Bill Kristol had a short interview with Sarah Palin on Sunday:
The Wright Stuff
By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The New York Times
October 5, 2008
...Palin had remarked ruefully almost a week ago that her son Track had been, since his recent deployment to Iraq, in touch with his girlfriend but not his mother, I asked whether she had subsequently heard from him.
Palin told me she had. “He called the day of the debate, and it was so wonderful because it was the first call since they were deployed over there, and it was like a burden lifted even when I heard his voice.” Palin said that she told him that she had a debate that night. “And he says, ‘Yeah, I heard, Mom,’ and he says, ‘Have you been studying?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I have,’ and he goes, ‘O.K., well I’ll be praying.’ I’m like — total role reversal here, that’s what I’ve been telling him for 19 years.”
That was Palin the hockey mom — or rather the military mom.
As for the campaign, Palin made clear — without being willing to flat out say so — that she regretted allowing herself to be overly handled and constrained after the Republican convention. She described the debate on Thursday night as “liberating,” and she emphasized how much she now looked forward to being out there, “getting to speak directly to the folks.”
Since she seemed to have enjoyed the debate, I asked her whether she’d like to take this opportunity to challenge Joe Biden to another one.
There was a pause, and I thought I heard some staff murmuring in the background (we were on speaker phones). She passed on the notion of a challenge. But she did say she was more than willing to accept an invitation to debate with Biden again, and even expressed a preference for a town hall meeting-type format.
Palin also made clear that she was eager for the McCain-Palin campaign to be more aggressive in helping the American people understand “who the real Barack Obama is.” Part of who Obama is, she said, has to do with his past associations, such as with the former bomber Bill Ayers. Palin had raised the topic of Ayers Saturday on the campaign trail, and she maintained to me that Obama, who’s minimized his relationship with Ayers, “hasn’t been wholly truthful” about this.
I pointed out that Obama surely had a closer connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than to Ayers — and so, I asked, if Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright?
She didn’t hesitate: “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”
I guess so. And I guess we’ll soon know McCain’s call on whether he wants to bring Wright up — perhaps at his debate with Obama Tuesday night.
I asked at the end of our conversation whether Palin, fresh off her own debate, had any advice for McCain. “I’m going to tell him the same thing he told me. I talked to him just a few minutes before I walked out there on stage. And he just said: ‘Have fun. Be yourself, and have fun.’ And Senator McCain can do the same.” She paused, and I was about to thank her for the interview, but she had one more thing to say. “Only maybe I’d add just a couple more words, and that would be: ‘Take the gloves off.’ ”
And maybe I’d add, Hockey Mom knows best.