UPDATE: The Fox News transcript misquoted Gov. Palin. In the video of the interview, she actually said, “we won’t be bleeding our authority.” We apologize for the mistake.
During the vice presidential debate last night, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that she agreed with Vice President Cheney’s belief that there is “a lot of flexibility” in the Office of the Vice President and that she was “thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president.” Watch it:
In an interview with Fox News’ Carl Cameron this morning, Palin attempted to explain what she meant about “the flexibility of the vice presidency.” “The vice president, of course, is not a member — or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate,” said Palin. “That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it.”
She then claimed that she did not intend on “bleeding” her “authority over to the Legislative or Judicial branch” in order to push McCain’s agenda:
CAMERON: Would you change any of that, (INAUDIBLE) than the Bush/Cheney administration in terms of the power of the executive?
PALIN: Well, again, as I tried to explain last night, our executive branch will know what our job is. We have the three very distinct branches of government. You know, we
mightwon’t be bleeding our authority over to the Legislative or Judicial branch to do our job in the Executive branch as administers.
Palin’s fuzzy answers on the power of the Office of the Vice President do not inspire confidence, considering that she has a record of Cheney-like secrecy and has refused to say whether her office will legally be part of the Executive branch. As the LA Times’ Jim Newton notes, Article 2, Section 1 of “the Constitution makes it clear to most scholars that the vice president is part of the executive branch.”
Palin’s views of the office appear to be so in line with Cheney’s that during her interview with Katie Couric, the only bad thing that Palin could say Cheney had done in office was accidentally shooting his friend in the face.
Watch part of Palin’s incoherent answer to Fox about the powers of the vice presidency: