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What Will Sarah Say?

5:14 PM, Sep 11, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Her debut is tonight with Charlie Gibson.

ABC is teasing this:

Exclusive: Gov. Sarah Palin warns war may be necessary if Russia invades another country.

TV Newser has more:

• "The top priority is to defend the United States of America. I know that John McCain would do that."

• "With new leadership comes opportunity to do things better."

• "War has got to be a last option."

• "If a strike is imminent we have every right to defend our country...and that's what a McCain/Palin administration would do."

• "In order to stop Islamic extremists we must do whatever it takes. We must not blink, Charlie."

Update: The first part of the interview is expected to air tonight on "Nightline" though a couple clips are supposed to make it to the web and radio before then. More of the interview will air on "Good Morning America" Friday, and the two-day event will wrap up with footage shown on Friday's "World News" and "20/20." For those of you unfamiliar with it, "World News" is an antiquated form of news delivery found on network TV wherein a distinguished anchor reads a summary of the news of the day to the dwindling audience that has actually made it home from work by the time it airs.

The good news for Charlie Gibson is I've heard Sarah Palin has a knack for bringing excitement and large audiences to certain endeavors that have lacked both.

Update: ABC has two clips up now, one in which Gibson asks her if she's ready to be vice president and possibly president. In the other, he asks her "if the Iraq war is a holy war."

The second question is based upon a misrepresentation of this clip of Sarah Palin speaking to a group at her former church in Wasilla, in which she asks that the group, "pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country. That our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to be praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan. Bless them with your prayers."

As you can see in my transcription and the clip, she does not assert that Iraq is a "task from God" or part of "God's plan," but that people of faith should pray that God's will be done and that the mission would be blessed. It's a mainstream Christian sentiment, less presumptuous than Obama's own pronunciation's about God's will, and entirely different from what Gibson presents to Palin.

The misrepresentation of the Iraq prayer has its roots in an AP report, which Gibson apparently took at face value. Disappointing.