13 Revelations From Oprah's Sarah Palin Interview
Oprah Winfrey opened her widely anticipated interview with Sarah Palin this morning loaded for bear, but as we have learned, the former vice presidential candidate is always loaded for wolf. The host immediately confronted Palin about her public support for Barack Obama last year, asking, "Did you feel snubbed?" Palin responded in the negative, and as the hour-long segment unfolded, and the two strayed from politics to personal life, they settled into a comfortable back-and-forth. Palin is bound to share some of the same anecdotes as she continues her media blitz this week for her already bestselling book Sarah Palin: Going Rogue (coming out tomorrow), but here are a few disclosures uncovered by the Queen of Media herself.
Palin, who at times grew frenzied and defensive during her campaign last year, only reverted into political campaign mode when Oprah asked how Palin would have been able to raise her five kids while serving as vice president of the United States. Oprah acknowledged that this is not a question asked of male political candidates but Palin's voice raised and speech fastened as she reiterated the answer she gave on the campaign trail last year: "I'd do it the same way the male candidates would do it."
Towards the end of the hour, Oprah played a few minutes worth of footage shot at the Palins' Alaskan home on Halloween, as Sarah put her youngest, Trig, into a chickadee costume, and helped her second youngest, Piper, into her snowmobile rider gear. The family made caramel apples and then Sarah drove Piper through the neighborhood in their S.U.V. for trick or treating: "I promised Piper that I would keep my distance so this time I don't disrupt her fun with her friend."
Here lie the other revelations:
1. The possibility of Palin entering the talk show arena:
"Oprah, you are the queen of talk shows. There is nothing that you can worry about." Palin then went on to discuss the inspiration Oprah provided her in the '90s, when Palin was a stay-at-home mother.
2. The chance of her running in 2012:
"I'm concentrating on 2010 now. Trig's heading into kindergarten in 2012...I'm looking forward to affecting positive changes before then...It's not on my radar screen now."
3. Team McCain lectured her on the Atkins diet during her campaign.
"That was a focus of some of the campaign operatives and that felt odd."
4. Her thoughts when McCain chose her as his running mate:
"Wow, John McCain is a maverick! He is a brave man...I did think it was funny that he had a lot of explaining to do."
5. On Bristol's pregnancy during the campaign
When the campaign came to Palin, they already knew about Bristol's pregnancy. Palin herself reworded the statement she wanted to issue after the press got ahold of the news. (She wanted to strike the mention of 'giddy excitment' at the thought of being grandparents, fearing that would glamorize the pregnancy.) When Palin saw the official statement on the news, she realized that the campaign had vetoed her draft. Bristol did not know that her pregnancy was going to be publicly announced until she also saw it on the news, at which time, she called her mother sobbing: "Just a little indication of problems to come...I was naive to think that the press would leave my kids alone."
6. Her thoughts when Team McCain provided her with a wardrobe for the campaign:
"I don't like to shop. That's going to be one less thing that I have to worry about...I didn't think it would be a scandal."
7. She was slightly hurt that the campaign insisted on making over the whole family in time for the Republican presidential convention.
"We felt like we were starring in an episode of What Not to Wear."
8. The origin of her infamous non-answers on the campaign trail:
Palin was given a stack of index cards, the front of the card with an anticipated question that the media would ask. The back of the card contained 'what most people would consider non-answers." She was told repeatedly by Team McCain to stay on script, but she does not blame them for censoring her: "At the end of the day, I got sucked into it. ...It was my fault, not their fault."
9. The Katie Couric interview:
Palin was "not prepped so much" for it, believing that the piece was just going to be a "working mom [speaking] to another working mom. It was supposed to be a little bit more lighthearted." Palin understands that the interview did not go well: "For the people that only knew me from that interview, "I don't blame them for thinking that I was unqualified, unprepared...If that was a good interview, I don't know what a bad interview was."
10. The Katie Couric sound byte in which Palin fails to name a single newspaper or magazine that she reads:
"I am a lover of books and magazines and newspapers...It was very unprofessional of me that I could wear that annoyance on my sleeve." Palin said that she was annoyed with Couric for her line of questioning, interpreting the question as an insult to Alaska. Palin also recalled that her short temper for "the perky one," as she calls Couric, rose from the 12 different times Couric asked her about abortion and the morning after pill in the same interview.
11. Understanding why some women resort to abortion:
When Palin learned that she was pregnant with her fifth child in New Orleans, there was a split second when "it was easy to understand why a woman would feel like it is easy to do away with this less than ideal circumstances."
12. Telling her husband that their fifth child would be born with down syndrome:
"It was hard because I didn't want to tell him over the phone. So it took about three weeks before ....I told him that he was a boy, and that he was over the top. He wanted a boy. And I said, the baby has an extra chromosome. He will be born with down syndrome. He probably had a better reaction than I did. He said, 'It's going to be okay.'
13. Her almost son-in-law, Levi Johnston:
"I don't think a national television show is the place to discuss ...I hear that he goes by Ricky Hollywood now, so if that's true, we don't want to mess up that gig." When poked by Oprah, Palin went on to say, "It's a bit heartbreaking to see the road that he is on. He is quite busy with his media tours so he has not been by a lot lately, but let that be a discussion between Levi and Bristol." She continued to discuss why being in the media spotlight was not ideal for a teenager and reiterated at least four times that her grandson is a "beautiful baby boy" and commended Bristol for being "the most amazing and strong mom."