Country First? More like “Country Last”

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country first twn.jpg
John McCain’s decision to choose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run with him on the GOP ticket can be about many things — wanting to bring in someone genuinely from the outside, wanting to embrace the reality that women can serve in all capacities and in all levels of government and the military, wanting to lure part of the female vote that might have supported Hillary Rodham Clinton towards John McCain.
But the national-security dripping “Country First” sloganeering that McCain has been doing just does not fit with Sara Palin.
This was a “Country Last” decision. If McCain had something happen to him, I just don’t know what the country would do.
We would be faced with a scary situation in which many major institutions in our nation — and you probably know at least part of what I’m talking about — might not support her ascension to the presidency. We have to consider the implications of that.
I can’t prove that the government would divide if she were to move from VP to the presidency, but I know that there would be enormous tension. I think we’d see mass resignations.
Sarah Palin is not Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is not Condoleezza Rice. She isn’t Kathleen Sibelius or Olympia Snowe or Janet Napolitano. She’s not Susan Eisenhower or Dianne Feinstein.
Alaskans typically devour their governors. They usually serve a single term before the tectonics of state politics undermine their state leader. But she hasn’t even served two years as governor.
What does she think about Cuba? Does she know the difference between America’s relations with Brazil and Venezuela? Does she know what a balancing act we are walking in Asia between Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, North Korea, Russia and more? Does she know anything about nuclear weapons and our defense posture?
What books has she read? Who are her inspirations as thought leaders? Has she written any serious articles or published anything we might see to get a sense of who she is?
What would she do with Iran? Can she name even five nations on the continent of Africa?
She better study up. Because as she begins to have her national coming out — forget the reporters. . .regular people are going to kick her tires about this stuff.
And no one I know thinks she is ready for a serious challenge like this — and certainly not ready to manage the crises that might come if she tripped into the presidency.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

159 comments on “Country First? More like “Country Last”

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    Exactly. There’s no pol more fearsome than someone you haven’t “met in the CNN green room a dozen times.”
    I think the Chicken Little meme has played itself out.

    Reply

  2. Kay Bryant says:

    What is scary about your thought process here is that you are worried about Sarah Palin and comfortable with Barak Obama. You claim to not “know” Palin, however the real unknown person without real experience is Barak Obama.

    Reply

  3. Tahoe Editor says:

    Rove pegged Biden as a “blowhard doofus.”
    Joe Biden will have a fun time explaining how awful the Alaska Pipeline has been for a America. He represents the Democrats’ can’t-do spirit. Could he be more inappropriate for this ticket?

    Reply

  4. Henry says:

    You’re welcome, Tahoe. And the thing is, so far at least, Sarah Palin is making her critics look like a bunch of fools. She has executive talent (as you would expect with a Governor) and plenty of charisma. People just like her. She knocked her introductory speech in Ohio out of the stadium; it was a terrific, electrifying speech. And I’ll make a prediction right here: Sarah Palin is going to kill Joe Biden in their debate. Joe Biden, who Steve Clemons has high praise for, like Obama has never run anything and is an insufferable ass, a complete blowhard. Henry.

    Reply

  5. Tahoe Editor says:

    Thank you, Henry. I agree 100%.
    Obama is 46. Palin is 44. Bobby Jindal is 37. The Constitution requires 35.
    If McCain had tapped Jindal, would you have insinuated that the government’s institutions could crumble if the constitutional process had put him in the White House?
    This line in particular:
    — and you probably know at least part of what I’m talking about —
    indicates you are fearful of expressing the extent of your irrational fears AND that you want to encourage your readers to think the worst.
    Would you call Jindal a “Country Last” i.e. anti-American decision?
    Would you instantly attack Jindal’s intellect and demand some threshold of academic publication?
    If the answer is “doubtful”, then, like it or not, your response — or the response of the general whispering in your ear — was chauvinist.
    I doubt you played Chicken Little when Mondale tapped Ferraro. It’s interesting to see liberals betray their so-called principles when presented with a conservative woman leader.

    Reply

  6. Henry says:

    This is the single worst post that Steve Clemons has ever written for The Washington Note. Sarah Palin is a governor. She has executive experience. Barak Obama has zero executive experience. If Barak Obama is qualified to be President, then Sarah Palin is qualified to be President. It sure seems to me that Steve Clemons wrote this post, in the tone in which he wrote it, at least partly because Sarah Palin is a woman. Sorry, but I’ve never seen anything like this written by a Governor who is a man. I am a registered Democrat, consistently vote Democrat, and would not even seriously consider voting for Sarah Palin. But I cannot tell you how defensive I am getting for this lady. The way some bloggers and talking heads dismiss her reminds me of the incredible disrespect shown to Hillary Clinton. And it makes me very angry. Henry.

    Reply

  7. Matt says:

    Bravo! Encore, encore!

    Reply

  8. Matt says:

    Thanks for playing, TE. Do you mind if I slip into farce, too? You are being far too simplistic with respect to Obama, and you are playing it way too loose on McCain. All my sources say that Palin was picked to win over soccer moms for the upcoming fall season. Some call that patronizing, but it makes no sense any other way.

    Reply

  9. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama picked Biden for what Obama is not: Ready To Lead on Day 1
    McCain picked Palin for what Obama & Biden are not: Changeâ„¢.

    Reply

  10. Matt says:

    Well, I think this pick is great news for Obama. It was reaction, not pro-action. You could make the same case for Obama choosing Biden, I guess, on his foreign policy creds. But Biden was a great pick for so many more reasons than that. Clearly McCain made this choice from a position of perceived weakness. Voters don’t like weakness very much and this has got feeble-mindedness written all over it.

    Reply

  11. Tahoe Editor says:

    GERARD BAKER: Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama
    Democrats, between sniggers of derision and snorts of disgust, contend that Sarah Palin, John McCain’s vice presidential pick, is ridiculously unqualified to be president.
    It’s a reasonable objection on its face except for this small objection: It surely needs to be weighed against the Democrats’ claim that their own candidate for president is self-evidently ready to assume the role of most powerful person on the planet.
    At first blush, here’s what we know about the relative experience of the two candidates. Both are in their mid-forties and have held statewide elective office for less than four years. Both have admitted to taking illegal drugs in their youth.
    So much for the similarities. How about the differences?
    Read on:
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/09/looks_like_sara/index.php#comment-114062

    Reply

  12. Mark says:

    Let’s talk experience from a point of fact, not opinion.
    Obama has 11 years of elected and appointed governmental experience.
    Hillary has 8 years of elected and appointed governmental experience (maybe 9 if you count the health care gig).
    Palin has 13 years of elected and appointed governmental experience. Okay, four of those were serving on a city council.
    Dan Quayle had 17 years of elected and appointed governmental experience when he assumed the Vice Presidency, including the same number of years in the Senate as Hillary, and twice the years of Obama.
    Yes, Dan Quayle is an elder statesman compared to Barack Obama.

    Reply

  13. Tahoe Editor says:

    Campaign finance? Are you kidding? Obama is the one who sold his alleged principles there.
    I hope you’ll support him when he has to go back to the Senate with his tail between his legs to learn how to hold a committee hearing. (“Doh! I coulda been a LEADER!”)

    Reply

  14. questions says:

    I know you think he’s a fraud. That much is clear. I don’t, though. I think he’s a sharp guy with a range of reasonable ideas about balancing market and regulation, redistribution and responsibility; he’s committed to governmental well-functioning, civil rights, diplomacy, environmental health, science and so on. I’m further to the left of Obama, but I’m to the left of most of the country. His compromises with the right are tolerable if not entirely tasty.
    Not sure where the fraud thing comes from. He’s faking what?
    And Exelon? Not fraud, standard. He can have moments of being standard and moments of insight and it’s okay by me. He can need to compromise with right wingers. I’ll cope. We have a political system in place. Actual virgins don’t make it. Palin isn’t really an actual virgin either. She’s made deals too. Funny how that happens. You criticize Obama for fraud and I automatically think of McC’s and Palin’s utterly fake “MAVERICK” status……
    Oh, and McC answers the same question with TORTURE, CAMPAIGN FINANCE, ENVIRONMENT, IMMIGRATION…. He’s backed off of ALL of these. So there’s my thinking when you say “fraud”.

    Reply

  15. Eli Rabett says:

    Nope Tahoe, the fraud is you. As has been shown in this thread you keep making false claims even when it has been shown that they are false.
    That’s called lying, and lying is a sin.

    Reply

  16. Tahoe Editor says:

    His travel to the Soviet Union was a stunt to push his bipartisan cred. That’s all he’s got. When he’s asked for his bipartisan credentials, the answer is always: “nuke security & ethics reform, nuke security & ethics reform, nuke security & ethics reform, nuke security & ethics reform.”
    But he’s been in Exelon’s pocket for some time now. He’s a fraud.

    Reply

  17. questions says:

    Tahoe, I already read the piece and stated my problems with it. Dismissing one of the largest Muslim countries in the world at this point in history is foolish. He’s already been to Europe at this point and met with leaders and the like. Africa is a likely next huge world issue because of mineral resources and political instability. So that shouldn’t be dismissed. And the ME is relevant too. This issue doesn’t go anywhere at this point. Especially when Pennsylvania is new to Palin…..
    His travel to the former Sov. Union was focused on proliferation issues. With Russia rearing its head again, this is valuable and plays well.
    I generally like the Wash. Monthly, but this piece strikes out.

    Reply

  18. bert e swanson says:

    just bert aug 31 10pm
    are we trouble! i’ve had some 30 year of enjoyable involvment with small towners. never, ever has a small towner discussed international relations. our focus was upon revitalization, planning, and futures. is there any information on palin’s view on foreign affairs? if so please share them.

    Reply

  19. Tahoe Editor says:

    Ted Widmer wrote a good piece, questions. Here’s more of it:
    But the comparison falls short when voters consider the key question for 2008: foreign policy experience. It’s true that Obama, like Kennedy, is a youngish senator (at 46, three years older than Kennedy when he ran for president), but the parallel falters after that. The more one looks into Kennedy’s lifelong preparation for the job, the more one realizes how misleading it was, then and now, to describe him as inexperienced. Everyone who has stressed Kennedy’s youth, from Dan Quayle in 1988 to Obama today, has bumped up against the uncomfortable fact that JFK was an extremely well-informed statesman in 1960. As Lloyd Bentsen reminded us in the zinger that pole-axed Quayle, the truth was a lot more complicated than the myth.
    Of course, travel does not instantly translate into electability—if it did, Geraldo Rivera might be president. But it’s an important consideration, especially for a candidate like Obama, who is running against an array of Democratic contenders (Biden, Dodd, Clinton, Richardson) who have far more first-hand experience dealing with issues of foreign policy and national security. And compared to Kennedy, Obama’s record of world travel is quite thin.
    Like Kennedy, Obama did spend some time in his youth living in a foreign country. And because that country, Indonesia, is both Asian and majority Muslim, Obama can—and does—claim to have a unique perspective on a region and a religion that increasingly command Washington’s attention. But it’s worth noting the considerable differences between Obama’s and Kennedy’s overseas experiences. Kennedy lived in Europe, then the geo-strategic center of the world, as a footloose young man who had front-row seats at momentous diplomatic dramas, thanks to his ambassador father. Obama lived as a boy in Indonesia—a big, fascinating country, but not central to U.S. global strategy. If that childhood experience had a genuine impact beyond teaching him the obvious truth that the world is diverse, then he needs to make it clearer how he will translate that knowledge into sound policy.
    As an adult prior to wining elective office, Kennedy continued to see the world, including from the helm of a PT boat. Obama’s campaign has implied that the candidate traveled extensively before assuming office, but so far has resisted appeals to provide further information. Given the prevalence of the Kennedy comparison, Obama’s travels have become relevant enough to be made public.
    Like Kennedy, Obama has taken several long trips as a lawmaker—through the Middle East, Africa and the former Soviet Union. But there is one noteworthy gap in Obama’s itinerary: except for a brief stopover in London, returning from Russia in 2005, he has apparently never been to Western Europe since launching his political career. What renders this gap especially surprising is that Obama is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe. Not only has the Senator not visited the region his committee oversees, but as Steve Clemons of the Washington Note has observed, Obama’s committee has not held a single policy-oriented hearing since he’s been chairman. Europe may not be the central playing field it was in Kennedy’s day, but it remains essential to the global set of alliances and relationships that the U.S. needs to cultivate in the new century. In fact, there is no place where it will be more urgent to rebuild bridges. As Obama knows, the United States cannot do it alone—and Europe will need to play a supporting role in whatever strategy the next president articulates.
    In an editorial supporting Obama, the Boston Globe called attention to his “intuitive sense of the wider world.” But “intuition” would have seemed a silly quality to JFK, a realist even among the realists of his day. He and the other veterans he had served with were tired of inflated promises and wanted a world that would live up to the sacrifice they had already made for it.
    To run entirely on intuition and the negation of experience can work, and did in 2000. But to do so while wearing the deeply realist mantle of John F. Kennedy is to spin a garment of such fine cloth that it is completely invisible.

    Reply

  20. Tahoe Editor says:

    Talking about how terrifying it would be if Palin were president just opens the door for Republicans to talk about how terrifying it would be if Obama were president.
    LINDSEY GRAHAM: “I would dread the day that Senator Obama took the oath and become commander-in-chief.”
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/08/who_chose_palin/#comment-113932

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    A little more context for travelgate/Tahoe/Obama’s incompetence… from a Washington Monthly piece criticizing the dearth of Euro experience (except of course, he’s done the grand tour at this point, BEFORE becoming president, so maybe it’s a worthless point). Oh, and he spent time growing up in Indonesia, which the article points out, for what ever Eurocentric reason, doesn’t count nearly as much as spending a week or three bopping around THE CONTINENT…. Note the travels to the ME, Africa, and the former Soviet Union. Those don’t count either. Of course, Palin’s trip to Pennsylvania was pretty eye opening for her — YESTERDAY, was it? But Obama hasn’t traveled!
    The passage:
    Like Kennedy, Obama has taken several long trips as a lawmaker—through the Middle East, Africa and the former Soviet Union. But there is one noteworthy gap in Obama’s itinerary: except for a brief stopover in London, returning from Russia in 2005, he has apparently never been to Western Europe since launching his political career.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2008/0801w.widmer.html

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    Hey, varanassi,
    Not Chicago city council — Illinois state senator representing the Hyde Park neighborhood and then the US Senate. (And he was at Occidental before Columbia.)
    Also, note that you can ignore any of Tahoe’s advocacy, but take seriously the warning that the dems could really blow this. Remember, there are lots of Republicans who think that Bush’s alcoholism and recovery is a qualification because he hit rock bottom and got himself back together — it’s a story people like. There are people who believe that Rod Paige (Bush’s first ed. secy) actually reduced the Houston (?) drop out rate instead of faking the numbers. People believe when they want to believe, not because they have a grasp of facts.
    Note how Obama has used the “American Story” meme a lot — it’s because we love a good narrative, especially an AMERICAN NARRATIVE (insert registered trademark symbol) — so if Sarah Palin has a compelling AMERICAN NARRATIVE and the dems attack on those points, the dems risk alienating anyone attracted to her.
    Possible Narratives:
    Beauty queen is actually SMART AS A WHIP
    Librarian removes glasses and is gorgeous
    Babe and hunter, all female, but one of the guys
    Fighting BIG OIL
    Fighting BIG BAD BRIDGE
    FIGHTING the good ol’ boys’ network
    A Christian who found a cross in the snow
    A mom who refused to kill her downs baby even though the baby was #5 and she was a governor (and the stuff about its being her daughter’s baby is iffy — I saw a “it’s totally been debunked” post in a respectable place somewhere — who knows)
    A Republican Reformer
    A PTA regular mom who couldn’t take it anymore
    Seriously, these can be pretty compelling narratives for a lot of voters. If the media let these be the stories, the Repubs may do better than I would ever hope. If the dems don’t attack just right, we’re in deep muck.
    So in the end, be very careful about how Palin is handled — perhaps let her sink herself even and just keep going after McCain on houses and out of touchness and Bushism and timetables in Iraq and flip flopping on core beliefs and toeing the conservative line — IS THAT THE WORK OF A MAVERICK — show a “Bush” brand mark on his a$$.

    Reply

  23. Mr.Murder says:

    Jon Edwards was one of the worst VP picks ever.
    Now you see why he lost the debate to Cheney.
    He had other affairs to attend.

    Reply

  24. Tahoe Editor says:

    FACT: Obama’s FIRST TRIP TO EUROPE was for a campaign event this summer. He’s the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe! That’s not leadership.
    National best-sellers. Yes, selling himself is at the heart of the Obama experience.
    “The Audacity Of Hope” — how many millions did he make from it, and what was the return on his investment in Jeremiah Wright?
    We’ll see in November.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Testing….

    Reply

  26. varanassi says:

    so, let me get some of this straight…
    tahoe distorts the facts about obama’s world travel experience and glosses over the fact that Palin has NEVER been outside of the u.s., save for a two day trip to kuwait and a daylong stopover in germany in 2007!
    he cites the dip shit dick morris in his claim that it is a mistake for dems to equate a republican presidential nominee with a republican nominee WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO HAVE THE LOWEST APPROVAL RATING IN THE HISTORY OF POLLING.
    he attempts to equate the academic experience of an undergraduate of the university of idaho with a B.A in (broadcast) journalism with an honors student from columbia university who wrote an undergrad thesis on soviet nuclear disarmament, graduated with honors, went on to attend harvard law school and serve as the editor of the harvard law revue, and oh yeah, graduate magan cum laude!
    he equates the job of mayor of wisalia, alaska with an 8 year stint in the chicago city council and a chairmanship of its health and human services committee.
    he seems to imply that 19 months on the national campaign trail (most of it as a huge underdog) and the defeat of one of the most formidable political machines in the history of the democratic party is no barometer of competence.
    he poo poos two national best sellers.
    he disparages what is almost universally regarded (on both sides of the aisle) as one of the most successful political conventions AND the best acceptance speech ever (just ask liberal/pinko democratic sympathizers buchanan, castellanos, frum, etc)
    he completely ignores (and refuses to respond to) the ramifications and implications of a 72 year old cancer stricken presidential candidate WHO NOMINATES A CANDIDATE (possible the least experienced ever) WHO HE ONLY INTERVIEWED *ONCE* OVER THE PHONE!
    and since i’m feeling charitable, i’ll overlook the fact that this same presidential candidate has, at the same time as nominating some small town beauty queen, talked in depth about the fact that our country is in tremendous peril – a peril so great that there is no time for the on-the-job-training of a national ticket.
    ok… i could keep going, but i’m running out of steam.
    bottom line is TAHOE EDITOR is the one who is drinking electric Kool Aid.
    maybe you should go back to watching tennis, buddy.

    Reply

  27. Tahoe Editor says:

    Right. Strange bedfellows indeed, Steve.

    Reply

  28. Arun says:

    There are rightwingers who find four lines of evidence in the Bible that women should not hold political officer. Shades of John Knox! (1555). I expect these types have been blathering all along about how the government would collapse and institutions would crumble.

    Reply

  29. Tahoe Editor says:

    Here’s my question. I was in 4th grade at the time so I wasn’t listening to the chattering classes when Mondale tapped Ferraro, but I’m guessing there were lots of people theatrically hitting the panic button and insinuating that the government would collapse and institutions would crumble. Were you among them, Steve?
    If McCain had tapped Pawlenty, would you be demanding all sorts of academic publications? Or are you already familiar with his scholarly work?
    Obama has no scholarly product for us to examine. He writes for TIME Magazine about what he sees in Lincoln’s eyes. You are holding Palin to a higher standard than you’re holding Obama to — and they’re not even seeking the same office.
    This “Country Last” panic will backfire on liberals, and apparently even some “radical centrist”.
    Final thought: Lots of women voted for Hillary. But lots of women also hate Hillary and would never have voted for her. Many of these women will dig Miss Alaska.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Arun…
    Saying Tahoe is “wrong” is like saying Bush cited “faulty intelligence”.

    Reply

  31. Arun says:

    A person’s character and actions, the latter even in a short time span as is the case of Palin’s short tenure as Governor, are immeasurably more important than knowledge in the accreditation of a president.
    Well, the Anchorage Daily News says that Palin will tell you to your face that black is white.
    Palin has already been caught in two lies – the first when she, as Mayor of Wasilla, sacked her police chief but denied having done that; the police chief then showed the reporter Palin’s letter. Note that there was no reason to lie, she was within her rights to fire the police chief.
    The second has been with regard to troopergate, where she claimed (until an audio recording of a phone call was found) that no one pressured Monegan to fire Wooten.

    Reply

  32. Arun says:

    Varanassi, my post with URLs is held up for moderation. But if you look at thewashingtonnote.com for Dec 21, 2007 and Dec 29, 2007, you will see posts by Steve Clemons which show Tahoe Editor is all wrong about Obama’s European travels.
    -Arun

    Reply

  33. Arun says:

    Varanassi : Tahoe Editor is contradicted by Steve Clemons on thewashingtonnote itself in 2007, regarding European travels.
    1.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/002628.php
    Obama Has Done Europe as Youth
    Saturday, Dec 29, 3:11PM
    From Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance:
    I’d been feeling this way all through my stay in Europe. . . For three weeks I had traveled alone, down one side of the continent and up the other, by bus and train mostly, guidebook in hand. (page 301)
    Obama relates experience he had in Europe on pages 301-304 of this book.
    To be fair to Obama’s Senate and Campaign team, I asked them for a record of his travel since 2004.
    But I do think that this helps fill out Obama’s European profile — though some will still argue that seeing Europe and wrangling (or even drinking tea) with its leaders are different sorts of experiences.
    — Steve Clemons
    Editor’s Note: Thanks to TWN reader, Pontificator, for the reference.
    2.http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/002601.php
    Obama Has Done Some Europe
    Friday, Dec 21, 5:04PM
    Excerpt:
    Senator Obama and Senator Lugar stopped in London on the CODEL to Eastern Europe and met with PM Blair.
    ——-
    That CODEL went to Moscow and to the Ukraine, and that counts as Europe too.

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    How dare you slam Bremer.
    Doncha know, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his brilliant handling of the post “mission asccomplished” segment of the Iraq liberation.
    And Carroll, surely you have read enough of my posts to understand I asm hardly hoodwinked by the horseshit we are being fed by both party’s leadership in regards to Georgia.
    But I see this Palin thing as part and parcel to the whole deception. Surely you can see that this inexplicably surreal selection of Palin MUST be part of a greater plan designed to keep the monsters in power. There IS NO WAY these slimy conniving scumbags would commit an err of strategy so egregious as this Palin thing seems to be. They’re up to something, rest assured.

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    Palin is pro-life???,
    You WAY misunderstand me! I’m not supporting her decision at all (which apparently was made in consultation with her family practice doctor). I think she was INSANE not to go straight to a Dallas ER and be evaluated. The point of the post is that many will like the feel of the story — oh brave Alaskan who could give birth in the snow or whatever.
    I think she’s reckless, incompetent, corrupt, ignorant (but apparently she minored in poli sci, so that’s, like, 5 or 6 classes on a semester system, maybe 7), not at all ready for prime time, and likely without the temperment to serve well (the cancer comment that’s floating around). And she was a sportscaster for a while which likely means that the journalism degree was in broadcast journalism, not print. Even less investigative training, less academic rigor….
    But if she captures some lizard brain part of some part of the country, she could make a difference. And that I think is the takeaway from Tahoe, and what we dems should be thinking through.
    And in a way, it doesn’t matter how inaccurate Tahoe is because s/he sources the things people are exposed to and therefore believe. Belief might as well be truth, sadly.

    Reply

  36. Palin is Pro-Life??? says:

    Even if Palin’s 5th child is hers, what kind of “pro-life” stance did
    she show by finishing her speech, flying for about 12 hours, then
    driving 50 miles, AFTER her water broke, with a child she knew
    would be at great risk, both pre and post natal?
    Any woman or doctor will tell you that a woman needs to get to
    a hospital as soon as she can after her water breaks, again
    especially if she knows she’s carrying a Down’s Syndrome child.
    Those children need a tremendous amount of immediate
    medical attention after birth.
    And Questions, there are hospitals in Texas — would you risk
    that flight to Alaska? It’s not a puddle jump, especially with a
    stopover in Seattle. Women shouldn’t be flying at that time in
    their pregnancy to begin with.
    And this new version of the Palin story: that she had a tear in
    her amniotic sac, and was not having contractions, was not what
    the good journalists of Alaska have been reporting for months.
    If the child is Palin’s, did she want to abort it via her incredibly
    reckless actions without having a doctor abort it, so that she
    could still claim her “pro-life” stance?
    And Palin went back to work three days later??? Again, Down’s
    babies need A LOT of attention following birth, and also have a
    harder time in general bonding with their mothers.
    This careless disregard for the life of her baby, if he is indeed
    hers, should disqualify Palin among the pro-lifers. That it hasn’t
    just shows their deep hypocrisy, and the GOP’s cynicism about
    the American people’s ability to think critically (which, I admit, I
    share).
    Kudos to Palin for carrying a Down’s baby to (almost) term,
    right? But looking at how Palin actually handled the birth, if
    indeed she was the mother, shows either recklessness, stupidity
    (and she’s had four other kids, she knows the drill) a desire to
    NOT have the child, or parts of all three.
    And POA, don’t vote for Obama, vote for Barr. That way you take
    a vote away from McBush, and this so-called Wonder Mother,
    who in actuality put her baby’s life (if it is her baby) in grave
    danger.
    And also, the Coalition Provisional Authority actually weren’t that
    ideologically pure. Simone Ledeen, daughter of the infamous
    Michael, was over there with a bunch of other young ‘uns
    despite having almost no experience, and they lost billions.
    Then you had Gaffney, if I remember correctly, with all his
    military contractor background. And why am I blanking on the
    guy running it, who was as corrupt as they come? Ah, that’s
    right, it was Paul Bremer.

    Reply

  37. rapier says:

    As much as everyone likes to dump on the political establishment and political elites, including me, it must be understood that this is how humans organize. They form relationships based upon mutual interest. Small groups intersect with other small groups and clouds of relationships form. Favors are granted and exchanged. Hierarchies are formed. All based to some degree upon personal relationships and social networks.
    Then along comes someone who has only the slightest contact with the Beltway/permanent government network and they are instantly installed at the pinnacle. That’s mavericky alright. That’s shaking things up. That’s insane.
    If by chance she became president huge portions of the national security state crowd would laugh at her. A total outsider with zero social standing and maybe two hours of her life thinking about the great historic tides effecting our world, put in charge of them, the grandees of the Great Game. What a joke.

    Reply

  38. UncleBucky says:

    Focus (Aug 31, 2:11AM), wrote:
    “Do you remember…when the Bush administration sent in a lot of people [into Iraq] who had absolutely no relevant experience at all but who were ideologically pure? That’s what the Palin pick reminds me of.
    Spot on, Focus. But we must all not only remember, but continue to emphasize that while McCain = Bush (this stunt is a great example), Palin = W, or the REAL Presidential Candidate the Repubs are running. In essence, the campaign has done this:
    “Palin for President”
    Palin/McCain ’10
    While McCain looks good now, the risks are that by 2010, he could experience a disaster, worse than either Wilson or Reagan, and THEN who would we be stuck with?
    Think: President Palin.
    Ugh. –UB.

    Reply

  39. Eli Rabett says:

    Since it was a drive by with no witnesses, up at the top of the thread, Tahoe Editor said
    “Give me a break. Obama left no paper trail from Harvard to the University of Chicago — not a single piece of scholarly work. He writes for TIME Magazine about what he sees in Lincoln’s eyes.”
    and somehow neglected to mention that Obama also wrote two books about his life and his political opinions. They sold a few copies, like a lot of few copies, but the partisan parsing Tahoe somehow missed them. At least be honest Mr. Editor.
    And oh yes, Obama did write a note when he was on the Harvard Law Review, published anonymously as is the tradition there. Eugene Volokh discusses it, so TH is wrong on that too

    Reply

  40. questions says:

    Hey everyone,
    Try reading Tahoe a different way — not as a defender of Palin, but as a Cassandra warning us of disaster while we fail to listen. I think the basic argument is that meme-speakingly, McC/Palin has it over O/B because enough people will fall in love with her and large numbers of people are super-distrustful of Obama.
    Tahoe is suggesting that anyone who has decided that Obama is under-experienced may be relieved to have the under-experienced candidate in the VP slot rather than as pres.
    I think the dems need to watch this issue, but I still think the “under-experienced” meme is incorrect for Obama and spot on for Palin. But that’s just me.
    I also think that the media are not buying into Palin and as long as they bite her rather than kiss her feet, the Reps will have a very hard time pulling this one off. But the minute the Dems start looking unfair, the minute that they push too hard away from Obama=Palin in terms of experience, the good people of this nation will switch allegiance to Palin to defend a pure lady hunter brave enough to fly from Texas to Alaska and drive to the hosp. after a tear in her amniotic sac, but with no contractions suggesting active labor.
    So what the dems need need need to do is to keep America from falling in love with Palin. It looks like many women won’t love her, but I’m guessing a lot of guys are already smitten. That’s the demographic to watch.

    Reply

  41. kotzabasis says:

    Palin’s selection is a political master stroke on the part of McCain. Moreover this astute move is not merely a brilliant manoeuvre on the field of American electoral politics, but also adumbrates what a great president McCain will make.
    Palin like a ‘honeycomb’ will attract the feminist swarm of bees, that Senator Clinton stirred up in her campaign, which are disgruntled with Obama and fly away from him, to her own beehive. Dare I say Palin, among the other many nails, one of them being race, will be putting the last nail on the coffin of Obama’s presidential aspirations.
    In my opinion Steve’s apprehensions about whether Palin has the ability and knowledge and experience to take the reins of the White House if something happened to McCain are misplaced. And even if she is no “Hillary Rodham Clinton…Condoleezza Rice…she is Sarah Palin, whose character speaks volumes.
    A person’s character and actions, the latter even in a short time span as is the case of Palin’s short tenure as Governor, are immeasurably more important than knowledge in the accreditation of a president. The character of a person cannot be shared with another person, whereas the knowledge of a person or of many others can be shared with another person. And it lies upon the latter’s personality and character how that knowledge is to be used and what decisions will be caused by it. Palin’s tenure as governor of Alaska shows clearly that she can use her knowledge and that of others benignly, decisively, and effectively for the interests of her constituency. Hence she has the character to be also a great president.

    Reply

  42. Mr.Murder says:

    How many members of Harvard Law Review tasked item for CPA during the Iraq rebuilding? Some of Obama’s peers? Do tell.

    Reply

  43. Focus says:

    Do you remember in the very early years of the occupation of Iraq, when the Bush administration sent in a lot of people who had absolutely no relevant experience at all but who were ideologically pure? That’s what the Palin pick reminds me of.

    Reply

  44. smartvoter says:

    Tahoe cracks me up. He slices and dices and tries to hide the glaringly obvious big picture behind small assertions and picking small details to fight about. It’s like he is trying to walk the line of appearing smart on one hand while pretending to be dumb as hair on the other so that counterpoints appear to not sink in.
    You want to know how much Tahoe cares, despite his protestations that he shouldn’t bother with this “nonsense?” He’s posted more than 20 times (I stopped counting at 21).
    Textbook desperation.
    But highly entertaining! I still give him an eight.

    Reply

  45. chopper says:

    “ceiling” 😉

    Reply

  46. chopper says:

    I think if anything, it reveals exactly how out-of-touch current conservative thinking really is. Obama is beating back the “experience” argument, so conservatives think this applies regardless of situation. So they nominate their own youthful, pretty candidate. While failing to understand that youth and attractiveness is not the true core of Obama’s appeal. On the flip side, this is admission they’ve been playing cheap political games the whole time while criticizing Obama as supposedly not ready. And they think no one will care or call them out on this.
    Obama’s nomination is historical, so the conservatives try to “me-too” their choice for vp. The very fact that their choice is the second slot undercuts this, as does the reality of Ferraro already having broken that particular barrier decades earlier. And she is a lightweight nationally. No she doesn’t match up to either Biden nor Obama.
    This is not the 1980’s. A women breaking the VP barrier does not seem that big a deal nowadays. Women have been breaking many a barrier since Ferraro. Numerous women prime ministers/presidents worldwide. Nancy Pelosi is already third in line. Women in positions of power is not alien to most people’s thinking the way it used to be. It would still be historical, but it’s also anticlimatic no matter how you spin it.
    Palin attempting to co-opt Hillary in her announcement speech is laughable. She is setting herself up to get royally smacked down by Hillary from now until november. Which Hillary will do: “We cracked that cieling not in the name of any individual, but in the name of our causes. Womens’ issues. Right to choose. Poverty. Education. Health care. Equal pay. Gun control. Does Governor Palin support those issues? No? Then she is not one of the cracks. She is part of the cieling.”
    McCain has perhaps irreperably damaged his carefully crafted (though false in my opinion) image as a “maverick”. Obama looks more original in both image and thought than McCain does now. So again, McCain tries to “me-too” it by making a supposedly bold, against-the-grain choice.
    But there is bold, and there is foolhardy.
    McCain is increasingly looking like the “me-too” candidate. Making panicky and unstable decisions in his desire to continue to look mavericky.
    I really think, partisan knife-fighting aside, Obama truly nailed it in his acceptance speech. McCain just doesn’t get it. Conservatives just don’t get it.

    Reply

  47. Carroll says:

    This whole discussion of Palin has gone beyond ridiculous.
    When what you should be fighting about is the fact that both the ‘Experienced” candidates, McCain and Biden, are lying their f’ing mouths off about the one country that could put the US in it’s place if push ever comes to shove.
    BOTH of the EXPERIENCED candidates are standing up there lying point blank to your faces and you are such dumb shits you would rather fight over the prospect of McCain dropping dead and Palin taking his place.
    BOTH McCain and Biden are talking the SAME LINE of crap about the Russia -Georgia affair and both are lying. BOTH want to play George Jr….restart a cold or maybe hot war with Russia
    Idiots…does it occur to you to ask WHY both Biden and McCain are lying about Georgia and Russia? And the ‘inexperienced Obama and ‘inexperienced Palin are ‘following right along?
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20080830&articleId=10004
    OSCE observers fault Georgians in conflict
    Global Research, August 30, 2008
    Deutsche Press Agentur
    Aug 30, 2008, 9:52 GMT
    Hamburg – European observers have faulted Georgia in this month’s Caucasus conflict, saying it made elaborate plans to seize South Ossetia, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.
    In a report to appear in its Monday edition, it said officials of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had said acts by the Georgian government had contributed to the outbreak of the crisis with Russia.
    Spiegel said OSCE military observers in the Caucasus had described preparations by Georgia to move into South Ossetia.
    The onslaught had begun before Russian armoured vehicles entered a southbound tunnel under the Caucasus Mountains to South Ossetia.
    It said the OSCE report also described suspected war crimes by the Georgians, including the Georgians ordering attacks on sleeping South Ossetian civilians.”
    F’ experience…we have had a shit load of experience in the Bush adm with Cheney,Iran- Contra Abrams,….a shit load of experience in the congress that cooperated with them…a shit load of experience in the Justice department, a shit load of experience in the CIA, a shit load of experience in the Pentagon, a shit load of experience in the commission that brought you the 911 joke report, a shit load of experience in the Orwellington DC political establishment and consultant bizness that brings you O-B and McC-P.
    Moronic.

    Reply

  48. Clarence Thomas says:

    Has Sarah Palin ever viewed pornography?
    Sen.Biden wouldn’t mind if I asked her that at the work place.

    Reply

  49. Mr.Murder says:

    Cheney was apporved by ‘the Institutions’ was he not? That worked out really well.

    Reply

  50. Linda says:

    Carroll,
    Read Mauren Dowd.
    Linda

    Reply

  51. varanassi says:

    i agree completely, dan.
    if i was a candidate i sure as hell wouldn’t want the responsibility of making a decision like that in a little room 4 other people.
    i think that your proposal has merits.
    and what if VP was a contested position as well? if that was the case, we’d have obama/clinton vs. maccain/romney.
    d’uh, that makes too much sense.
    …and this brewing shitstorm is too much fun to watch!

    Reply

  52. varanassi says:

    holy shit, poa, i guiltily read the article you posted above.
    this is incendiary and i must say, that based on the evidence, pretty convincing.
    unfuckingbelievable.
    so c’mon everyone, how long until she withdraws?
    and before i’m accused on gleeful character assasination, please remember that this woman had the temerity to pass herself off as a this country’s vice president.
    if ANY of these allegations are true, she and the folks over at john mccain for president 2008 should just shut up and board up the windows.
    and i thought that the coming hurricane was meteorological…
    wow

    Reply

  53. susan says:

    “Palin will never be VP…”
    If you’re right, how long will it be before the party elites blackmail her into graciously
    withdrawing from the race in order to, “spend more time with her special needs child”?
    John McCain is a ruthless, cold hearted bastard; just ask his first wife. He will toss Sarah under Straight Talk Express quicker than we can say Palin if she becomes a liability.
    We should start a pool.

    Reply

  54. Carroll says:

    “”many major institutions in our nation — and you probably know at least part of what I’m talking about — might not support her ascension to the presidency”
    That is really funny. All these ‘institutions/people’ laid down and rolled over for:
    Bush-Cheney
    The 911’Commission Report’
    The Iraq war lies
    The torture gangs in Iraq
    The prisoners still in Cuba without trials 5 years now.
    The pardon of Abramcoff
    FISA
    The Medicare drug plan gift to private industry.
    The Patriot Act
    The taxpayer bailout of WS mortage firms.
    The only reason I can see these ‘institutions/people might not suport her is that in her inexperience she might actually slip up and ‘question’ these institutions/people.
    They don’t want some child yelling “Mommy, the Emperor has no clothes”!
    It’s amazing to me that the people of third world countries have the balls to throw a revolution when they have bad government and the US sheeple just go mincing on.
    So now we have a choice of a inexperienced Obama and old hack Biden or/ an old hack McCain and inexperienced Palin.
    This election has become so absurd it ought to be a movie comedy.

    Reply

  55. Dan Kervick says:

    I would not be at all surprised if, sometime between now and the official nomination of the vice presidential candidate at the convention, panicked Republican leaders were to go to McCain and prevail upon him to withdraw Palin. And if he doesn’t withdraw her, these party leaders may just draft someone and place her or him in nomination at the convention, regardless of McCain’s wishes. Now that the initial novelty and quirkiness of the pick has worn off, and cold reality has started to settle in, Republican leaders can’t be at all happy. The decision has bombed, and rather than reverse the Democratic convention momentum, it has accelerated it. I suspect McCain is going to be absolutely shredded on the Sunday talk shows tomorrow, and that will get the ball rolling for a new VP candidate.
    The Palin pick was a gimmicky political stunt that is both contemptuous of the voters and cruel to Palin. Subjecting Palin to this kind of working over by the press, and the humiliation she may now experience as a result, all in order to make some too-clever-by-half “point” or theatrical gesture, is really unconscionable. Palin is a person with actual promise, who with some more trips abroad and self-education on international issues, could evolve into a serious Republican candidate for for 2016. But this stunt by McCain might wreck her future. And even as a pure, cynical political stunt this decision was a gross miscalculation.
    Tahoe Editor is working heroically to put the best face on this pick, but he is quickly becoming a party of one.
    I would like to add a bi-partisan criticism of just how ridiculous the vice presidential selection process has become, for both parties. It’s become too much of a political spectacle and game show, and the desire to keep the decision inside a tiny leak-proof box, known only by a handful of people, just to generate buzz and excitement, is not conducive to good government. The process should be wide open and consultative, with more opportunity for pre-final decision media and public vetting. I think future presidential candidates might want to aim for building a gradual consensus behind their VP pick, rather than doing it in private.
    To his credit, Obama made a better pick. But I don’t really like the process. And it looks like McCain insulated himself so much from outside influence that he ended up insulating himself from common sense and collective wisdom as well. It sure doesn’t bode well for the kind of judgment we could expect if he has to make close-to-the-vest decisions in office.
    We’re talking about the person who may have to become president. This is no place for text messaging gimmicks, ultra-clever “surprise” picks, or over-hyped “Who’s My Candidate?” game shows.

    Reply

  56. ... says:

    i think the level of ones wisdom is in direct opposition to the number of posts made and it certainly applies here to tahoe editor.. the hyperventilation exampled in your posts requires you come up for air every once in a while… take yer mouth off the repub lying machine exhaust – the same one palin was working to overcome when she challenged the corrupt repub base in power in alaska…

    Reply

  57. Bil says:

    You may not like it, (do something!)
    if you want to defeat McSame/Bush2 four more wars,
    We should be PAYING Tahoe- to appreciate the mentality you
    are up against.
    THIS is what I don’t like about Democrats, they give up WAAAY
    to easy.
    GET SOME BACKBONE. VOTE VOTE VOTE.
    and/or
    register the starbucks crowd to VOTE VOTE VOTE!
    get up, do something…

    Reply

  58. varanassi says:

    but, then again, this may be a sign of impending disaster. you know like some kind of apocalyptic foreboding?
    that would sure make palin and her evangelical buddies happy.
    ushering in Armageddon. woowhee!

    Reply

  59. varanassi says:

    …and it feels good, POA.
    cheers.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, varanassi, for someone that never thought they would agree with me, you seem to be doing quite alot of it.
    Funny world, ain’t it?

    Reply

  61. varanassi says:

    well, i guess that i’m not the only one who sees a do-over in mccain’s future.
    josh marshal has a single word headline up right now:
    eagleton?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Eagleton
    maybe we should start a new market on intrade. when will palin bow out?
    my God, hurricane’s hitting the gulf as bush and cheny speak at their party’s convention and now this?
    it sure sucks to be in mccain world.

    Reply

  62. varanassi says:

    “But when he says the Dems are stupid to equate Bush with McCain, he’s right. Read it.”
    are fucking kidding me, tahoe?!
    are you attempting to perform some type of jedi mind trick in order to save your boy mccain?
    maybe some type of pathetic stab at child psychology?
    you and dick are right: of course the dems shouldn’t equate the republican nominee with the FAILED republican incumbent.
    how could they be so stupid?

    Reply

  63. Mr.Murder says:

    “Sarah Palin is not Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is not Condoleezza Rice. She isn’t Kathleen Sibelius or Olympia Snowe or Janet Napolitano. She’s not Susan Eisenhower or Dianne Feinstein.”
    Nobody else is Hillary.
    Who else would want to be another Condie Rice? Her sister Susan, an Obama advisor?
    Maybe she could be a Feinstein, if her husband were one of the largest defense contractors in the country like DiFi’s?

    Reply

  64. varanassi says:

    i’ve certainly never seen anything like this in the 37 years that i’ve been breathing on this planet.
    this is all just insane.
    …and remember, i predicted on this blog yesterday that mccain and the repubs. would take a mulligan on this one.
    i agree with you, POA, i also feel sorry for her family, although i find her to be a *considerably* less sympathetic figure.

    Reply

  65. Mr.Murder says:

    Obama understands balanced budgets, well not exaclty, he’s never managed one.
    But his wife did, for the board of a hospital payroll that conflicted with her zoning seat.
    Oh, it went broke?

    Reply

  66. Tahoe Editor says:

    Yes, Dick Morris sucks toes and is a disgusting human being. But when he says the Dems are stupid to equate Bush with McCain, he’s right. Read it.
    Let’s meet on the other side of the debates. You know, the ones Obama has been saying for months he is “happy to have anywhere, anytime” — meaning only on July 4 or after Labor Day.

    Reply

  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, Tahoe. I thought Wigwag was the premier braying fool here. Maybe you should consider going back to being Mr. Linkman, and resist your temptation to elucidate.
    BTW, Tahoe, I usually resist Enquirer style gossip. But the internet seems to be abuzz with the rumor that the fifth Palin child is not really Sarah’s, but is instead her daughter Bristol’s.
    To be frank, Daily Kos is making quite a convincing argument….
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/8/30/121350/137/486/580223
    …and the photographs are quite convincing as well. The one of Sarah when she is supposedly seven months pregnant seems just a bit of a clincher. Unless, of course she was carrying a Grade A egg, of the Egglands variety, and hatched it on her way home from Dallas.
    Perhaps McCain will come to wish he had of vetted Palin a bit deeper. Or, maybe its Bristol he should have vetted.
    Gossip? It would certainly explain the inexplicable and irresponsible excursion from Dallas to Alaska she embarked on after her water supposedly broke.
    Something is rotten here. This Palin thing is DESIGNED to blow up in McCain’s face. What are these fuckin’ scumbags up to?
    You can bet that this poor creature Palin, and her family, will rue the day that the Rove machine descended on Wasilla Alaska, and saw the makings of yet one more slimey despicable plot. Palin will never be VP. Like so many, she’s just another puppet. And they’ll throw this puppet in the trash just as soon as she’s served her purpose. I feel sorry for the Palins.

    Reply

  68. calling all toasters says:

    You have Biden jumping over the low bar and Obama jumping over the hight one. It makes no sense.
    Yes, of course the Democrats should have nominated Biden! Why didn’t the voters think of that. I mean, he did run this time, right? Of course, Obama actually chose Biden because (along with being capable and in general agreement with Obama on the issues) he is reassuring to older white voters who have a problem pulling the lever for a black man.
    You know. Like those people who pushed for Hillary before they pushed for McCain.

    Reply

  69. varanassi says:

    and please quit with the whining. i never said a word about william safire or the wall street journal.
    i read the safire piece you posted and it was about his reaction to the democratic convention. it doesn’t even mention palin.
    hell, i wonder what he thinks about wisalia’s beauty queen having her hands on the nuclear football?

    Reply

  70. Mr.Murder says:

    Your definition of country is ain a macro sense.
    “Country first,” as in rural America.
    That’s where this will be won.

    Reply

  71. varanassi says:

    well, how about this, tahoe, find us a SINGLE endorsement of palin or of this VP pick that isn;t coming from one of your water boys.
    after all, there is a growing list of conservative public opinion leaders who are saying exactly what i am.
    how about david frum, or is he too much of a left wing commie for ya?
    http://tinyurl.com/648ym5
    my favorite line:
    “Ms. Palin’s experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall”
    HAHAHA! this is getting funnier and funnier by the minute.

    Reply

  72. varanassi says:

    “McCain, on the other hand, says, “Vote for me. I’m experienced and ready to lead. And look at this wonderful shining conservative rising star who represents the GOP of the future. She’ll be learning the ropes.”
    you won’t be making this “argument” much longer, tahoe. the american people will have the final say in this and i’ll all but gurantee you that your “wonderful shining conservative rising star” (HAHA) will float like a lead balloon.
    say what you will about obama’s lack of “experience,” but public opinion and that of the only folks who matter right now – the undecideds- is trending towards a disavowal of palin and an erosion of support by mccain.

    Reply

  73. Tahoe Editor says:

    Whenever someone can’t engage a writer’s ideas, they just say, “Dick Morris” “William Safire” “The Wall Street Journal” are you kidding me?”
    No, you’re kidding yourself.
    If you’re too incapable or close-minded to see what he has to say and then maybe even try to respond … well, I’m sorry I responded to your “they’ve never even met face to face” nonsense in the first place.

    Reply

  74. varanassi says:

    dick morris?! c’mon, tahoe.
    the opinions of that toe sucking, philosophically amoral hypocrite aren’t worth a single click of my computer mouse.
    and, that article was written palin’s nomination and before this what-the-fuck-was-thinking firestorm began.

    Reply

  75. Tahoe Editor says:

    When is the last time a 30-year Senate relic with no support on the national stage was chosen as a running mate to “reassure” the electorate about the young, inexperienced nominee? Kennedy-Johnson? No, he was on the ticket for party unity. That would be like Hillary on the ticket. (Of course JFK was also in the Navy and served in Congress for 12 years.)
    Obama-Biden is the most upside-down ticket in history. Biden was put on the ticket to reach out to those who haven’t yet drunk the Kool-Aid with the message, “I say he’s OK. Look at me, but vote for him.”
    McCain, on the other hand, says, “Vote for me. I’m experienced and ready to lead. And look at this wonderful shining conservative rising star who represents the GOP of the future. She’ll be learning the ropes.”
    If America said Dan Quayle was A-OK for Massachusetts Avenue, it’s a low, low bar. You have Biden jumping over the low bar and Obama jumping over the high one. It makes no sense.

    Reply

  76. Tahoe Editor says:

    Paul, you’re saying that Palin lacks experience, so picking her for No. 2 is a highly irresponsible act, but picking a No. 1 without experience is brilliant on the Democratic side. Stew in it some more and you’ll get there:
    “It can’t be in Senator Obama’s interest for the punditocracy to spend its time arguing about whether the Republicans’ vice-presidential pick is “even more” inexperienced than the Democrats’ presidential one.” — Mark Steyn
    You’re repeating MoveOn’s talking points. Try reading this: DICK MORRIS: Dems are stupid to equate McCain with Bush
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/08/demss_big_blunder_and_mccains.html

    Reply

  77. chopper says:

    Safire has become as knee-jerk conservative apologist as you can get. Any pretension he had at providing thoughtful, balanced analysis is long dead and buried. And the fact that he’s trying to play up the column thing shows how far he has fallen. He used to be a hell of a lot sharper than that.
    Do you really want me to point out how incredibly dumb the whole conservative crying over the columns is? I mean so stupid it hurts to even talk about.
    First thing I’ll do is show you the picture of John McCain posing in front of columns. Then I’ll show you a pic of the White House. Then the Lincoln Memorial. Tne George Bush’s 2004 acceptance speech set. Then, etc etc etc…

    Reply

  78. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Maybe, God forbid, Obama IS the trojan horse I’ve always thought he was, and the puppeteers were getting getting a bit freaked by McCain’s rise in the polls.
    I mean hey, considering Palin’s insertion into the plot, there ain’t ANY scenario thats too bizzarre to consider. This is so bizzarre it should be in a Fellini flick.

    Reply

  79. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Responding to Tahoe, Steve makes the comment “You are very smart”.
    I trust Steve’s ability to identify intelligence. And I have no reason to think that Tahoe is “stupid”.
    Therefore, I can only assume that Tahoe is arguing a position that his intellect opposes, because his arguments in defense of Palin are sheer idiocy.
    So, out of some perverse loyalty to who knows what, Tahoe has apparently chucked his integrity out the window. And thats just sad.

    Reply

  80. Paul Norheim says:

    “This Palin thing HAS completely changed the dynamic of this
    election.”
    Indeed. And the GOP just lost their favored weapon against
    Obama: “experience”. I guess this will soon cause some
    desperation. The Dem`s can continue to point out that McCain
    represents a continuation of the Bush era, and the GOP`s can`t
    counter it by saying: “Obama lacks experience” anymore.
    Tahoe tries to distract us from this fact, by making it look like
    this is first and foremost a problem for the Obama supporters.
    But they don`t even need to make “experience” an issue:
    everybody sees that Palin lacks it, and that picking her was a
    highly irresponsible act.
    They can instead just continue to repeat that McCain
    represents the same as Bush & Cheney, and the McCain
    supporters are left with no good arguments against that claim.

    Reply

  81. vara says:

    and read this short piece titled:
    “Alaskans Are In Disbelief”
    http://tinyurl.com/6m4cku
    this shit is getting crazier and crazier by the hour.
    bottom line:
    “The Obama people should say nothing. They don’t need to.”

    Reply

  82. varanassi says:

    another hilarious andrew sullivan observation. this based on a quote mccain made on the stump today:
    Does he even hear himself?
    “She’s not from these parts and she’s not from Washington. But when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am.”
    When you get to know her?! He met her briefly once before he interviewed her on the phone last week last week.
    this shit is priceless.

    Reply

  83. varanassi says:

    i hope you’re right, paul.
    the other thought that crossed my mind is that maccain and the republican ruling class, *know* that they can’t win this presidential cycle and so they are merely using this opportunity to “roll out” their next female superstar.
    if this is the case, the problem is they may kill her in the process.

    Reply

  84. Tahoe Editor says:

    Well, make the most of the “he didn’t get a fair chance” meme. That brings lots of Changeâ„¢.

    Reply

  85. varanassi says:

    and i’m aruguing that it wouldnt be the first time that a candidate for POTUS *didn’t” get a fair chance.
    and put this in your pipe and smoke it:
    those instances had *nothing* to do with race. in fact, most recently, they to do with REPUBLICAN power lust and damn-right, demonic planning and execution.

    Reply

  86. Paul Norheim says:

    Interesting. The immediate reaction on Palin from such different
    persons as POA and WigWag was: vote for Obama.
    We all know that both POA and WigWag don`t like nor trust
    Obama – and partly for very different reasons. But the alarm
    bells rung with this VP choice, and they didn`t hesitate for a
    second.
    I wonder if these just were singular examples, or if it tells
    anything about the effect on a broader level in the country.
    Varanassi just quoted Andrew Sullivan above on the latest
    Rasmussen poll, indicating the latter suggestion:
    “But among the critical undecideds, the Palin pick made only 6
    percent more likely to vote for McCain; and it made 31 percent
    less likely to vote for him. 49 percent said it would have no
    impact, and 15 percent remained unsure. More to the point:
    among undecideds, 59 percent said Palin was unready to be
    president. Only 6 percent said she was.If the first criterion for
    any job is whether you’re ready for it, this is a pretty major
    indictment of the first act of McCain’s presidential leadership.”
    —————–
    I have a very unsophisticated theory (it`s not even mine), and
    that`s that picking Palin as VP was an act of 50/50 cynicism
    and desperation, and that the American public, or at least those
    undecided voters understand this.

    Reply

  87. Tahoe Editor says:

    I’m also arguing that when Obama loses there’ll be a cacophony of voices saying he didn’t get a fair chance.

    WSJ: The racism excuse
    Mr. Obama’s descent from his Icarusian heights earlier this spring reflects a shift in this race that has nothing to do with race. A skin-deep Obamamania had energized the country. Now that’s giving way to serious consideration of credentials and policy substance. After all, voters are choosing the world’s most powerful man. Mr. McCain has been drawing contrasts with his younger rival to close the gap in the polls. We’ll see if the trend continues.
    As a matter of sober fact, many Americans look at the junior Senator from Illinois and worry, as his Democratic Vice Presidential candidate pointed out last year, that he isn’t “ready” for the job. Does this mean that anyone who agrees with Joe Biden’s previous assessment is a racist? Do Democrats really think so little of their fellow Americans?

    Thankfully we have this quote from the candidate himself, which ultimately trumps all his identity politics: “If I don’t win, it’s not going to be because of my race. It’s going to be because I didn’t project a vision of leadership that gave people confidence.”
    Spot on. He hasn’t projected any vision of leadership. He’s projected himself as the permanent campaigner who’s always seeking higher office, peddling change but not delivering it. America will congratulate him on taking Democratic nominations to new heights, but it will pass on him for the presidency.

    Reply

  88. ratfish says:

    Palin was for the bridge before she was against it.
    When Palin was campaigning for governor in 2006, she came to Ketchikan. This is what she had to say about the bridge.
    Date September 21, 2006
    Brief By SCOTT BOWLEN
    Daily News Staff Writer
    Alaska’s gubernatorial candidates outlined their campaign themes in Ketchikan on Wednesday, avoiding negative personal attacks while highlighting their positions on issues of state, regional and local issues.
    ***********************************
    She (Palin) voiced support for the proposed Gravina Island bridge.
    “The money that’s been appropriated for the project, it should remain available for a link, an access process as we continue to evaluate the scope and just how best to just get this done,” Palin said. “This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper.”
    Palin said Ketchikan had taken a lot of heat for the “bridge to nowhere” proposal. She said she can relate, referencing the remark made by a “high-profile politician” (Sen. Ben Stevens) describing Mat-Su residents as “Valley trash.”
    “OK, you’ve got Valley trash standing here in the middle of nowhere,” Palin said. “I think we’re going to make a good team as we progress that bridge project.”
    *****************************************************
    About one year later, she “cancelled it”* by sending a press release to the east coast media at 5:00 AM, with no contact with anyone in Ketchikan. Catching flak, she promised to visit Ketchikan. And she still hasn’t come to Ketchikan in the year since despite her promise. How will she be able to go to New York and Massachusetts and discuss her extremist views on reproductive rights and gay rights if she can’t even visit the 4th largest city in Alaska to discuss community concerns?
    Here’s our newspapers editorial, entitled “A visit past due”- in the Ketchikan Daily News after Palin cancelled* the bridge project.
    Date October 10, 2007
    Section(s) Opinion
    For more than 30 years, many people in Ketchikan have spent significant amounts of their time to support the building of a bridge across Tongass Narrows.
    Millions of dollars have been spent on the required planning and environmental impact documents.
    Gov. Tony Knowles came to Ketchikan and announced the selection of the state’s preferred alternative for the bridge itself.
    And, after years of effort, Alaska’s congressional delegation secured substantial funding to build the bridge.
    Ketchikan then watched from the sidelines as the “Bridge to Nowhere” phenomenon swept through the national media and halls of Congress.
    Politicians and commentators of just about every political stripe began wielding the term as sneering shorthand for government waste and out-of-control spending.
    But, as even the most ardent Ketchikan opponents of the bridge can admit, most of the factually challenged pundits and pols who swing the “Bridge to Nowhere” cudgel don’t know much — if anything — about Ketchikan itself.
    Then again, Ketchikan and its interests are irrelevant in this national conversation. Who, outside of Ketchikan, really cares about accurately representing the community? Especially when it’s so easy and such fun to trump political opponents with a knowing roll of the eyes and a caustic comment about the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
    Sadly, we’ve become accustomed to such cavalier treatment from national interests making political points at our expense over the years.
    We’re less familiar with what appears to be similar treatment by our own governor.
    On Sept. 21, Gov. Sarah Palin announced that the bridge was no longer an option.
    She didn’t make the announcement here in Ketchikan.
    She didn’t alert local mayors that she’d made the decision.
    She didn’t notify Ketchikan’s state representative and senator, or even the Alaska congressional delegation, apparently, that the decision was made and that an announcement was on its way.
    No, the effective end of three decades’ effort toward a bridge was announced in a press release launched — perhaps coincidentally — early enough in the day to make media deadlines on the East Coast.
    The media pounced.
    By day’s end, Palin’s decision to quash the “Bridge to Nowhere” was news nationwide and beyond.
    The attention hasn’t diminished much since then, either. Newsweek magazine, for example, has a favorable story about Palin in the current edition’s special section on women leaders. The Ketchikan bridge decision is mentioned prominently.
    For some pundits, Palin’s decision further elevates her status as a rising political figure who’s fearless in clearing entrenched political and business interests from government.
    “Meet Sarah Palin, Alaska’s rockstar governor,” wrote commentator Patrick Ruffini, four paragraphs before noting that Palin “single-handedly killed the leading symbol of Republican spending excess in Washington: the Bridge to Nowhere.”
    Given how Palin made the bridge announcement, it’s not difficult to believe that the intended audience — and what really mattered to the governor — wasn’t the community of Ketchikan.
    In that regard, the announcement was similar to the national “debate” on the bridge. Sure, the press release mentioned Ketchikan, but it wasn’t really about Ketchikan.
    And that’s what the pundits overlook when they lionize Palin for courageously pulling the plug on Ketchikan’s bridge.
    The decision didn’t take courage. Any pollster would say it was a slam-dunk public opinion winner anywhere but here.
    She could have displayed real courage by coming to Ketchikan on Sept. 21, announcing the decision here, and explaining her rationale to the community.
    She didn’t.
    Nor has she yet acted on the invitation by Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Saxman Mayor Joe Williams and City of Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein to come to Ketchikan and talk with the community about the decision.
    To Palin’s credit, she fully intends to do so, according to Sharon Leighow, the governor’s deputy press secretary.
    We’ll consider that a promise and we hope the governor keeps it soon.
    That’s not asking too much. In fact, given the magnitude of the decision, it’s overdue.
    Even rock stars should be willing to face the music.
    *******************************************************
    * Palin may not know it, but her own Department of Transportation is spending tens of millions of federal dollars on the bridge project right now. A 3 mile road is being constructed from the airport- located on Gravina Island and accessed by ferry from the town- to where the bridge is designed to land on Gravina island.

    Reply

  89. varanassi says:

    well, i’m arguing that – if given a fair chance – the electoral college of the united states of america will prove you wrong.

    Reply

  90. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Further….
    On a personal level, I have to agree with the jackass RW mouthpieces like Hannity or Ingraham. This Palin thing HAS completely changed the dynamic of this election.
    However, it has not changed it in the manner these propaganda clowns would have you believe.
    For myself, I did not intend to vote, as I distrust Obama, and think McCain is a world class fascist asshole, in the Bush tradition.
    But now, I fully intend to vote for Obama. Not to put Obama in office, but to assure myself that I did my part in making sure Palin doesn’t get within 100 miles of getting her hands on the nuclear football.
    And someone oughta take McCain aside and slap him upside the head. What the hell is he thinking?

    Reply

  91. Tahoe Editor says:

    I’m arguing McCain-Palin will win.
    “It can’t be in Senator Obama’s interest for the punditocracy to spend its time arguing about whether the Republicans’ vice-presidential pick is “even more” inexperienced than the Democrats’ presidential one.” — Mark Steyn
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODNhOTk2YTU0NWY4ZjY5ODNhZTgyOWZkNjY5YjFlMmY=

    Reply

  92. varanassi says:

    God i hope that mccain, schmidt and salter ARE just “bat-fuck insane,” POA.
    the other specter you allude to is even more terrifying…

    Reply

  93. questions says:

    How does “being a governor” of Alaska prepare someone for being pres? Especially when the position has been held for 20 months.
    As far as symbols go, she’s got ’em. Pure as the driven snow, tough, hunting and fishing, momming, pro-lifing, Christian evangelical…. But how does that make you a GOOD pres? It might make you pres, but how a GOOD pres?
    Bush II had symbols in spades — beer drinking good ol’ boy, b’ball owner, oil man, poorly spoken, deeply religious, 12 stepper, fallen low and pulled back up, cute twins…. But he’s been horrible for the nation and the world.
    So, if Palin has to be pres, will she really be ready? Or are you just arguing that based on symbols and memes she’s got it?

    Reply

  94. varanassi says:

    ok, so no comment it is to any of the questions i posed to you above. fair enough and hardly surprising.
    but just for the record, they are not *my* poll numbers and i am *not* clinging to them.
    and have fun defending the most indefensible VP pick in the history of the united states of america.
    perhaps you can leave your delusion-filled ivory tower and give me hand out here in south asia explaining just what the f%&k our republican presidential candidate is attempting to do to the world by nominating a person for VP who probably couldn’t even point to india on a map.

    Reply

  95. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Like the jackass Wigwag’s useless and asinine blather on the non-existent Mexican/Palestinian “parallels”, Tahoe Editor is committing the same intellectual hari-kari on this thread.
    Imagining a situation such as an episode of nuclear brinksmanship played out between Russia and the United States, or perhaps a biological attack on domestic soil, it is inconcievable that someone would argue intellectually on Palin’s behalf.
    The choice of Palin is so inexplicable, so bizzarre, that one must look for underlying motive, because on the face of it, it makes absolutely no sense.
    Considering that Palin has no decades old network of cohorts and interagency connections in place, as do most old time Washington denizens, she certainly could not exercise the influence and power that this sick satanic monster Cheney has.
    The choice of Palin would seem to greatly diminish McCain’s chances, if one believes the American public has even a faint idea of what constitutes a coherant thought.
    But, if these monsters KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Obama is NOT going to make it into the Oval Office, Palin makes perfect sense. Powerless, clueless, and unconnected. The perfect VP for a President that intends to take Bush’s fascist implementation of a police state to the next level.
    But if choosing Palin doesn’t have an underlying and sinister motive, than one can only assume that McCain has gone completely bat-fuck insane. And that in itself is sinister.

    Reply

  96. Tahoe Editor says:

    It’s not my campaign, varanassi. I’m watching the U.S. Open and reading the newspapers and contributing in between. Cling to your poll numbers — I think they’re fabulous.
    Over & out. There’s too much action in Flushing Meadows right now.

    Reply

  97. eberit says:

    This will be my last comment because I will not engage any further… until last year I had resided in Alaska for 25 years and was involved with Alaskan politics, so I know who Ms. Palin is. TWN is a serious policy site and that is why I enjoy reading it. I rarely comment but felt compelled to this time.

    Reply

  98. varanassi says:

    interesting that you chose not to comment on the latest polling data that i posted above, tahoe. i guess it flies in the face of the argument that you are making, huh?
    but seriously, instead of posting all night on this blog shouldn’t you be circling the wagons of your tattered campaign instead?
    then again, what difference does it make?
    serioulsy though, truth is so much stranger than fiction. a hurricane in the gulf is threatening to derail the republican convention. mccain just nominated a woman 20 months removed from the mayor’s office of wisalia, alaska and even pat buchanan agrees that obama’s acceptance speech was the best he has EVER heard!
    karma sure is a bitch, huh?

    Reply

  99. Tahoe Editor says:

    Palin brings youth AND experience AND maverickness AND conservatism to his ticket.
    Anyone who thinks bringing new life to the GOP is a bad move hasn’t a clue.
    As he said, “She’s exactly what I need.”
    Thanks, Bil. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of shut-the-hell-up-and-go-away-please-Steve-can-you-ban-him B.S.
    This is called participating in the discussion. If you want a blog where dissension is banned and everyone can echo everyone else, go to kos.

    Reply

  100. eberit says:

    I see your point Bil but….This is something I have noticed on other sites….someone comes in with a very provocative stance and diverts the substantive discussion….they are called Trolls!

    Reply

  101. Tahoe Editor says:

    “executive experience” means being a governor.
    Sorry, chopper, but not everyone saw Invesco like you did. To me it looked like a recycled keynote from 2004 on a much grander scale.
    Ah, William Safire held this headline for the perfect moment:

    WILLIAM SAFIRE: The Audacity of Hype
    BY choosing the venue of a vast outdoor stadium as John Kennedy did for his “new frontier” acceptance, and by speaking on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” address, Barack Obama — whose claim to fame is an ability to move audiences with his words — deliberately invited comparison with two of the most memorable speeches of our recent history.
    What a mistake.
    Obama’s handlers offered the political version of “American Idol” — the audacity of hype. On the 50-yard line of the football field, at a reported cost of $6 million, they erected a plywood Parthenon, its fake Grecian columns suggesting the White House. At the end, a fireworks display in the heavens over a mass of humanity in a blizzard of confetti, all too like the collectivist fantasy that opened and closed the Beijing Olympics.
    To present what?
    In one catchall sentence, Obama promised to defeat “terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease.” Because the charge that he would raise taxes obviously nettles him, he promised to “eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses” run by obedient high-tech executives, and to “cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families.”
    His and his writing team’s product lacked the freshness of his 2004 convention stunner, the winning modesty of his 2006 Gridiron Club address (“Thank you for all the generous advance coverage … when I actually do something, we’ll let you know”) and the grace of his gentle disassociation from his longtime pastor this summer.
    By becoming the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination, he made history, but he failed to come up with a historic acceptance address. Having set a Stevensonian standard for stirring eloquence, he cannot get by with workmanlike speechwriting.
    Supporters of John McCain and Sarah Palin (did I mention I’m one?) were glad to hear Obama reach into the John Edwards playbook to fan resentment that turned independent voters away from the Democratic ticket four years ago. He could not resist his version of the old class warfare, “two Americas” pitch. And he revealed his own promise to tighten management of the economy from Washington as never before with a soothing banality: “Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us.”
    The pretension of the fake Grecian temple setting clashed with the high-decibel, rock-star format and overwhelmed the history implicit in the event. Ancient Greeks had a word for it: hubris.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/opinion/31safire.html

    Reply

  102. Bil says:

    I don’t agree eberit, Tahoe Editor is not off track or obscene. And I
    think it is important to engage with those who have an opposite
    point of view, the more professional the better. I think there is
    nothing MORE off track than ending dialogue.
    But then I have a real bias against group think and circle jerk, so
    what do I know…

    Reply

  103. varanassi says:

    this is the bottom line as i see it:
    The first rule in veep selection is do no harm. The second rule is that the only time you violate Rule No. 1 is when you think you have no choice.
    This pick is the single best indication of where the race stands. John McCain obviously knew that unless he made a dramatic choice and shook up the race, the underlying dynamic of this election would remain the same — and result in a Democratic victory in November. The choice of Sarah Palin smacks of desperation and is fraught with peril for the Republican nominee.
    rather than make an informed and conservative decision about the vice presidency of the united states of america, john mccain chose to try to save his own ass.
    pow or no pow, this man DID put country last.
    and for what? a losing campaign?
    boy how power corrupts.

    Reply

  104. eberit says:

    I seems to me that this thread has been taken over by a professional “Troll”(Tahoe Editor). I would suggest we do not respond to this. I have a suspicion that some people are assigned to do this to serious discussions and pull it off track into a spiral of nonsensical tit-for-tat.

    Reply

  105. Tahoe Editor says:

    Palin’s crusade is not mine. I’m just speaking what I think and what I think will happen. IMO, gaffes or something unearthed in the future are the only things that can stop McCain-Palin. Actually, I’ll just say something we don’t know. Quayle taught us you can gaffe it up and still get to Massachusetts Avenue.

    Reply

  106. questions says:

    “has executive experience” — please define

    Reply

  107. chopper says:

    “Yes, but that’s the losing narrative. Pegging HER as not ready when she has executive experience and is a reformer with results — and is seeking an office where on-the-job training is a full-time endeavor — is a political loser. It just makes people ask why Obama didn’t take the on-the-job training role. Quayle proved himself a moron and sailed into the vice presidency. Why? Because we vote for president.”
    You’d better hope this isn’t true. Obama buried drove a stake into this meme with the stellar Democratic Convention. He is ready, and every single thing about the convention reinforced this in the public’s eye.
    Obama is appearing more and more ready as the days go by. His acceptance speech was masterful: mature and visionary, strong and confident.
    Panicky decisions like Palin make McCain look less and less capable. “experience” aside, Obama still owns “judgement”.

    Reply

  108. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama has been more successful thus far because he’s always looking for the next-highest office. Steve knows this type — when it starts to become clear that the delivery isn’t matching the hype, it’s time to hype it up somewhere else.
    Michelle told us Washington would change Obama, so that’s why we had to put him in the most powerful position in the world ASAP.
    Once-in-a-generation leader my @ss. He’s led nothing but his self-selling enterprise. It is all about him. When he tells you it’s about you, THAT’s the hoodwink, the bamboozle, the okie-doke.
    Let’s talk about what the Chicago papers have to say about Mr. Obama.

    Reply

  109. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Tahoe Editor:
    What pro-Palin narrative? The two biggest newspapers in Alaska question why she was picked. Have you even looked at Palin’s record as mayor? You should also look up Obama’s record instead of spreading inaccuracies.

    Reply

  110. varanassi says:

    below is an interesting take on the latest rasmussen polling by andrew sullivan. oh no, tahoe/salter, it may be hard to spin this!
    http://tinyurl.com/58s6lq
    The headlines are about the broad polling reaction to Palin. But the most fascinating part of the first Rasmussen poll on the matter is how those who are currently undecided in the election feel. They, after all, are the votes both campaigns are trying to win over with their veep picks. The key data is in the cross-tabs, which have been missed in some of the coverage so far.
    On the critical question, “With Palin As Vice-Presidential Nominee, Are You More Or Less Likely To Vote For McCain,” there’s a striking result. Among those already for McCain, 68 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for him; only 6 percent say less; and 23 percent said no impact. Among those already for Obama, Palin made only 9 percent of them more likely to switch to McCain, 59 percent less likely, and 30 percent said it would make no difference.
    But among the critical undecideds, the Palin pick made only 6 percent more likely to vote for McCain; and it made 31 percent less likely to vote for him. 49 percent said it would have no impact, and 15 percent remained unsure. More to the point: among undecideds, 59 percent said Palin was unready to be president. Only 6 percent said she was.If the first criterion for any job is whether you’re ready for it, this is a pretty major indictment of the first act of McCain’s presidential leadership.
    One other striking finding. If McCain thought he could present Palin as a moderate, he was wrong. A whopping 69 percent view her as conservative (37 percent as very conservative), and only 13 percent see her as moderate.
    From this first snap-shot (and unsettled) impression, Palin has helped McCain among Republicans, left Democrats unfazed, but moved the undecideds against him quite sharply.

    Reply

  111. chopper says:

    Also, I see you’ve learned from all the failures of Bush and conservatism by developing an actual EXIT STRATEGY:
    “The only thing that will take McCain-Palin down is something we don’t already know. Either that or a few bad gaffes. ”
    Nice pre-failure cover you’re trying to develop for when your crusade fails. At least you’re aware it’s highly probable it will fail, which is more than can be said of Bush and the neocons.
    Natch.

    Reply

  112. questions says:

    Tahoe,
    The now/later running issue stems from the structure of the Senate. In the Senate, you are forced to vote for and against all sorts of bills multiple times depending on the amendments, the order in which the bills are offered and so on. You may vote against “funding the troops” several times before the right version of the funding bill comes up and you finally vote FOR THE TROOPS. It is because of the voting structure and the endless need for compromise that sitting senators rarely succeed in attempts at the presidency. Remember Kerry’s for it/against it meme? Welcome to the Senate 101. Everyone is for it before they’re against it, and against it before they’re for it….
    Obama is more successful because a lot of senators ran and they all had this problem, and because McC is a senator and he has the same problem with his voting record. So no one is bothering much with voting records except for the general similarity between McC’s record and Bush’s desires, and the general liberal nature of Obama’s. But particular votes aren’t coming up because they both have records.

    Reply

  113. Tahoe Editor says:

    Yes, but that’s the losing narrative. Pegging HER as not ready when she has executive experience and is a reformer with results — and is seeking an office where on-the-job training is a full-time endeavor — is a political loser. It just makes people ask why Obama didn’t take the on-the-job training role. Quayle proved himself a moron and sailed into the vice presidency. Why? Because we vote for president.
    Pegging Palin as unqualified and whipping up the fear factor is a little game with toy soldiers in someone’s basement. Outside, there’s a much bigger game going on. It’s real, and there’s no time for training. Magnifying this VP drama only magnifies the mirror-image drama at the top of the ticket, and that drama is on an order of magnitude that dwarfs all the toy soldiering.
    “cocksure posturing” — that’s the Obama strategy. He said, “I never have any doubts.” Who is buying this?

    Reply

  114. varanassi says:

    ok, now it’s obvious. tahoe’s BS, compensatory confidence betrays the obvious:
    tahoe editor is just an alias for mark salter!
    it sure must be tough having to keep up that cocksure posturing.

    Reply

  115. chopper says:

    “Terrified? I’m disappointed and somewhat amused. Let’s not forget this post came from some unidentified whisperer, and not Steve himself.
    The rumblings of mutiny if she assumes power, as I’ve said, will shake the foundations of the Obama campaign. Not within the campaign or among the screaming 60,000 — but among the general electorate. This is why Obama’s loss will come as such a profound shock & disappointment to all those who’ve bought it hook line & sinker.
    The only thing that will take McCain-Palin down is something we don’t already know. Either that or a few bad gaffes.

    Me doth think he protest too much…

    Reply

  116. Paul Norheim says:

    “And it’s fun watching this spammer quake in his boots at reality
    intruding upon his fantasy so quickly.”
    Well, personally I applaud the fact that Tahoe finally has started
    to talk with his own voice. I think he`s written more sentences in
    the last 24 hours than during the last 6 months. We`ll see if this
    trend continues.

    Reply

  117. varanassi says:

    tahoe, you just wrote that
    “This (pro palin) narrative is replicating all over the place.”
    just for the sake of honesty, can you admit that their is also a much less than flattering palin narrative “replicating all over the place?”

    Reply

  118. Tahoe Editor says:

    Terrified? I’m disappointed and somewhat amused. Let’s not forget this post came from some unidentified whisperer, and not Steve himself.
    The rumblings of mutiny if she assumes power, as I’ve said, will shake the foundations of the Obama campaign. Not within the campaign or among the screaming 60,000 — but among the general electorate. This is why Obama’s loss will come as such a profound shock & disappointment to all those who’ve bought it hook line & sinker.
    The only thing that will take McCain-Palin down is something we don’t already know. Either that or a few bad gaffes.

    Reply

  119. varanassi says:

    DonS,
    and don’t forget richard johnson who served under martin van buren.
    johnson once proposed that congress fund an expedition to the north pole because he believed that the earth was hollow!
    but, imo, agnew, quayle and johnson don’t even come close to palin in terms of what was known about them the day after their nominations.

    Reply

  120. chopper says:

    Tahoe Editor apears to be terrified of what Steve Clemons wrote in this post.
    And it’s fun watching this spammer quake in his boots at reality intruding upon his fantasy so quickly.
    How many news cycles has it been since Palin’s selection, and already there are rumblings of literal mutiny if she ever assumes power?

    Reply

  121. clramsay says:

    August 30, 2008
    Palin booed for mentioning Hillary Clinton
    Posted: 07:35 PM ET
    From CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
    Palin is praising Clinton on the trail as the GOP woos the New York senator’s supporters.
    WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – This might not be the best way to reach out to those disillusioned Hillary Clinton supporters.
    In just her second appearance on the campaign trail with John McCain, newly-minted GOP running mate Sarah Palin was showered with boos on Saturday for attempting to praise Clinton’s trail-blazing bid to become the first female president.
    As she did at in her debut speech in Ohio yesterday, Palin appealed to the women in the crowd here in Pennsylvania with a political shout-out to Geraldine Ferraro, who preceded Palin as the first women to be tapped as a vice presidential candidate. The reference was met with polite applause.
    But in contrast with the mild reception that greeted the comment at the Ohio event, when Palin praised Clinton here for showing “determination and grace in her presidential campaign,” the Alaska governor was met with a noisy mix of boos, groans and grumbles around the minor league ballpark where the “Road to the Convention Rally” was held.
    Palin quickly recovered, promising the audience that female candidates weren’t yet finished, and that she and McCain were on their way to victory in November.
    Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Sarah Palin

    Reply

  122. varanassi says:

    “If Palin doesn’t gaffe it up, this is checkmate McCain.”
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
    i’m just wondering, tahoe, where will you be on november 6 so i can say i told you so?
    p.s. i’m sure you’ll also claim that this was a choice made from a position of strength rather desperation, right?

    Reply

  123. Tahoe Editor says:

    This narrative is replicating all over the place.

    THE AMERICAN SCENE: RU EXPERIENCED?
    I am kind of amazed that the Democrats have decided to directly attack Governor Palin�s experience. Someone should remind them who they nominated for President.
    In fact, I can see the GOP cutting an ad talking about how Sarah Palin made a difference in changing Alaska, and asking Barack Obama whether he�s done as much to change Illinois. The answer might well be: no.
    Bottom line: the Presidency is no place for on-the-job training. But the Vice Presidency certainly can be.
    http://theamericanscene.com/2008/08/29/ru-experienced

    Reply

  124. DonS says:

    “. . . that this will go down as the worst, most incompetent VP selection in the history of this country. . . ”
    This is truly serious competition when one considers Agnew, Quayle . . .

    Reply

  125. Tahoe Editor says:

    1. Drilling is a winning issue for the Republicans. Full stop.
    2. The man at the TOP of the Democratic ticket has no foreign policy experience! Campaigning abroad does not count, and campaigning at home while shirking your Senate Foreign Relations responsibilities is not leadership.
    3. Michelle said they had to run for the White House NOW instead of later because later he husband would have succumbed to Washington. This will also come back to haunt the Obamas. Putting a shelf life on your husband’s backbone is not smart.
    4. I haven’t said whether she’s ready. But I think she’s at least as ready as Obama, if not more so. Steve has pegged her as not ready, going so far as to insinuate the country might fall apart!
    5. The developing CW wisdom is that the Palin & Obama resumes are comparable in their thickness, with some executive experience for Palin and possibly more concern on her part with making change rather than talking about it with smoke & mirrors while supporting the corrupt system you’re climbing. That’s the narrative. Palin = reformer with results. Obama = Hopey Changey pie-in-the-sky everything-for-everyone let’s all show some restraint and get along. With me in power.
    If Palin doesn’t gaffe it up, this is checkmate McCain.

    Reply

  126. confused says:

    Frankly, arguing that Palin has more experience than Obama is a losing issue for the McCain camp. It will only invite more scrutiny to her record, and show how embarrassingly thin it is.
    I’m sorry, but you can’t argue that small-town mayor is executive experience that can prepare someone for being president.

    Reply

  127. confused says:

    I’m a bit perplexed by the change you refer to, tahoe. She has been quoted as saying we can drill our way out of our oil crisis (which even the government says we cant), has made some moves in one of the most corrupt states in the country (not saying much) and has literally no foreign policy experience. As many have been saying, at least Obama has had to formulate positions on important issues.
    Can you honestly say that you trust someone to possibly be president who heard about the surge from the news, and didnt start thinking about Iraq until 2007?
    Your criticism of Obama is in many ways valid. But by trying to claim that Palin is ready in any way, you show yourself to be nothing but a hack.

    Reply

  128. varanassi says:

    tahoe,
    i said that THEY NEVER MET FACE TO FACE TO DISCUSS HER NOMINATION AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!!
    …and this comes straight from the McCain campaign.
    further, whether or not anyone on this blog takes me (or you) seriously is NOT the question!
    the question is whether or not the american people and the world will take mccain and palin seriously!
    and trust me, outside of a few nut jobs, they won’t

    Reply

  129. Tahoe Editor says:

    The point here is that Steve — or rather, someone who had Steve’s ear — cranked up the Fear Dial to 11 on Palin. Country Last? If Steve is sincerely this afraid of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he needs to tell us why Obama has it all together and how he will calm the waters. By bringing the “present” vote to the United Nations?
    The narrative until November will be that Barack Obama has been talking about change to promote his ambitions while promoting the status quo and gaining any political advantage, no matter how unseemly — having Jeremiah Wright baptize his daughters — to gain power. Put Sarah Palin’s change-making record up against Barack Obama’s. It’s a no-brainer. And we’re still talking about Obama vs. Palin!
    How old was GHWB when he picked Quayle? Quayle was an embarrassment throughout the campaign — and Americans didn’t think twice about giving him the keys to No. 1 Observatory Circle. Which is where Obama would be headed if the Democrats knew what they were doing. Instead he’s going to have to learn how to hold a Senate hearing.

    Reply

  130. varanassi says:

    whatever, tahoe. defend the indefensible.
    perhaps you and the far right wingnuts think that palin would make a good CINC, but i certainly don’t.
    and i truly believe that this will go down as the worst, most incompetent VP selection in the history of this country.
    and i’m not surprised to hear about the sentiments of other policy makers that steve relays in this post.

    Reply

  131. What Grief Is Good? says:

    Dianne Feinstein’s husband (Richard Blum) company made a
    fortune off of the Iraq invasion via no-bid contracts, while Feinstein
    was sitting in key Senate positions and advocating that we invade
    Iraq.
    That Steve doesn’t know that is truly disturbing.

    Reply

  132. Tahoe Editor says:

    varanassi,
    Surely you know that when you say repeatedly that they never met face to face and now you say the met for a few minutes no one should take you seriously. And now I’m done addressing the nonsense.

    Reply

  133. Bil says:

    The Title is fine.
    I think Steve is threading the needle here, perhaps it is a little
    uncomfortable since we always DO have to check our misogynist
    scale-rating. But that isn’t any less uncomfortable than
    attacking Obama as regards our racist-scale rating. We are ALL
    somewhere between 0 and 100 on those scales, EVERYONE.
    Boyz-Girlz too.
    What we ARE doing is VETTING McCain’s hail Mary-Sarah on
    Palin.
    Yes, it’s not about Obama because she is not running against
    Obama. But with a 72 year old man who has had serious health
    issues, and a reputation for shooting from the hip, we look very
    hard at the VP candidate, the selection process and/or lack of
    process.
    I said some time ago that I thought Palin was his best pick, BUT I
    kind of assumed he would vet her COMPLETELY and meet more
    than 1-2 times.
    This calls attention to McCain’s
    judgement/desperation/behaviors and the comparison to a
    Trophy-Wife/VP-Cindy/Clone is DISTURBING.
    Anticipating the Washington nightmare succession process for a
    widely perceived as unqualified VP is certainly courageous, and
    hopefully not prescient.
    I think there is a book in there Steve!
    Book Titles?

    Reply

  134. DonS says:

    you know exactly what I’m saying, Tahoe

    Reply

  135. varanassi says:

    tahoe,
    surely you know that there is a BIG difference between meeting someone for a few minutes six months ago at an NGA conference and meeting them to discuss assuming the position and responsibility of the second highest ranking political office of the united states of america!
    steve, said that you were smart. prove it.

    Reply

  136. Tahoe Editor says:

    varanassi, I don’t usually address nonsense, but since you asked again and so nicely: of course they met face-to-face.
    DonS, I don’t understand what you’re saying. Palin made lots of change in Alaska. I’m not saying Steve should have been paying attention to Alaska politics, I’m saying knocking her for not being on his Beltway radar screen is what the GOP wants — it’s not a liability. That she was too busy governing to provide us with press releases on her favorite books isn’t a major drawback.
    My comment on Democratic losses to Republicans was meant in the presidential context we’re discussing.

    Reply

  137. varanassi says:

    tahoe you wrote:
    “Hence, repeated Democratic losses to Republicans.”
    perhaps you can educate us all and list the many republican wins of the last 2 years.
    c’mon. this is BS.
    i’m on the other side of the planet with limited access to electricity and news and even i know about the tsunami of republican losses over the last 2 1/2 years.

    Reply

  138. DonS says:

    I can’t believe an alleged “friend” of Steve’s would abuse that friendship by pissing all over Steve’s [and all of our intelligence] by saying “Palin hasn’t been on your radar screen because she’s been hard at work making change.”
    Provacateur doesn’t even come close. If your not being tongue-in-cheek, I’ll just attribute it to one too many Saturday night libations. That’s about the only reason I’m even dignifiying the comment with a reply.

    Reply

  139. varanassi says:

    not to harass you, tahoe, but i’m really interested in your response to the 1st question i asked above:
    “do you not think it is appropriate for a presidential nominee to have a face-to-face INTERVIEW with a prospective candidate for the office of VP of the united states of america BEFORE nominating them?!
    or does this strike you as perfectly appropriate?”

    Reply

  140. Tahoe Editor says:

    As well all know, one’s incompetence doesn’t make another competent. Hence, repeated Democratic losses to Republicans. They win the incompetence derby. Thank you Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

    Reply

  141. varanassi says:

    hypocrisy and incompetence beyond the realm of human understanding. typical republicans

    Reply

  142. Tahoe Editor says:

    Pitting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin against U.S. Senator Barack Obama is chasing the cape instead of the bull. Typical Democrats.

    Reply

  143. Chuck Dupree says:

    I don’t read Steve as saying that Sarah Palin can’t learn the information she’d need to know to be President, but that she hasn’t learned it at this point. Obama has been traveling, talking to leaders foreign and domestic, taking positions on various issues (and changing them later), for a few years in the public eye. He represented about as many people to the Illinois legislature as live in the state of Alaska. Et cetera.
    This is not to say he’s a paragon of experience. He’s not even gonna get my vote. But there’s a big difference between Obama and Palin at this moment. As Jim Lobe says,
    John McCain has repeatedly defined “the battle and struggle against radical Islamic extremism” as “the transcendent issue of our time.” If he’s correct, of course, one would expect his chosen running-mate to have said something publishable about the issue since she entered public life. But I just did a Nexis search for anything Sarah Palin may have said or written about that issue — I searched her name with “Muslim” and “Islam” or any variant of those words — and didn’t find a single citation. Of course, there probably aren’t many Muslims in Alaska and she doesn’t profess any foreign policy expertise. But if this is indeed “the transcendent issue of our time” on which just about every national political figure has said something in the last couple of years, …well, I leave you to reach a conclusion. (She hasn’t said anything noted by Nexis about Israel in the last two years either.)
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Lobelogcom/~3/378541462/

    Reply

  144. varanassi says:

    “Palin’s passport? Obama — chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe — went to Europe for the first time in his life for a campaign event!”
    tahoe: can you substantiate this claim???

    Reply

  145. varanassi says:

    oops. the last question above was directed to tahoe editor.

    Reply

  146. Tahoe Editor says:

    You have pegged Palin as unqualified. It’s now up to you to tell us why Obama is more qualified than her — and while you’re trying, we’re thinking, why are we putting Palin up against Obama? This is such a losing argument.
    Palin’s passport? Obama — chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe — went to Europe for the first time in his life for a campaign event!
    Suddenly we’re poo-pooing her journalism degree and demanding all kinds of scholarly articles. I thought the Lincoln shtick was you could come from a dirt-floor cabin, teach yourself by candlelight, and, with some gift of “judgment”, rise to lead the nation. The knee-jerk double standard — it’s amazing the MSM Big Wigs don’t think more before they start typing.
    You criticized Obama’s faux presidential seal, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you bought it. That’s what’s scary — not Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
    I concede Palin matters more than Biden. But Obama matters more than McCain by about 10 orders of magnitude.

    Reply

  147. varanassi says:

    and, again, i think this point deserves repeating:
    as a 16 year-old prospective employee at a local pizza shop in pittsburgh, pa, the owner of the restaurant insisted on sitting down with me for a for a formal face-to-face interview before hiring me to knead dough in the back of the kitchen!!!
    tahoe, do you not think it is appropriate for a presidential nominee to have a face-to-face INTERVIEW with a prospective candidate for the office of VP of the united states of america BEFORE nominating them?!
    or does this strike you as perfectly appropriate?

    Reply

  148. Tahoe Editor says:

    Attacking small-town America is a political loser, Steve. You know that.
    20 months, 40 months, what’s the difference? Palin hasn’t been on your radar screen because she’s been hard at work making change. Obama has dominated your chattering-class radar screen for so long because he’s been TALKING about making change while doing little more than campaigning. You’re deep in the hall of mirrors.
    There’s a big nugget of truth in the fact that Obama played the Chicago politics game better than anyone, making no change. Palin saw the need for change and DID something about it. That will be the narrative.
    This hysteria belongs to your source. If you were really this hysterical about Palin, then you’d be doubly hysterical about Obama. Change the byline on this thing. It’s not you.

    Reply

  149. varanassi says:

    try this one on for size, everyone
    foreign plicy experience?!
    according to the nyt’s, palin had to apply for her first passport before she took a several day trip to visit alaskan national guard troops in kuwait and germany in july 2007!!!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/us/politics/29palin.html?ref=us
    classic. a VP nominee that hasn’t traveled for more than a few days outside of the u.s.! i wonder how many states she’s visited in the lower 48? perhaps you can dig up this information, steve.
    in any event, regardless of one’s political affiliation, THIS NOMINATION IS A RECKLESS TRAVESTY!
    sitting here on the banks of the ganges, i can only wonder how i’ll explain this one to my disbelieving indian colleagues.

    Reply

  150. Paul Norheim says:

    I’d think everyone would be desperate to stay in and help ease
    her out somehow.” (questions”)
    To see how this could be done, it may be useful to study
    European history – the different ways of dealing with a situation
    where the King or Queen dies, and the heir is too young or
    unexperienced to govern. It`s a dangerous situation, with plenty
    of manipulation and intrigue behind the scene.

    Reply

  151. DonS says:

    Hey Tahoe, Obabma isn’t running against Palin yet, as you infer. Bringing in the Obama-Palin comparison is disingenuous at this point. Really comes down to the reality that Obama has been and is being vetted under a pretty tough spotlight and has taken a serious route to he US Senate, and this nomination. Face it, Palin comes out of left field in a cynical political gesture dreamed up by Rove, perhaps on the spot, to counter a huge Obama nomination/speech bounce.
    Let’s just imagine the vetting Palin is going to get on foreign policy in the VP debates, even assuming the media clones will throw her soft balls and pander to her. In any case I think, I hope, Biden will have learned a thing or two from Poppy Bush’s condescenion to Ferraro.

    Reply

  152. Steve Clemons says:

    Tahoe Editor — You know that I don’t imply that these institutions
    would not support her because she’s a woman. I make that clear in
    my post by comparing her to other prospects. If for instance the
    male equivalent from a small town in Montana, or Alaska, or
    upstate New York — who had served on city council and been part
    of a revolving mayorship for a village hit on a topic that got him
    thrown into a governorship and then into the vice presidency in 20
    months, I think I’d still worry about those institutions and how they
    might behave.
    You are very smart — and you know that I didn’t write what you
    are asserting about women in that role. I’m specifically talking
    about unqualified people – men and women.
    best, steve

    Reply

  153. questions says:

    Steve,
    Didn’t Clinton (Bill, that is) get hit with some major league military disgruntlement over his pushing for acceptance of gays in the military, and his having been a draft dodger (unlike, of course, Cheney and Bush)? Nothing really came of the seeming insurrection, as I recall, but the threat was sort of there in the background. It’s possible that the threat is less than it seems.
    Yes, she’s awful and unable and tragic, but divided government? I’d think everyone would be desperate to stay in and help ease her out somehow.

    Reply

  154. Tahoe Editor says:

    That is Steve’s knee-jerk chauvanism, the same offered by Jonathan Alter asking if she shouldn’t be staying at home with her Down syndrome baby.
    Positing that our national institutions would crumble and not work as they are supposed to because the vice president is — what? a woman? someone who hasn’t submitted her reading list to Steve? someone who’s arguably more experienced than the man at the TOP of the Democratic ticket?
    This is a truly hysterical, unthoughtful and disappointing post.
    ** seeing Steve’s comment, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for being a vessel for his source. Steve, it might behoove you to indicate if a post is generated by someone else’s whispers. This hysteria is unlike you.

    Reply

  155. Steve Clemons says:

    anon — I make clear that this is a suspicion….and speculation. I
    say I can’t prove this would happen. But the thought was planted
    with me by a congressman and retired general I was with
    yesterday.
    best, steve clemons

    Reply

  156. anon says:

    Could you elaborate on the statement that “many major institutions in our nation — and you probably know at least part of what I’m talking about — might not support her ascension to the presidency”? Have you heard this (and from which quarters), or is is your suspicion?

    Reply

  157. Tahoe Editor says:

    Half of the country is already thinking, “If Barack Obama is elected I just don’t know what the country would do.”
    “Has she written any serious articles?” Give me a break. Obama left no paper trail from Harvard to the University of Chicago — not a single piece of scholarly work. He writes for TIME Magazine about what he sees in Lincoln’s eyes.
    Palin is from a small town and cleaned up state government. She is a Christian who is presumably still on speaking terms with her pastor, and one of her five children is headed off to Iraq.
    Obama says Iran is both “not a serious threat” and a “grave threat” — depending on what he’s told to say. He encourages “all sides to show restraint” when faced with a crisis — the “present” vote equivalent on a commander-in-chief scale.
    Going all “Country Last” on us is hysterics. Looks like the fear factor has some appeal for you, too, when you need it.
    The more Obama tries to run against Palin instead of McCain, the more he’ll lose, just like trying to run against Bush instead of McCain.
    It’s the top of the ticket that matters — everybody knows it.

    Reply

  158. JL says:

    Steve, I would not dismiss Sarah Palin. Yesterday she lied with a smile on her face about her refusal of ear mark money and waste. As long as she keeps baking cookies for the reporters, she will not be challenged. I do worry for our country.

    Reply

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