Saturday, August 30, 2008

President Palin?

It's indisputable that the first qualification a vice-president must have is the readiness to be president. In light of John McCain's age and health issues, that's particularly important this time around. We can debate Sarah Palin's intelligence, accomplishments, conservative bona fides, beauty, spunkiness, and marksmanship until they celebrate the summer solstice in Fairbanks next year. But if you like her on the ticket, and someone told you right now that McCain would win in November and have health problems next year that would either seriously impair his job performance or force him to step down, would you still support this choice? Of course that must be the operative question. Those who answer affirmatively say more about their intellectual honesty, I suspect, than Palin's qualifications.

Age is obviously a major factor here. Yes, Obama is also in his forties, only a few years older than Palin. How young is too young? Where do you draw the line? 40? 35? Why not 30? This is obviously fuzzy and subjective. But generically I simply don't think someone 44 years old is ready to be president. This is not Tbilisi, where the age guidelines for political and military leadership were lifted from the script of Logan's Run. Think about the people you know in their mid-forties. Or remember what you were like at that age. Or if you are that age, look in the mirror. I know a lot of very smart, extremely accomplished people in various professions who are Palin's age (and I'll be there myself in a couple of years). Purely in terms of "life experience" -- and under that rubric is a mix of confidence, maturity, perspective on human existence, and the steady internal gyroscope that's often a product of age -- none would be ready to sit in the Oval Office. It's almost strange to contemplate it. Hey, maybe I'm just projecting my own latent insecurities about age and accomplishment. Sort of like that first time, somewhere in your early twenties, when you suddenly notice that professional athletes your age are getting paid millions of dollars a year.

Of course Palin's age shouldn't be considered without context. What about personal and professional background? Some perspective: I've both lived and worked in Alaska, and have been to Wasilla. (If enough readers offer bribes, I might dig up a photo of me from the town. Between the bandana, weeks-old beard, and layers of mosquito repellent, I guarantee my anonymity here would be maintained. And by the way, considering the prominence of Alaska in the national discourse these days, I think more people should actually go there and have a look around instead of pontificating breezily about it as if it were one of the lower 48. It isn't.) Wasilla is a nice town in a great state. But there's Hawaii, Indonesia, Kenya, Washington, and the south side of Chicago. And there's Wasilla. There's absolutely no way you can stand in the middle of that small town and think that a 44-year-old whose formative personal and professional experience comes from there is ready to lead the free world. Yes, she's just barely got Juneau on her resume also. But unless you're ready to argue that the political landscape in the state with the lowest population density and the social dynamic in the Red Dog Saloon reflect the country as a whole, a short stint in Juneau -- the only state capital in the U.S. that has no roads leading into or out of it (how's that for some topical symbolism?) -- doesn't add a whole lot of heft to the experience column. Could we see the stamps in her passport, please? And perhaps a pop quiz about the difference between Shias and Sunnis, or the name of Pakistan's president?

We've seen this movie before. Don't the points that some on the Right are making in support of Palin sound dishearteningly similar in both tone and substance to ones made in 1988? Is the term Quaylin inappropriate? Those same conservatives who just discovered they're big Palin fans -- no doubt after first making a few phone calls to see what they think -- would do well to remember the lessons from twenty summers ago (that sound you hear is frantic Googling by the ruddy-cheeked young patriot set, stunned that U.S. political history didn't start with Monica). If they were really fans of Palin's, they'd prefer to wait a couple of election cycles instead of clamoring for a ticket to Quayle: The Sequel. But Republicans' Bush-perfected habit of subordinating competence to personal and political expedience continues. Throwing basically decent people into jobs they're not ready for à la Miers, Gonzales, McClellan, and Brownie should offend anyone who is truly interested in having competent people enter public service, because the inevitable result and ensuing public scorn make the best ones think twice before leaving the private sector. Hillary supporters, or women who might be tempted to vote for McCain solely because of Palin, should consider that dynamic. Hankering to see a woman in the Oval Office one day? The last thing you should want is for one who's not quite ready for the national stage to get yanked onto it. If she disappoints, your dream might be deferred for a long time.

Palin is a rising star with a bright future ahead of her. I like her libertarian streak, her open admiration for Ron Paul, her pro-life position, and her record on taxes, corruption, and wasteful spending. Her position on global warming, predictably, is less encouraging. (And I'm oddly comforted by her marijuana admission -- but can we please stop with the "I didn't like it" nonsense, a claim about as far from "I didn't inhale" as the width of a piece of rolling paper?) If McCain loses, hopefully any damage she suffers won't affect her future political viability. It would have been better -- for the country, conservatism, and ultimately Palin herself -- if she had a chance to mature a bit as a national figure and leader, away from the harsh scrutiny and 24-hour news cycle. But we've learned a lot about John McCain during this campaign. And in that respect, at least, his choice of Palin makes perfect sense.

47 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to read some sense here on this odd (and irresponsible) VP pick. I've just been doing a tour of some conservative blogs, and the level of enthusiasm amongst even some of the more sensible voices is astounding. I'm not sure my previously favourable opinion of Ross and Reihan will ever recover after reading their gushing coverage (Reihan rates the pick an A+!, and Ross's post reads like it was written by a 16 year old). Meanwhile, you have the rather strange bedfellows of Andrew Sullivan, Ramesh Ponnuru, and David Frum in the skeptics camp. I'll be interested to see how Larisson ways in when he get back from his vacation.

8/30/2008 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who thought that the right wouldn't sing the candidates highest praises once announced hasn't been paying attention the last twenty years. I'd even argue that the cheerleaders are having to heap on even more knowing that they have a Quayle-like selection. One thing to keep in mind, and this goes right to YOU CONSERVATIVES, McCain selected HER when he could have had anyone. I'm talking Romney, Pawlenky, Giuliani, Thompson...all the so-called saviors and brightest and bestust your press have been touting the last year. It's clearly a mark on him. Obama may be young and inexperienced in your eyes, but HE was selected by the voters from a small pool of candidates.

And for all of you stupid conservatives who are calling us DEMS sexist for wanting to destroy yet another female vying for the white house...how fucking hard would you be hitting Hilary Clinton right now if she was the nominee? Very! Why do you think WE didn't vote for her?

As for Palin...she won't make it to the election. As soon as the shine wears off and reasonable people have their say, there will be a movement to swap her out for someone different. She'll need to 'spend more time with her family' and get into the administration escape pod like so many others in this administration.

8/30/2008 8:02 AM  
Blogger Spider said...

The main thing problem I had, her age aside, is that she is currently under investigation for 2 ETHICS SCANDALS! How can the Republicans claim any, ANY moral ground in this campaign when the VP is currently embroiled in a scandal?

Then again, Dick Cheney.

But your argument applied with Dick Cheney. I didn't want the chance of having Darth Vader for President should the Shrub die. And I sure as hell don't want the governor of Alaska, (even if it wasn't Palin), as POTUS. No offense Alaska, but the county I live in here in NJ, right next to NYC, has as many people as your whole state, and the county I grew up in on Long Island, Nassau County, has a population over 1,334,544. Besides Natives, Alaska, how many minorities do you have up there?

Oh, and TCR, I am one of those people who has tried marijuana once and didn't like. I tried it when I was 29 with my bandmates. (I'm 32 now). It really didn't effect me, just mellowed me out. And I really didn't enjoy the smoking aspect of it. (I come from a family of smokers and that's the biggest turn-off for me.) Maybe if I had tried some magic brownies my experience would have be different. But I have not desire to make them.

That paragraph is in no way a defense of Sarah Palin, just an explanation of my experience.

8/30/2008 9:44 AM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

TCR:
Did you know that Palin was a Buchanan supporter in 2000?

8/30/2008 12:11 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

See my post in the previous one. I don't know enough about her one way or the other. But If she has no ties to the Israeli lobby or the military industrial complex and seems to have some respect for Ron Paul...that's an improvement over Biden, McCain, and Obama. Obama is a bit inexperience, young. and pretty himself...is he not? I assume the Republican party vetted her and made sure she would toe the party line...but you never know. Sometimes the unknowns can suprise you and show a bit of independent thinking.

She could very well wind up being manipulated like Bush if she winds up as president but her history seems to indicate a desire to weed out corruption in government. I think this negativity is a bit unfair.

8/30/2008 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Kaimu said...

ALOHA!!

What are the credentials of the "seasoned and expert" politicians? Trillion dollar debt, unfunded liabilities totaling $$99.2tril(per Richard Fisher/US FED Gov), Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, Sudan, Nigeria, Venezuela and now the "experts" are working on Russia and Pakistan and Iran! All I see is nothing but decades and decades of "failures"! Why should all these accumulated failures keep being rewarded?

Get real ... one person is not the US government and each President has a Cabinet and then there is the US Congress ... all fraudulent and ruffians in their own right!

We are all working against the clock and the fact that our own monetary system is against us is one heck of a boat anchor on all our collective necks! WHO PUT THAT ANCHOR THERE?

In fact I am to the point that Economics, as taught in the Ivy League colleges of the USA, is really not a science but more a fraud. A real science is physics and chemistry and biology, but economics other than counting beans is just manipulated formulas that benefit the "moneychangers" purposes. We can maneuver an Apollo space whip to land on the moon but Ben Bernanke(Princeton Economics professor) can't even say exactly where inflation will be next year!

Winston Churchill had it right when he said this of Lord Keynes,"If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions."

OPINIONS! How can "opinions" be science?

8/30/2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This race is about judgment and temperament. McCain continues to show he is reckless and hot-headed. Obama continues to show he's reasoned and cool. Look how they're managed their campaign, how they responded to Georgia. Look at who proposed timetables for Iraq and who was against them before he was for them.

8/30/2008 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yours is hands down the most accurate and well thought out commentary on this matter that I've read so far.

8/30/2008 2:21 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Palin is no Quayle. In 1988, Dan Quayle was a senior statesman by comparison. Here's a short summary of Quayle's political career prior to the 1988 presidential campaign:

1976: Elected to Congress at age of 29 in Northern Indiana by defeating an 8-term Democrat

1978. Wins re-election with the largest margin of victory in the history of his district.

1980. Defeats popular 3-term Senator Birch Bayh and is elected to the Senate at the age of 33 as the youngest Senator in the history of Indiana.

1986. Wins re-election to the Senate with the highest statewide office margin of victory in the history of Indiana.

1988. When he was picked as Bush's VP he was easily the most popular politician in the State of Indiana (a critical swing state). While he was youngish, he did have 12 years of experience in Congress under his belt which is actually more than Obama and Edwards COMBINED. He may have been a pretty-boy lightweight. But he wasn't actually inexperienced when it comes to campaigning or elective office.

By contrast, Palin has 1.5 years of experience as governor and has won only one statewide campaign. In fact, she was still the mayor of tiny little Wasilla when McCain began his 2008 presidential campaign.

Palin: She makes Quayle look good by comparison.

8/30/2008 3:05 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

I still disagree. Neither Clinton or Carter had national government experience or were so called "foreign policy" experts and Carter did very well IMO(Israel/Egypt peace). Clinton was close to doing something about Palestine and Israel but started to late and time ran out. Really a shame he blamed everything on Arafat...he set the peace process back 30 years when he did that. He did do well in Northern Ireland. Cheney, Bush, McCain, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, etc. How could she be any worse? Honestly...Biden, Lieberman, Feinstein, etc. The Democrats have plenty of warmongerers to choose from. I don't know what her foreign policy views are...but if they are not evil expansionist like 99 percent of the current DC crop I'll support her. I will take the unknown over the known evil anyday. Who knows? Maybe she will show some independence.

8/30/2008 3:05 PM  
Anonymous b-psycho said...

I just wonder how long until a serious candidate can say "yes, I tried it, I inhaled, I liked it, and frankly I think it being illegal is stupid"...

BTW: my response to CR's post is here, if anyone is interested.

8/30/2008 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goldhorder,
I'm a little surprised at you. Where's your cynicism man? Didn't it occur to you that the only reason she might not have ties to the military-industrial complex and Israel is that she simply wasn't important enough to? Watch how easily she's "integrated" if the Republicans actually win. And given her reported background, I highly doubt that she would have serious reservations over killing Muslims.

8/30/2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger J. said...

Bravo, CR! This is one of the best (if not the best) posts on the selection -- or problem with the selection -- of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP that I have read, and I've read a lot. (I am also not a Conservative, so that is praise indeed.)

What you've said about Alaska and life and politics there totally jibes with what I've heard. (So, how much for the picture? I have my checkbook out...)

Also, and more importantly, it IS about experience, at least to some degree. And while I believe there are some fortysomethings who would make fine leaders and presidents, I don't think she is one of them -- at least not yet.

While in many ways Governor Palin is a GOP wet dream (or as Wonkette put it, a GILF), there are plenty of other smart GOP women, with far more experience (Kay Bailey Hutchison and Elizabeth Dole come to mind), though they aren't nearly as good looking as Palin, who McCain could or should have chosen if, like he has said, experience matters.

Again, great post!

8/30/2008 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Cathy in SLC said...

CR: You've written a thoughtful and sympathetic post. I find her personally appealing, but would be willing to bet that her experience is too narrow. There's a video out there of her in July stating that she doesn't really know what the vice-president does. This appears to be some months after she has submitted vetting paperwork. Who applies for a job without knowing the responsibility or subsequently finding out? She makes me nervous.

But what is terrifying, truly terrifing, is the process the campaign used, including the very limted face to face contact that McCain had with her before he offered her the position... 15 minutes at a reception at the Governors' Assoc and a 5 minute phone conversation on Sunday before he flew her out to Ariz, met with her on Thurs morning and offerred her the position on Thurs. (my sources for the info are Politico http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0808/How_McCain_picked_Palin_.html?showall Washington Monthly. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_08/014473.php

So basically McCain's contact with her was at a cocktail party and a phone call. By the time he met with her on Thursday he was under enormous time pressure having announced they would reveal their pick on Friday.

In the corporation I worked for, we wouldn't have hired a secretary on that flimsy basis.

The man is 72, with a history of cancer, and he hires a vp this way? This is hands down the most important and irrevocable decision he will make. Everybody makes mistakes... screw up on picking an AG, you can fire him. He can't fire the vp. He's stuck with this choice, and so are we.
What are the chances she could name the permanent members of the UN Security Council, or talk for 2 minutes on the nature and functions of the Fed? For at least 30 years the VP has been a real job, not an apprenticeship.

John McCain has behaved in a profoundly irresponsible manner.

8/30/2008 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's absolutely no way you can stand in the middle of that small town and think that a 44-year-old whose formative personal and professional experience comes from there is ready to lead the free world. Yes, she's just barely got Juneau on her resume also.

Whoa. Damning.

One question, one comment:

First, how does Juneau NOT have roads leading into it?!?! I can't quite imagine a city like that. At least, any city since about the 10th Century or so.

As far as "leading the free world" goes, I really hope that phrase disappears, fast. I know that by a lot of measures we are the big guy on the planetary block. But given the serious institutional and cultural rot that (I think) is all around us, our pretensions of "global leadership" are only likely to lead us into even more waste and disappointment.
-- sglover

8/30/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

To anonymous...oh no. I totally agree with you...and as I said I'm sure when the party "vetted her" she had to swear on her children's lives that she would toe the party line. But you never know because she has no track record. The rest of the party has a very clear record...minus Ron Paul and maybe a few other "nut jobs". But as I mentioned earlier...until she declares herself a Zionist for life...why not give her a chance! Of course the day she declares herself a Zionist could be tomorrow and I wouldn't be suprised at all. When she does I'll be the first one to post what a loser she is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAZmO80dLfE

8/30/2008 10:48 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

OMG...Hutchinson and Dole...gag...hack...gag...hack...gag...see what I mean anonymous

8/30/2008 10:50 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Boy...I just can't stop... but 75 percent of the VP and presidential candidates have a known track record of pursuing evil policies. She is the only one who doesn't. And spare your liberal concerns over abortion...She is against abortion and Obama is pro blowing the s#$% out of Lebanese civilians if it is in the perceived interests of Israel. You can't seriously compare the two can you? I'll give your view some credit in that Republican Christians couldn't give a rats a## less what happens to poor black babies once they are born (as a disclaimer I am very anti abortion myself) but even if you take that into consideration that is nothing on the evil scale compared to supporting expansionist policies that result in your country's bombing and killing various poor people who can't defend themselves. Clinton had some good ideas (Northern Ireland, and Palestine) but he totally screwed the Palestine thing by starting too late and then blaming the failure on Arafat. He does indeed share some blame for 9/11 but not in the foaming at the mouth right wing republican way...He shares the blame for pursuing the blockade of Iraq from the first Bush presidency. Starving Iraqis and denying them basic medical supplies. Killing mainly the old and young. The witch Madeline Allbright saying on 60 minutes that the "price was worth it" contributed directly to the motivations that inspired 9/11. He was just continuing the Firt Bush's policies but don't you see where following the "foreign policy experts" gets you?

I've posted this link probably 3 times at this site at least but here is the 4th. Ramzi Yousef's sentencing trail. The one our leaders and media tried to make sure there was no record of...luckily there were enough New Yorkers who complained and it wound up on the back of Section B. For the completely ignorant...Ramzi Yousef was the leader behing the first attempt to destroy the world trade center towers in 1993.

You keep talking also about collective punishment and killing innocent people to force governments to change their policies; you call this terrorism when someone would kill innocent people or civilians in order to force the government to change its policies. Well, when you were the first one who invented this terrorism.

You were the first one who killed innocent people, and you are the first one who introduced this type of terrorism to the history of mankind when you dropped an atomic bomb which killed tens of thousands of women and children in Japan and when you killed over a hundred thousand people, most of them civilians, in Tokyo with fire bombings. You killed them by burning them to death. And you killed civilians in Vietnam with chemicals as with the so-called Orange agent. You killed civilians and innocent people, not soldiers, innocent people every single war you went. You went to wars more than any other country in this century, and then you have the nerve to talk about killing innocent people.

And now you have invented new ways to kill innocent people. You have so-called economic embargo which kills nobody other than children and elderly people, and which other than Iraq you have been placing the economic embargo on Cuba and other countries for over 35 years...

The government in its summations and opening said that I was a terrorist. Yes, I am a terrorist and I am proud of it. And I support terrorism so long as it was against the United States Government and against Israel, because you are more than terrorists; you are the one who invented terrorism and using it every day. You are butchers, liars and hypocrites.

8/30/2008 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Photos, please.

8/30/2008 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is some debate out there about the extent of Palin's past support for Pat Buchanan also.

8/31/2008 8:20 AM  
Anonymous George Orwell said...

The issue of presidential succession is the crucial one here. Should McCain die in office and Palin assumed the presidency, she in turn would pick her own successor. Given that she has admitted that she knows very little about the IRAQ war ?!!!! the question would be, who would be ultimately running the show in the event John McCain died or were incapacitated?

We could have an unelected successor as her Vice President, followed by the resignation of President Palin. Imagine the scenarios. One could play this out substituting Biden for Palin, however, Biden currently poses a reservoir of knowledge of foreign policy, foreign heads of state, and the federal government which she does not.

Finally, as one who has been in and around the "evangelical" movement since the 1980's, her selection does not bode well for me. On the whole, the lack of intellectual rigor, critical thinking and analytic skills among this movement is appalling. Add to that its isolationist tendencies which confine its members to interacting with ever smaller subsets of the population, including racially, economically etc., and its tendency to demonize the other, is not one I want to represent me on the international scene.

They wish to impose total abstinence, with no discussion or funding of birth control not only U.S. but upon the world's population. [Have you read the recent rulings proposed by the Bush Administration in its waning days in these areas?] Would birth control be criminalized under a Palin administration? Have you noticed that abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage are two goals that not even the evangelicals can maintain?

This nomination was to secure the endorsement of Dobson, et al., as evidenced by his statement of support the following day, not to seriously address the deep complex issues facing the United States.

Did you watch the Andrew Bacevich interview with Bill Moyers several weeks ago? If you did, then ask how her nomination addresses his concerns?

8/31/2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "pop quiz" issue is important. Remember when Bush was asked the name of "Pakistan's general who just took over" before the 2000 election? Remember his answer?

8/31/2008 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

As someone McCain is obviously pandering to (middle-aged,white, female, hell--I grew up in suburban Chicago just like that other woman) I'm fairly insulted he thinks just throwing some random female on the ticket is all it takes to get my vote. Because it doesn't really work that way--she sounds a great deal like a young Phyllis Schafley.

8/31/2008 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any comments on the new rumors re: the baby?

8/31/2008 8:48 PM  
Blogger jalexei said...

As a Democrat, I get the sense I'm giving her more credit than many of my brethren. She's an interesting and intriguing figure, and I've found quite a few things to like about her. That said, there are some red flags that have nothing to do with her experience.

As (according to Josh Marshall and a few other sources I've seen) the first request for archives from her hometown newspaper came from the Obama campaign, one really has to wonder at the level of vetting this pick received. It's fun to joke about how little a VP does, but McCain really seems untroubled in hiding his contempt for the office.

My initial reads on the scandal involving her ex-brother-in-law seemed to indicate it was more a tempest-in-a-tea-pot than anything else, now I'm not so sure. As to her record on wasteful spending, it appears she campaigned for governor on the "bridge to knowhere", fumed at congress when the funds were witheld, and only in the last week or so seems to have come up with this idea she was against it.

Value judgements aside, her anti-abortion stance even in cases of rape or incest place her pretty firmly out of the mainstream, and I see little evidence this will draw any undecided independents or disgruntled Hillary supporters.

If, and it's a big if, Obama can continue to sound credible on national defense and Biden manages to get through the debate not looking like the angry old grandpa who bullied the pretty lady, I think McCain is in trouble.

8/31/2008 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If experience is so important to you, maybe you should be calling for Dick Cheney to run. His experience in the oval office goes back to the mid '70's.

I think judgement and knowing what it's it like to be an American go a long way in a leader (there are, after all, plenty of people who can help her find out who the president of Pakistan is).

Who has spent more time in America, Obama or Palin? I look forward to you evaluation of Obama's formative years.

9/01/2008 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't find Palin an interesting figure. She is a new reincarnation of the "Total Woman" from the 1970's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marabel_Morgan) Basically, I think its unserious and the politician she's most like is George W. Bush. If she got real power, she'd probably do a lot of harm to the country, just as he has.

9/01/2008 12:14 PM  
Blogger jalexei said...

"...and knowing what it's it like to be an American go a long way in a leader"

What does this even mean? I've lived my entire life in America, and I have a feeling my idea of what that it means to be an American is very different from yours, and any number of other people we might name. Isn't that the point?

9/01/2008 12:57 PM  
Blogger Mark Ganzer said...

The issue for the GOP is votes. Reagan articulated the philosophy that drives them - "big government is the problem." Palin's bona fides as a Christian fundamentalist will help get out the vote. Their issues are to eliminate abortions and teach fundamentalism and to these ends, supreme court nominations are very important. (Harriet Meirs would have been approved by the Democrats - she was unacceptable to the fundies. See "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" by Jeffrey Toobins.)


Winning elections is the only thing that matters to this incarnation of the party. And if a President McCain were to die in office, well, the GOP can always reanoint Cheney to run the show.

9/02/2008 4:19 AM  
Blogger wendyo said...

From what I understand, she only just got a passport last year to visit national guard troops in Kuwait.

She also stopped in Germany and Ireland.

I wonder how many states in the lower 48 she has visited. I think this would be a pretty illuminating line of questioning.

9/02/2008 9:30 AM  
Blogger wendyo said...

Clarification: I guess the trip to Ireland was just refueling on the way back from the Kuwait/Germany junket.

This just gets better and better. Can't wait for the big speech!

9/02/2008 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But there's Hawaii, Indonesia, Kenya, Washington, and the south side of Chicago. And there's Wasilla."

Indeed.

9/02/2008 10:51 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

You people are idiots. Total freakin idiots. Who cares where she has been? You have to travel the world to be an administrator in our government? That's crazy talk. If she hasn't been tied up in our corrupt government before all the better. But really it doesn't matter. She has already been sent to AIPAC and shown the ropes by Lieberman. If she was an honest and decent person...she's been corrupted now. You wingbats say you want change...so...that means more of the same? Great logic...don't worry... after Lieberman and AIPAC are done with her you won't be able to distinguish her foriegn policy from Nancy Pelosi's.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/09/02/1327325.aspx

9/02/2008 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just felt underwhelmed and hugely disappointed, and embarrassed. But what do I know, I didn't think Bush Jr, was Presidential leadership material either. But like someone once told me, "cream doesn't alway rise to the top". Ho hum.

Quite frankly, the way the Republican strategy works, you always have to be asking what's the angle. Maybe they'll throw some big convention surprise, and nominate someone else, and everyone will be so relieved.

9/03/2008 8:56 AM  
Anonymous n999 said...

oh puuh-leeez.

you all talk like our country has been lead in the right direction for the past 20 years.

We debate to act as if the presidential experience actually matters. Whether be gov, sen, rep or "executive" private business. How many times did, Bush, Clinton travel outside of the USA prior to serving office? Besides spring breaks to mexico or weekend get always to EU.

This is laughable, truly it is laughable. The system is flawed.... as far as I am concerned we need someone as far away from the main street BS as possible. The problem? once they land in Washington, game over, they will be bought and paid for as they will be shipped COD.

I for one don't know who all the posters are... but which one of you has had the opportunity to raise 5 kids (not me) who has had the opportunity to lead more than 10 people (me 91 marines, sales team of 36). Leading is something that you got, plain and simple. To work your way up the likes that Palin has isn't easy. If it was, TRY IT! You will fail, for her to do it without "a little help from my friends" and on her own is remarkable. She probably couldn't of done it in the state of New York or Penn because the deck is stacked against anyone who is not part of the club or gets help from the club. Granted the deck was totally stacked against her and she has accomplished something is that is impressive but our ignorant beliefs get the best of us as we look for the negatives.

Her son is going to IRAQ, he enlisted in the army. I think that says enough.

See what I have noticed is that so many of us want all the perks with no sacrifice. that is the NEW AMERICAN WAY. We have forgotten why we are still the power of the world, it is because of sacrifice. Instead we enjoy our boats on the weekends, american idol, desperate housewives and ipods.

See there are families out there that actually make sacrifices for their country, serve in public office (small munis), join the military, fire-fight, police, reserves, donate time to charity or anything that takes time out of our busy schedules.

Many of you might, but that majority of us don't.

We need more role models in this country and we need to stop the entitlement feeling and start to make sacrifice.

9/03/2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so we are clear, TCR supports McCain because he has much more experience than Obama. Correct?

If not, how does this post make any sense whatsoever?

9/03/2008 10:48 AM  
Blogger Spider said...

I don't know if TCR has made a clear statement of who he endorses. However, he has talked negatively enough of McCain and the possibility of him carrying on Dubya's disastrous policies to believe that he probably won't vote for him.

9/03/2008 12:22 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

"We need more role models in this country"

Not when they threaten librarians in towns where they're the mayor because there's something in that library they might not agree with.

So if you're not following her example and going out and complaining that there are opinions out there that you disagree with and language you can't stand and trying to get your local librarian fired, then what kind of role model are you?

Then again, what kind are you now?

9/03/2008 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one's even mentioned due diligence yet. If I made business decisions the way John McCain chose a running mate, I'd be wide open to lawsuits. I have to say I'm really disappointed.

He didn't do his due diligence. The fact that the media are having a feeding-frenzy with one scandal after another, is proof positive. This does not speak well for the judgment of the man I was hoping would be the next leader of the Free World. It's called shooting from the hip. Not a good trait in a dangerous world.

At this point I'm sitting on the fence. My financial guy went over to the other side for the first time in his life, and I asked him why the h--- he did that. He said, "more predictable business climate."

9/03/2008 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- With 5 children, one handicapped, one in Iraq, one pregnant, it is hard to imagine she would put Nation first, not to mention part of the Alaska seccessionist party. - She has no International experience, and her domestic experience is miniscule compared to other states. - Multiple corruption charges/ethics, recall, doesn't know what the VP does, thinks the founding fathers created Pledge of Alligance, doesn't think much of Iraq war, God speaks to her just like Bush, McCain group stalling a previsously pending investigation. - Just what we, the world, and the planet needs: more creationism, anti-gun control, anti-thinking/commonsense, anti-women healthcare, anti-science, anti-conservation. NOT!

These are serious times, that need serious intelligent, educated open-minded leadership. She not only lacks the experience and education, but the common understanding commonsense a diverse Nation requires.

Interesting: Your Pocket Guide to Speaking Palin-guage (Vol. 1)

"If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "token hire." If you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."
...
Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America. White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America. White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event.""

Is the Republican party so screwed up internally that it can't pick knowledgeable people, open-minded people with good character, that aren't geriatrics, especially geriatrics with multiple occurrences of cancer. I don't think either one would be at the top of their game for that 3 AM phone call mentioned in McCain's ads.

Like after Clinton, the WH needs to be cleaned.

9/03/2008 5:51 PM  
Blogger David S./ Southern Calif. said...

Can't agree about wishing Palin well in a political future. Read Glenn Greenwald today on the start of her political career. She was (and most likely still is) a first class bully. Unfortunately, like incompetence, a quality all too common in Republican choices for office lately.

9/03/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm shocked at some of the reasons some of you have given for liking/supporting Sarah Palin, "her record on taxes, corruption, and wasteful spending."
Please read more about her and read Alaskan newspapers.

She is under investigation right now for using her power as gov. to fire a Dept. head for NOT firing her former brother in law.
The man she replaced him with had to resign after 2 weeks because he had a sexual harassment charge against him.
When first elected Mayor she fired 6 dept. heads because they were not loyal to her. Nothing about their job performance just not loyal.
This included the librarian who would not ban books that Palin did not like.
She hired a lobbyist and got 27 MILLION dollars in FEDERAL taxpayer monies for her town of 7,000 while she was Mayor.
She also cut funding for unwed mother last year.
She joined her "Pro life" group in 2006.
She also levied taxes on oil companies last year.
These are all FACTS that can be verified and were written about her while she was Mayor and Governor of Alaska.

9/04/2008 2:27 AM  
Blogger homunq said...

Record on taxes? In wasilla, she lowered taxes on the rich, by cutting property taxes 40%. Then she raised taxes on the middle class and poor, by jacking up the sales tax 25%. Then, she raised taxes on *you and me* by getting over $4000 for every town resident in federal earmarks. Then, she raised future taxes on her 5 children (assuming any of them stays in Wasilla) by taking the city's long-term debt from $0 to around $3000 per capita. Oh, and the sports complex she built for her kids to play hockey in is losing money daily, too, not a source of revenue as she promised. I really can't see how she could have done any worse.

9/04/2008 9:10 AM  
Anonymous San Antonio Lawyer said...

I think she really is the most capable among all of them despite of the records?????

9/05/2008 5:25 AM  
Anonymous todd said...

Cutting through the bullshit, what the Palin pick says about John McCain is very revealing. It shows him to be a total panderer and prone to rash, uninformed decisions. It's very much like George W. Bush's selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court.

How is it possible that a governor with experience of 1 3/4 years and prior to that, a mayor of a town of 5000 is the most qualified person for the VP amongst the entire pool of Republicans?

McCain had 2 priorities:

1) have a woman on the ticket to pander to disaffected Hillary voters

2) have an Evangelical Christian on the ticket to pander to the wingnut base

I can think of 5 GOP women off the top of my head with much greater qualifications than Sarah Palin: Condoleeza Rice, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Christie Todd Whitman. The problem with them is none are Evangelicals. Palin is apparently the only choice that could pander to both constituencies.

This will blow up in McCain's face as Hillary voters will be totally insulted by this pick. McCain must think that a fervent Hillary supporter will vote for any woman merely for the fact that she's a woman regardless of her policy beliefs. Such chutzpah that McCain actually thinks women are that mindless and vapid !!! I can't imagine the typical Hillary voter voting for someone that Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are ecstatic about. McCain has reminded those voters exactly why they deplore the Republicans.

9/06/2008 5:24 PM  
Blogger Martyn said...

Low information white female voters are going to vote for Palin. This isn't about McCain anymore.

9/10/2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger bw said...

John Adams was from Braintree, MA. (he was a Harvard man, though...) that was a very small town. he was a farmer. also, a lawyer.

the issue is not where she's from, it's who she is & what she's done (ie, hasn't) that makes her the most reckless VP pick in history.

the danger the left feels in regard to her (& it's almost like those on the left are born w/ a congenital inability to recognize it - like being color blind) yet can't put their finger on: she's one of THEM. it's Ronald Reagan all over again. the branding has already been accomplished. she wouldn't have even had to give the speech - the fact that she looks great on TV is enough. the right-wing conservative nut jobs do not vote w/ their minds - they don't USE those. they don't reason. they don't think. they ACT. it's purely limbic, which is why we can't defeat them w/ our sensible words & appeals to reason & justice.

9/18/2008 1:00 PM  

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