Saturday, September 13, 2008


Much has been made, Dear Gentle Reader(s), about Governor Palin and Charles Gibson's interview.  The exchange has some "legs," so it will be around for discussion for a while.  It might be amusing to ponder a couple of points which seem to be getting a lot of attention.

First, there is the inevitable criticism of Mr. Gibson.  Poor Charlie.  One might think that this interview would be a sensational "get."  Well, maybe.  On the other hand, he had undergone some criticism for previously asking "soft" questions and mishandling a debate in April ("The crowd is turning on me.")  So Mr. Gibson found himself "needing" the Palin interview to re-establish his professional bona fides as much as Gov Palin needed to establish herself as credible in the national psyche.

Several have expounded on Gibson's professorial glasses at the end of his nose and a resulting haughtiness.  Some even have made much of the angle of the camera.  If the glasses played a part and if they are necessary for Gibson to see his notes, he could easily adjust that by a slight smile crinkling the eyes as well as an interior adjustment into an "I'm an adult and you're an adult" mind set.  The angle of the shot is not in his control, but there might be a mitigating factor about that, too.  What might also have been noted, and of which not much has been said, DGR(s), would be the governor's posture.  If, at times, Gibson's attitude might have seemed haughty, Palin's slight slouch certainly contributed to that.  "Sit up straight, Ma'am" is a mantra for Palin's handlers for the immediate future.  They should use it often; she should practice the posture often. 

Most comment has been about the "Bush Doctrine" question and response, or lack of response.  Earlier in the week very few people would have remembered, immediately remembered, that is, the Bush Doctrine.  It isn't a phrase in daily conversation.  However, what is in conversation is the pre-emptive aspect of the doctrine.  The governor had been prepped by the McCain campaign handlers for several days, and they missed a beat, at least the beat of the more formal name of the policy. (Recent news reports indicate the existence of more than one "Bush Doctrine."  While that might mitigate the governor's immediate response, that makes the handlers even more culpable, doesn't it?)  The exchange did not go well for Palin.

One wonders, DGR(s), what it is about the governor which, after a few seconds of painful pause, prevented her from saying "I'm not familiar with that phrase" or "I don't know that phrase."  The words Bush Doctrine were the problem.  Some form of "I don't know what that means" would've been the solution. 

It's OK not to know something.  "I don't know, but I'll find out" is a tried and true average American response.  The governor should try it out in rehearsal.  With the correct inflection, it'll win hearts.

n.b.  Much is made of the fact that President Bush II doesn't say it much either.  Is it, perhaps, a Republican pathology?

Trust, but verify.


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