The First Draft: Palin goes fishing for cameras, Obama talks too

July 7, 2009

After catching the national media off guard with Friday’s pre-holiday weekend bombshell that she was resigning as Alaska governor, Sarah Palin gave the television networks a chance to catch up with a round of stage-managed interviews for the morning news shows.

Television correspondents lined up to land a few minutes with Palin, decked out in overalls and wading in the surf at husband Todd’s family fishing operation. With children in tow on the fishing trip/photo op, she explained her decision to bail out of office more than a year early.

USA/SENATE-GEORGIAIt had nothing to do with running for president in 2012, she said. She’s just unconventional. Once she had decided she was not running for re-election, she knew she could not “play the political game that most politicians do,” she told NBC.

“That is who we are as Alaskans and it’s certainly who I am,” she told CNN. “I’m not going to take that comfortable path. I’m going to take the right path for the state.”

To ABC: “I’m extremely happy. Politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it.”

But in all the interviews, which included plenty of footage of Palin looking like the fisherwoman next door, she refused to close the door on a presidential run.

“I can’t predict what the next fish run is going to look like, much less the next few years,” she told NBC. To CNN: “All options are going to keep on being on the table.”

But she sounded like she had read some of the critical stories about her vice presidential run last year. Using a word critics sometimes use to describe her, she told NBC that having the kids work at the fishing operation “teaches these kids to work extremely hard and to not be divas.”

Palin’s round of interviews managed to top the round done by President Barack Obama, who has been talking non-stop during his visit to Moscow. In several interviews, Obama took pains to correct Vice President Joe Biden’s comment that the administration “misread” the economy.

 “I would actually, rather than say misread — we had incomplete information,” Obama said on NBC. OBAMA/“In some ways you’re seeing the economic engine turn, but what we always knew was that a) this recession was going to be deep and b) it was going to last a while.”

 “There’s nothing that we would have done differently,” he told ABC.

Obama even commented on Palin, saying he respected her comment the decision was a family matter. “She has a fairly loyal constituency in the Republican Party and the conservative movement,” he said on NBC.

As for the topic that dominated the morning news shows, singer Michael Jackson’s funeral, Obama had this to say about Jackson: “What I do believe is that black sports figures and black entertainers helped to create a comfort level with African-Americans that had an impact historically.”

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Photo credits: REUTERS/Tami Chappell (Palin waves to crowd at rally in Georgia in December); REUTERS/Jim Young (Obama delivers remarks at Moscow)

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