The 20 questions we would ask Sarah Palin

Ethan Miller/Getty Images Though Republican campaign handlers have resisted the clamoring of “elitist,” mud-slinging reporters for a press conference with Sarah Palin, the VP nominee will sit down for her first campaign-trail interview with ABC‘s Charlie Gibson at some point later this week. While campaign advisor Rick Davis says she’s not scared to answer questions, ...

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592749_080909_palin5.jpg

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Though Republican campaign handlers have resisted the clamoring of "elitist," mud-slinging reporters for a press conference with Sarah Palin, the VP nominee will sit down for her first campaign-trail interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson at some point later this week. While campaign advisor Rick Davis says she's not scared to answer questions, Palin is said to be enduring some intense cram sessions with foreign policy tutors like Joe Lieberman.

Her passport stamps may be few, but Palin and her supporters remain adamant that the barracuda has what it takes to roll with the world's most formidable leaders and even its heavy-hitting bullies. Among the list of credentials cited are Palin's role as commander of Alaska's National Guard, her stint as mayor, and, infamously, Alaska's close proximity to Russia.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Though Republican campaign handlers have resisted the clamoring of “elitist,” mud-slinging reporters for a press conference with Sarah Palin, the VP nominee will sit down for her first campaign-trail interview with ABC‘s Charlie Gibson at some point later this week. While campaign advisor Rick Davis says she’s not scared to answer questions, Palin is said to be enduring some intense cram sessions with foreign policy tutors like Joe Lieberman.

Her passport stamps may be few, but Palin and her supporters remain adamant that the barracuda has what it takes to roll with the world’s most formidable leaders and even its heavy-hitting bullies. Among the list of credentials cited are Palin’s role as commander of Alaska’s National Guard, her stint as mayor, and, infamously, Alaska’s close proximity to Russia.

We’ve put together a list of suggested questions for Gibson that we think will reveal how aware Palin is of the issues awaiting her in Washington as well as offer a glimpse of the potential world leader that lies beneath the lipstick-wearing hockey mom. Feel free to suggest some of your own.

  1. In a broad and long-term sense, would you have responded differently to the attacks of 9/11?
  2. Is Iraq a democracy?
  3. What’s the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?
  4. What is your preferred plan for peace between Israel and Palestine? A two state solution? What about Jerusalem?
  5. How do you feel about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent visit to Syria? Do you believe the United States should negotiate with leaders like President Bashar al-Assad?
  6. Nearly 40 percent of the world’s population lives in China and India. Who are those countries’ leaders?
  7. Do you support the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, which would lift restrictions on sales of nuclear technology and fuel to India, a country which hasn’t signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty?
  8. Other than more drilling, what steps do you suggest the U.S. take in order to move toward energy independence? Do you believe more investment is needed in alternative energy research? If so, how would you recommend this funding be allocated?
  9. How would you balance concerns over human rights and freedom in China with the United States’ growing economic interdependence with that country?
  10. What’s more important: securing Russia’s cooperation on nuclear proliferation and Iran, or supporting Georgia’s NATO bid? If Vladimir Putin called you on the phone and said, “It’s one or the other,” what would you tell him?
  11. Critique the foreign policy of the last administration. Name its single greatest success, and its most critical failure.
  12. What do you think will be the most defining foreign-policy issue in the next five years?
  13. What role should the United States play in the global effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS? Should it support contraception, or abstinence only?
  14. You’ve said that the federal government spends too much money. What, in your view, is the appropriate level of spending as a percentage of GDP?
  15. You’re an advocate of reducing environmental restrictions on drilling. How much oil needs to be found in the United States before the country achieves energy independence?
  16. What are your picks for the three most enlightening books written on foreign policy in the last five years?
  17. Who among the world’s leaders can be listed as the top three friends of the United States and why?
  18. In your opinion, which U.S. president was the most successful world leader and why?
  19. Which U.S. political thinkers, writers, and politicians would you enlist to advise you on matters of foreign policy and why?
  20. Who is the first world leader you’d like to meet with and why?

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