Questions For Palin

The Anchorage Daily News (which I had not previously expected to be added to the list of newspapers I regularly follow) writes that, “Sarah Palin has been hiding out from hard questions. It took 10 days from when John McCain announced his pick until the McCain campaign agreed to schedule Palin an unscripted interview with a serious journalist.”

In what is presumably a response to McCain’s earlier attacks on Obama as a celebrity, they also observe that, “McCain’s camp has handled their vice-presidential pick like some celebrity who will only deign to give an interview if conditions are favorable. McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told Fox News Sunday, Palin would take questions ‘when we think it’s time and when she feels comfortable doing it.'” If something were to happen to John McCain should he be elected, would Palin wait to assume the powers of the presidency until her handlers felt it was time and she felt comfortable doing it?

They have some suggestions for questions that Charlie Gibson might ask:

• You present yourself as a Republican maverick who took on your own party’s corrupt political establishment. In November’s election, your party is running an indicted U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, who is awaiting trial on charges he accepted more than $250,000 of unreported gifts from the state’s most powerful lobbyist. Will you vote for his opponent? Will you urge Alaskans to help you change Washington and vote him out of office? If not, why not?

• Sen. Ted Stevens’ trial is still pending; he has declined to say whether he would accept a pardon from President Bush before he leaves office Jan. Do Alaska voters deserve an answer to that question before they cast their vote for or against Stevens in November? What is your position on a president pardoning a public official before a jury has ruled on guilt or innocence?

• Alaska Congressman Don Young appears to have won his Republican primary, even though you endorsed his opponent. Will you vote for your fellow Republican Don Young, who has spent over $1 million on legal fees without telling his constituents what sort of legal trouble he is in?

• Why have you reneged on your earlier pledge to cooperate with the Alaska Legislature’s investigation into Troopergate?

• In spring of 2004, the Daily News reported that you cited family considerations in deciding not to try for the U.S. Senate: “How could I be the team mom if I was a U.S. senator?” What was different this time as you decided to run for vice president?

• As governor of Alaska, you have not pushed for laws or regulations that put your personal views on abortion, same-sex marriage and creationism into public policy. As vice president, will you push to outlaw abortion, restrict same-sex marriage and require the teaching of creationism?

• If you were a fully qualified vice-presidential candidate from the get-go, why did you wait more than 10 days to face reporters?

• McCain spokesman Rick Davis told Fox News the media didn’t show you enough “deference.” How much deference do you expect to get from Vladimir Putin or Hugo Chavez?

• You have said victory is in sight in Iraq. In July 2007, when you visited Kuwait, you said, “I’m not going to judge the surge.” In the March 2007 issue of Alaska Business Monthly, you were asked about the surge and quoted saying:

“I’ve been so focused on state government, I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq. . . . While I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place.”

Define “victory” in Iraq? What is the exit plan?

BOTTOM LINE: The nation deserves to hear Palin’s unfiltered answers to serious questions.

This is a good set of questions, although I would leave out the personal one regarding family considerations. Changing her mind to run for vice president when she previously declined to run for the Senate is understandable and does not relate to her ability to be vice president.

Besides asking the above questions on social issues, I’d include her views on government financing of stem cell research as the president has more influence on this than many other social issues. The real question here is not simply whether she would push for these socially conservative policies but how they would influence her choice of Supreme Court justices. While the president and vice president might not directly be involved in some of these issues, the Supreme Court appointees would have a tremendous bearing on future government policy.


  1. 1
    Sarah Meier says:

    It was about time that a newspaper spelled out specific questions for Sarah Palin to answer. Now the question is, will she answer them?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Probably not. Gibson won’t ask questions this tough and Palin will avoid anyone who will.

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