It’s one thing to watch interviewers respond to Sarah Palin’s odd mixture of bravado and gibberish. It’s another to observe McCain along for the ride. As such, I offer you a breakdown of McCain’s “micro reactions” in the first first forty-four seconds of last night’s interview with Katie Couric.
Off the bat, Couric asks Palin about her statement, made over the weekend, that “the U.S. should absolutely launch cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan” given McCain’s admonition that you don’t say that kind of thing out loud.
In the first shot, McCain McCain’s eyes bulge, then he shoots a glance to someone off camera, after Palin quickly and presumptuously launches in with: “We had a great discussion with President Zardari…”
Shots 2-4 sync with Palin finishing out the thought, as she remarkably toes the edge of recapitulating the mistake. The specific completion went:
“… as we talked about what it is that America can and should be doing together to make sure that the terrorists do not cross borders and do not ultimately put themselves in a position of attacking America again or her allies.
In that stretch, McCain looks circumspectly at Palin, pulling his head down when she mentions “the terrorists.” He then looks at her again, tensing his jaw two times as she finishes the sentence.
As Palin aggressively launches in to the next line: “And we will do what we have to do…” McCain opens his mouth as if in a half-hearted gesture to intercede, then (shot 5) steals a concerned glance at Couric for her reaction.
Then, as if giving in to the inevitability of Palin picking up and rattling the saber, McCain’s concern melts with (#6) a quick, sideways smile at whoever that is off-camera, the reaction immediately reeled in with one more quick, downward glance and more fiddling with whatever it is in his hands, as Palin completes the bluster: “…to secure the United States of America and her allies.”
So is McCain, provided he wins, willing to subject himself to even, say, one private breakfast a week?