Opinion: Sarah Palin in New York: Tightly under wraps, meets with two foreign leaders


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John McCain’s presidential campaign has exerted tight control over reporters’ access to Sarah Palin ever since he announced her as his surprise running-mate pick Aug. 29. But their efforts reached a new level today.

Campaign aides excluded any representative for print and wire service outlets from the pool of reporters who would briefly accompany Palin to her much-touted meetings in New York with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (at left), Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (who serves as a foreign policy advisor to McCain).

The foreign leaders are in the U.S. for the General Assembly meeting at the United Nations.


The campaign also initially announced that even the day’s designated pool television producer, who is charged with capturing whatever editorial content emerges from this type of photo op for the five networks, would not be permitted into the meeting.

That was going too far -- the networks threatened to pull their cameras from Palin’s events. Ultimately the campaign relented and allowed a CNN producer into the room for the meetings (the first of which, with Karzai, began at noon EDT).

Campaign spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt later said the flap was just a ‘mix-up, a miscommunication among staff.’

Our colleague Mark Silva has more on the back and forth over coverage of Palin’s big day in New York at the Swamp blog.

Palin has not held a news conference since she was transformed from the relatively unknown governor of Alaska to a major player on the national political scene.

She made a brief statement to a pool of reporters about her ...

... background and experience during the Republican National Convention on Sept. 4 after attending a lunch of the Republican Governors Assn. at a museum in Minneapolis. But for the most part she ignored questions from reporters. The one exception -- she responded to a query from an Alaska news crew about how she would continue her duties as governor while campaigning on McCain’s ticket.

During a visit to a Cleveland diner Sept. 17, she answered one question about the bailout of AIG.

She has done three sit-down interviews -- with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity and, joined by McCain, with People magazine on the day she was named as his running mate.

She is expected to take questions later this week with CBS News anchor Katie Couric.

-- Maeve Reston