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September 11, 2008

Palin Gibson



These are not the kinds of stills the traditional visual media is going to propagate, but they are characteristic of a) the hard-edge of the Veep candidate, and b) how over her head the presumptuous Sarah Palin is on the national stage.

From what I’ve seen of Gibson so far, as ABC piece-meals this out, score one for journalism.  But then, exactly what kind of the picture will come through the spin?

I presume any quizzical look, for example, will be attributed by the wingnuts to Gibson trying to trap Palin with a question like whether she knows “the Bush Doctrine.”  In that case, Gibson taking a tougher stance will be grounds for moral offense, and that — as an extension to the “healthy fight” exhibited in the first shot — is how the second pic will likely be read.

updated 10:45 pm PST

(screen shots: abc via msnbc via BNN point-and-shoot)

  • charlie

    I couldn’t believe it when I watched. I never expected this interview to be so unscripted, and I certainly never thought Palin (after a week of preparation) would be utterly unprepared for these simple questions.

  • rchsod

    she looks dazed and confused…..god help us if she become the president

  • rchsod

    she looks dazed and confused…..god help us if she become the president

  • rchsod

    she looks dazed and confused…..god help us if she become the president

  • rchsod

    she looks dazed and confused…..god help us if she become the president

  • chris

    ironic series of comments, rchsod!

  • The BAG

    I regularly scan the comments and eliminate duplicates (which is a real problem with the Typepad system). In this case, however, especially considering chris’s contribution, I’m walkin’ away.

  • dynapro

    I was going to comment on the interview but we will have plenty of time for that soon. Right now, I too am basking in the beauty of the astute observation made by Chris.
    BTW – Tina Faye is going to skin this one alive on SNL. She will achieve what our ticket is apparently incapable of doing. Can’t wait!

  • jean

    She has very pointy ears. Reminiscent of Spock, or…others. Kind of spooky. And then the hairstyle with the pointy head look. It all adds up to (?)…Santa’s favorite elf? THAT’s who she reminds me of! I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for days now. ( I have to admit, I love 3 dot journalism…but only when I do it.)

  • Judith

    Yes, with the pointy ears and hairstyle, she looks like a vicious Vulcan, less elegant but otherwise reminiscent of Spock’s Vulcan bride who tried to manipulate him into killing his captain or being killed.

  • JCS

    It is so disheartening that the Rovian attack dog/angry mother response – even to shocking ignorance of so basic a question as to the “Bush Doctrine” – does not phase her, nor, I fear, the mindless ideologues that embrace her for tone and attitude rather than understanding and an accountable intelligence – can win the election for McCain. How does Obama, who has seemed to have,fallen off the heights of his Convention energy surge – or Biden – who even said in public that Obama should have picked Hillary – counter this swiftboat onslaught? It seems the McCain?Palin (and he looks a lot better to his crowd with her than without her) attack (lies couched in effective slogans)strategy works . How does Obama/Biden respond effectively? The press is helpful in small print in long newspaper articles to which only a minority (like me) still pay attention. If Obama is not to be “Kerryd” what is the oppositional successful strategy?

  • GeorgeF

    I havn’t seen the interview – only read it as printed by (German) newspapers. But if I look at those screenshots, I would say: if Palin is already panicking being confronted with such simple questions, how would she react if confronted by a real critical sitiuation – such as terrorist attacks, hurricanes or going to war or not….
    Rove/Schmidt have picked an absolute looser, who will become dangerous, if cornered.

  • Jon T

    What rubbish. When you are being asked a question you concentrate and pay attention, you don’t look relaxed – unless you already knew what the question was.
    Taking snapshots from video like this is ridiculous, and you can do just the some with any normal human being, which she happens to be. And hooray that she isn’t a part of your DC clique.
    And I for one want someone who has a bit of iron – as did Margaret Thatcher. I therefore look forward to McCain/Palin annihilating the Dems for just this kind of despicable manipulation.
    The panic appears to be from Dems, certainly not Sarah Palin.

  • GeorgeF

    Palin anothe Maggie Thatcher??? – hardly. Iron lady Thatcher (I do not have great sympathy for her) could look back on a long political career when she became PM and she had a gigantic bag of national and international political experience before starting the job.
    And by the way: compare relaxed Obama answering to critical journalist with dear hockey-mom.
    Sorry fore, but the images above display someone, who is aggressive because of fear.

  • Clem Guttata

    These stills demonstrate a major visual problem for McCain/Palin.
    There is a carefully crafted image of Palin, built around a single speech (delivered multiple times). As Palin moves out of that comfort zone, the variety of images increases. The McCain/Palin problem is, it’s all downside from here. She’s already had her fresh face debut. All signs suggest, as we get to know her more as a full-rounded person, not just an idealized image, it has the potential to turn off large segments of voters.

  • ketura

    I’m stuck on the earth tones she’s wearing. She may want to defang her image by wearing brown (= approachability and warmth) but last night she shoulda trotted out the power suit. She’s confused and it’s showing in her image, not just her words.

  • Neal

    The unfortunate reality is that the answers are good enough for the true believers.
    I heard an interview with a supporter- who said, “It(her lack of experience), doesn’t really matter. God is in charge and picks our leaders. He will help her when she needs help.”
    It seems that the Republicans have been sucessful in building a near majority that is “issue proof”. Truth, lie, inexperience, experience—it doesn’t matter. Like Bush and Putin, they have looked into the hearts of Palin and McCain and have seen that they are good people. Issues after that have very little to do with it. People who have accepted Palin will not change their minds, regardless of what issues are brought up.
    After all, it’s the “lieberal” press. They only deal with the world as they see it–Palin deals with the world as she wants it.
    Palin and McCain offer nothing new–their “change” is to carry on the present policies, only more effectively.

  • Jon T

    I didn’t compare Sarah Palin with Margaret Thatcher, I said there was nothing wrong with a woman with some iron in her soul… a la Thatcher.

  • Neal

    My impression?
    She has contempt for the press. but she is still fears it.

  • Jon T

    Not sure I need to be embroiled too much in this discussion but I can’t help but make one more remark. The issue of God. If someone chooses to believe in a decent God that motivates people to act in the best way then there is nothing wrong with that. Sarah Palin is motivated by her strong belief in God and acts accordingly. It does not mean she “gets told what to do by God” as if quite literally mad, which is the very nasty way some Dems try to portray it – as above.

  • KansasKowboy

    What few parts of the interview I saw I was, (though I don’t really know why) astonished at how unprepaired she was. She had obviously been coached on pedicted questions but it is obvious she has no idea of what our foriegn policy via Bush has been over the last 8 years. When she spoke it was obvious she just spoke the sentences she was coached to speak without really understanding the words she was saying. She obviously has never thought about Bush and his policies towards war after 9-11. Or should I say 9-11 was Bush’s excuse to impliment his and the neocon war policy. She appeared to answer her questions like an experienced beauty contestant. That is what the interview reminded me of the question section of a beauty pagent.

  • caraf

    A friend of mine put it very well today – he said she seems smart, a quick learner, and like she can be, when she’s got information, a critical thinker. One doesn’t have to support her politics to admit that as a possibility. The problem is that she’s just not knowledgeable, and that’s what the interview may be revealing. She’s probably a quick study, and working her butt off, but waiting around for her to achieve a “comfort level” is like asking a (perhaps very smart) undergraduate in physics to acquire the knowledge of a PhD in physics, in 50 days or less. Do you want this person running your super-collider in 50 days? Probably not.

  • APB

    Any commentary on the photos accompanying the WSJ article “buying Pail’s Shoes” (please note that it is an A-hed, s it is supposed to be a little off beat). I am specially interested in photos 1,4, and 8.

  • Nina Berman

    I don’t think John McCain would have picked her if she didn’t wear 3 inch high heels. It’s interesting how Palin’s wardrobe choices are used to strengthen her image, as shown by the WSJ photos, where as Hillary’s wardrobe choices were always used to diminish her image.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    imho, Mrs. Palin as a performer is more of a “natural”, not unlike, say ~ Mr. Gore; ie., One who delivers to us that character illusion of “genuine-ness” without the rote expression of any focus-group engineered Talking Points, whatsoever. iow, the more she is “scripted”, the more her handlers try to make her less vulnerable ~ the less we (and especially the women to whom she so obviously appeals) do identify with her: and seeing your Self AS, not simply liking but, wanting TO BE ALIKE HER, *IS* the essence of this fascinating candidate.
    She is ‘The American Woman’. Her weakness, her fatal flaw, fwiw: is that she is not ‘The All-American Woman’ ;-)
    iow, she is one of THEM, not one of US (and that makes ALL the difference). And all these men, (who still run things, on both sides of the political spectrum), are hilariously clueless when it comes to ‘handling’ a Her!
    These guys don’t know WTH to do with this newfangled Her! character, so they ‘butch’ her up ~ as if she were some kind of ‘Hillary’, (which she, being an undiluted libido dose of “she”, is not), expressing the tried-and-true Politics Of Anxious Masculinity.
    Think “Mae West”, mon ami Black Dog Barking: a female, female impersonator. Or… Dolly Parton? {Heheheheh} This is a WOMAN… she is supposed to scrunch up her nose, when a man poses a man’s kinda question to her… before she turns the tables on you, says something like, “Well, Charlie, let’s find the answer to that question, together,” and then just frickin’ blows you away with some female Point Of View that is not only an entirely un-male-think fresh perspective, but downright profound.
    She has courage, imho. She has faith in her gender. What we know so far is that the men around her do not; ie., They appear to be terrified of allowing Palin! to be a real WOMAN, unleashed; and insist that she perform “in male drag Talking Points”, as if she were a traditional male candidate. They treat her as a “demographic token”, as “just another candidate” who, BTW just happens to wear lipstick and a dress… and by doing so they, more than any Democrat ever could ~ do damge brand Her!

  • BamaGuy

    It is quite obvious from this interview that Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to serve as Vice President – and the fact that McCain picked her speaks volumes.

  • Neal

    Jon T:
    From an interview with Katherine Harris (remember her?), in the Florida Baptist Witness, dated Aug, 24, 2006
    What role do you think people of faith should play in politics and government?
    The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected than we’re going to have a nation of secular laws. That’s not what our founding fathers intended and that’s certainly isn’t what God intended. So it’s really important that members of the church know people’s stands. It’s really important that they get involved in campaigns.
    (end quote)
    I’ll repeat that part again…
    …because God is the one who chooses our rulers…
    (end quote)

  • clf

    In this interview she reminded me of myself when I was back in school. The teacher would call on you and you were utterly unprepared and you’d just try to bullshit your way out of the question. She has no idea but no idea what she’s talking about. That is so clear. She just was forceful in her responses (most of which didn’t even make sense) she has a hard edge but it’s not tempered by any intellect. She doesn’t strike me as a smart, thoughtful person in any sense. I marvel at how she ever even got to become mayor of Wasilla. She’s basically George Bush with a vagina. George Bush offered no surprises. Everything he touched prior to being president turned to shit. And the same has happened to everything he touched while in office. This woman is the same. She left Wassila with $22million in debt, she abused her power as governor, she’s blurred the lines between church and state, she’s basically never been out of the country and knows nothing of the world outside Alaska.

  • GeorgeF

    Hmm -pointing to Dolly Parton in this respect. Please don’t forget that a woman like Dolly Parton never forgot her true role and never insisted to talk about things, she was not acquainted with. And don’t forget, Dolly is according to her public opinion a strong femalist.
    Yes, Mrs Palin has guts, but guts for what? Shooting moose? Guts to resist those who tell her: just send the army/airforce/navy? Guts based on knowledge and sincere opinion making?
    In that interview she already panicked, being asked simple questions. Guts?

  • 14All

    God, she looks terrified. This is someone who’s supposed to be qualified to meet world leaders and she can’t even face down Charlie Gibson? For contrast, watch Obama in the O’Reilly interview. Or any other interview, for that matter. And I’m sure his confidence and ease don’t just come from his political experience; that oft-denigrated community organizing teaches one a lot about negotiation, persuasion and diplomacy. Obama was not my first pick, but it’s obvious he’s vastly more competent than these two.

  • blogoffanddie

    the Democratic Party is a lot like a box of chocolates; you’re never sure where the nuts are – whereas the Republican Party is a lot like a chocolate fudge sundae, they tend to put the biggest nuts right on top.
    “the mark of ‘the beast’ is just a bad haircut”

  • yesterday

    barack rally coming up in a few.
    live feed:

  • dogfood

    I want a polar bear to eat her effing head.

  • zzyzx

    Nina Berman: Are you saying that Palin is using her choice of wardrobe to strengthen her image, or that the media are using whatever she’s wearing to puff her up?
    I remember the hoopla of the republican echo chamber when Pelosi posed with the red shawl. But of course, that’s different from red shoes, right?
    BTW, I’m also surprised that I haven’t seen any comment on her hair style which I think is very 80’s and something a teenager eventually outgrows. Also, how she uses it to her advantage: when giving a speech it’s up and off her neck even though “casually coiffed,” shall we say. When it’s to her advantage to appear vulnerable, as when being questioned by the big bad media, she wears it in that little-girl fall-all-over-her-shoulders style. Anybody else notice this?

  • jean

    Ohh yeah.

  • Nina Berman

    I think Palin is using it to enhance certain qualities she has perfected during her years on the beauty queen circuit. She has a definite sexuality, see Monsieur Gonzo’s post, and the high heels are a kind of in your face dominatrix gesture of confidence and female virility. She truly adds to the ticket providing McCain, not just credentials with the Christian Right, but a sexuality that the wife Cynthia, despite her age, just doesn’t offer.
    I wish the media would spend more time decoding her wardrobe choices as her appearance is the main thing she is selling. (Certainly not her
    Anyone see this video of Gina Gerson playing Sarah Palin?

  • Roschelle

    Now that SARAH PALIN and the world has been educated – will the infamous Bush Doctrine cause more U.S. casualties?

  • Quiet Jim
    “Sarah Palin, if she shoots you in the face it’s because she was aiming for you”

  • Libertroll4all

    I think that conservatives everywhere believed that, hidden in the cold wastes of Alaska, there was a TRUE conservative. Kept away from the corrupting influences and brought to save us all from the Librul menace. I couldn’t believe how bad her interview was but I wasn’t prepared for the defense put on by O’rielly. He said the invade Russia portion the strongest(never mind this is how idiots at the corner bar talk, not the potential POTUS) and then defending the Bush doctrine gaf by saying it has no clear cut definition and could actually have the meaning she gave. Is it too much to ask for Darwin’s law to kick in a little quicker here?

  • black dog barking

    Vraiment M Gonzo, the Governor of Alaska is channeling an updated Mae West. Ms West could articulate the mind of every man in words that didn’t get one tossed from the parlor. Ms Palin talks the pseudo-man’s game, Neocon, putting a gloss or a sheen on that pig (to coin a phrase) that divorces the high-minded talk from the low results that Neocon has delivered in this, its golden era.
    I think Sarah Conners from Terminator is the cultural mold that cut this particular cookie. SC was not of high birth, reacted from experience and intuition instead of book learnin’, and was meaner than a grizzly when protecting her cub. SC makes her own law as she goes, is on a mission of singular importance to all humanity. Pretty fair summation of SP, aussi.
    (The role of Terminator in the Modern Republican Party is intriguing, both for the underlying philosophic unities and for the connection to the Governor of California. The current TV series keeps the franchise and the ideas alive although each appearance by Summer Glau as the robot diminishes Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 2 role, makes the older bigger stronger robot look like a postmodern girly-man.)

  • MonsieurGonzo

    postscript, fwiw (this is an edited cross-post)
    (ref: ABC interview) Professor Cole : “she gives no sign of understanding what is going on in the… world, and just parrots a lot of slogans [etc.]”
    MG : Yes indeed so, professor: and this is why she so accurately reflects such a large proportion of the American electorate… Who, rather than look up to her as a leader, see her as a ‘self-same’ identity being. iow, Americans have little trust or faith in their “leaders”, believing them to be either corrupt or incompetent, (a feeling not political party-specific in TheStates), and the weird irony result of this widespread cynicism is to have faith in yourself reflected = HER, with all her naivete, un-worldliness and ignorance of history on full display: typiquement Américain.
    Not unlike Mr. Gore, Mrs. Palin is burdened by rote recitation of Talking Points, especially so because they are, imho male Talking Points ~ derivative of the tried -and- true “politics of anxious masculinity”. Her handlers have no apparent faith in her real gender; One can only wonder if, left to her natural character, rather than being token-ized by her own Party ~ that she would express some kind of new and profound “politics of nurturing femininity”; an endearing and genuinely powerful humility, rather than this unserious hubris of ridiculous macho bluster.
    In that regard, i believe that the more her managers attempt to “butch her up”, the more damage ~ i daresay more than any Democratic opponent could manage ~ her own campaign does to brand “Madame Palin” : as just another male Mis-Leader Republican “Mister” …not unlike another just-like-us déjà vu character Américain, the
    Dubya:a tyro not a tyrant; unwilling to lead our troops into battle, or out of harm’s way.

  • Amy

    She is the Republican Hillary Clinton. We on the left despise her with every bit of the intensity the right despises Hillary.
    I could never understand the savage hatred that Hillary inspired when she was first lady and beyond. I think I understand it a little bit better now.
    Sarah Palin has been on the national scene for 15 days. Fifteen. The list of scandals and corruption associated with her is growing by the day. I am alarmed by her backward anti-science views, her embrace of Assemblies of God style religion, her shockingly anti-woman stances on reproduction, her obvious lies and parroted talking points in the interview, her blatantly forced familiarity with Charlie Gibson – it’s all just too much. Negative information overload. This shit is beyond surreal.
    I dislike her (at least what little the McCain campaign has allowed to be shown and/or asked about) and everything she represents so stridently that I would actually consider leaving this country if she were to become president.
    I have always believed that, though we are perhaps an immature, excitable lot, when push came to shove, we would pause for thought and always take the middle option. McCain/Palin are not moderate.
    And I have never allowed myself to truly believe that race would play a role in this election. But now I’m worried that I might have given too much credit to many of our fellow citizens.
    I’m beginning to think that there is a sizeable number of Americans who would willingly choose a reckless, desperate man who picked a woefully unqualified, and thus-far-intellectually-unimpressive vice president for BLATANT political purposes, over a temperate, thoughtful, brilliant, insightful, candidate with a rock-steady vice president just because he’s black.
    My hands would be covering my face in anguish if they weren’t typing right now.
    Ladies and gentleman, a stiff drink calling my name. ….apologies for using this oh-so-fine and incredibly fascinating blog as a dumping ground for my stream-of-consciousness hand-wringing.
    I’m not giving up, by the way – not without a fight. And neither should you. I am going out tomorrow (in the rain, most likely) with the local Obama campaign to knock on doors in my community. Vive la Revolution! Smash the Republicans!

  • zzyzx

    Monsieu Gonzo: “Her handlers have no apparent faith in her real gender; One can only wonder if, left to her natural character, rather than being token-ized by her own Party ~ that she would express some kind of new and profound “politics of nurturing femininity”; an endearing and genuinely powerful humility, rather than this unserious hubris of ridiculous macho bluster.”
    What about ‘ridiculous feminized bluster?’ I’ve been wondering if Palin was in search of who she is and somewhere got sidetracked into ‘one of the boys’ in a state where men dominate more than any other of the fifty. If she has become ‘tokenized’ was it not long ago and in her search for acceptance, and thus at her own hand. IOW, if you consider that her pre-selection time was when she was free to express her own ‘politics of femininity,’ I would submit it was not terribly nurturing, considering what has recently been exposed about her children and, if true, her affair. It seems her ‘nurturing femininity’ has been taking a back seat to her political ambition for many, many years.
    Does anyone else have the feeling that when she put on the ‘hubris of ridiculous macho bluster,’ she liked the way it felt on her skin?
    Amy, I’ll join you for that drink!

  • Old Dave

    Has anyone thought about “The Peter Principle”, (you promote someone to their highest level of incompetence). Seems to be rampant, mainly
    in the political arena. If more choices were made based on real ability not which party they belong to or whether they have been labeled
    Liberal or Right Wing.
    Perhaps McCain has shown his lack of ability by choosing Palin??? Just playing the devils advocate, you know!

  • black dog barking

    The Peter Principle is 20th Century, Old Dave, replaced by the Modern Republican Party’s innovative Brownie Principle. The difference between the two is incremental, an unfortunate mutation of a minor system flaw. The Peter Principle is based on a system that has trouble admitting failure — the promising young recruit is promoted with every success until s/he lands at a level beyond natural competence. At that point the system fails to admit the mismatch and rescind the last promotion.
    Under the Brownie Principle appointments are made without any regard to the demands of the actual position by inerrant Party Elders. Just being nominated by a Party Elder is sufficient qualification for any job. That it doesn’t really work out in terms of good governance (see Rachel Paulose, the kid that almost graduated from Texas A & M and was censoring NASA (NSF?) publications, Monica Goodling, Harriet Myers for the Supreme Court, and of course, Brownie himself. Hell — see Rice, Condoleeza.) doesn’t become a matter of public discussion because Party Elders are allowed to score their own exams which, interestingly, confirms the Party Elders’ inerrant judgement.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    zzyzx : “What about ‘ridiculous feminized bluster?’
    Heheheheh! oh, honey ~ if i follow you there i will be steppin’ in it BigTime, with Madame :)

    The disconnect between last Tuesday’s monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing. The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgement that this was not a “cowardly” attack on “civilization” or “liberty” or “humanity” or “the free world” but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed super-power, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word “cowardly” is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday’s slaughter, they were not cowards.
    Our leaders are bent on convincing us that everything is O.K. : America is not afraid. Our spirit is unbroken, although this was a day that will live in infamy and America is now at war. But everything is not O.K. And this was not Pearl Harbor. We have a robotic president who assures us that America stands tall. A wide spectrum of public figures, in and out of office, who are strongly opposed to the policies being pursued abroad by this Administration apparently feel free to say nothing more than that they stand united behind President Bush. A lot of thinking needs to be done, and perhaps is being done in Washington and elsewhere, about the ineptitude of American intelligence and counter-intelligence, about options available to American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and about what constitutes a smart program of military defense. But the public is not being asked to bear much of the burden of reality. The unanimously applauded, self-congratulatory bromides of a Soviet Party Congress seemed contemptible. The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy.
    Those in public office have let us know that they consider their task to be a manipulative one: confidence-building and grief management. Politics, the politics of a democracy–which entails disagreement, which promotes candor–has been replaced by [nanny State] psychotherapy. Let’s by all means grieve together. But let’s not be stupid together. A few shreds of historical awareness might help us to understand what has just happened, and what may continue to happen. “Our country is strong”, we are told again and again. I for one don’t find this entirely consoling. Who doubts that America is strong? But that’s not all America has to be.
    -Susan Sontag, The New Yorker, September 24, 2001

  • zzyzx

    MonsieurGonzo, once again, you pick your quotes from among the best.

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