June 6, 2011

What About Sarah?

My Facebook Friends enjoyed rapture -- without all the killing and death and gnashing of teeth-- when a certain ex-Governor of our most easternmost state was caught on video explaining that "Paul Revere warned the British." It was all Palin all the time. I don't know how many friends posted the video, and each posting had multiple "this woman is sooooo stupid!" comments attached.

I provided a link to one (our beloved LatteSipper) with Professor Jacobson's insistence that "It seems to be a historical fact that this happened. A lot of the criticism is unfair and made by people who are themselves ignorant of history." But I later regretted both descending into the Palin-discussion-sewer and doubted, upon watching the video yet another time, whether the defense was credible.

Governor Griz stoked the flames on FOX News Sunday yesterday, claiming the "liberal media" served up a "gotcha question" and that "she knew her history." The gotcha question seems to be "How do you like Boston, Ms. Palin?"

I'd love comments. The Boston Herald piles on her side today. If you missed it, you can see the video there. Most of the defense is to quote Jacobson's blog post. But did she get lucky -- or was she playing the adversarial "lamestream media" like a fiddle? I like her well enough but I'm leaning toward lucky.

UPDATE: Andrew Malcolm at the LATimes votes "Fiddle"

UPDATE II: WaPo fact checker votes "present," but backs me up on one point:

The actual "gotcha question" was rather benign: "What have you seen so far today, and what are you going to take away from your visit?"

The link embeds both the original video and a segment from her FOXNews interview.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at June 6, 2011 12:21 PM

At least her unscripted moment didn't include a mention of America's fifty-seven states. She'd have been pilloried for that, as any politician surely would. Oh, wait...

I'm not sure Mr. Malcolm considers Palin to be that crafty but it seems to me she is making small steps toward the objective she set out for: Improve her image on the east coast. This is not her stated intent mind you, that being to reacquaint Americans with their nation's history. [And doesn't this Revere episode do that in spades!] But it was a necessary task for a political figure with such high negatives. Bring them down enough with the bus tour and the naysayers lose their last, great objection to candidate Palin: She can't win.

Posted by: johngalt at June 6, 2011 2:58 PM

Y'know, I think it is different than 57 States, or Joe Biden's "the Vice Presidency is Executive Branch as described in Section I" in the VP debates. Straining to be fair (pulling muscles, in fact), those are all short verbal miscues and one cannot imagine the speakers' doubling down on a talk show the day after.

If the governor truly wants to illuminate a rare historical fact, a human person generally prefaces it with "You know, oddly enough..." or "I was interested to read that..."

Risking hernia to be fair (I would love to shut me down some smug FaceBookers) she also has a verbal style where she appears to be completely lost through much of it. Watching this, I want to get out a flashlight and see if her pupils can follow simple movements. Another hu-mannn trend of sharing abstruse data is confident delivery. I don't know.

Does my blog brother vote fiddle?

Posted by: jk at June 6, 2011 3:31 PM

No, not fiddle. "Gotcha" squared.

When Gov. Griz answered Chris Wallace's question she talked about how it was a "gotcha" question, which I took to mean she saw it as a test of her trivia knowledge. Whether she meant to say "warn the British" or not, whether she'd seen it written that way somewhere in one of the sites she'd visited, she took such pleasure in her "she's so stoopid" "gaffe" being factually correct that she chose not to help her opponents explain away their ignorance. I say, "Good on ya, Sheila!"

Posted by: johngalt at June 6, 2011 8:37 PM | What do you think? [3]