THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Why Philly was right on Charlie Gibson …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on September 12, 2008

Palin appears very well coached, very well scripted in what amounts to her first major interview on the national stage.  The real test is for the media: does it allow itself to get bullied/punked into soft-balling the running mate due to phony outcries of sexism from the GOP? Or, does it do what it’s supposed to do by seriously vetting the unknown Alaskan Governor?  Charlie Gibson – rightly booed and hissed by Philadelphians during his sub-par Democratic primary debate performance – just doesn’t seem like the advocate for due diligence some would prefer.  But, that’s why you pick him if your looking for the “deference” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis demands.

The unfortunate thing about this interview – her first – is that it is even scheduled; that it is even staged and scripted as it, frankly, is.  No one is singling out Palin for hardball-style journalism; it’s just that many need to know – with only 54 days left till November 4th – who this person is.

As far as performance, she maintained.  She was, clearly, coached very well.  She’s also, obviously, a bit hardline on foreign policy issues in a way that appears similar to current policy.  That’s a bit worriesome considering the current situation.  But, it remains to be seen whether she can handle the nuances or the unexpected questions.  Gibson appeared predictable and too polite.

In all of this, we’re paying way too much attention to Palin.  Voters elect Presidents; we don’t elect Vice-Presidents.  And, there is a concern here that we’re spending too much time discussing the new running mate and her polling impact and not enough time about candidate platforms and key issues.  In a week when the federal government takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, national discourse devolves into rhetorical barbs over pigs and lipstick.

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