Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour which began last Sunday has once again touched off debate regarding her political intentions. Is she going to run for President in 2012? So far Palin is not saying – indeed, she has avoided talking to the national press, going so far as to keep her bus tour destinations secret until the last moment. Nonetheless, when her bus swung through Boston this week, I was able to use my local connections to swing an interview with her. Because she was pressed for time she kept her answers short, but she was amazingly candid. I think you will find her answers revealing. Here’s an edited transcript of our chat:
Me: I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me. By what name should I call you – Sarah? Ms. Palin?
Palin: Ma is a madam, as I am.
Me: Ok, Madam Palin. Let me start with the question that is on everyone’s mind – are you running for president in 2012?
P: Do geese see God?
Me: Uh..well..I guess I never thought about it. But let me be more specific. Are you planning on attending the first straw vote that will be held in Iowa on August 13?
P: Straw? No, too stupid a fad; I put soot on warts.
Me: Hmmm. I’ll take that as a no. In thinking about your electoral chances more generally, a number of candidates think they can beat you.
P: Name one man.
Me. Well, Mitt Romney, for example. What do you think about Romney’s chances?
P. Party boobytrap.
Me. Tim Pawlenty?
P: Pusillanimity obsesses Boy Tim. In all is up.
Me: Uh, I guess that’s not good. New Gingrich?
P. Flee to me, remote elf.
Me. Ooh – harsh! Ron Paul?
P: Dr. Awkward.
Me: Rudy Guliani?
P: Avid diva.
Me: Herman Cain?
P: Cain. A maniac.
Me: Michelle Bachmann?
P: Gnu dung.
Me: Ouch! Not a single good word for your fellow Republicans. I hate to ask, but how do you feel about President Obama?
P: Live evil. Dammit, I’m mad!
Me: What would you say to him right now, if you had the chance?
P. God lives, evil dog.
Me: I’m not sure those are the words of a Christian, but who am I to judge? Let’s discuss your relations with the media. You have made it clear that you believe that on the whole, the mainstream media is against your candidacy, and that their coverage is biased. But why would the media single you out – what is their real agenda?
P: Harass Sarah.
Me: What is your view of the media in general?
P: Rats at a bar grab at a star.
Me: Precisely put. Let’s talk issues. Libya – how would you pressure Gaddaffi into stepping down?
P: Bombard a drab mob.
Me: So you support air strikes even at the risk of civilian casualties? Ok, I don’t want to go all Katie Couric on you, but can you name the former South African civil rights leader?
P: A lad named E. Mandala.
Me: Close enough. You’ve often said that Ronald Reagan was your favorite president. Why?
P: A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.
Me. Yes, but in the end he agreed to abide by the Panama Canal treaty negotiated by Carter. How about President George W. Bush? Did you think he made a good president?
P. Dubya won? No way, bud.
Me: Well, to this day some people agree with you. Nonetheless, he served two terms. What did you think of his decision to characterize Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an “axis of evil”?
P: “Evil axis”, sides reversed, is “six alive.”
Me: Uh, yes it is. But did you support his decision to remove Saddam?
P: Drat Saddam! Mad dastard!
Me: Again, you aren’t really answering the question. But let’s move on. Domestically, you’ve argued that you represent America’s core values. What are those values? What constitutes the “real” America?
P: Tulsa night life: filth, gin, a slut.
Me: Now you’re pulling my leg! What would be your immigration policy?
P: Bar an Arab.
Me: Are Arabs really the problem? And doesn’t that risk a backlash from that group? How would you fix the deficit?
P: Sex at noon taxes.
Me: Hmmm… a sin tax, but one that raises privacy issues. And why at noon? Never mind. As president, you will almost certainly have a chance to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice. What is your view toward the court – do you subscribe to a particular judicial philosophy?
P: Some men interpret nine memos.
Me: Well, that’s not very specific and, as you know, they aren’t all men. But moving on. A central focus of my research has been determining how best to organize the White House staff for effective decisionmaking. For instance, I’ve long argued that presidents are better off avoiding having a strong chief of staff like John Sununu under the first Bush –
P: Bush saw Sununu’ s wash sub.
Me: He did? I’m not sure I want to know what that means.
P: Wonder if Sununu’s fired now?
Me: You mean from his latest job? I have no idea. As a conservative, you argued against what you view as excessive government regulation. If elected, what is the first law or regulation you would rescind?
P: Walmart’s tram law.
Me: I didn’t even know they had one. Let’s talk about your foreign policy experience. Have you traveled abroad? If so, what can you tell us about it?
P: Warsaw was raw.
Me: I can imagine. Places you liked?
P. Amore Roma.
Me. Who doesn’t? You consider yourself a Christian. As president, would you make it a habit to go to church regularly?
P. We panic in a pew.
Me: Really? I never would have guessed that. Any other phobias?
Me: Yikes! Fear of palindromes – how ironic! I hope you don’t read the transcript of this interview! Let’s move on to a delicate topic. Are you really Trig’s mother?
P: Did Mom pop? Mom did.
Me: Short and to the point. I appreciate that. What’s it like traveling with a baby on this bus tour? And how do you cope?
P: Tons ‘o snot. May a moody baby doom a yam?
Me: Can’t say that I know, but that’s an interesting choice of baby food. Must be an Alaskan thing. Moving on, I see a list of cities in red on the bus schedule pinned to the wall – Washington, Mt.Vernon, Baltimore, Boston, Detrolt – Detrolt? Presumably that’s Detroit?
P: Todd erases a red dot.
Me: Ah, I see, he changed the “i” to an “l”. Todd’s a prankster, is he? Describe your relationship with him – for example, do you have a special term of endearment?
P: Yo banana boy!
Me: Banana boy? What explains – well, never mind. Speaking of Detroit, presumably you are going to address the President’s bailout of GM – did you support the bailout?
P: No, it is opposition.
Me: But you do drive an American car?
P: A Toyota! Race fast… safe car: a Toyota
Me: That won’t win any voters in the Motor City I’ll wager. It might help the undecided voters if they could learn more about your personal side. For example, how do you keep in shape while on a bus tour? Do you have a special diet?
P: Go hang a salami; I’m a lasagna hog!
Me: You have got to be kidding! That sounds fattening, and yet you seem to keep your weight under control. Any foods you avoid?
P: No lemons, no melon. Tuna roll or a nut?
Me. No thank you. I just ate. In fact, I’m fasting now as a way to lose weight.
P: Doc, note I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.
Me: Well, I’m not a doctor. But your diet clearly works for you. I may try it. Any vices? Did you ever smoke cigarettes?
P: No trace. Not one carton.
P: Cigar? Toss it in a can. It is so tragic.
Me: Admirable. How about alcohol?
P. Rum, rum I murmur.
Me: I’m with you on that one. Maybe after the interview?
P: Red rum, sir, is murder.
Me: Ok, we’ll stay away from red rum. How do you pass the time between stops on the tour?
P: We sew.
Me: And do you work out? if so, where?
P: My gym.
Me: Do you play sports – golf, maybe?
P: Golf? No sir, prefer prison-flog.
Me: How do you keep so tanned? Do you use a specific tanning salon?
P: No, I tan at a nation.
Me: I see, so you’ll tan anywhere. Ok, who was the most important influence on your life?
P. Ma is as selfless as I am.
Me: I think that’s true of most mothers. You’ve made no secret that you are a hunter. But some animal rights activists have criticized you for this. How do you respond to their concerns?
P: Meet animals; laminate ‘em.
Me: Fair enough. For the outdoorsmen and women out there, what’s your most memorable hunting experience?
P. Ten animals I slam in a net.
P: Very impressive! Any favorite musicians? You grew up in the Material Girl era – are you a Madonna fan?
P: (Yawn) – Madonna fan? No damn way! Air an aria.
Me: I’m not an opera fan myself. Do you play any musical instruments?
P: A but tuba.
Me: I’m not going to ask. Do you have any favorite childhood memories? How did you spend your summers?
P: Camp Mac. Campus motto: Bottoms up Mac.
Me: Hmmm, I’m not sure I’d send my kid there! Returning to the presidential race – what are the odds that you will formally declare while on this bus trip?
P. Never odd or even.
Me: Going out on a limb, I see. Why should voters consider voting for you?
P: Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
Me. Inspiring words, for sure. Any last bit of advice for my readers?
P: Rise to vote, sir.
Me: And what will you say if they do?
P: Now I won!
Me. Thank you very much, Madam Palin. Now let’s get that drink. Remember, you offered to buy the first round.
P. I did, did I?
Me: Yo bro! Free beer for boy!
P: Yo, bottoms up! U.S. Motto, boy.