A John McCain campaign aide tells Jay Carney that she sees no reason why Sarah Palin should have to answer reporters' queries:
According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace -- in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough's show -- the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads.
Watch the exchange:
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter predicts how this strategy will play out:
I'd imagine that Palin will dodge press conferences in favor of interviews with people like Sean Hannity, Larry King and Ellen DeGeneres. Then, when the media complain that she is being kept away, the McCain campaign will cite the half dozen or so interviews she has granted as proof that the campaign press is just bellyaching. Brief press "avails" on the plane will be useless, unless reporters ask open-ended queries designed to elicit proof of real knowledge.
That should get Palin through the next three weeks. By the end of the month, the McCain camp can say she has to go to ground to prepare for the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate, where expectations will be so low for Palin that she will likely emerge intact. It will be up to the press and public to raise enough of a stink about this, that Palin is forced to submit to real interviews with real questions that show whether her real-life experience is any preparation for assuming high office. In that sense, the Palin nomination is as much of a test of us as it is of her.
And Marc Ambinder suggests they can get away with it:
What harm would befall the McCain campaign if Palin sat for one major television interivew with, say, a gentle but probing Diane Sawyer... and then an interview with her local paper in Alaska... and then gave no press avails and held no press conferences. The media would complain a lot. Would people care?
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