Foreign Affairs are Foreign to Princess Sarah

From The New York Times:

Her first interview, with the ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, was too hard. The second, with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, was too soft. The third, however, did not turn out to be just right for Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

On the “CBS Evening News” on Thursday, Katie Couric asked Ms. Palin, Senator John McCain’s running mate, what she meant when she cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as foreign affairs experience.


“That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada,” she replied.


Ms. Couric pressed her again to explain the geographic point. “Well, it certainly does,” Ms. Palin said, “because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, they’re in the state that I am the executive of.”

Original DVD cover.

“We have trade missions back and forth,” Ms. Palin said. “We — we do — it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.”

Ms. Palin, looking at Ms. Couric intently, kept on going. “It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to — to our state.”


Ms. Couric asked her questions firmly but gently, careful not to seem flippant or condescending. But she ended on a “gotcha” moment. After Ms. Palin attacked Senator Barack Obama for saying he would meet with leaders of Syria and Iran without preconditions, Ms. Couric reminded the governor that she recently met with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who supports direct diplomacy with both countries. “Are you saying Henry Kissinger is naïve?” Ms. Couric asked. Ms. Palin replied, “I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, ‘Yeah, I’ll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met.’ ”

After the interview, Ms. Couric faced the camera and added a postscript. “Incidentally, we confirmed Henry Kissinger’s position following our interview,” she said, explaining that Mr. Kissinger supports talks “without preconditions.”

From Robert Schlesinger at U.S. News & World Report:

It’s so very easy to ridicule Sarah Palin’s recent Katie Couric-induced pratfalls. Some might say it’s cruel. But it would be even crueler to take her seriously, though, since she aspires to the vice presidency, we should.

Take her widely discussed, laugh- or tear-inducing explanation to Couric about why the mere fact of living in Alaska qualifies as foreign policy experience. Break out your Palin-to-English dictionary, cut through the mangled sentences, and try taking her assertions at face value.

At best, she’s an absurd self-aggrandizer; at worst, her inability to speak clearly risks an international incident.


The bit about Putin rearing his head presumably refers to recent instances of Russian bombers making unannounced runs toward (but not actually into) U.S. airspace, specifically Alaska, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News (hat tip to TNR). U.S. Air Force jets were scrambled from Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage to intercept and identify the Russians.

The Russians entered the so-called Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, but Palin is the first person I’ve seen to actually assert that Russian bombers violated U.S. airspace.

Original movie poster.

Politicians who actually have foreign policy experience understand that, in diplomacy, words matter. The difference between “serious” and “grave” can mean pulling an ambassador out of a country versus dropping bombs.

Hopefully, the Russians don’t take her seriously.

Even if one forgives that slip, she appears to be saying that as governor of Alaska she has some sort of role here. “It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.”

So…she gives the order to scramble the jets? Last time I checked, the governor of Alaska was not in the U.S. Air Force chain of command.


Maybe she’s responsible for “an eye…being kept on this very powerful nation”? Perhaps she has a really, really powerful telescope in her house from which she can monitor the Russians?

But there I go—I’ve slipped back into ridicule. It’s just too hard to resist here.

Well, at least she didn’t call Katie Charlie. Not even once! 🙂


Filed under 2008 election, Alaska, Barack Obama, Chimpy, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, humor, Iran, John McCain, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Russia, Sean Hannity, snark, Vladimir Putin, Wordpress Political Blogs

14 responses to “Foreign Affairs are Foreign to Princess Sarah

  1. jeb

    Well I just watched the debate and McCU affirmed that Henry Kissinger does not support diplomacy without preconditions so the Polar Princess must be right. Why they even said that within five minutes of the debate being over that Herr Henry issued a statement asserting that he did not say what he said. I mean we have to take this at face value because we know that Dr. Strangelove is not like an opportunist posing as the Godfather of Diplomacy or anything. Right?

  2. jeb,
    i can’t believe it, but i slept through the debate! i got very little sleep last night, and i thought i would lay down and close my eyes for just a few minutes. it was right before the debate started, and the next thing i knew, it was 11 o’clock, and everyone on tv was talking about what happened. i think i recorded it. if not, i am sure they will run it again.
    as for herr henry, i would guess that it’s easy for him to lie about what he said or did not say, because most people have no idea what the hell he is saying when he is saying it.

  3. Friend of the court

    Hey nonnie, I fell asleep, too. In fact I just woke up about 15 mins. ago. I didn’t have anything to eat, yet and that mooseburger looks mighty good.

  4. jlms qkw - jenn

    nonnie, the mooseburger rocks!

    and the writing tonight is especially great.

  5. yayyy!!! i ♥ you, fotc and jenn!! you noticed the mooseburger! 😀 i hope that i didn’t overcook the antlers.

  6. nightowl724

    Here is the full debate on MSNBC:

    Also, I think MSNBC will rerun the entire debate tomorrow at 1.

  7. thanks, nightowl. i recorded it, so i will watch it later. i am watching the talking heads to see what they blabbled about.

  8. nightowl724

    nonnie. Your poster. It’s funny. Here’s the proof. Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    I imagine all of you have seen this by now, an article by Kathleen Parker from the very conservative National Review Online:

    Palin Problem
    She’s out of her league.

    If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

    What to do?

    Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

    Do it for your country.

  9. i read that earlier. i don’t agree that the princess has common sense. i think she has a predatory sense. completely different. i don’t know why these people can’t bring themselves to simply say that the woman is a moron, and capt u is a bigger moron for choosing her. see how simple that is?

  10. jeb

    Vell, vot he ist sayink Nonnie, ist zat he rumbles along vit his deep monotone und his look vich has not changed since 1958 und ze media all sit at his feet und lap up every word because he defines gravitas und zey conveniently ignore his participation in ze illegal bombings of Cambodia und incursions into Laos vich left South East Asia a wreckage und allowed years of genocide. Remember, he ist a Nobel Prize Vinner.

  11. jeb,
    the strange thing is that i grew up among lots of people who had accents like henry’s, but i can’t understand him. thanks for translating. he sounds like a robot with 8 pounds of $hit in its mouth.

  12. LMAO! I like the way you describe his voice.

  13. i’m a regular poet, i am!

  14. Pingback: She’s not much of a ‘Lerner’ but she is pretty ‘Loewe” « HYSTERICAL RAISINS