Sarah Palin on Oprah: ‘Katie Couric Thought I Was From a Nomadic Tribe’


Okay, so we just watched Sarah Palin on Oprah. The talk-show host covered all the bases — the major controversies, the interviews, the pregnancies (though not the issue of whether her baby Trig was really hers), and the issue of her quitting. She didn’t pursue some questions with the doggedness we imagine Barbara Walters mustered up when she interviewed her for ABC last week. Like, for example, she let Palin off the hook when she offered up the usual “that’s not on my radar screen” deflection after Oprah asked her about her presidential ambitions in 2012. “In 2012 Trig is heading into kindergarten,” Palin said. “That’s what I’m thinking about.” Oprah didn’t even laugh!

Most interesting to us were the parts (some of which have been released already) in which Palin talked about her daughter Bristol’s unexpected pregnancy, and her own. She talked about making the decision to keep her baby and understanding the impulse not to, even though she wants other women not to be able to have that choice. (Oprah didn’t press her on this.) She also talked about how she was displeased with the messaging the McCain camp chose — that the family was overjoyed to have a grandchild, rather than deeply concerned and upset at first.

Palin additionally opened up about her interview with Katie Couric, in which it seemed as though she couldn’t name a single publication that she regularly reads. She felt that Couric was trying to characterize her as a rube. “I was already so annoyed, and it was very unprofessional of me to wear that annoyance on my sleeve,” she said. “To me it was in the context of, ‘Do you read? How do you stay informed? You’re way up there!’ It seemed like she was discovering a nomadic tribe.” This seems to square, at least roughly, with the way she behaved in the interview — her incredulity prevented her from properly answering the question. (Though it was a fair question for a politician, and plus there are American Indian tribes in Alaska who probably won’t love the idea that being compared to them pissed off their own governor.) She also admitted that she was “annoyed” by Couric at the time, talking about a moment when she came backstage after a rally and encountered her. “And there’s the perky one, again, with the microphone, and the cameras rolling,” she said. “And I’m like, ‘Dang.’” Oprah, moments later, reminded Palin that she is “pretty perky, too.”