Category Archives: media

Tomorrow the Media Will Love Sarah Palin

Yesterday, I said that a pro-Sarah Palin backlash was on its way:  

Sarah Palin is not Dan Quayle.  She can put a sentence together and can get through a speech.  She may sound like the girl making Blizzards at the Anchorage Dairy Queen, but she is not without rhetorical skills.  And now that her family has come under such close scrutiny, expect her to hit back hard in her acceptance speech at the RNC. 

It’s a cliché, but expectations have been set low for Palin.  When she correctly pronounces “Waziristan” and doesn’t look like a wax figure (see, e.g.,  ) the pundits will go wild.  

Tomorrow, the reevaluation of Sarah Palin will begin.   Here’s the standard by which she’ll be judged:

She’ll exceed those expectations if only because she’s capable of reading a teleprompter:

She probably won’t have the bridge-and-tunnel hair tonight, but she’ll look strong and self-assured. 

Mitigating tonight’s “success” may be the fact that she still hasn’t given an interview.  It’s possible that the press will pound on that — at least for a little bit  — while they gush all over Palin’s masterfully delivered address.  

Of course, at the end of the day, this election isn’t about Sarah Palin.  It’s about John McCain’s intention to model his presidency after George Bush’s.   And while it’s fun to see the Republicans suffer for this monumentally poor selection, it will be even more satisfying to watch the Democrats unrelentingly remind voters that John McCain has aspired to be and has become a 90% clone of George Bush.   


Did I say tomorrow? Make that tonight.

Joe Klein:

Palin established herself as a major-league performer, a very effective messenger for the perennial Republican themes of low taxes and strong defense. And a new theme–government reform–that changes the terrain of the election and will have to be forcefully countered by the Democrats. Obama will have to be every bit as sharp–and down to earth–as he was in his speech last week as this goes forward.

Maybe it won’t help them win. Maybe it will turn out to have been too negative and sarcastic for the current public mood, especially coming after Giuliani. But two things are clear after Sarah Palin made her do-or-die debut before 20-plus million people tonight. She is amazingly self-confident. And she knows how to nail a speech.

Michael Crowley:

Focus Group: Palin Was (Alarmingly) Strong Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing–few if any would ever vote for McCain–but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked. 

I completely misjudged how negative she would be. Her lines about Obama were brutally cutting and possibly over the top in places. But she’s a far better messenger than an angry white man.

Chuck Todd (on MSNBC):

Conservatives have found their Obama. . . She may be their future.

Jonathan Martin:

Let there be no doubt

Sarah Palin is ready for prime time and has this crowd in an absolute frenzy.

David Gergen:

Palin Delivers


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An Ad Obama Ought to Run: Updated

On August 29th, I posted this:

John McCain’s response to everything is to point out that he was a POW.  When defending himself for not being able to remember how many houses he owns, McCain said that there was a time in his life when he didn’t have any homes, didn’t have a table and didn’t have a chair.

That, of course, was nowhere near the point.  The point was that he was either too old to remember how many properties he owns or that he’s too rich and out of touch to understand the lives of ordinary people. 

Engaging in a debate with someone with absolute moral authority is a tough one, but the Democrats have to do it to win.  Here’s the ad they ought to run.

A former POW or soldier wounded in battle should say the following into the camera:

Senator McCain, you served this country honorably and well.

Nobody can ever give you back those five and a half years you spent as a POW.

But you are wrong on the issues. You’ve voted with George Bush 90% of the time. You think Americans are better off than they were eight years ago. You think the economy is going strong, which would be consistent with your admission that you don’t know that much about economics. You want to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years.

We’re ready for change and that’s just not something you can deliver. For your service and your suffering, our country owes you a debt it can never repay. But it doesn’t owe you the presidency.

Today, the Brave New Foundation and Robert Greenwald released something those lines and it’s very good:

I still think a direct challenge to the basic premise of McCain’s campaign by a former POW– the idea that we owe him our votes because of his service — would be even more powerful.

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How to Make a Reporter Heel

Yesterday, Bill Bennett tore into CNN reporter Kyra Phillips for what he thought was an unfair bit of reporting on Sarah Palin live from Alaska.  It made for an uncomfortable moment.  Here’s the video.

No video yet, but tonight, as the Republican convention really gets underway, Philips did another remote from Juneau.  This time, though, her “report” was a two minute gush all over Sarah Palin.  Her hard-hitting investigation has apparently revealed that

No matter what your politics are, Wolf, she’s a fascinating woman.  That’s pretty much the feeling here in Alaska. She represents change to everybody here. I hear a lot of comparisons — she’s the Barack Obama of the Republican party. . . She’s young, she’s charismatic, people love her here. . .  We can’t lose sight of the good things she’s done for this state. . . I wish I could have a chance to sit down with her, have a beer with her, go fishing with her.

As if to acknowledge that she was too snakebit today to do any actual reporting on Sarah Palin, she wrapped by giggling nervously and saying, “don’t tell my friend Bill Bennett,” who was, of course, sitting on the panel.

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New Obama Ad: “Same”

Well done and on point: McCain=Bush.

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The Coming Palin Backlash

It’s been fun beating up on John McCain for picking Sarah Palin as his running mate.  As any number of writers, pundits, bloggers, and I have pointed out, she’s uniquely unqualified to be vice president or president.  McCain’s decision to put her on the ticket and potentially a heartbeat away from the presidency is unforgivably irresponsible. 

The national spotlight is a tough place to be.  Speculation about her fifth child’s parentage and her seventeen year old daughter’s private life dominated the news cycle. 

Sarah Palin is not Dan Quayle.  She can put a sentence together and can get through a speech.  She may sound like the girl making Blizzards at the Anchorage Dairy Queen, but she is not without rhetorical skills.  And now that her family has come under such close scrutiny, expect her to hit back hard in her acceptance speech at the RNC. 

I fully expect her to say the following to a rousing ovation from the Republican delegates:

“I’ve got a wonderful husband who loves me, and five beautiful children.  My oldest son is about to deploy to Iraq.  I’ve got a daughter in high school.  My youngest son has special needs.  Todd and I love them all equally and would do anything for them. 

The Democrat [sic] Party and their allies in the media and on the Internet have savagely attacked my children and delved into their private lives.  So let me make this as clear as I possibly can: my family isn’t running for vice president, I am. Criticize me all you want.  But when you attack my family, you’ve gone too far and I won’t stand for it.” 

The media will talk about how tough she is and how underestimated she was.  They’ll praise her ability to give a speech and hit back hard at her critics.  She’ll be the new Hillary — underestimated at first, but smart and formidable.

Of course, she still won’t have given a post-selection interview.  She will not have answered any questions about her actual qualifications, philosophy, or knowledge of the world.  And she will still be entirely unqualified for the presidency.  But she and John McCain will get a lift from her acceptance speech, which the media will praise as tough and evidence of her readiness to be on the national stage.

Expect to see the speech — especially “you’ve gone too far and I won’t stand for it” — in McCain ads.


Filed under 2008 Election, John McCain, media, Politics, Sarah Palin

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: New Feminist

Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is against a lot of things.  She opposes legislation to strengthen women’s’ rights in the workplace, wants to outlaw abortion, voted no on more funding for schools, and voted no — twice — on SCHIP, which would have provided health insurance to two to four million children.  One of her biggest boosters is Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-feminist crusader. 

So it was rather strange to see Bachmann take up for women on Larry King last night, where she appeared on a panel with James Carville.

Carville argued that Sarah Palin was unqualified to be either vice president or president.  He made no mention of her gender and in no way suggested that Palin’s sex had anything to do with her qualifications or obvious lack of them. 

Bachmann responded that women would find Carville’s argument “demeaning”.   Really?

Isn’t it actually demeaning to women, women’s rights, and the equal rights movement to cry sexism where none exists?  Doesn’t it demean women for Michele Bachmann to use the suffering of actual victims of sexism — women for whom she has previously had no sympathy — solely to escape an argument she can’t win? 

I agree with Jed.  Round one to Carville. 

Incidentially, Bachmann only decided to run for Congress after God told her to.  She’s a fool….a fool for Christ, that is.

Oh and remember Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman living in a persistent vegitative state? Bachmann, a non-doctor who lives in Minnesota diagnosed her as “healthy.”

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Stammering, Dumbfounded McCain Spokesman Can’t Figure Out How to Answer Palin Questions

Tucker Bounds, McCain spokesman, to John McCain*:

‘I have good news and I have bad news. 

The good news is that we’re going to stop making jackasses out of ourselves by saying that Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is right next to Russia. 

The bad news is that we’re not yet sure exactly what we’ll say instead.’

*This is obviously not a real conversation.  The video, however, is beautifully real.


It just keeps getting worse for Tucker.

“[I]n an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, [Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard] said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.”


John McCain has pulled out of an interview with Larry King tonight.  TMP links the cancellation to Tucker Bounds’ disastrous appearance with Campbell Brown last night.  Seriously, Senator, it wasn’t Tucker’s fault Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to be vice president.  It’s yours.

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