MR. SMITH: As we and others have reported, Sarah Palin is set to give one of the most anticipated speeches by a vice presidential nominee. So what does she need to say to delegates and, more importantly, to the millions of people watching her from home? We're honored to have the Governor of Utah to join us, Jon Huntsman is with us. He spoke at the convention yesterday and joins us here outside the Xcel Energy Center.
Great to see you, Governor. Thank you.
GOV. HUNTSMAN: Good to be here. Thank you.
MR. SMITH: You know, it seems to me that all this talk about the side items is just worthless, that we ought to get down to things that are more important. And I want to try to do that in this hour. This is not someone who the people of the United States can know very well. We learned about this as sort of a journalistic organization when our plane landed here from Denver. And people who have been covering Republican politics for decades were asking each other how to pronounce her name. On Sunday, it's my understanding, John McCain called her "Palin." I mean, we don't know her well. Do we deserve to know her better?
GOV. HUNTSMAN: Of course, we do. And we're going to find out very, very quickly with the multiplicity of media that present the case and the stories. Like never before in the history of humankind, we're going to learn about this individual. And I think the more she's presented, she has a very compelling and interesting story that is going to resonate throughout this country.
I've worked with her for a couple of years. I've sat by her in meetings. I've heard her present at meetings that she has chaired. I mean, let's talk about the issues here. What is the most compelling issue of our time right now? It's energy policy. Alaska is the most energy-relevant state in America. It borders Russia. It borders Canada -- a little foreign policy there, too. Energy touches economics, it touches national security, it touches sustainability.
Sarah Palin's going to get out and give an autobiographical presentation of who she is. And when she starts hitting the substance and the issues where she has a lot of depth, people are going to say, yeah, you go, girl. You're who we've been looking for.
MR. SMITH: People have made the argument that Barack Obama really doesn't have that much experience and foreign policy experience and leadership and that sort of thing. But the American public have had 18 months, voters have had 18 months -- and they've heard it all -- to decide whether they think he's ready to lead. We haven't had, as watchdogs for the nation, we really haven't had access to her at all. And I wonder if you think there's enough time for her to be properly vetted by the American people.
GOV. HUNTSMAN: I do. In fact, I think our election process is way too long to begin with.
MR. SMITH: Amen! (Laughs.)
GOV. HUNTSMAN: (Laughs.) Every other foreign country has a far- truncated process, and that wouldn't be altogether unhealthy. But listen, she's been vetted, she's been scrutinized and reported on by a lot of media in Alaska and, most recently, in the last six months since she's become a rising star, by a lot of national media as well. So it's not like, you know, Spiro Agnew in 1968 where you really don't know something about the governor because we didn't have the media outlets and not the interest in those days. She's a known commodity, and there's been a lot of information floated out there on the Web.
MR. SMITH: McCain adviser Steve Schmidt has released a statement as well, and I want to put that on the screen for our viewers if we can from the control room back in New York. He says, "Governor Palin looks forward to addressing the nation and laying out -- laying out -- the fundamental choice this election represents for the American people."
Is it your sense that we will have access to her as media, sort of on behalf of the people in the days and weeks to come? And what's your sense of what she needs to say tonight?
GOV. HUNTSMAN: Yes, yes, yes. John McCain has always been a big believer in accessibility. In fact, too much, many of his advisers would argue. So I think we're going to see a lot of that. And with Sarah Palin, I think you're going to get a lot of her family. She's a real human being. She emotes, she feels.
She's going through a situation this week that has been much reported upon that every family in America, Shepard, can relate to. Every family can relate to what she's going through. And when she came out and said, we're going to show love, we're going to embrace our daughter and do what needs to be done, I think there were a lot of nods out there from people who said, amen, we can relate to what she's going through.
And then I think once she kind of gets beyond the biographical and into the real issues, that's going to be a home run for, particularly with so many people kind of underestimating her capabilities and downplaying the contribution she's going to make to the ticket.
MR. SMITH: Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, great to see you.
GOV. HUNTSMAN: It's a pleasure, Shep. Thank you.
MR. SMITH: Thanks for coming by.
GOV. HUNTSMAN: Take care, Shep.