– but you don't get to be governor without being smart, so how would you describe your smarts?
SP: How would I describe my smarts?
Do you think you're intellectual?
Sarah Palin: Yessss. And you have to be up on not only current events, but you have to understand the foundation of the issues that you're working on as a governor. I had to do the same thing as a mayor. So it is not just current events but it's much more in-depth than that to understand how, in the case of me being governor, how did our state get to the position that we are in order for a decision to have to be made. You can't just go on what is presented you. You have to know the background, you have to know the players involved before you make a policy call. So, um, it's uh, it's a good job, it's a tough job and it's a very, very serious job. And no. You don't get to be a governor by being –
TP: – going with the wind.
SP: Yeah definitely. You don't just go with the flow and take a political pulse on policy. You have to go with what the foundational knowledge is that you have on issues in front of you and you have to put the people you are serving, put them first. You put them before partisanship you put them before special interests. That's how you make decisions as governor.
How do you get that knowledge?
SP: I'm a voracious reader, always have been. I appreciate a lot of information. I think that comes from growing up in a family of schoolteachers also where reading and seizing educational opportunities was top on my parents' agenda. That was instilled in me.
What do you like to read?
SP: Autobiographies, historical pieces – really anything and everything. Besides the kids and sports, reading is my favorite thing to do.
What are you reading now?
SP: I'm reading, heh-heh, a lot of briefing papers on a lot of issues that are in front of us in this campaign.
What about for fun?
SP: Do we consider The Looming Tower something that was just for fun? That's what I've been reading on the airplane. It's about 9/11. If I'm going to read something, for the most part, it's something beneficial.
Jessica of Yucca Valley, Calif., wants to know, When someone screamed, 'Kill him,' at your rally, why didn't you say anything?
SP: I haven't heard anybody scream 'Kill him' at a rally.
Have you read that people in your crowds yelled hateful things about Barack Obama?
SP: With 23,000 people at a rally it would be difficult to pick out one comment. If I heard somebody say something like 'Kill him,' I would certainly not condone that… and I would say something
Alicia in New York City asks, Do you think about having more children?
SP: No-o-o-o. We got our starting five. That's the final five.
You're not the first parents to cope with a teenage pregnancy. How did you get that news and what was your reaction?
SP: Just a very quick acknowledgement that Bristol and her fiancé will have to grow up a lot quicker. But she is quite mature, very kind-hearted and a very strong young woman. She's also kind of an old soul who's beyond any desire to be out there partying. It will all be good. We look forward to another life coming into our family.
Do you worry about her finishing high school or going to college?
SP: No. She's a very smart girl. She's got great grades. She's always been a very good athlete, very plugged into school. These are less than ideal circumstances, but she is making the most of this and she will be a very, very good and loving mother. And Levi will be a very good father. And it's going to be good. And certainly, of course, as you point out, we're not the first.
Has this changed how you talk about sex with your other children?
SP: I've always been a proponent of making sure kids understand – even in schools – they'd better take preventative measures so that they don't find themselves in these less than ideal circumstances. Perhaps Bristol could be a good example to other young women that life happens and preventative measures are, first and foremost, the option that should be considered –
Do you mean abstinence or contraception?
SP: Well, both. Ideally abstinence. But we have not been ones to say that students, should not know what preventive measures are all about. I've been taken aback by some criticism that mainstream media has thrown my way saying, Oh, what a hypocrite she is and she's now learned her lesson because she's been against sex education in the schools. And I'm like, when? Where? When have I ever said that there should be no sex education taught in our homes or even in our schools?
Carlie from Winston Salem, N.C., asks, If Sen. McCain doesn't win, will you run for President in 2012? I will be old enough to vote then and you have my vote.
SP: Awww. That is so nice to hear. But our focus is between now and November 4.
Wedding next summer, is that right?
SP: Um. Hopefully before that. But Bristol turns 18 in a few days. That's what we wanted her to wait for: 18 and a decision on her own about how she's going to go forward, her and Levi, at this point.
Are you disappointed that he's dropped out of school?
SP: He's working right now full-time, but there have been a lot of very successful, hard-working American families led by men and women who have received their GED and have figured out through home-schooling and alternative schooling how to get that high school diploma and Levi will be on that road to get his education, also. But in addition to that, they're not going to be looking for anybody to hand them anything. They're going to be working for provisions for their new family and I respect that Levi is out there working hard. He's got a good job right now, working hard, ready to take care of his new child. I respect that.
STAFF: We've got to get going.
Do you have a favorite childhood book you'll be passing on to your new grandbaby?
SP: Awww. Gosh. That's a good question. Piper and I read lots and lots of nursery rhymes, of course, and we still do. There's a couple of really good Alaskan child books, also, about the Iditarod, the sled-dog race so, in fact a couple of those – and I'm reading one of them to Piper right now – we'll be passing those on.
Is that a series?
SP: No, different books. Susan Butcher, she was one of the Iditarod champions. She had written a book before she died. It was a beautiful book that she and her husband, Dave Monson, wrote. It's called Granite and it's a good one. And a lot of the Alaskan-oriented books because our kids are Alaska native, they're Eskimos, so it helps them understand more of their culture, the history there in Alaska.
Just get Tina Fey to say these lines and it will be TV gold.