ABC's Palin Interview, Day Two

Updated 7:45 p.m. Gov. Sarah Palin tells ABC News that Senator Barack Obama might regret not having picked Senator Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

Ms. Palin
also discusses earmarks, like the now-infamous "bridge to nowhere," which she supported before she opposed. She had a bit of a mixed message, saying "it's not inappropriate" for a state to seek federal money for its infrastructure but also that "every state has their embarrassment" and that "earmark abuse will stop."

These are two of the topics that Ms. Palin addresses in tonight's installment of ABC's "World News Tonight," in which Charlie Gibson continues his interview in Alaska with Senator John McCain's running mate. The interview is to air at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

According to excerpts of the transcript, Mr. Gibson asks Ms. Palin if she thinks Mr. Obama should have chosen Mrs. Clinton as his running mate.

"I think he's regretting not picking her now, I do," Ms. Palin says. "What, what determination, and grit, and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way, she handled those well."

In Ms. Palin first speech after Mr. McCain chose her, on Aug. 29, she paid tribute to Mrs. Clinton and to Geraldine Ferraro, the first Democratic woman named to a major ticket.

"I can't begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and of course Senator Hillary Clinton, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign," Ms. Palin said then, to applause. She said she would take up where Mrs. Clinton left off and "shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

But when she mentioned Mrs. Clinton in her next speech, she was booed, and she has since dropped the reference from her brief stump speech.

There has been considerable speculation about whether Mr. Obama would be better positioned to curb the excitement that Ms. Palin has generated if he had picked a woman and whether Ms. Palin is drawing the support of women who might have voted for Mrs. Clinton, despite their vast policy differences.

Still, Ms. Palin's comment about Mr. Obama's possible regret will probably not come as a shock to the person whom he did choose, Senator Joseph Biden. Mr. Biden himself said the other day that Mrs. Clinton might have been a better choice.

"Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America," Mr. Biden said in response to a question at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. "Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."

Update: O.K., lots more ground to cover with Ms. Palin.

She reaffirmed her opposition to abortion rights, even if rape or incest is involved, even though Mr. McCain said he would allow such exceptions. And she reaffirmed her opposition to embryonic stem cell research and gun control, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

She also took a pass on a question about homosexuality. Asked whether it is genetic or learned behavior, she said she would not stand in judgment of anyone on such a basis. And she shrugged off a question about how she could manage to raise a family of five children and be vice president. Mr. Gibson asked if it was sexist to even ask how she could do both; Ms. Palin said it was irrelevant.

And in a preview of yet another installment of "Sarah Palin meets ABC News," she dismissed the notion that she had ever tried to ban any books, calling that "an old wive's tale."

She seemed a bit more relaxed in this interview than in the first one broadcast on Thursday night. She was in her own home in Wasilla, for one thing. And most of the media criticism regarding yesterday's interview centered mostly as on her being overly rehearsed and stuck on talking points.

Mr. Gibson opened tonight by asking her for three steps she would take to change the direction of the economy. After a few rambling false starts, she said she would reduce taxes, control spending and reform oversight agencies.

Ms. Palin said she was certain there would be "efficiencies" to be found in governmental agencies, saying that only benefits for military veterans would be protected from budget cuts.

She seemed to suggest that agencies are also responsible for entitlements like Social Security, which Mr. Gibson pointed out they were not.

In a discussion about earmarks, she said the "bridge to nowhere" was actually to somewhere, a rural community without an airport, but that it was "excessive" and "not even supported necessarily by the majority of Alaskans."

Mr. Gibson noted that she was for it before she was against it, and she said she was just responding to the reality that it would not be funded.

"With the federal government saying, no, the rest of the nation does not want to fund that project, you have choice," she said. "You either read the writing on the wall and understand O.K., yes, that, that project's going nowhere and the state isn't willing to fund that project. So what good does it do to continue to support something that circumstances have so drastically changed? You call an audible, and you deal in reality, and you move on. And, Charlie, we killed the bridge to nowhere and that's the bottom line."

On her opposition to a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, even though 70 percent of the country supports such a ban, she noted that she is a member of the National Rifle Association and believed strongly Second Amendment rights.

"That's kind of inherent in the people of my state who rely on guns for not just self-protection, but also for our hunting and for sports, also," she said. "It's a part of a culture here in Alaska. I've just grown up with that."

As for raising a family and being vice president at the same time, Mr. Gibson said ABC had received 15,000 e-mails on the subject within 48 hours.

Ms. Palin's response: "I'm lucky to have been brought up in a family where gender has never been an issue. I'm a product of Title IX, also, where we had equality in schools that was just being ushered in with sports and with equal opportunity for education, all of my life.

I'm part of that generation, where that question is kind of irrelevant, because it's accepted. Of course, you can be the vice president and you can raise a family. I'm the governor and I'm raising a family. I've been a mayor and have raised a family."

Later tonight, more of the interview will be shown.

In it, Mr. Gibson asked her about "troopergate," which involves whether she abused her office in having a state trooper, who was involved in a messy divorce from Ms. Palin's sister, fired. According to The Associated Press, 13 people, including her husband, are about to be subpoenaed in the case.

Ms. Palin defended her actions, saying the trooper had made threats against her family but also that he had not been fired.

"The trooper in question here did conduct dangerous and illegal activities. And our personal security detail, when I was first elected, had asked us, very appropriately, 'Are there any threats against you and your family?' And I said, 'Well, you know, ironically, yeah, it's a state trooper who's threatened to kill my dad and bring down me and once I got elected.'"

She said she had not pressured the public safety commissioner to fire the trooper. "I never pressured him to hire or fire anybody," she said. She said she did replace that commissioner after his two years in her cabinet because "he wasn't meeting the goals I wanted met in that area of public service, there were a lot of things that we were lacking."

By the end of the "World News" broadcast, the Obama campaign had issued a response to Ms. Palin's comment that Mr. Obama might regret not having picked Mrs. Clinton as his running mate. The statement was issued in the name of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, a former Clinton supporter who now works for Mr. Obama.

"Sarah Palin should spare us the phony sentiment and respect," the statement said. "Governor Palin accused Senator Clinton of whining and John McCain laughed when a questioner referred to her by using a demeaning expletive. John McCain and Sarah Palin represent no meaningful change, just the same failed policies and same divisive, demeaning politics that has devastated the middle class."

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