It was a night of embarrassing political-TV riches: Sarah Palin's much anticipated interview with Charlie Gibson and the McCain/Obama Service Forum at Columbia University. Oh, where to start? Let's say ladies first (can we say that?) Sarah Palin's interview is being sliced and diced everywhere, from your comments, to comparing her environmental statements then and now, to giving her an overall thumbs up for looking, "resolute, confident, and in command of the subject matter."
Though Gibson was hand-selected to be the first to have a crack at grilling Palin, he didn't hold back in variety of subject. From the Bush Doctrine to invading Russia, it was all covered. When Gibson asked Palin if she hesitated over her level of experience when McCain asked her aboard the Straight Talk Express, Palin said:
I didn’t hesitate, no. . .I answered him yes, because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.
If you missed the first batch, tonight's 20/20 has an hour-long special starting at 10 p.m.
And what were the candidates up to? A back-to-back forum on public service at Columbia University. How did it go? I'll tell you both sides, but let's just say I changed my email "status" message to "John McCain gives good forum." To see the scoop, read more.
Sitting down, much in the fashion of the Saddleback Forum last month, the two candidates answered questions on service in front of a 1,000 member audience that included students, celebrities, relatives of 9/11 victims and Joe Biden.
John McCain used the opportunity to lament how different the campaign could have been if he and Obama were traveling together, doing a series of town halls. After frank talk about his relationship with service and the draft, McCain said:
Volunteer organizations that are completely separate from the government — have nothing to do with the government — are amongst the most successful. So let's not get entrapped by the idea that the government has to run these voluntary organizations.
Obama came through with specifics saying:
I believe firmly that government should expand the avenues of opportunity. I want to create an energy corps, a clean energy corps that can mobilize individual citizens to help create greater energy efficiency in our country. I want to mobilize seniors to get involved with their schools or local hospitals and health clinics. There's going to be a whole range of ways to do it. Some of it is going to cost money, but mostly it requires government providing these opportunities and avenues.
Did you catch either TV event? What did you think?