The prevailing narrative among liberals and GOP elites has always been that Governor Palin won’t engage the media. That false meme will be more difficult to push now. Peter Hamby, in a piece at CNN today, elaborates on Governor Palin’s numerous encounters with the media this past week:
At times, it seemed like Palin was going rogue all over again.
Though still under an exclusive contract with Fox News Channel, Palin was raring to mix it up with a political press corps that, in her eyes, has underestimated her ever since she was thrust into the national spotlight as John McCain’s running mate in 2008.
Putting aside her chaotic appearance at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally on Sunday, an event that generated little news other than pictures of a black-clad Palin riding on the back of a Harley, she took questions from the media 17 different times over the course of four days.
That’s a remarkable number for any national political figure, particularly for one locked into an exclusive television contract that normally precludes her from talking to other media outlets.
Palin seemed at ease at most events, lingering outside her bus or SUV to answer every possible question despite Piper’s best efforts to drag her away and helpless shouts of “Last question!” from her aides.
During a stop at a café in central Pennsylvania, even her normally reticent husband Todd opened up to reporters about his family’s readiness for a potential campaign.
At a clambake in the coastal New Hampshire town of Seabrook on Wednesday, Palin cheerfully chatted at length with a pack of reporters from national outlets like CNN, NBC, CBS, The Washington Post, Time and Bloomberg.
If the twinkle in her eye as she faced down the media hordes this week is any indication, she might soon be looking for employment of a different kind.
Read Hamby’s entire article here. While I don’t agree with everything he writes (for instance, he repeats the discredited nontroversy that she got Paul Revere wrong, and I’m not sure what he means by “chaotic” appearance at Rolling Thunder), it’s a remarkably fair piece for CNN.
Exit Question(s): Has President Obama, the self-described most transparent president in history, ever done 17 unscripted press conferences during which he answers “every possible question” in a week? How about in a month? Or in a year? Or since January 20, 2009? I don’t think he has. Am I wrong?
Update: (h/t Whitney) Regarding Governor Palin’s availability to the national press, Scott Conroy’s tweet says it all:
There were a couple of times when I ran out of questions to ask Palin. Embarrassing for a reporter & indicator of her level of engagement.