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Palin's Absence Becomes Focus Of Sunday Talk


First Posted: 09- 7-08 01:35 PM   |   Updated: 10- 8-08 05:12 AM

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UPDATE: "Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin is offering her first televised interview to ABC News in the coming week in Alaska," AP reports.

"A McCain-Palin adviser says an interview was offered to ABC's Charlie Gibson several days ago and that they expect it to happen in the latter part of the week in Alaska. Palin is the governor of Alaska and is expected to return home at midweek after more joint appearances with McCain."

ORIGINAL POST: It's been nine days since Gov. Sarah Palin was tapped to be John McCain's vice president, and the Alaska Republican has given nary an interview since then. Her absence was acutely felt this Sunday, as both presidential candidates and Sen. Joseph Biden took to the morning shows to plead their cases for election day.

Palin came up primarily in the context of her refusal to appear.

On NBC's Meet the Press, Biden told Tom Brokaw, "Eventually, she's going to have to sit in front of you like I'm doing and have done. Eventually, she's going to have to answer questions and not be sequestered. Eventually, she's going to have to answer on the record." Later, Brokaw told viewers he had reached out to the Delaware Democrat's Republican counterpart to no avail.

McCain, appearing on CBS's Face The Nation, was asked about Palin's absence as well. He hinted that his number two would be taking questions soon, but dismissed the inquiry with a humorous dig at the number of times he himself has gone on the show,

"We just finished the convention but within the next few days and I am strongly recommending that she come on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and that will be the first of her 65 appearances," said the Senator.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, appearing on ABC's This Week, made a sly joke about Palin's eagerness to throw a political punch but shyness about taking press questions.

And then there was Rick Davis. McCain's campaign manager, appearing on the Fox New Channel, told Chris Wallace that Palin would not be subjected to reporters questions "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference."

Ripping the fourth estate for a perceived bias towards the Alaska Governor, Davis went on.

"She's not scared to answer questions," he said, "but you know what? We run our campaign not the news media... Sarah Palin will have the opportunity to speak to the American people. She will do interviews, but she'll do them on the terms and conditions" the campaign decides.

Days earlier, Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic reported that a McCain aide said it would be a while before the Governor is subjected to direct questions from the press. The campaign, Ambinder wrote, will "effectively deal with the media's complaints, and their on-the-record response to all this will be: 'Sarah Palin needs to spend time with the voters.'"

Said David Chalian, political director for ABC News, in a Politico story on the matter: "There's no doubt in my mind that the McCain campaign would like to run out on the clock on this."

Already, members of the press and Democratic activists are irked by the absence and trying to make political hay from it. Moveon.org has even started a clock tracking how long it has been since Palin fielded a question.

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