When we read that Katie Couric would be getting a shot at interviewing John McCain’s running mate, we were psyched — not only because we like Katie Couric, but because her interview will be even more interesting than Charlie Gibson’s. (It shouldn’t be a surprise that NBC News, the team of left-leaning Maddow, Olbermann, and Matthews, was left to last — or won’t be included at all — after Fox News, ABC, and CBS get a go.) Here’s why we think Couric will be good:
• Like Charlie Gibson, who was coming off of a poorly-reviewed Democratic debate performance, Couric hasn’t forgotten the negative reviews she got after her fluffy 60 Minutes interview with Hillary Clinton, and her occasionally harsh sit-down with the Edwardses. Her tone will be carefully crafted for this one.
• Palin will be coming off a home-team interview with Sean Hannity, so she’ll be more comfortable with the one-on-one format. Couric appears non-threatening, so Palin won’t be the bundle of nerves she was with Charlie Gibson and will be able to give fuller, more considered answers.
• Couric, who is indeed a brilliant interviewer, is great at making subjects feel like she’s on their side, even as she hits them hard. It’ll be fascinating to see how a novice like Palin deals with that.
• Remember when Couric wouldn’t let Hillary Clinton get away with saying she “never” thought about what would happen if she didn’t win the nomination? That was great. Charlie Gibson let Palin off the hook too many times during his interview, and viewers lost out on some real answers as a result.
• Because she’s a woman, if Couric hounds Palin on points where the Alaska governor is vague, it won’t look as much like she’s bullying her.
• Speaking of which, neither Sean Hannity nor Charlie Gibson would have been able to question Palin on women’s issues as effectively as Couric will be. At a time when Palin’s participation in the race has been able to swing the women’s vote over to McCain, this is stuff that voting bloc is going to want to tune into.
• And let’s face it, both of them are cutie-pies. They’re both feminists in their own way, but waiting to see which one of them will show more leg already has us counting the days. Both of them are smart, talented, hard-driving women who also use their physical attributes as part of their appeal. Will this be the moment we first see Palin with … contacts?
WE HEAR [NYP]