was pleasant. And it was a lot of fun.
Cameron appears to be obsessed with whether Palin surprised Biden. But at least he dragged out of her the earthshaking revelation that she had fun. Having failed to get her to psychoanalyze Biden’s sighing, Cameron jumps to her remarks regarding Dick Cheney and the “flexibility” of the office of the Vice President. He asks her what she meant by that:
“That thankfully, our founders were wise enough to say, we have this position and it’s Constitutional. Vice presidents will be able to be not only the position flexible, but it’s going to be sort of this other duty as assigned by the president. It’s a simple thing. I don’t think that was a gaff at all in stating what the truth is. And that is we’ve got flexibility in the position. The president will be directing in a lot of respect with the vice president does. The vice president, of course, is not a member – or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate. That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it.”
Huh? Once again, the bulk of her response was gibberish. The part that wasn’t gibberish was frightening. She actually believes that the vice president oversees the Senate and has authority over it if she chooses to exercise it. Cheney’s machinations notwithstanding, the vice presidency is defined in Article II of the Constitution which outlines the Executive branch of government. The VP has no role in the Senate other than to cast a vote in the event of a tie. But Palin thinks otherwise:
“You know, we might be bleeding our authority over to the Legislative or Judicial branch to do our job in the Executive branch as administers.”
The notion that the Executive branch can simply “bleed” its authority over the other branches of government is both idiotic and dangerous. But, again, Cameron didn’t bother to draw out any further explanation of that stance.
Sadly, this is the best we can expect from the McCain/Palin camp. She will almost certainly decline any press availabilities that expose her to any real inquiry. She did tell Cameron that she wants to do more press saying…
“I look forward to speaking to the media more and more everyday and providing whatever access the media would want. My life is certainly an open book [...] I beg to differ with the notion that I was reigned in any way. But, if there was any of that, it’s over. And we got to be out there.”
So as to allegations that she has been kept from the press, it’s over, even though it never happened. And now she promises to provide “whatever access the media would want,” as long as the media is confined to Fox News. Only there will she be given opportunities to spin, lie, babble, and paper over her previous inanities. For example, a few days ago Palin couldn’t provide Katie Couric with either a newspaper she has read or a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with. Cameron allowed Palin a do-over on those questions and Palin rattled off newspapers and case law as if she were a legal historian. You don’t think she used the intervening days to bone up the subjects with notes from her handlers, do you?
Palin still has not held a single press conference and likely will not before election day (See The Palin Watch). So despite her promise to be more accessible, I would advise against holding your breath. You still have so much to live for.