I watched a couple of excerpts of Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin. I have to say that I was impressed with Katie Couric. There wasn't any of the perkiness that I associate with her - she was gentle and calm, but in total control of the interview, and asked probing questions. She looked like she wanted to be pitiless, but knew that she had to be diplomatic. That's not because it's Sarah Palin, it's the nature of the beast. The interviewer, particularly one of Couric's stature, can't come across as partisan.
What I got out of it from Palin's perspective is that I think she's terrified of this whole process. I think she knows how far in over her head she is, and she is doing everything she possibly can to hide that fact.
My guess is that if she could go back in time and revisit her decision to accept John McCain's invitation to be vice president, she would turn him down. She's not that stupid. She knows she's being evasive. She knows she's bluffing. Anybody who has graduated from high school has had an experience where they had to fake knowing something. A friend in college was working as a cook at a restaurant. The chef asked her to make a white sauce. She replied "Why don't you show me how you make yours?"
Most people have had tense moments in job interviews. "Tell me X about this position on your resume." "Can you describe a situation where you had to do Y?" Sometimes we're prepared for those questions. Sometimes we have to improvise. Sometimes we're caught off-guard, and the interviewer knows it. Usually, in those situations, we don't get the job. But those situations are also almost always private. When I've been embarrassed in a job interview, I am thankful that it's over quickly, that I will probably never see the person again, and that no one else saw it. And I can rely on understanding from my friends and family.
Running for president is the world's longest and most public job interview. Katie Couric caught Sarah Palin off-guard. She caught her bluffing, and both of them knew it. Katie Couric has conducted literally thousands of on-screen interviews. This was Sarah Palin's third.
Sarah Palin's goal at this point is not to be elected vice president of the United States. I'm sure she thinks she has a chance, because she does. I'm sure she would love to have that job.
But I think her goal is to simply get out of this alive. She wants to retain some semblance of dignity. Dan Quayle is going to go his grave being known as the man to whom Lloyd Bentsen said "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Who among us would want to be known for our most embarrassing moments?
No wonder she refuses to have a press conference. She's going to be criticized for not having one, but that pales in comparison to how she would be roasted if she actually did have one. Many people are not going to notice if she doesn't have a press conference. Everyone will know if she blows it.
John McCain thot he was doing Sarah Palin a great favor by asking Sarah Palin to be his VP. I think he did her the gravest possible disservice. He opened her up to ridicule on an epic, historic scale. And right now, there isn't a damn thing either of them can do about it. I would feel sorry for Sarah Palin if the stakes weren't so impossibly high.