Palin Still Behind Closed Doors

Since her VP nomination, Sarah Palin has avoided any non-scripted appearances with the media, save the September issue of People Magazine. While Biden, Obama, and McCain all appeared on Sunday policy-driven interviews, Sarah Palin remained behind closed doors.

Michael Calderone of reports, September 6, 2008:

Less than two months before voters hit the polls, Palin has yet to sit down for or even schedule an issues-oriented interview with any newspaper, magazine or television network.

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign has significantly scaled back the access of the national press he used to jokingly refer to as his “base,” and several speakers, including Palin, took shots at the media in their speeches at last week’s Republican convention.

Since her debut in Dayton, Ohio, the McCain campaign has been receiving about 80-100 requests a day from news organizations around the world, according to spokesman Ben Porritt, who said interest in an interview was “through the roof” and that the campaign was going through them now.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the McCain campaign would like to run out on the clock on this,” said David Chalian, political director for ABC News.

He expects the campaign will tightly manage access to Palin, but give some national interviews shortly before the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate with Biden, moderated by PBS’ Gwen Ifill.

“They know they’re not going to get through the next 60 days without doing interviews and being tested and prodded,” Chalian said.

But even if Palin does submit to a few carefully selected interviews around the October debate, that means another month before the 37-million-plus viewers who tuned into Palin’s speech and others get their first look at how the newcomer to the national stage performs outside of a campaign-controlled setting.

In the meantime, Fox News is rolling out a special (as are other networks): “Gov. Sarah Palin: An American Woman,” a one-hour biography hosted by Greta Van Susteren that includes “exclusive video and photos” and “interviews with her family, friends and colleagues” — but not Palin herself.

U.S News & World Report Opinion blog notes on September 5, 2008:

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman has reported that after a brief run on the campaign trail, Palin will go back to Alaska and stay away from the national media. That report, combined with comments from McCain adviser Nicole Wallace about Palin’s failure to take questions from the press, has liberal bloggers questioning Palin’s VP readiness and urging traditional media to “get thee to Alaska!” Conservative bloggers say the reports are false and only illustrate the media’s “animus towards Palin and John McCain.”

Part of this media reticent is simply due to Palin’s emergence onto the national stage. Candidates, regardless of their background, need to be prepared for answering questions pertaining to the local economy, foreign relations, and views on events around the world. There is significant prepping for any candidate before they begin their presidential bid, especially if they have not run for a national office before, let alone one who is now on a presidential ticket.

  • They’re going to have to start getting her doing the media rounds as practice for the debates, otherwise Biden will run rings around her.

  • I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to say she’s avoiding media. This was their schedule today:

    Saturday, September 6, 2008
    Colorado and New Mexico

    10:00am Media Interview

    10:30am Satellite into AARP Convention
    11:30am Media Interview
    12:30pm MT “The Road to Victory Rally”
    Colorado Springs, CO
    1:45pm MT Depart Colorado
    2:50pm MT Arrive NM
    3:30pm MT Media Interviews
    7:00pm MT “The Road to Victory Rally”
    Albuquerque Convention Center

    Looks like three media interviews to me at which Palin will also be taking questions.

  • Michael

    The difference between the ones you listed and the ones the reporters are seeking, is that so far Palin has not sat down for a non-scripted policy-interview (at least, for a media that represents more than a small locality)

  • Who are the media interviews with? and are they radio, tv, newspaper? They could be so right leaning I doubt she’d get any tough questions at all.

  • Michael

    NZ, the point– at least for me– isn’t if it is conservative or liberal, but rather if it is national coverage, and unscripted.

  • That’s my point Michael. Just because it says she has a media interview, it doesn’t mean it’s national nor does it mean she’s unscripted. They could be soft media interviews that don’t challenge her views and stances.

    I wonder if she’ll ever pop on to the O’Reilly Factor?


    She’ll go on Oreilly no doubt. It wont take her a year or longer to go on fox like Barack.

  • Michael

    A fair equivalent, if we are comparing the Obama/O’Reilly with Palin/Media, is how long it will take Palin to go on the Colbert Report.

  • Pats

    Please let Palin do what she’s asked to do. The media did not appoint her but McCain. Her principal goal is to please McCain not the American people. Keep it up Palin!!!!!!!!!

  • People Pleezer

    I truly wish that everyone would leave Governor Sarah Palin alone! We need not condemn her. She is a spiritual, God-fearing woman….and with that said…I offer you the following from the American KJV bible, Luke 12:2-3: “……2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”

    People please remember this, there is no hole that we could ever dig deeper, then the one that is being dug by her. Good luck Governor Palin, may you be blessed during this journey of your life.

  • Jim

    I’s LOVE to see a debate Gov. Palin v Joe Biden even as early as tomorrow. No preparation. Just spring it on them. She’s mop the floor with him!

  • bdjnk

    This is absurd! Less then two weeks ago Palin didn’t even know she would be a candidate for vice president! The media has all the patience and tact of a pack of starving rats on crack.

    Aside from being committed to a mind-bogglingly full schedule of campaigning every single day, she is also preparing for her various national unscripted appearances. She will have them in plenty of time and all those chomping at the bit will get their pound of flesh.

    This is just one more non-issue that is being used as an excuse to throw nonsense accusations. Ridiculous.

  • What would she do if America got attacked? “Errrr hang on America, I’ll get back to you in 2 weeks with a response”

  • bdjnk


    Palin is, among many other things, a hunter. Obama has only ever been a politician, of one sort or another.

    As Governor, Palin was in charge of the very active Alaska national guard. Obama has never been in charge of anything as significant as a hot dog stand.

    I know which one I want in office if America is attacked.

  • tmg

    So I guess you only run right wing nut comments! Losers. The American people want better than what the tired old GOP keeps offering. But Palin is a hunter. Gag.

  • Dreadsen


    The Pentagon is in control of the national guard. She has no authority to do give any orders to the national guard. That is a debunked talking point already.

    I guess being a hunter measures how good of a leader you will be. Dick Cheney had done the country the greatest of wonders.

    I was not aware that Obama was nothing in his life but a politician. I guess constitutional lawyer and president of harvard law school or community organizer where you work from the grassroots up to help regular citizens in need and other things related were just lies. You care to inform us on his career history to put his lies to rest?

  • Jared

    “Palin was in charge of the very active Alaska national guard”

    Good point, lets ask her what major decision she has made in that role…oops…forgot, that’s off bounds. Better cancel that Larry King interview.

  • Uh, Dreadsen, I think you meant Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review, a school newspaper, not President of the Harvard Law School.

    So far, the media hasn’t needed Palin – they’ve done a fine job (sarcastic) on their own without her. Of course she’ll face them all soon. Interesting to note her first “big” interview will be on ABC, not Fox. Maybe she’s just sending a message to the media. When you misbehave like children, you go to time out like children. Then we’ll talk. I hope she puts Nancy Pelosi in a big old time out when she gets to Washington. 😉

  • Dhd

    A school newspaper that happens to be one of the most cited law reviews in the United States and considered by many to be the most prestigious.

    We need to find out how she tackles a few curve balls. I keep hearing the McCain talking points and rehashed quotes from her convention speech. Those aren’t her words – I want to hear her own explanation of, for example, her big flip-flop on the bridge-to-nowhere. Yes thanks. Oh wait, bad publicity; thanks, but no thanks.
    I want to see her reaction to the question, with a big chart of irrefutable numbers, why she is on the side of less tax breaks for the middle class. What she would do about Medicare? There’s no intelligent plan from either ticket about that.

  • I’d like to hear all of that as well, Dhd, I want to know how closely she falls on the side of McCain on the issues.

    No doubt it’s a big old college newspaper, but it’s not the Harvard Law School. Big difference.

    It was interesting that Joe Biden admitted that he believes life begins at conception, whereas that is a disagreement with his running mate – well, at best, it’s not above his pay grade to say it. He’s just the VP nominee, though, so I guess that doesn’t mean much. Like he was on McCain’s side over the war according to his record, unlike his running mate. Again, guess that doesn’t matter. He’s only VP.

    I’m very interested in getting the answers from BOTH VP candidates, and I hope Biden is more forthcoming in his than Obama has been, especially since Obama has put him a heartbeat away from the presidency. After 35 years in the Senate, I tend to think Biden is just 4 more years of Bush.

  • IndiMinded

    Hah. Zing, Babs. Out of curiosity, do you have any idea what percentage of the time Biden has voted in line with Bush?

  • No Indi, I don’t, but I’m doing some research on that now. I want to know how many times McCain voted in 2007 (the charge is 90% for Bush) and what were the votes. Both candidates were absent quite a bit in 2007 due to campaigning, even more in 2008. I’m curious to see, too, how many times Obama also voted with MCCAIN in 2007, or ANY republican sponsored bill. And then of course, there’s the Biden vote, and how many times he voted against McCain AND Obama. Numbers like that just fascinate me. I’ll let you know when I get them all. 😉

  • Here’s the prelim, Indi.

    Obama voted with Bush 10 times
    Biden voted with Bush 8 times (and against Obama twice)
    McCain voted against Bush 23 times

    Obama voted with Bush 3 times
    Biden voted with Bush 8 times again (and against Obama 5 times)
    McCain voted against Bush 3 times

    So far, it looks like in 2007 Obama/Biden were more republican than McCain, doesn’t it? I’ll keep you posted. 😉

  • Ouch, Biden voted with Bush 18 times in 2006. Maybe he IS the Bush third term. *LOL*

  • You’re not going to believe this one, Indi. While Biden voted with Bush 18 times in 2006, McCain voted AGAINST Bush 55 times. hmmmmm, what are you thinking?

  • Dreadsen

    Well how many times did McCain vote for bush.
    We need all the numbers.
    Each year what were the total votes for Biden, Obama and McCain. IN favor AND against.

    You are not presenting all of the evidence.
    For example McCain voted against Bush 55 times but he may have voted for him 300 times. While Biden voted with Bush 18 times but voted against him 200 times.

  • Yeah Babs your twisted Hannity numbers game is flawed to say the least, we need voted with or against Bush for all candidates.

    Bdjnk, yes Palin is a hunter, so much so that she’s even killing endangered species via her Alaskan policies and she doesn’t care about anything but money.

  • Geez, guys, did I not say this is the “prelim” as in preliminary?? Does Michael need to define that word for you? *ROFL*

  • Still waiting for all the numbers 😉

  • Check my next commentary. 😉

  • Bec

    So Babs, why are you doing all the work getting these voting numbers? Everyone else to lazy to do it themselves and share it? First, you give them numbers, now they’re upset you didn’t give them enough. As for the comments I’ve read up to now, jeez – what a drag some of you are. Your spouting the same old tired stuff I hear from the media. I watched both the DNC and RNC and was inspired by BOTH. I’m waiting for the debates to start so I can hopefully hear specifics on what they intend to do for this country and how they hope to accomplish it.