Monday, November 16, 2009

Sarah on Oprah

By Shane Vander Hart, Caffeinated Thoughts

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Governor Sarah Palin was on Oprah today to kick off her the book tour for her first book, Going Rogue: An American Life.  It was the first time since at least college I’ve sat down to watch a show.  Some thoughts & highlights:

  • There was no snubbing, that was something that was overblown by the media.  Governor Palin said that during the campaign she wasn’t aware of the controversy, she said, “no offense, but you weren’t the center of my universe at the time.”  Oprah confirmed that she never asked to come on.
  • It was a fair interview with questions covering Bristol’s pregnancy, how she was handled during the campaign, the Katie Couric interview, election night, Levi Johnston, & 2012 aspirations.  No policy discussion, but I didn’t expect that from Oprah.
  • Governor Palin seemed pretty at ease with the only exception being when they were discussing Levi Johnston.
  • I appreciate the way she handled Johnston.  Saying she’d rather not comment.  She seemed to me more disappointed and in her words “heartbroken” by the choices he was making and was being handled.  She said that he is heading down an unhealthy road.  She was mostly conciliatory in her comments saying that she continues to hope for the best and that she prays for Levi.  She also said he needs to know that he is loved.
  • She flatly denied that Levi and Bristol ever lived together, and that many of his claims (Vanity Fair piece of fiction) were inconsistent.  She again pointed to the fact that he is a teenager is being mishandled.
  • She was very transparent about when she found out Trig was going to have Down Syndrome and how she broke that news to Todd.
  • She said that her interview with Katie Couric was bad.  She said that she was annoyed by the questioning (we only saw a few minutes of hours of taping), and that “it wasn’t professional to wear her annoyance on her sleeve.”  Which is why she didn’t list what she read because the question annoyed her – she did say looking back she wish she did to avoid the controversy that ensued.  She did say that if the Couric interview was the only way people got to know her that she wouldn’t “blame them for thinking I was not qualified or well prepared.”
  • Oprah sent a crew to her home in Wasilla on Halloween, that was a great video showing some behind the scenes in the Palin home.  It reinforced that they are a mainstream family, which is why so many relate to them.
  • She was very complementary of Todd and talked about the strength of their marriage, and at the end of the interview that she wouldn’t have been able to get through the challenges she has faced if it wasn’t for “God and Todd.”
  • Regarding 2012, she said it wasn’t on her radar, but when Oprah asked, “If you were planning on running would you tell me?”  She quickly said no.  She said right now she’s thinking 2010, so it’s safe to say she’ll be out stumping for conservative candidates.
  • Oprah says that Going Rogue was “fascinating read.”

In all I think it was a great interview, and I think will be a positive for her with some who may have been on the fence.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.


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