2008 What I Didn’t See (or Read) in the Palin Interview
posted by September 11 at 17:35 PMon
No campaign-derailing mistake. No smoking gaffe.
Yes, she sort of threatened war with Russia. But people (conservative people, especially) love that, otherwise McCain wouldn’t have been getting all Cold War retro himself lately with his own tough talk on Russia. And what she demonstrated in that answer was a basic knowledge of how NATO works, which, relative to what some expected her to know, is a lot.
Sure, Palin also gave a blank stare when asked to articulate the Bush doctrine. But she dodged effectively enough, never admitted any ignorance, and closed by talking tough—which, again, certain people seem to love coming from her.
And yes, Palin had little to offer when asked about her national security credentials. But she did offer something—her limited experience working on energy issues in Alaska—and pushed back politely but forcefully at Charlie Gibson’s implication that she really didn’t have any national security cred to speak of.
No one who follows politics and international relations closely would think this was a convincing performance.
But, at this point, the election is not about people who follow politics and international relations closely. Those people have already made up their minds. The election right now, and for the next two months, is about the “undecideds.” These people can probably be swayed by crystal clear gaffes captured on camera, but there weren’t any such gaffes in this interview, as far as I can tell. For the undecided crowd—an admittedly low bar—Palin gave a good, or good enough, performance.