Governor Sarah Palin was on the Today Show this morning being interviewed by Matt Lauer.
This was a great interview for several reasons:
She got to highlight the great work they are doing with the natural gas pipeline up in Alaska, which I believe will be a hallmark of a future campaign since it is will bring additional domestic natural resources to meet our energy needs. Even though it isn’t what people wanted to focus on today. If you’d read different news articles this morning you’d think that was the sole focus of the interview.
She showed increased confidence dealing with the media. Ed Morrissey points out:
She deftly handled both politics and economics when it came to the new natural-gas pipeline accord Palin reached, parrying tough but fair questions from Lauer. She also rose to the occasion when Lauer inevitably asked her about David Letterman. This interview shows both the potential and the peril of Sarah Palin. She has improved considerably in handling the national media. On both economics and politics, Lauer couldn’t dent her (and just to emphasize, Lauer was treating her fairly), and had the Letterman controversy not existed, that aspect of her performance would have been the headline here.
I agree, she was unflappable, and I believe Lauer gave a fair interview, but she owned him. Good. The questions about Letterman are to be expected, and I appreciate how she handled that and positioning herself to speak to the larger issue of how women, and young girls in particular, are talked about in society. Great.
I also appreciate how she doesn’t let Letterman’s excuse fly. “She was the only daughter I was traveling with,” and that it took him “two days come up with that excuse” he knew, or should have known. Pointing out the naiveté of the media in buying it. Letterman is either then a liar or just stupid. He should have known. If it is due to stupidity could you imagine if it were her youngest daughter Piper who was on the trip? But then again, it doesn’t matter which one he was talking about. It was inappropriate. Period.
Morrissey points out that, “At some point, we will need to let the Letterman-like provocations go and have her focus on national politics, where she has clearly improved. Promoting Palin as a victim (although entirely justified) won’t make her a compelling force in politics."
I agree. She shouldn’t, and I’m sure she’d rather focus on AGIA right now. Let’s also not forget what she has done in past seven days: Challenged Obama on the economy, brought national attention to some great causes, and put the spotlight on Obama’s troubling policies in a primetime interview. Then big news with AGIA all while having to deal with the Letterman crap.
I also appreciate her answer about who the GOP frontrunner should be, and whether she should be entitled to have frontrunner status. “Heck no.” We are not a party of entitlement. What you accomplish is far more important than what you say, and she has a pretty good record to point to.
Update: She also gave a great interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN this afternoon as well. Covering a wide variety of topics. I think this was an even better interview than this morning.
By the way, these interviews were booked prior the Letterman incident.