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So, looks like it was Charlie Gibson's gaffe on Bush doctrine, not Sarah Palin's

Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist, writes this morning that it was ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson who actually bobbled a question on the Bush doctrine during one of his recent interviews with new Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Testing Palin's foreign affairs knowledge, GibAlaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin talks with ABC News anchor Charles Gibsonson asked her if she agreed with "the Bush doctrine."

"In what respect?" Palin responded.

When Palin did not answer a follow-up, Gibson informed her that the Bush doctrine is "we have the right of anticipatory self-defense."

"Wrong," writes Krauthammer. "I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term" way back in 2001.

Krauthammer notes both in his Saturday column and on Fox News' "Special Report" Friday that over the years the Bush doctrine has actually had several different meanings and that Gibson's definition isn't even the latest.

The first was the Bush administration's unilateral withdrawal from the ABM treaty and Kyoto Protocol, which was followed by the post-9/11 "you're with us or you're with the terrorists," which was followed by the preemptive war in Iraq, which Gibson was thinking of.

The fourth incarnation of the Bush doctrine, Krauthammer explains, was the "freedom agenda" articulated in Bush's second inaugural address that "the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands."

"Yes," Krauthammer concludes, "Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain."

Wonder if there'll be time to cover this story on "World News" come Monday night.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo: ABC News

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Nice try. I don't think Sarah Pallin was confused because she knew too many definitions. She looked like a 5th grader taking an oral exam from a college professor. Becoming a possible president is not something you cram for in 3 weeks or 3 months. How can people swallow her tripe after 7.5 years of W. is what's ridiculous.

For the record, the Wikipedia entry mentioned in this article names seven definitions of the Doctrine, while Krauthammer only names four. So, apparently even the so called "expert" doesn't really know.

Further, judging from the number of books written on the subject, the most widely accepted definition of the "Bush Doctrine" is pretty much as Gibson described.

But more to the point, if it's Gibson's gaff and not Palin's then why didn't she correct him? She obviosly had no idea what ANY of the definitions of the "Bush Doctrine" were. To make it worse, she DID pretend to know or why would she have attempted to answer Gibson's question rather than simply say..."I'm not familiar with that specific term" or even better, "there are several definitions of that term, which are you referring to?"

At least Gibson knew one of the supposed four (or seven) meanings of the Doctrine. Palin OBVIOUSLY didn't even know ONE!

Charles Gibson did seem like a self satisfied "look how smart I am" snob. Considering the ambiguity of the question on the Bush doctrine, Palins response was appropriate.

The supreme difference here, people is that Charlie Gibson is not running for President or vice President, so we would generally not worry so much about HIS knowledge of the term.

Remember :
"Jesus was a Community Organizer and Pontius Pilate was a Governor"

Josh M. and Dee Thompson, you both hit the nail squarely on the head. Palin was obviously clueless - like a moose caught in the headlights. She tried the old trick of trying to glean something with her whole, "In what way?" so that she could try to fake an answer. If it were a problem of multiple definitions then that question from her would have made no sense.

Charles Krauthammer is way too blinded by the right to make any intellegent observations, you might as well ask Limbaugh or O'Reilly what they thought. The truth is she is utterly unprepared to be in that office, and does not have the intellegence to handle it. With McCain becoming increasingly incoherent, and Palin waiting in the wings, it becomes obvious the Republican ticket is really bad news. Unfortunately, there are so many ignorant and uninformed people in this country they still might win. (aided by Republican vote tampering of course!)

Plus, Gibson said, "The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, is ...."

"Krauthammer notes both in his Saturday column and on Fox News' Special Report Friday that over the years the Bush doctrine has actually had several different meanings and Gibson's definition isn't even the latest."

That's a defense? Sound more like an indictment of Bush's incoherency and inconsistent to me.

This is in regards to what Josh m said as well as to others out there who feel this disdain towards Pallin! A very small segment of our society have the wits or knowledge to become a governor. She not only has the charisma, but the backing of most of her voters! I think that if Obama, Bidon, ran for governor in any state they would surely be more humble!

This has got to be the very pits of journalism. Attacking a long-time news anchor, in an interview with a vice-president-to-be, with information sourced from Wikipedia. Incorrect information, shock horror! I can't wait to listen to eager Republicans rehashing this to justify themselves.

In Krauthammer's view, the entire world revolves around him. His piece in the Washington post is nonsense. He no more invented the term "Bush doctrine" than I, even if his Wikipedia entry (which he undoubtedly wrote) gives him the credit for this. There was no single "Bush doctrine" inventor, but the term is pretty straight forward and is commonly used as Gibson defined it.

Does Krauthammer really feel Palin is expert in the affairs of the world? If so, the Post should fire him for being so obtuse.

Bush Doctrine? Have there been ANY articles in the main stream "media" about the Bush Doctrine? Honestly, when you heard of this question, DID YOU KNOW THE ANSWER?

One of the favorite liberal ploys is to make interviewees uncomfortable with quotes from oblique sources or about impossible to comprehend subjects. To make Palin squirm, Charlie did his best. Palin should have started the interview with a question: "As part of the liberal media, can you use your "journalistic credentials" to be fair and impartial in asking your questions?"

I say, Charlie, you failed in being objective and impartial. Your questions were meant to make Palin squirm. Shame on you and your organization. Yes, you got ratings, but consider: at least one magazine has been hurt trying to deprecate Palin. Your organization, once the only voice of three in the USA is now not even a third rate news source.

Sorry Charlie, you blew it.

When Mrs. Palin said, "In what respect," she was perfectly correct. You can't just expect someone to answer a question which has more than one answer unless the asker is more succinct in his question, can you? Mrs. Palin did quite well in that interview, and people who want to denigrate her are flipping out because she is creating a wave of support for herself and McCain that is just driving Obama supporters out of their minds. You can see this is true by just reading a few of the snippier comments here.

I think the point is that this was an inappropriate question in the first place. Some take for granted that it was OK for Gibson to pose gotcha questions to advance his own political view. I do not recall him doing so with any other candidate – and this new assertion that VPs are supposed to have former foreign-affair experience – just makes him look even more biased – thus advancing the Republican ticket. I think Palin’s mistake is buying into this hype

How do you deal with people who outright lie to us and themselves? I think many people fake enthusiasm for Palin because they are afraid of an african-american man becoming the president of the United States.
I saw a post saying "I don't see that many posts defending Palin! It's working!"... is this true? Does this mean we all have stay home and post on the latest blog just to proclaim the TRUTH, that Palin is a threat to this country?... I know it's ironic (posting on a blog) but have we over emphasized the importance of political blogs on newspaper websites?
And all these polls, happening every five seconds, isn't it a little irresponsible to be broadcasting these so much during an election?

Obama/Biden '08!!!!!

Charlie Gibson added that he was looking for the meaning of Bush Doctrine as it was being used during "September 2002 before the Iraq War" when the it meant "preemptive strike". Gibson was correct for the time period he specified and Palin was incorrect regardless of the time period.

Gibson was not incorrect; ABC doesn't need to air a correction. Andrew Malcolm was wrong and needs to issue a correction.

Krauthammer is (surprise!) being completely disingenuous. 99 out of 100 people who are familiar with the term "bush doctrine" know that, though there were indeed 7 "bush doctrines" (the first elucidated by none other than Krauthammer himself back in feb 2001), the term now usually refers to our so-called right to invade any country which MIGHT someday acquire an offensive capability against us.
Gibson did NOT get this wrong. Please don't buy the right-wing talking point.

Sounds like Charles Krauthammer is grasping at straws... a continuation of that ols smoke & mirrors trick we've been treated to for the last 8 years. Enough already. Sarah Palin is woefully ignorant on world events. Shame on John McCain!

Remember :
"Jesus was a Community Organizer and Pontius Pilate was a Governor"

Posted by: Reality Check | September 13, 2008 at 07:21 AM

Therefore, not only is Palin an idiot woman, she's an executioner and Obama is Jesus?

Gimme a break! I'd like to know what you've been snorting.

Unless McCain croaks between the election and the inaugural address, SHE can learn what she needs to know about HIS job while doing her job as Vice President. On the other hand, Obamessiah would step into the TOP postion having no experience for the job.

Given the choice of inexperienced VEEP over inexperienced PREZ, I choose the former every time.

Why isn't Charlie Gibson asking Obama, Biden and McCain these questions too? I am a Democrat and am not impressed with Palin at all but this is just more sexism. If you're going to ask questions, ask all of the candidates and please stop the nonsense topics like lipstick, pigs, mommy wars, stay at home dads, moose burgers, pregnancy etc. Let's get down to the issues, people. Leave the fluff and junk to People Magazine! I am so sick of this election junk that I am not going to watch it any more and won't until we all get serious, maybe a few weeks before the election?

I never understood why this was made into a big deal. Why is it that Palin is supposed to know of a term that was basically made up by the media and/or a wikipedia entry? This isn't a formal government paper or something. Gibson is a moron.

The real risk is an "Obama Doctrine" --- indecision in times of crisis, equivocation, "present" votes when courage is called for, appeasement of dictators, wavering in war when the going gets tough, words when deeds are needed.

'make it worse, she DID pretend to know or why would she have attempted to answer Gibson's question rather than simply say..."I'm not familiar with that specific term" or even better, "there are several definitions of that term, which are you referring to?" '

Or maybe she could have said "In what respect?'...oh wait, she did...

The fact is, there is no such thing as the official "Bush Doctrine", and Charlie Gibson knows that. It's a term that's been thrown around by the media to refer to any number of different things. Anyone sitting there being asked that question completely out of context would have been just as stumped. And Gibson would NEVER have asked it that way of anybody else. It was designed to make her look stupid, and for the sheep, it worked.

Gibson's"question" is just another example of "gotcha" journalism. A real journalist would have asked, "Do you agree with George W. Bush's philosophy of preemptive self-defense?"

Charlie's treatment of her was totally different than it would have been with another candidate. It was staged and edited and it was if he was lecturing her, not interviewing. I am disgusted by how our media sets the stage and attempts to not show us the candidate, but show us what they think the candidate is. Even Charlie's voice quality was Clint Eastwood like, very low and tough. He sat taller than she looking down at her through those glasses, as if how dare she be on our stage. This race is not about nothing else but electing Obama to those like Charlie. Whether you agree with Palin or not, you have to admit she handled herself well given the circumstances. Those of you that are so harsh with your views towards her had made up your minds before you ever viewed the interview. Retain your own dignity by at least giving her a fair chance and keep your comments and thoughts at a higher level and debate her on the issues, not on what the media presents to influence your opinions.

Krauthammer?! HA HA HA HA!!! That's rich! Very funny! Now I am curious what Limbaugh has to say about Gibson.

Sarah Palin is clearly suffering delusions related to over consumption of moose meat. I understand she has installed high-volume toilet facilities in her home and the Governor's mansion. These facilities help her with gastrointestinal problems related to overconsumption of moose meat.

"Considering the ambiguity of the question on the Bush doctrine..."

Gibson: "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?"

Yeah, that's real "ambiguous"...

To begin with, Charles Gibson took a cheap shot using a question that forced Sarah Palin to draw a conclusion. This is like asking someone if they have stopped abusing their child yet. Any freshman law student would have recognized this immediately and refused to answer. It is unfortunate that Sarah allowed herself to get trapped by this question. Secondly, there are seven different so called "Bush Doctrines", none of which ever became law. It appears to me that either ABC recruited Charles Gibson to do a hatchet job on Sarah or he was just trying to belittle her for his own ego. In either event, the whole interview pretty much disgusted me with ABC and Charles Gibson in particular after that sleazy moment.

Charles Krauthammer is being disingenuous.

Charlie Gibson stated a specific date for what he was asking:
"No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated in September 2002, before the Iraq war. "

I could answer that question and I am not running for VP.

Regards, Gorb

This lady is not bright, not sharp, not informed, and not nice. What on earth has happened to the Republican party, when a sarcastic dolt like this is foisted on us as a possible second-in-command? Their mantra is "she's energized the ticket and people love her." I think it's proof that the dumbing down of America has been wildly successful, and the power brokers passing as Republican can now just lead their anti-science, unsophisticated end-timers by the nose. "Country First"? I think not ...

Oh surprise surprise - another GOP operative is LYING about something! Just because it became convienient for fools like Krauthammer to change the definition of the term when their preemptive war of choice blew up in our faces, it does not mean that "The Bush Doctrine" has lost the ONE meaning that all of the world and all of history will remember forever: and that is the one that makes the insane proposition of preemptive retaliation an accepted part of how the US conducts its foreign affairs. The fact that Krauthammer has decided the term now means something else is just an admission on his part that this concept was a mistake and a failue: if not, then why not embrace it for the fantastic success that it is, right? In the end - Palin is an ignorant pupet who may soon be asked to decide upon world-changing courses of action that will no doubt be prepared for her by the same jerks, like Krauthammer himself, who have gotten us into the mess that we are in now. THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE!!!

To begin with, Charles Gibson took a cheap shot using a question that forced Sarah Palin to make a conclusion. Any freshman law student would have recognized this immediately and refused to answer. Secondly, there are seven different so called "Bush Doctrines". It appears to me that either ABC recruited Charles Gibson to do a hatchet job on Sarah or he was trying to belittle her for his own ego. In either event, the whole interview pretty much disgusted me after that sleazy moment.

Andrew Malcolm has convinced me. I will not be voting for Charlie Gibson as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate. Anybody who is unaware of the doctrine of the administration for the last eight yeats has no bussiness running for office.

as far as I'm concerned, Gibson is right here. Although there are different takes on what the doctrine entails, the definition taught in my poli.sci-class at uni is Gibson's.

nice try Andrew Malcolm ,nobody but right wingers will believe your article,but us with reasonable intelligence and access to the facts know your full of it.how is it that the LA TIMES keeps you employed, you get paid to spread FOX NEWS correspondents opinions.(And thats not news we can believe in my friends.)

krauthammer has just illustrated perfectly what the phrase "continually moving the goal posts" means.

Accessibility features have been around long enough, particularly voice recognition software that can type what you speak.

Gabby typed with her toes; she was a paraplegic.

There are single hand keyboards; my daughter types with two fingers. There are keyboards similar to mobile phones that can use one finger, and guess words in the same way mobile phones do.

Any more excuses? The man is frozen in time; and thinks this campaign is a joke...

Charles Krauthammer is a joke. Why does anyone even publish his far-right nonsense? Sarah Palin CLEARLY did not have a clue. She did come off as a 5th grader taking an oral exam. The idea that this woman is the most qualified and ready person in America to step in at a moments notice and be president of this country is a sad joke, one that says more about how much truth there is in "John McCain puts country first" than anything else. Completely idiotic, absolutely disgusting.

I wonder how Joe Biden would have answered this question. Maybe something like "Charlie, what the frigging hell are you talking about?" There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for clarification to a poorly structured (perceived to be purposley ambuquous in order to embarass) question. As a youthful radical liberal that has morphed into moderate conservatism with age, I must admit to my own "rational" awakening when I attended a lecture by Jean Kirkpatrick .. whose mantle is now carried by Charles Krauthammer. I believe it is fair to judge the quality of the interviewer as much as it is fair to judge the quality of the interviewee and Charlies performance was not up to his usual standards. Charlie Gibson may have a chance to redeem his reputation some day, but in the meantime, his objectivity will be questionable and motives suspect.

I wonder how Joe Biden would have answered this question. Maybe something like "Charlie, what the frigging hell are you talking about?" There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for clarification to a poorly structured (perceived to be purposley ambuquous in order to embarass) question. As a youthful radical liberal that has morphed into moderate conservatism with age, I must admit to my own "rational" awakening when I attended a lecture by Jean Kirkpatrick .. whose mantle is now carried by Charles Krauthammer. I believe it is fair to judge the quality of the interviewer as much as it is fair to judge the quality of the interviewee and Charlies performance was not up to his usual standards. Charlie Gibson may have a chance to redeem his reputation some day, but in the meantime, his objectivity will be questionable and motives suspect.

Hey you guys. Easy, easy! I just watched a video on the Greta van Susstern web site, on the record. Gretta did a video of the guy who went against Sarah for the Governorship of Alaska, and he lost. He was smiling when he talked about the race and Sarah Palin. You really need to watch it. He was warning BIDDEN that no matter what the issues he will try to hit her with, it will be for naught. Only because, the PEOPLE love her and relate to her. She knocked him aside to win the Governorship! Watch him and weep folks!! Really, Charlie gave that interview away. What's with the glasses both he and Whoopi Goldberg use to appear so superior. I remember a teacher doing that same thing. Charlie was the one who was not informed. His lack of knowledge was way out there.. He was not even aware of all the nuances of the Bush Doctrine. The Democratic party better hone up on their information when they try a Gotcha moment with Sarah. Ask the opponent of Governor Palin what he took away from his experience. Remember, she has most of America on her side now, and these mistakes are backfiring on their sophmoric attempts to discredit her.

It wasn't a trick question. It was a question her coaches hadn't put on a flash card yet. Her response was not the response of a mind searching for clarification. It was the response of mind searching for a way out.

Here's the good news. Unlike candidate George W. Bush, who would simply let the clock run out until the red light came on to avoid revealing his lack of depth, Gov. Palin, with her plucky sense of nailing the second runner-up position in a beauty contest by wowing us with her ability to connect world hunger and an interest in sportscasting, will just keep talking.

Realize:

Obama will again be a community organizer.
Sarah Palin will be the Vice President of the United States.

Palin being oblivious to a question about an ambiguous "Bush Doctrine" isn't nearly as disconcerting as Obama being oblivious to the fact that his Pastor of 20yrs is a racist. From Obama's own words he didn't know his church was all about that. Just recently he discovered what Rev Wright is like and now has nothing to do with him. Obama's incredible lack of judgment just doesn't compare to Palin not knowing what the term "Bush Doctrine" meant. I bet she now knows and understands what the term means. I'd also bet Obama still has incredibly poor judgment.

Yes, the person who creates the term has exclusive rights to it's definition. Even though the idea of the Bush doctrine has gradually gained concensus in its usage and has been used the same for the past eight years, it must only matter what it originally meant. Gee, imagine if we did that for every word and term.

This was a crucial question being asked of her. Remember its what got us into this unnecessary war! And she ignorantly associates the Iraq war with Al Qaida. Gibson had every right to probe and 'look down his nose' when she couldn't respond intelligently. Its obvious her foreign policy experience and understanding is lamentably weak as is her ability to think beyond simple sound bytes. We can't afford another 4 years of a 'no blink' administration.

"The fourth incarnation of the Bush doctrine, Krauthammer explains, was the "freedom agenda" articulated in Bush's second inaugural address that "the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands."

That "second inaugural address" was in, ummmmmm, 2004.

Gee - it's too bad Gibson didn't say anything to clarify the question, maybe along the lines of "No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war."

Oh well.

Your description of Charlie Gibson was dead on. He sounded like a testy professor just waiting for Palin to trip up.

People seem to forget, that 2 years ago when Obama started running for the Democratic nomination, he had NO platform to speak of, no policies, and no substance! Which was why he was called the "empty suit". It took him 2 years to perfect his knowledge of foreign policy and domestic issues. Sarah Palin has had 2 weeks.

Let's not confuse this... Obama is running for president... Palin is running for the vice-presidency! Sure McCain is 72 years old, but looking at his 96 year old mother, he has the genes to outlive his term. So this is not as much of an issue as people would like to make of it!

It was clear when Charles Gibson asked the question, he and his crew at ABC were just playing a trick on Gov. Palin. There was no real interest in her policy about any doctrine. They were attempting to embarass her. DEMs won't admit that the attempt backfired! Palin put it back on him asking " In what respect, Charlie?" Watch it again, you can see Gibson squirm in his seat when he was forced to reword the question. Palin did very well. Under pressure with all of America watching (didn't blink).
None of you Wickipedia experts commenting on this were familiar with the Bush Doctrine last week...;)

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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