I’m not sure if Gwen Ifill was cowed by the rightwing mau-mau brigade or what, but I thought Ifill’s handling of the debate was pretty disappointing. Palin was clearly operating with a game plan that involved simply refusing to answer certain questions in order to drift over to her pre-prepared text, and Ifill didn’t ask any followups or challenge either candidate to address the questions she was asking. Indeed, at time Ifill was barely even asking questions — just suggesting topics.
As I predicted yesterday the lack of followups allowed Palin to avoid any Couric-style gaffes. All of her bad screwups in interviews, after all, came during followups. If she becomes president and, miraculously, manages to get through a term in office without ever needing to address a topic outside the three or four things she’s comfortable talking about she might even do a good job.