Sarah Palin May Solve McCain’s Sizzle Problem

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palin and fish twn.jpg
I just landed in Minneapolis/St. Paul sitting next to well-known pundit, frequent campaign manager, and former Romney campaign spokesperson Bay Buchanan.
I didn’t realize it until today, but Buchanan was Treasurer of the United States under Ronald Reagan — the youngest person (male or female) to ever be appointed to that position (which among other responsibilities has his or her signature on U.S. currency).
bay buchanan twn.jpgI asked her what she thought about McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. And her approximate, enthusiastic response was that “Palin changes everything.”
Buchanan was not that enthused about the McCain ticket before Friday’s announcement. She had previously supported the campaigns of Tom Tancredo and Mitt Romney — but with Sarah Palin on the ticket, Buchanan’s interest in the race has sparked again.
She made an interesting point to me after I talked about my concerns about the clear lack of foreign policy experience. She said, “She’s a governor with a state that borders Canada and essentially Russia. Democrats were pushing Kathleen Sebelius, Tim Kaine, and other governors whose foreign policy experience is also next to nothing.”
She said Bill Clinton had little experience on the international front when he ran from Arkansas (I didn’t argue with this though it’s untrue. Both Clintons were working with Bangladesh finance and poverty entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus on microcredit issues as early as 1986 and Governor Bill Clinton was frequently meeting international personalities in order to push Arkansas agriculture products).
But she did convince me that McCain may have solved his sizzle problem. Many women do like Palin — and while I have concerns about her, just as I’ve had now and then about Barack Obama and McCain — there will be a lot who will be drawn to her gutsy, take on Washington’s vested interests style as well as to her womanhood.
I left Bay Buchanan in the hall here at the airport and ducked into a Red Carpet Lounge and called ten of my women friends. Three of these woman are Obama supporters. Two are Hillary supporters now attached to Obama. One is a Hillary supporter now supporting McCain. Two were Romney supporters previously. One was a Huckabee supporter. And the last has always been a McCain supporter.
8 of the 10 said that they didn’t like how much of the blogosphere was challenging Sarah Palin and how quickly some of the attacks on her had gotten very personal and in their words “slimey.” They all said that they were impressed with Palin though most said that they had more to learn about her work, deeds, and background. These eight also thought that McCain would get a big bump among women for the selection.
Two said that they would never support Palin, that they thought she represented a fake choice for women — given her opposition to a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices.
These unscientific, quick call results are intriguing and should concern Barack Obama and his team.
Dems should be very careful about underestimating this higher-than-expected-sizzle ticket.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

69 comments on “Sarah Palin May Solve McCain’s Sizzle Problem

  1. Billigflug says:

    And hopefully Obama solved her problem now! I am so tired of the whole discussion upon her.

    Reply

  2. Tahoe Editor says:

    Yes! Let’s not pretend Barack is left of 99 other senators. Heads in the sand.
    Barack has no leadership experience whatsoever. None. Even his con law professor ratings were bottom of the barrel.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    (Returning the compliment!)
    I’d add: on that “most liberal” thing, these ratings are WORSE than the US News Guide to Colleges — subjective in that they depend on a particular set of votes chosen to highlight a point, ridiculous in that they rank a set of votes that the voters have no control over, and foolish in that there’s no way to distinguish #1 from, say, number 20. Another ranking had Obama in the middle of the Senate which makes a whole lot more sense.
    On the song and dance, it’s more like a professor in a classroom who respects all of his students, listens to them, adjusts his beliefs accordingly, and comes up with moderate positions. Not a bad methodology all in all. Kind of, maybe, what a “COMMUNITY (insert snarl/mock) ORGANIZER” does, too. You listen to others and respond, you lead when everything goes awry, but you’re really supposed to respond to the needs of others. It’s called outreach or even representation.

    Reply

  4. Sweetness says:

    A few interpolated responses to your note above:
    “”What I’ve always liked about him is that he’s tried to see
    beyond the counter-productive categories and dialectical logjam
    that keep our politics dead in the water.” — Sweet
    I just don’t buy it. It’s a song & dance — there’s no proof in the
    pudding. He’s the most liberal member of the Senate
    proclaiming to be a post-partian uniter; then he selects a 30-
    year Senate relic who represents the same-old same-old and is
    the THIRD most liberal senator. I didn’t buy “uniter/not/a/divier”
    from W, and I don’t buy it from Obama now. It seems like such a
    brain-dead way to suck up for votes.
    S: Not sure about your own politics, T–that is, what YOU
    believe as opposed to the devils you argue for–but I LIKE that
    he’s a liberal and I like that Biden is, too. I don’t think it’s a
    secret that Obama natively is a liberal. However, he’s come to
    the realization that simply going down the liberal path or the
    conservative path isn’t going to move the country forward.
    Truth is, he’s caught some flack from the left on things like
    FISA, Pakistan, merit pay for teachers, self-responsibility for
    African Americans and even his choice of Biden.
    And if you like Hillary, as I assume you do, you pretty much have
    to like Biden, because there’s hardly any air between the two. So
    I think he’s shown that he’s not a doctrinaire, same-old liberal.
    And there are Republicans in the Illinois state house who also
    speak highly of his time there.
    I guess I’m a trust-but-verify kind of guy. And I can’t verify any
    of this shtick, so the trust just isn’t there.
    S: None of the above strikes you as a departure from what the
    left preaches? There’s no secret that Obama doesn’t have a long
    legislative record or list of legislative accomplishments–neither
    did Hillary for that matter. But that’s simply to argue that
    people with thin records should not be entrusted with the office.
    Personally, I’d prefer it if he did have a longer legislative record,
    but the electorate, at least the Democratic electorate did not
    WANT someone with a long record. Or thought that other
    characteristics were more important. Otherwise, they would
    have voted for Biden or Dodd. And Hillary’s legislative–proven
    ability to get things done across party lines–isn’t much longer
    than Obama’s, if it’s longer at all. So don’t blame Obama, or
    Hillary for that matter, blame the Democratic electorate–36
    million of them.
    I also think he is Mr. Indecision and Mr. Uncourageous (voting
    “present”). He had three different responses to Georgia — 1 for
    each 100 foreign policy advisers, I guess. I have this vision of
    him standing in front of the United Nations calling on “all sides”
    to “show restraint once and for all” and then leading the
    delegates in a few verses of Kum Ba Yah.
    S: The “present vote” charge has been discredited pretty
    thoroughly. It’s a tactic based the rules of that Illinois legislative
    body. It did NOT reflect his unwillingness to take a stand. Not
    sure what the three stands on Georgia you’re talking about. But
    being uncertain about what to do in an ambiguous situation
    fraught with danger is no vice in my book. McCain wanted
    Georgia to be admitted immediate into NATO, which would have
    pretty much committed the US and the rest of the NATO to an
    armed confrontation with Russia. I prefer indecision to starting
    another (unnecessary) Cold War. It’s been pretty well
    documented that McCain is a loose canon. Those who’ve known
    him in Congress, at Annapolis, and even in the Hanoi Hilton
    have reported that he’s got a hair-trigger temper. One fellow
    (you can find him on video on TPM) who was in the HH two
    years LONGER than McCain feels that sustained experience as a
    POW subject to torture is a DISQUALIFYING bit of experience for
    the highest office in the land. So, all in all, I’d prefer Hamlet to
    Quicks Draw McGraw. And that said, I don’t know that Obama is
    all that indecisive, though he does come off that way in the
    debates. I’d call it thoughtful, not sound bite-ish.
    What’s up with the “10,000 people were killed by this tornado”
    gaffe when 10 people died? I can understand lots & lots of
    gaffes, but if you don’t have a grasp on the scale of things, it’s
    worrisome. He was there on the scene.
    S: Can’t speak to this one because I don’t know of it. Sounds
    like an error of fact–and not too serious. But if you’re going to
    hold him to this error, then Sunni-Shia and Who Is Iran Training
    error is much more serious.
    Here’s how I don’t vote:
    I never voted in Washington, D.C., because of course the
    Democrat had a lock on it no matter what so my vote didn’t
    count in this faux democracy.
    S: Yes. But the real reason not to vote in D.C. (where I lived for
    30 years) is that Republicans keep denying these residents full
    representation in Congress. There are many states where the
    Republicans dominate so thoroughly that a vote for a
    Democratic president is pretty much useless. Like pretty much
    all of the South. So DC is the same on the other side, but on a
    much, much smaller scale with much much LESS at stake in
    terms of the electoral college. The real “faux democracy”
    travesty is that these folks are denied basic representation in
    Congress. Isn’t that what the war for independence was all
    about?
    Now that I’m in Nevada it’s clear to me that the Ron Paul folks
    are creaming for Palin. Nevada has no income tax. Obama can
    bluff us with his 57-state strategy, but I’ll send you flowers if he
    takes the Battle Born State.
    S: So? Now you’re among friends who vote the way you do.
    Dig Lieberman driving a wedge between Bill & Barack tonight in
    St. Paul:
    “Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do
    great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is
    no substitute for a record — not in these tough times.
    S: The problem is not record vs. no record–it’s what the record
    IS. Both Lieberman and McCain are unapologetic supporters of
    the war in Iraq–a monstrous disaster on all levels the details of
    which don’t need to be repeated here. Obama had the good
    judgement to oppose the war. More importantly to me, his
    thinking shows that he’s…thinking. My kingdom for a brain and
    the ability and desire to use it.
    “In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get
    anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on
    powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party.
    S: The problem with this argument is that it actually isn’t true.
    The fact that his record is thin is just a fact. McCain has reached
    across party lines and–despite his years and years of
    experience–has caved on just about every one of his former
    positions, except Iraq where he was demonstrably wrong in
    every way. If a man with that much experience and knowledge
    about the world and how to get things done in DC can’t hold
    firm on his positions…and can’t make the right call when the
    stakes are the highest…judgement should be very harsh indeed.
    IOW, one expects a LOT from someone as experienced as
    McCain. When he fails to deliver, it just shows he doesn’t have
    all that much talent or integrity or character, despite his
    protestations to the contrary. In fact, it’s those who harp on
    character who tend to have the least of it. Obama, OTOH, hasn’t
    been in Congress that long, so the few things he HAS done are
    that much more impressive.
    “Contrast that to John McCain’s record, or the record of the last
    Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of
    those same Democratic interest groups and worked with
    Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform,
    free trade agreements, and a balanced budget.”
    S: Bill Clinton had an admirable record. I thought Obama was
    wrong to take a swipe at him in the way he did. However, the
    remarks did show independence from his party’s machinery and
    Obama’s central thesis was correct: Clinton did good things;
    fought the good fight; but he was not transformational in the
    sense that Reagan was. Reagan transformed the political
    landscape (for the worse), and that’s all that Obama was saying.
    He much preferred Clinton’s record to Reagan’s and said so for
    all those who couldn’t figure out what he was saying pretty
    plainly.
    This illustrates it for me. Either say you’re a super liberal and act
    like it, or say you’re a post-partisan compromiser and act like it;
    either way you get some legitimate support. But break out the
    smoke & mirrors — not to mention all the identity politics — to
    try to be all things to all people, and you’ve lost me.
    S: Here’s what I would say: WHETHER Obama is a super liberal
    OR a post-partisan compromiser, and only time will really tell, I
    like it. In my book, it’s a no-lose situation. But I’m still
    wondering what YOU would prefer: liberal or post-partisan? Or
    are you simply a McCain supporter (not that there’s anything
    wrong with that)?
    The list of his bipartisan accomplishments:
    1. nuke security
    2. “ethics reform”
    S: Not sure the list is complete, but I’ll take it. Nuclear security
    strikes me as a pretty important accomplishment. All we hear
    about these days is how Al Quaeda is going to get some fissile
    material and walk into downtown DC or Tel Aviv or wherever.
    But, regardless of the whole GWOT, nuclear security is obviously
    one of the transcendent challenges of our time and has been
    since we first exploded the A-Bomb on Bikini Atoll.
    Given that we’ve just seen one of the most unethical Congresses
    in my 56-year memory, I’d say this, too, is an important issue.
    If his bill came up short, well, so what? Progress is all anyone
    can hope for and all anyone can deliver. Progress is all McCain
    Feingold has delivered, right? We haven’t removed money from
    politics by a long shot, have we? We still have that immigration
    problem lingering, too, don’t we? And one of McCain’s biggest
    accomplishments–the Iraq War–continues to consume
    upwards of a million lives and one TRILLION dollars. How does a
    so-called “deficit hawk” like McCain justify spending a trillion
    dollars on “unproductive” bombs and military misadventures? I
    imagine that one trillion dollars–which somehow McCain felt
    we had to spend–would have gone a long way to solving the
    budget crisis, the entitlement crisis, and the many other
    pressing problems, close to McCain’s and Palin’s heart. Aid to
    unwed mothers. Aid to children born with Downs Syndrome.
    Education. Health care for the living. And on and on.
    But I digress. The fact that Obama’s list is short (assuming it’s
    complete) merely says that Obama has only been in office a
    short time. So? He’s never claimed otherwise. He’s never run
    on having a long record. BTW, where’s Hillary’s list?
    That takes a lot of courage.
    S: I don’t care that much about courage. I care more about
    judgement and good thinking and humane values. Courage is
    how the Republicans have hoodwinked the American public for
    years now.
    When Obama told the Reno-Gazette Journal that the
    Republicans were the party of ideas and Reagan was the
    transformative leader, and said the Clinton Years were as same
    as the Bush Years, it just said to me that he would tell anyone
    whatever he thought they wanted to hear, and that he sees
    himself as The New Answer To Everything, History Be Damned.
    S: I answered this above. I think it was unfair and unnecessary
    swipe at Clinton. Clinton was dealing with an ascendant GOP
    and had to fight a rearguard action, IMO. But it’s true, Clinton’s
    terms were not transformational. Frankly, Clinton squandered
    his second term with the Monica scandal and pretty much
    doomed Al’s chances in 2000 (though Al helped out). Clinton
    had a HUGE opportunity–on health care for one thing–but
    never realized the real potential of his administration. But I’m
    still a big fan of Bill and Hill and would have voted for her in a
    heartbeat had she won. Despite her thin legislative record.
    That’s all well and good, but if you have such an out-of-this-
    world gift for cognitive dissonance when you campaign, you
    really need to convince people you know what you’re talking
    about when it comes to debate. And in every debate I felt he had
    literally, LITERALLY (props to Mr. Biden) no idea what he was
    talking about. He is the ultimate TelePrompTer candidate.
    S: He had trouble in the debates, but got much better as time
    went on. Hillary did much better; unfortunately, her candidacy
    was unraveling. He has a hard time speaking in sound bites,
    which is what most of the debates were about, given the number
    of candidates on the dias and the time limitations. He’s unusual
    that way: a thinker who has charisma.
    I’m really REALLY looking forward to ALL the debates.
    S: English is my native tongue, so it’s pretty clear from this
    sentence cthat you WANT to see McCain win the debates and the
    election. If you’re a Democrat who shares any of Hillary’s values
    or positions, I find it hard to understand your desire here. She
    and Bill both support Obama and for good reason.
    OTOH, if you’re a McCain supporter–then I don’t understand
    why you don’t just say so and lay it out. It would be the honest
    thing to do, and you at least appear to care about honesty.
    Looking forward to your response.

    Reply

  5. Mr.Murder says:

    Ethics reform, where? IL has some of the most lax ethics laws anywhere. They essentially stripped the need to designate one’s self a lobbyist from the job description.
    See also Axelrod.

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    Authur..
    Where have you been?
    Dont’ stay away so long…I need to you to watch my back…LOL.

    Reply

  7. Tahoe Editor says:

    “What I’ve always liked about him is that he’s tried to see beyond the counter-productive categories and dialectical logjam that keep our politics dead in the water.” — Sweet
    I just don’t buy it. It’s a song & dance — there’s no proof in the pudding. He’s the most liberal member of the Senate proclaiming to be a post-partian uniter; then he selects a 30-year Senate relic who represents the same-old same-old and is the THIRD most liberal senator. I didn’t buy “uniter/not/a/divier” from W, and I don’t buy it from Obama now. It seems like such a brain-dead way to suck up for votes.
    I guess I’m a trust-but-verify kind of guy. And I can’t verify any of this shtick, so the trust just isn’t there.
    I also think he is Mr. Indecision and Mr. Uncourageous (voting “present”). He had three different responses to Georgia — 1 for each 100 foreign policy advisers, I guess. I have this vision of him standing in front of the United Nations calling on “all sides” to “show restraint once and for all” and then leading the delegates in a few verses of Kum Ba Yah.
    What’s up with the “10,000 people were killed by this tornado” gaffe when 10 people died? I can understand lots & lots of gaffes, but if you don’t have a grasp on the scale of things, it’s worrisome. He was there on the scene.
    Here’s how I don’t vote:
    I never voted in Washington, D.C., because of course the Democrat had a lock on it no matter what so my vote didn’t count in this faux democracy.
    Now that I’m in Nevada it’s clear to me that the Ron Paul folks are creaming for Palin. Nevada has no income tax. Obama can bluff us with his 57-state strategy, but I’ll send you flowers if he takes the Battle Born State.
    Dig Lieberman driving a wedge between Bill & Barack tonight in St. Paul:
    “Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record — not in these tough times.
    “In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party.
    “Contrast that to John McCain’s record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget.”
    This illustrates it for me. Either say you’re a super liberal and act like it, or say you’re a post-partisan compromiser and act like it; either way you get some legitimate support. But break out the smoke & mirrors — not to mention all the identity politics — to try to be all things to all people, and you’ve lost me.
    The list of his bipartisan accomplishments:
    1. nuke security
    2. “ethics reform”
    That takes a lot of courage.
    When Obama told the Reno-Gazette Journal that the Republicans were the party of ideas and Reagan was the transformative leader, and said the Clinton Years were as same as the Bush Years, it just said to me that he would tell anyone whatever he thought they wanted to hear, and that he sees himself as The New Answer To Everything, History Be Damned. That’s all well and good, but if you have such an out-of-this-world gift for cognitive dissonance when you campaign, you really need to convince people you know what you’re talking about when it comes to debate. And in every debate I felt he had literally, LITERALLY (props to Mr. Biden) no idea what he was talking about. He is the ultimate TelePrompTer candidate.
    I’m really REALLY looking forward to ALL the debates.

    OBAMA MAKES HISTORY:
    http://www.politicalcartoons.com/cartoon/4a624313-6555-4b21-b0c9-7f7fe7061423.html

    Reply

  8. pauline says:

    Palin Dragging Feet on Probe
    By Zachary Roth – September 2, 2008, 3:57PM
    Since the announcement in late July that a bipartisan committee of the Alaska Legislature has hired an independent investigator to look into Trooper-Gate, Sarah Palin’s office has consistently pledged to cooperate fully with the probe.
    At first, that cooperation appeared to be forthcoming. Legislators announced in mid-August that they didn’t expect to have to issue subpoenas, because the governor’s office was being so amenable.
    But it looks like all the happy talk is no longer operative. Judging from a report in The Anchorage Daily News today, Palin now appears to be pursuing a strategy of slow-rolling the probe.
    Her lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, argued in a letter to the independent investigator Steve Branchflower that the case should not be even be handled by the legislature, but rather by the state personnel board — whose members are appointed by the governor — since it is “statutorily mandated” to handle ethics complaints. He also asked for all witness statements, documents and other materials collected in the course of the investigation. Perhaps most ominously, Van Flein wrote that the investigation is “bad timing”, thanks to Palin’s selection as John McCain’s running mate, and that he couldn’t guarantee that she’d be free to sit down for her deposition this month.
    In a written response to Van Flein, Sen. Hollis French, the Democrat who heads the committee overseeing the probe, asserted that the legislature has its own power of investigation, and said that he has instructed Branchflower not to provide the requested documents. And French warned that if witnesses were not made available, he would issue subpoenas.
    Van Flein and French escalated their war of words in the ADN.
    “Our concern is that Hollis French turns into Ken Starr and uses public money to pursue a political vendetta rather than truly pursue an honest inquiry into an alleged ethics issue,” Van Flein told the paper.
    In response, French asked: “How does he explain the unanimous vote (to pursue the investigation) by the Republican-dominated Legislative Council?”
    Later, French added, “It’s too bad the governor has stooped to hiring a name-calling lawyer. That doesn’t seem very open and transparent does it?”
    The investigation is focused on Palin’s alleged involvement in an effort to fire a state trooper who had had been embroiled in a bitter dispute with Palin’s family. The state’s former public safety commissioner has asserted that he was fired for failing to fire the trooper.

    Reply

  9. William Jemsem says:

    Steve, sometimes I wonder if you get it. You seem to get to the right answer, but for someone with his own blog you and your friends are generally about a week behind.

    Reply

  10. Sweetness says:

    “The point is authenticity:”
    To be honest with you, T, the above-quoted is the only piece of
    your post I understand. But I’ll go with that. I guess you think
    Obama is inauthentic because he talks about change while doing
    many of the things ordinary politicians do, like say the Clintons
    or the McCains.
    Well, I don’t read Obama as claiming to be a politician like no
    other we’ve ever seen. Pure as the driven snow, etc., etc. Yes; he
    wants fundamental change in how things are done. Yes he
    wants to turn the page. But he’s also said and shown that
    fundamental change does not occur in a straight line and is not
    achieved through (counter-productive) rigid adherence to a
    point of view. For some people that means that he has no point
    of view. I don’t feel that way; that’s not what I get from him,
    even when I’m disappointed in what he does.
    Just for the record, I was never impressed much with his
    opposition to the Iraq war in 2002. He didn’t have to vote on it.
    And I’m not sure he would have voted naye had he been in the
    Senate. Nor did I ever believe he was going to get the troops
    out of Iraq the next day or faster than anyone else. Nor was I
    angry that Hillary didn’t apologize or grovel for her vote. Had
    she won the primary, I would have voted for her easily.
    What I’ve always liked about him is that he’s tried to see beyond
    the counter-productive categories and dialectical logjam that
    keep our politics dead in the water. I’ve always liked his
    thoughtfulness about tough issues–his attempt to see the
    other side and do the right thing. He’s a mature human being in
    a way that GWB and McCain are not. He’s cool under pressure in
    a way that neither of those two are. He’s a good communicator.
    But he’s hardly without fault. During his campaign with Hillary,
    he said some things I felt were wrong, but none of them were
    out of political bounds in my view–and I felt the same (mostly)
    about what Hillary said.
    Anyway, here’s how I vote: I recognize that my vote for
    president is a blunt tool for change. I can’t predict or control
    how any candidate will act once in office. So I squint and take a
    broad view of the person: What basic direction does he want to
    go? What is he like as a person in a broad sense? And what has
    he done or experienced? All of that goes into a big mixing bowl
    and, at the end of the day, out comes my decision. I try not to
    get too hung up on individual decisions or votes I don’t like.
    I’m inclined to vote Democratic unless a Republican makes a
    VERY good case only because, in general, in the broad view, my
    values are Democratic and not Republican. I don’t vote third
    party because none of the third parties have really become
    parties. You don’t see Libertarian or Green dog catchers that I
    know of. You don’t even see much (or anything) in the way of
    state representatives. The Greens debacle in the Santorum fight
    was disgraceful. Nader pops up every four years, but why
    doesn’t he run for the House or Senate or Governor?
    But even though the vote is a blunt instrument, it is an important
    one–mostly for keeping bad guys out of the office. It’s not that
    Gore would have been such a brilliant president–though I think
    he would have been quite good–it’s that NOT having GWB in
    office, in my estimation, made that vote very important. Same
    this time around.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen says:

    Sweetness….huntin n fishing n. drinkin a beer with…..I think the only change we’re in store for is chump change …

    Reply

  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    The point is authenticity: Obama’s experience is talking a lot about Changeâ„¢ while exploiting the dirty Chicago machine and grease-poling his way toward self-promotion: talk Changeâ„¢, but support the status quo (hello Joe Biden).
    Unfortunately for the Obama campaign, McCain has found someone who has been making Changeâ„¢ since Day 1.
    We’ve been led to believe that Obama’s Changeâ„¢ will start once he’s in the Oval Office. But his wife has already said his spine can only sustain so many years in Washington. Why would America Believeâ„¢ that spine can make it through one term in the White House, when it’s not even stiff enough to hold a single Senate hearing?
    What happened to Changeâ„¢ We Can Believeâ„¢ In, anyway? I guess it’s gone, now that Obama has slain Hillary, aka the Changeâ„¢ We Can’t Believeâ„¢ In.
    Now it’s Changeâ„¢ We Needâ„¢ — an admission that the O-Train has lots its monopoly on Changeâ„¢. But I don’t know that we Needâ„¢ Obama’s Changeâ„¢. I still don’t even know what it is, except him in power. Oh, and our soldiers bleeding red & blue together. But that’s the case already, right?
    THE LEFT ALWAYS COUNTS ITS PRESIDENTIAL CHICKENS BEFORE THEY’RE HATCHED
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/palin_has_pushed_the_left_over.html

    Reply

  13. Sweetness says:

    Sorry, Tahoe, you miss my point.
    The experience vs. inexperience debate is immaterial, IMO. Yes,
    all things considered, you want experience, but it’s not a
    sufficient criterion. But going for inexperience as some sort of
    desideratum–as some here suggest–as if it were the
    equivalent of fresh new ideas–is ridiculous.
    If the person is experienced, you want to see what he did with
    his experience. If the person is experienced, you want to see
    what kind of experience he has…how weighty it is, etc. You
    want to see what he’s done with his life…the judgements he’s
    made…how he looks at the world…how thoughtful he is…the
    values he seems to hold to…his decision-making process.
    In my book, Obama outranks Palin and McCain on these scores,
    though I understand, T, that you don’t agree. And if Americans
    get taken in by Palin’s aw shucks, fishin’ n’ huntin’ and
    snowmobilin’ and shootin’ in a bikini persona because it reminds
    them of themselves…well, we’ve just gone through 8 years of
    just that…and I’m sure we can go through 4-8 more.

    Reply

  14. Sweetness says:

    Hmmm. Is it fresh blood and new thinking, as Rich asserts…or is it
    just inexperience? If coming from the city is no guarantee of
    wisdom…why should coming from a small town be more fertile
    ground for sound thinkers? I understand how this fits with
    American Jeffersonian mythology and why it might play well with
    certain segments of the population, but is it TRUE?
    Nixon came from a small town…
    Reagan was a small town boy…
    Bush had abundant inexperience…
    By contrast JFK, FDR, Wilson, TR were all pretty sophisticated.

    Reply

  15. Tahoe Editor says:

    Luckily, Obama has promised to meet 21st-century challenges with 21st-century bureaucracies.

    Reply

  16. Kathleen says:

    Interesting article by Geroge Lakoff, author of The Political Mind: Why you can’t understand 20th Century politics with an 18th Century mind…. as for 21st Century Politics, fuggeddaboudit…
    http://www.alternet.org/election08/97193/?page=entire
    Speaking strictly from a PR perspective, the choice of a woman was brilliant…it completely upstaged BO coming out the door and wiped him off the screens…all over America, women making poitato salad for Labor Day picnics were talking about Palin, not BO’s sermon on the mount and asking why Hillary isn’t on the ticket.
    One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the voting public is a fickle beast….just look at how the opinions right on this site have shifted….as I pay off all those bets I made that Hillary would be Veep, I’m reminded of this….I’m going back to the beach, Carry on, team .. incidentally, over the weekend at the beach, every single person asked me what I thought about McCain’s choice of Palin….not one asked what I thought about BO’s speech….including the men. Don’t know what the polls will show, vis a vis the convention bounce for Demz.
    Carroll. I think you’re exactly right….JohnH ooooh, spatter… that’s a big No No in the best kitchens..teeheee…Louise…my daughter keeps calling me from CA to ask questions… one was why is the press so mean to Michele and easy on Cindy… good question….I want to know why the MSM was foaming at the mouth about Cindy stealing cookie recipes instead of asking why she stole meds form the Feds that were from a supply of meds for 3rd world countries….my daughter was an Edwards supporter and is crestfallen over his affair…she liked that wholesome family appearance anyway and is now feeling disillusioned….life is a bumpy road.
    arthurdecco…I’ve been wondering where you wer…welcome back

    Reply

  17. Tahoe Editor says:

    Let’s all move to Europe — Obama has secured the vote there.

    Reply

  18. questions says:

    Oh, and public transit, no sprawl, or at least a whole lot less sprawl, small cars that get 45-50 miles per gallon, front porch in-town density, fewer roads and fewer people killed in traffic accidents, less oil money flowing into the market and distorting foreign policy, maybe fewer wars to support the oil economy, less plastic…. There are alternative ways to live Tahoe.
    INTERRUPT THE MEME ’08

    Reply

  19. Tahoe Editor says:

    “first class bullshit artist” — she just may out-Biden Biden!
    “Ladies & gentlemen, let me tell you how terrible the Alaska pipeline has been for this nation. If we had followed my 30-year record of judgment, we’d have a pristine frontier and $7-a-gallon gasoline.”
    Biden-Obama ’08

    Reply

  20. polly says:

    In the debates, Palin being “highly intelligent person with a strong personality” will quickly translate into a “first class bullshit artist” attempting to answer questions of which she knows nothing but what she has crammed into her head for the past month. And the all important “gravitas” meter will register “ditz.”

    Reply

  21. kotzabasis says:

    Those pigeons above who dare to strut where eagles fear to tread, i.e., in the art of prognosis, and predict that the “sizzle… could easily turn into a fizzle,” if Palin’s performance in the debates happened to be poor—which would be out of character for a highly intelligent person with a strong personality –and would even lead the Republican machinery to replace her, must be rudely reminded that the art of Tiresias, of prophesying, is a gift that nature bestows with Occam’s razor. And those that are unendowed with this gift and attempt to practice it finish with a lot of egg on their face.

    Reply

  22. Mr.Murder says:

    Bill Clinton also had two SAC air force bases in his state when he was Governor, he was quite familiar with seeing to needs of military communities.

    Reply

  23. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama’s nomination calls into question the entire Democratic Party’s judgment.
    POLITICO: NEW PALIN DETAILS MAY HELP, NOT HURT
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13062_Page2.html
    THE LIBERTARIAN CASE FOR PALIN
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/the_libertarian_case_for_palin.html

    Reply

  24. Cadmus says:

    I think we are missing the point that this whole controversy calls into question McCain’s judgment.
    This was the single most important decision McCain has ever made (so far) and he completely flubbed it. Sure, you and splice and dice this and claim it makes sense for any number of identity politics reasons, but judged by the standards of whether Palin is qualified, well, I’m a history teacher, and I’d give this assignment an “F” grade.

    Reply

  25. arthurdecco says:

    Posted by Carroll Sep 01, 3:55PM: “I saw a very elitist remark by someone on Palin about her being a ‘small town girl’ and not having the ‘intellectual qualifications’ she would have if she were from a ‘cosmopolitan setting’. LOL”
    You’re post was as persuasive and intelligent as ever, Carroll… (I’ve been away for a while…I hafta say – its always good to come back to incisive good sense like yours before I’m exposed to too much of the opposite. [wink])
    Speaking of which: Tahoe Editor, thanks for the comedic interludes.
    Inciteful post, rich – thanks.

    Reply

  26. rich says:

    Steve is right: Gov. Palin adds sizzle to McCain’s comatose campaign, and as long as she can make the transition into the national dialogue, her handlers will craft a message that defines Palin as a can-do, pork-fighting, establishment-bucking Governor with the balls to call to spade a spade and the values to handle family life at the same time.
    You critics upthread don’t have a leg to stand on, because you’re not Sarah Palin’s target demographic: she’s just not after your votes.
    1. The Bridge to Nowhere ‘contradiction’ doesn’t matter because all politicians rightly want some pork, esp in Alaska, where you have to bring home the bacon. But Palin did what NO other Republican had the balls and political savvy to do: she killed it. At the height of the greedhead piggery of the Alaskan delegations, with the Bridge to Nowhere a national embarrassment and a symbol of Republican corrupt pork and massive overspending, only Sarah Palin had the gumption and political acumen to slay that sucker, forthwith and without hesitation.
    Not only that, Alaska would get the money in another form. It’s a two-fer. Tahoe Editor is dead on. Palin gets credit for killing an infamously massive pork project, and comes off as politically courageous and budget conscious to boot.
    2. Experience. This angle is a joke. I don’t agree with Sarah Palin’s politics, but she deserves better. We need new blood; younger Presidents; new ideas. This country will be far better off drawing from a wider candidate pool, regardless of station in life or length of resume. We just got through hearing Sen. Obama bashed, ridiculously, for supposedly being unqualified, as though America is somehow well-served by 75 year-old candidates who’ve spent the last half-century ossifying in the Senate. We need Presidents in their prime, agile thinkers and fresh personalities who are, you know, capable of doing their own email and shooting moose.
    3. The pro-life/pro-choice complaint. You’re kidding, right? Sarah Palin doesn’t want your vote! More important, she doesn’t need it. Millions of conservative women who want that career without giving up their traditionally-defined power, without ‘becoming a feminist’ and esp without giving up cultural status or their place in the family—are jumping up and down right now.
    If you’re not clear why that’s a powerful story, then you weren’t paying attention to the reasons classic feminism failed to win over conservative women who were already empowered by traditional roles and positions of power.
    Same goes for the pregnancy thing. If she went to great lengths to protect her daughter, she’ll be hailed as a hero by every pro-life family that felt obliged to do the same thing. (Steve–saw an earlier photo of a pregnant Palin, and it’s a stark difference; I’m unconvinced but really don’t care about this.) Same for flying around the country: she did her job and brought a child with Down’s Syndrome into the world. Cutting her down for that will carry NO weight whatsoever with the Republican base. None. Sarah Palin would take on a grizzly that came after her family, too, so this will only add to her appeal if she plays it right.
    4. I am woman, hear me roar. These petty contradictions just are not going to fly with Palin’s likely voters. They don’t matter and don’t factor into the decison making. As long as she’s appealing, likeable, and can hold her own in the national dialogue, nobody’s gonna hold her to the standards of liberal orthododoxy set by a disgruntled feminists or peeved progressives.
    In fact, attacking her on those terms will not only win her sympathy, it’ll confirm every cherished stereotype right-wingers hold about liberals, from heavy-handed attitude to plain disrespect to an unpragmatic dogmatism.
    Besides, who wouldn’t want to vote for THIS:
    http://www.secretsofsarahpalin.com/2008/09/01/sarah-palin-in-a-bikini-with-assault-rifle-2/
    I have no doubt Sarah Palin could go down or implode spectacularly for all the conventional reasons. But the squawking gotchas that have everybody up in arms aren’t gonna cut it. So far all anyone can accuse her of is having courage and being human.

    Reply

  27. Tahoe Editor says:

    Here’s the arc of the Bridge To Nowhere Narrative: She was for it before she was against it, but she was against it before anyone else. She figured it out and then showed some LEADERSHIP. So keep crying about it. I was just listening to Air America and they are plastering “LIAR” labels all over her because of all these family rumors and spouting off about her birth choices. Trust me, prying into her family life is not a winning strategy. Bristol’s pregnancy is not news at home; Palin has been too busy governing to make sure that every Sunday talk show mentions her daughter’s pregnancy. Her PR shop isn’t at the core of her values, as is Obama’s. You keep saying I haven’t addressed “TrooperGate” though I’ve said over & over that I really think America won’t come down on a woman who wants to take away a wife-beater’s badge.
    SEN. GRAHAM: She has done things that Barack Obama would never dream of. To go in her state and say, I’m not going to build a bridge to nowhere, a $400 million appropriation that was passed by brute force in the Congress between two senior members of the congressional delegation, very powerful figures in Washington, and for her to say to the citizens of Alaska, we’re not going to do this because this is not necessary and it’s wasteful, to take on your own party.
    MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But she turned against that only — she campaigned for it in her 2006 race and turned against it in 2007 only after it became a national joke.
    SEN. GRAHAM: The point is that she had the courage to say we’re not going to do it because it’s not the right signal we want to send to everybody else from Alaska. She took on the Republican Party chairman and called him unethical. She took on the attorney general, who eventually resigned because he was doing things that were inappropriate. I’m in politics. I voted against the bridge to nowhere. I was one of 14. It scared the heck out of me because I knew what was going to come my way. I can’t imagine being the governor of the state and telling the people who were able to secure the bridge, “We’re not going to do it.”

    Reply

  28. Hank Essay says:

    Given what the right-wing has done over the past 16 years, the smears, the slime, the sleaze, the attacks, everything connected to the complete personal war on Democratic candidates for President (see Clinton 92, Gore 2000, Kerry 2004), any Republican candidate for President or Vice President does not deserve one second of respect, decency or concern about “internet attacks.”
    Steve, stick with foreign policy. It is where you are strongest. Leave the domestic political battles to those who take no quarter from their enemies.

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    POA, my devious mind sadly, sort of works the way yours does — on this issue at any rate. Except that there’s a piece out abut their neighbors’ having known about Bristol’s pregnancy for quite some time. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But I for one, don’t always know when, and I have not at all made up my mind. But I think that the repubs are in a hubbub over it, so all the complaining about that dirty filthy site dkos is bluster to cover what may have been a successful insurgency of sorts.
    Reports out (even Andrea Mitchell via Huff) that a team has gone to Alaska to do “deep” vetting….
    Levi, hmmm. But I’m happy to be proven oh so wrong….
    What about Charlie Crist’s marriage while we’re at it? Anyone hear anything?!!
    And Louise, you’re totally right. The Obamas were really targeted for personal things, for stuff that the Repubs now freak about. Hypocrisy, of course.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    My bet?
    After Bristol’s current “pregnancy” has succeeded in quelling the “who’s Trig’s mom?” question, Bristol will suffer a “miscarraige”, and the current pregnancy will convieniently dissappear, as will, no doubt, the impending marraige.
    I hope the jackass Tahoe copies and saves this post, so that one of two things can happen. I get to rub his face in my accurate prediction, or he gets to rub my face in my inaccurate prediction.
    In the meantime, has Tahoe yet addressed the IRREFUTABLE fact that both he and Palin have LIED to us about both Troopergate and “The Bridge to Nowhere”?

    Reply

  31. Louise says:

    [I accidently posted this in the wrong place previously.]
    I don’t know who your “women friends” are — but my women friends — and myself — find Sarah Palin to be an insult to women politicians and to women in general. And her family, while somewhat average, is a joke when you look at them on the national stage.
    We also think the press has given Palin and McCain too MUCH of an easy deal.
    And, finally we find the hypocrisy of the MSM, the Republican Party and Fundamentalist Christians to be breathtakingly SINFUL AND SHAMEFUL.
    Is that clear enough for you?
    After how the Obamas had to “prove” they were patriotic and “real” Americans, it is disgusting to find out that all it takes to be considered “authentic” and “All-American” by the Right Wing in this country is to act like Trailer Park Trash. Trailer Park Trash that is able to get their own segment on The Gerry Springer Show.
    It has been sickening. And if this continues to play out — that less educated, less accomplished white people can act in immoral and ignorant ways while educated and substantive minorities have to be saints — this country is truly a racist and shameful place.

    Reply

  32. Tahoe Editor says:

    pure idiocy

    Reply

  33. Greg says:

    Here’s what’s going to happen, and here’s how it’ll be spun:
    What’ll happen: Ms. Palin will become an embarrassment with the continual bad news that emerges; she will be asked to leave the ticket, and in exchange for falling on her sword she’ll be ‘taken care of’ through back channels.
    How it’ll be spun:
    Out of nowhere, her youngest child will need more care than Ms. Palin can provide while maintaining a campaign schedule. The VP candidate will ask McCain to release her from her VP candidacy so she can focus on her daughter’s poor health. McCain will grudgingly agree and wish her and her family the best of health. McCain will then be touting his pro-family credentials and choose another candidate. All before the election.
    Just wait 2 weeks.

    Reply

  34. N says:

    I don’t know about all of this – my sense is that once the initial glow fades, voters will be facing a VP nominee who is disappointing on many fronts.
    As Andrew Sullivan has pointed out, it’s not the lack of foreign-policy experience – it’s the lack of any *interest* in foreign policy whatsoever. When Sarah Palin was interviewed about the surge in 2006, she had no opinion and said she hadn’t been paying very much attention to the Iraq War. This isn’t someone who is fit to be commander-in-chief (or a step away from that position).
    And that’s to say nothing of the fact that she’s only partway through her first term as a governor of a state with only about 600,000 people – still just a few steps removed from a small-town mayor. I’m just appalled that John McCain thinks voters are gullible enough to fall for this.

    Reply

  35. Pal Metto 2 says:

    I plainly do remember the campaign here in Carolina when Bush brought to our attention that McCain took in a Negro child that his wife gave birth to, and I thought that was a fine thing McCain did in taking care of a child that was not his although his wife got impregnated through weakness. And it is doubly impressive that she had such great respect for the sanctity of Life that she did not do something awful. I have respected McCain and his family for there decisions ever since the day I learned about his big heart in this matter. And here now the same with Palin. She handled the matter in the very understanding and loving way. We all are not perfect and need to understand human frailties and desires, and the sins of the flesh are the most despairing of them all, but we must try to forgive and make the best of the situation.

    Reply

  36. Tahoe Editor says:

    “The GOP has become the party of chaining women to the kitchen sink”
    What nonsense. Palin is the mother of five AND the executive in charge of one of our 50 states. Dems like Alterman are the Neanderthals trotting out lines like, “She has a Down baby so she should stay at home.”
    GOP, flipping the tables since 1980.

    Reply

  37. We're Screwed says:

    Hey Don, I would venture to guess that you’ve never been
    pregnant. Have you ever had sex? After that sex, if you have
    ever had sex Don, I would venture to guess (that is, if you are
    indeed a male and had it with a female) that you didn’t worry
    that you might be pregnant.
    If you are a biological male who did get pregnant, please do tell!
    That’ll blow the whole Edwards/ Palin news way out of the
    headlines! Don Bacon, fully male, is pregnant! Wow, the world
    will stop in its tracks.
    Don, as an (I’ll assume) male, what do you think that it would
    feel like to worry that your life, your college courses, your
    marriage, your ability to work, might be destroyed because
    some hypocritical know-nothing asshole in D.C., such as Sarah
    Palin, decides that you are not allowed to chose when you get
    pregnant?
    Why Don, should the government have that much control over
    your or my life?
    GOP the party of SMALL GOVERNMENT my a*ss. It’s coming into
    not just the bedrooms of the dreaded homosexuals, but now
    Sarah Palin is advocating that the U.S. government comes into
    the bedrooms of happily married, heterosexual couples!
    And Palin’s poor daughter is not married BUT PREGNANT!
    Abstinence works! Just not for the Palin family whose mother
    wants to shove it down the women of America’s wombs.
    The GOP has become the party of chaining women to the kitchen
    sink with the help of idiots/ hypocrites like Sarah Palin, and you
    Don.
    Have you ever had sex Don? I really do want to know. And did
    you use protection? A condom? Has one ever broken on you
    Don?
    If it did, or if other methods of birth control failed, did you
    promise your partner, that is, if she were female, that you would
    provide for your child for life, should she have conceived?
    Or did you walk away, trusting that she would take care of
    things even if it ruined any chance she had at a life?
    I do want to know. More than 1/2 of this country is female, and
    you can bet your last dollar that we will not put up with
    hypocrites like Sarah Palin, and self-admitted adulterer John
    McBush, telling us we cannot use birth control.
    I am pro-life. I have never had an abortion even when faced with
    two high-risk pregnancies, but the government, and hypocrites
    like Sarah Palin better get the F out of my womb. And I do mean
    F.
    Don, were you immaculately conceived, or did your parents have
    to F to get you here? I do want to know, since you seem like you
    feel like you walk on water.
    See, Don the rest of us got here because our parents Fed. It’s
    kind of natural, well, to most people.
    Talk about being obsessed with sex — it’s usually people who
    don’t have any… AHEM.
    I want control over my life and part of that control is choosing
    when I will procreate.
    Again, the idea that the McCain/Palin GOP is the party of small
    government makes a mockery of the old, real, small government
    get out my bedroom, don’t invade the world, libertarian GOP.

    Reply

  38. Tahoe Editor says:

    Yep — gun-toting Bible thumpers who cling to antipathy toward those who aren’t like them. The Dems are on message.

    Reply

  39. Reg says:

    The Palin family sounds like a dysfunctional version of the Clampetts.

    Reply

  40. Don Bacon says:

    “We’re screwed” is living up to her moniker. Her obsession with sex and babies has added sizzle to the TWN blog-site, as she rants on about her own past sex life and what she did and did not do, and what Palin did or should not have done.
    Feminista values vs. family values? No contest.

    Reply

  41. Tahoe Editor says:

    That’s right! Keep not taking her seriously. Push the line that MCCAIN IS NOT QUALIFIED! You only have about 50 points in the polls to move, but don’t lose that “Yes We Can” spirit!

    Reply

  42. George says:

    Trolls notwithstanding, this really has little to do with Governor Palin. It has everything to do with McCain’s poor judgment, his apparent lack of control of his own campaign, and generally sloppy, bush-league work. His first big decision is nothing but a poorly executed mess. McCain is the one not qualified to be President.
    As far as a refocus on family values, balderdash. The religious right wing of the Republican party has always been focused on their version of family values, and it’s fun to watch them cry for abstinence on the one hand, and then forget their values when things go awry in AK–IOKIYAR.

    Reply

  43. Tahoe Editor says:

    RCP Avg = +4.5 Obama
    After a GOP convention that introduces its own version of Changeâ„¢ while scaling down the flashiness in favor of a massive fundraiser for Gustav — nevermind Palin’s announcement has already started the money rolling in — I expect things will … Changeâ„¢.

    Reply

  44. Tahoe Editor says:

    “We’re Screwed” is totally falling for it. If you want Obama in the White House, then spouting off about Palin’s birth choices and screaming that a Christian mother of five is hurting her family is chewing off your own arm.
    I’ve said it before: HORDES of women hate Hillary, my own mother included. Many of them will ADORE Sarah Palin — in the South, in the West — everywhere.
    The left is getting sucked into a family-values debate, and their standard-bearer wants no unwanted child born alive to have a fighting chance. He doesn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby.”
    This refocus on family values — plus the drastic indictment of the Obama-Biden ticket’s faux change (Chicago corruption) — will send the Dems packing in November.

    Reply

  45. susan says:

    Here’s a new poll for you, Steve:
    CBS: Obama 48%, McCain 40%.

    Reply

  46. Roberto Antonio Hussein says:

    Hi Steve,
    I cannot believe women are going to find Sarah Palin attractive and dynamic enough to vote for her. What is her vita? That she was a governor of Alaska! Is she capable of becoming president? Does anyone really think she is! And how about her five kids all under 17?
    Sure Palin is articulate and bright, but to run for vice president is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?
    McCain must be desperate.
    As for Obama and Biden, of course they should treat up with respect, avoid being condescending or disrespectful.

    Reply

  47. We're Screwed says:

    McCain knew about Bristol’s pregnancy before he chose Palin.
    James “Focus on the Family” Dobson, has, as I predicted, come
    out in support of the Palin family. I was no fan of Clinton (hated
    both of them) but wasn’t he “human” too, and wow, if Chelsea
    had gotten pregnant at 17, or even now, without being
    married…
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/dobson-
    on-brist.html
    OMG: TWN has been invaded by the Freepers from Free Republic
    and/or other right wing nuts
    — I would call them Neanderthals but it’s just been proven that
    Neanderthal’s used tools as sophisticated as our ancestors.
    But some right wing fringe element group has invaded TWN —
    there is no other way to explain the nonsensical, illogical, and
    just basically stupid comments on the last thread about Palin.
    Tahoe Editor has called in reinforcements, so my advice would
    be, DO NOT FEED T.E. and his trolls. They’re wasting your time –
    – why spend your Labor Day arguing with morons?
    No matter what:
    * Palin endangered her son, WILLINGLY.
    * Palin (and McCain) thrust her pregnant, unwed, 17-year-old
    daughter into the international spotlight, and all the attendant
    embarrassment, willingly. I remember being 17 — I would have
    wanted to be swallowed up into the ground if I had gotten
    pregnant then and my high school knew it. Bristol Palin is
    pregnant and the entire world knows it, and HER OWN MOTHER
    and John McCain put her into that position and most probably
    into the shot-gun marriage.
    GOP family values my a*s.
    But don’t engage with Tahoe Editor and his fellow thugs, they
    have no moral or ethical leg to stand on, they just want to waste
    our time while attempting to convince Steve and the Powers That
    Be in D.C., that they represent the majority of the American
    people.

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    Carroll’s absolutely right about underestimating the potential appeal of Palin to Southern women. Which doesn’t speak real well for Southern women of course. But that potential appeal is very thin edged, and if the storyline breaks the wrong way, those same Southern gals will cut her off in a NY minute.

    Reply

  49. Chris says:

    What did McCain know and when did he know it? Are we absolutely sure McCain knew about this latest controversy beforehand? This all seems very strange to me. Or, is this yet another unpleasant surprise owing to McCain’s lack of vetting Palin? I really can’t believe that Senator McCain would have gone ahead with this choice if he really knew all of the facts. Should we not place the most emphasis on whether the veep choice is qualified? This seems to me an essential question too often overlooked in these ruminations about gender/class/religion/age/region/”sizzle factor” etc.

    Reply

  50. Robert M says:

    Tell your white women friends that they are full of it; their whiteness is showing. The nasty dirty BS written about Michelle Obama(http://michelleobamawatch.com/) pales compared to anything said about this woman. They have not said anything about protecting Michelle from SEXIST and RACIST comments.

    Reply

  51. Tahoe Editor says:

    varanassi = exactly the “LOL idiocy” Joe Trippi is trying to warn you all about:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/dems_shouldnt_underestimate_pa.html

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    We know the media measures the right wingers with a whole different yardstick than they apply to “liberals” and “progressives”, not to mention “sensible centrists”.
    So its really not surprising that someone [and their story] so bizarre, who would have been laughed out of the room by wingers had it not been one of their own, is somehow accepted as potentially serious, even as more fat drops into the pan every few hours.
    You can call it sizzle. I’ll just feel comfortable calling it pathetic entertainiment. And no, as an America adult who pays taxes and expects a minimal amount of professionalism in his government, I don’t find one little bit of the whole ‘sizzlin Palin saga amusing. I’ll start watching porn flicks before I take little Miss Palin and her soulmate Johnny McSame seriously. Sizzle or no sizzle.
    Get serious America. This is not the time to lighten up, as Steve often chides us curmudgeons. This country is in a world of hurt, and continuing to validate that politics is foremost a Hollywood spectacle, even for a minute, makes us part of the problem, not part of the solution

    Reply

  53. JohnH says:

    Where there’s sizzle, there’s spatter…

    Reply

  54. Zathras says:

    Traditionally, American politicians have not found success by becoming objects of sympathy, let alone pity. In recent years that has changed.
    Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush sought to galvanize their respective supporters by complaining about all the mean things being said about them by political opponents and the media. To a large extent, this tactic worked; it worked also for Hillary Clinton, who got her best press when she complained about being treated unfairly. It arguably even worked for Barack Obama, though this assertion rests largely on the reaction of black Democratic voters to a mildly uncomplimentary comparison Bill Clinton made between Obama’s candidacy and Jesse Jackson’s twenty years ago.
    Right now the people reacting positively to Sarah Palin fall into two categories. First are the people who care primarily about abortion. The other group, though, is composed of people who mostly just feel sorry for her — here is a working mom who is human and perky and has had five kids, and all these people are saying mean things about her. Boo hoo.
    I confess this is one aspect of modern American politics that goes a little bit over my head. Pity is not high among the reasons I would ever vote for someone, not to fill an important public office and certainly not for national office. Someone has been governor of a small state for a few months and is being talked about as if she didn’t know much about national security, foreign policy or other issues not directly involving the state of Alaska and the oil industry? Prove otherwise or get lost. For heaven’s sake, I could pass that test myself, and I’m supposed to feel sorry for Sarah Palin?
    But that’s me, and a great many other Americans clearly view the matter differently. It matters a lot to some of them that Gov. Palin’s family affairs have become the subject of unkind remarks and even humor — a lot more than the fact that there isn’t a lot else on her record about which to comment. There are even Americans (and I don’t mean talking heads with talking points recruited by CNN and Fox to display the former and repear the latter, but actual American voters) who think its really mean and unfair for people to point out that Palin has not only never done but has never said or written anything to suggest she could handle the Presidency.
    Eight years ago, millions of Americans didn’t think it was fair to speak unkindly of a Presidential candidate’s inability to navigate from one end of a complete English sentence to the other without a couple of sherpas and a guide dog. Look where that got us. One would think people had learned something, but perhaps not.

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  55. varanassi says:

    palin’s sizzle?
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    in case you guys missed it, the wheels have come of mccain’s campaign.
    he can’t run a vetting process and he wants to run our country?!
    you remember that old eddie murphy comedy routine about bones flying out of the mouth of a girlfriend with something to hide everytime she spoke?
    my guess is that this palin fiasco is going to produce more bones than a KFC dumpster.
    oh, she’s gonna sizzle alright!

    Reply

  56. Arun says:

    George Lakoff on dailykos:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/1/143642/9667/477/582282
    “But the Palin nomination changes the game. The initial response has been to try to keep the focus on external realities, the “issues,” and differences on the issues. But the Palin nomination is not basically about external realities and what Democrats call “issues,” but about the symbolic mechanisms of the political mind—the worldviews, frames, metaphors, cultural narratives, and stereotypes. The Republicans can’t win on realities. Her job is to speak the language of conservatism, activate the conservative view of the world, and use the advantages that conservatives have in dominating political discourse.”
    ….
    Conservative family values are strict and apply via metaphorical thought to the nation: good vs. evil, authority, the use of force, toughness and discipline, individual (versus social) responsibility, and tough love. Hence, social programs are immoral because they violate discipline and individual responsibility. Guns and the military show force and discipline. Man is above nature; hence no serious environmentalism. The market is the ultimate financial authority, requiring market discipline. In foreign policy, strength is use of the force. In fundamentalist religion, the Bible is the ultimate authority; hence no gay marriage. Such values are at the heart of radical conservatism. This is how John McCain was raised and how he plans to govern. And it is what he shares with Sarah Palin.
    Palin is the mom in the strict father family, upholding conservative values. Palin is tough: she shoots, skins, and eats caribou. She is disciplined: raising five kids with a major career. She lives her values: she has a Downs-syndrome baby that she refused to abort. She has the image of the ideal conservative mom: pretty, perky, feminine, Bible-toting, and fitting into the ideal conservative family. And she fits the stereotype of America as small-town America. It is Reagan’s morning-in-America image. Where Obama thought of capturing the West, she is running for Sweetheart of the West.
    And Palin, a member of Feminism For Life, is at the heart of the conservative feminist movement, which Ronee Schreiber has written about in her recent book, Righting Feminism. It is a powerful and growing movement that Democrats have barely paid attention to.
    At the same time, Palin is masterful at the Republican game of taking the Democrats’ language and reframing it—putting conservative frames to progressive words: Reform, prosperity, peace. She is also masterful at using the progressive narratives: she’s from the working class, working her way up from hockey mom and the PTA to Mayor, Governor, and VP candidate. Her husband is a union member. She can say to the conservative populists that she is one of them—all the things that Obama and Biden have been saying. Bottom-up, not top-down.
    Yes, the McCain-Palin ticket is weak on the major realities. But it is strong on the symbolic dimension of politics that Republicans are so good at marketing. Just arguing the realities, the issues, the hard truths should be enough in times this bad, but the political mind and its response to symbolism cannot be ignored…….

    Reply

  57. Carroll says:

    I saw a very elitist remark by someone on Palin about her being a ‘small town girl’ and not having the ‘intellectual qualifications’ she would have if she were from a ‘cosmopolitan setting’. LOL
    The probelm with this..beside probably being made by a city person who in making it disproves his own theory….is that most of America, the ones who will most likley swing the vote are from small town America.
    So to all the other niche voter groups maybe we should add the ‘hyphen’..small town-americans.
    Maybe McCain just targeted another hyphen voter group to appeal to ..small town americans. If so, brillant! Maybe Rove did think this one up.
    I think it is a mistake to underestimate Palin’s appeal to some women, especially in the South. I can see her appealing to a lot of small town and rural type women.
    That is also why it is a big mistake to go after Palin so hard on her personal life or her inexperience..it is going to piss off a whole horde of lower income, working, rural women who think they are just as smart as anyone else and who tend to be the religious backbone of small town communities.
    If I were the dem debater I would go easy on the ‘inexperience’ issue and stick to drawing her out on the jobs problem, health care and economics. And on foreign policy issues without “putting her down” for her lack of travel and experience. And stay far, far away from the religious and morality issues. If the dems challenge Palin on ‘intellect’ or on moral issues instead of the domestic issues that affect these women they will just push this group farther away.

    Reply

  58. We're Screwed says:

    Just to prove the GOP’s utter hypocrisy, Palin’s child, Trig, was in
    the process of being born when she:
    * gave a speech a few hours AFTER her water broke.
    * embarked on not one but two LONG plane flights, with a stop-
    over in between, when any woman who wanted their premature,
    special needs child to survive the birth would have gone to the
    nearest hospital, if not NICU.
    * then did not go to the NICU in Anchorage, where Palin landed,
    but insisted on driving for about an hour to her tiny town, where
    she didn’t even have a gynecologist on hand, rather her family
    doctor.
    At any point in her journey (journeys) Palin could have gone into
    labor with at least some chance that her, again, special needs
    and premature, child would not survive.
    Pro-life? No– Palin’s actions might indicate that she was
    trying to have her own live-birth abortion. You don’t do what
    she did if you want your child to actually survive, much less
    thrive.
    Does anyone besides me get the sense that trolls from the
    Fundie sites, like Free Republic, have invaded TWN?
    Either that or TWN is having a massive attack of Stupid…
    Beyond that, Palin knew her daughter was pregnant, as did
    McCain, before accepting the VP slot. Yet again, both Palin and
    McCain showed that they are inherently anti-family by pushing
    this young girl, from a Christian Fundie background, into the
    international spotlight, when her family’s own religious beliefs
    would have averred that to be pregnant and not married would
    be shameful.
    The GOP and its trolls on here have no shame. The Democrats
    come in second this time.

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If the American people are so unbelievably stupid that they cannot see the insanity of handing someone like Palin the nuclear trigger, than they deserve to go up in a cloud of radioactive silca dust.
    You gotta be kiddin’ me.

    Reply

  60. Dan Kervick says:

    Yes, although the temporary sizzle is mainly on the cultural right, and even that could easily turn into a fizzle if Palin does notably poorly in the debates.
    My guess is that McCain campaign had become deeply concerned about the lack of enthusiasm on the cultural right and the general softness of their social conservative support, especially in the churches. Conservative Christian churches constitute much of the turn-out-the-vote machinery for the Republican party, but they are very suspicious of McCain. Plus Obama’s Christianity, and his comfort in speaking about it and the way it influences his thinking, have further eroded McCain’s support among evangelicals. People on the left seem to think that the Saddleback event was a big failure for Obama because evangelicals still overwhelmingly support Republicans. But Obama has successfully peeled at least some of this support, and perhaps even more importantly has succeeded in presenting himself as a Democrat that fewer evangelicals actively fear, and will work feverishly to defeat.
    It appears some conservatives began making a case for Palin in July, usually on culturally conservative grounds. But the “sizzle-based” case for Palin was presented by conservative political scientist William Ruger on August 2nd:
    http://www.adn.com/opinion/compass/story/481970.html
    What is notable about Ruger’s argument is how frankly and totally “political” it is – in the most shallow sense of the term “political”. It is all about Palin’s potential to appeal to voters as a personality, and even as a source of sex appeal. There is no attempt to argue that she should be the vice presidential nominee because is particularly well-qualified to be the emergency successor to the president. The only policy issue that is mentioned is oil drilling, and the idea that Palin’s support for this will help Republicans associate themselves with the pro-drilling position. This sort of all politics, all the time, attitude has become very common among Republicans in recent years, and is a symptom of their general contempt for government.
    I also believe, as I have said before, that part of the thinking behind the Palin selection was to use her as “bait” – in the way that an attractive undercover officer might be used as bait to lure a predator. They hoped that some overeager left-wing bloggers and activists would get much too personal and nasty in roughing her up, and that this could then be used to exploit Democratic rifts between Obama supporters and PUMAs, as well as to energize cultural conservative once again against the smug left-wing elitists, and nasty left-wing bloggers, they love to hate.
    If this was part of the plan, it has so far been depressingly successful, and the McCain campaign is exploiting it in press releases today.

    Reply

  61. Tahoe Editor says:

    Bay is right. Democrats need to come up with something better than “That’s Not Changeâ„¢.” And Change We Needâ„¢ might not cut it either.
    Palin, Corruption Fighter; Obama, Not
    “Palin has doggedly fought Alaska corruption, even though much of it has emerged from her own party. Barack Obama has not only tolerated graft in his own state, he has fed off of it.”
    No need to talk about how much Changeâ„¢ Biden brings to the ticket: Biden, 1978: No Alaska Pipeline! Biden, 2008: Drilling is a gimmick!
    http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26945118&sort=postdate

    Reply

  62. Frank C. says:

    Steve, you need to learn about survey research. The method here is comical. And Bay Buchanan is far from a neutral party.
    All Democrats need to do is respectfully draw contrast with Palin, kind of like how the convention handled McCain.
    Palin’s positions are WAY out of the US mainstream. Plus, she has rattling skeletons that the public will soon know of. And did your focus group know about Troopergate? About Bristol Palin? About hubby’s DUI? Etc. Of course her experience level is a joke, too, but Democrats don’t need to hit anything in this paragraph. Her record speaks for itself. No non-hard-right women will be fooled.

    Reply

  63. Arun says:

    Oops, I should have made it clear that the majority of the quote is sourced from Max Blumenthal.

    Reply

  64. CathiefromCanada says:

    Selecting someone as rigid, inexperienced, incurious and ill-prepared as Sarah Palin is an insult to Americans and particularly to the rest of the world — which used to look to the United States for leadership. Not anymore. Taylor Marsh calls her Miss Republican 2008 and that’s about as good a description as any.

    Reply

  65. Arun says:

    Who chose Palin?
    is answered by dday on digby’s blog:
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/yes-sarah-palin-was-vetted-by-dday-it.html
    Quote:
    It certainly doesn’t seem like it, given the stories that have emerged within the past 48-72 hours. Put she most certainly was vetted, only not by the McCain campaign. She was vetted by the only group that matters – the super-secretive Council for National Policy.
    The CNP deliberately operates below the radar, going to excessive lengths to obscure its activities. According to official CNP policy, “The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs before or after a meeting.” Thus the CNP’s Minneapolis gathering was free of reporters. I only learned of the get-together through an online commentary by one of its attendees, top Dobson/Focus on the Family flack Tom Minnery.
    Minnery described the mood as CNP members watched Palin accept her selection as John McCain’s Vice Presidential pick. “I was standing in the back of a ballroom filled with largely Republicans who were hoping against hope that something would put excitement back into this campaign,” Minnery said. “And I have to tell you, that speech by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin — people were on their seats applauding, cheering, yelling… That room in Minneapolis watching on the television screen was electrified. I have not seen anything like it in a long time.”
    Minnery added that his boss, Dobson, has yearned for a conservative female leader like Margaret Thatcher to emerge on the American scene. And while Palin is no Thatcher, “she has not rejected the feminine side of who she is, so for that reason, she will be attractive to conservative voters.”
    The members of the Council for National Policy are the hidden hand behind McCain’s Palin pick. With her selection, the Republican nominee is suddenly — and unexpectedly — assured of the support of a movement that once opposed his candidacy with all its might. Case in point: while Dobson once said he could “never” vote for McCain, he issued a statement last week hailing Palin as an “outstanding” choice. If Dobson’s enthusiasm for Palin is any indication, he may soon emerge from his bunker in Colorado Springs to endorse McCain, providing the Republican nominee with the grassroots support of the Christian right’s single most influential figure.
    —-

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  66. Steve Clemons says:

    Susan — thanks for this post. Please keep posting other poll results on the Palin choice. It’s useful to move my unscientific ten friends on the phone polling.
    all the best from Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  67. Christian Prophet says:

    Leftist arrogance will probably mask an underlying leftist terror over Sarah Palin. The question which will not be examined is whether she is more or less qualified than Barack Obama to be President. Read:
    http://christianprophecy.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  68. susan says:

    Palin May Solve McCain’s Sizzle Problem
    Or maybe not:
    http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/08/focusedthe_sequel.html
    Another week, another Frank Luntz/AARP focus group of undecided voters–this one in Minneapolis and with some bad news for John McCain: they don’t like the choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain. They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin…a fact that was reinforced when they were given hand-dials and asked to react to Palin’s speech at her first appearance with McCain on Friday—the dials remained totally neutral as Palin went through her heart-warming(?) biography, and only blipped upwards when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere–which wasn’t quite the truth, as we now know.
    Then there was this, from a woman named Teresa, who went to the Democratic Convention as a Hillary delegate and is leaning toward voting for McCain–obviously the target audience for the Palin pick: “His age didn’t really bother me until he picked Palin. What if he dies in office and leaves us with her as President? Also she leans toward the rigid right, and I always thought he was a moderate…You know, I change my mind almost every day, but right now I”m wondering where the John McCain I really liked in 2000 went, what happened to the moderate? This John McCain has the look of someone who is being manipulated–probably by Karl Rove.”
    Teresa still wasn’t willing to vote for Obama, whom she considers too inexperienced, but she was clearly wavering. Afterwards Luntz, good Republican that he is, made the case that Palin could win all these people back with a good convention speech, but that seemed far-fetched to me. They really saw this pick as a gimmick–and one that reflected badly on John McCain’s judgment.

    Reply

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