Palin’s Debate Line ‘Hey, Can I Call You Joe?’ Scripted due to ‘O’Biden’ Gaffe
January 8, 2010
(ChattahBox)—It turns out that Sarah Palin’s vice presidential debate line, “Hey, can I call you Joe?” was scripted by campaign handlers, after she repeatedly called the then Senator Joe Biden, O’Biden.” Former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt told Anderson Cooper for an upcoming segment on 60 Minutes, that he expected the debate to be a huge debacle, because of Palin’s poor performance in pre-debate preparations. After referring to Biden as “O’Biden” multiple times, exasperated aides finally told Palin to ask to call her opponent by his first name, Joe.
During the debate, the request to use Biden’s first name came off as part of Palin’s “folksy” persona, as she preceded to wink her way through the issues, referring at one point to her followers, as the “Joe six pack” crowd. You know, those people from “real America” that Palin spoke of during the losing campaign.
Schmidt, was interviewed for a segment on the new book due out Monday, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime,” written by political reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The book is described as the two reporters, as using “their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns.”
Schmidt said that multiple aides finally decided to tell Palin to just call Biden Joe. “It was multiple people — and I wasn’t one of them — who all said at the same time, ‘Just say, “Can I call you Joe,”’ which she did,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt said he took over the debate prepping and simplified it and that Palin “more than held her own” in the debate. He said he had been warned by a campaign staffer that Palin was performing poorly.
Schmidt expected the debate to be a huge embarrassment, but ultimately Palin managed to get through the experience without it being a total debacle. “He told us the debate was going to be a debacle of historic and epic proportions. … She was not focused … not engaged,” Schmidt told Cooper. “She was not really participating in the prep.” Schmidt confronted Palin and, he said, “She said, ‘You know, I think that’s right.’”
The CBS News release about the upcoming 60 Minutes segment, said Palin had declined to be interviewed for the story, saying she had dealt with many of the allegations in her own book, “Going Rogue.”
See Politico for more.