Skip to comments.Palin Couric Interview & Upcoming VP Debate
Posted on 09/27/2008 8:37:20 AM PDT by PAR
Sorry for the vanity. Just watched the Palin Couric interview and I am concerned.
First, I think Palin was an inspired VP choice, gave a great convention speech, and did well under adverse conditions in the Gibson interview.
Second, even though I thought she was awful during the Couric debate, I believe she would make a very good President. Many people who are unaware of a candidiate's accomplishments and record, will judge a person's fitness for office based on how they "come across" during an interview or debate. While I think that the substance of what someone says can reflect significantly on their fitness for office, I also think that there are skills, that if not honed, reflect poorly on a candidate that otherwise would do a great job.
Having said that, I thought Palin was abysmal with Couric. I am very far from being an expert on appropriate interview techniques, but the following are some comments.
1) Since Couric is obviously a woman, people naturally more closely compare Couric's demeanor with Palin's than they would with a male interviewer. No sensible person will ever mistake Couric for a serious journalist, but in the interview she had a professional, calm, low, and measured voice. Palin, on the other hand, spoke in what I will describe as a sing song, highly modulated voice that made her appear like something bordering on a valley girl (yes this is an exageration to make a point and I am showing my age) in comparison to Couric.
She has got to change this and she has to change it fast. She did somewhat better in my opinion on this front with Gibson. I recognize that there is a danger that if you ask Palin to change too much of her natural "way of being" it could make matters worse. That's why her handlers are paid the big bucks- to know where to draw the line.
2) For the love of God, could Palin and McCain please bring up these points EVERY TIME they are asked about the bailout!: a) Community Reinvestment Act; b) Lawsuits forcing banks to lend to people who can't afford it; c) Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac irresponsible lending criteria; d) Specific McCain attempt and more generally Republican attempt to reform Fannie and Freddie that was blocked repeatedly by the democrats; e) Obama said nothing and did not support repeated attempts to reform Fannie & Freddie; f) Obama is number 2 on the list of Fannie & Freddie contributions g) Jim Johnson & Franklin Raines;
How McCain last night could let the bailout discussion go by the boards without hitting HARD on the above in unfathomable. I don't know why Palin would not have hit on it as well.
3) Palin has to learn how to parry ridiculously biased questions. Case in point: Couric asked her if she was aware if John McCain had ever opposed regulation excepting his 2006 attempt to reform Fannie/Freddie. Palin's ultimate response was to say I'll have to get back to you. I thought this was a very weak response.
In my view, even if she knew of some examples, she should have refused to answer such a biased, no-win question by first stating that John McCain generally believes that regualtion stifles the economy and innovation but that he has a long record of supporting regualtion where it is clearly needed.
Then she should have turned the question around onto Couric by saying simply: "Katie, I'm glad you brought up John's Fannie/Freddie reform effort because I think it is appropriate to focus my comments on what has become the most significant financial crisis since the great depression. John McCain, consistent with his record of doing what is right for all Americans, presented legislation to fix the mess before it ever got to this point. Where was Barak Obama and the rest of the democrats when John McCain tried to fix this mess? They opposed him every him every step of the way. Maybe you should ask Obama why he didn't support the most important regulation of our lifetime." Then repeat the points above if necessary. Politically it will probably be necessary to insert some poplulist garbage about Wall Street excess as well.
If you respond by saying you'll get back to her, you are implicity admitting the legitimacy of the question, which you MUST NOT do. Better to communicate in a tactful manner that the question is bogus by not answering in an artful way, but if you can't do that, you just have to say that it is an unfair, biased question.
4) Finally, Palin needs to study the example of last night's debate. As Hannity mentioned after the debate, Obama came across as someone recalling lines he had memeorized from a textbook, unlike McCain who was able to rely on actual experience and events to place his answers a coherent context.
There were times last night that, because Obama can't speak directly from experience or knowledge, he gave rambling, incoherent answers simply because it is difficult to remember for 1 1/2 hours what the "script" is. However, Obama did't make a "total" fool of himself because he worked hard to remember his canned responses and generally tried to stick to the script. Even though McCain kicked his ass and made him look like the schoolboy he is, Obama was not totally embarassed (exception- the bracelet was priceless). Palin has to do what Obama did when it comes to foreign policy. Memorize your answers and stick to the script. If you can, mix in you relevant experience, but please don't talk about Russia being your next door neighbor unless there is some real substance. My parents are liberals and they are laughing out loud on the "Russia is our next door neighbor" story. Back it up or can it.
Hopefully the Couric interview was a bump in the road. In my humble opinion, she needs to be much better for the debate. Fortunatey, Biden has been making a non-stop fool of himself. Palin needs to hit Biden hard on all of his gaffes over the last few weeks. But please do so in the context or flow of the debate/conversation. Slamming someone out of the blue generally doesn't go over well.
Note: These comments are not meant to be comprehensive. Just my off the cuff initial reaction.
The McCain campaign needs to let her go. They are trying to control her too much. and that is hurting her confidence.
She will never learn how to deal with the media unless she is left to sink or swim on her own.
let Sarah be Sarah.
You do realise it was a “gotcha” that they edited the crap out of, right?
Excellent post. Be prepared to be flamed as a “Palin-hater” by the rosey-colored glasses crowd.
We love our Sarah but she better be ready to rough up Biden on Thursday or we’re in big trouble.
Shielding Palin from the media has turned out to be a bad idea. It enforces the notion that she cannot think on her feet and is unprepared. She needs to take questions from reporters and gain some confidence, otherwise she will be a deer in the headlights against Biden.
Beat me to it
That could be true. It’s possible there is no middle road. Either be yourself completly or do it by the book. No reason she can’t learn a few survival tricks, though.
I agree that if the attempt to “control” her is causing her to lose confidence, it is better to let her be herself completlely.
We need to keep saying it to the panic stricken. There can’t be too many posts about it.
“I’ll have to get back to you...” was honest, and far better, imo, than the “uh,ah, hmmmmm...I...ah he....hmmm uh” that we get from OHB.
Keep in mind, Palin’s convention speech was aimed at us conservatives. We are in her camp now. You and I are no longer the target audience.
What you think is important for her to hit on is not relevant to the undecideds.
An example of this is O’Bama’s repeat of the phrase that he agrees with Senator O’Bama. We see this as a big problem for him. O’Bama isn’t trying to get our vote. He is trying to get the vote of the undecided. The undecided doesn’t want to elect someone who is fighting all the time. They want someone reasonable. In my opinion, O’Bama made great points for the undecided by that tactic.
Let’s not get so panicky! The interviews with Gibson and Couric are good opportunities for Sarah Palin who is a quick study.
Please, please stop blaming others for Gov. Palin's weak performance in these interviews. There is no way to edit McCain's performance in last night's debate to make him look bad. He was magnificent.
Gov. Palin needs to "make some plays" on Thursday and hold up her end of the ticket.
They are trying to be crafty and control her every move. She needs to realize that they do not run her. She can speak her mind to Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis if she wants to. McCain needs to step in and try to build up her confidence.
there is only one way to do this. that is the old fashioned way. Go over top of the media to the American people.
LIVE interviews. Why not Fox and Friends, the TODAY SHOW. ECT
I love Sarah but I’m worried that as far as he media - and their gotchitis - is concerned that she is too green and there isn’t enough time to get her up to speed.
I have two female relatives who are upset at being presented with such an unqualified VP. Of course I had to point out their complaints could be applied to Obama but unfortunately Obama does quite a good job of covering himself up.
She should have been out there last night after the debate cheerleading for the campaign and stating her case to the American people. Instead, she was shielded from the press again. She will not gain confidence being hidden away. Like it or not, she HAS to get out there and state her case and act informed. Showing up for photo ops with world leaders at the UN is not going to boost her confidence on the issues.
Palin answered correctly and Couric looked right in the camera and lied.
I was dreading they might ask her about stem cells or something to make her look aloof. Meanwhile 0bama is babied by the likes of Gibson.
Yes, this was ludicrous.
On the subject of responses to the bailout, it is probably prudent to note that compaigning is an imperfect science but, according to its managers, a science nonetheless. What it boils down to in this electronic world is the ability to hit certain hot-button words on each subject that supposedly (based on polling data) resonate with the broadest possible demographic.
Although the issues you mention are clearly compelling, nevertheless, they get excluded because they are not among the top five or ten “resonating,” hot-button words that the American public supposedly associates with the crisis. The “science” of campaigning has so taken over our political process that our candidates are constantly coached and managed. I long for a candidate who would be willing to set the polling data aside and just speak from the heart. Days gone by, I’m afraid.