Politics This Week: Palin, Jackson, Afghanistan
SCOTT SIMON, Host:
Joined now in the studio by our friend, NPR News analyst Juan Williams. Good morning, Juan.
JUAN WILLIAMS: Good morning.
SIMON: And let's agree, as basketball fans, to try and avoid those analogies.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
SIMON: With all due regard to everybody involved. But what's your initial reaction?
WILLIAMS: You know, there was just a recent piece in Vanity Fair that was unflattering, David Letterman was making jokes that were viewed as offensive. Maybe she just wants to get out of the spotlight.
SIMON: I got an email from someone last night who said you folks in the East Coast media establishment have never understood her, and that's going to make all of your analysis wrong, 'cause she just doesn't think the way you do.
WILLIAMS: Yeah. One thing before we get off of Sarah Palin, which is to say that she promised on Twitter yesterday that there's more information to come.
SIMON: Oh, my God. We can check that. Look, I don't want to ask you another question about Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, but I do want to ask you about his wife, Jenny...
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
SIMON: ...who has established her own profile this week, I think it's safe to say.
WILLIAMS: And also told the governor to get out - you know, take a break, you're not welcome here. I think this is a real contrast to the way political wives have been handling this in the past. And apparently a lot of women thought, you know, she's the hero in this story.
SIMON: Getting away from politics - although it's never far away from politics - U.S. Marines launched a major offensive in Afghanistan this week. Do the public opinion polls suggest that the American public will support a renewed, perhaps long-term effort in Afghanistan?
WILLIAMS: But for the moment, the U.S. population is willing to hang with it. I don't sense it from the poll numbers that they're willing to stay with it for long though. So the question is how persuasive can President Obama be about the need to pursue this, especially with reports coming in the Washington Post this week that some commanders on the ground are going to ask for more troops. You have at the moment about 68,000 authorized. President Obama put an additional 21,000 in earlier this year. What if you need more, Scott? And you know, the ongoing battles are difficult.
SIMON: Finally, Michael Jackson news continues unabated this week. There was a tribute to him at the Apollo Theater in New York City. Has his death refreshed his perspective with some Americans?
WILLIAMS: But yeah, I think there is a reassessment going on about Michael Jackson and a celebration of the tremendous music that he brought and his genius as opposed to all the scandals.
SIMON: Thanks very much. NPR News analyst Juan Williams.
WILLIAMS: You're welcome, Scott.
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