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Thursday, November 19, 2009

O'Reilly Vs. Palin I

During her whirlwind tour, the only Sarah Palin interview I was looking forward to was the one she was going to have with Bill O'Reilly. It isn't only because O'Reilly is my favorite broadcaster, though that helps. O'Reilly's interview wasn't going to be the softball interview that most conservatives would give her, and it wasn't going to be the touchy feely interview a la Oprah. O'Reilly said his would focus on policy and that's what interested me. In that, I was disappointed.

Part one focused on everything but policy. If there is a headline it was that Palin readily admitted that she screwed up in response to Katie Couric asking her what newspapers she has read. Conservatives tried to defend Palin after that snafu, but Palin offered the best defense in the interview when she said, "who cares".

She didn't answer Couric's question well. That doesn't mean she wasn't a good Governor, mayor, or otherwise a good politician. Some gaffes go unnoticed. The best example was Barack Obama's nightmarish speech two days after the Virginia Tech shooting in which he compared that violence to all sorts of "violence" including: the violence of not being able to have an abortion, losing your job to outsourcing, and not having your voice heard. The media ignored that trainwreck. They've decided to latch onto this. So what?

Palin also broke no news in revealing some of the tension between herself and McCain's operatives. Palin wanted to do the Factor during the campaign but the operatives thought that would be a bad idea. What O'Reilly referred to as being assertive, Palin referred to as the media calling it "going rogue".

My main beef with the interview was that O'Reilly, again, calls Palin "normal". I don't know if I would call her extraordinary but definitely unconventional. She's certainly not normal. There aren't many former state champion basketball players, former sports casters, former hockey moms, that wind up being Governor. She does however have an opportunity to lead a populist movement. She's not normal and any such reference is totally off base. She can however connect and appeal to the masses, which is what I assume O'Reilly meant.

This part of the interview was certainly in Palin's wheel house. She was allowed explain some of the inside baseball of the campaign. She set the record straight on Couric and Gibson. She took the offensive against the MSM, or as she called them the lamestream media. Still, what's important is how she handles policy and those parts are still coming.

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