“In foreign policy now we’ve got the makings of the Obama doctrine, which is coddling enemies and alienating allies.” – Sarah Palin

He just couldn’t help himself.

George Stephanopoulos knew he’d bite.

Never mind she doesn’t hold an official title.

She isn’t running for office.

She isn’t even in Barack Obama’s playing field.

Yet Sarah Palin has provoked the White House yet again, which made for good material during her Southern Republican Leadership Council speech that just concluded, with Randy Scheunemann at his best.

“The president, with all the vast nuclear experience as a community organizer.” – Sarah Palin

Palin took on critics saying, “Don’t retreat – reload, and that’s not a call for violence.” Sarah Palin was also the first Republican to mention Katrina, so she obviously got my memo (and my morning tweet). After “drill, baby, drill, not stall, baby, stall,” from the crowd, a lone voice chanted… “Run, Sarah, run.”

Pres. Obama, fresh from signing a historic treaty with Russia on reducing nuclear weaponry, gets asked about Palin’s attack, drawn out by the press to take on Palin, which provided Sarah with the final word today.

Reuters immediately picked up the Obama v. Palin story that started rolling yesterday:

Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, has not been shy about criticizing Obama’s policies and this week weighed in on his revamped nuclear strategy, saying it was like a child in a playground who says ‘punch me in the face, I’m not going to retaliate.’

“I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

Pressed further on Republican criticism that his strategy restricts the use of nuclear weapons too much, Obama added:

“What I would say to them is, is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I’m probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.”

In fact, even after Obama’s initial comment, Stephanopolous goes back for more by invoking other Republicans beyond Palin who have said his new nuclear policy is wrong. Pres. Obama responds, then goes out of his way to take a direct shot across Palin’s bow, while acting a bit miffed that he’s having to talk about her. (You’re the President, you don’t have to, sir.)

He should have stopped with “I really have no response to that.” But his ego wouldn’t let him. So, he goes on, refusing to leave it at the advice of his SecDef and Joint Chiefs being enough. The bit about taking “advice from them and not from Sarah Palin” an unnecessary acknowledgment that her opinion means anything in the rarefied realm of the presidency.

Mr. Obama needs better impulse control.

Besides, he should be punching up, never down, as you only elevate the person you give your focus, which clearly offered her an even bigger opportunity today.

There is just something about Mrs. Palin that makes Democrats take her bait, including the President of the United States, and the press just eats it up, and so does Sarah.

This post has been updated.