Palin also volunteered that the Russian invasion was "unprovoked," though Georgia attacked South Ossetia first. She followed up by saying that Georgia and Ukraine should be brought into NATO.
Would that mean America would have to go to war with Russia on behalf of Georgia in any new conflict, asked Gibson.
"Perhaps so," said Palin.
Scheunemann should get a fat severance check from Saakashvili for that one.
One ex-White House aide at American Enterprise Institute, asked by Tim Shipman of the Daily Telegraph if AEI sees Palin as a "project," replied: "Your word, not mine. ... But I wouldn't disagree with the sentiment. ... She's bright, and she's a blank page. She's going places, and it's worth going there with her."
In fairness to Palin, on issues like NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, her answers reflect the views of the man who chose her. She has no option at present but to follow the line laid down by Scheunemann.
But make no mistake. Sarah Palin is no neocon. She did not come by her beliefs by studying Leo Strauss. She is a traditionalist whose values are those of family, faith, community and country, not some utopian ideology.
Wasilla, Alaska, is not a natural habitat of neoconservatives.
And her unrehearsed answers to Gibson's questions reveal her natural conservatism. Asked if she agrees with the Bush Doctrine, Palin asked for clarification. "In what respect, Charlie?"
Gibson: "Do we have the right of an anticipatory self-defense?"
Yes, said Palin, "if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against (the) American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend."
Exactly. The intelligence must be legit and the threat "imminent."
Interviewed by Alaska Business Monthly in March 2007 on the surge, Palin said, "I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place."
That is not the language of empire or "benevolent global hegemony."
Palin may disappoint many conservatives in the next seven weeks by having to parrot the McCain-neocon line on NATO expansion, NAFTA and a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens. But the battle for Sarah's soul is not over.
For, again, the lady is no neocon. Nor is the husband Todd, First Dude of Alaska and former member of the "Alaska First" Independence Party.