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10 November 2008

Palin into insignificance?

Our resident American takes a look at some of the gaffes and ignorance that made up Sarah Palin's co

By Brittany Peats

“Maybe in eight years,” Sarah Palin said over the phone when it was suggested that she would make a good president. The call, which she thought was from Nicolas Sarkozy, was actually from a Canadian comedian.

As a reminder, here is a list of the more outrageous things she said while campaigning for the vice presidency –

In her first TV interview,with Charlie Gibson, she displayed holes in her understanding of foreign policy and that she had seen little of the world outside of the US. She told Gibson that her travel outside of the US included “Canada. Mexico. And then, that trip that was a trip of a lifetime, to visit troops in Kuwait and stop and visit injured soldiers in Germany. That was a trip of a lifetime. And it changed my life.”

Gibson asked her: “What insight into Russian actions particularly in the last couple weeks does the proximity of the state give you?” Her response, mocked by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live, was: “They’re our next door neighbours. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.”

She was a bit stumped when asked by him if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. She asked “In what respect, Charlie?” and then talked about democracy. Gibson told her “The Bush doctrine as I understand it is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defence, that we have the right to a pre-emptive strike against any country that we think is going to attack us.”

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Her interview with Katie Couric went much worse, perhaps, as McCain aides have alleged following the election, because of a lack of preparation.

Couric asked her four times to name examples of McCain “leading the charge for more oversight” of businesses. After saying “I’m just going to ask you one more time – not to belabour the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation,” Palin responded, “I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.”

When Couric asks her if there are any Supreme Court decisions that she disagrees with she couldn’t name any besides Roe v. Wade, which the two had already discussed.

Couric asked her what newspapers she read to help her form her world view which Palin responded “all of them.” She continued but did not name a single paper’s name.

A high number of TV viewers watched the vice presidential debate, some hoping no doubt that she would say something unintelligent. They were disappointed for the most part partially because Palin refused to answer questions she didn’t like. The moderator Gwen Ifill asked her, “Would you like to have an opportunity to answer that before we move on?” to which she responded, “I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people and let ’em know my track record also.”

To some people some of Palin’s charm was that she did not speak like an East coast elite. Others thought her folksy wording such as her opening to Sen. Joe Biden “Can I call you Joe?” and later comments like “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” and “Now doggone it, let’s look ahead” had no place in a politcal debate.

Perhaps one of the silliest mistakes she made was scheduling and then going through with what turned out to be a prank phone call from a Canadian comedian, Marc-Antoine Audette, posing as Nicholas Sarkozy the French president.

She did not catch onto his exaggerated accent, informal speaking manner or references to Stef Carse, who is actually a singer and not Canada’s prime minister…

She agreed to go hunting with ‘Sarkozy’ saying “Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together while we’re getting work done. We can kill two birds with one stone that way.” Audette said “Gov. Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life. You know Hustler’s Nailin’ Paylin?” Though this is the title of a spoof porn video, she responded “Ohh, good, thank you, yes.”

After McCain’s defeat, aides talked about difficulties with Palin. According to Fox News, the information had been off the record until after the election. Fox news reported “We were told by folks that she didn’t know what countries were in NAFTA – that being the US, Canada and Mexico – and that she didn’t know that Africa was a continent rather than a country all in itself.”

We wait to see just what Sarah Palin plans next…

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