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Sarah Palin - still not ready for prime time

By Jimmy Orr / September 26, 2008

Although Sarah Palin's outing with CBS anchor Katie Couric has not been well-received, it may be too harsh to say Palin was like Chris Farley and Couric like Paul McCartney in this (admittedly role-reversed) version of this Saturday Night Live skit.

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But since the Farley-McCartney interview was such great comic material, it's good to bring it up whenever possible and provide the link to it.

No, Palin was not Farley. But she wasn't good either. And with less than 40 days before Americans head to the voting booth, there's not much time to get Palin used to dealing with the national press.

"Bury the interview!"

It appears that she needs more time, but unfortunately for the McCain campaign, they don't have the luxury of putting her into an incubator to slowly ramp up to deal with the national press.

The interview with Couric had GOP strategist Rob Stutzman telling The Vote yesterday that McCain needs to participate in tonight's debate simply "to bury the Palin CBS interview!"


Is it surprising? Somewhat. If you look at many national interviews she's done in the past as Governor of Alaska, she performed much better than her outing this week with Couric and ABC's Charlie Gibson of two weeks ago. And when you consider that up until the financial meltdown, nothing dominated the news cycle more than the nation's energy woes – an issue that she's comfortable chatting about – she had a lot of practice. In those interviews anyway, she looked poised and confident.

Couric and the Maverick

Poised and confident is not how she looked with Couric. On Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Couric asked Palin for an example of where McCain has led the charge for more oversight. Says Couric, "[McCain's] been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation – not more."

Palin: "He's also known as a maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party."

Couric: "I'm just going to ask one more time, not to belabor the point – specific example in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation."

Palin: "I'll try to find you some, and I'll bring 'em to ya."

As those last words fumbled from her mouth, you know she was saying, "Get me out of here."


On whether the $700 billion bailout of the U.S. financial sector is a good idea.

If you didn't quite catch the meaning of the above, don't bother re-reading it. It doesn't get any clearer. U.S. News and World Report columnist Robert Schlesinger called the statement a "talking points machine gone out of control."

"Or magnetic poetry that you have on your fridge – in fact, you can try it at home. String together key words and phrases like "shore up the economy," "reduce tax rates," "healthcare reform," and "trade" and see what kind of Palinisms you can create," he writes.

I can see Russia from my house

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