This afternoon in the journal Editor & Publisher there is a report that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has FINALLY given an in-depth interview … with her hometown weekly newspaper, The Frontiersman, VIA EMAIL!! Appearing on the front page of today’s edition, The Frontiersman ran the “interview” in its entirety with both the questions posed to Gov. Palin and the answers received by the newspaper. The responses could have been written by anyone within the McCain campaign and consists of the usual vague Republican talking points the vice presidential candidate has given on her stump speeches and the very few interviews Gov. Palin has granted the media thus far in the campaign.
Sarah Palin has finally given a lengthy newspaper interview, but it was not with The New York Times, Washington Post or other large daily. Instead, it appears today in her hometown Wasilla, Alaska, weekly, The Frontiersman — and only via email.
The paper ran the interview on its front page today with the intro: “The responses here were not edited and are preceded by the verbatim questions posed to her.”
Asked, for example, to name any mistakes she had made as mayor of the town she only came up with underestimating her opponents. She also deflected any blame in the “trooopergate” controversy, the book-banning charges and the allegations that she had something to do with rape victims having to pay for their own medical test.
“I’m not going to win over anyone in the media elite – I’m going to do my best for the American people,” she declared.
She also continued to say of the Bridge to Nowhere, “I cancelled the project,” even though this has been challenged by various fact-checking organizations.
Here are a few excerpts from the first three queries. The entire interview is at The Frontiersman:
1. Your name had been whispered as one of any number of potential Sen. John McCain running mates for months before the official announcement. At what time did you realize you had a legitimate chance to be that choice?
I first met John seven months ago in Washington. I was immediately impressed by the Senator’s candor, warmth and humor. We are both mavericks, and we hit it off right away. The idea of this being a possibility became real when I flew to Arizona three days before I was announced as his selection.
2. What successes did you have and what mistakes did you make during your time on Wasilla City Council and as Wasilla mayor?
Since my time as a city councilmember, mayor, and now, of course, as governor, I’ve been an active reformer. Right away, I think I saw that Wasilla’s government as a “good old boys network” – and knew we had an opportunity to change and progress this city. When I was elected mayor, I immediately took charge and shook things up, as you know. Our tax cuts and strategy for growth were big successes. The big mistake is always underestimating how much opposition you face as a real reformer, but I love the valley so much I was going to do what the city council staff and I felt was right for the people who live and work here.
3. We’re confident you were aware that being added to the presidential ticket would open up your personal life to public scrutiny. Were you prepared for the level of media and tabloid coverage of your past and family? Please explain how you and your family are dealing with this and whether you believe your family – and those of the other three candidates on the national ticket – are out of bounds, or does the public have a legitimate interest in the private lives of candidates?
Nothing really prepares you for hatred and made-up stories. But it’s nothing like the hard times of a family that’s lost a job, lost health insurance, or lost a son or daughter in battle. I would hope that the privacy of my children would be respected, as has been the tradition for the children of previous candidates. Obviously, it hasn’t been so far. I think part of the media frenzy is because I haven’t been a part of the Washington establishment and that I’m not as well known to the powers that be in Washington. I’m not going to win over anyone in the media elite – I’m going to do my best for the American people. And of course all candidates want to shield their children from the rancor and bitterness. My personal e-mails being hacked into really took the cake because of all the violation of confidence and privacy that others felt when they saw the e-mails they sent to me were posted on Web sites around the world. Concern for my family’s safety was also paramount because pictures and contact information for my kids were published and their receipt of all the harassing calls and messages has been very concerning.