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Sarah Palin vs. Charles Gibson

Governor Palin's debut with ABC News was a mixed bag. She seemed tense. Who wouldn't be? And she booted a few questions.

But she also made some good points, and on one occasion put Charlie on the defensive, which was interesting to watch.

So let's run it down. The governor's best moment was this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIE GIBSON, ABC NEWS: Are you in favor of putting Georgia and Ukraine into NATO?

SARAH PALIN, GOP VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia. Putin thinks otherwise, obviously he thinks otherwise. But…

GIBSON: And the NATO Treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Absolutely correct and stated with authority. Now her weakest answer concerned the Bush Doctrine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush — what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view?

GIBSON: No, the Bush Doctrine enunciated September 2002 before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Now when I heard that question from Gibson, I thought the Bush Doctrine was the president's belief that encouraging, and in Iraq imposing, democracy is the ultimate solution to marginalizing terrorism. That was my definition.

But Gibson put forth that the Bush Doctrine is the use of military action to prevent anticipated attacks.

However, the record shows there is no precise definition of the so-called Bush Doctrine. Various media have defined it as taking pre-emptive action, but nothing is written down. We do not have a Monroe Doctrine situation here.

So if I were asked about the Bush Doctrine, I would have been confused, too. Gibson should have defined it for Palin. That would have been the fairest way to get a response.

Now overall, I think Charlie did his job, but there was a gotcha element to the interview, and you can decide whether that's legitimate.

Finally, the media's obsessed with Palin's religious beliefs, as they are with Bush's reliance on God. The secular media generally dismisses any faith-based people, which of course puts them at odds with the folks, who overwhelmingly admire spirituality in their leaders. Thus, this exchange off Palin's speech that we should pray we are on God's side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: The reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said — first he suggested never presume to know what God's will is. And I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words. But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let's not pray that God is on our side in a war or in any other time. But let us pray that we are on God's side. That's what that comment was all about, Charlie.

GIBSON: But you went on and said there is a plan and it is God's plan.

PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world, and that plan for this world is for good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And then if I were answering Gibson's question, if I were answering it, I would have said don't you agree, Charlie? Don't you agree that a benevolent deity would want just people to confront suicide bombers, confront terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children? As a leader, is it wrong for me to believe that, Charlie Gibson?

All in all, Sarah Palin did not hurt herself in the interview. She lives to chat another day.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Parade magazine this Sunday lists the most generous entertainment personalities in the country. Oprah is No. 1, followed by Herb Alpert. Remember him, the Tijuana Brass? Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman and Mel Gibson. These folks give the most to charity, and they are patriots.

On the pinhead front, Pamela Anderson is not a big fan of Sarah Palin.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has a gigantic bear hide in her office or her house.

PAMELA ANDERSON, MODEL/ACTRESS: I can't stand her. She can (EXPLETIVE DELETED) it. You can quote me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

You can quote me, Pamela. In this case, you're a pinhead.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com

Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly