Popular Culture

Sarah Palin’s Greatest Fails of All Time


Former Republican Vice President candidate, Sarah Palin, shot into the spotlight during the 2008 Presidential election campaign. She’s still around, has a pretty large fanbase and even signed onto a deal with the FOX News Nework. She could be considered something of a cultural icon, having been satirized on SNL, made the subject of a porno, and hundreds of captioned pictures. There are a few “greatest hits” compilation videos of her blunders floating around the Internet, but today, we’d like to bring some of the greatest moments together into a more formal gathering. They’re surely not the only ones, but here we present 15 of Sarah Palin’s greatest fails of all time.

“Handy” Cheat Sheet

During a recent Tea Party Convention speech, Palin was spotted with what looked like notes written on the palm of her hand. Apparently they weren’t for the speech she was making, but for the Q&A session after. During the session she was spotted looking down at her hand for about a second at a time. Upon closer inspection, the words “Energy,” “Lift American Spirits,” and “Budget Cuts” — “Budget” crossed out and replaced with the word “Tax.” We don’t condemn crib notes, but the fact that she had just bashed Obama for using a teleprompter says it all. For one, she should expect to never use any sort of prompting again, and it’s pretty terrible when she can’t even remember the core principles that she supposedly supports.

Supreme Court Knowledge

You’d think that when running for Vice President, Palin would have brushed up on her American History and Supreme Court cases; after all, many have shaped today’s laws and government. When asked by Katie Couric about the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, Palin could barely make her way around the well-known abortion issue milestone. After struggling with that, Couric coolly asked for an example of another Supreme Court decision she disagreed with, Palin couldn’t give even one. Instead, she stumbled across her words and attempted to BS her way out of it.

The Bush Doctrine

In one of her interviews with Charles Gibson of ABC, Palin was asked if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine. In her first response, she could barely stumble out with a “in what respect, Charlie?” Confused, Gibson again asked her for her interpretation, and she could only state that it is Bush’s world view. For those of you out of the loop, the Bush Doctrine is simply a phrase used to describe former President Bush’s foreign policy views, mainly “preventative war.” Gibson pressed Palin on whether or not she thought we should have the right to make cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government. Her response? A “blizzard of words.” Well put, Charlie.

What Does a VP Do?

In an interview on CNBC, Palin was asked her opinion on the probe she faced by the Alaskan legislature. When it was brought up that she had a lot of fans, and questioning whether or not she thought it would disqualify her from maintaining that slot for VP, she got a bit loopy. After stating that it wouldn’t disqualify her from anything, she went on to say that someone needed to tell her what exactly a VP does. Really? You don’t know what the VP does, and you’re running for it? Well, it is kind of a big job — being just one heartbeat away from presidency.

Drill, Baby, Drill

“Drill, baby, drill” became one of those annoying yet recognizable phrases during the 2008 campaign, thanks to Palin. One of the top issues on her agenda became increased oil and gas drilling in sensitive lands and waterways, including the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. She’s even gone as far as refusing to let the polar bear onto the endangered species list, because it would impede her efforts on drilling in the arctic. Once the ANWR was brought up, Palin tried to skirt around the issue, but everyone knows how she really feels. We don’t want to even think about how many wolves she had shot from helicopters to let out her frustrations after these terrible interviews.

CBS Interview with Katie Couric

The people behind the McCain-Palin campaign even admitted that this interview with Katie Couric went horribly — it was an embarrassment. Here Couric questions Palin’s foreign policy knowledge and experience, giving Palin a chance to set things straight. Palin could only ramble on about how Alaska shares a maritime border with Russia and land border with Canada. Ok, fine then, Couric understandably asks if Palin has entered any kind of negotiations with the Russians as a result of this proximity. Palin rambles on once again without answering, and goes on to talk about how Putin could “rear his head” and fly to Alaska. Right.

The Prank Call

On a lighter note, Palin was hilariously pranked by a Quebec comedy duo hosting a radio show. They convinced her that she was speaking to France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, and she went on discussing his “beautiful wife” and hunting. The duo mentioned having a special American advisor, named Johnny Hallyday, which might have tipped the prank off to some. (Hallyday is a singer, known as a French Elvis Presley.) The entire time, she had no clue, despite several warning signs. When the duo revealed their prank, Palin awkwardly ended the call.

God and War

Another nugget from the ABC interview with Charles Gibson in which Palin was questioned if we’re fighting a “holy war.” Palin was quoted in her old church as saying, “our national leaders are sending our soldiers on a task that is from God.” Initially, Palin claimed that it wasn’t her exact quote — which it was. She then skirted around the question again, saying that it was really inspired by something that Abraham Lincoln once said. Gibson conceded, but then quoted her as saying that it was “God’s plan,” hoping she could clarify. Nah, never any clarification from Palin.

Experience vs. a Pretty Face

In getting the crowd pumped for her upcoming Vice Presidential Debate, Palin stated her desire to meet Joe Biden and how excited she was. She also tried to slip in a little joke, poking at Biden’s age, saying she’d been “hearing about his Senate speeches since [she] was in, like, second grade.” Later, Katie Couric wanted her to clarify her statement and get her opinion on Obama having a 72-year old running mate — since, well, it implied he had more experience. No, no! Palin insisted it was a great move, pushing Biden’s experience and calling herself the “new face” and leaving it up to the voters to decide what they want. So, the choices are experience or a pretty face?

Foreign Policy Experience?

At the Town Hall Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Palin was faced with some soft questions from the crowd. In yet another chance to justify her VP qualifications, Palin was asked to give examples of her skills regarding foreign policy. Palin went on to say that she was prepared to take the VP office, and that those silly people in Washington just want to tear her ticket down. She even offered to play “stump the candidate” in regards to examples of specific policies and countries. She lives next to Russia, right? Well, McCain stepped in quickly to push the discussion toward other topics.

She’s Never Seen Russia

After Palin’s (multiple) claims that living close to Russia gave her the foreign policy experience, CNN went to investigate. They traveled all the way out to the only place where you can see Russia from Alaska. The tiny island, Little Diomede, is pretty cut off from… Well, everywhere; the 150 inhabitants, aside from the mayor, couldn’t even name their governor. Not only that, but they told CNN that Palin had never even visited the island. Of course, after the report aired, her managers stated that she’d like to visit one day, then maybe she could get the real foreign policy experience by looking out across the water!

Going Rogue

Palin recently published a personal political memoir in November 2009, entitled Going Rogue: An American Life. It really doesn’t reveal much — not surprisingly — but it was likely more of an opportunity for a book tour and money. Well, besides revealing little, her book also went rogue on the fact-checking. The Associated Press set their fact checkers onto the book and they came back with quite a few errors — from stretching the truth to downright lying. She actually goes on to criticize President Obama for the bailout package that was actually was achieved by his predecessor, George W. Bush. Also, we found an awesome video interview of some of her supporters at a book signing.

Keeping Informed

In a CBS exclusive with Katie Couric, she caught up with Palin behind the scenes to gather some input on her world view. Couric asked Palin what publications she read before being chosen for the VP slot, to which Palin responded: “I read most of them.” After Couric asked what specific ones, Palin stated that she reads “all of them, any of them that have been in front of [her] in all those years.” After that, she started to get a bit defensive, insisting that she has a vast, various amount of sources, and that Alaska isn’t some foreign country completely out of touch with Washington, D.C. …Fine, but really? Couldn’t even throw out one example — New York Times? Anything?

Second CBS Interview with John McCain

In a second interview on CBS with Katie Couric, this time with running mate John McCain, Palin was confronted with the fact that even Republicans thought she was unprepared. She stated that not only was she ready, but “willing and able to serve.” Well, of course she said she was willing and able — why else would she be running? But ready? Yeah, she said she’s ready because of her “executive” experience as a city mayor and manager, a governor for a couple years, and oh — a regulator of oil and gas.

Turkey Fail

Every year on Thanksgiving, the tradition of pardoning a turkey is not only carried out by the President, but by Alaskan governors, too. This year, Palin pardoned a turkey, and followed up with an interview in front of a turkey slaughterhouse. She was even asked before the interview if she wanted to stand there, and she said yes. So, it though wasn’t completely ironic since Palin loves the senseless killing of animals, but her poor choice of interview angle made for a hilariously failed interview. It’s all so badly timed, especially when she says what she’ll be cooking for dinner — perhaps that poor turkey dying on camera behind her?


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