There weren't any great bombshells in today's Oprah's interview with Sarah Palin.
Indeed both seemed to be trying to be particularly careful, and in Palin's case, guarded; Oprah, perhaps, because she had supported Palin's opponent and Palin, perhaps, because she didn't want to give too much away and undermine her book sales.
It was a very mannerly and cordial interview, which makes for not-great TV, but it wasn't undignified either and that's OK too.
Oprah's introduction was simple: "You've been waiting, I've been waiting and she is finally here."
And then Oprah brought up the snubbing incident, when folks were saying Oprah was snubbing Sarah Palin by not inviting her on the show during the campaign. Oprah explained that since she was publicly endorsing a candidate, she'd made the decision to not have any candidates on her show. Palin said she barely knew about the "controversy" until a few weeks ago.
Palin talked about her vetting process by the McCain camp, saying that they found out her daughter Bristol was pregnant before anyone outside the family knew. She said she thought that the worse thing that would get out about her was that she got a D in school once.
When Bristol's pregnancy made the news, Palin said that the McCain camp wrote the happy grandparents response; she rewrote it, feeling that the pregnancy was an opportunity to get to 'realism' in American life and send a message to young people. But without her knowledge, the McCain handlers released the first response.
Palin said she was surprised that the haters took such advantage and would not leave her kids alone. She said she admired when Obama looked a reporter in the eye and said his kids were off limits. She didn't get that privilege, she said.
Oprah brought up the fact that candidate Obama, in one instance, said Palin's kids were off limit and pressed a bit until Palin said that she admired Obama's defense of her childrens' privacy.
There was a missed opportunity here, I think. I would have liked to hear more about how Bristol's pregnancy changed Palin's thinking, if it did so. The media focused on her daughter's condition, in part, because of Palin's stance on abstinence education. Did it occur to Palin that her daughter's pregnancy would be embarrassing or her stance questioned in that light? And is she still a strong proponent of abstinence education?
Palin talked about how controlling the McCain camp was; she was even told what to eat. (Oprah mentioned the Atkins diet, but Palin didn't elaborate.) That led to the clothes controversy; Oprah said it must have been fun at least at first to have an entire wardrobe already picked for you. Palin said it was more helpful in a practical way; she doesn't like to shop and she wouldn't have to worry about wardrobe. She said that the McCain folk heavily scripted her, although she took the blame for saying things she didn't believe since , at the end of the day, she was the candidate. But she pointed out that when she was candid or honest to a reporter (like when she said she wished they didn't pull out of Michigan), she was told that she was going rogue.
I would have loved to know what she said that she didn't really want to.
On the Katie Couric interview, she said the interview was supposed to be light-hearted, a look at a working mom, raising a teen. One was scheduled and then when they got to know one another, there would be more. Instead, she said she felt Couric had a partisan agenda, not a political one, but a goal of making sure none of Palin's mistakes went unnoticed. She said Joe Biden had done an interview with Couric and made mistakes and they were just overlooked.
Oddly, the campaign nor Palin, saw the Couric interview (which even Palin says she knew was bad) as a seminal moment in the campaign. Palin seemed particularly peeved at Couric's question about what magazines and books Palin read to stay informed on issues. She said she took the question as condescending, as if Couric was asking some hick "Do you read? and "How do you stay in touch with the real world?"
At one point, Palin derisively refers to Couric as "the perky one." Oprah confirms that she's talking about Couric, then lets Palin know that she's pretty perky too. Palin says she put the transcript of the Couric interview in the book so that people could see Couric's agenda; she said Couric asked her 12 times about her position on abortion even though Palin believes she answered it the first time.
On abortion, Palin apparently writes about being alone in New Orleans pregnant with Trig and not really considering abortion, but coming to an understanding about why women would go down that road. Those thoughts, she said, only solidified her anti-abortion position in the end.
On the subject of Levi Johnston, Palin went into "bless his heart" mode, not wanting to blast him, yet blasting him nonetheless. She said that because of her grandchild, the Oprah show was not the place to discuss the things Levi has said. Then she told us she'd heard he now goes by the name Ricky Hollywood and call his actions "heartbreaking."
She said she will leave Bristol and Levi to work things out, then she said he never lived with Bristol and since that is a lie, all else he's said is questionable. Oprah asks if she's aware of what he's said, then runs down the entire list. Palin said he's a teen and doesn't realize the consequences of what he's doing and that he's pursuing a porn life. When pressed on the Thanksgiving question, she said he has an open invite.
Oprah asked how with five children, one with special needs, she would have managed being VP; she prefaced the question by acknowledging that a man wouldn't be asked that, but that women, in 9 out of 10 cases, take care of the kids when both parties work. Palin said there is equality in her marriage with Todd, and she acknowledged that you can have everything, although not all at once. It's about making choices about what's right at the appropriate time.
Oprah said that even after reading her book, she still didn't know why Palin resigned as governor of Alaska. Palin said what she's said before: that she wasn't going to run again and that she felt the state was being hampered with her being there and always having to fight haters. (Or ethical violations.)
She wouldn't confirm a run in the future ("You don't need a title to make a difference)" and rather than answer whether there's a talk show in the future, she told O she has nothing to worry about because she's the queen of talk and was an inspiration when she was a stay at home mom and is an inspiration to many.
One last superficial note: both ladies were rocking the big hair.