As for the rest of the interview, it's difficult to know how Palin will come off from only reading the transcript. Most of her answers seemed a bit evasive or filibuster-y to me, but it's possible to do that quite effectively when it comes across the TV. The question is, will she come off as "strong on defense" (good) or "a crazy conservative hardliner" (bad). To the extent that she gave us policy, it's clearly the latter -- but I have no idea what the perception will be.
But the was one major, major gaffe I saw that could set the tone for the entire coverage. It was when Gibson asked her about allowing Georgia to join NATO:
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.
Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.
But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.
We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.
Committing to war with Russia? Yeah, that's bad. And that's the problem with putting Georgia in NATO. It's a commitment that there is simply no way we'll be willing to keep. Russia knows we won't keep it, and if they call our bluff, the entire premise of NATO collapses. It is under no circumstances responsible policy-making -- but it is the upshot of the recent conservative foreign policy doctrine that thinks more bluster is the solution to every problem.