Just watched the next segment, which focused on domestic issues, and Palin was much stronger. On the difference between McCain’s economic policies and Bush’s, she waffled, and on earmarks, she was forced to explain how Alaska was still accepting earmarks (and reply to her initial support of the “Bridge to Nowhere.”) She wasn’t at her best.
But when it came to guns and abortion, she really soared. You could tell both were close to her heart and she was comfortable talking about the subjects. She flat out said she though Roe v. Wade should be overturned and that she opposes a ban on assualt weapons. But what was great was that she was so candid about her differences with McCain (as she was with ANWR yesterday). She said, unlike McCain, she only supports allowing abortion if the mother’s life is in danger (as opposed to McCain, who supports allowing it in cases of rape and incest). And there was a wonderful moment in which Gibson asked about how she differed with McCain on stem cell research and she said, regardless of what the policy of the administration would be, as somebody running for high office people have the right to know her personal beliefs, and she opposed it. It’s very rare for a VP candidate to be so open about her differences with the top of the ticket. That really came across as authentic, and something that you wouldn’t hear from a typical politician.
What’s pretty clear, seeing more of her, is when she’s talking about issues that she’s comfortable with, and when she’s just being herself, she really shines. When she is just spouting out programed answers, it can get pretty ugly.