Tonight, Thursday night, ABC anchor Charlie Gibson is set to air the first of his interview segments with Sarah Palin. (The second is scheduled for Friday.)
In anticipation, all over the print and electronic media writers, editors and bloggers have been madly suggesting questions that they think Gibson ought to ask the Alaskan governor:
For instance, the editors of Foreign Policy magazine have 20 questions that are really more of a foreign relations quiz, a list that could be retitled “A few facts you bloody-well ought to know if you want to be the freaking VP, girlfriend!” To wit:
What’s the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?
What is your preferred plan for peace between Israel and Palestine? A two state solution? What about Jerusalem?
And then here’s Slate’s list of ten questions. It’s a pithy, interesting list that anticipates her answers and divises firm follow ups. For example:
What Bush administration policy do you disagree with most, and what would you have done differently?
She’ll praise the president before damning his increased spending. To that answer Gibson should volley:
Then how much smaller would the McCain budget be and where precisely should he cut?
If she tries to vague Gibson out, which she will, he need only restate his request for specifics. It will be like pouring sand into her gears. No Republican president has ever delivered on the promise to shrink the federal government, and no Republican president ever will.
So, wishing to do my part, I’ve put together my own modest list of only three questions, which you’ll find below:
1. You have used the line about how you saved taxpayers money by saying “no to the Bridge to Nowhere” multiple times. It’s even in a McCain Palin commercial released on Monday. Yet nearly every major news organization, including the Wall Street Journal, has found that claim to be misleading at best. You not only originally supported the $223 million bridge, when you killed the project, you killed it, not because you didn’t want it, but because Congress declined to allocate additional funds to build a bridge that was going to cost a great deal more than $223 million. And, yet, even when you finally said no, you kept every dime of the $223 million. So the tax-payers saved nothing.
We all understand, that during a campaign politicians tend to exaggerate. But what would you say to voters to convince them that they should trust you in the face of a repeated statement that looks to be—to put it in the nicest possible way—designed to deceive?
And as a follow-up: How much truth does the President or Vice President owe to the American people?
2. In your convention speech, you were scathing about Barack Obama’s views on Islamic terrorists saying “he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights.” The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed that that suspects—even those suspected of terrorism— should be able to challenge their confinement before a judge: Do you disagree?
Follow-up: Are there any rights to which you believe detainees are entitled during this war on terrorism? If so, what are they?
Follow-up 2: In that same vein, if our soldiers are captured by a foreign government, or a terrorist organization, for perceived acts against that government or organization, to what rights do you believe they should be entitled?
3. You recently told the conservative news site NewsMax that you doubted if global warming was caused by human activity—even though it is the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community that climate change is caused by human activity. What are your reasons for disagreeing?
Follow-up: If you’re wrong about the causes of global warming, and the majority of scientists are right, but we fail to act on their increasingly dire predictions—- there could be grave consequences. With this in mind, do you believe that we should play it safe and institute an agressive energy policy as people like Al Gore suggest we should do? If not, why not?
Okay, now over to you. What do you want Gibson to ask?
(Or do you think that all these questions are irrelevant, because Palin is a sexy pitbull with lipstick wrapped in gobs of charisma—and that’s all that matters, dude!)