Here is a (surely incomplete) list of Lists of Questions ABC News’s Charlie Gibson Should Ask Gov. Sarah Palin (this doesn’t include all the general advice out there on how Gibson should approach the interview, just the stuff in list format) :
LA Times’s James Rainey
ABCNews.com (reader/viewer suggestions)
Very Important People Who Gather at “The Arena” at Politico
Foreign Policy’s blog.
Slate’s Jack Shafer
A member of the Footballguys.com fantasy football forum
A Daily Kos-er
And now I’m going to read the lists (I’ll report back on highlights, similarities, etc)…
UPDATE: I’ve now skimmed all the above lists. Topics that appear on many of them include: differences with Bush administration/what would Palin do differently; global warming; energy independence; handling Putin; Palin’s record in Alaska (Bridge to Nowhere, book-banning, creationism); Iraq (though not as often as I’d have thought). Issues that don’t show up on too many of these lists? Healthcare. Education (at least not beyond “abstinence only” and “creationism”). Immigration…
On specific lists:
Way-Hardest? Foreign Policy’s blog. It’s pop-quiz-laden:
What’s the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?
Nearly 40 percent of the world’s population lives in China and India. Who are those countries’ leaders?
And demands specificity:
What are your picks for the three most enlightening books written on foreign policy in the last five years?
You’ve said that the federal government spends too much money. What, in your view, is the appropriate level of spending as a percentage of GDP?
You’re an advocate of reducing environmental restrictions on drilling. How much oil needs to be found in the United States before the country achieves energy independence?
Most Likely to be Cribbed by Charlie Gibson? Jack Shafer’s (For the handy follow-up questions! “That’s not very specific, governor…”) A press-related question from Shafer: “What questions should the press be asking you?” “What questions are out of bounds?” Maureen Dowd, too, has a press-centric query: “Why put out a press release on [your] teenage daughter’s pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release?” And, from the Anchorage Daily News: “If you were fully qualified vice-presidential candidate from the get-go, why did you wait more than 10 days to face reporters?”
Most Pleased With Itself/Least Constructive or Helpful? Shocker: Maureen Dowd’s. A sample: “Does [Palin] talk in tongues or just eat caribou tongues?”
Most Religion-Focused? The collective list by NPR listeners (lots of God questions for Palin). Also notable among NPR listeners? A Bernard Shaw shout-out (contender for Least Likely to be Asked?):
CNN’s Bernard Shaw opened the 2nd 1988 presidential debate with this question to Michael Dukakis: “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?”
It seems that most people do not know that Sarah Palin has said that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest, or that Alaska has by far the highest rate of rape in the nation. So, just as the policy question to Gov Dukakis was framed in a very personal way, perhaps Charlie Gibson should ask this: “Gov Palin, if your 14 year old daughter were raped, would you favor making it illegal for her to get an abortion?”
And an NPR listener suspiciously named “Charles Gibson” suggests this:
As Gov of Alaska, where do you stand on Alaska’s lack of presence in the NHL?
Most Likely To Be Cribbed By Palin? Politico. For this, from Tom Korologos, Attorney and Republican adviser:
I don’t have a question for Charles Gibson but I have an opening ANSWER from Gov. Palin: “Before we start let me say: Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada; Filipe Calderon is President of Mexico; Gordon Brown is Prime Minister of Great Britain; and Dmitry Medvedev is President of Russia and if you ask me who the President of Namibia is I’ll ask you right back how many cubic feet of natural gas does Alaska produce every year. So with that preamble let’s get to real questions tonight.
Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.