Should Gwen Ifill suddenly find herself at a loss for questions tonight the NYT and friends are here to help! The Times has rounded up the punditry troops and asked them what they would like to hear from Palin and Biden tonight. There’s some good and practical questions, some of which will hopefully get addressed tonight. But these are our two favorites:
Per Andrew Sullivan: Governor Palin, since you were selected as a vice presidential candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has given more press conferences to American reporters than you have. Why do you have less confidence in the American press and people than the president of Iran does? And when will you dare to face the press for real?
Per Jeffrey Goldberg: Senator Biden, you told me once that, shortly before the 2004 election, you advised John Kerry to respond harshly to a new Osama bin Laden videotape. You described the conversation this way: “I’m on the phone, I e-mail, I say, ‘John, please, say three things’: ‘How dare bin Laden speak of our president this way.’ No. 2, ‘I know how to deal with preventing another 9/11.’ No. 3, ‘Kill him.’” You then threw up your hands in disgust and said of Senator Kerry, “He didn’t make any of it. Let’s get it straight. None of it.”
This story was entertaining, but it wasn’t strictly accurate. It turned out that you did not, in fact, even speak with Senator Kerry until well after he had issued a vigorous denunciation of bin Laden. This episode is one of several in which you have appeared to exaggerate your importance. Recently, you spoke of being “shot at” in Iraq. This, too, turned out to be false. Why should voters trust you, after you have made so many provably embroidered assertions?