More on the Palin Interview

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Sep 11, 2008 11:39 PM
1. Eastern vs. Western Feed

I saw the eastern feed of the interview before writing the post below, and the Gibson-Palin exchange I discuss there stuck out in light of Juliet Eilperin's WaPo piece (I pay attention to her work because we were colleagues and friends on The Daily Princetonian).

What's interesting is that, watching the western feed, the excerpt was changed -- instead of Gibson quoting Palin, the YouTube video linked in the post below was played.  That strikes me as an implicit admission of error on ABC's part.

2. When Did You Stop Beating Your Husband?

On second viewing, the tone of the first question also struck me as somewhat unfair.  Asking a candidate if s/he ever doubted his/her capacity to serve is a little bit like asking "When did you stop beating your wife?"  There's no good answer.  Admit the doubts any normal person has before undertaking a major task, and you're classified as someone who herself doubts her own readiness to serve.  Deny the existence of doubts, and you have to take a hit in some quarters for seeming arrogant.  Governor Palin made the right choice, but it was a no-win situation -- especially for someone who simultaneously is being accused of "cockiness" and inexperience.

3. Doctrine of Preemption Isn't "The Bush Doctrine"

Finally, any brouhaha about the "Bush doctrine" question is completely unwarranted.  When Gibson invoked the "Bush doctrine," what he really meant is "the doctrine of preemption."  Here's the Bush doctrine, as I've understood the term, straight from his second inaugural address:  

[I]t is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

Palin was right to ask for clarification.