There's just something about Sarah. A morsel, any morsel, about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that can possibly be used to belittle her is rabidly devoured by many in the mainstream media. On his CNN Newsroom segment today, anchor Rick Sanchez highlighted Palin's difficulty in keeping Joe Biden's name straight. Four different times, he played the same video from 2008's vice presidential debate in which she referred to him as "O'Biden." Sanchez played part of an interview with McCain campaign staffer Steve Schmidt, who described Palin's error as "a verbal tic" that could prove "devastating beyond words." Then:
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: How did you get around it?
SCHMIDT: Multiple people, and I wasn't one of them, all said at the same time, just say, "Can I call you Joe?" Which she did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Despite that precaution, look at what happened interestingly enough, during the debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PALIN: Barack Obama and Senator O'Biden, you have said no to everything in trying to find a domestic solution to the energy crisis that we're in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Hmm. "O'Biden." She said it.
The interview was based on "Game Change," that new book about the 2008 presidential campaign. The authors of that book say that many McCain staffers were so worried about Palin's inexperience that they became terrified about what would happen if their guy won and Palin actually became vice president. . .
Sanchez's observation would have had more kick if not for the fact that the former Alaska governor already covered her use of "O'Biden" in her book published months ago. As quoted on National Review Online:
During rehearsals, I accidentally called Randy “Senator O’Biden” — a slip of the tongue combination of Obama and Biden. The blunder struck too often, even tripping up campaign staffers. (Jay Leno later made the same slip on his new talk show, so we were in good company.) We laughed about it but knew that if I said it even once during the debate, it would be disastrous. Then somebody said, “You ought to just call him Joe.” . . .
Slips of the tongue are routine with politicians. The late Senator Ted Kennedy famously called the current president "Osama Obama." VP candidate Biden introduced Obama as "Barack America." At the same event, Obama came dangerously close to hailing Biden as the next president of the United States. And then there was the CNN interview during which Obama referred to one of his daughters by the wrong name.
But with Sanchez, it's Sarah's slip of the tongue that's still newsworthy and qualifies for four replays in a single program. She's obviously viewed as a threat, one that must be denigrated at every opportunity.