Sarah Palin gets three notches in her foreign experience belt today for meeting with three international leaders who were attending the United Nation's General Assembly meetings in New York. Too bad the media didn't get to report on any of it.
Palin's first meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai lasted about 30 minutes and the press was barred from covering all but the opening pleasantries (see earlier blog posting for details). At the next two meetings, one with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the other with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, reporters were let in for a few seconds at the start. During her meeting with Kissinger, reporters heard their brief discussion about the situation in Georgia. Kissinger credited French President Nicolas Sarkozy for supporting the Georgian people during the crisis. He told Palin he was going to give a speech and give Sarkozy "a lot of credit for what he did in Georgia." Palin responded, "You're going to give me more insight on that also."
That's not the only thing she needs insight on - given her total lack of foreign policy experience. Filling the gaps in her foreign diplomacy resume is a tall order for anyone to fill, even the legendary Kissinger.
The media only got one other remark from Palin today. As she was being ushered into a waiting SUV in front of Kissinger's Park Avenue office, she jauntily told reporters that the meeting "was great."
So the witness protection-like secrecy surrounding Palin's every move and utterance continues. According to Reuters news, Randy Scheunemann, longtime McCain aide on foreign policy, was close at hand with Palin throughout her meetings today - no doubt to make sure she didn't commit any great gaffes.
Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt offered this lame excuse for why editorial reporters were banned from the meeting with Zarzai: it was a "staff mix-up." Apparently, the mix up didn't get unmixed before the meetings later in the day with Uribe and Kissinger. Reporters were banned again from all but the pre-meeting pleasantries. And naturally, they were allowed to partake of the photo op sessions.
If the media had any gumption at this point, they would stop covering Palin altogether instead of taking the pathetic crumbs the campaign tosses them. Forget the photo ops; get a real interview or find someone else to cover. Palin and McCain are blatantly using the media to serve their own purposes, and so far, the media is letting them get away with it.