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Originally published Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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McCain to reform Wall St., Palin says

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in her third interview since joining the Republican presidential ticket, licked her finger and stuck it in the air, saying Sen. Barack Obama might wait and "see what way the political wind's blowing" on the Wall Street rescue package.

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in her third interview since joining the Republican presidential ticket, licked her finger and stuck it in the air, saying Sen. Barack Obama might wait and "see what way the political wind's blowing" on the Wall Street rescue package.

The Republican vice-presidential nominee told "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric on Wednesday that Sen. John McCain would take the lead in reforming Wall Street, or "we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression."

She seemed stumped when pressed to cite examples of McCain trying to reform the banking industry, beyond urging greater restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "I'll try to find some and I'll bring them to you," Palin said.

The interview came amid increasingly vocal complaints from some journalists that the campaign is walling off its vice-presidential nominee. Palin has been interviewed by Charles Gibson of ABC News and Sean Hannity of Fox News, but she has held no news conferences and has responded to one question from the reporters who follow her around the country.

Since Palin's selection was announced Aug. 29, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden has held four news conferences and granted 89 interviews, sitting for Couric, "Meet the Press" and The Washington Post, among others.

CNN anchor Campbell Brown called the situation "unprecedented," saying that "as a journalist, my job is to get the truth, understand who this woman is, what she's about, whether she's qualified to be vice president. ... If she were a man, would we be putting up with this? Would the campaign be treating her like this? Would she be coddled this way, cloistered this way? I don't think so."

McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said Palin will do more interviews.

"I know the media is throwing a temper tantrum about this," Goldfarb said. But, he said, "she was so beat up the first week when she came on and this campaign has had fraught relations with the media ever since. There's just not a tremendous amount of concern. The campaign is resolved not to allow the media to dictate her schedule. ... This is mainly an inside-the-Beltway issue."

On Wednesday, after McCain and Palin met with the leaders of Georgia and Ukraine in New York, McCain looked around him and appeared to be inviting questions. An Associated Press reporter asked Palin, "Governor, what have you learned from your meetings?" A McCain press aide intervened and moved the reporters out of the room.

Jim Geraghty, a columnist for National Review Online, said Palin should make herself available to reporters. "The first time Sarah Palin does an all-out press conference, with the barking dogs of the press yelling their questions at the same time, I think she'll do fine," he said. "I don't understand why they're not giving the media more access to her."

Meanwhile, as Palin sought to establish her credentials in world affairs, first lady Laura Bush told CNN said that Palin lacked sufficient foreign-policy experience but was "a quick study."

In her interview with Couric, Palin said the answer to the financial crisis doesn't necessarily have to be the bailout plan that the Bush administration has proposed, but that it should be some form of bipartisan action to reform Wall Street.

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"I'm ill about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. At the same time we know that inaction is not an option and as Senator McCain has said, unless this nearly trillion-dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson's proposal, really I don't believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this," Palin said.

Palin's infant son and two youngest daughters headed home to Alaska after a day of New York sightseeing with their father, Todd Palin. He took the children to see the Statue of Liberty. The family also visited Ground Zero, and ate hot dogs in Central Park.

At the start of her meeting with Iraq President Jalal Talabani at a downtown hotel Wednesday, the governor was overheard saying: "There's plenty to do here, isn't there? Plenty to see."

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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