Katie Couric takes credit for 2008 Obama victory following Sarah Palin sitdown: He owes me a ‘big-a– bouquet’
Former broadcast journalist Katie Couric suggested former President Obama owes his 2008 victory to her following her memorable interview with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, saying he should have sent her a “big-a– bouquet of flowers.”
While appearing at the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival in Austin last Friday, Couric reflected on her career in TV news and put a spotlight on her exchange with the then-Alaska governor, which pundits over the years have pointed to as a contributing factor to the defeat of the McCain-Palin ticket.
“You’re welcome, by the way,” Couric told the liberal audience, sparking laughter and applause.
She added, “I always thought that Barack Obama should have sent me a big-a– bouquet of flowers for that interview.”
Couric went on to mock Palin by acknowledging the “double entendre” of how Palin was a “blank slate” both in terms of her mental state and as a political figure. In the interview, Palin failed to name a specific newspaper she read and also gave panned responses to questions about the economic bailout and Alaska’s proximity to Russia.
“People really didn’t understand where she stood on a lot of important, you know, issues of public policy. And I think that was a very important interview because it was a fair interview,” Couric said. “I think it stood the test of, of being objective. Even Republicans afterwards thought it was extremely fair, a certain kind of Republican.”
The former “CBS Evening News” anchor then pondered how her interview with Palin would be received today versus 2008, saying it might not have had “much of an impact” given the polarized political climate.
“I think people were concerned that here she would be a heartbeat away from the presidency, John McCain had cancer, I believe, four times. And I think suddenly, they were not only questioning her abilities, but also his judgment in selecting her,” Couric said. “So I think that had a big impact on the election, on the campaign. And so I thought I did a good job.”
Palin did not immediately respond to FOX News’ request for comment.
Couric, best known for her 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC’s “Today,” spoke candidly about embracing liberal causes in recent years like abortion rights and gun control.
“I do feel more liberated,” Couric said. “I think that for so long I had to appeal to this mass audience, you know, on ‘The Today Show.’ And I think we all, especially women, contort ourselves into that, you know, desire to be likable. And I think at some point in my career, I just realized not everybody is going to like me.”
She recalled once being at a donut shop in Nantucket where she saw someone wearing a shirt that read, “I’m not for everyone.”
“And I was like, ‘I want that shirt,’” Couric said. “So I came home, I Googled it and I ordered that shirt.”
“I mean, at some point, I think I believe strongly in reproductive rights. I think they’re the foundation of equal rights for women. And I felt an obligation to say that,” she continued. “Similarly, you know, I feel very strongly about reducing gun violence in this country. I’ve covered too many school shootings, too many mass shootings. You know, nothing happened after Sandy Hook… And I think, you know, 74% of NRA members want stricter gun laws. And the fact that we can’t get it done because we are being held hostage by these extremists.”
Couric then paused and asked the liberal audience, “Is this OK that I’m saying this in Texas?” The crowd in the liberal Texas enclave responded with cheers.
“It’s ridiculous and unacceptable. And I feel like, you know, I’ve earned the right on some issues that are important to me to speak my mind,” Couric added.
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