Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Possibly the Dumbest Challenge Yet to Obama

Ever heard of Wayne Allyn Root? You’re not alone. 

Root is the Libertarian candidate for vice president.  He says that Barack Obama is a commie who only got into Harvard Law School because he’s black.  He also says that he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body, although he does admit that some of his best friends are not, in fact, black (see below).

Root and Obama were apparently at Columbia University at the same (“class of ’83”). He says Obama is a big phony because

I didn’t know him. I don’t think anybody knew him. But I know that the guy who writes the class notes, who’s kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha (shouldn’t that be macher? – GB ) who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him. Is that not strange? It’s very strange.

Never met [Obama] in my life, don’t know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, 20th reunion, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! Who was he, and five years ago, nobody even knew who he was.

Bitter much?

[I]Don’t know why. Kept to himself…. The only thing I could even imagine is that he talks in his biographies about being, you know, his identity crisis, his “am I black or am I white?” He chose black. And he hung out with a couple of black kids and never went near anybody and his wife? That’s the only thing I can think of. All my buddies are white, what can I tell you! They don’t know him, nobody’s ever seen him, I don’t know what to tell you.

So now I ask out loud in the press, I challenge my classmate to give his GPA against mine. And let’s see if he really is the bright guy they all say he is. What if we discover he got into Harvard with a C average? Is he then the brilliant man America thinks he is? That would be a very good question, don’t you think?

Root’s theory is of course borne out by the fact that Obama failed miserably at Harvard Law, rising only to the presidency of the law review. As lawyers across America know, presidents of the Harvard Law Review are a dime a dozen and generally can only look forward to a career of ambulance-chasing and prosecution of dubious soft tissue injury cases.

John McCain brags that he graduated fifth from the bottom at the Naval Academy.  All we know about Sarah Palin is that she attended five colleges in the six years it took her to graduate.  Joe Biden’s college years were apparently fairly checkered and his grades weren’t great

So I hope that Obama, McCain, Palin and Biden each take up Root’s challenge. 

UPDATE:

I talked to a friend who attended Harvard Law with Obama.  My friend, who still knows Obama and supports his candidacy, raises several of the issues discussed above and some others:

I don’t know what Barack’s grades were at Columbia, but Harvard’s decision to admit him can hardly be criticized. They admitted a guy who went on to, among other things, make law review (a color-blind competition based on grades and/or writing ability), become President of the Law Review, become an influential US Senator at an early age, become a Constitutional Law professor at Univeristy of Chicago, and, of course, the Democratic nominee for President after beating out Hillary Clinton.

While he may or may not have been a straight-A student, no-one has ever criticized his intellect. But I do agree with Root’s implicit thesis that intelligence is very important in whom we select as Present. So let’s look at McCain’s and Palin’s intellectual and academic records please … electing McCain would be trading a President who got through college on a “gentleman’s C” for one who “brags” that he barely graduated. (Palin went to at least 4 colleges, and we don’t yet know what her grades were.) And can there be any doubt that Bush got into Yale because of the color of his skin and the name of his kin? Does anyone think McCain got into the Naval Academy on merit or academic prowess?

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Sarah Palin Interview Watch II

Sarah Palin is now the Republican nominee for vice president.  She has never done an interview as a national candidate.

Yesterday, sassy muckraker Matt Drudge reported that Oprah Winfrey, an Obama supporter, has refused to have Palin on her show. He posted this item:

BIG DILEMMA: OPRAH BALKS AT HOSTING SARAH PALIN; STAFF DIVIDED Fri Sep 05 2008 08:55:46 ET

Oprah Winfrey may have introduced Democrat Barack Obama to the women of America — but the talkshow queen is not rushing to embrace the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket!

Oprah’s staff is sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT. “Half of her staff really wants Sarah Palin on,” an insider explains. “Oprah’s website is getting tons of requests to put her on, but Oprah and a couple of her top people are adamantly against it because of Obama.”

One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!

It is not clear if Oprah has softened her position after watching Palin’s historic convention speech.

Last year, Winfrey blocked an appearance by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, timed to a promotional tour of his autobiography.

Oprah and executive producer Sheri Salata, who has contributed thousands of dollars to Obama’s campaign, refused requests for comment.   

Today, the story is updated with a statement from Oprah saying that she’d love to have Palin on after the election.  This is of course entirely academic since Sarah Palin refuses to be interviewed (except for the local journalists to whom she might speak in various non-cosmopolitan battleground towns) .

Meanwhile, the LA Times has a breakdown of who will be appearing on which Sunday talk shows.  Notice who’s missing?

Three of the four now-official candidates on the major-party presidential tickets are scheduled to sit down for questions: Democrat Barack Obama on ABC’s “This Week,” his running mate, Joe Biden, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and Republican John McCain on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

So no interviews for Palin in the foreseeable future.  Pathetic. 

If Palin is hot to be on Oprah, though, I’d love to see it done this way: Just as the show opens and Palin walks onto the set, Tom Brokaw, George Stephanopoulos, Bob Schieffer or Wolf Blitzer walks on from the other side and is announced as the day’s special guest host. You go girl!

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Electoral Count: Obama 301, McCain, 224

This is all pre-RNC, of course, but it’s nice to see a map this blue:

  Go look at it before it changes.

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Sarah Palin: Dishonest

Her account seems almost credible.  In no way whatsoever.

Also, is it as possible for the media to report on a troopergate scandal without thinking of Bill Clinton?

I guess not.

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Sarah Palin Interview Watch

The way we learn about candidates and their preparedness to deal with difficult issues is through their records and interviews.  Sarah Palin has no record on foreign and defense policy and, despite her speech to the RNC, her views are virtually unknown to the American people. 

By contrast, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John McCain have been forced to give answers in split seconds to difficult questions — without scripts.  That’s the least we should expect from someone seeking national office.

Sarah Palin is not giving interviews.  The McCain campaign’s defense to the decision to keep her away from difficult questions is as pathetic as anything I’ve ever seen.  Via Swampland:

The American people don’t care to know what their potential president knows about national security, foreign policy, the economy or anything else? Of course not.  We’re only at war in two different countries, facing a resurgent Russia, multiple crises around the world and living with an economy which is deteriorating by the day.

Now we learn that not only will Palin not be available for interviews with the election two months off, she’s leaving the campaign trial and going back to Alaska.

This is a simple cost/benefit analysis by the McCain campaign.  The calculus is this: The campaign loses more if Palin gives an interview in which she looks foolish and unprepared for the vice presidency or presidency than it loses by simply enduring the critisim and suspicison it knows for certain it will face by locking her away. 

The campaign can only have concluded that it is better to face speculation that she’s hiding from interviews solely because she doesn’t know the answers to difficult questions than it is to let her give one and confirm it.  That’s the only reason to take the enormous risk of keeping her stowed away.  

A very good friend’s frequent references to Abraham Lincoln sums it up: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”  And this is the kind of removal of all doubt the McCain campaign is trying to avoid (I can’t find the video, but you get the idea):

Texas Gov. George W. Bush is enduring sharp criticism for being unable to name the leaders of four current world hot spots, but President Bill Clinton says Bush “should, and probably will, pick up” those names. 

The front-runner for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination faltered Thursday in an international affairs pop quiz posed by Andy Hiller, a political reporter for WHDH-TV in Boston.

Hiller asked Bush to name the leaders of Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan. Bush was only able to give a partial response to the query on the leader of Taiwan, referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui simply as “Lee.” He could not name the others.

Bush gave that interview in November 1999.  The 2000 election didn’t happen until a full year later.  Between the interview and November 2000, he had time to learn the issues.  He hired Condoleezza Rice and studied as hard as could.  Look how well that turned out.  

Sarah Palin has 60 days.

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Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It

A lot was said about John McCain’s decision to appear in front a bright green backdrop the night Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination.  None of it was good.  Much of the criticism dealt with the way bright green made him look even older than he is. This is what that looked like:

Tonight, McCain began his acceptance speech looking spry for a 94 year old, an effect accomplished by clever set construction.

UPDATE:

So far, he’s thanked President Bush for his courageous leadership. As an Obama supporter, I’d like to thank Senator McCain for providing the video for our campaign’s next commercials.

He just said, “change is coming.” How, exactly does that happen when you vote 90% with the Bush Administration? Oh, now I see: he just said he keeps his word. He said he’s got the “strength and backbone” to bring about change. Never mind the voting record and the running mate who refuses to be interviewed, who wants to ban books, outlaw abortion and was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it. See how that works?  Change!

McCain says he voted for more troops to be sent to Iraq “when it wasn’t the popular thing to do.”  I suppose that did take some courage.  Wouldn’t it have been more courageous to oppose the Iraq war in the first place? If only we had a candidate who did..

UPDATE TWO:

Education is the civil rights movement of the 21st century?

Education isn’t a civil rights movement.  Gay marriage is.  Preventing discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation is what equal protection means. Back in 2004, John McCain called the disgraceful, politicized, bigoted attempt to amend the constitution to make discrimination against gays permanent “un-Republican.”   That, of course, was before he sought the nomination of the Republican party.

UPDATE THREE:

Did you know John McCain served in Vietnam?

UPDATE FOUR:

Just as McCain exhorted Americans to teach the illiterate to read. . .

On behalf of a grateful Democratic Party, thank you, John McCain.  And thanks to Janice for the catch.

UPDATE FIVE:

Janice and I aren’t the only ones to notice the green background.

UPDATE SIX:

Jed noticed the guy with teh segn to (and has a better picture of it).

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Bill O’Reilly Pwned by….Bill O’Reilly

What a tool.

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First Meeting of the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Fan Club

During the primaries, I just couldn’t listen to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.  I’ve always liked DWS, but her support of Hillary Clinton drove me nuts.  So I tuned her out. 

No more.  Here was her reaction to Sarah Palin’s speech last night:

 I thought she delivered it well. And that’s about all the credit I can give her. You know, I’ve seen candidates for the student council in public schools in my district deliver speeches well also. That doesn’t mean it’s their turn to run the country.

Sweet.

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The Point Exactly

Steve Benen makes it:

Seriously, what’s the message of the week in St. Paul? That Republican governing works? No. That Republicans have a legitimate policy agenda? No. That the next four years should be different from the last eight? No. It’s simple: “Your house may be on fire, but don’t trust that man standing outside with a hose, because he doesn’t share your values.”

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McCain Picks Up Doocy’s Talking Points

John McCain agrees with Fox News weatherman/foreign policy expert Steve Doocy

Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that.

So apparently Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice president and president for two reasons:

  1. She is aware of Alaska’s geographic location; and
  2. As governor of Alaska, she conducted diplomacy with Russia.

UPDATE:

Steve Benen agrees.

Remember, when Doocy first made the argument, it was so laughable on its face that Jon Stewart called him a “moron.” Now, the Republican nominee for president is making the same pitch, hoping people are just stupid enough to believe it.

Palin has never been to Russia. She’s never demonstrated any expertise on U.S. policy towards Russia. She doesn’t have any background in international relations at any level. But for Republicans, the fact that she’s lived in a state near Russia is somehow a qualification for national office.

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Mike Murphy + Peggy Noonan + Open Mic = Schadenfreude

Turn up your speakers and be entertained as prominent Republicans admit privately that Palin’s selection is “gimmicky”  “political bullshit” and that “it’s over.”  

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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.   

UPDATE:

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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Another Ad Obama Ought to Run

I have to admit that when I first heard Sarah Palin speak, I immediately thought of Linda Novotny from Election.  But this, from Australian Hugh Atkin, is so much better:

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Repost of Sarah Palin: Failed Governor of a Small State

I believe in recycling, so I thought this would be a good time to note that a few days ago, I wondered about Sarah Palin’s experience as governor.  She’s going to accept the Republican nomination for vice president tonight, and I’m thinking you’ll be hearing very little about this:  

 In 1992, George H.W. Bush and the Republicans referred to Bill Clinton as “the failed governor of a small state”.  Because of that, they argued, he was not fit to be president. 

The words “small state” weren’t used by accident.  The implication was that executive experience in a place with so few people couldn’t translate into fitness for governing a country with 300 million people, nuclear weapons and nuclear-armed enemies.  

With the selection of Sarah Palin, the Republicans have apparently had a change of heart. 

There’s no disputing that she’s the governor of a small state.  Alaska has around 600,000 people.  In 2000, it was ranked 48th in size.  (In 1990 when the last census before the ’92 election was conducted, Arkansas was 33rd largest with 2.3 million people.)

So is Sarah Palin a “failed governor”?  I don’t know.  A survey conducted by CNBC this year says Alaska is 41st in education.  At least it can look down on Mississippi. 

The same study ranks Alaska’s economy 50th.  I don’t think that’s good, but I didn’t go to an Alaska school.  

Alasksa’s quality of life is 35th.  For that 15th from the bottom liveability, you’ll have to fork over more money than you would in 47 other states. 

Overall, CNBC says that out of 50 states, Alaska is somewhere between 49th and 51st.

On the other hand, when he took office, Bill Clinton had no foreign policy experience.  Palin, by contrast, has a lot:

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Should Someone With Ties to a Radical Anti-American Group be Getting Sensitive Security Briefings?

Yesterday, CNN reported that once officially nominated, Sarah Palin will receive high level security briefings 

from the office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to officials at the campaign and at the DNI’s office.  DNI spokesman Richard Willing said the briefings were on “topics of national security interest.”

Also yesterday,

The founder of the Alaska Independence Party — a group that has been courted over the years by Sarah Palin, and one her husband was a member of for roughly seven years — once professed his “hatred for the American government” and cursed the American flag as a “damn flag. . .

Palin has courted the group over the years. Three years after the controversial interview, in 1994, Palin attended the group’s annual convention, according to witnesses who spoke to ABC News’ Jake Tapper. The McCain campaign is disputing her presence there, but Tapper found two people to attest to it. . .

Palin’s husband, Todd Palin, was a member of the party from 1995-2002 with a brief exception in 2000.

Although the McCain camp denies it, according to the AIP, Palin herself was a member.  

Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.

Should we really be sharing state secrets with someone who has ties to radical groups which advocate the removal of American sovereignty over at least a portion of American soil?  I’ve noticed that many on the right think the answer is no:

If Mr. Obama were to apply for a job with the FBI, CIA, or a company manufacturing a top secret product for the U.S. Government, because of his past associations, activities and friends, he would not be able to get a TOP SECRET security clearance.

When conducting a background investigation for a security clearance, one of the questions investigators ask is whether you have had contact with individuals or groups who advocate overthrowing the government of the United States.

Barack Obama has had extensive contact with Bill Ayers, unrepentant terrorist who advocated overthrow of the US government by force. Obams conducted fundraisers at Ayers home, and they sat on a board of directors for the Woods Fund of Chicago.

So when the investigator asks Obams, “Have you ever had contact with individuals or groups who advocate overthrowing the government of the United States?” Obama will have to say “yes” and describe the whole thing.

So…when Obama cannot get a security clearance, who will take the daily National Security Brief…Biden?

We are living witnesses to an incredible media double standard, whereby a Republican vice-presidential candidate’s personal life is being torn apart, while the Democratic presidential candidate continues to get a free ride. Obama has a 30-year history of associating with unsavory characters, beginning with communist Frank Marshall Davis and continuing with Jeremiah Wright and communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, which should disqualify him from getting a security clearance in the government that he wants to run.

UPDATE:

A reader makes this great point:

Can you imagine how crazy the right wing would be if Michele Obama was, in fact, a member of a black separatist party? Imagine if that party believed that some isolated enclave of African Americans should secede from the union.  How how is that any different than Todd Palin?
UPDATE TWO:
Allah is all bent out of shape about this story. 
Which is more nuanced, the Covenant House nonsense or the fact that the NYT reporter who pushed the story about Palin being a member of the Alaska secessionist party is still standing by it even though the Times itself has now retracted it? (On its blog, of course, not in the paper itself.)
Isn’t the exit question exactly what my correspondent asked in the first update?  How would the media and the right wing blogosphere react if Michele Obama had belonged to the Black Panther Party?  Look at how worked up they got over her Princeton thesis.  If she’d belonged to an anti-American party (note to patriotism questioners: the Democrat [sic] party doesn’t count), they’d go ape shit.
Sure there’s been some sloppy reporting in the campaign (video evidence below) and maybe the Times ought to clarify where it stands on the AIP story, but isn’t the right being a bit disingenuous? 

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Sarah Palin’s Jeremiah Wright(s) II

Yesterday, I wrote about some of the weirdos who have spoken at Sarah Palin’s church over the years.  I wondered then whether she actually heard any of those sermons, since the right thought it was a legitimate question vis-a-vis Obama/Jeremiah Wright.

Now we know.  Linking to Politico, John Aravosis at AMERICAblog has additional information and it ain’t pretty.  Palin was reportedly there as David Brickner, a Jew for Jesus,

described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God’s “judgment of unbelief” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity.

John notes that McCain was glad to pile on and tie Barack Obama to Jeremiah Wright.  

And as a Jew and a supporter of Israel, I would add this:

Jews for Jesus believe that Jews-not-for-Jesus go to hell.  They use unforgivable attacks against civilians to patronizingly lecture the rest of us about getting “saved.”  I couldn’t care less what they believe, but these cultists see terrorist attacks against Jews as confirmation of their loony views.  So they exploit them. 

And people who exploit the deaths of innocent people — Jews, Arabs, whoever — ought to be condemned, not honored in a place of worship, particularly by a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States.  So why didn’t Sarah Palin get all Mavericky, show some leadership and leave in protest? My guess: because she agrees.

UPDATE:

Andrew Sullivan points out that Jews for Jesus doesn’t just try and “save” poor schmoes like me, as the ADL reports, it “targets” us

for Conversion with Subterfuge and Deception.

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Joementum About to Speak at RNC

I’ve liked and admired Joe Lieberman for a long time. I was in the hall in LA at the 2000 Democratic Convention and watched with enormous pride as he accepted the vice presidential nomination.  Even after he lost the Democratic Senate primary to Ned Lamont, I continued to believe in him.  No more.

Speak at the McCain/Palin-fest and you’re treif to me.  What a shanda.

UPDATE:

His speech was so lame, so bereft of energy or enthusiasm that I almost forgive him.  The fact that he lied about Obama wanting to cut off funding for troops, however, prevents that.

UPDATE TWO:

Joe Lieberman is an enthusiastic supporter of Sarah Palin? So he’d be there at the Republican convention speaking on her behalf if she was the presidential nominee?

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Palin Supports Her Daughter, the Teenage Mother-to-Be; Your Daughter, Not so Much

WaPo: Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms.  Here’s the line item veto:

Go see for yourself.  Amazing.

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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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Palin: Iraq War a “Task From God”

You really had to know this was coming.  Watch this video of Sarah Palin speak to her church on June 8 of this year.  [To be clear, Palin’s speech is here.  The video below is not her.]

Although this was the first time I’d seen it, it was as if I’d heard Palin’s speech before.  I think I remember where:

In her sermon speech, she says that the Iraq war is a “task from God.”  It’s always nice to hear political leaders discuss their divine missions. Like this guy:

Or this handsome devil:

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Who Said it?

Who do you think said this?

When a President makes life and death decisions he should draw strength and wisdom from the broad and deep experience with the reasons for and the risks of committing our children to our defense. For no matter how many others are involved in the decision, the President is a lonely man in a dark room when the casualty reports come in.

(Emphasis mine.)

That was John McCain announcing his candidacy for president in 1999.  His comments were aimed directly at George Bush’s lack of foreign policy experience.  At the time, Bush had been governor of Texas twice as long as Sarah Palin has been governor of Alaska.  And by the way, Texas has nearly 42 times Alaska’s population. 

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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.

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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.

UPDATE:

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.”

UPDATE TWO:

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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