Take that, Charlie Gibson! She’s now met a world leader:
The press pool (still and TV cameras only, plus this producer) entered into Karzai’s sizeable suite at the Intercontinental shortly after noon. One handler, who did not appear to be with the campaign but rather with Karzais’ entourage, repeatedly said “No writers,” and he tried to keep this pooler from entering the room when he saw my notebook. However, Chris Edwards, Palin’s deputy chief of staff, allowed me to pass.
Palin was seated in a large chair a few feet from Karzai, with a table in between them. From the view of the pool cameras, Palin sat on the left, and Karzai to the right.
Seated slightly behind Palin were foreign policy advisers Steve Biegun and Randy Scheunemann, who are accompanying the governor in her motorcade today.
As the pool entered, the Afghan president appeared to be telling Palin about his young son, who was born in January 2007.
Palin, her legs crossed and at one point patting her heart, was leaning in eagerly and smiling. Karzai, wearing his traditional clothes but without his trademark karakul hat, was also grinning while discussing the child. His remarks were unintelligible as the noise from the clicking cameras drowned them out.
This was the only exchange that was heard:
“What is his name?,” Palin asked.
“Mirwais,” Karzai responded. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’”
“Oh nice,” Palin responded.
“He is the only one we have,” remarked Karzai.
At this point, the pool was hustled out the room and down to the hotel lobby.
Pool was in the room for a grand total of 29 seconds.
Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt gave a statement to reporters in the lobby as to why print pool and wires were not allowed in:
“The decision was made for this to be a photo spray with still cameras and video cameras only.”
Watch for this story to get bigger as the day goes on as the networks and the Left are in a tizzy over the lack of media coverage of the Palin events today.