Saturday, September 27, 2008

Katie Couric is my new hero!

Last week's CBS Evening News interview with Sarah Palin, led by Katie Couric, achieved several things:
  1. It gave me a newfound respect for Ms. Couric for not letting platitudes be accepted as fact.
  2. It illustrated the McCain campaign's apparent view on reality: if we say it enough, it must be true!
  3. It clearly showed that Sarah Palin needs to memorize more flash cards.
Faced with a question about McCain campaign manager Rick Davis' links to Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae (something that's been in the news and she should have seen coming), Palin was reduced to repeating the same rote phrase, hoping that it would sound more appealing the second time around if she added different emphasis
  1. First time around: My understanding is Rick Davis reCUSed HIMself
  2. Second time around: My understanding is that he REcused HIMself
It was shades of "Interview with Charlie Gibson" all over again except that Ms. Couric (kudos to her) didn't let Palin off the hook while avoiding the appearance of a mildly pompous professor. You could almost see Palin running through the programmed responses from her handlers to find one that might be the best match and when she got stumped, rebooting to the first line of the script. It's like watching a live action version of my wife's Enda Mode Interactive Doll with its prepackaged inventory of 35 phrases that are blurted out at random when you ask it a question. Theoretically they are general enough to make sense in any conversation but if you pay attention, there's actually nothing there.

And Palin's own responses to Couric's economic questions put the lie to either a) John McCain's claim to be a long-time fighter for the financial well-being of our economy, or b) Palin's own ability to think on her feet and sound at least reasonably competent as Katie stumped her not once but three times on specific examples of how John McCain actually sought to impose more oversight on Wall Street. Her final response sounds like a character from a "Prairie Home Companion" Catchup Advisory Board sketch, which is fine if you're going for radio entertainment for your typical NPR listener but certainly not as a reasoned response from a qualified vice presidential candidate.

See for yourself:

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