September 11th, 2008
08:50 PM ET

Evening buzz: Palin’s first interview, Ike’s second wind

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/groundzeropost.jpg caption="Presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are followed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cindy McCain as they descend the ramp into ground zero" width=292 height=320]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Anderson is in Texas tonight where Hurricane Ike is taking aim and authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of people. After cutting a deadly swath through the Caribbean, Ike is expected to hit the U.S. coast sometime tomorrow between Corpus Christi and Houston. (The region is home to 26 refineries that account for one-fourth of U.S. refining capacity.) Things could get really ugly. We’re gearing up for a long weekend.

With Ike looming, American today marked the seventh anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The familiar rituals of grief unfolded in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. After days of sniping on the trail, John McCain and Barack Obama set aside politics and made a show of unity at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. While in New York today, Obama had lunch with Bill Clinton at his Harlem office. (What we would have given to be a fly on the wall.) At this very minute, both McCain and Obama are attending a forum hosted by Columbia University. Even though they won’t share the stage, the forum is being framed as another show of unity, in the name of national service. We’ll have full coverage and analysis of what both candidates say tonight.

In short, there’s plenty of politics for our panels to chew over tonight, including Gov. Sarah Palin’s long-awaited first interview with a reporter. In the portion ABC News aired tonight, Charlie Gibson asked Palin about her foreign policy and national security views. How did she do? Did we learn anything new? You can count on a spirited discussion from our panel tonight. If you saw the Palin interview, we’d love to hear your take.

We’ll also talk with CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen about al Qaeda and the war on terror. The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan has surged this year; 112 American troops have been killed since January – the highest annual toll since the fighting. That’s grim news. On the other hand, there hasn’t been a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the seven years since 9-11. What do both facts say about the war on terror? Who’s winning?

We’ll see you at 10 eastern.

Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Travis

    I would like to know if Sarah Palin's comments about Russia could have an impact on Venezuela and the expelling of our U.S. ambassador. This comment by Chavez is why I'm curious.

    "But he said the presence of two Russian warplanes on Venezuelan soil for a training exercise "is a warning" to the rest of the world that Venezuela's allies include Russia and other countries."

    September 12, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  2. Sue-Dallas

    Governor Palin is a wonderful example of an accomplished, thoughtful woman. I am amazed, ashamed but not surprised by the Democratic party's sexist attacks regarding her and the "gotcha" tactics of unethical media.
    As a 54 year old democratic female, I will be voting for the McCain ticket. I am turned off by the hysterical rhetoric of the males in the democratic party.

    September 12, 2008 at 1:33 am |
  3. Fran

    Unprepared? You bet. Grasping at straws, right on. I shudder to think she could be the VP. She looked so uncomfortable as though she was ready to jump out of the chair, body language, predictable. Perhaps talking in circles is what she does best. She sure did not instill a feeling of confidence in me at all.
    I will now vote the other party.

    September 12, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  4. Richard

    I would like to see the whole interview of Sarah Palin by Charlie Gibson, but we couldn't record it. The clip about the Bush Doctrine on Anderson Cooper 360, though, was unfortunate–not because Palin didn't know what it is, but because Gibson misdefined it (or was too vague), Palin described something that is not the Bush Doctrine, and none of the commentators picked up on this. The Doctrine is NOT about preemptive strikes, such as Israel's strikes against Syria et al. in the 6-day war in '67, when Israeli Intelligence knew Israel would be hit within days or hours. The Bush Docrtine is about preventive wars, a very different thing. Even if our intelligence justifying the Iraq war had not been falsified, it would still have been a mistake so far in advance of an immediate and dire threat. The Doctrine boils down to: the U.S. gov't reserves the right to go to war against any nation at any time for any reason. We are well on our way to being the Roman Empire redux.

    September 12, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  5. Pauline

    Sarah Palin is a strong shining light caught in the center of a malestrom of furious frightened Democrats. She will be a great vice president and would make a great president but that won't be necessary. If Senator Mccain can survive 5.5 years in a prisoner of war camp then the next four years will be by comparison a walk in the park. She was picked for who she is and what she stands for REFORM. What she stands for impressed Senator Mccanin and the American people who will not be brainwashed by smooth talking politicians who avow there friends one minute and disavow them the next. We know who John Mccanins VP will be, Sarah Palin.
    We don't know who Obama's VP will be given the statement made on national T.V. by Reverend Wright that he will be Obama's mentor and the real Vice President. And as for Hillary supporters voiting for Obama, come on now, do u really want someone who lied and said Hillary would be on anyone's short list and then blatently treats her with disrespect and contempt.
    Mccain and Palin will promote the kind of change we need of that u can be sure.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  6. Michael - Long Beach, CA

    Regarding the interview with Gov. Palin, what's the point of "gotcha" interviews? CNN, ABC, or any network, can interview any politician and ask a "gotcha" question – what's the point?
    It's seems that the driving focus of any of these interviews is to find out something a candidate doesn't know. I guarantee that CNN can ask Sen. McCain or Sen. Obama a question that they don't know the answer too. So what? I'd really like to meet the person who knows everything, that is, if they exist.
    Thankfully, all of our Presidents have surrounded themselves with talented people that help them in their administrations.
    The media, in my view, serves none of us well by such antics.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  7. Tamara

    I think the McCain campaign took out a kind of insurance by having Palin give her interview today, 9/11. Whether or not she messed up, the 9/11 memorials would rightly overshadow her performance. That was a very cunning move by the McCain campaign. Her degree of hubris in the interview was positively frightening to me.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  8. Sarah

    Thank you Anderson for trying to get your guests to answer apolitical.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  9. Kevin Evanski

    Governor Palin is just not ready. She seems like a remarkable person, but, yes but-The country is facing extrodinary challenges and we will need an exceptional person to lead this country. We may be able to change how politics are performed in Washington, but World Politics is a different matter. Does everyone really believe that Governor Palin can lead this nation? I am not saying she could not meet this challenge in the future, but right now? Does anyone really think that we should take that chance? Am I the only one that thinks that the consequences are for to great to take this chance?

    September 11, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  10. Kay

    As for Sarah/Charlie interview, I saw Charlie keep pushing, in most questions, will she be for war, aggression, sending in American troops. In most circumstances put to her, defense is the only answer. I am waiting to have these same questions presented to Biden, and will form an opinion when I hear his answers.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  11. Chris Brock

    I'm neither a democrat or republican, but I can say that I was not impressed with Gov. Palin's interview. I think she strayed from the questions and would not give a straight or direct answer. She would take the questions and turn them into a completely different subject. I don't think she is prepared to give honest answers at this point in fear for being quoted later and having it used against her by the democratic party. The questions were direct and deserved direct answers with mild explanations. I too feel that this country is in need of change, but I don't think that someone who cannot answer simple questions about very important issues is ready for the job. I don't think that seeing Russia from a peak someplace in the state of Alaska qualifies her in any way with foreign policy issues.

    I've been keeping an open mind to both parties, but so far I'm not seeing much from either side. It's like choosing between having a broken finger or a broken toe.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  12. JOSE


    99.9 % of Americans wouldn't know what the Bush doctrine is including many small town democrats and republican mayors. I'm an independent and haven't decided who I will vote for, but I think overall it was a very good interview and she did an excellent job.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  13. Margaret

    Let's all be honest here...Palin had NO idea at all what the Bush Doctrine was. "In what regard, Charlie?". That was her response. Yes, most Americans probably don't know what the Bush Doctrine is, but most Americans aren't running for Vice President! I expect my leaders to know things like this, especially when it comes to something as important and serious as terrorism. Someone made a comment that she knew what NATO is...I know what NATO is, and I'm not in politics at all. I learned what NATO is in high school. She looked like a person straight out of college on her first major job interview.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  14. Laura

    Palin clearly did not know Bush's policy I'm sure McCain did not choose her for her experience (which is lacking), or her strength. Where was she when her family was going astray. I would not be surprised if Daniel is correct stating Biden will step down making room for Hilary... I would be intellectually interesting to watch a real debate and real conversations on the issues affecting the US besides pigs and lipstick...

    September 11, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  15. jay

    daniel, excellent reading into this. at this point nothing would suprise me with this election. i personally have nothing against any of the candidates. im an independent. for me meaning i dont belong to this group or that group i wait until i hear the issues and then vote on whats important to me and my family. palin, she just doesn't have it. not because shes's a woman, she doesn't have it. hiliary, she has it. she's a leader ans possess leader traits, palin, well she's just not leadership material. i like obama for certain reasons and i like mccain for certain reasons. but i do think daniel is on to something monumental . . . are you a political major?

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  16. Kevin

    The question that I would like to ask Sarah Palin, regarding her comments about Russia and NATO, is what troops she and McCain would plan to send over to Russia? We have troops in Afghanistan, troops in Iraq, and the possibility of troops in Georgia? Where does it end? How far are they willing to stretch our troops? Frankly, the only way I can see anything like happening is if they want to get some kind of draft.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  17. Blake

    sanctions against an equal country is a act of war. America had sanctioned a country back in the 1940's and they attacked us, The country was Japan. Spin how you will she is in way over her head. She was put on the ticket because of Hillary, She might be a nice person but she is not ready to lead.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  18. David

    I thought Gibson was pretty tough in his questions throughout the interview. It looked to me like he was "fishing for sound-bytes" the whole time.

    It also seemed evident that the "Bush Doctrine" question began innocent enough, but became a biligerent pressing after her first response. I'm doubtful that he would have come across in that kind of tone in either his 2nd or 3rd follow-ups on that issue, had either Obama or McCain in the chair across from him.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  19. James "BOSS" Foster

    What does she know about the vast – fast life of the U.S. economy?She sounds like that lady from Saturday night live.She seems very defensive about the questions about traveling abroad.She is not ready to lead.Keep her in Alaska.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  20. Arran Greenleaf (Boerne TX)

    She's not running to be Reverend & Chief... that is the funniest thing I have heard in this entire election.

    Thank you so much.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  21. Robbin

    I watched the Palin interview and saw a woman struggle with tough questions which one should be capable of answering when running for the second highest office in our country.

    As a woman I would be embarassed to have her represent his country either domestically or overseas. I also want to state that Mr. Gibson's questioning was appropriate and toned in a manner consistent with the seriousness of the objective-picking a new president and vice president.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Dick from Indio, CA

    I find it interesting that CNN broke its coverage of Ms. Palin's response to Charlie Gibson's question re; Georgia, than you broke her answer before she could say that a military response was just one of many the NATO Allies could use if Russia invaded a NATO country!
    For shame!

    September 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  23. Mo

    I think Palin clearly proved herself how incredibly similar she and the Republican ticket is to Bush, in her "deer caught in headlights" poise, in her overly rehearsed rhetoric, and her irresponsible and uninformed answers. I didn't know you can acquire Russian intel by "seeing Russia from land here in Alaska". The last thing Americans are interested in is heading into another war. We have enough "wars" to deal with on American soil. Can the republicans still regard this as the maverick ticket?

    September 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  24. Marquis

    This is scary very scary. I gave her a chance but forget that. Putin is laughing at this and so is the rest of the world.She is not qualified at all!!!!

    September 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  25. J. Fleming

    Compare Sarah Palin struggling to understand Charlie Gibson's questions and trying to remember what answers she was coached on to Joe Biden's knowledgeable comments on Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw on Sunday and tell me who you think should be vice president!!!!

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  26. Sandra, Ontario

    Does Sarah Palin not realise that Georgia attacked South Ossetia which is aligned with Russia of it's own accord andthat Russia responded appropriately? Also does she think the European countries in Nato will join with America to attack Russia. Does she not realise that European countries are closely allied with Russia for oil plus other goods and services. Russia is more important to their well being that America is. Does she know anything about international relations and how countries interact with each other on the other size of the world?

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  27. Gigi Jones

    Daniel, where'd you get that little tidbit of information from-the Tooth Fairy? – How many teeth did you lose?

    We don't know anything about Palin as a person, except the gossip and rumors because she won't make her handlers let her have an interview-until this one with Charlie Gibson. But now it comes AFTER all the crazy pictures, the discussion about her daughter, etc., etc. have come out. She is under tougher scrutiny now than she would have been if she'd been on Meet the Press, Nightly News, and all the other shows weeks ago. It's a Republican strategy, a typical Republican strategy to totally control their candidates like puppets. But I did notice she seemed comfortable with that, sitting with her legs, her arms and her hands all tied up. Something's not right with her, and it's not just McSame.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  28. simon blake

    long time Republican, and I am NOT impressed with what i am seeing with her interview. !!

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Hilda

    Crap unfortunately because of hurricane IKE I was not able to watch the Palin interview (not to mention any of my usual shows). The storm has taken over the media. I have no cable and I miss CNN. But getting to the point... I won't mind McCain being prez... but giving Palin a chance for prez, considering McCain probably won't live another 4 years, is a very scary thought. Scarier than a hurricane to tell you the truth. (Oh Ike I'm ready, please come and get me.) From what I have read, my understanding is that she basically wouldn't mind going to war with RUSSIA. Well what can I say other than, she's an idiot. Nuff said. I shall vote for Obama and Biden. Obama and Hillary would have been too much power in the room. It's like watching mom and dad fight at the dinner table.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  30. Joan

    Pre Palin and after Hillary lost the Dem nomination, I gave serious thought to supporting McCain for President. I gave credence to his long years of experience and his promise to become a maverick. However, after his pick of Palin, I feel he acted irresponsibly and the more we learn about her, it only cements my feeling. I now feel I have only one choice and that is Obama. He should have selected Hillary Clinton as his VP choice, but I could live with Biden.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  31. Marc

    I am concerned that CNN just helped to host a forum for Barack Obama and John McCain to express their thoughts (the two people at the top of the ticket...if anyone still remembers that) and yet this entire broadcast will focus on Sarah Palin. The Media keeps saying (including CNN correspondents) that all of the focus is being put on Palin, and that the Democrats problem is that the focus is in Palin. They also say that this is the Republican's plan (even Bay Buchanan says that Sarah Palin is stealing the spotlight in some ways). So why, why, why is there no coverage of the Obama/McCain forum? Does CNN really need to recap an ABC News story?

    September 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  32. Cathie

    I don't think Palin did well with the questions, she did not feel comfortable. She did not know what the Bush Doctrine was and I even know it. And the remarke about Mission of God makes me uneasy I don't think religion and politics should me mixted. She is not a person who should be charged of the United States she is not the one I would want to answer the phone at 3 a.m. I am voting for Obama that is for sure.

    September 11, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  33. Sarah

    I think Palin should definitely know what the Bush Doctrine is. How can she lead in Washington and not know a defining theory?

    September 11, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  34. jenn

    Palin is out of her depth.She didn't even know what "The Bush Doctrine" is.The woman is an idiot and trigger happy.Great combo!!!

    September 11, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  35. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    YIKES IKE"S coming! I live a couple of hours from Houston and we are suppose to have hurricane force winds here. I am NOT looking forward to it at all.
    I'll be watching
    !'ve got to go "hunker down!

    September 11, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  36. Annie Kate

    I hope Anderson and Gary Tuchman will be safe in Texas – the words "certain death" are so ominous to hear and I remember reading about the hurricane that hit Galveston 108 years ago. This one sounds like it may be a lot like that one and the one 108 years ago all but destroyed Galveston. Stay safe guys – we want you to come home in one piece.

    I saw some of Palin's interview. She did a lot better than I expected especially considering that her center of her job attention has been just on Alaska the last few years. I didn't want to be impressed because I hate her environmental policies but I was impressed.

    @Daniel – I hear what you are saying but I just don't see it happening. Why do you think this would happen? Obama should have picked Hilary to begin with – Joe dropping out now and Obama asking Hillary will only point out the fact that his first selection was faulty judgment. He has run on the theme that his judgment was more sound than others especially in relation to the Iraq war – can he afford at this point to call his judgment into question?

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 11, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  37. Marty

    Could anyone be "winning" the war on terror? Evil will always be a part of this world; it's part of our human nature. It was such a horrific day, September 11th, but I think what still bothers me the most is that we, as a nation, never ask ourselves how we can grow from this experience; and I don't mean in terms of security procedures, etc, but humanly and nationally; coming together as one. Somehow we will one day have to get over our pride, and not in the good sense, and realize we are not the "perfect nation" who has all the answers and the rest of the world is wrong. It's just not a reality and never will be. How do we remember this event? Individually and collectively we are called to evaluate ourselves and see how we have grown stronger and healthier because of it. However, if we continue to live in the mindset of "fear" that will never be the case. This is a great country, but sometimes not with the greatest common sense of how to "play" with the rest of the world. This is an opportunity to restore diplomacy rather than try to fight violence with even more violence. The voices of all need to be heard so that understanding can be found and fear in the hearts and minds of all can be alleviated.

    September 11, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  38. Gilby-HI

    I have to ask the question, Where is the Mrs., Its seems like Mrs. Obama is not to be found by the press. Maybe she in not comfortable walking with the McCains on ground that has been tainted by American Blood going for the American Dream. A dream that is has never been proud of.

    September 11, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  39. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Dear Anderson,

    Thank you for going down to cover Ike.

    One small favor......can you PLEASE talk about Ike and for one small hour give me a break from the election circus? If I hear the name Palin one more time today, my sanity will be in serious jeopardy.

    She is now the new version of "she who shall not be named" in my world. Hoping for the best.

    Thanks and be safe in the storm.

    September 11, 2008 at 9:36 pm |
  40. Daniel

    Joe Biden will step down in the next few days. Obama will act surprised. Hilary will be named the new VP nominee. The next few days are for the Democrats to figure out how to carefully word Biden's decision without seeming hypocritical.

    September 11, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  41. msnola60

    This election is being watch by the WHOLE world. I have nothing personal towards Mrs. Palin but...I feel as VP standing just in case she has to take the President makes me a little uneasy. From what I read of how she wanted her brother-in-law fired and the other things that transpired. In my opionion, when making decisions especially in the position she is running for scares me. On one of her bad days, we could end up in more War. At this time, we really don't need an man (McCain) that keep saying FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT and we don't need a person concentrating only on famiy issues. We are talking about someone capable enough to run this WHOLE country plus country Affairs here and abroad. Whatever experience Obama lacks, Joe Biden has, which together creates "SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW." Politically, we will be better off as a country. Women are not that stupid to vote just because she is female. But, racism will play a BIG part of this election year. WHICH IS A SHAME ON OUR COUNTRY. I watched her interview...she is a quick thinker when altering her statement, saying what she thinks she should say and not what she really felt or meant at the time she made those statement..

    September 11, 2008 at 9:12 pm |