The Spectacle Blog

Let Palin Be Palin

By on 9.25.08 | 8:01PM

I just watched the second installment of the Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric, and I detect a major difference between how she comes across when she's trying to be something she's not, and when she's just being herself.

For instance, I absolutely cringed during the part when Palin tried to explain why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her relevant foreign policy experience. But she did quite well explaining that she never got a passport before last year because she didn't come from a background that afforded her the oppourtunity to backpack around Europe after college, and spent most of her life working. Then at the end of the interview, Couric kept pressing Palin on why she said America shouldn't second guess Israel were it to bomb Iran. At first, it looked like Palin was a bit rattled, but then she put it to Couric quite simply and forcefully, not in packaged statements, but in her own words:

It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That's not a good guy who is saying that. Now, one who would seek to protect the good guys in this, the leaders of Israel and her friends, her allies, including the United States, in my world, those are the good guys.
The "in my world" part, I thought, was especially key -- it's almost like she's saying, "why don't you get it?" The typical American can look at the situation and tell good from bad without an international affairs degree, which is why the overwhelming majority of Americans sympathize with Israel, much to the chagrin of the anti-Israel crowd.

To be clear, this doesn't change my earlier assessment that, in my view, Palin is not ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. What I am saying is that Palin is in a situation in which she has to field questions on a lot of subjects that she doesn't know a lot about. Rather than try to spit out rehearsed lines over and over again, she would be better off, as much as possible, to speak in her own words, rooted in her own values, and sense of right and wrong.

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