Palin Meets World Leaders In New York

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin met with the leaders of Afghanistan and Colombia, who were attending the U.N. General Assembly, as well as with Henry Kissinger. New York Times reporter Kate Zernike says the meetings focused on energy security and foreign policy.

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T: to meet with foreign leaders. The Alaska governor's two-day visit to New York has also created some conflict between Palin's handlers and the media. New York Times reporter Kate Zernike is covering Governor Palin's trip, and she joins us now. Welcome to the program, Kate.

: Thanks, Michele.

: First of all, who did Sarah Palin meet with today, and what do we know about those meetings?

: She met with Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan. She met with the president of Colombia, and she met with Henry Kissinger for what was her longest meeting, about an hour this afternoon.

: And do we know anything about the conversation they had, the exchange?

: Her aides did give a briefing in the afternoon about it. They said that she spoke a lot about energy security, that with Dr. Kissinger, in particular, she spoke about the U.S.'s relationship with Russia and the possibility of border countries in Russia joining NATO, which is, of course, an issue she caused some controversy on with her remarks to Charlie Gibson in her first televised interview. But for the most part, they said she asked a lot of questions and she, as they said, she liked it. She found that she liked foreign leaders very much.

: During this visit to the U.N. General Assembly, there has been some sparring between the media and Governor Palin's handlers over this issue of access. Could you walk us through what happened, what this is all about?

: Well, this morning they had originally said that there will be a representative from several - they put together what's known as a pool. So, there's a representative of the print media, representative of the broadcast media, they serve as a representative to go in and tell other reporters what happens at these meetings. Early this morning, they put out word that, in fact, there would not be any editorial writers allowed in. So there'll be no print reporters, no television reporters. They would only allow cameras, still cameras and television cameras.

Some news organization protested and said, you're turning this into a photo opportunity, and we're not going to let you do it. But this has also been a pattern with Governor Palin's people since she's been a candidate. They really try to limit access to her whether it's on her plane or at events. She really doesn't do any unscripted events.

: Now, just to play devil's advocate for a moment. Does the campaign have the right to keep the media out of a meeting like this if they want to?

: Well, I mean, I think they, you know, it's fairly standard for campaigns to have this pool of reporters because frankly, it's unwieldy to have, say, 40 or 50 reporters follow you into a meeting with a foreign leader. But it is fairly unprecedented that they would not allow some coverage by at least a representative to tell people what's going on. And it's certainly unprecedented that they would have so few unscripted opportunities, so few opportunities for her to answer questions from voters or from reporters. They've really had almost none of that.

: Before we let you go, Kate, Sarah Palin will be in New York for a second day tomorrow. What's on her schedule then?

: She's joining back up with John McCain in the morning. They're going to meet the president of Ukraine, the president of Georgia. They meet with the president of Pakistan, the new president of Pakistan. They meet with Bono of U2. And then they wrap up with the president of India in the evening.

: Thank you, Kate.

: Thank you.

: That was Kate Zernike of The New York Times. She's covering Sarah Palin's trip to New York City.

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