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Gotcha? Palin's encore performance with Couric

By Jimmy Orr / September 30, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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Anyone complaining about Sarah Palin being inaccessible to the media is just looking in the wrong place. She's plenty available, as long as you're Katie Couric.

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The Republican nominee for vice president did an encore with the CBS News anchor Monday night.  As an added bonus this time, Palin brought along running mate John McCain.

The three chatted about Pakistan, "gotcha journalism," and her previous interview. Well, in reality the interview was all about Palin. Palin's comment on Pakistan, whether Couric was engaging in gotcha' journalism with Palin, and the YouTube extravaganza which resulted from the prior interview.

Pakistan

Last week Palin appeared to tell a voter that she would support a US-led attack on Pakistan to, in her words, "stop the terrorists from coming any further in." Couric asked her if she should have said that and noted that the position sounded similar to Barack Obama's.

"We had a great discussion with President Zardari as we talked about what it is that America can and should be doing together to make sure that the terrorists do not cross borders and do not ultimately put themselves in a position of attacking America again or her allies," she said.  "And we will do what we have to do to secure the United States of America and her allies.

Gotcha

Couric then asked McCain if she should have said that out loud.  McCain heavily criticized Obama last week in the debate for as McCain put it, "[Obama] said he would launch military strikes into Pakistan. Now, you don't do that. You don't say that out loud."

McCain decried gotcha journalism. Couric disagreed with him which led the Republican to say, "No, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth."

Enter Sarah

Palin then jumped in with,"You're absolutely right on. In the context, this was a voter, a constituent, hollering out a question from across an area asking, 'What are you gonna do about Pakistan? You better have an answer to Pakistan.' I said we're gonna do what we have to do to protect the United States of America."

What did Palin learn from the experience, asked Couric.

"That this is all about 'gotcha' journalism," Palin said.  "A lot of it is. But that's okay, too."

There it is

Note this part in the video (see below).  Because this is where Palin expressed some confidence, some feistiness.  This is where her supporters say the true Sarah Palin resides.  As many conservatives have said, if the McCain campaign lets "Sarah be Sarah," we're going to see a different person emerge.

As we discussed earlier, the drum beat for "liberating Sarah from the campaign" got louder yesterday when conservative New York Times columnist Bill Kristol said such an action would be pivotal.

McCain needs to liberate his running mate from the former Bush aides brought in to handle her — aides who seem to have succeeded in importing to the Palin campaign the trademark defensive crouch of the Bush White House. McCain picked Sarah Palin in part because she’s a talented politician and communicator. He needs to free her to use her political talents and to communicate in her own voice.

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