Watching the exchange between ABC News interviewer Charles Gibson; and Sarah Palin, Governor of AK and candidate for VPOTUS, rather than assuming she was trying to avoid his question about the “Bush Doctrine,” I assumed he was trying to sidestep her question as to what he was talking about.
I seldom indulge in mind reading but… I watched the interview between Governor Palin and Mr. Gibson before reading any of the millions of analyses offered by the Monday morning quarterbacks. I watched her reaction to his question about the Bush Doctrine and immediately thought, she knows she is being set up and is trying to figure out how to mitigate the ‘gotcha’ claims she is certain she will read about in the morning. That is, the second after he asked his question, she looked like a dear caught in the headlights. Immediately thereafter, she grinned; shifted in her chair, and crossed her legs. At this point, she counter attacked, trying to pin him down as to meaning. But he refused to clarify, determined to trap her; and now she knew it. So, she proceeded to answer the question as best she could. Then, as expected, he countered with information intended to show her up for the rube he obviously considered her to be in the first place. Reading the subsequent analyses of this exchange, I see that people attributed her initial expression of fear to her ignorance of the issue. But I disagree; I think it was precisely her knowledge of the inexactness of the phrase that produced this response, adeptly anticipating the damned-if-I-do, damned-if-I-don’t scenario she knew was certain to follow.
P.S. Now that Charles Krauthammer has weighed in, reasonably claiming credit for having invented the phrase “Bush Doctrine” in the first place and, explaining the 4 chief interpretations that resulted over time, surely at this point no one maintains Mr. Gibson’s interpretation of his own question was correct, anyway. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202457_pf.html
P.P.S. In a conference call with reporters, some of whom presumably worked for ABC, Senator Obama charged that Senator Clinton would continue the “Bush Doctrine,” which he defined as meaning, she would refuse to meet with rogue nations without preconditions. At least, this is what ABC News reported in July 2007. http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/obama-clinton-w.html So, maybe everyone else is wrong as to the definition of “Bush Doctrine” except for Mr. Gibson. Including, that is, Mr. Gibson, whose definition of “Bush Doctrine” has changed over time, too; much in the same way Dr. Krauthammer laid out in his article. http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/09/what_exactly_is_the_bush_doctr.asp