September 24th, 2008
08:00 AM ET

Sarah Palin goes to the U.N.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.palin.kissinger2.jpg caption="Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin meets former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in New York City, Tuesday."]Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

As she breezed through the vice presidential version of Foreign Policy 101 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, Sarah Palin seemed to be enjoying her first big test on the international stage.

"It went great!" she told reporters after a meeting with Republican foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger here in Manhattan on Tuesday.

During their actual one-on-one, the microphones picked up only one little snippet of subtance when Kissinger spoke briefly about last month's crisis in Georgia.

"And you'll give me more insight on that, also, huh?" Palin told Kissinger. "Good."

It was even lighter when Hamid Karzai sat down with Palin and she patted her heart as Afghanistan's president told her about his relatively-new baby boy.

"What's his name?" asked Palin.

"Mirwais," said Karzai. "Mirwais, which means, 'The Light of the House.'"

"Oh nice," she replied.

Pretty low-risk for Palin and yet the McCain campaign had tried to make it no risk for her by refusing to allow reporters to join cameras in the Karzai meeting. But the five U.S. television networks said they wouldn't air the video if a reporter couldn't be there - a standard policy. So the McCain camp gave in and allowed a reporter in.

Did the brief flap reveal that perhaps the Republican ticket is more concerned about the questions over Palin's experience than they're letting on publicly?

Filed under: Global 360° • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin • United Nations
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. SueAnn, Eugene

    I have read that Laura Bush believes, yes, Palin lacks sufficient foreign policy experience, but is a quick study. Is it true she only has a BS in Journalism–is that really her highest education? As a woman I applaude a quick study and smart moves to where she is, but not as someone I want leading my country.

    September 24, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  2. gene gaudi

    Shane "if she wanted to be interviewed she would" is almost exactally right. She does not want to be interviewed and McBush doesn´t want her interviewed either, along with all her teachers since she has yet to pass the test. Unless you want her to go head to head with Rachel Ray on Moose Stew.

    September 24, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  3. Presley

    I wish everyone could shut up about Sarah "Peggy Hill" Palin.
    They are reinventing and rewriting the game for HER. WHY?
    The Republican McMavericks have concentrated way to many resources on her "image" and "legitimacy", they have WASTED potential funds that could be better spent on THE CAMPAIGN.
    They could have opted for another female whose credentials were not in a black hole to no where.
    Can we move on now, everything that she is, is everything she is not.
    Get it?

    September 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  4. Dani, Seattle

    Wow. And these people want me to bail them out too? Even though, I am just the average working class, rundown, fanatically wandering if they are going to ask me for all my blood next, American citizen. At this point I hope everything falls apart. I'm so tired of the so-called news media that doesn't report real news, like the fact that our country is going BANKRUPT, oh but sorry nobody knew about it because the days of Walter Cronkite are gone forever. I DON"T CARE ABOUT NO SPEAKING SARAH. I want you to report the REAL NEWS, have you heard about it!
    Country First? You mean Wallets First!

    September 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  5. Kip, Calif.

    Yesterday, finally the news media had the guts to call the McCain campaign bluff on access to Palin for her “speed date” with foreign leaders at the UN. Now I’d really like to see the media (and that means you too CNN!) have the guts to really call their bluff and stop covering all her events (Palin pep rallies) until she appears on your shows and does full interviews. Boycott this manipulation! The media is being used just for her photo-ops and no substance.

    This is absurd! We have only a few weeks to evaluate this potential president (remember McCain is 72 with a history of cancer) and she’s too afraid to confront our press. Somehow, we’re supposed to believe she can handle the world’s baddies, yet she can’t even confront Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, or Campbell Brown. C’mon CNN! Boycott all Palin news coverage until she submits to questions from the press and the public like every other Presidential and VP candidates has throughout history. Call their bluff! This election is too important!

    September 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  6. Joshua

    The McCain camp is obviously mesmerized by Palin also. Because they have never stopped to say, well since we have gotten the push we wanted from Palin. Leave her to the wolves. And if she succeeds, she would be a great V.P. Biden also. We need some real common sense in our president and vice president. No matter how many cars or houses they might have. We need answers. Why we are in this position. Stop pointing fingers. Take your responsibility and let's move on. We need a leader. And yes, someone who can inspire. But with that inspiration, lead us in a good direction.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  7. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    In terms of Sarah Palin's trip to the UN. It was little more than a guided tour. She's be just as well off visiting the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State building as well so she could take pictures and show and tell all the folks back home about it with some great living room home slide shows. This women has shown absolutley nothing that would indicate she has any ability of make intelligent informed decisions at any level. I shudder to think of what kind of 'advisors' Todd would select for her in any government role.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  8. Maritza

    Sarah Palin has enormous appeal on many levels , she has the attributes and strength for the job , the role of Gov gave her the executive skill and she was tough on taking on the oil companies, as far as the experience on foreign matters compare her to the Presidential man on the ticket , he thinks Iran is a small country , has a very casual and naive perception of the dangers that the Soviets, Iran and other rogue country's represent, this arrogance is not what our country needs along with the staggering taxes that will tighten the choke hold we already have. I think Sarah Palin has more courage and intelligence than Obama and Biden put together.


    September 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  9. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Having worked on Ronald Reagan's campaign as a northest Msaachusetts regionla coordinator I know enough about the Republian infrastructure to say thet they indeed know that Sarah Palin is little more than a temporary attention getter and McCains decision to choose her was most certainly an act od despiration to try to take some of the momentum away from the Democrats.To be honest the only thing it has done is to is aided the Obama campaign by slowing his momentum to the point where it most certainly looks as if he is not going to peak too soon. This is actually much better news for Oabam/Biden and the Democrats than it is for the Republicans. To be honest it looks more and more as if McCain is adopting the Democrats issues. This may very well be a strategy that trys to place the race card in the hope that some white voters will vote for McCain because he's the 'white guy' saying the same things as the Democrats as opposed to the 'black guy' who is the REAL Democrat. Not only is does this play to the lowest denominator in America society but this is most unfortunate since it plays to those buried racist fears that many whites still have inside even if they don't express it publically. In the end , however, I truly believe that Americans in general are much better people than this and that they WILL make the correct choice and Vote Obama/Biden in overwheling numbers.
    Knowing that these guys are the real deal for REPONSIBLE CAPITALISM and INTELLIGENT Leadership will ultimately win out over the 'American Idol' shallow image of America that the Republican Party is trying to project in a very desperate attempt to try to get elected even though their actual policies would be disasterous to our nation This should put the race card firmly in the trash heap and not only will the United States prosper and mature materialisticaly as a result but it will also become more mature emotionally and socially as well ensuring responsible government for decades to come.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  10. James

    I love watching CNN. You guys truely are the leader in news. I would like to see you take a stand and stop ALL coverage of Sarah Palin if she keeps refusing to give interviews. Stop the photo ops too. Just don't say a word or show a single picture of her unless she agrees to talk freely to the public and to reporters. You stood up to the McCain campaign during her UN meetings and they allowed one reporter in but they still did not allow any questions. You should not have aired any photos or coverage of that meeting. Please take a stand. As the news media, you owe your viewers that much.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  11. Maureen, Newman California

    I thought that Campbell Brown's plea to the McCain campaign last night was very clever. She asked for them to stop with the sexism, and chauvinism they are showing towards Palin, and just let her speak openly. She is turning the McCain camp's ridiculous accusations right back in their faces. Good job Campbell.

    September 24, 2008 at 11:07 am |
  12. penny

    "Sarah Palin is part John McCain's TITANIC adventure. The U.S. will sink further into all of our problems. She shows all of his weaknesses in his campaign. Why don't he pull out of the race for the HUMAN RACE. He is entirely too old. He will be worst than GW. PLease AMERICA don't make the same mistake again. That will be a form of American greed and insanity not progress".

    September 24, 2008 at 10:31 am |
  13. LDM Bayview, WI

    Poor Henry Kissinger, a real diplomat, had to deal with this woman who is cramming for exams. Why, why are we spending so much energy on this caribou barbie? And no press, that's very telling of how much she didn't know.

    September 24, 2008 at 10:19 am |
  14. Dennis Knox

    I don't believe it reveals any concern about her experience – I believe it reveals concern about the experiences she has been subjected to by the so-called press.

    Consider please – she's a VP candidate. A sitting governor. She has a family whom she values. She has given birth to a Down Syndrome child and she's hammered for that (fundamentalist beliefs and all that, you know). Is that any issue regarding qualifications for VP? No. Her daughter – like oh-so-many-teenagers – didn't listen closely and did what she wished with her boyfriend. So the media attempted to crucify Mrs. Palin for her daughter's indiscretion and her religious beliefs.

    Why would the campaign not be concerned about the wild and erratic tangents that the "press" might take when given an opportunity to 'have a go' at Mrs. Palin? They'd be incredibly stupid if they didn't approach the "press" with great reservations.

    September 24, 2008 at 10:16 am |
  15. mary

    I think the McCain campaign has boxed themselves into a corner .

    They picked Palin to appeal to the undecided women voters but they are treating her like a shiny token to be waved in front of the crowds with no real substance. The fact that the male oriented Republican party does not realize that keeping a leash on her is so transparent that women are reacting negatively.

    Either the McCain campaign is using her as a front and she is no where near the independent hard driving person she is made out to be or they know that a couple bad gaffs and it is game over.

    September 24, 2008 at 9:57 am |
  16. Shella from San Antonio

    Okay Palin met some Foriegn leaders and what did they discuss? Nothing. The Mccain camp is keeping her quiet because they know she'll put her foot in her mouth and that she is'nt ready. If they felt she was ready should'nt she have already had a press conference and started talking to people on a regular basis while on the campaign trail. The times they let her answer some questions about energy I didn't understand anything she was talking about, she sounded frazzled and confused herself about what she should be some expert at, please what a laugh. Someone asked her about her Foriegn knowledge and she did as the republicans do, not answer the question. It's truly unbelievealbe to me how so many in her party has excepted her when she seems out of place. I don't know but the media isn't doing it's job exposing her. I'm sure my comment won't go through since cnn has blocked them. I could do a better job exposing Mccain/Palin but it seems to me that the media has made it's choice and that's Mccain and Palin for the next screw ups in the white house. We live in such a racist society and I wish that I could move to a country where it didn't exist.

    September 24, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  17. c.ca

    For years, my husband and I have talked about taking a trip to Alaska. We haven't done it yet, because we wanted to have enough free time to spend about a month on vacation. We had planned to take one of the cruises, then spend a few weeks inland and see as much as possible.

    These past few weeks of seeing Sara Palin on TV has killed our interest in ever visiting Alaska. I said, "Thanks but no thanks".

    September 24, 2008 at 9:44 am |

    This was nothing more than various photo ops for her, No press questions just photographers........... does anyone else find this weird?? what does the Mccain camp know about her that they fear, maybe she cannot handle herself byself when asked questions???? either way there's no way someone can say they are ready to lead the country when they are not capable of addressing the country!!!!!!


    September 24, 2008 at 9:39 am |
  19. Annie Kate

    This election has seen abundant examples of "making a mountain out of a molehill" with some chance remark. Maybe they are trying to keep more mountains from cropping up or maybe Palin just doesn't want to talk to you all. Maybe if you act like you aren't interested in talking to her McCain might get worried enough to let you.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 24, 2008 at 9:19 am |
  20. Shane

    Here's my opinion on this, if she dosn't want reporters then you don't get her. People who are going to vote for the Mccain Palin ticket have trust and good judge of character about her. The media has been horrible towards her especially the liberal media, they can say she's the devil herself for all i care im still going to vote for her and believe me the more they attack the more she's going to get votes. She's the governor, she's qualified and can take anything thrown on her and believe me she's not afraid of the media nor anybody else on anwsering questions. She did have 2 interviews already and thats more than enough.I dont buy the medias no bias, no bull and fact checks cause I can form my own opinions thank you. I knew she was always up to the task to meet with high officials. But I'll continue watching until they get elected just for the fun of it. These aren't usual times, I know reporters want her to anwser questions and she did and I believe her over any media's fact checks ! And I can't believe this is called a sexist treatment, if she wanted to get interviewed by reporters she would ...

    September 24, 2008 at 9:19 am |
  21. Maya Lawrence

    Morning Ed. I think that the McCain camp is making a laughing stock of Palin. If she's qualified, let her out there. What's the big deal? By sequestering her, they give the appearance that she is not qualified, even if it's not the case.

    I congratulate the media for pushing back yesterday. Maybe CNN should threaten to not cover Palin at all.

    September 24, 2008 at 9:16 am |
  22. Chris Henshaw

    Does anyone else find it extremely disconcerting that the American media can publicly interview the leader of a country their country is at odds with (Ahmadinejad) but CAN'T get an interview / ask questions to the woman who is running for vice president of their own country????
    This absolutely BAFFLES me.
    The American media needs to grow a set and start bringing attention to this issue before it's TOO LATE.

    September 24, 2008 at 9:09 am |
  23. Trish

    Hi Henry,

    If the Republican ticket weren't more concerned about the questions over Palin’s experience than they’re letting on publicly, I would be surprised. As I am more than concerned about Palin's lack of experience. Policy 101 for sure and Politics 101 as well. If Republicans think these half hour meetings engaging in lite conversation publicly does anything to change minds on Palin's level of experience it didn't work for me!

    September 24, 2008 at 8:14 am |