At the risk of prejudging it before it's even happened, Sarah Palin's first interview--with ABC's Charlie Gibson--looks as if it will be more Barbara Walters's 10 Most Fascinating People than This Week with George Stephanopoulos. From Politico:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will speak at her son’s Army deployment ceremony on 9/11 and spend two days with ABC News crews later this week as part of a McCain campaign plan to increase Americans’ comfort with her as a leader.
Campaign and network officials had said on Sunday that her first television interview would be a sit-down with Charles Gibson of ABC’s “World News.”
But it turns out that she is spending much of Thursday and Friday with Gibson — at the ceremony in Fairbanks, Alaska, and at her home in Wasilla, Alaska.
Campaign aides said the anchorman will get extensive, repeated access to Palin throughout her first trip home since becoming the nominee.
“ABC News will have plenty of time to question her and examine her and spend time with her,” a campaign official said. “They’ll do multiple interviews over two days. No topics are off-limits – there are no ground rules. There’s tons of time to talk to her about every topic.”
The remarkable rollout reflects new confidence in Palin by her handlers, who initially had suggested it would be a while before she did interviews. Now, there will be several.
I don't know how this plan reflects "new confidence" in Palin. If you were really confident in Palin's ability to handle herself in front of reporters, you'd let her sit down in a studio for a half-hour with Gibson (or Stephanopoulos or Williams or Katie Couric) and field questions about the Bridge to Nowhere and Fannie and Freddie Mac. But by scheduling the interview over two days on her home turf--one of which will be spent seeing her oldest child off to a war--the McCain campaign is pretty much guaranteeing that Gibson will spend a lot of his time with Palin asking fuzzy personal/lifestyle questions.
And when Gibson does ask her substantive questions, Palin will have ample opportunity to filibuster them:
Gibson: Governor Palin, you said back in 2006 that you supported the bridge to Ketchikan---
Palin: Charlie, let me interrupt you for one second. Have you ever been to Ketchikan? It's such a beautiful place! You really should go. I think everyone who belongs to the Washington elite should go. It would be so good for their souls. I remember a few years ago, when Todd had a snow machine race on Ketchikan, and Track--this was before he enlisted to defend our country, my goodness they grow up so fast--and I went fishing there and we caught so many salmon that day. There's a picture of us with our catch right behind you, next to that bear skin hanging over the mantle. Why don't you get up for a minute and I'll show it to you? By the way, have I ever told you the story of how I got that bear skin? . . .
Okay, maybe it won't be that bad. But I'm not getting my hopes up for this one.