The Corner

Let my Palin go

I agree with you, Mona, and Kathryn and Bill. The Palin nomination has generated the only real enthusiasm on the Republican side and keeping her under wraps until she can mouth the appropriately nuanced platitudes isn’t worth it. There’s nothing to be gained by taking Miss Authenticity and turning her into a Foggy Bottom bore.

Plus a gazillion interviews a day with WZZZ-AM Presque Isle, Maine would lessen the Elimination Round stakes attached to the once-a-month highwire acts with Couric and Gibson. And, as Charlie Gibson’s condescending schoolmarm act suggests, the “Name the Deputy Fisheries Minister of Hoogivsastan” school of questioning is likely to wear thinner a lot quicker than any duff answers.

By the way, my favorite repulse of the “Gotcha” technique was proposed by Andrew Ferguson (not available online) after Andy Hiller’s famous interrogation of George W Bush in 2000:

Hiller asked him to name the new prime minister of India.

“The new prime minister of India is — no,” Bush said. “Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?”

“No, sir,” Hiller replied. “But I would say I’m not running for president and I don’t write foreign policy.”

Upon hearing this weaselly dodge, which is perfectly in keeping with the spirit of gotcha, Bush should have switched fields, to Hiller’s own area of expertise. “You’re in television,” Bush might have said. “Who played the professor on Gilligan’s Island?“  

All Governor Palin should insist on, after the desperate editing of her words by Gibson, is that every interview be live. And, if they’re all disasters, they’ll wind up like Biden’s gaffes or Clinton’s adulteries. As Stalin remarked in another context, one is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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