GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin sat down with Charlie Gibson of ABC for her first big post-nomination interview.
Here's a chunk of exceprts courtesy of the (U.K.) Times:
GIBSON: 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?"
PALIN: I didn't hesitate, no.
GIBSON: Didn't that take some hubris?
PALIN: I - I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink.
So I didn't blink then even when asked to run as his running mate....
GIBSON: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life.
GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.
GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.
GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.
PALIN: Right, right.
GIBSON: I'm talking about somebody who's a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. ...
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln's words, but you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."
PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That, in my world view, is a grand - the grand plan.
GIBSON: But then are you sending your son on a task that is from God?
PALIN: I don't know if the task is from God, Charlie. What I know is that my son has made a decision. I am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made, what he decided to do and serving for the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not choosing a real easy path where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer....
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We've learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.
Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.
Based on the bits I saw, and the incredibly tedious, partisan commentary on last night's yak shows, I'd say Palin easily passed the Quayle test (that is, she didn't completely bomb) but failed to rise far enough above that baseline to completely silence critics (as she did with her GOP convention speech). Shockingly, the folks in the tank for the GOP said she was great, and the Dem types thought she was stunningly bad (she clearly flubbed more than a few answers); the big fooferaw coming out this will be whether Gibson deliberately misrepresented various on-a-mission-from-God quotes, which will focus the post-interview debate on media bias (a win for the GOP).
If nothing else, this interview may signal a shift back to discussing the top of the tickets, though last night's national service-a-thon forum with McBama was a grimly awful affair whose basic premise—ask not what your country can do for you but what you can be forced to do for your country—should remind libertarians and liberty-loving folks everywhere just how few people get the whole freedom-from-serving-in-other-people's-grand-schemes point of this country.