After his comparatively disastrous speech at the Republican National Convention, it wouldn't seem John McCain could teach Sarah Palin much about public relations. But the Republican presidential nominee appears to have imparted an important lesson in one-on-one media manipulation: Sometimes the best response to a skeptical reporter is to draw him in as closely as possible. Politico said Palin will meet with ABC News' Charlie Gibson not only on Sunday, as originally reported, but in multiple interviews Thursday and Friday, as well, including at the prospective vice president's home in Wasilla, Alaska. Much as McCain used to score points with campaign reporters with seemingly chummy off-the-record chats, Palin no doubt hopes to soften Gibson up with a tour of her home state. Gibson, meanwhile, is supposedly racing to become the sort of interviewer who needs softening up:
ABC is war-gaming tough questions – not gotchas [no??], but some requiring policy knowledge — with the thoroughness that a network prepares for a debate.
...Officials wouldn’t say how the ABC anchor was chosen. “There were lots of tremendous and credible and fair journalists to choose from,” an aide said. “Somebody had to go first.”
After the interview, Palin will supposedly move on to actually speaking with the rest of the press and hoping everyone ignores the revelation she billed her state government for sleeping in her own home, or whatever would-be scandal is sliding right off of her at the time. But as the Observer writes, the lengthy interview will actually just take much of the pressure off the McCain campaign to make Palin available to the media, assuming the candidate doesn't screw up.