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Sarah Palin's not on the Sunday talk shows? That's a plus, says John McCain

August 31, 2008 |  4:00 pm

John McCain isn't distressed that Sarah Palin hasn't been on the Sunday talk shows -- far from it. On July 25, 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush announced that he had selected the head of his vice-presidential vetting committee, Dick Cheney, as his running mate.  Five days later, the newly named (but not yet nominated) No. 2 appeared on all five Sunday talk shows:  ABC’s "This Week," CBS’ "Face the Nation," CNN’s "Late Edition," "Fox News Sunday" and NBC’s "Meet the Press."

By contrast, this year’s GOP vice-presidential selection, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nowhere to be found on any of the shows this morning.  In fact -- unlike her Democratic counterpart, talk show veteran Sen. Joe Biden -- she’s never appeared on any of the Sunday gabfests.

That’s no big deal, says onetime GOP presidential contender Fred Thompson. Asked today by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about criticisms of Palin's minimal experience with national security and foreign policy issues, the former Tennessee senator responded:

“Well, Wolf, I hate to break this to you, but you don't get national security experience by being on Sunday talk shows, and that's where a lot of these fellows get theirs.”

And her lack of face time with Blitzer, Bob Schieffer of CBS, Tim Russert or Tom Brokaw of NBC, Chris Wallace of Fox or George Stephanopoulos of ABC doesn’t bother the guy whose opinion matters most. This morning, John McCain had this exchange with Wallace on “Fox News Sunday”:

WALLACE:  Do you think she will help you with women and especially with disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters?

MCCAIN:  I think she's going to help me with all Americans. I think that the response that we're getting from men, women, young, old, because they want us to change America.  They want us to change it. They're sick and tired of business as usual and inside the Beltway kind of thing.

You know, one commentator said, well, she has never been on "Meet the Press."

WALLACE:  I didn't say that.

MCCAIN: Well, I hope that she's on your program first. No, she doesn't live inside the Beltway. She doesn't -- she and her husband don't go to the Georgetown cocktail parties.  But they do live a life of a wonderful family. He's -- they've had a small business. They are just really good, down-to-earth people who understand the challenges that we face.

So in all due respect to my friends that say that she has never been on some of the inside-the-Beltway activities, I say, "Thank God."

-- Leslie Hoffecker

Photo credit: Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images

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