Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric

A few quick points on Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric on CBS News today:

1) The question about Rick Davis being a [former] lobbyist is a canard designed to deflect attention from Obama’s ties to Fannie Mae. Couric asked the question twice, and Palin answered it twice, hesitating the 2nd time because she had already given an answer. It’s McCain’s position that matters, not Davis’, and McCain has a record of calling for more oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On the other side, Barack Obama has received big campaign donations from Fannie Mae, has had former Fannie Mae CEOs as advisers, and has done nothing whatsoever about oversight of Fannie Mae, or much of anything else for that matter. Did Couric ask Joe Biden to rattle off a few of Obama’s major accomplishments the other day?

2) Palin will receive some criticism, especially from the DeMSM, for alluding to the Great Depression. But she was responding to the reference in a loaded question from Couric.

3) A dumb question:

Couric: You’ve said, quote, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

It isn’t reasonable or fair to assume Sarah Palin would have detailed knowledge of McCain’s Senate voting record. It would have been fair to ask what kind of oversight they advocate going forward. It would have been a fair question earlier when Couric interviewed John McCain. Couric’s question also contained the assumption that more regulation is by definition better than less regulation. So should we just count the number of pages in the Federal Register to decide how well the economy is doing then? Palin should have responded to the effect that more regulations do not necessarily solve problems, and can in fact create additional problems, including a slower economy.

In short, Palin’s mistakes in the interview were mostly related to her inexperience in dealing with a hostile, biased mainstream press, not on the substance of her policy positions.

26 responses to “Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric

  1. Her inability to answer questions can’t just be biased media. She should be able to deal with any loading of questions that any “biased media” throws at her. This is politics in America, not playtime.

  2. If Palin can go around claiming that McCain will “reform the way Wall Street does business”, then it’s entirely fair to ask her to back those claims up.

    It’s not “biased” to ask a candidate a tough question.

  3. Maybe Sarah Palin shouldn’t be expected to know all of McCain’s record….but if that’s the case, she should quit going around bragging about something she doesn’t seem to know much about.

  4. McCain has done more with the Fannie/Freddie issue than Barack has done in his whole career. Mainstream media has died in 2008. Katie should go join those airheads on The View.

  5. Couric wasn’t asking for specific details. She was asking for an example from McCain’s 26 years in Congress. You know, her running mate? The guy she’s pounding the stump for? The one she claims is a maverick, which implies she has some knowledge of his past activities? It’s not like Couric was asking for a detailed blow-by-blow of a debate…name a bill, name a time McCain voted in favor of more regulation or oversight or against a bill reducing oversight.

    Or, golly gee, if she thought it was unreasonable, she could have turned it into an opportunity to give specific examples of what McCain WILL do if elected, just as you proposed. But she didn’t. Maybe you’re more qualified to be VP than she is.

  6. I think she is holding her own against these heavy weights. dont you think? she seems to be getting comfortable now with the questions and most likely will be able to articlate herself better from day to day. go sarah.

  7. As a Republican leaning independent I have been neutral on the political scene, waiting to make up my mind. I have had only caught bits and pieces of Sarah Palin images and statements and did not watch the Democratic or Republican conventions. But by chance this afternoon I was at home and had the TV on during the newshour and saw the Sarah Palin interview on CBS. I was watching her for the first time, trying to get a sense of who this potential VP was all about. What a shock the next few minutes were! I sat in my easy chair agasp of what I was actually seeing and hearing. I am no Katie Couric fan, but this Sarah Palin seemingly would have been unable to negotiate questions from a third grader.

    I just couldn’t belive what I was hearing and seeing. I was in in shock in awe of just how inept she was coming across. All I could think was ok is this some practical joke?

    Then panic set in because I actually started to feel embarrased for McCaine and in a sort of mental panic, exclaimed to myself, “my God McCain—all you can do now is lock her away somewhere and surround her with guards 24/7 so she never speaks to anyone again.”

    She came across like a clueless cheerleader who has just been asked something relating to ancient Egypt, answering the questions with communication skills akin to a third grader that neglected to read the chapter assigned by the teacher over the weekend.

    I can honestly say that though I lean Republican, the thought of her running anything larger than a neighborhood bake sale has me just plain scared to death! Dear God, If McCain wins our only option is to put him under 24 hr. germ watch, and put heart monitors all over the White House, maybe put him in one of those plastic bubbles between speeches and limit contact with all outsiders for fear he will get sick or have a heart attack!

    I like you John McCain, but what the hell were you thinking man?

  8. The lameness went beyond the absurdity of the questions; also note:

    -The windy environment with swift walking and cars in the background – surely no place to have an intimate conversation

    -And when they finally got inside, the fluorescent lights on Palin that made her look like a ghost…despite the studio in the background and Couric’s regular lighting

    (& for comparison the Couric’s friendly treatment with Biden, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBl7jrD1GzU)

    Sure Palin should’ve known better, but the effect of the outward liberal bias continually lessens its impact

  9. HAHAHHA It isn’t fair to ask her to name a few examples of McCain’s 26 year voting record??? To ask a question about her knowledge regarding the man she’s running with and supporting for the highest office in the land? Why is it always unfair to ask this woman any questions? And if she knows McCain is as great as she claims him to be, shouldn’t it be easy for her to back it up? I’ve heard Biden rattle off facts (sometimes too many for anyone to handle!) about his running mate and he could have destroyed this question easily – hell, he seems to know more about John McCain than Palin does. She got destroyed in this interview – or rather she self-destructed. I love her last line: “I’ll try to find some and get back to you on that.” Unbelievable…

  10. “I’ve heard Biden rattle off facts (sometimes too many for anyone to handle!) about his running mate and he could have destroyed this question easily…”

    To the contrary, it would be very difficult for anyone to name a single significant accomplishment of Barack Obama.

    Biden rattles off a lot of words, whether they’re factual is another question.

  11. It’s funny. While going on about “Sara Barracuda” as the super-tough pit bull, they are simultaneously sheltering her like a frightened puppy. If she’s so tough, why can’t she face the press, even a little? Even if it’s “biased”, such a “pit bull” wouldn’t be afraid of a few reporters…

  12. “If she’s so tough, why can’t she face the press, even a little?”

    What an odd comment to make, on a post about her appearance on CBS News.

  13. Yeah…here’s the thing…I can go along with not being completely conversant on McCain’s complete Senate record, and I can even go along with the notion that she’s not responsible for having a cogent answer to the Rick Davis question because…who cares…I’ll give ya that. But…all she was being asked on the latter was her opinion. Is she of the OPINION that it’s a conflict of interest? That’s all. What troubles me is her inability to be improvisational and media savvy. The media hasn’t been particularly hostile (apart from Charlie Gibson, who was annoying more than hostile), and even if they had been…tough. We’re playing pro ball. The team has dressed her and put her on the field, she needs to be game ready. I don’t buy the excuse she has inexperience with the media. If that’s a problem, they should’ve picked someone who was ready. Moreover…she has to be asked about issues relevant to McCain, et. al., because outside of Alaska, she hasn’t participated in any policy initiatives or issues of political significance. She’s Bush League (no pun intended…really…) and was a weak choice. Face it.

  14. Before you go tying Obama to Fannie Mae CEO’s as advisors you should check your facts. McCain’s twisting the facts again. Lies, Lies…

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/09/obamas_fannie_mae_connection.html

  15. I actually winced while listening to some of her responses to basic questions. Her lack of intelligible responses to fairly basic policy questions shows one of two things: a) she has taken no interest in political/economic/foreign policy on a national scale, or b) she has no opinion on any of it.
    Of course she could just be the dumbest person ever to make it to this level of accountability and literally cannot form an actual opinion.
    How is it that somebody running for Vice President of the United States would not be favored in a debate on foreign policy against your average poli/sci major at any US university?
    No matter your opinion on the issues, if she is your idea of what our high office is worthy of…I need to get the hell out of Dodge because you are grossly underestimating the skill set necessary to serve at that level.

  16. “What an odd comment to make, on a post about her appearance on CBS News.”

    I think the point is she is being sheltered from the press…

    According to the Washington Post “Since Palin’s selection was announced Aug. 29, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice presidential nominee, has held four news conferences and granted 89 interviews, sitting for Couric, “Meet the Press” and The Washington Post, among others.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/24/AR2008092403664.html?hpid=topnews

    By contrast, Palin has had no press conferneces and only two real interviews… I’m not counting that spoon-fed joke Hannity tried.

  17. Sarah Palin is Bush with golden Alaska earrings. Nuff said.

  18. People aren’t nice. Reporters aren’t nice. Leaders of other countries aren’t nice. If she can’t handle it get out.

    It’s not about whether or not the MSM is being nice to her or being tough on her or trying to trick her or being hostile to her. It’s about HER. Her experience or lack thereof.

    Face it … this is the big time and she’s not ready.

  19. McCain has a record for supporting DE-REGULATION for financial institutions. That was why she asked twice. He has only recently changed his tune… after he fought for the de-regulation. Capiche’?

  20. Responding to “The Editors” (comment 12, above):

    I think the poster’s comment was about the way Palin has continually shied away from reporters on the campaign trail, not her willingness to do 3 (count’em: 3) interviews with nationally recognized TV anchors since her nomination. Any candidate worth her/his salt would be talking to the many reporters from newspapers, TV, and radio who follow her while she campaigns. Instead, she has blown them off repeatedly, and her media exposure has been extremely limited. This is not normal behavior for a modern top-level candidate, and it suggests that the McCain campaign handlers don’t have confidence in her ability to deal with the media exposure that is part and parcel (like it or not) of our current age of information when it comes to the presidential race.

    If she’s not ready to play ball, then she’s not ready to be the VP.

  21. Palin and Mccain have made a huge deal of being change agents.. Palin especially has been sold to the American Public as this tough hockey mon who’s off to Washington to ”clean” it up.

    It’s hard to see how she will do that when her campaigh manager.. the man who ostensibly is directing the strategy that will enable her win is part of the ”dirtying” of Washington

    To your point 3, Asking her to give an example of his leading the charge for more oversight … perhaps just one more? is not a dumb question. As a matter of fact it is stupefying that she who has gone around crowing about how John Mccain ”maverickness” has not bothered to educate herself on the specifics of this claim…
    There’s no use blaming the media for this woman’s naivety, ignorance and total unpreparedness. There’s only so much information anyone can cram in such a short space of time.

  22. I guess we can’t expect Palin to know John McCain’s voting record.
    When John McCain was asked about how he voted on the abortion issue, he couldn’t seem to remember either.
    Palin’s interview last night reminded me of someone taking an essay test; they keep repeating the question in their answer.
    Hoping the teacher will not notice.
    She really made you feel uncomfortable. It’s kind of sad really.

  23. #14:

    a) According to an earlier Washington Post article, Raines advised Obama. So if you’re going to start in with the school-yard “liar, liar, pants on fire” garbage, you’re beef is with the Washington Post, not the McCain campaign.

    b) You forgot about Jim Johnson, the other former Fannie Mae CEO who is an adviser to the Obama campaign.

    #19:

    “McCain has a record for supporting DE-REGULATION for financial institutions. ”

    To the contrary, McCain pushed for greater oversight of Fannie and Freddie back in 2006. Anyway, the idea that “more” regulation is always better than “less” regulation is simplistic nonsense.

  24. If Joe Biden can talk about FDR watching the stock market crash on commercial tv in 1929 and plagiarize his speeches and Hillary has a leap in reality and tells on national tv that she and her daughter had to dodge sniper fire when she visited Bosnia. and none of the above seems to disqualify them for the oval office. This causes me to see the typical double standard from Democrats toward Republicans. Excuse me but I am a registered Democrat. I contacted CBS and informed anyone who would listen that I had some questions for Couric that anyone as intelligent as she would have us believe she is, should have no difficulty answering. I have no problem with Palin. Like Obama I see both of them as definitely capable of learning quickly in any challenging political position. I have to listen to Obama carefully to see if he ever answers a question with information that can be substantiated or just talks around it.

  25. Interviews with these journalist and evenings on SNL are all ridiculous and a waste of our time. Watch the Debates and most importantly…do your due diligence and research the candidates proposals and the history of this country. Know your rights and vote smart. don’t listen to the people on tv or your friend in the cubical next store…they don’t know anything either.

  26. Having just witnessed tonight’s Couric interview, in which Ms. Palin not be able to cite a single Supreme Court decision, I am truly frightened of the thought that anyone would consider her as vice presidential material. When asked about abortion, she said she was a Federalist, explaining she favored states’ rights. My knowledge about Federalists is limited, but weren’t they (originally, anyway) for a strong federal government and anti states’ rights?