HAT TIP: Nancy Kallitechnis on the Hillary Clinton Forum
As Kallitechnis points out almost all the questions to Sen. Obama are fluff questions--no foreign or domestic questions and no probing of possible difficulties in Obama's positions as compared to his track record. Gibson's questioning is just the reverse for Gov. Palin. Not even one fluff question about potentially breaking her "glass ceiling" or her childrens' reaction to her nomination or her own "joyfulness".
This compares Charlie Gibson's September 11, 2008 questions to Gov. Palin after her nomination as Republican vice-presidential candidate with Gibson's June 4, 2008 questions to Sen. Obama (in italics) after Obama's clinching of the Democratic nomination. I have not included Gibson's questions from his September 12, 2008 interview with Palin, but they are in the same vein as the September 11 questions.
GIBSON to Palin: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?"
GIBSON to Obama: Senator, I'm curious about your feelings last night. It was an historic moment. Has it sunk in yet?
GIBSON to Palin: And you didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?"
GIBSON to Obama: What'd she say?
GIBSON to Palin: Didn't that take some hubris?
GIBSON to Obama: Public moments are not your own. There's a million people pulling you in a million different directions, but when everybody clears out, the staff is gone, you're in your hotel room at night and you're alone -- do you say to yourself: "Son of a gun, I've done this?"
GIBSON to Palin: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?
GIBSON to Obama: (inaudible) when you announced, did you truly, in your gut, think that a black man could win the nomination of a major party to be president of the United States?
GIBSON to Palin: I know. I'm just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.
GIBSON to Obama: You don't get much time to enjoy this before people immediately start talking about the vice presidency.
On what criteria and what timetable will you choose a vice president?
GIBSON to Palin: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
GIBSON to Obama: But there obviously is one name that looms over all. Hillary Clinton has already, to some extent, expressed her willingness. There are supporters putting out petitions. There is a drumbeat of pressure. There are those 18 million votes.
Is she a special case that you have to deal with before the others, or is she considered just like everybody else? How long can you let the "Hillary Clinton on the ticket" question linger?
GIBSON to Palin: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
GIBSON to Obama: Does there have to be a yes or no on the issue of Hillary Clinton before you get to the others, or can this issue linger on, because it pervades everything?
You want to move on to the general election. You want to pivot to a campaign against John McCain.
Can you do that while this question hovers over you?
GIBSON to Palin: And all governors deal with trade delegations.
GIBSON to Obama: So, you won't do -- you won't deal with her first, get that out of the way, and then either move on or not?
GIBSON to Palin: Who act at the behest of their governments.
GIBSON to Obama: As long as that question lingers, can you get about the business of unifying the party, or does that have to be taken care of first?
GIBSON to Palin: I'm talking about somebody who's a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
GIBSON to Obama: Did she squeeze you in any way by making known her interest in the job?
GIBSON to Palin: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?
GIBSON to Obama: Should you choose her, how do you handle Bill Clinton?
GIBSON to Palin: Exact words.
GIBSON to Obama: On what three issues will this campaign turn to you?
GIBSON to Palin: I take your point about Lincoln's words, but you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."
GIBSON to Obama: Do you worry that it could turn on race, age and class?
GIBSON to Palin: But then are you sending your son on a task that is from God?
GIBSON to Obama: John McCain has issued an invitation to do a series of town meetings (inaudible). Going to do it?
GIBSON to Obama: (inaudible)
GIBSON to Palin: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.
GIBSON to Obama: Will you go to Iraq?
GIBSON to Palin: Let's start, because we are near Russia, let's start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we've got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
GIBSON to Obama: Public financing: Going to take it or going to say no?
GIBSON to Palin: You believe unprovoked.
GIBSON to Obama: But there's a dynamic on your side, as well. You originally said you would take it.
GIBSON to Palin: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
GIBSON to Obama: That was before we saw a...
GIBSON to Obama: If you already see that money coming in, it seems to me you're saying...
GIBSON to Palin: What insight does that give you into what they're doing in Georgia?
GIBSON to Obama: Is the hardest part of all this behind you or ahead of you?
GIBSON to Palin: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
GIBSON to Obama: The picture of you in the paper, this morning, with your wife, watching the Clinton speech. What did you think of the Clinton speech?
She didn't exactly acknowledge your victory.
GIBSON to Palin: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
GIBSON to Obama: And finally your daughters. What did they say to you? Did they take it as a matter of course that Daddy could be nominated to be president? They never knew what older people know in terms of discrimination, although they may still feel some. What did they say about that?
GIBSON to Palin: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
GIBSON to Obama: I watched closely your countenance last night, your mien, as you stood in that hall. You didn't smile much. Has the joyfulness of this hit home yet? Do you take joy from it?
GIBSON to Palin: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.
GIBSON to Obama: Senator, thank you.
GIBSON to Palin: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?
GIBSON to Palin: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Who's right?
GIBSON to Palin: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?
GIBSON to Palin: But, Governor, we've threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn't done any good. It hasn't stemmed their nuclear program.
GIBSON to Palin: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?
GIBSON to Palin: So if we wouldn't second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.
GIBSON to Palin: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.
GIBSON to Palin: We talk on the anniversary of 9/11. Why do you think those hijackers attacked? Why did they want to hurt us?
GIBSON to Palin: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
GIBSON to Palin: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?
GIBSON to Palin: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
GIBSON to Palin: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?
GIBSON to Palin: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?
GIBSON to Palin: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
GIBSON to Palin: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.
GIBSON to Palin: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?