Column: Palin's Clumsy Interviews Make Her Latest YouTube Celebrity

This story was written by Paul Nordeman, Daily Collegian

I came home from class last week and found my three roommates huddled around a computer, giggling uncontrollably to themselves about a YouTube video.

I wasn't sure what it would be this time, animals making bowel movements in places they shouldn't or a toddler accidentally getting kicked in the face. That's the joy of YouTube: You never know what you're going to find.

I walked in to take a look at what all the hysteria was about and saw a clip of Sarah Palin doing an interview with Katie Couric.

There was something wrong with this scene.

This wasn't a comedy sketch. It wasn't Tina Fey doing her spot-on impersonation of the Alaska governor. It was actually the Alaska governor. Palin's recent television appearances have been viewed millions of times already on the Internet, and judging by users' comments on the video, they aren't watching because she's inspiring.

Something tells me that uproarious laughter wasn't the intended result.

But Palin is doing her best to keep things interesting on the nightly news circuit.

Couric wants concrete examples about John McCain's voting history? Sorry, Sarah will have to get back to you. But she is a hockey mom, don't ya know?

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a knock on Palin's policies. In fact, I'm not entirely sure I know what they are. I may not agree with her political leanings, but everyone is entitled to his or her viewpoint. That's why we vote.

But this particular issue is about style versus substance. Palin's got style, no doubt about it. She seems to have a monopoly on folksiness, and her youthful exuberance is a much-needed addition to the McCainosaurus campaign.

She's currently the leader in my "candidate I would most like to have a beer with" race, but if you actually met the people I like to have beers with, you would realize that very few of them are even qualified to dress themselves in the morning. A down-home personality alone doesn't make someone worthy of being elected. Remember George W. Bush?

Outside of her Jane Sixpack act, I just don't see what Palin is bringing to the table.

She keeps reminding us that Russia is close to Alaska, thus making her well-versed in foreign policy. I live a block from Taco Bell, but I'm not exactly next in line for the ambassadorship to Mexico.

She and I do have some things in common, though. You can also count me among the people to whom Charlie Gibson would have to explain the Bush Doctrine.

Call me crazy, but I typically like my elected officials to know that stuff.

If you believe Karl Rove -- something I wouldn't recommend very highly, by the way -- then you can chalk up the Couric debacle to Palin's over-preparedness. That's right, she had too much information on her mind, which made her uncomfortable. Go figure.

One or two bad interviews shouldn't bury a candidate. Everyone slips up from time to time and should be afforded some leeway. However, Palin seems to be making a habit of these gaffes, which brings up a very scary proposition: If McCain wins the presidency, we're one very old heartbeat away from having Sarah Palin as the leader of the free world.

Is that a risk people will be willing to take?

We'll know in less than a month.