Eric D. Snider

Eric D. Snider's Blog

Sarah Palin dodges that tricky ‘Can you read?’ question

From her interview with Katie Couric last night (you gotta hear it; the transcript doesn’t do it justice):

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this, to stay informed and to understand the world?

PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media, coming–

COURIC: But like what ones specifically, I’m curious, that you–

PALIN: Um, all of ‘em, any of ‘em that, um, have, have been in front of me over all these years, um, I have–

COURIC: Can you name a few of them?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, it seems like, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington D.C. may be thinking of doing when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

HOLY CRAP, WOMAN. I can scarcely conceive a simpler question than “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” It’s not a “gotcha” question. Couric isn’t trying to trap her. It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask someone, especially a politician who’s new to the national scene and whose views and personality Americans are still trying to figure out.

And she can’t even name ONE?

Notice how her first instinct, when asked a specific question — “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” — is to give a vague, general, useless answer. Has all the cramming she’s been doing the last few weeks turned her into an automaton, the PoliticBot3000?

Search terms: newspapers, magazines
Search results: I appreciate the media! The media is an integral part of American society. As vice president, I will do everything I can to support the media….

That’s what you always get on the first try with Palin: vague generalities. Then there has to be a follow-up question in which you specifically asking for specifics. And this one is easy. All Palin has to do is name a newspaper. She doesn’t even have to prove that she reads it. There’s no way she can screw this up. It’s like “Celebrity Jeopardy” on “Saturday Night Live.” Any answer will suffice. Just name a real newspaper that actually exists in the real world.

The Anchorage Daily News might be a good place to start. She probably actually DOES read that. I’m sure it’s delivered to the governor’s office, anyway. The New York Times might spring to a lot of people’s minds. The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal. Time. Newsweek. If all else fails, USA Today. THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS! It’s a question that is seemingly impossible to fail at answering, and yet still she manages to fail at answering it.

Maybe the desperate response from her supporters will be that she wasn’t going to play along with Couric’s little game — that silly “interview” game, where a journalist asks you “questions” and you have to provide “answers” — because she knew that whatever she said, everyone would scrutinize it and pick it apart. So instead she said nothing. That’s a terrible explanation, but it’s the only one I can think of. Anyone else have any theories on how this isn’t a big, dumb trainwreck?

55 Responses to “Sarah Palin dodges that tricky ‘Can you read?’ question”

  1. Nelson Says:

    I think Joe Biden is going to eat her lunch for her on Thursday. I mean, he doesn’t really even have to speak, just point at her and give the WTF? look at the camera. Maybe she can coax Tina Fey into subbing for her.

  2. Thoughtful Observer Says:

    Nope. Sorry. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck, and wears lipstick, it’s probably Sarah Palin trying to answer a straighforward question.

  3. David Says:

    That is mortifying.

  4. N Daley Says:

    The only thing I can think of is Palin’ is immediately going on the defensive; assuming that Katie is trying to get her to say that her only news sources are the Seldovia Gazette, Frontiersman, Tundra Drums, or Petrolium News, in order to undermine the intelligence of all Alaskans. That would explain why she then goes on to explain that Alaska is a microcosm of America. But Katie gives her three chances to try to answer the question, and Palin just doesn’t get it. Then, poor Katie has to awkwardly stand there, nod, and glance at her producer with a look that says, “OMG. Is this woman seriously answering my question about magazines with a response about Alaska not being a foreign country?”

    I really wanted to like Palin. I did. But she’s like that really hot new girl at school: Everyone wants to get in her pants until she opens her mouth and a southern accent spills out.

  5. Amp Says:

    The problem for me isn’t that she’s seems like she’s being evasive on purpose–it’s that she sounds like an idiot. Who in the world can’t name the papers they read? It’s not that hard.

  6. Steve Says:

    I disagree with two points, Eric. First is your claim that this is not a “gotcha” question, and the second is that there are no wrong answers.

    Look at the framing of the question. You are correct that “what do you read” is one of the simplest questions ever. If Couric had simply said, “I am curious, what newspapers and magazines do you read?” then that would be a sraightforward and not a gotcha question. But that is not what she said. By wrapping the question with the phrases “establishing your worldview” and “to understand the world”, the question is no longer “what do you read?”; it has been transformed into “prove that your views are legitimate and you’re not some backwoods hick.” The question is as much of a condescending attack as if Couric had asked “So, I was curious, do you know what the h*** you’re doing?” If you think I’m over-reacting, simply imagine any reporter anywhere ever asking Hillary Clinton what she regularly reads to help her understand the world. If you’re honest with yourself, you know the idea is ludicrous.

    Concerning the “no wrong answers” claim, consider one of your own suggestions. Suppose Palin had simply said, “Well, I regularly read the Anchorage Daily News.” Is it conceivable that there would not then be a follow-up question along the lines of “So, the Anchorage Daily News helps you understand the world? Really?” or “So your worldview is shaped through the lens of what matters to Anchorage?” or “So how does the Anchorage Daily News help you understand the intricacies of the situation between Russia and Georgia? (winking at audience)”

    Am I trying to justify Palin’s response? No. She totally flubbed. But I believe that the reason she flubbed is that she recognized the question for what it was: a veiled attack.

    What should she have said? It may have been politically unadvisable, but it would have been cool if Palin said “I’m usually too busy making news to read it.” But perhaps the best response would have been to directly confront the implicit attack (rather than taking evasive maneuvers) with something along the lines of, “Well, to answer the direct question, I read X and Y, but frankly, establishing a worldview and an understanding of the world involves much more than simply reading newspapers and magazines.” Yeah, that would have been a satisfying counter-attack, and it would have taken some of the control of the discussion from Couric and given it to Palin.

  7. Byrd Brain Says:

    I agree with Steve. Yes, she sounded stupid, but no, the matter was not as simple as you make it out to be, Eric. It was a ‘gotcha’ question.

  8. Maria Says:

    No way guys – Here are a couple options:

    New York Times
    Wall Street Journal

    Very Simple answers, and is Katie really going to try to downplay those publications? She was not the right choice – period. You can not be bullied by reporters in her position. She doesn’t command any resepct or leadership in any way. It is very dissapointing.

  9. Leah Jane Says:

    That’s… Hilarious and sad. I dream of one day going into politics, I hope I never flub that simple question.

  10. Ben C. Says:

    Every politician does this. McCain, Obama, Clinton, Bush, everyone. Unless there is a clear poll that tells them how they should answer. It was a pretty simple question though. I think they just get so used to NOT answering questions, somthing simple like this screws them up.

  11. Randy Tayler Says:

    I liked her before the last week or so. I’m sad now.

    If she was worried about naming a paper that might come back to bite her, she should’ve prefaced with some sort of Noam Chomsky “Manufacturing Consent” bit, claiming that the consumer model of modern news necessitates breaking things down into sound bites and headlines, and that in that regard no modern news outlet can be taken at its word, and those who want to know the facts have to follow up on the sources that are quoted… then she could just add, “but mostly CNN, for quick updates.”

    Now THAT’S a proper politician answer.

  12. Ben Sauer Says:

    The gotcha they were hoping for were names like Hannity, O’Reilly, Drudge. She did a good job avoiding what was certainly a trap laid by people bent on destroying her. The real question is why they are bent on destroying her.

  13. Christina D Says:

    Couric’s questions are never sweet and straightforward… In the other interviews, she’s tried on and off to get Mrs. Palin to say something really dumb and contradictory.

    The bad thing is that the media has totally ignored Joe Biden’s really, really retarded gaffes so far, like the “I think that attack ad regarding McCain not being able to use a computer was really horrible, really horrible.” the other day (Later turned into, oh, I didn’t really mean that, actually). Or “I dunno why Obama picked me to be VP, Hillary is just as qualified or more qualified than I am.” Or the “I disagree with Senator Obama over coal”. (these aren’t direct quotes, but they’re basically what he’s said)

    If Gov. Palin ever said anything like Biden does, she’d be history. The media would kill her and roast her over a fire. But no, they ignore everything the dems do, and try and blow out of proportion everything the Repubs do. Have you ever seen Obama try to talk without a teleprompter (besides at the debates)? He sounds like an idiot! Ummm, errr, and then they… errr…. well you know, umm…

    Now, I’m not saying that I’m still as excited about Palin as I was before, because I’m not. The McCain campaign has tried to stuff her full of McCain’s viewpoints and make her spit it back out on the interviews. That obviously results in her sounding kind of dumb, especially when it’s a question that perhaps she doesn’t know what McCain’s viewpoint is. Then she has to try and avoid it. This makes me sad, because it’s hard to get excited for someone who doesn’t make sense. However, at least she’s not as retarded as Joe Biden is!

    However, I do know that Mccain/Palin is going to be a much better choice than Senator Obama and Mr. entrenched in washington corruption himself, Joe Biden. Obviously, Obama is committed to change, because he picked someone who’s been a senator for a million years and has never changed anything about the wasteful washington spending or anything along those lines.

    Obama has no experience… less than Palin does. Just because he can talk a good game when he has a teleprompter and editing does not make him -any- more qualified to be president than Gov. Palin! And I wouldn’t want her to be president either! However, the media is so in the tank for Obama that it is ridiculous how skewed the news is. Seriously.

  14. Christina D Says:

    LoL Can you tell Obama and the media make me angry? :D

  15. Carrie Says:

    This is a huge understatement: Palin has zero savvy.

    If I’ve learned anything at all about public speaking, it’s that when you’re asked a question, you have to ANSWER it CONFIDENTLY. I’ve never seen Palin do that. She fumbles for what she thinks will be a satisfying answer. And not only do her responses not answer many of the questions she’s asked, but she does a lot of hemming and hawing while trying to come up with whatever her mouth throws out there. She DOES NOT inspire confidence in many people, and I don’t know how anyone at all could have confidence in her as our possible Vice President. SHE COULD BE THE PRESIDENT, PEOPLE!!! Does that not scare the S**T out of you?! Palin! Could be President! Palin!

    So she gets asked “gotcha” questions. GOOD! No one is exempt from them. She needs to be tested in this way. People NEED to see her perform in these situations. THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE IS AROUND THE CORNER. What does anyone think is going to happen there? Honestly, I think it’s going to be hideous and sad because she’s losing at the practices she gets with journalists. And again with the she might be our Vice President next year. @#%$!

    Seriously. WTF?!

  16. Ian Cook Says:

    Lol,

    Listen, I realize that, compared to other politicians, Obama is a little on the inexperienced side. Yeah, I’m cool with that. I think that some experience is a little necessary, but I don’t believe that extensive experience is required. As long as they have a cool head, are able to make good decisions and surround themselves with competent people, I think those with little experience will do fine. Whatever.

    What’s laughable is that some of the same people who are saying Obama is lacking too much experience to be president, are applauding the choice of Palen. WTH!

    At first I thought she was a good choice too, but the more media exposure she gets, the less and less I like her as VP. Haven’t we had enough of people in the white house who have no idea what they are doing?

  17. Christina D Says:

    Carrie…. a) Obama gets asked a lot fewer gotcha questions than Palin has. Do you forget that when he first started campaigning for president, he avoided reporters for just as long as she did? Have you ever heard Obama try and answer some off the cuff reporters? Ummm, hmmm, errr…. b) Just because Obama talks a good game with his teleprompter does not make him any more qualified than Palin.

    He’s an empty suit with NO experience.. If you think about it, we don’t know hardly anything about him, because he has done NOTHING, ever. Except be a community organizer, and you know who helped cause this crisis we’re in right now? COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS, because they try their darndest to get housing for UNQUALIFIED people. They do anything they can to get their low income people into houses (and I mean ANYTHING). Oh and guess what, now they can’t pay their loans back and the banks are all imploding! Not to mention how he’s done nothing to reform the MOST CORRUPT city in the US! Chicago! Those politics are ridiculously corrupt! And boy howdy, he sure changed that! Not! And you want HIM to be president? My goodness, I am MUCH more scared by him. At least Palin has some experience and has gotten things done in Alaska in the past! That’s far better than Obama!

  18. Christina D Says:

    Also, guess what the Democrats in the Senate are stuffing into the bailout bill? We’re in a supposed crisis, and they would like to fund the following pork:

    New Tax earmarks in Bailout bill
    - Film and Television Productions (Sec. 502)
    - Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503)
    - 6 page package of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Alaska (Sec. 504)

    Tax earmark “extenders” in the bailout bill.
    - Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)
    - American Samoa (Sec. 309)
    - Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)
    - Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)
    - Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)
    - Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)
    - Railroads (Sec. 316)
    - Auto Racing Tracks (317)
    - District of Columbia (Sec. 322)
    - Wool Research (Sec. 325)

    Wow, Auto Racing tracks. That sounds important to fix right now, since we’re in an economic crisis. And wool research! That will fix all of our problems! Thanks Nancy Pelosi! Bah! I don’t understand how anyone can want to vote democrat right now, not with this sort of idiocy going on!

    If they weren’t so intent on their own political agenda all the time, I would probably be okay with the dems. But the thing is, they don’t give a rats butt about the common people right now. It’s all about furthering their own political agenda. Ridiculous.

  19. Eric D. Snider Says:

    Your candidate doesn’t have any experience, and his running mate has too much experience.

    My candidate has juuuust the right amount of experience.

  20. Christina D Says:

    LoL It’s not too much experience that Joe Biden has, it’s the wrong kind of experience. He’s not ever done anything to fix Washington or to go against the status quo there (which is the platform Obama is running on). And I do not think Palin has enough experience to be president, just as I don’t think Obama does.

    McCain has a reputation as a maverick, he’s done things in the past to go against his own party when needed. He tries to be bipartisan sometimes. He may have been in washington nearly as long as Biden, but he has done some of the right things with his time there. He’s not my ideal candidate, but I do think he will do better than Obama.

  21. Christina D Says:

    I do see your point though Eric. I’m trying to avoid that pitfall. :D

  22. m Says:

    I think you’re underestimating Palin’s political savvy here. Getting elected Governor in a politically charged state like AK isn’t easy.

    Whatever she answers, she’s suddenly identified herself with that paper and her views. Anytime a voter thinks of her, they’ll think of the last thing they read in that paper. I think it was an incredibly smart move to dodge that question.

    “No wrong answers”. No, I think there were no right answers.

  23. Andrew D Says:

    I’m not as rabid about this as Mrs. D, but I think there have been bigger gaffes than this so far in the race. I had a good laugh at Palin’s response, since she obviously missed the question in an effort to defend her experience in Alaska, but I simply find it difficult to understand why so little attention has been paid to some of Obama’s missteps. Case in point. – Palin will get away with her stupid answer, but as noted already, every politician does this. Obama, on the other hand, can flip people off to whoops and hollers from his audience.

  24. Christina D Says:

    Mr. D loves me even though I’m rabid. Isn’t that the sweetest? :P

  25. mommy Says:

    That’s so funny! It makes me glad I”m not interviewed and video’d constantly.

  26. Steve Says:

    Response to Carrie:

    I might be putting words in your mouth. If so, please correct me. What I got out of your post was that you are terrified about Palin being a heartbeat away from the presidency because she has zero savvy. She is not an adept public speaker. You seem much more comfortable with Obama for the precise reasons that he is incredibly savvy and a brilliant public speaker.

    Here is where I extrapolate. I don’t know your age, but if you were old enough to care about politics in 1980 or 1984, I must assume that you would have ardently supported Ronald Reagan. He had a particular knack for making people want to be on his side whenever he made a public appearance. He was the epitome of brilliant public speaking.

    An important observation: Reagan’s politics are almost completely diametricly opposed to Obama’s politics.

    And now the conclusion to which I have leapt with apparent super-human ability: based on your post, you would equally support Reagan and Obama based on their savvy and regardless of their political views. In fact, given the emphasis you place on confidence, you must have LOVED Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Don’t be economic girly-men!” shout at the 2004 RNC. What could be more confident than that?

    It is unfortunate that so many people will be basing their votes on public performances rather than looking at the work that each candidate has performed. All four are currently serving in elected positions. Voting decisions should be based on the way they have handled their jobs and not on how they have handled the press. Elected officials are accountable to the people, not the New York Times or Fox News (or Katie Couric).

    People NEED to see how the candidates perform in tough press interviews? Really? That’s as important as seeing how they perform in their jobs as elected offiicials? It’s as important as seeing the actions they have taken in difficult leadership situations? Has Professor Emmet Brown’s observation that our president HAS to look good on television finally come true?

  27. adrienne Says:

    Christina D,
    Wow, holy crow, how many post do you have on this article? Look, all 4 of them are horrible. I wasthisclose to going with McCain only because of the Vet image. However, as a woman I can not vote for Palin with regards to some of the more personal issues that I won’t get into on this forum. If McCain had picked anyone else I would be as happy as an American can be at this point and voted for him. Now I might be attacked that “she isn’t going to be in charge, blah blah blah” but let us face some facts, McCain is OLD, 72, and not in the best health. There is a really good chance that she could run this country and she can’t recall a news site she read? Come on!

  28. Christina D Says:

    (I know, I ranted a lot, I’m sorry. I am kind of upset about this election as of late.)

    Actually, adrienne, I read an article yesterday about this life insurance company taking both Obama and McCain’s health info and predicting how long they would live, based on what’s happened with other people (or however it is exactly life insurance companies decide it’s likely you’ll die), and both Obama and McCain have the same chance of surviving their first term. However, second-term (the second 4 years), Obama only has a 5% chance of dying and McCain has a 22% chance of dying. But that’s second term, so this election cycle, McCain’s age doesn’t matter.

  29. Christina D Says:

    Well I guess it does to some people, but it shouldn’t as much as they seem to think. :)

  30. B Says:

    She watches Saturday Night Live with the sound off. Does that count as a news source?

  31. notJoeKing Says:

    I couldn’t name one newspaper or magazine that I read to keep up to date on the world. Does that make me ignorant? I guess checking Google News multiple times a day and reading the articles linked there from all over the world (often from multiple sources regarding the same topic) without remembering each and every linked source makes me uninformed in Katie Couric’s eyes.

    I thought the only people that read actual newspapers anymore were retired… :P

  32. Stephanie B. Says:

    I must say that I DO think it’s important to be an effective communicator. Any President will have to use his/her powers of persuasion to sway other politicians and the American people. I think a more polished speaker engenders confidence and is more easily able to accomplish an agenda. No politician can do anything if they can’t sell their ideas.

    Now, of course, this is only a small part of what is important in choosing a leader. But it does matter.

  33. mommy Says:

    I love how Eric can’t even report the question right! It appears Eric can’t read either…or perhaps he is biased himself, and the question isn’t as naive as it sounds.

    Her answer still sounds funny though.

  34. Christi Says:

    The more I read about the primary candidates, the more I want to vote Libertarian.

  35. Christina D Says:

    @Steve, you make a good point. I was kind of losing confidence in Palin because she sounds slightly canned in the interviews, but she has done a lot in Alaska and that’s why I liked her in the first place… also she believes the same things I do, so I think I shall put my confidence back in her and ignore the somewhat questionable interviews and things.

    We’ll see how the debate goes too, even though Ifill is like, Obama’s biggest supporter. Hopefully she can be bipartisan despite that. She was almost crying when she reported that Palin “belittled” Obama and Biden in her RNC speech, and she’s written a book about how Obama has changed politics and is the “Breakthrough” for America.

    @notJoeKing, seriously, now that I think about it, the only place I can name is Hot Air, but I also search google news and read that stuff too, and I have no idea where that’s from.

    I kind of think Palin’s response is funny. It’s like “Katie, Alaska actually has credible news sources too and I read them!”. But I also don’t blame her for avoiding saying one in particular, because she said this in the same interview:

    “Couric: Some people have credited the morning-after pill for decreasing the number of abortions. How do you feel about the morning-after pill?

    Palin: Well, I am all for contraception. And I am all for preventative measures that are legal and save, and should be taken, but Katie, again, I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception. And I would like to see …

    Couric: And so you don’t believe in the morning-after pill?

    Palin: … I would like to see fewer and fewer abortions in this world. And again, I haven’t spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that.

    Couric: I’m sorry, I just want to ask you again. Do you not support or do you condone or condemn the morning-after pill.

    Palin: Personally, and this isn’t McCain-Palin policy …

    Couric: No, that’s OK, I’m just asking you.

    Palin: But personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception. ”

    I think it’s pretty obvious that she’s trying to avoid saying things that can be taken and used against the campaign… what if she had said “Oh, I read the Waterbury Republican-American.”? the media would say “She’s clearly out of touch with America, because she reads the clearly conservative newspaper WRA and doesn’t read any fair and balanced newspapers” or “This newspaper once claimed that martians landed in central park… and so obviously, Ms. Palin is totally unfit to be VP!” Just like they jumped on the fact that her former church was recently advocating “pray away the gay”, when she doesn’t even attend that church anymore… but how that must mean that Palin wants to pray away all the gay people!

    :)

  36. Bags Says:

    If McCain is such a bad choice, and Obama is such a bad choice, why are people choosing them? I keep hearing all this talk about how bad each one sucks, and how we have to pick between the lesser of two evils… we don’t! This is America! Pick someone else and stop complaining!

    Personally, I’m sick of this whole true/false democracy. What ever happened to the multiple choice option that was intended when the founding fathers set foot upon this land?

    I for one am voting for neither. Chuck Baldwin 2008 baby! He’s a Constitution Party Candidate. He’s endorsed by Ron Paul. And he has my vote.

  37. MattP Says:

    I’d appreciate it if the whole “can’t speak without a teleprompter” thing would just die. Obama did not have a teleprompter available for the first debate and even conservative commentators noted that he did just fine.

  38. Tim Says:

    Honestly, there are plenty of good answers she could have given.
    “I read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the local paper here in Alaska…”
    See? Perfect answer! She reads the conservative paper, but she’s open-minded so she reads a liberal paper, and she’s governor, so of course she needs to read the local paper.
    She is seriously the queen of saying lots of words that mean absolutely nothing.
    When she continues to not answer obviously easy questions, it just makes her look stupid.

  39. Kourtney Says:

    If Obama or McCain had flubbed Katie Couric’s question in the exact same way, I don’t think it would have been such a big deal since they have both proven in other forums that they “stay informed and understand the world.” (Whether you agree with their world views is a different story…) Palin is still working to prove that she even HAS world views outside of Alaskan oil policy, so her mistake is much more impactful.

    And criticizing politicians for using teleprompters is like criticizing celebrities for using stylists. We don’t want to admit that they’re better off for using them, but they are.

    And referring to a candidate as “retarded” is like erasing any other valid points you may have made. I’m just sayin.

  40. Christina D Says:

    @MattP, that would be because he crammed for the debate for a long time in advance. You know what the general questions are going to be (foreign policy… hmm, probably gonna be about Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Georgia. Oh the market collapsed, they’re probably gonna ask you about that), it’s not that hard to prepare something. However, there have been many documented times recently when he has been answering interviews or talking to reporters off the cuff and he hemms and haws and umms and errs for forever!

    Here’s a nice article about what Palin has actually gotten done in her state, to illustrate the fact Obama and Biden haven’t accomplished anything and Palin actually has.

  41. Eric D. Snider Says:

    “I couldn’t name one newspaper or magazine that I read to keep up to date on the world. Does that make me ignorant? I guess checking Google News multiple times a day and reading the articles linked there from all over the world (often from multiple sources regarding the same topic) without remembering each and every linked source makes me uninformed in Katie Couric’s eyes.”

    See, there’s another good example of something Palin could have said that would have been a perfectly reasonable answer.

  42. MattP Says:

    @Christina D, Actually, Obama does pretty well off the teleprompter. Not as well as in his prepared speeches, but not anywhere as poorly as Palin does when on her own. The whole teleprompter thing is a Republican meme – it’s repeated over and over until it’s assumed to be the truth. Also, presumably Palin has been cramming on McCain’s position on the issues as well, but she still totally flubbed her response to the bailout question with Couric. Did she *not* know that Couric might ask about the bailout?

    She just cannot put together a coherent sentence when she’s asked a question that requires any level of analysis or critical thinking.

  43. Tim Says:

    Notice that I said her answers make her look stupid, and not that she is stupid.
    To really get a sense of her intelligence, she’d have to go through an IQ test. Or maybe someone could find her old ACT/SAT scores…
    I know a lot of Americans don’t have a lot of respect for book smarts, and couldn’t care less how smart Palin is.
    I, however, would prefer to see evidence of someone’s intelligence before I vote for them. I’m not saying that Palin’s stupid. I will say that I’m having a hard time seeing her intelligence.

  44. Christina D Says:

    Case in point. The second question in the interview about the muslim meme (not the gaffe itself, necessarily), he is just err… uh… umm… uhhh… the whole time.

    Second case in point.

    Prolly more, but I need to make dinner. :) This is my last post, I promise. No more from me! I’ve been saying too much.

  45. Amp Says:

    @Christina D: When you start blaming community organizers for the crisis on Wall Street, I stop taking you seriously.

  46. Carrie Says:

    Since other people (Kourtney, Tim, Matt P, Stephanie B) have already said what I would have said in response to Steve and Christina, I just have this left to say: there is no telling who I would have voted for in 1980 since my political views are drastically different from what they were 16 years ago. If I were old enough to vote in 1980, and if my views were what they were 16 years ago, I probably would have voted for Reagan.

  47. MattP Says:

    Apples to apples – Couric asks Biden and Palin the same questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBt0r9Exv2I

  48. ClobberGirl Says:

    What this post really needs is a message from Barack Obama’s teleprompter. Yup.

  49. KJB Says:

    Christina D:

    Are you just going to keep parroting right-wing talking points, or are you going to have something of your own to say? In what world does graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, being president and editor of Harvard Law Review, serving eight years in the Illinois State Senate, and four years as an US Senator count as “no experience”? Heck, Obama has probably had as much “executive experience” running his campaign than Palin has had as Governor.

    None of that is the point right here, though. Even if Obama were a drooling idiot, Eric isn’t posting about him. He’s talking about Palin, and we have yet to see any evidence she can form a coherent reply on her own to anything. If she’s stumped by Katie Couric, how is she supposed to do anything her office would require of her? She’s a joke, pure and simple, but more people fortunately seem to be catching on.

    (And, yes, I know Biden also has some gaffes to his credit, but there’s a difference between flubbing an answer and not knowing what the answer is. I’d take thirty-five years in the Senate and a foreign affairs resume as long as my arm over “I’ll have to get back to you, Katie” any day.)

  50. Savvy Veteran Says:

    (steering away from any political discussion by instead going with a “Best of Will Ferrell” reference)

    “It’s a simple question doctor…would you eat the moon if it were made of ribs?

    It’s not rocket science, just say ‘yes’ and we’ll move on.”

  51. Andrew D Says:

    Mrs. D apologizes for getting carried away in here. Stressful day in the D household + political blog post by Eric = pandemonium, my friends.

  52. Steve Says:

    To KJB: Asking someone whether they are going to just parrot talking points rather than thinking for themselves is a pathetic way to attempt to invalidate their statements. Am I not allowed to ever say anything that has ever been said before? Is it not possible that I have thought things out thoroughly and I happen to agree with certain major talking points of a particular organization? Does the fact of something I believe in being promoted by a large political group invalidate my belief in it? Is it not true that accusing others of simply parroting talking points has been done before you made your post, thus making you a mindless parrot who cannot come up with something of his/her own to say?

    If you wish to refute a person’s statement, do it on the merit (or lack of merit) of the statement itself. The fact that someone other than the person you are addressing happens to have a similar opinion to that person is not a legitimate counterpoint.

  53. Neil Says:

    KJB: I have no love for Palin (aka Huckabee Part 2), but I’d rather have a joke over a racist (or is he just to inept to know that he is acting that way? take your pick – either way he’s a loser).

  54. ClobberGirl Says:

    It’s funny that KJB would put down ChristinaD for “parroting right-wing talking points” when the argument that Obama’s experience running his campaign = Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial experience comes from The One himself.

    Back to the subject of the post though: yes, Palin’s interview with Couric was lame. I think she was trying too hard to look out for “gotcha” questions and so performed poorly on questions that ought to have been non-issues like this one. The most generous assessment of her answer here that I can give is that she was worried that if she listed specific things she reads, people would insist that meant she endorsed all of the views of said sources. Still a poor answer, but given how people have been scrutinizing every aspect of her life from her decision to have an amniocentesis during her last pregnancy to the bizarre words of visiting pastors at a church she isn’t even a member of, it’s understandable.

    She’s not the first politician to give a lame interview. If she can do well at the debate tonight and give better interviews in the future, McCain-Palin still has a chance of catching up. If the debate goes poorly tonight, I see no way for McCain to win this.

  55. Sarah H Says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Why should she have to name specific newspapers? She’s not getting paid to advertise for them, so why should she show preference for any news source over another? The way I see it, if her intention was that she didn’t want to name specific sources, she should have said she didn’t want to.

Subscription Center

Eric D. Snider's "Snide Remarks"

This is to join the mailing list for Eric's weekly humor column, "Snide Remarks." For more information, go here.

Subscribe

Eric D. Snider's "In the Dark"

This is to join the mailing list for Eric's weekly movie-review e-zine. For more information on it, go here.

Subscribe
 
This site created and maintained by Jeff J. Snider | Diamond Clarity Chart