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September 11, 2008

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you think she fails because she doesn't know. but that's wrong. she wins because she confidently answers a question that Joe Sixpack doesn't know the answer to either.

she has the power of bullshit. and that beats all the trick questions in the book, if the interviewer doesn't challenge her and the audience doesn't know the answers either.

it's be different if Gibson called her on it. but he didn't. she loses no points, except with political junkies. and political junkies' votes are already decided.

The problem is, we can assume that Gibson understands what the Bush Doctrine is, because he asked the question and appeared to realize that her dodging it mattered. He knows why the dodge was significant, but those low-information voters who are somehow undecided - the ones who will decide our country's fate - don't know. And Gibson didn't make plain that Palin had come up empty and then misunderstood or misrepresented the Bush Doctrine. So while it's shocking that someone who apparently wasn't reading the newspapers in 2002-2005 wants to potentially be President, a lot of people won't realize that's what her response means - because Gibson won't tell them, among other reasons. And any third party trying to point it out will only be accused of hyping picayune details.

Her exasperated tone of voice when Gibson first said "Bush" was kind of priceless, though.

P.S. What is that pin on her lapel? The reflection off it was so strong I could only see any detail in a couple of frames, but it looked like a small Red Cross symbol (a cross with four-fold symmetry, not a Christian cross) in a rectangular field of gold, possibly with a red border around the rectangular field.

You libruls, always lookin down yer noses at people who don't know the James K. Polk Doctrine and the Rutherford B. Hayes Manifesto!

"The missiles are flying. Hallelujiah."

Actually, Gibson completely missed the point of the Bush Doctrine as well. The Bush doctrine legitimates PREVENTATIVE war, not PREEMPTIVE war. The difference is enormous. No one contests the right of a state to strike first to preempt an imminent attack, nor has the United States ever renounced such a right, even before the nuclear age.

PREVENTATIVE war, as justified in the Bush doctrine, is the concept of going to war against a potential enemy. The Bush administration never claimed that Iraq was on the verge of attacking the United States, merely that they had the desire and potential to do (which, as we now, was already an absurd exaggeration of Iraqi capabilities).

By not understanding this seemingly-slight but crucial himself, Gibson lets Palin off easy, because then she gets to say "oh if there is credible evidence of an imminent threat we HAVE to take it out". Yeah, no sh*t lady, you and every other head of state ever.

The worst part is, the implication is that the Democrats oppose preemptive military action.

I give up.

you think she fails because she doesn't know. but that's wrong. she wins because she confidently answers a question that Joe Sixpack doesn't know the answer to either

Yup. Her BSing the answer impresses most Americans. And even when it's shown that it's BSing, it's impresses Americans because she's "showing up" the eggheads.

Gawd, I hope the folks doing the VP debate are taking notes. Though I remain pessimisstic.

But in general, yes, the parts of the interview I have seen are painful. Anyone who has ever taught will recognise in Palin's responses the tiresome waffling of a student trying to BS you, and an irritatingly cocky one too.

Yup. Her BSing the answer impresses most Americans. And even when it's shown that it's BSing, it's impresses Americans because she's "showing up" the eggheads.

Exactly, she's just playing to the other slackers in the class. It's all so depressing.

Palin is canceling all foreign aid!!!

Russians invading South America!!!

Obama wants everyone to volunteer for poeverty money!!!

50 trains a day!!!

A blast from the past

Compare and contrast Bush's response on tribal sovereignty and Palin's answer on the Bush doctrine.

This was completely unfair by Gibson. Sarah Palin does not know Bush's doctor.

(It what? It means what? 'Doctrine'? Bush has one of those? Really? Gawrsh.)

In case Fats Durston is mocking us rather than the Palinites (my antennae are rather frayed) let me be the first to concede that I'm not fluent in either the Polk Doctrine or the Rutherford B. Hayes Manifesto. Neither am I running to succeed either as President, however; I'm not even trying to decide my vote on who should succeed either as President. Good thing it's too late for me to vote in either of those elections; I'm not halfway informed enough to do so. Nor, it would appear, is Palin halfway well-enough informed to be President.

alk, I'm sure that was really quite remarkably clever. Indeed, I offer you a preemptive - nay, a preventative! - Well Done Indeed!


... now, could you explain it? Because I'm really not sure what it was supposed to mean ...

Of course, I don't think it's such a great sin if she doesn't know much about foreign policy, maybe she has other assets to compensate. The real problem are the foreign policy advisors she'd inherit from McCain. Think of the people Truman could rely on: Marshall, Stettinius, Byrnes, Acheson, Nitze, Kennan... Then think of neocon goons that would darken the doorway of McCain's national security meetings. The horrors of Palin being steered by that bunch are too much too contemplate.

Gibson missed his chance for immortality.

After Palin's first try at an answer, he should have fallen to the floor racked with uncontrollable laughter. Then he should have gotten up and walked out, laughing all the way.

Oh my apologies, I see that Hilzoy actually pointed out the difference between prevention and preemption in her original post. I guess I rushed off to watch the clip after just reading the first part of her original post. My bad.

But it really is infuriating that Gibson, not knowing the difference himself, lets her claim preemptive war at the end of the exchange, thus giving the impression that she, Bush and the Republicans in general stand for something that every American would agree with, but that the Dems by implication do not, when of course the Dems 100% do support preemptive military action, as does any government for all intents and purposes.

It's another example of the media in their lazy ignorance allowing the Republicans to define the boundaries of the debate. The Republicans win by treating both the people and the journalists as idiots.

Can we start calling her "Slick Sarah"?

The Bush Doctrine is the pit-bull of aggression made up with the lipstick of self-defense. You'd think a hockey mom would know that much, at least.

--TP

It matters that Palin didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is. She wants to be one heartbeat away from the job? Please.

I'm just an average Jane. I don't know what the Bush Doctrine was, but then, I'm not running for VP of this country.

I think what scares me the most is that she didn't blink when asked to be McCain's running mate. I sure don't want her answering the phone at 3 a.m.

"The good news, I guess, is that when she's forced to make up an answer out of whole cloth, she goes with preemption, not prevention." The problem is that her answer is pretty much the same dodge that Bush/Cheney have used all along. Like Tony P. says, they just pretend that aggression is self-defense, and hope no one notices the difference. They all change the subject that way, and they always have. If you asked them point-blank, "Do you believe in shooting first and asking questions later?", the answer would be something like "Well, questions are important, and we believe in questions, and we believe in protecting the American people and we'll continue to shoot those who attack us. And 9/11." So, it would be "good news" (at least a sign of good intentions, despite the shocking ignorance) if her answer were sincere... but given the company she keeps, I see no reason to assume that; and either way, that kind of obfuscation continues to make the world a more dangerous place.

Can I post to this thread?

Okay, apparently the unspoken length limit, which is very short, causing a generic Typepad error page, is back.

Sigh.

Part 1: "...let me be the first to concede that I'm not fluent in either the Polk Doctrine or the Rutherford B. Hayes Manifesto."

The Polk Doctrine, sometimes called the Polk Corollary, was an extension of the Monroe Doctrine, to the effect that there would be no more European expansion in the Americas, and no countries on the two continents could rejoin any European country, and that the American destiny was expansion. Most specifically, no European country with territory in North or South America could expand it further by buying any other European country's American territory. Specifically, Yucatan couldn't, having seceded from Mexico, join Britain or Spain, which they offered to do when they got desperate during the Mayan Revolt of, ah, 1847.

Pt II: See Polk's first Inaugural address. Specifically, Texas, then independent, cain't join up with anyone else.

"None can fail to see the danger to our safety and future peace if Texas remains an independent state or becomes an ally or dependency of some foreign nation more powerful than herself."

So far as I know, there's no such thing as a Hayes Manifesto, on the other hand.

See, it wasn't very long.

I find it dishonest of her to pretend she doesn't know the Bush Doctrine.

Almost every liberal blog/tv/newspaper in the country has discussed it at some point in the last 7 years.

You would expect her to do better research on the oppositon.

I feel the most important aspect of the Bush Doctrine was overlooked by Gibson.
Unilateralism. I do not like that. That is what has brought down americas standing on the planet. I truly believe borh McCain and Obama will remove this hideous aspect from US foreign policy.

As for Sarah Palin not knowing what the Bush doctrine is, the people whom she will attract to the McCain ticket do not know what it is either!

I truly believe borh McCain and Obama will remove this hideous aspect from US foreign policy.

Why on earth would you believe that about McCain? McCain's foreign policy advisers, people like Randy Scheunemann, are absolutely and completely in love with the concepts of unilateralism and American exceptionalism.

I think Palin's answers indicate that she's fully absorbed the essence of the Bush doctrine.

The Bush doctrine isn't about preventative war vs. preemptive war at all. It's just the traditional understanding of preemptive war plus "the word immanent means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

I believe she is a third grader. she needs to go back to grade school. otherwise go back to fishing in Alaska. (a governor, governor, governor, Idon't think so)

SLHM!, I don't know if you are simcere or a parody, but either way your comment was not approprate, at least in my opinion.

can you imagine the same question, Bush Doctrine, asked to Obama??? he hasn't a clue

David Gergen said tonite the Bush Doctrine is not the way to say that phrase but more the Doctrine of preventive war and Palin did fine in her answer, This is David Gergen on CNN , and if you look at the Bush Doctrine it is vague in the beginning meaning more we would treat nations friendly to terrorists as the enemy . Palin more then held her own so far in the interview.

Charlie Gibson defined it wrong the Bush Doctrine is not preemptive war waged in response to evidence of an imminent attack, but in response to the possibility that a country that was not attacking us now might attack us at some point in the future. and that is preventive. So the question was wrong if you want to get really correct.

can you imagine the same question, Bush Doctrine, asked to Obama??? he hasn't a clue

someone doesn't have a clue, that's for sure. but i'm pretty sure that someone isn't Obama.

Thanks for the wiki reference, I wasn't sure either.

"The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various principles of United States president George W. Bush, created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. There are many and varied elements to the phrase."

Did Gibson even know what he was asking?

Given that this creature from Alaska constitutes in and of herself a massive, fatal preventative strike against any form of sanity still left in this country, why the hell should we be worried? She's got our best interests at heart, don't she?, and in her steely veins runs the milk of human kindness. And native all merican oil just waiting to be drilled once she's gotten the ground we walk on hot and bothered enough.

What McCain has done here in foisting this joke on the country is to issue a giant FU to that rather significant portion of the population that managed not to fall in love with his creaky schtick.

Massive over reach on his part. I hope she keeps it up ... I especially love "legitimate and enough intelligence" and referring to possible harm against the American people as possible danger "to American people." The little lady's as dumb as they come. Transcendent fail.

While it seems true that Palin did not know what the Bush doctrine was, what is also clear is that Gibson (and an awful lot of internet bloggers) also have no idea what the Bush Doctrine is (and what International Law is). Hilzoy is a rare exception who made the correct distinction between pre-emptive and preventive war. But, that said, why criticize Gov. Palin for articulating what is essentially the International Law justification for pre-emptive war when Gibson's question makes it clear that he himself didn't know what the Bush Doctrine is?

For a short history lesson on International Law is, at least as far back as Hugo Grotius in “On the Rights of War and Peace” (1625), at Book 2, Chapter, 1, Section 5, pre-emptive war was justified if the threat was clear and imminent. That was exactly the position Palin advocated. If that’s all the Bush doctrine was, then the Bush Doctrine would be nothing new (pre-emptive strikes being used by other nations at least as far back as by Scotland in the Bishops’ Wars of 1639-1640 and in the last century by Israel in the Six Days War of 1967).

As Hilzoy alludes to, what was supposed to be new about the Bush doctrine is that the threat did NOT have to be imminent (Iraq may have been thought to be a threat to attack the U.S. down the road, but it was not a threat to attack the U.S. at the time of the invasion).

Anyway, if anyone should be getting criticized, it's Charlie Gibson and most other internet bloggers who were so unprepared and uninformed that in spite of being able to prepare in advance (Gibson) or after the fact (bloggers) they still can’t accurately explain what the Bush Doctrine is.

Ed Rae: I criticize her for not having any clue what was under discussion. Also, for (apparently) being so uninterested in foreign policy that she had not picked any of this up. I don't care if my auto mechanic doesn't know foreign policy. I absolutely do care whether my VP does.

Not only was her answer limited to preemption, but it also skirted the complications of non-state terrorists and the imperfect nature of intelligence. Simply identifying a preemption situation could require capacities she lacks.

Does she have the capacity to make a correct assessment when confronted with a "gray" situation? Would she be too slow to act because she doesn't have perfect data? Would she be too quick to act as a result of visceral fear and a limited understanding of the detrimental side effects that could result from mistaken action? I need to know more about her world view.

Has she wrestled with foriegn policy issues in the past. When folks spend decades thinking about world affairs they end up experiencing situations that both confirm and discredit different aspects of their beliefs. Over time, if they're smart, they will adjust and fill out their beliefs. IMO, this long process of seeing one's theories tested is important for a CIC because the position comes with tough decisions and no net. The P or VP is a position for folks who already have a developed and tested world view. This is especially true in a time of war.

Bottom line: I disagree with Palin's preemption statement because I don't know what it means in practice. Taken literally, she would only use force if intelligence certainty (oxymoron) was achieved. So, taken literally, we are to believe that she would never make a tough call to protect us. Anything short of a literal interpretation requires me to asses her world view. Her developed and tested world view (if it existed) would be the resource that would fill in the gaps of her statement and direct her if she confronted a more realistic "gray" situation. But, this view doesn't exist--that's a problem, for me.

DON,

Charlie Gibson is not running for VP. An informed candidate could have demonstrated grasp of the issue by clarifying the (presumably less informed) interviewer's question. After all, he is a teevee personality, not a legislator.

As it was, he could have told her the Bush Docterine is Bush's health policy and she would have tried to bluster and bluff her way through agreement with that canard.

The good news, I guess, is that when she's forced to make up an answer out of whole cloth, she goes with preemption, not prevention.

I think it's just defaulting to a common-sense position. I dont believe that Bush would've embraced the Bush Doctrine if it were not for his need to get his war on; absent that, we revert back to the not-batsh1t-insane position of not attacking people who *might* pose a threat in the future.
So, I don't see anything particularly good in Palin's defaulting- it seems to me to be similar to what George W might've said, if asked, in the 2000 election. Delivered with about as much conviction.

If Gibson was wrong on the Bush Doctrine then shouldn't Palin have corrected him?

I'm afraid the analysis has to be turned inside out. But that only makes it worse.

Palin thinks IRAQ is a CORRECT application of the rule of PREEMPTIVE war - in the form of the rule that she herself expressed. It doesn't matter if that's the same as "Bush's rule" or not.

Palin has obliterated the distinction Hilzoy draws between "preemptive" and "preventive" war. If Iraq is a "preemptive" war - and that is plainly what Palin was saying - then it is practically impossible to imagine a "preventive" war short of an invasion of Canada. Palin got the true McCain message exactly and completely right: It's wars all the way down.

The essence of the Republican campaign is this:

"Bush never did anything wrong AND we're going to be so different from Bush."

The job of the media - and they know it - is to make sure that as few people as possible ever notice the contradiction. The right already knows it and doesn't care. So they only have to keep the carney going for another few weeks.

an invasion of Canada

Don't give her any ideas. No doubt as commander of the Alaska National Guard she had to deal with some border skirmishes and must be eager to settle scores.

Hilzoy: I agree with you on 2 of 3 things (I think).

Agreement 1: Most people don't care if she knows the definition of "Bush Doctrine".
Agreement 2: Her view of pre-emptive war is the generally accepted and historically correct one.

Disagreement: Gov. Palin and Gibson both not knowing the definition of "Bush Doctrine", and Gibson only asking her about the concept of "pre-emptive war", means it is unfair to expect she should have mentioned preventive war in her answer. After all, if she'd drawn the distinction Gibson would have pounced on her for disagreeing with Bush and McCain (the starting of the Iraq war being preventive rather than pre-emptive).

If you don't immediately agree, go back and check the transcript and see if someone who didn't know the definition of "Bush Doctrine" could have figured out that Gibson was asking about preventive war rather than pre-emptive war. I think you'll see he used the term "pre-emptive war" and she answered that question correctly and Gibson did not explicitly ask her about her views on preventive war.

If you don't immediately agree, go back and check the transcript and see if someone who didn't know the definition of "Bush Doctrine" could have figured out that Gibson was asking about preventive war

That seems to be walking carefully around the point that the VP candidate here does not know the definition of the Bush Doctrine. Not even enough to take a remote stab at it. In fact, as Josh Marshall points out, she doesn't even appear to grasp the meaning of the word "doctrine" here in a diplomatic/national security context.

How come OBAMA doesn't know what it means.
He stated the Bush doctrine is "only speaking to leaders of rogue nations if they first meet conditions laid out by the United States."

can you imagine the same question, Bush Doctrine, asked to Obama??? he hasn't a clue

Well Obama has spouted off about what he thinks the Bush doctrine is and his answer has nothing to do with preemptive, preventive, or proactive.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/obama-clinton-w.html

Obama: Clinton Would Continue “Bush Doctrine
July 26, 2007 11:21 AM

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: Sen. Barack Obama lobbed another verbal grenade at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday, continuing a feud that first erupted at Monday night’s Democratic presidential debate.

In a conference call with reporters, Obama said Clinton would continue the “Bush doctrine” of only speaking to leaders of rogue nations if they first meet conditions laid out by the United States.”

OBAMA defines the “Bush doctrine” as “only speaking to leaders of rogue nations if they first meet conditions laid out by the United States.”

John, dude, clearly you Googled "Bush Doctrine" and thought everything that showed up was THE "Bush Doctrine" as pertains to preemptive/preventative wars.
Obviously Obama's use of the "Bush doctrine" in the context you quoted simply refers to something completely different with the same words. Similarly, one could use, for instance, the phrase "the theory of relativity", speaking loosely, when referring to the lack of absolutes in some moral theories (by crazy liberals), completely aware that in a context of physiscs it means something more formal and completely different. So what? I think you miss the significance of context, simply.

can you imagine the same question, Bush Doctrine, asked to Obama??? he hasn't a clue

Do you understand that someone can speak of "the Bush doctrine of doing X" where X could be any policy etc (perhaps better understood as "policy"), but that "The Bush Doctrine" is a larger foreign-policy framework/ontology? There are a couple of possible definitions for the latter, but surely hundreds of possible definitions for the former.

That is, your cite doesn't speak to the matter at issue.

Carleton, same point but you said it better. Thanks and High Five!

Carleton/Sanity, Based on your last couple of posts it would seem very reasonable that someone, when confronted with the question: "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?", would reply "In what regard?" After all, it could mean multiple things with regard to the larger foreign-policy framework and it could mean many, many things in the general sense. Right?

Leftnerve, I think you're right. And losing the "deer in the headlights" look would help considerably.

Clever Hans was still a horse

leftnerve,
I dont think her initial reaction was the best; best would've been to either lay out the possibilities (ie pre-emptive war, war against those sheltering or supporting terrorists,etc) or pick one and go with it. Today, I think the best answer would discuss pre-emptive war. But her question wasn't the worst part of her answer by far.
If, after getting the hint of a date, she had articulated *any* Bush policy innovation from that period, I could at least be sympathetic (but not full credit, I think).
But to have no idea what's being discussed, and to fall back on boilerplate- that demonstrates ignorance. To restate the US position *prior* to the Bush Doctrine shows ignorance.

Heres Charlie Gibson's own explanation of the Bush doctrine, Sept 2002:

The president in his speech last night, very forceful. Four out of five Americans watched it. Everybody gathered around the television set last night. The president issued a series of demands to the Taliban, already rejected. We'll get to that in a moment. He also outlined what is being called the Bush Doctrine, a promise that all terrorists organizations with global reach will be found, stopped and defeated.
Here's Palin's response to his question during the interview:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

Can you guys not admit that despite being clueless about the "Bush Doctrine" she is atleast capable of restating Gibson's very own commments from 2002?

I guess now we know why she agreed to do the interview with him. They obviously share the exact same interpretation of the Bush Doctrine and she likes to watch him on TV.


Leftnerve, I think you're right. And losing the "deer in the headlights" look would help considerably.

sorry about the double post, dunno what happened....

Can you guys not admit that despite being clueless about the "Bush Doctrine" she is atleast capable of restating Gibson's very own commments from 2002?

I think she recycled some boilerplate. I can imagine that if she'd said something along the lines of 'the presidents job is to keep American safe' then one could claim that she was referring to the doctrine of preventative war.
Note the lack of the word "plausibly" in the previous sentence, its omission is intentional. She bombed, she had no idea what was being discussed- regardless of any lexis-nexis seach.

I'm going to take that as no, you can't.

She's on the same page with Gibson, isn't that good in your opinion? She's on the same side as the media.

She's on the same page with Gibson, isn't that good in your opinion?

It's the journey, not the destination, that's revealing I think.

A drunk will eventually get home, but how he does it can be quite...damaging...

I'm going to take that as no, you can't.

Then I suggest a remedial course in English comprehension, since that bears no relation to what I said. She said something so vague as to be meaningless. That some enterprising toady can find a linkage to something someone else said at some point in the past is not surprising, not interesting, and not useful. It does not display any understanding.

As to the question of what *side* she's on, Im not sure how that's supposed to excuse ignorance (since you've already admitted that she's clueless about the Bush Doctrine). And no, I wouldn't be particularly supportive of Gibson for VP either. Although at least he's *heard* of the Bush Doctrine, so he's a leg up.

Well Obama has spouted off about what he thinks the Bush doctrine is and his answer has nothing to do with preemptive, preventive, or proactive

He did not spout off about the Bush Doctrine of preemptive engagement w/regard to Clinton. He "spouted off" about a Bush doctrine w/regard to Clinton. James Fallows actually explains the important difference "Doctrine" and "doctrine" here.

In fairness to Palin, if she would have known the Doctrine of preemptive engagement, she could have stopped Charlie and asked him to clarify whether he meant the more specific Doctrine or Bush doctrine in general. In criticism of her, it was obvious she had no clue about the Doctrine that was developed by C. Rice starting in 2002.

If you're going to criticize Obama on whether he knows the Bush Doctrine, you better do more research than just Googling "Bush Doctrine" and "Barack Obama."

I read this blog daily, and I think the analysis is generally spot-on. I've never commented until now, but I feel a little bit compelled because I think that the coverage of this interview has missed the point.

As a lefty Obama fan, I think the Charlie Gibson interview hurt our cause. You can observe that the pundits are as divided as ever on Sarah Palin--those who disfavored her as a choice for VP thought it was "embarassing," and those who liked her before thought she did "quite well." What the means, I think, is that the interview did not do anything except polarize the discussion further, and the comments here I think demonstrate that fact. Some people are crowing about what a dunce she is, and others are rushing to defend her. Nobody is stepping back and reassessing his or her own position.

I blame Charlie Gibson. Watch the interview again--watch his facial expressions, his tone, etc. It is evident that he is seething with indignation and anger the whole time. He's asking extremely short questions, repeating himself, and basically trying to demonstrate, through the questions he asks and the way he asks them, that he thinks that this woman is a total idiot.

I happen to think that Charlie may be right about the substance of his point (i.e. she may be an idiot). But there is a right way and a wrong way to persuade a hostile audience, and if such was his goal, then he failed. And the reason that I think he failed is that nobody wants to watch some smug news anchor beat the crap out of a hockey marm on national television.

Gibson started off instead by asking something like, "Can you look the American people in the eye and tell them that you are ready to be President should the need arise?" Well, Charlie, what do you think she's going to say? This isn't an episode of Perry Mason where she's just going to break down and exclaim, "No, I'm not ready! God what am I doing here?" So instead she says the obvious thing, "Yes of course I'm ready," and Gibson basically asks the question again. I'm sure the answer will change this time . . .

And then he asks questions like, "How does the proximity of your state make you knowledgeable about Russia?" Again, such a misstep because he delivers it totally without context. It's days like this when I miss Tim Russert--Russert would have put a few quotes on the board about how proximity to Russia makes Palin an expert in foreign policy. And then he would have asked, "So, people on the East Coast live a lot closer to Europe and Africa, and the Middle East, than you do--do you think that makes them better at understanding issues related to those regions?" And then, if Palin had said "Yes I do," then Russert would have probably shown some sort of graphic demonstrating that people on the East Coast know little to nothing about Europe or Africa, and then another graph showing that people in Alaska have never heard of Russia, or something, and asked, "Well, how do you explain this study by whoever that suggests otherwise?" And then we could have seen what her answer to that was, until she had no more answers. Instead, Gibson just took a shot and hoped for another Perry Mason moment--"No I know nothing about Russia!" She's NEVER going to say that. EVER.

I thought this interview was one of the least effective assassinations ever. Gibson tipped his hand too early by revealing his bias in the first question of the interview, and then he never did what we need him to do--which was to show us why Palin is incompetent, as opposed to merely telling us that Charlie Gibson thinks that she is. I think that's why the country is polarized, and it makes me sad.

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