Just got around to watching Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric. Wow! There’s obviously a reason why the McCain campaign doesn’t want Palin giving interviews.
You almost feel bad for her. She’s literally being asked to defend the indefensible. But then you remember the reason why so many aspects of the McCain campaign are indefensible: because they lie constantly. And then you remember the other reason why Sarah Palin can’t answer basic questions with any level of confidence: because she’s a vastly unprepared candidate who was picked to make news, not to govern.
And then there’s this added confidence-killing pressure: the McCain campaign has made it perfectly clear with their treatment of her that they don’t trust her ability to do anything on her own. They especially don’t trust her to open her mouth in public with thoughts formed from her own brain, which is why they’ve shielded her from the media at all costs and why she was so obviously relying on a script during the two legit interviews she has done. Campbell Brown hit the nail on the head yesterday, they’re treating her like a trophy candidate, like someone who is meant to be seen not heard. And she– Sarah Palin– is too smart a woman not to feel utterly demeaned by this.
Greg Sargent at TPM makes an eye-opening point about the lengths to which the McCain campaign is going to keep Sarah Palin away from the media:
What’s really sobering is that the McCain campaign continues to block Palin from answering questions even though it’s now resulting in reams and reams of bad press for the McCain-Palin ticket. That suggests McCain advisers know that letting her answer even the most elementary questions in an uncontrolled environment is so dangerous that it’s worth weathering the current media drubbing they’re taking in order to prevent it from happening at all costs.
With everything else in this campaign, McCain has played the reckless nothing-to-lose fighter pilot, firing off policy blindly, making rash decisions on the fly, deliberately shunning facts and research for gut instincts. This is how he ended up with Palin on his ticket in the first place. So why not, as Campbell Brown put it, free Sarah Palin?
Why not just let her run wild, say whatever she wants, make some controversy maybe, but endear herself to people who vote on personality not policy (that’s her target demographic anyway, right?). She’s never going to appeal to the newspaper reading crowd. She’s never going to pass as a policy wonk, so why try to convince people she is? She’s a self-proclaimed hockey mom from the outskirts of civilization. Who cares what the Bush Doctrine is? There’s terrorists to shoot! Yippee-ky-yi-yay, Ahmadinejad!
I mean, let this woman off the leash already. The two best moments for Palin in this campaign were her pitbull/hockey mom joke at the convention and her off-the-cuff comment to Charlie Gibson that Barack Obama probably regrets not picking Hillary now. And Palin’s 20 worst moments in this campaign involved her trying to talk about policy using a poorly-memorized script. Just let her do the press conferences, let her make mistakes, let her win over the room with her personality and grit, let her say “I don’t know” every now and then (followed by “but what I do know is this… [folksy anecdote]“). The McCain campaign is so busy trying to convince people that Sarah Palin is Hillary Clinton that they’ve lost who she really is: the illegitimate love child of George Bush and Annie Oakley.
Sharon Osbourne channels her inner Matt Damon, making it clear she isn’t a fan of Sarah Palin. The volume of applause from the mostly female Ellen crowd is pretty striking. Between this and The View, it seems like the Palin pick is backfiring with the very audience it’s meant to pander to.