Sunday, September 14, 2008



Sunday, September 14, 2008
Story by: Agencies
Sunday Times

So far, we have heard from Sarah Palin’s mum and dad, her current church minister and her former pastor, and countless residents from her hometown of Wasilla. At times it has seemed that there were more reporters in Alaska than polar bears, trying to separate fact from fiction on this new phenomenon of American politics. US opticians have witnessed a surge in sales of those Palin glasses.

On the internet you can now purchase Sarah Palin dolls. But until now we had heard precious little from Sarah Palin herself - bar the set-piece, scripted speeches that she has delivered with aplomb. Her appearance on ABC News was without doubt an eagerly awaited interview, the anticipation heightened by the stories of her teenage daughter’s pregnancy, “troopergate” and “lippygate.”

For Democrats, who are not alone in feeling that she has been shielded from the media, would this be the time when she would fall flat on her face? For Republicans who have been wowed by this mother, moose-hunter and maverick, there was the hope perhaps that her critics would be forced to eat some more humble pie. It was always going to be difficult to live up to those kind of expectations.

But Charles Gibson, the avuncular anchor of ABC’s nightly news, tried to probe areas that have so far been off limits. He began with foreign policy. What did this former mayor of a town of 9,000, and now governor of one of America’s most remote and least populated states, know about the real world? We learned that Sarah Palin had travelled abroad, to Mexico and Canada, and more recently brief stops in Germany and Kuwait to meet Alaska’s National Guard.

No, she had never met another head of state. But she knew about Russia - because you can “actually see it” from Alaska. At first it may have all sounded rather naive. But Sarah Palin held her ground, pointing out that she was an agent of change, not the same old Washington politician clinging on to a “big fat resume.” She highlighted the fact that she was governor of a state that provides the US with more than a quarter of its energy supplies. And she had clearly grasped some of the detail of global affairs, making reference to Georgia and Ukraine’s Rose and Orange revolutions.