Sarah Palin scored points for knowing her interviewer’s nickname, but didn’t do so well on the actual questions. Most notably, she went all “moose in the headlights” when asked about the Bush Doctrine. Jim Fallows explains why Palin’s ignorance is troubling:
What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the “Bush Doctrine” exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.
Fred Kaplan’s recap in Slate is excellent:
The other spine-chilling moment came when Gibson asked about her recent comment, in a speech at her church, that the war in Iraq is “a task that is from God.” (ABC then showed a YouTube clip of the speech.) Palin tried to finesse the question, saying that her remarks were only “a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words” that we should pray not that God is on our side but that we are on God’s side. Gibson didn’t back down, noting that she had in fact gone on to say, “There is a plan, and it is God’s plan.” To this, Palin replied:
I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that these are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That in my worldview is a grandâ€”the grand plan.
Two things came to mind upon hearing her say these words. First, they sound like the earnest answer given by a contestant in a beauty pageant when the M.C. asks her about world peace. (Sorry to seem sexist, but it’s true; read it again.)
Second, and more to the point, do we want someone a heartbeat away from the presidencyâ€”and a 72-year-old cancer survivor’s heartbeat, at thatâ€”to possess both impetuousness (“You can’t blink”) and holy certitude? Isn’t that what we’ve had, actually in the Oval Office, the past eight years?
Robots are wired to react a certain way, but people are required to think.
Here’s the bonus beauty queen interview for comparison:
In other news, Lorne Michaels Wants Fey for SNL’s Palin:
Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said the show is talking with Tina Fey about playing Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at some point this season, possibly as soon as this Saturday’s season premiere.
This would be superb, of course.