ABC’s Charles Gibson interviewed Alaska Governor Palin for the first time. The first part of this interview covered foreign policy, her experience and comments that she made about the Iraq War being a task from God.
It was a tough interview. Gibson came out with tough, but appropriate questions. For the most part I think that she did well. Gibson’s question regarding the Bush Doctrine was initially misunderstood, but with clarification she answered it directly. She didn’t criticize President Bush, but also wanted to make it clear that a McCain/Palin Administration wouldn’t be a third Bush term. That was the closest, I believe, that she came to a gaffe.
Update: Sean Hannity shared on his radio show this afternoon there are at least three aspects to the Bush Doctrine – so which one Charlie? When he asked about a particular aspect – he got his answer.
2nd Update: By the way, Fox News pointed out that Gibson has defined it differently at other times, and other media defining it in other ways. So the original question wasn’t fair.
The article notes Charles Krauthammer:
The term “Bush Doctrine” was first coined by columnist Charles Krauthammer three months before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and has undergone profound changes as the war against terror has evolved.
“There is no single meaning of the Bush Doctrine,” Krauthammer noted in a forthcoming column. “In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.”
Liberals will likely go crazy about her response to Gibson’s question about going to war with Russia if they invade Ukraine or Georgia if they were admitted into NATO. When you watch the interview consider that she said, “perhaps”. How else could she answer? When you have alliance with a country you have an obligation to fulfill it, but it wouldn’t just be the U.S. – all NATO countries are expected to honor it as well. That is a big IF as well. There is no guarantee that those countries will be admitted into NATO.
I’m also sure that there will be a brouhaha over her answer to the recent invasions into Pakistan. It was a rather simplistic question I think. She isn’t privy to the intelligence that President Bush has access to, and she doesn’t at that moment know the situation on the ground. Also, she doesn’t know what behind the door conversations we have had with the Pakistanis. It has been pretty clear that the Pakistanis are not committed to rooting Al Qaeda out of their northern provinces.
Here is the first part of the interview in two parts from YouTube. ABC does have an embed feature with their videos.
9/11/08 – Part I
9/11/08 – Part 2
So how do you think she did?
3rd Update: Steve Waldman at Beliefnet addresses Gibson’s question regarding her “controversial statement in her church regarding the war being a task from God.
Here’s what Gibson asked:
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
Actually, Palin asked members of the church to pray “that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
HT: Joe Carter
Update – 9/13/08 – here’s the rest of the Palin interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News. It covers energy policy, environment, earmarks, social issues, and the “Troopergate” controversy.
All in all I think she did well. I’m glad to see that she didn’t shy away from social issues even though there are some difference between her and Senator John McCain. Gibson’s question about homosexuality being a choice or hereditary was inappropriate. If he wanted to discuss homosexuality and how if affects policy, fine. She was right not to answer since it is irrelevant. Palin’s definite policy strength will be on energy for sure.