On the “CBS Evening News” on Thursday, Katie Couric asked Ms. Palin what she meant when she cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as foreign affairs experience. Ms. Palin could have anticipated the question — the topic of their interview, pegged to her visit to the United Nations was foreign affairs. Yet Ms. Palin’s answer was surprisingly wobbly: her words tumbled out fast and choppily, like an outboard motor loosened from the stern.
“That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada,” she replied. She mentioned the jokes made at her expense and seemed for a moment at a loss for the word “caricature.” “It — it’s funny that a comment like that was — kind of made to — cari — I don’t know, you know? Reporters —”
Ms. Couric stepped in. “Mocked?” Ms. Palin looked relieved and even grateful for the help. “Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.”
Ms. Couric pressed her again to explain the geographic point. “Well, it certainly does,” Ms. Palin said, “because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, they're in the state that I am the executive of.”
Ms. Couric asked the governor if she had ever been involved in negotiations, for example, with her Russian neighbors.
“We have trade missions back and forth,” Ms. Palin said. “We — we do — it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.”
Ms. Palin, looking at Ms. Couric intently, kept on going. “It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to — to our state.”