OCTOBER 4, 2008
I didn't really focus on this answer when I heard it Thursday night, partly because Palin's language was so eye-glazingly incoherent. But it really is a piece of work:
IFILL: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution
might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do
you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch
does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency,
that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?
Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the
Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice
president. And we will do what is best for the American people in
tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive
and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so
I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and
we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans
that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that
is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as
a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as
a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level
that will be put to good use in the White House also.
Got that? A Times editorial today gives her the what-for over the substance.
P.S. In the spirit of honest debate refereeing, Joe Biden really is getting off easy for this. If you're going to make a big show of your working man street cred, you really ought to know the street of which you speak. The guy has proven to be something of a gaffe machine, and if he were running against a typical opponent he'd be in the media's dunking booth right now.
Update: I'd missed it, but Josh Chafetz had an excellent piece on our website today about the substance at issue here. Excerpt:
Although Palin never directly answered Ifill's
question, she seemed generally supportive of Cheney's position, whereas
Biden was clearly opposed. If Biden can be taken at his word, then,
this may portend a more modest vice presidential role, in which he sees
himself primarily as an assistant to the president, rather than the
holder of an independent governing portfolio. In contrast, if we take
Palin's support for Cheney seriously, this suggests that she will use
the vice president's "flexibility" (as she sees it) to create her own
governing fiefdom, as Cheney has done. It may also suggest that she,
like Cheney, would be willing to assert whatever privilege she can get
her hands on to ward off public scrutiny.