Late Night & Early Morning Thoughts From St. Louis

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Spin room chatter last night was rather predictable. Susan Rice assailed Sarah Palin for citing the wrong commander in Afghanistan; Rudy Giuliani, pressed on whether he could feel safe at night in a Palin-led America, suggested it was the best debate performance he’d ever seen; and Lindsay Graham, when asked whether Sarah Palin was smart enough to be President, launched into a tirade about the intelligence required to bring prosperity to Alaska.
What received little attention, however, was Joe Biden’s performance. Steadfast Joe — as opposed to the six-pack Joe that Sarah Palin referenced — delivered critiques where necessary and managed firm, respectful rebuttals. The defensive served Biden well. Disciplined — a word I used to describe Palin in my pre-debate blog — was instead employed widely by Democrats as they broke down their candidates’ performance.
I think Sarah Palin was over coached in terms of ‘folksiness.’ Her general demeanor, a couple winks, and a ‘doggonit,’ totaled an almost caricature-like performance. It’s a side you’ll notice far less in tape from governor’s race debates, and I wonder if the tone won’t grate on some voters over the next month. It’s somewhat reminiscent of W.
To be non-partisan, matching meter and rhythm to an audience is hardly unique. It’s something I’ve noticed a bit with Obama at several points, and something Hillary Clinton drew criticism for earlier in the Democratic primary.
Perhaps the most important thing to come out of spin alley tonight was a promise from McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, apparently riding confidence from the debate, suggesting far more media availability for Ms. Palin in the weeks to come.
We’ll see if that promise materializes.
One thing’s for certain, nearly ever man that watched last night went to bed smiling, knowing he got not one but two winks from Ms. Wasilla.
Signing off form Wash U.
–Brian Till

Comments

38 comments on “Late Night & Early Morning Thoughts From St. Louis

  1. questions says:

    “Moreover, one consequence of the ongoing financial crisis is financial concentration. It is not inconceivable that the US will end up with four giant banks: J.P. Morgan Chase, Citicorp, Bank of America, and Wachovia Wells Fargo. If defaulting credit card debt then assaults these banks’ balance sheets, who is there to take them over? Would the Treasury be able to borrow the money for another Paulson bailout?
    During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation refinanced one million home mortgages in order to prevent foreclosures. The refinancing apparently succeeded, and HOLC returned a profit. The problem then, as now, was not “deadbeats” who wouldn’t pay their mortgages, and the HOLC refinancing did not discourage others from paying their mortgages. Market purists who claim the only solution is for housing prices to fall to prior levels overlook that rising inventories can push prices below prior levels, thus causing more distress. They also overlook the role of interest rates. If a worsening credit crisis dries up mortgage lending and pushes mortgage interest rates higher, the rise in interest rates could offset the fall in home prices, and mortgages would remain unaffordable even in a falling housing market.
    Some commentators are blaming the current mortgage problem on the pressure that the US government put on banks to lend to unqualified borrowers. However, whatever breaches of prudence there may have been only affected the earnings of individual institutions. They did not threaten the financial system. The current crisis required more than bad loans. It required securitization and its leverage. It required Fed chairman Alan Greenspan’s inappropriate low interest rates, which created a real estate boom. Rapidly rising real estate prices quickly created home equity to justify 100 percent mortgages. Wall Street analysts pushed financial companies to improve their bottom lines, which they did by extreme leveraging.”
    _____
    Sorry– three more paragraphs from the same piece.

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    According to statistician John Williams [ http://www.shadowstats.com/section/commentaries ] who measures inflation, unemployment, and GDP according to the methodology used prior to the Clinton regime’s corruption of these measures, the US unemployment rate is currently at 14.7 per cent and the inflation rate is 13.2 per cent. Consequently, real US GDP growth in the 21st century has been negative.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts10062008.html
    This is something I’ve been wondering about for a while. Any thoughts??

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  3. Kathleen says:

    Sweetness…you might find this link interesting…
    An honest conservative discusses the sub prime mortage ..
    http://www.stephenbainbridge.com/index.php/punditry/they_make_you_embarrassed_to_be_a_conservative/

    Reply

  4. varanassi says:

    sorry, paul. you’re right, but i’d really love to see tahoe keep spinning this farce of a mccain/palin campaign.

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  5. victor hope says:

    “One thing’s for certain, nearly ever man that watched last night went to bed smiling, knowing he got not one but two winks from Ms. Wasilla”….. Good god–I don’t know if this belittles women or men more. Probably one of the most inane comments I’ve read in a long time.

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  6. questions says:

    http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/2008/09/spoonamore-reveals-plan-to-steal-next.html
    From the perhaps-not-so-paranoid-left — Stephen Spoonamore is a Republican and a computer architect whose work includes MasterCard’s secure data transfer — he is testifying in some Ohio court case about election fraud in 2004. And he seems to know what he’s talking about. Hmmmm. He seems to know how Repubs use computer code and hardware to hack the vote. A thing to watch for.

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  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, McCain crashed two birds before he even went to Nam. When you factor in the Forrestal incident, you must conclude this guy either has the worst karma on earth, or was simply unbelievably inept as a pilot. Then one reads that he took no evasive action when he was aware a SAM had locked onto his aircraft. Asinine, considering that from what I’ve read, he had plenty of fuel for evasive manuveurs AND a second pass at the target. Does being a lousy pilot qualify you for a lifetime of hero status? Kinda shortchanges those guys that completed missions, brought their aircraft back intact, and came home in one piece, doesn’t it? Just call me picky, but I think I’d rather see an ace running for office.

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  8. questions says:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-harrop_03edi.State.Edition1.5160e26.html
    A piece that was linked in the Kos diary.
    My take is that CRA is either irrelevant or utterly minor and is being used as a way for the guilty parties to avoid taking blame, and especially, to pass the blame on to MINORITY borrowers. The kos piece points out that 40% of sub-prime borrowers could have qualified for prime status, Harrop points out that dates don’t work out for blame, and the NY Times today has a nuanced piece that suggests that Daniel Mudd, under pressure from numerous directions, dove head first into subprime lending. Some pressure came from Congress, but Congress is not the only force — markets and investors made demands as well.
    My main concern for posting this is that the rhetoric that blames “minorities” for the collapse of the economy is heating up in some ugly ways. I don’t think it’s at all the right direction to go, and I don’t think that research backs it up.

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  9. Sweetness says:

    Questions…
    I guess, though, is whether the law was ENFORCED in such a way
    that banks were pressured to make unsound loans. Those are two
    different things.

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  10. questions says:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/5/0214/57411/919/620470
    Oops, screwed up the copy/paste on the link for the CRA piece.

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Rolling Stone piece on McCain with all of the gory details anyone would ever want to know about this guy.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/23316912/makebelieve_maverick/print
    _____________
    And a piece on the CRA’s innocence in causing the financial meltdown — because the now-absent Tahoe is convinced that this act is the cause of all of our misery.
    If you’re not turned off by the undertone of blaming the victims; if you’re not suspicious about blaming a 1977 law for shaky subprime loans that didn’t begin to appear until 2004; and if you’re willing to believe that the Bush administration used heavy-handed regulation against banks on behalf of poor people, you might find this explanation plausible – as long as you don’t know much about the CRA.
    Here are three things you should know about it:
    The CRA doesn’t require loans to be made; it requires that the same rules apply to people seeking mortgages in poor neighborhoods as those buying in other neighborhoods. “Nor does the law require institutions to make high-risk loans that jeopardize their safety,” according to the Fed’s CRA Web site, “To the contrary, the law makes it clear that an institution’s CRA activities should be undertaken in a safe and sound manner.”
    The CRA only applies to banks and thrifts whose deposits are insured by the FDIC. Mortgage companies like Countrywide Financial and fly-by-night cheapmortgage.com-type operations aren’t CRA banks. Half of the subprime mortgages were made by companies that weren’t covered by the CRA, and another 30 percent were written by organizations only loosely affiliated with CRA banks.
    The CRA only works in designated low-income neighborhoods. As Rep. Jim McGovern noted in Hopkinton Wednesday, the CRA has nothing to do with a mortgage on a $500,000 home in Hopkinton, let alone a $800,000 home. This borrowing binge was a nationwide phenomenon.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/23316912/makebelieve_maverick/print

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    Hey, varanassi, please don`t ask TE to come back. TWN is
    meant for human beings.
    TE just “wrote” on another thread that it will quit this blog until
    the election is over, “claiming” that the host is biased. So please
    don`t shout out loud that you want that spinning machine back.
    Of course it can defend McCain and Palin at any time, regardless
    of what they do! If you find that entertaining, or feel “energized”
    by its absurdities, the same way TE “feels” energized by Sarah
    Palin, just copy some of its old statements as many times as
    you wish, until you get tired (offline of course, on your own PC,
    and not on the blog.)
    And of course Steve is right when he says that TahoeEditor is
    not a troll. It`s a machine, operated by uh.. some creature that
    is not a troll.

    Reply

  13. varanassi says:

    hey, has anyone seen Tahoe??
    i’d love to see him spin these days for mccain/palin, but perhaps this fiasco is so far gone that even he can’t do it with a straight face.
    Tahoe? Tahoe?
    Is your team falling on it’s face?
    btw, watched yet another hilarious SNL opening skit tonight. Tina Fey does Palin better than Palin does Palin. must see tv.
    this joke of a candidate is now a weekly televised , highly-rated, laughing-stock.
    congratulations, john mccain. what a way to go out, old man.
    and, yeah, in lieu of saying anything about how to fix our broken country and world and support the middle-class, i’m impressed to read that the republicans are instead going to focus bill ayers, tony rezco and rev. wright for the next month.
    shame on them.
    Tahoe???

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  14. Tosk says:

    People pretty much came out of the VP debate where they went in. I did not watch but simply checked out the reactions on the 40 to 50 or so blogs that I regularly follow. In every case it was easy enough to predict what the reaction was going to be.
    Folks on one side jumped on the ‘McClellan/McKiernan’ error; those on the other side jumped on the ‘Hamas won elections in the West Bank’ and ‘we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon” errors. I suppose there are some “undecideds” for whom this might have made a difference, but am not really persuaded of this…

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  15. MarkL says:

    Longhorn, you are just lying. You are not quoting from BarackObama.com—obviously.

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  16. longhorn71 says:

    Obama’s First 10 Executive Orders?
    Quotes from BarrackObama.com
    • Obama enacts stronger “federal hate crimes legislation” to “reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section.”
    • Obama creates “a fund to help people refinance their mortgages and provide comprehensive supports to innocent homeowners.”
    • Obama, following through on his pledge to “meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe,” signs a non-agression pact with the Hitler of Iran.
    • Obama doubles foreign aid to $50 billion to cut “poverty around the world in half by 2015.”
    • Obama removes our troops from Iraq, leaving a power vacuum filled by Iran.
    • Obama enacts socialized medicine, destroying small businesses with taxes to pay for illegal alien healthcare.
    • Obama enacts amnesty for illegal aliens.
    • Obama enacts legislation demanding carbon friendly cars, hammering the final nail in the coffin of the US car industry.
    • Barack Obama enact laws to reinforce affirmative action by funneling money to “women and minority-owned businesses.”
    • Obama repeals the Bush tax cuts.
    • Obama enacts the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to entrench the power of the homosexual lobby.
    Sounds fun doesn’t it?

    Reply

  17. chopper says:

    You know, I thought it a bit unfair when Tina Fey struck her rifle-with-ass-out pose in the first SNL skit she did on Palin. It was funny, but it wasn’t real satire, because it wasn’t based in reality. It was a cheap shot, of the type Republicans reguarly use as their ham-fisted attempts at humor.
    It wasn’t based upon the actual habits of the person. At that point.
    Now Palin has one-upped Fey. She literally did in reality what Fey would of done as caricature. And people like the author of this post (and Roger Simon of Politico, and others) are going genuinely gaga over it.
    Am I the strange one here? Thinking this is truly bizarre?

    Reply

  18. bangzoom14 says:

    I have to say Kathleen’s comment made late this morning was so funny I am still laughing twelve hours later. Last night while watching the debate between Joe and the Cheerleader, I often thought, wow, I wonder what Geraldine Ferraro is thinking right now. And to Ms. Palin, a special note to you. Give it up. The show is over. This is like a really bad Broadway play that closes after 3 performances. Bad writing. Bad performance. Bad reviews. And the director should just retire.

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/216239-group-wants-alaska-ag-removed-from-office
    Group wants Alaska AG removed from office
    BY CHRIS RIZO
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline)-A newly formed group is seeking to force Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg from office because of his handling of the abuse of power allegations against Gov. Sarah Palin.
    Alaskans for Truth says it has collected about 2,000 signatures, including 1,200 from Alaskans, asking for Colberg, who is a Palin appointee, to be replaced.
    Organizers delivered the signatures to Palin’s office Wednesday. Palin is the Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee.
    Separately, the attorney general and state lawmakers are investigating whether Palin and several top aides pressured Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, who was engaged in a bitter divorce and child custody dispute with Palin’s sister.
    Alaskans for Truth says Colberg should not have questioned subpoenas issued to state employees as part of the investigation.
    Colberg is suing to quash the subpoenas of seven state workers. He has advised the governor’s staff that they need not comply with the orders.
    “We’re basically asking for Talis Colberg’s removal in whatever form is appropriate,” Linda Kellen Biegel of Alaskans for Truth was quoted by KTUU-TV as saying Wednesday.
    Palin had initially said she’d cooperate with the Legislature’s investigation, telling lawmakers to hold her accountable. But that position changed after she was tapped by U.S. Sen. John McCain to be his running mate.
    From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Subpoenas upheld in Palin trooper investigation
    Story Highlights
    *Judge says state lawmakers properly issued subpoenas
    *Republicans attempted to end inquiry, saying date was arbitrary
    *Legislature ordered investigation of Sarah Palin’s firing of official
    *Ex-prosecutor is to complete his report on issue next week
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) — An Alaska judge refused Thursday to throw out subpoenas for members of Gov. Sarah Palin’s administration in the State Legislature’s investigation of her firing of her public safety commissioner.
    Gov. Sarah Palin’s campaign has said the investigation is tainted by partisan politics.
    Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski rejected a request by Palin’s Republican allies to shut down the investigation and ruled that the subpoenas were issued properly by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.
    continues at…
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/02/palin.trooper.investigation/index.html

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    Didn’t like Palin’s performance…it was too cute by half.
    She set women in politics back a hundred years with that wind up Pollyanna girlie doll act.
    Chris Matthews had the best description, he said she acted and sounded like a high school cheerleader at a spelling bee.

    Reply

  22. Chris says:

    “nearly ever man that watched last night went to bed smiling, knowing he got not one but two winks from Ms. Wasilla.” -Brian
    You, sir, are obviously unfamiliar with the age-old confidence scheme, in which a woman presents herself as available to a man in a social setting (e.g., a bar), entices him to believe she finds him as attractive as he finds her, invites him to retire with her to an available room, and once he’s in a state of sufficient excitement and undress, her partner, a man with a gun, bursts in and robs the mark.
    Actually, that’s a disturbingly apt analogy for the McCain-Palin ticket, given the economic policies of conservatives.

    Reply

  23. Bartolo says:

    I retired last night thankful for only one such debate. More of that woman would be too much.

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  24. mike says:

    Democrats will vote for the Democrat. Republicans will vote for the Republican. That’s how it has always been.
    John McCain and Joe Biden are politicians. They know their numbers, and they know Washington.
    What is different about this election is culture. Where is America going, culturally?
    This is where Barack Obama and Sarah Palin come in.
    Some say race is a factor against Obama, but I say it is the opposite: Obama has been propelled upwards by his skin color. The positive ‘racism’ (Black-Americans supporting him, White-Americans feeling guilty about the legacy of slavery) far outweighs the few remaining pockets of negative racism (traditional bigotry) that still exist in our country.
    Whereas Black-Americans account for 12 percent of America, women number about 51 percent.
    This is where America’s reaction to Sarah Palin gets interesting. It is not only sexism at play, but regionalism too. Keep in mind that America’s reaction could be vastly different from the media’s reaction, which tries to intervene in how America thinks and observes for itself.
    For the last decade, American women have been trying to become either the fifth ‘Manhattanite’ cast member of ‘Sex and the City’ or a ‘Desperate Housewife’ on Wisteria Lane. The White male executives who created, packaged and marketed these female stereotypes have made plenty of money as women across America spent time and money trying to become ‘Carrie Bradshaw’. But somehow, these wanna-be’s never lived it up as glamorously.
    Sarah Palin is all about God, Family, Country and Shot-Guns. She is a completely New American Woman. She was not constructed by a Public Relations agency in either New York City or Los Angeles. She is not a Hollywood creation. Sarah Palin is simply a product of American small-town wholesomeness: happy childhood, hard work, self-discipline and a bright, and almost chirpy, outlook on life.
    Sarah is not the high-maintenance, drama-seeking, bulimia-suffering fragile caricature of a working woman as peddled by TV.
    Her husband, Todd Palin, is not a neurotic metro-sexual obsessing over the price of organic arugula, or whining about his commitment phobias to his shrink. He is a man’s man, and frankly, a woman’s man: just your regular American guy—wholesome and uncomplicated.
    Sarah and Todd are American ‘retro’, but it is retro made cool all over again. They are a brand of Americana that has been tested and true—genuine, confident and mature.
    Something happened to the Obama brand on the way to the election. It is as if the fashion gods decided that “Didn’t you know? No one wears Obama after Labour Day.”
    Once exotic and different, the Obama brand has been turned into something weird and creepy. “Obama’s Witnesses,” “Obama’s Blue-Shirts,” “The Obama Youth Fraternity League”…Plus, after the initial swooning over him, most people still think that there’s something “off” about Obama; as if he’s hollow, or hiding something.
    Today, the Obama brand has become decidedly “uncool”. That’s why people tuned out from watching him debate McCain.
    On the other hand, Americans are discovering that they are intrigued by Sarah Palin. The TV pundits may want to spin things their way, but the surest measure of who won the Vice-Presidential Debate is that, at the end, the vast majority of viewers walked away from their TV sets and said to themselves, “I’d like to see more of Sarah Palin—unfiltered and uncut.”
    The Obama camp may be celebrating too early. There are still plenty of people out there that haven’t made up their mind, and Obama’s triumphalism may begin to sound like arrogance, and he’s already been accused of that.
    This is indeed a culturally interesting time to be an American.

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  25. Chris Brown says:

    “One thing’s for certain, nearly ever man that watched last night went to bed smiling, knowing he got not one but two winks from Ms. Wasilla.”
    Please. That is indeed a bizarre comment.

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  26. longhorn71 says:

    thatsright, you are a disgusting person. Leave it to this liberal website to debase a person in such a manner. Palin did great, both candidates lack substance, has any politician in recent history every really answered a question? No, they speak political speak. It makes me happy to think Governor Palin sent all you guys to your computers crying over how well she did in the debate. Your degrading comments just prove how utterly ridiculous your arguments are.

    Reply

  27. thatsright says:

    The only men charmed by her winks were already besotted by her radical conservatism. The Magical Sarah meme is already in the works. Just check out how it starts:
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDYzMGFiNjQ0MWRjNmI0ZTlkYjgwZTExMjA3MWNiZTk=
    She is not really that charming if you think, as more and more people are, that however much she may be from a small town, her views are out of step with the needs of mainstreet.
    She’s a milf with repugnant beliefs. She’s someone you’d fuck, then laugh later at your own shallowness for even giving her the time of day.

    Reply

  28. tom.a says:

    Palin’s remarkable traits are a lack of knowledge and curiosity and
    an incredible level of self-confidence, it’s an extremely dangerous
    combination. Any credence given to her as a legitimate candidate
    for VP or potential President is misplaced.

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  29. Paul Norheim says:

    “Finest” said: “And it is disappointing, in a year when the
    Democratic party has fielded a genuinely fine candidate (full
    disclosure: this writer
    likes BOTH candidates, and can’t lose) they insist on smarmy
    marketing that suggests they are promoting another McGovern,
    Mondale or Kerry.”
    Finest, you must be one happy guy, liking “BOTH candidates”,
    saying that you “can`t lose”. Congrats.
    But what does that mean? Does the elections represent some
    kind of horse race for you, betting on two horses? And what
    exactly – since you are such a happy fellow – is “disappointing”
    here?
    Some people at TWN support one candidate, and disagree with
    the opinions of his opponent. Others say that both candidates
    are horrible, and others again that both are bad, but one is
    much worse than the other.
    But you`re saying that you like both candidates, and that YOU
    “can`t lose”.
    Do you happen to have any opinions?
    Happen to be interested in politics?
    Issues?
    Or do you simply enjoy the game?
    Are you stupid and happy, or just happy?
    I guess you`re somehow clever (50 % here, “since 1976”, and 51
    % there, “in 04″…) but that doesn´t count here.
    So let me hear:
    just happy?

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  30. camille says:

    I have great respect for Biden not hauling off and slapping her in the head.
    Cool heading he was and he did very very well. Granholm deserves some credit here too (since I am a female from MI).

    Reply

  31. Bill R. says:

    In the final analysis I still believe that Americans want a serious competent statesman with a finger on the nuclear button, and not a perky sideshow who admittedly doesn’t read.
    Given the health status of John McCain his running mate would be the next president of the U.S. if he were to win. A long term condition of malignant melanoma with four occurrences of active disease tell us his prognosis is not good. He looks and acts sick.
    The debate aside Sarah Palin is toast. The Troopergate investigation is unveiling her misdeeds in Alaska. A judge yesterday ruled it must go forward and a key witness, a govt. contractor has changed testimony to avoid a perjury charge, now stating that Palin intervened directly to have her ex-brother in law excluded from a disability claim. Besides ethics violations there may be criminality involved with her and her husband and their behavior in this case and in the illegal access to private personnel files.

    Reply

  32. Finest says:

    Watching the ninety minute performance of Mssr. Biden it
    became apparent why he exited so quickly after a dismal
    performance in Iowa. A candidate rejected by his own party for
    the highest office in the land is now poised to ascend to the
    ‘heartbeat away’ moniker and chair the ‘warm bucket of spit’.
    The man looked old. Change? I don’t think so.
    It remains to be seen, despite the polls, in a year without a
    credible 3rd party candidate, whether America will elect a
    candidate from a party that has failed to garner 50% of the vote
    in any election since 1976, and only 3 times since 1948. One is
    reminded that despite disapproval, George W. Bush revelled in
    his 51% ‘mandate’ in ’04 and has set a low bar for McCain/Palin.
    If they ONLY do as well as Bush/Cheney, they will be elected.
    And it is disappointing, in a year when the Democratic party has
    fielded a genuinely fine candidate (full disclosure: this writer
    likes BOTH candidates, and can’t lose) they insist on smarmy
    marketing that suggests they are promoting another McGovern,
    Mondale or Kerry.

    Reply

  33. Zathras says:

    No one can do everything in one debate, but there was something I wondered about after this one.
    I know the Justice Department and its administration won’t swing many votes either way in any election; most Americans are not lawyers, and don’t follow even major issues (like the US Attorney purge) closely. Since issues related to the Department rarely produce usable pictures, the electronic media from which most voters get their news has difficulty coming to grips with stories from that source.
    But the record of the Bush Justice Department has been, in its way, pretty spectacular, featuring some things rarely if ever seen in American history. There isn’t much question that prosecutors were fired for investigating the wrong people and for not pushing aggressively enough to indict members of the opposition party; inquiries about all manner of misconduct at Justice have been met with stonewall resistance; subpeonas have been routinely ignored, something that would land ordinary citizens in legal trouble for years. And of course there was the whole business about interrogation practices. And perhaps the least worthy Attorney General America has ever had.
    As I say, not an issue that would change the face of the election, but still something that makes the incumbent Republican administration look awfully sleazy, and still something the Republican candidates for President and Vice President might be asked to defend. Sen. Biden, who has sat on the Judiciary Committee for decades and served as the committee’s chairman for several years, never raised the subject last night. Nor did Sen. Obama, who taught some classes in Constitutional law early in his career and might be expected to know something about the subject.
    Silence on this subject doesn’t seem wise to me. All questions of merit aside, this is another area in which Sen. McCain can be asked how he would be different from the very unpopular Bush, a question neither he or Gov. Palin are well equipped to answer.

    Reply

  34. Sage says:

    I am a long time lurker on this site as I appreciate the insights shared by Steve and by those who send their comments. Thanks to all. I am finally going to add my thoughts about last night’s debate.
    Was it “Gidget Goes to Washington” or has reality set in with the American public?
    Between us, here’s my take on it:
    I thought the debate format was more like a joint press conference. There was no debate in the debate.
    On the other hand, Sarah Six Pack came across as very good with the camera (great eye contact along with a little eye candy), a quick study (as long as she has her index cards & talking points), folksy and a real “atta-girl” high energy, fast talking type (“you betcha”!). She has a winning way even though it is superficial and sort of like a Green Acres riding lawn mower. I can’t remember being winked at so many times…unless it was the time I had lunch with my friends at a bar on the Mississippi and that barfly woman came onto me!
    I thought that during the first half, she fast talked her way pretty successfully. Then she ran out of talking points and was just fast talk. I mean, after all, how many times can you say “maverick” with meaning? She actually bragged she was not going to answer Ifill’s questions and would, as we saw, just focus on her talking points. By then, I could just about see how her index cards were organized. Ifill should not have let her get away with that. It reminded me of George Bush’s signing statements.
    When she said she thought the VP should have more power, I decided she was a dead duck! Biden nailed her in Cheney’s coffin.
    I thought Biden was slow and sluggish in the first third of the debate but he found his stride and ran her down. He was firm, confident, knowledgeable and authentic. I was proud of him. I thought he killed her when she brought up her kids and especially her “special needs” kid. He responded in a way that made it clear that fathers are parents too and (if dealing with the challenges of parenting is a vice presidential qualifier) he has had very tough challenges in raising his family. I thought that his emotion was genuine and that she came across as a self centered robot when she didn’t react with compassion and instead (with a big smile for the camera), came back with her maverick schtick.
    My confidence is growing that we will not have “Northern Exposure” and the “Straight Talk” Derailment in the White House next year. I think the economic crisis has clarified the issues for people in ways that nothing else could. Nothing like one’s wallet to focus one’s attention. The bottom line: experience means nothing if it is not relevant and we desperately need intelligence & judgment in our leaders.

    Reply

  35. Kathleen says:

    How many times are we going to hear the “Plain is a breath of fresh air” meme this morning? Smells more like a spritz of Fabreeze…no substitute for a good old fashioned top to bottom, windows wide open, Spring cleaning. ..no amount of Fabreeze can eliminate the odor in this White House…Inbetween winks, I thought she was actually going to quote Larry the Cable guy and say “Get er duuuun”.

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  36. koreyel says:

    “One thing’s for certain, nearly ever man that watched last night went to bed smiling, knowing he got not one but two winks from Ms. Wasilla.”
    Ugh and yark.
    You’ve just devolved the “throwaway line” into something far nastier: “the throw-up line.” The only thing that’s helping me here is a hopeful prayer that you were being snarky…

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  37. revenantive says:

    Sarah Palin is a walking, talking joke. The winks? Hilarious, but not very Presidential.
    She was a train wreck. Her prepared answers lacked substance and were woefully off-subject time and again. When she was on subject, all she could come up with was ‘maverick’, ‘all of the above’ and ‘also.’ I wonder if she can memorize even a 90 second sound byte, which makes me question her intellectual capacity.
    Joe Biden wiped the floor with her. His answers were relatively clear, coherent and contained facts. Compared side by side to Gov. Palin, the Senator showed composure and grace while the Governor was scatter brained and had a certain moose-in-headlights glare when looking into the camera.
    Sarah Palin was clearly unprepared. Other than regurgitating words like maverick, mom, main street and the disgustingly stupid use of the word ‘also’ over and over again, she had NOTHING substantial to offer. What she proved is that she’s a lightweight when it comes to policy, and that’s just not going to salve the fears that she’s woefully lacking experience and temperament for high office.
    You can say that the expectations were low for her and she clearly met or exceeded the point spread, but that’s just an intellectually dishonest position. She was downright awful compared to Senator Biden.

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  38. michael claussen says:

    I agree with most of your comments about last nights debate, except the last note of a wink before a nod (ding off) for all us guys out here in TV land. In truth, after calming my gag reflex last night, I reflected on how the only ones out here who went to bed smiling were those that could feel how much closer we are to a Obama/Biden presidency. Palin’s wink felt like a warm glass of you know what.

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