Palin’s Debate Answers Were Scripted
The false narrative of Palin as a viable VP contender is further unveiled this morning as Steve Schmidt (aka, the Bullet) reveals Palin’s debate answers were memorized and scripted.
Why would one have to have scripted answers if one were qualified, especially given the format the McCain campaign pushed for and won: According to the New York Times, this arrangement was more restrictive than the two-minute-response, five-minutes-of-open-discussion format of the first McCain-Obama debate, because the looser “format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.”” God forbid Palin who was running for VP be put at a disadvantage for having to speak for five minutes on a subject– that’s veering dangerously far from bumper sticker land. After all, it was only our country’s fate at stake.
What’s the difference between a Palin debate and a movie? Not much apparently. Sure, American politicians sell a cult of personality, but must it be so disingenuous as to include main characters like W and Palin? Can’t the GOP find someone who can read? Aren’t candidates supposed to have some ideas, something they stand for and shouldn’t they be able to discuss that topic without memorizing answers?
Watch this mornings interview with Schmidt here:
“In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Steve Schmidt, nicknamed The Bullet, says her preparations were going so badly in the days leading up to the debate with the vastly more experienced Joe Biden, the campaign was facing an “emergency” and a “crisis”.
He told her: “These are the questions. Here’s what he’s going to say. Here’s what your most effective response is. That we want to be able to come out of this debate saying you were on offence.”
“If you hear ‘A’, you go ahead and say ‘B’, and so to that degree it was somewhat scripted,” he admitted.
“The questions that we mocked and drilled in the practice debates were within a degree or two of the questions that (moderator) Gwen Ifell asked during the debate.”
Having memorized answers, one should have expected a result much better than what we got – shout outs to third graders and “can I call you Joe’s” as a way of getting around Palin’s inability to remember Biden’s last name was not “O’Biden”. Yes, it really was that bad, Dorothy. And yes, our media covered it as if it were a toss up re who won. Sigh.
Here’s a few reminders of the debate courtesy of NY Times transcript:
“PALIN: John McCain, in referring to the fundamental of our economy being strong, he was talking to and he was talking about the American workforce….(Oh boy, I’d forgotten this moment of Riotous Revisionism)
Now, what I’ve done as a governor and as a mayor is (inaudible) I’ve had that track record of reform. And I’ve joined this team that is a team of mavericks with John McCain, also, with his track record of reform, where we’re known for putting partisan politics aside to just get the job done.
… But I think Americans are craving something new and different and that new energy and that new commitment that’s going to come with reform (which they can only get from the Democrats).
IFILL: Now, let’s talk about — the next question is to talk about the subprime lending meltdown…
PALIN: Again, John McCain and I, that commitment that we have made, and we’re going to follow through on that, getting rid of that corruption…(insert Joe Hockey mom populist shout out here). We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments …. (Oversight is regulation, which is a Democratic principle, not a Republican principle…these are the same oversights she is now calling bad)
BIDEN: …but if you notice, Gwen, the governor did not answer the question about deregulation, did not answer the question of defending John McCain about not going along with the deregulation, letting Wall Street run wild. He did support deregulation almost across the board. That’s why we got into so much trouble.
IFILL: Would you like to have an opportunity to answer that before we move on?
PALIN: … Now, as for John McCain’s adherence to rules and regulations and pushing for even harder and tougher regulations, that is another thing that he is known for though.” (Lie to me, I promise, I’ll believe; Yes, old Johnny is KNOWN for regulations in the alternate reality known as Palinland. )
IFILL: So, Governor, as vice president, there’s nothing that you have promised as a candidate that you would — that you wouldn’t take off the table because of this financial crisis we’re in?
PALIN: There is not. And how long have I been at this, like five weeks? So there hasn’t been a whole lot that I’ve promised, except to do what is right for the American people, put government back on the side of the American people, stop the greed and corruption on Wall Street. (yes, my little real merkicans, it will cost you nothing to deal with the financial debacle! Razzle, dazzle, free gifts from the socialist governor! Promises cost nothing! )
And the rescue plan has got to include that massive oversight that Americans are expecting and deserving. And I don’t believe that John McCain has made any promise that he would not be able to keep, either.” (Oversight you say? Exactly where is your support for oversight today, Sister? How did Biden not laugh out loud at this absurdity? McCain has deregulation tattooed on his forehead for god’s sake… “a nation of whiners“…)
Yes, that would be that same reform that Palin is now suggesting is not necessary and is “crony capitalism” (projections r us), but this is what you get when you hire a puppet who stands for nothing other than parochial Poujadism via memorized or hand-palmed most expedient talking points of the moment.
Upon returning to the campaign trail after her debate preparation, Palin stepped up her attacks on now President Barack Obama. At a fundraising event, Palin explained her new aggressiveness, saying, “There does come a time when you have to take the gloves off and that time is right now.”
Uh huh. Like when, say, you are a drag on the ticket and you flub even your interview with Fox Wolf Guard Sean Hannity? “The new attack mode may be a political necessity for a ticket that has fallen behind with voters. Republican presidential nominee John McCain trails in national polls by Gallup and Rasmussen by numbers that are outside the margin of error.”
Kinda like the old distraction game, eh, Palin? According to Schmidt in an earlier interview, Palin had a breakdown preparing for the debate, so her response is to come back attacking harder. Palin always points her fingers outward in now predictable form of projection and she does it while lying about what she stands for.
Palin is now against “reform”, regulation, and oversight but she sure sold that snake oil “hockey mom I’m one of you” Main street-isms to the people during the winkfest known as the VP debate. The problem isn’t that she needed to memorize certain names or tough to recall terms, the problem is that she memorized answers because she had no idea what the issues were.
She had and has no idea what she was promising, what she stood for, what any of it meant. She didn’t even know that McCain was not for regulations. She actually believed he was pro-regulations and she sold that to her Cult. She had no idea what she was saying; perhaps she barely managed to memorize Schmidt’s answers to tough questions like “what do you and McCain stand for?”, much as she had to look at her hand to see the top three agenda items for a conservative. And now the GOP is selling her as a possible presidential candidate.
Are you ready for your close up, Mrs. Palin?
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.