Sarah Palin Tries To Answer Katie Couric’s Questions on Foreign Policy

I just finished listening to Part II of Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah Palin and once again am amazed that McCain would have saddled himself with a running mate who is so weak. Couric pressed Palin for an explanation of her claims that proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience. Here is a the transcript of that portion via Marc Ambinder:

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

At least she knows that Alaska is between Canada and Russia, and that they are foreign countries. Earlier in the month The Seattle Times reported that Palin avoided actual involvement in policies involving Russia, even if she can see it from parts of Alaska.

Couric discussed Palin’s opposition to Barack Obama’s desire to speak with Iranian leaders without preconditions:

Couric: When President Bush ran for office, he opposed nation-building. But he has spent, as you know, much of his presidency promoting democracy around the world. What lessons have you learned from Iraq? And how specifically will you try to spread democracy throughout the world?

Palin: Specifically, we will make every effort possible to help spread democracy for those who desire freedom, independence, tolerance, respect for equality. That is the whole goal here in fighting terrorism also. It’s not just to keep the people safe but to be able to usher in democratic values and ideals around this, around the world.

Couric: You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?

Palin: I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can’t just sit down with him with no preconditions being met. Barack Obama is so off base in his proclamation that he would meet with some of these leaders around our world who would seek to destroy America and that, and without preconditions being met. That’s beyond naïve. And it’s beyond bad judgment.

Couric: Are you saying Henry Kissinger …

Palin: It’s dangerous.

Couric: … is naïve for supporting that?

Palin: I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, “Yeah, I’ll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.” Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren’t gonna go right. That’s part of diplomacy.

Palin apparently didn’t pay enough attention in her recent talk with Kissinger when she said that Henry Kissinger did not support such negotiations. After the interview, Katie Couric stated she double checked with Kissinger and confirmed that Kissinger shared Obama’s position of negotiations without preconditions. My bet is that Sarah Palin could not answer a question regarding the meaning of preconditions.

Palin also repeated her views regarding not second guessing Israel.

Maybe Couric was unfair to Palin in htis interview. She failed to ask a single question regarding Sarah Palin’s greatest (and only) strength with regards to national security–defense against the dark arts.

McCain’s Presence Essential To Pass A Plan He Hasn’t Read


Yesterday John McCain felt it was urgent to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to work on the financial crisis despite not having voted in Congress since April. He doesn’t help to make the case that his presence in Washington really matters after having admitted in a recent interview that he hasn’t even read the Paulson plan (video above).

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Sarah Palin’s Unique Qualifications


Sarah Palin has been mocked as being unprepared to defend this country with her national security knowledge being limited to an ability to see Russia from parts of Alaska. It turns out we have severely underestimated Palin’s qualifications.

Last week I noted how Sarah Palin says her run for governor of Alaska was aided by Pastor Muthee, who has experience in fighting demons. Palin was being far too modest. As the video above demonstrates, Sarah Palin was also blessed to be free from witchcraft.

Now maybe it is a stretch to say Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice president, as a majority of Americans believe. Even people in Alaska believe Joe Biden is more qualified than her despite neither he or Obama having any qualifications to protect us against witchcraft. While perhaps the vice presidency is not the spot for someone who has virtually no knowledge of national or international issues, Palin should definitely be considered for a top spot at the Ministry of Magic.

The Biggest Lesson From This Week’s Events–Don’t Screw With Letterman


John McCain was scheduled to appear on The Late Show With David Letterman but he told Dave he had to race off to Washington and canceled. Letterman was not very happy when he found that McCain had lied to him and was actually being interviewed by Katie Couric at the time. During a show with packed with criticism of McCain (video above), Letterman asked McCain over the video of him having make up applied,  “Hey, John, I’ve got a question: You need a ride to the airport?”

Letterman was clearly unhappy with the candidate who had previously announced his plans to run on his show. Letterman said, “When you call up and you call up at the last minute and you cancel a show, ladies and gentlemen, that’s starting to smell. I mean, this is not the John McCain I know, by God, it makes me believe something’s gone haywire with the campaign.” He also figured out the real reason why McCain wanted to suspend the campaign asking, “Are we suspending it because there’s an economic crisis or because the poll numbers are sliding?”

As noted in the previous post, Letterman was critical of McCain for trying to cancel Friday’s debate and suspend his campaign. He even suggested that if he had to return to Washington he should put in his second string quarterback, Sarah Palin, and have her handle the campaign. This sounds absurd, but it is less absurd than to think Palin could take over for him as president should this ever become necessary.As Letterman said when he argued that Palin should be ready, “the poor guy is getting a little older.”

Letterman needed to quickly replace his scheduled lead guest and fortunately did come up with a replacement for McCain–Keith Olbermann. Olbermann told Letterman, ““He ditched you” and was happy to join Letterman in his criticism of McCain, which I suspect might continue through election day. Letterman jokingly claimed that “the road to the White House runs right through me,” and we should not underestimate the effect that the late night talk shows have on public opinion.