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Rediff.com  » News » Palin's gaffe: Queen was in charge of Brit forces in Iraq

Palin's gaffe: Queen was in charge of Brit forces in Iraq

February 21, 2012 12:56 IST
America's maverick politician Sarah Palin, infamous for her gaffes, believed it was the Queen, and not the then British premier Gordon Brown, who had decided to keep the United Kingdom forces in war-ravaged Iraq, it has emerged.

The 48-year-old glamorous former Alaskan governor made the comment during the 2008 presidential campaign as aides to John McCain, then Republican candidate, struggled to coach her on foreign affairs, according to research done for a new film chronicling Palin's brief political rise.

In fact, her confusion emerged during a coaching session with Steve Schmidt, a top McCain adviser, who asked Palin what she would do if Britain began to waver in its commitment to the Iraq war, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Palin reportedly replied that she would "continue to have an open dialogue" with the Queen. Schmidt informed her that the then PM Brown, would be responsible for the decision.

The incident was revealed during research for Game Change, an HBO "docu-drama" based on a book about the 2008 campaign by two leading American journalists.

A Palin spokesman said the film -- with which Palin refused to co-operate -- "distorted, twisted and invented facts to create a false narrative".

The incident can be added to a long list of policy gaffes made by Palin during her three months as the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

In an infamous series of interviews with Katie Couric, the CBS News anchor, Palin was asked about her claim that Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her an insight into foreign affairs.

In her stumbling answer, Palin described how "(Vladimir) Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America".

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