Palin's peculiar lie

Sarah Palin told a story about asking her kids to vote on her run for vice president, but it doesn't match with official accounts, or the timeline.

Published September 19, 2008 1:53PM (EDT)

As I noted Wednesday night in a post about her interview with Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin told an odd story recently.

Asked by Hannity, "What was your family's reaction [to McCain choosing her as running mate]? Was that time to huddle and have a hockey team meeting?" Palin responded:

It was a time of asking the girls to vote on it, anyway. And they voted unanimously, yes. Didn't bother asking my son because, you know, he's going to be off doing his thing anyway, so he wouldn't be so impacted by, at least, the campaign period here. So ask the girls what they thought and they're like, "Absolutely. Let's do this, Mom."

The reason I say that's an odd story is that it conflicts with the official account the McCain camp released the day Palin's spot on the ticket was announced, as well as the story Palin's husband told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren in an interview broadcast earlier this week. In those accounts, the Palin children were not told that John McCain had tapped their mother as his running mate until they'd already arrived in Ohio for the announcement.

Politico's Jonathan Martin has now gotten some clarification from the McCain camp, but it doesn't actually clarify much. Martin writes:

Asked about the discrepancy, Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said: "She asked the girls to vote once they arrived in Ohio."

When it was noted that that would have been after the decision had already been made, Schmitt said Palin was still in Arizona at the time.

This, of course, doesn't change the fact that the children were already in Ohio for the express purpose of announcing he (sic) news.

By itself, the tale is a small thing. Perhaps Palin was more running it by them then asking them. But why, when many of her policy-related statements are coming under question, would Palin embroider something that is so easily proven untrue?

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't that seem like an odd way to hold a vote? "Hey, kids, you're in Ohio so that you can participate in the announcement that your mom is going to be the Republican nominee for vice president. Now, what do you think? Should she run? Or since she's clearly already said yes, should she commit what could well be career suicide by pulling out right now?"

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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