Well, for any doubters, the portion of the Sarah Palin interview that aired on World News Tonight likely put their minds at ease. On what she would do differently from the Bush administration, she gave Charlie Gibson his list: reduce taxes, control spending, exercise oversight of regulatory bodies. (She previously mentioned reform of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.) On the Bridge to Nowhere, Gibson announced that it was established she changed positions. She hedged a bit but navigated fairly well to explain that earmarks had to go. When he reeled off a list of Alaskan budgetary items (seal studies and such) she made the distinction between state agencies requesting items through the normal budget process and midnight earmarks out of view of the public. The latter point showed some finesse.
On social issue she defended her position on abortion, stem cells, and guns in matter of fact tones, conceding that her personal views might differ from the administration in which she served. On homosexuality, she said she “wouldn’t presume to judge” whether it was a choice or genetic. And on Hillary Clinton, as noted before, she deftly put her opponents in a box.
This is all clearly firmer ground for her than national security. Moreover, her demeanor and temperament is really remarkable. I can’t imagine voters seeing this for themselves and seeing any hint of the “extremist nut” she’s been made out to be. The final snippet is coming up shortly.