Sarah Palin: “You can see Russia from my house”.
Perhaps the most famous, and most damaging Sarah Palin quote, the quote that spread around the internet like wildfire, the quote that destroyed her credibility, and the quote that made certain she would be a laughing stock in Democratic circles.
But hang on a minute – was it actually a Sarah Palin quote? Well, actually, no. Those exact words were spoken by Tina Fey, a comedian on Saturday Night Live, who was lampooning Palin. Sadly, I can’t embed the video here, but here’s an extract from the transcript:
Amy Poehler (Hillary Clinton): I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.
Tina Fey (Palin) And I can see Russia from my house!
So what did Palin actually say? The much less sound-bite-worthy quote that inspired Tina Fey actually came from an interview with Charlie Gibson in which Palin explained that:
“They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
Quite boring really. But Palin on to display her lack of foreign policy experience and her utter ignorance of Russia in later interviews. For example, talking to Katie Couric, Palin said being in a state next door to Russia enhanced her own personal foreign policy credentials, even if she hadn’t ever been personally involved in any negotiations with Russia:
“We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.”
This quote contains another great Palin Russia quote – “Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States” – and inspired a batch of satirical campaign posters.