Palin comes out of the bus, clad in a red and black jacket and black skirt and carrying her son Trig. She tells the people gathered outside that she was thrilled to be back in Michigan.Notice that Palin is actually good at handling "random questions from the media," which goes back to the idiotic decision of Team Maverick to seal her inside a bubble during the campaign. When I first went to see her on the campaign trail in Ohio ("Sweetheart of the Heartland," American Spectator, Sept. 10, 2008) everybody in the press corps was asking, "Will there be an availability?" -- which is campaign lingo for a candidate press conference -- and we were told no.
"Alaska and Michigan have so much in common with the huntin' and the fishin' and the hockey moms," she said "This is the heart of industry in America."
She also answered random questions from the media as she made her way from the outside stage to the bookstore. She said she thought the new mammogram guidelines set a dangerous precedent.
And she also said that the Newsweek cover photo of her in a pair of shorts was "quite cheesy. I never would have posed for Newsweek like that."
That decision made no sense whatsoever. I went out three times to cover Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, and on two of those occasions -- Greensburgh, Pa., and Shepherdstown, W.Va., there was a press availability.
Why GOP operatives try that stupid "hide the candidate" game, I don't know. It's supposed to be about "message discipline," but it always seems to backfire by turning the media against the candidate. My theory: Most GOP "media strategists" have never worked a day as a reporter, and thus can't see things from the reporter's perspective.
It's very difficult for reporters to cover a campaign if all they get are press releases, scripted speeches and statements from campaign staffers. If they never have a chance to get spontaneous fresh quotes from the candidate, reporters begin to resent the campaign they're covering and that resentment will inevitably come out in their coverage.
At any rate, if and when Palin next goes on the campaign trail, I hope she'll make sure to avoid the "bubble" approach.