Is John McCain exaggerating his past relationship with Sarah Palin?
On Wednesday, NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed McCain, and he started the session with questions about McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin. Noting that Palin had repeatedly pointed to Alaska's proximity to Russia, Inskeep asked what that adds to her foreign policy qualifications. McCain referred to "the fact that they have had certain relationships." Presumably, by "they" he meant Alaska and Russia, but he did not specify what these "relationships" entailed. And Inskeep did not ask him to. (In her interview with Katie Couric, Palin referred to trade missions between her state and Russia--activity which apparently did not involve her.) McCain then changed the subject and maintained that Palin has great expertise on energy issues, inelegantly remarking, "She has oversighted the natural gas and oil and natural resources of the state of Alaska."
Then came a dramatic statement. Inskeep asked, "Is there an occasion when you can imagine turning to Gov. Palin for advice on a foreign policy crisis." McCain replied,
I've turned to her advice many times in the past.
Many times in the past? According to the McCain campaign, McCain first met Palin in February at a Washington meeting of the National Governors Association. Here's how McCain's own campaign on August 29 described the interactions between the two: