By Emily Geiger
I saw Sarah Palin’s interview with Oprah, and I thought she went a long way towards answering some questions people still have about her.
For example, I thought she answered the questions about the widely-panned Katie Couric interview very well. She basically said that she was annoyed with Couric because she interpreted Katie’s demeanor and questioning as being very condescending.
I have to say, given the clips replayed on the Oprah show of the Couric interview, I agree with that assessment. First, Couric was speaking unusually slowly, like you would with a small child or with someone who doesn’t speak English very well.
Palin interpreted Couric’s question about what books, magazines, and newspapers she reads as basically asking, “So, how does a stupid hick chick such as yourself know about anything important anyways?”
Palin admitted that she should not have let her annoyance show and probably should have just answered the (insulting) question.
I also thought that Palin provided a much better explanation of why she resigned her position as governor than I’ve heard her articulate before. Basically, Palin said that her presence as governor had become too distracting given the partisan attacks that were constantly being leveled against her (often in the form of expensive and unfounded ethics complaints), and that, because she loves Alaska so much, she felt she needed to get out of the way so that the government of Alaska could get back to functioning normally and taking care of its people.
I remember listening to Palin’s initial press conference in which she announced her resignation. I believe that this is what she was trying to articulate back then (along with concerns about her family), but, due to nerves (and probably, in hindsight, an inadequate amount of preparation), these ideas were not at all communicated effectively by Palin at that time.
However, that doesn’t mean that those are not good reasons for her resignation. In fact, I think her actions in this regard can be viewed as very selfless. She was willing to put the good of her state and her people above her own personal ambitions. Not many politicians would do that.
Overall, I think Palin did herself a lot of good. She is at her best when she can speak from the heart. When she talks about the issues with Bristol’s pregnancy and with her own baby, Trigg, she connects with every mom out there. When she talks about her personal testimony of choosing life, it is extraordinarily powerful.
I really don’t think Palin has her heart set on establishing herself as a 2012 presidential candidate. Right now, since she doesn’t have a job, it seems her focus is on selling books so she can take care of her family. And, I really think her other professional focus is just about promoting conservative principles and doing what she can to further those conservative principles as a private citizen.
I also think she’s done a great job at dealing with some pretty tough questions in the last few days. I heard a clip of Barbara Walters’ interview from Tuesday morning in which Walters asked Palin how she felt about McCain campaign bigwig Steve Schmidt saying that a Palin presidential candidacy would be “catastrophic.”
The irony of Schmidt’s statements, which Palin pointed out, is that Schmidt himself was the person responsible for the vetting process when she was chosen to be the vice presidential nominee, so if he didn’t think she was qualified to be president, he’s a pretty pathetic excuse of a high-level campaign operative to have let her selection take place. Of course, she said it a little nicer than that.
Or maybe Schmidt’s just trying to railroad her because he is diametrically opposed to everything she stands for in regard to social issues, particularly the issue of gay marriage given that Schmidt’s own sister is gay, and he has spoken publicly in favor of gay marriage.
So, tell me again, who is the one out of touch with Republicans and the public in general. Once again, this might not be everyone’s number one issue, but when presented with it, the public overwhelmingly supports traditional marriage, especially when given the opportunity to do so at the ballot box.
Bottom line, Palin scored some big points this week on the favorability scale. Self interested political operatives (who would have no chance of ever working on a Palin campaign) like Steve Schmidt lost some big points this week and are basically being outted for what they really are… a bunch of self-interested, out of touch hypocrites.
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