Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’
Sarah Palin’s spokeswoman denies the wave of anonymous post-election criticism reportedly coming from some members of John McCain’s campaign team.
Sarah Palin’s allies are pushing back against a stream of accusations leaking out of John McCain’s campaign that the Alaska governor was incompetent during the run-up to the election. One Palin aide called the charges “sickening.”
Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton on Friday denied reports that have surfaced since Election Day that there was tension between the vice presidential candidate and McCain’s staff.
They range from claims that Palin went on extensive spending sprees to accounts that campaign officials had serious doubts about her preparedness to to be vice president.
Sources told FOX News, for instance, that Palin did not realize that Africa was a continent and not a country, and that she could not name the nations that had signed the North American Free Trade Agreement.Palin herself brushed off the finger-pointing Wednesday, saying she wouldn’t engage “any of the negativity” or “pettiness” from anonymous sources.
Stapleton released a written statement Friday calling the charges “unfortunate and, quite honestly, sickening.”
“The accusations we are hearing and reading are not true and since we deny all these anonymous allegations, there is nothing specific to which we will respond,”. “We have the highest regards for Senator John McCain. Governor Palin was honored to be chosen as McCain’s running mate.”
Newsweek also reported that Palin may have spent “tens of thousands” of dollars more on wardrobe expenses than the $150,000 that was reported in the days before Election Day. The money allegedly went toward clothes for her and her family from high-end stores, even though she was originally told to buy just three suits and hire a stylist for the Republican National Convention.
One aide called the spree “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” according to the magazine. Palin also reportedly asked to speak at McCain’s concession speech Tuesday, and was denied.
McCain adviser Nicole Wallace defended Palin on NBC’s “Today Show” Friday morning, saying the Alaska governor “did nothing wrong.”
“She is, perhaps, the most un-diva politician I’ve ever seen,” she said. “The only thing I’ve ever seen her ask for is a diet soda.”
Palin said right after the election that she’s sorry if she cost McCain even “one vote.”
But some are tired of what they say looks like scapegoating.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says that McCain himself needs to come out and put a stop to the Palin criticism.
“She’s the one that energized the base, she’s the one that got the crowds out. … She’s the one that comes out of this without any scars and now they’re trying to give her some,” Santorum said. “John McCain should come out and say, ‘This is ridiculous,’ and set the record straight.”
I want to know where is John and Cindy McCain? The John and Cindy McCain I know are really too decent and savvy not to speak out….
Andrew Malcom of the L.A. Times, (You know the newspaper so in the tank for Obama it is hiding a video of Obama at a Jew-bashing dinner attended by those people he hardly knows, Rashid Khalidi, William Ayers and his fellow terrorist wife, Bernadette Dohrn) reports, perhaps mocks Slate:
One writer has broken ranks with Slate’s slate of writers and intends to vote for John McCain! The Republican senator from Arizona!
And one other Slate writer intends to vote for Bob Barr! The Libertarian former Republican representative from Georgia!
Not just because Bob has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But because the editor-at-large, Jack Shafer, explains he has chosen the Libertarian candidate ever since he started voting in 1972.
Jack admits there have been “a long line of chowderheads” atop the Libertarian ticket. But he feels that party comes closest to his ideal of limited government, free markets and noninterventionist foreign policy.
The rebel Republican over at Slate is Rachael Larimore, the deputy managing editor and copy chief, who’s a lifelong moderate GOP voter who admires McCain, is incapable of generating a ton of hate for that known Satan George W. Bush and hopes that a Democratic victory will help recharge the GOP in the long run for the benefit of our two-party system.
That leaves only 55 other Slate staffers who chose to announce their fealty to the Illinois fellow for a variety of reasons you can read for yourself here.
Editor David Plotz describes the political announcements as a sign of openness and because he, like his predecessors, says he does not believe that how writers write politically is affected by how writers think politically.
So rest assured the online vote at Slate has absolutely nothing to do with all this late-race trumped up empty chatter over media bias in favor of the handsome, eloquent Democrat with the darling family running against the grumpy old pilot who can’t use a BlackBerry or play tennis because his arms were allegedly broken so often and then shocked the media by picking as his running mate a Washington outsider, a non-Democrat female no less, who’s so opposed to abortion she didn’t get one herself.
That’s just widespread biased hooey. Forget about it because we say to.
When you interview for a job, here is a hint: make sure you know what the job is. Joe Biden failed that test last Thursday. He couldn’t even get right what a vice president does, but the media didn’t notice.
The media is all over itself about how smart and experienced Biden is. Political analyst Charlie Cook is quoted in the Washington Post on Saturday as saying “Biden is clearly so much more knowledgeable, by a factor of about a million.” Saturday Night Live does a skit about Biden being smart, if slimy. Meanwhile, Governor Sarah Palin is treated as being nothing more than a simpleton.
Yet, take Biden’s statement from the debate on the role of the vice president:
Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.
And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there’s a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.
The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he’s part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive, and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.”
One should be careful when throwing around terms such as “most dangerous” and “bizarre.” But Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive Branch (it is Article II, not Article I). More importantly, the notion that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is a tie vote is simply wrong. Nor is it true that the only legislative involvement the vice president has is to break tie votes. The vice president is the president of the Senate, where he interprets the rules and can only be overridden by a vote of 60 senators.
Early vice presidents spent a lot of time in the Senate. Thomas Jefferson even spent his time writing “A Manual of Parliamentary Practice: for the Use of the Senate of the United States.” Modern vice presidents may show up only when they think tie votes will occur, but that is their choice.
This isn’t rocket science. The Constitution on this point is very straightforward: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”
Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that’s not only to preside over the Senate and [I] will take that position very seriously also. I’m thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chooses to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president’s policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.
But just as the vice president’s job includes more than simply being ready to assume the presidency if the president dies, the Constitution merely states what the vice president’s minimum responsibilities are.
Compare the uproar over Palin’s answer to Charlie Gibson about the “Bush Doctrine,” a doctrine that Gibson clearly didn’t understand and for which there apparently exist at least four different versions. Where is the outrage over Biden not understanding what vice presidents do? For Biden, his inability to correctly say what vice presidents do was surely his “gotcha” moment.
Yet, this mistake during the debate was hardly unique. Biden got a lot of things wrong in the debate that are going unnoticed by the fact-check media. Take just a few:
– Will McCain’s health care proposals raise taxes? Biden says that McCain’s proposal will cost people money. The Tax Foundation finds that could easily be “roughly deficit-neutral over ten years.”
– Under an Obama Administration the middle class will “pay no more than they did under Ronald Reagan”? No, the tax rates will be similar to the higher rates under Clinton.
– Did “we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country”? No, one year’s worth of spending in Iraq equaled five in Afghanistan.
– France and the U.S. “kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon”? No, and it wouldn’t have made much more sense if he had said “Syria” instead.
– Is it really “simply not true” that Obama said that he would meet with the leader of countries such as Iran without preconditions? No, Obama said “I would.”
– Did Obama warn against letting Hamas participate in Palestinian legislative elections in 2005? No.
– Do “Iraqis have an $80 billion surplus”? No. If oil prices had remained high, it might have reached $50 billion by the end of this year.
– Finally, an amusing point as evidence that Biden is just one of the people he pointed to, inviting anyone to have a beer with him at “Katie’s Restaurant” in Wilmington, Del. Unfortunately, people will have a hard time taking him up on his offer, since the restaurant hasn’t had that name for probably 15 years.
Unfortunately, voters who are trying to get an accurate count on whether the candidates are telling the truth can’t rely on the media. FactCheck.org mentions only one of these points, the size of the Iraqi surplus. The Washington Post mentioned Biden’s misstatement on Hamas and Katie’s restaurant. AOL’s coverage of the errors in the vice presidential debate was by far the worst, though that might not be too surprising given that Tommy Christopher, who wrote their news analysis, also blogs on the Obama Web site. None of these checkers mentioned Biden’s statements about the role of the vice president.
Compare this to the attacks on Sarah Palin:
– FactCheck.org criticizes Palin for claiming that McCain’s health care tax credits will be “budget neutral” – they argue that the tax credit will be larger than the new taxes that the program will impose. Fine, but if the people at FactCheck.org believe that is true and that the Tax Foundation is wrong, Biden’s claim about increased taxes is even more inaccurate. But FactCheck.org doesn’t even mention Biden’s statement from the debate.
– From AOL’s news analysis piece. “Palin: Said that it is untrue that the U.S. is killing civilians in Afghanistan. According to an analysis by the AP, however, the U.S. is killing more civilians than insurgents are.”
What Palin actually said was: “Now, Barack Obama had said that all we’re doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians.” Whether one believes the AP estimate or not, the question is whether she was accurately characterizing Obama’s statement of the job that our forces were doing. And Obama said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians” (emphasis added).
– FactCheck.org’s first critique claims that Palin was wrong to claim that troop levels in Iraq are down to their pre-surge levels. They are correct that after the recently announced drawdown, 6,000 more troops will be in Iraq than immediately before the surge. But why not mention that 84 percent of the 38,000 troops in the surge are home or are in the process of coming home?
The media seems to have been covering for Biden for some time. While news stories still talk about Dan Quayle’s spelling mistake 18 years later, there has been almost no news coverage of Biden’s numerous wacky statements. What if Quayle had said something similar to Biden’s recent statement that, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’” A neat trick given that Herbert Hoover was president in 1929 and no one was watching television.
It might not fit the simple template for a 36-year veteran of the Senate to not understand what vice presidents do (after all, eight vice presidents have served with him), but Biden knew less about this than the political outsider, Sarah Palin. Given that they are running to be vice president, why didn’t that story dominate the news coverage after the debate?
Watching the “opinion elite” quietly, calmly go about their “business” after the debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin is, unfortunately, just more of the same we have all come to expect of the impostor journalists that pass for what once was a noble profession, once upon a time.
Look at the carefully crafted headlines, served up for the morning spin:
- The VP Debate: Sarah the Speedy
- The VP Debate: Palin Good, Biden Better
- The VP Debate: Palin’s Big Mistake
- The VP Debate: She Won Fersure, Also
- The VP Debate: A Victory — of Sorts
- Palin Takes On A New Foe: Her Image
It is quite apparent from those, and any other headlines you might search for on the Net, in relation to the just-concluded Biden/Palin debate, that the Pundit’s CW (Conventional Wisdom) sensibilities were mightily offended at Palin’s temerity at coming off as credible, and not as some (their words) “trailer trash” red-neck. The MSM / Bloggers simply cannot abide their pre-determined judgments being upset by anyone. Especially a conservative someone.
One might feel terribly out of place to point out to the media mavens what the Founding Fathers envisioned was not a ruling political class, but citizen politicians almost exactly like Sarah Palin, and not anything like Barack Obama, Joe Biden or even John McCain. What matters most in our politicians is outlook and common sense, not an encyclopedic knowledge of who is President of every country on the planet, or even a working knowledge of the Monroe Doctrine. After all, Monroe has been dead over one hundred years, hasn’t he? It is highly doubtful any future President will invoke it as his justification for some unforeseen action.
Make no mistake about it, The Press is very much of and from our modern day ruling class. They are no longer the watchers, but an integral part of “protecting” citizens from their own ignorance, by constantly preaching to us just what is needed in a plausible leader. This is only due to their unabashed, and undeniable liberalism, which they no longer bother to hide or apologize for.
I listened to the debate on the radio before watching the TiVo of it later. I thought Palin did a great job of softening up Biden, even using Obama as a club to beat the head of his running mate. Whenever she pointed out some instance where Biden and Obama disagreed, where she thought Biden was right and Obama was wrong, she sincerely congratulated his good judgment. There was no knockout. But Palin has a good, steady (and deadly) jab.
Later, when I saw the debate on television, I was even more impressed. Palin loves the camera, and it loves her back. This is her medium, and debates are her forum. She’s a natural communicator, cut of the same cloth as Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton.
So, who won? Palin, of course, you dolts! She won the moment she decided to ignore Gwen Ifill and Joe Biden and do what Ronald Reagan was so hated by The Press and The Pundits, and beloved by the voters for so doing: Talking directly to “the folks”. She reaffirmed their worst fear of fears, that of being superfluous, supercilious and completely unneeded, and I predict a new round of frenzied PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) in the final weeks of this campaign.
Bob Beckel huffed about how lacking in “stature” Palin was. Excuse me? Vice Presidents, historically, have been completely lacking in it! Gravitas? No Presidential candidate has ever been accused of seeking it in naming their running mates, that’s for damn sure. His talking points, furnished by the Obama campaign as their surrogate, are once again making the same old (and by now completely tired and pedantic) liberal mistake of being dismissive of anyone not sharing their left-wing POV. Somehow, after being bludgeoned with Ronald Reagan for eight years in California as Governor, and again for an equally long period of time with President Reagan, one almost expects the liberals to have learned their lesson. It really does seem improbable they can be this obtuse, and actually keep repeating their mistakes, decade after decade.
The important thing is, “the folks” understood. They know she is one of them, perhaps more so than any politician they can remember, since Ronald Reagan. That is why Governor Palin is still the game-changer she first appeared to be. The more she is denigrated, marginalized, degraded and smeared, the more the people hate her attackers and are drawn to her, and by extension, John McCain.
Famously, years ago, in discussing the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers partnership, someone said she gave him sex and he gave her class. McCain and Palin have such a symbiosis. McCain gives Palin his gravitas, and Palin gives McCain her unique connectivity to “the folks”.
Other posts of interest:
- Pundita Op-Ed: Sarah Palin takes command
- Personalilty Cult, Personality Cult, Personality Cult
- 15′ tall Obama mural in Houston, Texas
Sarah Palin opened up her remarks here focusing on the current Wall Street financial crisis and how a McCain-Palin administration will put an end to the “mismanagement and abuses” on Wall Street.
In her usual folksy language calling the crowd “guys and gals”, she addressed the excited throng of a few thousand saying that the country’s economic problems need some “shaking up and some fixin’.” She added that she was pleased to see taxpayer money wasn’t being used to bail out Lehman Brothers unlike the Bear Stearns bail out:
“It’s taking a toll on our economy and that means people’s life savings and I’m glad to see in this case the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have said no to using taxpayer money to bail out another one–this time Lehman Brothers. Every effort has to be made.’’
She blamed the government and Wall Street for today’s financial turmoil, “Guys and gals, our regulatory system is outdated and needs a complete overhaul. Washington has ignored this. Washington has been asleep at the switch and ineffective and management on Wall Street has not run these institutions responsibly and has put companies and markets at risk,” Palin told the cheering crowd, “They place their own interests first instead of their employees and the shareholders who actually own these companies.”
She pressed how important it was for America to“remain the strongest” financial market in the world and pledged that a McCain-Palin administration will restore the “integrity” and “confidence” in our markets, “We are going to reform the way Wall Street does business and stop multi-million dollar payouts and golden parachutes to CEOs who break the public trust.”
Her economic remarks come on the same day the McCain campaign released a new ad touting the duo’s ability to fix the ailing economy. The ad explains how they will do it, “Tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings. No special interest giveaways. Lower taxes to create new jobs. Offshore drilling to reduce gas prices.”
Palin hit Barack Obama during her speech saying he will raise taxes, “Our opponent wants to raise income taxes and raise payroll tax and raise investment income taxes and raise business taxes and raise the death tax.”
“I knew that as I lowered taxes and got rid of business inventory taxes and then on a state level, suspended our fuel tax, those things do add to a vibrant economy, and we do have some wonderful economic indicators of success in my hometown,” Palin said. “We became part of the fastest growing area of the state because businesses wanted to be there. They knew that government would be on their side.”
Palin’s remarks were in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Jefferson County fairgrounds. The crowd screamed her name and held signs that read, “Read my Lipstick, “Taxpayers for McCain-Palin,” and “Working Moms for Palin.” There were protestors outside of the event, one with a sign that read “The Antichrist Wears Lipstick.” But, it seemed as though only one lone protestor came inside the event–she screamed “Liar!” and “You don’t have the experience!” throughout the speech.
The New York Times does the all-so predictable Sarah Palin bill of indictment for its Sunday front page. It certainly sounds compelling in the paragraph called the “nut graf”:
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.
But what is so remarkable is how little there is in the page after page of minutiae thrown against the wall by the Times. And indeed there’s plenty of favorable material there. Up front we learn:
Ms. Palin has many supporters. As a two-term mayor she paved roads and built an ice rink, and as governor she has pushed through higher taxes on the oil companies that dominate one-third of the state’s economy. She stirs deep emotions. In Wasilla, many residents display unflagging affection, cheering “our Sarah” and hissing at her critics.
In just the first few paragraphs you have testimony that she was “effective and accessible.” So where are we going here? Well, despite the testimony that she was ”accessible,” others find her “secretive” and inclined to put a premium on “loyalty.” The evidence? The Governor’s office declined a request for emails that would have cost over $400,000. Proof positive. Oh, and the records sought (about Polar Bears and such) were in fact obtained.
Then there is the ” she blurs personal and public behavior” charge. The evidence? A phone call from Todd Palin to a state legislator about the latter’s chief of staff, which Palin denies, was mentioned. Pretty thin gruel.
Next we have her tenure as mayor, where again all heck breaks loose because — are ya sitting down? — she brought in her own team. No! Unheard of. Jeeez. Next she’ll be firing the town museum director. Oh no– it’s true! Palin says (”Oh yeah, she says,” you can hear the Times reporters hrrumphing) she was cutting the budget.
This is pathetic, really. Is there something illegal here? Is there something nefarious? What is the point?
The next offense: while she was mayor city employees were told not to talk to the press. The horror! Might there have been a procedure, a public affairs or press person for that? We don’t know and the Times doesn’t tell us.
Then we get to the book banning. But if you read carefully there is no banning, no censorship, no list and no nothing other than someone became “scared” of Palin:
“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.
But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.
“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”
“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.”
So Palin talked “about” removing books — but the piece doesn’t tell us what was said. And we hear about Palin’s distaste for a book about homosexual parenting. Again, is there some story in here? We’re up to page three and it hasn’t popped out yet.
We then learn that she did take on her own Republican Party and won the election for Governor by, goodness gracious, preparing for debates with notecards! Color-coded no less.
Then on page four of this eye-popping account, we learn as Governor she had the temerity to have ”surrounded herself with people she has known since grade school and members of her church.” No! She hired people she knew ? And people she trusted because she had just run against a hostile machine of her own party? The Lieutenant Governor offers up that they were “competent, qualified, top-notch people,” but are you going to believe him? And then the kicker: it seemed to, well, work out pretty well. We learn:
To her supporters — and with an 80 percent approval rating, she has plenty — Ms. Palin has lifted Alaska out of a mire of corruption. She gained the passage of a bill that tightens the rules covering lobbyists. And she rewrote the tax code to capture a greater share of oil and gas sale proceeds.
“Does anybody doubt that she’s a tough negotiator?” said State Representative Carl Gatto, Republican of Palmer.
The nerve — hiring trusted people and running a competent, popular administration. So we veer back to “secrecy” –dastardly tales of using a private email account and reliance on a circle of close advisors. Once again, the sheer banality of it all is both numbing and humorous. Surely the Old Grey Lady hasn’t devoted all this space for nothing? But that’s the conclusion one reaches as we stumble into page five. And that seems to have more of the same — people who didn’t get emails returned or thought she was too adversarial, harboring a “siege-like” mentality against her foes.
Wow, are you shocked and appalled yet? Me neither, and I can’t for the life of me figure out the point of the story. Ah, yes: the reporters were told to “get the goods” and this is all they found. But being the New York Times they made it really long, put it on the front page, and hoped people wouldn’t read it all that closely and say, “I guess she has a pretty good record if that’s all they had.”
And if you are looking for any detailed description of any of her accomplishments — presumably the reason for her 80 percent popularity — forget it. No room for that.
It’s hard to believe. We had to read it twice to believe it ourselves.
But there it is for all to see, an editorial from The New York Times that calls for fairness in selection of vice presidential candidates, that it’s a wonderfully practical idea for the major parties to pick political unknowns and test them in high office and allow them to become statesmen. And especially so if they are women.
Here’s part of that editorial to see for yourself:
“Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demography, not idealized democracy.
“One might even say demography is destiny; this candidate is chosen because he could deliver Texas, that one because he personified rectitude, that one because he appealed to the other wing of the party.
“On occasion, Americans find it necessary to rationalize this rough-and-ready process. What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow into statesmen. This rationale may even be right, but then let it also be fair. Why shouldn’t a little-known woman have the same opportunity to grow?
“We may even be gradually elevating our standards for choosing Vice Presidential candidates. But that should be done fairly, also. Meanwhile, the indispensable credential for a Woman Who is the same as for a Man Who — someone who helps the ticket.”
Well, there you have it. The New York Times obviously endorsing Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin, who, judging by recent polls and all the media attention, certainly has helped John McCain’s Republican ticket.
This New York Times editorial, by the way, was just published on July 3.
Oh, wait. It says July 3, 1984.
Oh, and it was talking about someone named Walter Mondale plucking a New York nobody with no executive experience from the oblivion of the House of Representatives, Geraldine Ferraro.
Well, sure, he and she were Democrats. But what difference should party possibly make if we’re truly talking about advancing American democracy by making it more fair?
Especially if we’re talking about the gender area where the other party’s candidate, Barack Obama, so ostentatiously passed over a qualified woman as his vice presidential running mate? (And another New Yorker at that!) Not to mention skipping over the female governor of Kansas and the female senator from Missouri.
Instead, he picked a male 36-year-senator from the same old boy’s club. How is that change we can believe in needing? Or whatever this week’s motto is…..
Notable & Quotable
September 6, 2008; Page A9
From a New York Times editorial on July 3, 1984, on Geraldine Ferraro’s nomination for vice president:
Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President? . . . Or where is it written that mere representatives aren’t qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro of Queens? . . . Where is it written that governors and mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial? . . . Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demography, not idealized democracy. . . . What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow into statesmen. . . . Why shouldn’t a little-known woman have the same opportunity to grow?
Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel appeared in an interview with the staunchly pro-Obama Pacifica radio. They expected Gravel to bash Sarah Palin, and tell them what the Republicans “haven’t told us about Sarah Palin.” Sounds pretty ominous….
Instead of obliging, Gravel says nice things about Palin.! And then takes a few shots at today’s Democrats for being “imperialists.”
Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election.
He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and became its Speaker of the House. Gravel was elected to the United States Senate in 1968.
As Senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful but unsuccessful attempts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for having put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971 despite risk to himself. He conducted an unusual campaign for the Democratic nomination for Vice President of the United States in 1972, and then played a crucial role in getting Congressional approval for the Trans-Alaska pipeline in 1973. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1974, but gradually alienated most of his Alaskan constituencies and his bid for a third term was defeated in a Democratic primary election in 1980.
Gravel followed up the interview on Pacifica Radio with an article in CounterPunch explaining what he finds so appealing about his fellow Alaskan–it comes down to her integrity, staunch independence, and not having the taint of years in Washington:
“Sarah Palin has a sense of personal outrage over political corruption that plays extremely well with the public, something the others have lost long ago. She has demonstrated the personal courage to publicly confront and overcome Republican Party corruption and has successfully taken on the oil industry over taxation and oil leasing issues. She has publicly stood up to Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young on the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the policy of federal earmarks arguing for a public transparency process.
Sarah has literally come to the national scene without owing anything to any party or corporate interest––not even McCain––he needs her more than she needs him. Imagine a person a heart beat away not owned by the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, corporate America or AIPAC. WOW! Can this last? Probably not. But she does have an uncanny sense of political direction and the ability to capitalize on change like putting the public interest above Republican Party interests.”
Don’t look for this interview to mentioned on any of the radical leftist blogs at The Atlantic, and its soul mate, Daily Kos, as Gravel has been something of a hero there, and this will shock those poor boys Goldberg, Sullivan and Ambinder. They have little real tolerance for liberal icons straying off the reservation, and they certainly won’t like hearing Gravel confirm Palin stopped that damned “Bridge to nowhere”, or that the so-called “Troopergate” will be resolved in Palin’s favor, and that the Trooper in question should have been fired.
This item is based on an item that appeared in: The Western Standard. I highly recommend you add them to your Blog Roll, and subscribe to their updates! Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the Western Standard is a fortnightly news and views magazine. It’s your online source for news and views from a Western Canadian perspective.
NOW on PBS interviewed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin — John McCain’s running mate — about her efforts to clean up corruption in her home state in a story that aired earlier in July of 2008. Typical of the left, now they don’t advertise and use as citations anymore, now that Palin is running with McCain. What they formerly used to praise her, they now ignore, because it makes a lie of the slander they now spread about her.
Here is an article from the New York Times, published last July, before Sarah Palin was selected as John McCain’s running mate, and the Times started to smear her.
Those wondering just who are the people crawling out of the woodwork going after Governor Palin, might do well to check this page at the Anchorage Daily News. It gives a pretty complete rundown on just who is who in the several corruption investigations that resulted from Sarah Palin’s whistle-blowing. If one does the legwork, you will find the connections to those corrupt politicians that most of those talking smack about Palin have.
Millions of TV viewers who watched ABC News’ interview with Sarah Palin Thursday night never saw her take issue with a key question in which she was asked if she believes that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is “a task that is from God.”
The exchange between Palin and ABC’s Charlie Gibson, in which she questioned the accuracy of the quote attributed to her, was edited out of the television broadcast but included in official, unedited transcripts posted on ABC’s Web site, as well as in video posted on the Internet.
But in the version shown on television, a video clip of her original statement was inserted in place of her objection, giving a different impression of how Palin views the Iraq war.
Palin’s response, which appears in the transcript but was edited out of the televised version, was:
“You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.”
“It’s exact words,” Gibson said.
But Gibson’s quote left out what Palin said before that:
“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
The edited televised version included a partial clip of that quote, but not the whole thing.
Gibson cut the quote — where she was clearly asking for the church TO PRAY THAT IT IS a task from God, not asserting that it is a task from God.
In the rest of the segment that aired, Palin told Gibson that she was referencing Abraham’s Lincoln’s words on how one should never presume to know God’s will. She said she does not presume to know God’s will and that she was only asking the audience to “pray that we are on God’s side.”
A promo posted on Yahoo! News Friday continued to misrepresent the exchange. It displays Palin’s image next to the words, “Iraq war a ‘holy war?’” implying that Palin — not Gibson — had called the War on Terror a holy war.
ABC’s mis characterization of Palin’s words was not the only one in the media. The Washington Post also did some last-minute clean-up in one of its articles on Palin — a front-page story Friday with the headline “Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 in Talk to Troops in Alaska.”
As pointed out by The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, the original version posted online used harsher language than the one that hit Beltway newsstands early Friday morning.
The original passage, written by staff writer Anne E. Kornblut, read:
“Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would ‘defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.’
“The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped Al Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. On any other day, Palin’s statement would almost certainly have drawn a sharp rebuke from Democrats, but both parties had declared a halt to partisan activities to mark Thursday’s anniversary.”
But in the print version, and the version now appearing on the newspaper’s Web site, the article softened its claim a bit by swapping in the last line with this:
“But it is widely agreed that militants allied with Al Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.”
Below, you will see the questions Charlie Gibson asked Sarah Palin in red and the questions Gibson asked Barack Obama in blue. The questions appear in the order in which they were asked:
- “Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say “I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?”
- “Today, in our ‘Who Is?’ series, a Democrat relatively new to national politics; Senator Barack Obama. Your mom comes from the Pacific Northwest, migrates to Hawaii, goes to college there, right away, meets a dashing young Kenyan, gets pregnant and the result [is] you.” (Voiceover) His father got a fellowship to study on the mainland and never came back. “Obama’s mother would remarry and take her son to Indonesia for five years. Only once again did he ever see his father, that, when Obama was 10, he didn’t care enough to stay. How did you internalize that?”
- “And you didn’t say to yourself, “Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I — will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?” … Didn’t that take some hubris?”
- “For five years out of college, he worked to pay off student loans and was a community organizer in Chicago, which led him back to school, Harvard Law School, and on a summer job, met this young woman. Did you know right away?”
- “But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?”
- “They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. At first, Obama was intimidated by the Harvard law students, but he found he could more than hold his own, finishing first in his class and being editor of the ‘Harvard Law Review.’ He’s candid: it was at Harvard he first thought of running for President. So did you think to yourself, ‘Barack, what kind of hubris is this that I am thinking about being President?’”
- “Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?”
- “You have written, ‘I learned to slip back and forth between my black and my white worlds.’ The simple question I guess is in which world do you really belong?”
This is where Gibson ended his initial interview with Barack Obama. Sarah Palin, meanwhile, continues to get hammered …
- “Have you ever met a foreign head of state?”
- “The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?”
- “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?”
- “Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?”
- “And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?”
- “And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade?”
- “Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?”
- “So what should we do about a nuclear Iran?”
- “What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?”
- “So, if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right?”
- “We talk on the anniversary of 9/11. Why do you think those hijackers attacked? Why did they want to hurt us?”
- “The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?”
- “Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?”
- “You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?”
- “Then are you sending your son on a task form God?”
Today, the McCain-Palin campaign released its latest television ad, entitled “Disrespectful.” The ad highlights the Obama campaign’s desperate efforts to attack and smear Governor Sarah Palin. Yet, despite all their tactics, Governor Palin is demonstrating time and again that she will be the strong vice president our country needs. Obama is a sexist, a man who thinks a woman (think Hillary Clinton) isn’t good enough to stand at his side. An insecure narcissist who needs flunkies and yes men around him, who cannot accept or tolerate opinions that differ from his own, or those who upstage him. This has become more and more apparent.
While much is being made of the way in which ABC will play anchorman Charles Gibson’s interview with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in pieces beginning tonight as a way to maximize ratings, there is another clever aspect to it that I have not found mentioned much elsewhere.
By airing the interview in chunks across a 28 and 1/2 hour news cycle starting tonight at 6:30, ABC News will also be able to fine tune the editorial content to the reaction of the press and public if executives feel the need.
Wednesday, former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel was on NPR talking about what a hard place Gibson finds himself in, likely to be criticized by his colleagues in the press if he seems too deferential to Palin, or attacked by the political right if he seems to harsh.
I think the situation could have been even tougher than that for Gibson. The exclusive nature of the interview makes him representative of The American Press, as well as a repository for all the intense and volatile feelings the public holds toward that embattled and somewhat dazed institution these days.
But by breaking the interview up the way it is, ABC executives can alter and balance the ratio of what it airs as they go along. If blog reviews tonight say Gibson was too harsh, ABC execs can feature some of the less contentious moments starting on Good Morning America tomorrow. Ditto for World News Friday. And then, they get the final edit for 20/20 tonight at 10 — after a full day in which to gauge the reaction to Gibson’s performance. Not to mention all the different demographics they will be reaching throughout the day and night.
Plus, since the interview itself will take place in three parts during that time period, Gibson can adjust his style to the reaction.
At the suggestion of the Democratic National Committee’s Chairman, Howard Dean, who discussed it with Obama and Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, a web page crediting Governor Sarah Palin with killing the “Bridge From Nowhere”, has been “memory holed”. The web site, paid for by the Alaska Democratic Party, said unequivocally that the state of Alaska officially abandoned the Bridge to Nowhere project, and credits Governor Sarah Palin.
Or … it used to say that, before the page mysteriously vanished some time since September 4th…putting the blame for the “earmarks” where it clearly should have been, on Senator Ted Stevens, since only Members of Congress can request them….
Here’s the Google cache link from September 4th: Retire Ted Stevens » Blog Archive » Ted Earmarked Funds for Bridge that Goes Nowhere. And here’s the text that they consigned to the memory hole, because it’s embarrassingly off their false and misleading message:
Ted Earmarked Funds for Bridge that Goes Nowhere
* Stevens championed proposed bridge near Ketchikan that became national symbol of wasteful spending
* Sen. Murkowski’s family would benefit personally from the bridge
* State of Alaska killed bridge
The proposed Gravina Island Bridge, also known as the “Bridge to Nowhere,” became a national symbol of wasteful congressional spending and driver of earmark reform. On Sept. 21, 2007, the State of Alaska officially abandoned the controversial project.
The Gravina Island Bridge initially received $223 million in 2005 via earmarks by Alaska Senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski. The bridge would have connected Ketchikan, Alaska with its local airport on nearby Gravina Island (population 50). Congress stripped the earmark after a national uproar about it but appropriated the money anyway for unspecified transportation uses. Former Gov. Frank Murkowski’s administration set aside about $113 million of the appropriation for the Ketchikan bridge. However, Gov. Sarah Palin said the $398 million bridge was $329 million short of full funding, and only $36 million in federal funds were set aside for it. She said it was clear Congress had little interest in spending any more money for it and that the state had higher priorities.
On Oct. 20, 2005, Ted threatened to resign from the Senate if lawmakers took away money allocated for the Gravina Island Bridge and the Knik Arm Bridge and redirected it to Hurricane Katrina repairs in Louisiana. The attempt to redirect the bridge money was defeated, but Congress later removed the earmarks after intense public criticism.
If the bridge were built, the family of Sen. Lisa Murkowski would benefit. Murkowski’s mother Nancy, wife of former Gov. Frank Murkowski, is co-owner with her three siblings of a 35-acre parcel of land on Gravina Island. The plot is valued at $245,000 and is within a mile of the bridge’s western end. While critics charge that the bridge would increase the value of their property, the Murkowski family has taken umbrage at any suggestion of impropriety. Murkowski called her family’s undeveloped Gravina parcel “a worthless piece of property.”
Dean, Obama and Plouffe will undoubtedly deny and and all wrongdoing, and say they were not in touch with the Alaska Democratic Party. What else would you expect? It is certainly just a “mistake” or some routine house cleaning, yes?
Though Gov. Palin originally supported the earmark spending on the Ketchikan bridge (“to nowhere), she eventually killed the project, chosing to spend Federal money on other infrastructure programs, and suggesting in a public address that adding additional ferry service would be a better, and less costly use of public funds.
However, Senator Joe Biden and Senator Barack Obama both voted for funding the Bridge, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief.
Sen. John McCain did not vote on the Coburn Amendment, though he is on record as opposing the Ketchikan bridge earmark.
This story was compiled by Ridgeliner, with additional materials gathered from: Little Green Footballs, Yahoo Message Boards and JBlog Central.
Tammy Bruce is a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, and is the author of “The New American Revolution” . She has a daily talk radio show. A registered Democrat her entire adult life until February, she now is registered as a decline-to-state voter. So, feminist credentials established, I was happy to see her offer some clarity about Sarah Palin.
In the shadow of the blatant and truly stunning sexism launched against the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign, and as a pro-choice feminist, I wasn’t the only one thrilled to hear Republican John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. For the GOP, she bridges for conservatives and independents what I term “the enthusiasm gap” for the ticket. For Democrats, she offers something even more compelling – a chance to vote for a someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don’t agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.
Whether we have a D, R or an “i for independent” after our names, women share a different life experience from men, and we bring that difference to the choices we make and the decisions we come to. Having a woman in the White House, and not as The Spouse, is a change whose time has come, despite the fact that some Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Palin nomination, maybe they’ll realize it’s not up to them any longer.
Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now look across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career. We can be whatever we choose, on our own terms. For some, that might mean shooting a moose. For others, perhaps it’s about shooting a movie or shooting for a career as a teacher. However diverse our passions, we will vote for a system that allows us to make the choices that best suit us. It’s that simple.
The rank bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season has the distinction of simply being the first revelation of how misogynistic the party has become. The media led the assault, then the Obama campaign continued it. Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first Democratic vice presidential candidate, was so taken aback by the attacks that she publicly decried nominee Barack Obama as “terribly sexist” and openly criticized party chairman Howard Dean for his remarkable silence on the obvious sexism.
Concerned feminists noted, among other thinly veiled sexist remarks during the campaign, Obama quipping, “I understand that Sen. Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal,” and Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen in a television interview comparing Clinton to a spurned lover-turned-stalker in the film, “Fatal Attraction,” noting, “Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub, and Sen. Clinton has had a remarkable career…”. These attitudes, and more, define the tenor of the party leadership, and sent a message to the grassroots and media that it was “Bros Before Hoes,” to quote a popular Obama-supporter T-shirt.
The campaign’s chauvinistic attitude was reflected in the even more condescending Democratic National Convention. There, the Obama camp made it clear it thought a Super Special Women’s Night would be enough to quell the fervent support of the woman who had virtually tied him with votes and was on his heels with pledged delegates.
There was a lot of pandering and lip service to women’s rights, and evenings filled with anecdotes of how so many have been kept from achieving their dreams, or failed to be promoted, simply because they were women. Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” were mentioned a heck of a lot. More people began to wonder, though, how many cracks does it take to break the thing?
Ironically, all this at an event that was negotiated and twisted at every turn in an astounding effort not to promote a woman.
Virtually moments after the GOP announcement of Palin for vice president, pundits on both sides of the aisle began to wonder if Clinton supporters – pro-choice women and gays to be specific – would be attracted to the McCain-Palin ticket. The answer is, of course. There is a point where all of our issues, including abortion rights, are made safer not only if the people we vote for agree with us – but when those people and our society embrace a respect for women and promote policies that increase our personal wealth, power and political influence.
Make no mistake – the Democratic Party and its nominee have created the powerhouse that is Sarah Palin, and the party’s increased attacks on her (and even on her daughter) reflect that panic.
The party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That’s why Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern liberal claim on issues of cultural and social superiority. Why? Because men and women who never before would have considered voting for a Republican have either decided, or are seriously considering, doing so.
They are deciding women’s rights must be more than a slogan and actually belong to every woman, not just the sort approved of by left-wing special interest groups.
Palin’s candidacy brings both figurative and literal feminist change. The simple act of thinking outside the liberal box, which has insisted for generations that only liberals and Democrats can be trusted on issues of import to women, is the political equivalent of a nuclear explosion.
The idea of feminists willing to look to the right changes not only electoral politics, but will put more women in power at lightning speed as we move from being taken for granted to being pursued, nominated and appointed and ultimately, sworn in.
It should be no surprise that the Democratic response to the McCain-Palin ticket was to immediately attack by playing the liberal trump card that keeps Democrats in line – the abortion card – where the party daily tells restless feminists the other side is going to police their wombs.
The power of that accusation is interesting, coming from the Democrats – a group that just told the world that if you have ovaries, then you don’t count.
Yes, both McCain and Palin identify as anti-abortion, but neither has led a political life with that belief, or their other religious principles, as their signature issue. Politicians act on their passions – the passion of McCain and Palin is reform. In her time in office, Palin’s focus has not been to kick the gays and make abortion illegal; it has been to kick the corrupt and make wasteful spending illegal. The Republicans are now making direct appeals to Clinton supporters, knowingly crafting a political base that would include pro-choice voters.
On the day McCain announced her selection as his running mate, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for blazing her trail. A day later, Ferraro noted her shock at Palin’s comment. You see, none of her peers, not one of them, had ever publicly thanked her in the 24 years since her historic run for the White House. Ferraro has since refused to divulge for whom she’s voting. Many more now are realizing that it does indeed take a woman – who happens to be a Republican named Sarah Palin.
Tammy Bruce is an openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush authentic feminist. A lifelong Democrat, in the 1990s she worked to help elect Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and aided the Clinton for President campaign. Before we knew he was a sexual compulsive and “did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
She was drawn into feminist activism in the late 1980′s to contribute to the ongoing effort to ensure safe and legal abortion for all women, and with a special focus on violence against women and ending international subjugation of women. Just two years after joining the National Organization for Women, with a brand of feminism that places her somewhere between Donna Reed and Thelma and Louise, Ms. Bruce was elected president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW at the age of 27. The youngest ever to achieve that position, she doubled the chapter’s membership from 2,000 to 4,000 within a year with issue campaigns that introduced a fresh view of feminist activism. In her seven years as president (1990-1996, the longest continuous tenure in the chapter’s 30 year history) she mobilized activists locally and nationally on a whole range of issues, including women’s image in media, child care, health care, violence against women, economics, and domestic violence. Ms. Bruce also served two years as a member of the National NOW Board of Directors.
An important contributor to the author’s position on the relevance of free speech comes from her experience as a radio talk show host. Flagshipped at KABC Radio and nationally syndicated with 153 affiliates, The “Tammy Bruce Show” premiered in 1993 in Los Angeles. Additionally, her editorials and commentaries on significant social issues have been published nationally and internationally in a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, and on television and radio programming. Ms. Bruce is also a Fox News Channel Political Analyst, and served on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Transition Team.
Ms. Bruce’s first book, “The New Thought Police,” was published by Forum, an imprint of Crown/Random House, in October 2001. An analysis of freedom of expression and the culture wars, it explores the importance of freedom of expression and personal liberty and how that liberty is under attack by the dangerous rise of Left-wing McCarthyism. Her second book, “The Death of Right and Wrong,”also for Random House (April 2003), addresses the rise of moral relativism in society and quickly became a New York Times best seller. Ms. Bruce’s latest work,“The New American Revolution,” was published by Harper Collins/Morrow in November 2005. The paperback edition was released November 2006. She is currently working on her fourth book, with a subject matter yet to be revealed.
A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Bruce holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California. She also notes her interest in politics and individual liberty was sparked during her childhood in part because of the work of authors Ray Bradbury and George Orwell, both of whom remain her favorite writers. Ms. Bruce lives in Los Angeles with Snoopy the Cat, Snoopy’s best friend Sydney the Dog, and puts up with a raccoon she has named Rocky, who refuses to leave her outside patio.
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Governor Sarah Palin, attending the National Governor’s Conference back on February 24, 2008, was interviewed live on C-SPAN. She takes several unscripted calls and emails from viewers, including Democrats who highly praised her bi-partisan philosophy and dedication to ethics reforms.
For those of you who are not exactly enamored with Palin or unsure about her, the composure and command of the facts this lady shows will be an eye-opener. At the end, she even fields a question about possibly being McCain’s running mate, and I think at that time, February, was a few months before the McCain campaign initially contacted her. She betrays a little bemusement that she might be in the running.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been subjected to an intense amount of media and public scrutiny since she was named as John McCain’s vice presidential pick one week ago. Many of the attacks have come in the form of unconfirmed reports on the Internet. Among them:
1) Palin “Joined a Secessionist Political Party”
The Charge: Unsubstantiated Internet reports insisted Palin was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party, which critics call a secessionist political movement and supporters say is dedicated to seeking greater state control over federal lands across Alaska.
The Facts: Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982. There is no record of her ever being a member of the AIP, or any party but the GOP. Palin’s husband has been a member of the AIP in the past, but since 2002 has been a registered independent.
2) Palin Supported a “Nazi Sympathizer”
The Charge: “Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or, as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer,” Obama Florida spokesman Mark Bubriski was quoted as saying in a Miami Herald article.
The Facts: While mayor of Wasilla, Palin wore a Buchanan button during the sometimes presidential candidate’s 1999 visit. But Palin actually supported Steve Forbes in 2000, and served as a co-chair on his Alaska campaign.
In the weeks after the 1999 report of her wearing the Buchanan button, Palin said: “When presidential candidates visit our community, I am always happy to meet them. I’ll even put on their button when handed one as a polite gesture of respect. … The article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla.”
3) Palin “Wants Creationism Taught in School”
The Charge: Palin opposes the teaching of evolution, and would mandate the teaching of creationism in the state’s public schools.
The Facts: Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members. She has kept this pledge, according to the Associated Press.
Palin has spoken in favor of classroom discussions of creationism, in some cases. “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” Palin told the Anchorage Daily News in a 2006 interview.
(See: ‘Creation science’ enters the race; Palin is only candidate to suggest it should be discussed in schools. By Tom Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, 27 October 2006)
4) Palin “Was Nearly Recalled” While Mayor
The Charge: Palin was so controversial as mayor of Wasilla that she was almost recalled by a popular voter movement.
The Facts: The Wasilla City Council considered but never took up a recall motion after she fired a longtime police chief, who subsequently brought a lawsuit. A citizen’s group dropped their recall bid, and a judge ruled Palin had the authority to fire the chief.
5) Palin “Opposes Sex Education”
The Charge: Palin opponents say she supported the end of all sex education in public schools. In light of her daughter’s presumably unplanned teen pregnancy, this has been a particularly well discussed Internet topic.
The Facts: “The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support,” Palin wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates. Palin favors abstinence-based sex education programs.
(See: McCain fought money on teen pregnancy programs, By Sharon Theimer, Associated Press, Sept. 2, 2008)
6) “This Picture Proves Palin is …”
The Charge: A slew of fake, Photoshopped or misdated photographs on the Internet purport to show Palin in any number of embarrassing or compromising poses. One photo claimed to show Palin standing poolside, wearing an American flag-themed bikini, toting a rifle with telescopic sight.
The Facts: The various photos are being discredited and shown to be fake on a number of Web sites. The original of the so-called bikini shot, probably the best-known of the pictures, was shown to have been taken of another woman, with Palin’s head Photoshopped above the body.
(See: Call to Arms)
.7) Palin is the grandmother, and not the mother, of Trig Palin
The Charge: The most salacious rumor of all, this theory holds that Palin did not give birth to her son Trig in April, and was actually covering up for her daughter, Bristol.
The Facts: There are a number of photographs showing an apparently pregnant Sarah Palin, as well as a number of published eyewitness accounts of her pregnancy. These include First Lady Laura Bush, who says she spoke with a pregnant Palin at a governor’s conference in February. An assignment manager for KTVA news in Anchorage, Cherie Shirey, has also been quoted saying: “We worked with Governor Palin many times in 2008. Our reporters worked her on location and in the studio and I worked with her myself. She was definitely pregnant. You could see it in her belly and her face. The whole idea that Sarah Palin wasn’t pregnant with Trig is completely, absolutely absurd.”
The McCain campaign, in an apparent effort to counteract the rumors, announced last weekend that Bristol Palin is five months pregnant, which indicated she would have become pregnant before Trig was born.
8 ) Governor Palin slashed funding for a program supporting teen mothers
The Charge: he Washington Post’s Paul Kane reported that “Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms.” The far-left Huffington Post repeated the story the next day, and it was off and running. To support this contention, Kane produced the 2008 Alaska budget, along with Governor Palin’s line-item reductions. Kane said, “Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million.”
The Facts: Covenant House Alaska is a faith-based, not-for-profit agency which provides a variety of services to troubled teens, including a home for teen moms. Although the work with adolescent mothers is only one component of Covenant’s services, Kane focused on this particular aspect of its work. His focus was not a surprise, given the revelation that Governor Palin’s teen daughter is five months pregnant. Covenant House requested additional state funding to help expand housing capacity. The legislature agreed that expansion was a worthy objective and allocated the substantial sum of $5 million in the proposed budget.
In Alaska, the governor is allowed to reduce budget allocations in the service of sound management and fiscal accountability. It is true that Mrs. Palin trimmed the proposed $5 million allocation to $3.9 million. However, the Washington Post did not tell readers that the state of Alaska’s 2008 allocation was three times more than Covenant House Alaska received from all government grants in 2007. According to records posted on the Covenant House Alaska website, the organization received just over $1.3 million dollars from grants in 2007 and nearly $1.2 million in 2006. Even with the reductions, Governor Palin signed a budget which provided a massive influx of support for troubled teens.
Thus, the Post report is misleading on three counts. One, the funding in question went to an organization which provides many different services, including work with teen mothers. There was no funding at issue exclusively earmarked for pregnant teens. No funds directly allocated to teen moms were slashed.
Two, the report gives the impression that the Governor reduced prior state funding levels, when, in fact, the Palin-approved budget allowed a massive expansion of funding for this faith-based organization. The organization’s total revenue for 2007, from all sources, was just over $3 million. Thus, the amount approved by Palin and the Alaska legislature was a huge increase. The money given to Covenant House cannot be considered a cut in funding; it was a raise, even if the raise was not as great as originally contemplated by the legislature.
Three, Covenant House Alaska experienced no cut in operating expenses as the result of the Palin budget. The center’s executive director, Deirdre Cronin, explained it this way in a September 4 statement:
“Despite some press reports to the contrary, our operating budget was not reduced. Our $3.9 million appropriation is directed toward a multi-year capital project and it is our understanding that the state simply opted to phase in its support for this project over several years, rather than all at once in the current budget year.”
Viewed within the context of prior expenditures, it becomes clear that Governor Palin increased funding for social services which benefit kids, not “slashed” them as the Post reported. The increase is the beginning of a multi-year investment in help for vulnerable teens. A prudent course, the state will monitor the progress of Covenant House and allocate funds over time. In this way, Palin demonstrated she is not afraid to exercise fiscal caution, even when that decision involves those of similar ideology.
Taking everything into account, a dramatically different picture of Governor Palin’s actions comes into focus. Executive Director Cronin sees it differently than Mr. Kane, saying, “We are grateful for the support we have received from Governor Sarah Palin, the Alaska legislature and our Congressional delegation over the years.”
In Washington, D.C., sometimes more is less. In Alaska, more is still more.
Your submissions and additions are welcome!
NOTE: This is an important piece, written from the rare perspective of a woman, a journalist and someone who was there and witnessed the history being made by the premiere “Iron Lady” of our time…..a politician second only, perhaps, to Churchill or Reagan in changing world history and the geopoltical map, Margaret Thatcher. I present it here for those who might have missed it in the Wall Street Journal…
What Mrs. Palin Could Learn From Mrs. T
By BARBARA AMIEL
September 5, 2008
The glummest face Wednesday night might have been, if only we could have seen it, that of Hillary Clinton.
Imagine watching Sarah Palin, the gun-toting, lifelong member of the NRA, the PTA mom with teased hair and hips half the size of Hillary’s, who went … omigod! … to the University of Idaho and studied journalism. Mrs. Palin with her five kids and one of them still virtually suckling age, going wham through that cement ceiling put there exclusively for good-looking right-wing/populist conservative females by not-so-good-looking left-wing ones (Gloria Steinem excepting). There, pending some terrible goof or revelation, stood the woman most likely to get into the Oval Office as its official occupant rather than as an intern.
Imagine Hillary’s fury. The gnashing of teeth after all the years of sacrifice and hard work—a life of it—and then the endless nuisance of stylists, makeovers and fittings for Oscar de la Renta gowns for Vogue covers. And surely that gimmicky holding of the baby papoose style by Todd Palin after his wife’s acceptance speech is sacrosanct left-wing territory! If only Chelsea had been younger of course, Bill could have done it and then, well, who knows what might have been forgiven him?
American feminists have always had a tough sell to make. To the rest of the world, no females on earth have ever had it as easy as middle-class American women. Cosseted, surrounded by labor-saving devices, easily available contraception and supermarkets groaning with food, their complaints have always seemed to have no relationship to reality.
Education was there for the taking. Marriages were not arranged. Going against social mores had no serious consequences. Postwar American women (excluding those mired in poverty or the odious restrictions of race) have always had the choice of what they wanted to be. They simply didn’t decide to exercise it until it became more fashionable to get out of the home than to run it.
Sarah Palin has put the flim-flam nature of American feminism sharply into focus, revealing the not-so-secret hypocrisy of its code and, whatever her future, this alone is an accomplishment. As she emerged into the nation’s consciousness, a shudder went through the feminist left—a political movement not restricted to females. She is a mother refusing to stay at home (good) who had made a success out in the workplace (excellent) whose marriage nevertheless is a rip-roaring success and whose views are unspeakable—those of a red-blooded, right-wing principled pragmatist.
The metaphorical hair stood up on the back of every licensed member of the feminist movement who could immediately see she was a monster out of a nightmare landscape by Hieronymus Bosch. Pro-life. Pro-oil exploration in Alaska, home of the nation’s polar bears for heaven’s sake. Smaller government. Lower taxes. And that family of hers: Next to the Clintons with their dysfunctional marriage, her fertility and sexually robust life could only emphasize the shriveled nature of the one-child family of the former Queen Bee of political female accomplishment.
Mrs. Palin’s emergence caused a spasm in American feminism. Caste and class have always been ammunition in the very Eastern seaboard women’s movement, and now they were (so to speak) loading for bear. Sally Quinn felt a mother of five had no business being vice president. Andrea Mitchell remarked that “only the uneducated” would vote for Mrs. Palin. “Choose a woman but this woman?” wrote Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer, accusing Sen. McCain of using a Down’s syndrome child as qualification for the VP spot.
The hypocrisy was breathtaking. Only nanoseconds before the choice of Mrs. Palin as VP put her a geriatric heartbeat away from the presidency, a woman’s right to have a career and children was a shibboleth of feminism. One always knew that women with views that opposed those of official feminism were to be treated as nonwomen. To see it now out in the open was the real shocker.
The fact that this mom had been governor of a state was dismissed because it was a “small state,” as was the city of which she had been mayor. Her acceptance speech, which knowledgeable left-wing critics feared would be effective, was dismissed before being delivered. She would be reading from a teleprompter. The speech would be good, no doubt, but written for her.
Had she been a man with similar political views, the left’s opposition would have been strong but less personally vicious: It would have focused neither on a daughter’s pregnancy, nor on the candidate’s inability to be a good parent if the job was landed. In its panic, the left was indicating that to be a female running for office these days is no hindrance but an advantage, and admitting that there is indeed a difference between mothers and fathers that cannot necessarily be resolved by having daddy doing the diaper run.
All the shrapnel has so far been counterproductive. The mudslinging tabloid journalism—is Mrs. Palin the mother or grandmother of her Down’s baby?—only raised her profile to a point where viewers who would never dream of watching a Republican vice-presidential acceptance speech tuned in.
Watching the frenzied reaction was déjà vu from my years as a political columnist in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain. Modern history’s titan of female political life suffered a similar hatred, fueled to a large extent by her gender. Mrs. Thatcher overcame it magnificently, but in the end, the fact was that she was female and not one of “them”—a member of the old boys’ club of the Tory establishment—played a significant role in bringing her down.
She was bound to be disliked vehemently by the left once she began to reveal her agenda of deregulation, sensible industrial relations, and tax reduction. Still among most of her enemies this had to do more with her ideas than her ovaries at the beginning. It was the aristocracy of her own Conservative Party that could not bear the notion of being led by “that woman.” “Until she became leader,” says Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph and authorized biographer of Mrs. Thatcher, “it was assumed she could not be it because of her sex.”
Mrs. Thatcher was originally given the education portfolio by Prime Minister Edward Heath, though she wanted to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, the equivalent of the U.S. Treasury Secretary. Education was considered a woman’s job, and regarded as far less important than it would be today. In the education portfolio she was excluded from higher counsels and out of the way. When she challenged Heath for the party leadership in February 1974, at age 49, she turned the tables and used her gender to appeal to the gallantry of disaffected Tory backbenchers. “She’s a very brave girl,” they would say.
Mrs. Thatcher, a good-looking woman, used her sexual attractiveness to its legitimate hilt. She was known to flirt both with caucus members and the opposition, her face tilted girlishly in conversation. She succeeded politically with those leaders with whom she could flirt—including Ronald Reagan, Francois Mitterrand and most unlikely of all, Mikhail Gorbachev. Her stylish, hint-of-Dr. Zhivago wardrobe for a 1987 visit to the Soviet Union became something of a national obsession.
Such attractiveness had the opposite effect on the Tory grandees. Books have been written on what it was that nurtured their contempt. After all, they were in the same political party, and their fortunes rested on her popularity.
No doubt part of the animosity arose from her origins as the daughter of a Grantham grocer, a woman whose home address was a street number rather than an estate with simply the house name. Lord Ian Gilmour of Craigmillar dismissed Mrs. Thatcher as “a Daily Telegraph woman”—code language for some ghastly suburban creature wearing a tasteless flowered hat. Winston Churchill’s son-in-law, Christopher Soames, a man of much genuine intelligence, allegedly called her “Heath with tits”—an inaccurate and inelegant description, but one that captured exquisitely the contempt his class had for her. Both Gilmour and Soames were fired by Mrs. Thatcher in the housecleaning that took place during the late ’70s and early ’80s. But the core of High Tories remained active in the party waiting to bring her down.
The British feminist movement at that time was of little import. “I owe nothing to women’s lib,” Mrs. Thatcher remarked, thus assuring herself of a permanent place in their pantheon of evil. During her years in power, Mrs. Thatcher could and did use the rhetoric of home economics in a way a prudent male politician no longer dared do. Metaphors of kitchen and gender abounded in her speeches: “it is the cock that crows,” she would say, “but the hen that lays the eggs.”
Mrs. Thatcher would have recognized the guns aimed at Sarah Palin as the weapons of the left with feminist trigger-pullers. She also would have known that Mrs. Palin has less to fear from East-Coast intellectual snobs in egalitarian America than she had to fear from her own Tory base in class-prejudiced Britain. She would have told her to stand her ground and do her homework. Read your briefs, choose advisers with care, and, as she once said to me, my arm in her grip and her eyes fixed firmly on mine, “Just be yourself, don’t ever give in and they can’t harm you.”
It wasn’t quite true, of course. She did read her briefs, did stand her ground, and in the end they pulled her down, those grandees. But she made history. If a grocer’s daughter can do it, a self-described hockey mom cannot be dismissed.
Ms. Amiel is a columnist for Macleans’, the Canadian weekly newsmagazine, and a former senior political columnist for the Sunday Times of London.
The whole “Palin Controversy” isn’t. It is a concoction whipped up that is lighter than Meringue, by David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, to deflect attention away from the real subject of this election: Barack Obama.
The media and Obama’s campaign couldn’t wait to tell the public about Palin’s husband getting a driving under the influence arrest 25 years ago, something they breathlessly announced as “proof” Palin wasn’t vetted properly.
What about the vetting of Barack H. Obama? You know, the PRESIDENTIAL candidate who himself used cocaine and other drugs about 20-30 years ago?? Are the media aware of what crimes Obama committed back then? Nope, didn’t think so… Why not? Because they did not VET him! Why isn’t anyone screaming about the lack of proper vetting of Barack Obama?
Who did Obama live with, room with in college? Where are they now? Where are the legislative records, transcripts from all his massive amount of work in the Illinois Senate? Surely a man so accomplished as Obama would have left a gigantic amount of statements in support or opposition to the thousands of proposals and bills submitted to such a large body. Who in the media poured over them? No one did.
Thomas Sowell, writing at Townhall. com raised some good points:
Now that the Democrats have recovered from the shock of Governor Sarah Palin’s nomination as the Republican’s candidate for vice president, they have suddenly discovered that her lack of experience in general– and foreign policy experience in particular– is a terrible danger in someone just a heartbeat away from being President of the United States.
For those who are satisfied with talking points, there is no need to go any further. But, for those who still consider substance relevant, this is an incredible argument coming from those whose presidential candidate has even less experience in public office than Sarah Palin, and none in foreign policy.
Moreover, if Senator Barack Obama is elected, he will not be a heartbeat away from the presidency, his would be the heartbeat of the president– and he would be the one making foreign policy.
But the big talking point is that the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee, Senator Joe Biden, has years of foreign policy experience as a member, and now chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
That all depends on what the definition of “experience” is.
Before getting into that, however, a plain fact should be noted: No governor ever had foreign policy experience before becoming president– not Ronald Reagan, not Franklin D. Roosevelt, nor any other governor.
It is hard to know how many people could possibly have had foreign policy experience before reaching the White House besides a Secretary of State or a Secretary of Defense.
The last Secretary of War (the old title of Secretaries of Defense) to later become President of the United States was William Howard Taft, a hundred years ago. The last Secretary of State to become President of the United States was James Buchanan, a century and a half ago.
The first President Bush had been head of the C.I.A., which certainly gave him a lot of knowledge of what was happening around the world, though still not experience in making the country’s foreign policy.
Senator Joe Biden’s years of service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is even further removed from foreign policy experience. He has had a front-row seat as an observer of foreign policy. But Senator Biden has never had any real experience of making foreign policy and taking the consequences of the results.
The difference between being a spectator and being a participant, with responsibility for the consequences of what you say and do, is fundamental.
You can read books about crime or attend lectures by criminologists, but you have no real experience or expertise about crime unless you have been a criminal or a policeman.
Although I served in the Marine Corps, I have no military experience in any meaningful sense. The closest I ever came to combat was being assigned to photograph the maneuvers of the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
That was photographic experience, not military experience. If someone gave me a policy-making job in the Pentagon, I wouldn’t have a clue.
The fact that Senator Joe Biden has for years listened to all sorts of people testify on all sorts of foreign policy issues tells us nothing about how well he understood the issues.
Out of the four presidential and vice-presidential candidates this year, only Governor Palin has had to make executive decisions and live with the consequences.
As for Senator Obama, his various pronouncements on foreign policy have been as immature as they have been presumptuous.
He talked publicly about taking military action against Pakistan, one of our few Islamic allies and a nation with nuclear weapons.
Barack Obama’s first response to the Russian invasion of Georgia was to urge “all sides” to negotiate a cease-fire and take their issues to the United Nations. That is standard liberal talk, which even Obama had second thoughts about, after Senator John McCain gave a more grown-up response.
We should all have second thoughts about what is, and is not, foreign policy “experience.”
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, went on the offense during her address to the 2008 Republican National Convention, drawing sharp distinctions between the Republican ticket and Obama-Biden and taking on the media for its coverage of her in recent days. Excerpts from her speech are below:
“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”
“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”
“Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems — as if we all didn’t know that already,” she said. “But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”
“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”
More on Sarah Palin’s speech later, when I have had a chance to sleep on it, sort out my feelings, which are basically positive.
Joseph Isadore “Joe” Lieberman
In these prepared remarks, speaking before the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Senator Joseph Lieberman says he supports John McCain because “country matters more than party” and McCain is the person to break through the partisan divide.
Thank you for that warm welcome. I am honored to be here.
We meet tonight in the wake of a terrible storm that has hit the Gulf Coast but that hurts all of us, because we are all members of our larger American family.
At times like this, we set aside all that divides us, and we come together to help our fellow citizens in need. What matters is certainly not whether we are Democrats or Republicans, but that we are all Americans. The truth is, it shouldn’t take a hurricane to bring us together like this.
Every day, across our country, millions of our fellow citizens are facing huge problems.
They are worried about their homes, their jobs, and their businesses; they are worried about the outrageous cost of gas and of health insurance; and they are worried about the threats from our enemies abroad.
But when they look to Washington, all too often they do not see their leaders coming together to tackle these problems.
Instead they see Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, rather than fighting for the American people.
Our Founding Fathers foresaw the danger of this kind of senseless partisanship. George Washington himself — in his farewell address to our country — warned that the “spirit of party” is “the worst enemy” of our democracy and “enfeebles” our government’s ability to do its job.
George Washington was absolutely right. The sad truth is — today we are living through his worst nightmare, in the capital city that bears his name.
And that brings me directly to why I am here tonight. What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?
The answer is simple.
I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.
I’m here tonight because John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead our country forward.
I’m here because John McCain’s whole life testifies to a great truth: being a Democrat or a Republican is important.
But it is not more important than being an American.
Both presidential candidates this year talk about changing the culture of Washington, about breaking through the partisan gridlock and special interests that are poisoning our politics. But only one of them has actually done it. Only one leader has shown the courage and the capability to rise above the smallness of our politics to get big things done for our country and our people. And that leader is John McCain.
John understands that it shouldn’t take a natural disaster like Hurricane Gustav to get us to take off our partisan blinders and work together to get things done.
It shouldn’t take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don’t care much if you have an “R” or a “D” after your name.
What they care about is, are we solving the problems they are up against every day?
What you can expect from John McCain as president is precisely what he has done this week: which is to put country first. That is the code by which he has lived his entire life, and that is the code he will carry with him into the White House.
I have personally seen John, over and over again, bring people together from both parties to tackle our toughest problems we face —to reform our campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws, to create the 9/11 Commission and pass its critical national security reforms, and to end the partisan paralysis over judicial confirmations.
My Democratic friends know all about John’s record of independence and accomplishment. Maybe that’s why some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince voters that John McCain is someone else. I’m here, as a Democrat myself, to tell you: Don’t be fooled. God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man.
If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have taken on corrupt Republican lobbyists, or big corporations that were cheating the American people, or powerful colleagues in Congress who were wasting taxpayer money.
But he did.
If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or to do something about global warming.
But he did.
As a matter of fact, if John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I’m Michael Moore’s favorite Democrat.
And I’m not.
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.
Governor Sarah Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer who has taken on the special interests and reached across party lines. She is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington.
That’s why the McCain-Palin ticket is the real ticket for change this year.
The Washington bureaucrats and power brokers can’t build a pen strong enough to hold these two mavericks.
And together, you can count on John McCain and Sarah Palin to fight for America and to fight for you! And that’s what our country needs most right now.
What we need most is not more party unity in America but more national unity.
Especially at a time of war, we need a president we can count on to fight for what’s right for our country — not only when it is easy, but when it is hard.
When others were silent, John McCain had the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. When others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, when Barack Obama was voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground, John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion and support the surge, and because of that, today, our troops are at last beginning to come home, not in failure, but in honor.
Before I conclude, I ask the indulgence of those in this hall tonight, as I want to speak directly to my fellow Democrats and independents who are watching.
I know many of you are angry and frustrated by our government and our politics and for good reason. You may be thinking of voting for John McCain, but you’re not sure. Some of you have never voted for a Republican before and in an ordinary election, you probably wouldn’t. But this is no ordinary election, because these are not ordinary times, and John McCain is no ordinary candidate. You may not agree with John McCain on every issue. But you can always count on him to be straight with you about where he stands, and to stand for what he thinks is right regardless of politics.
As president, you can count on John McCain to be a restless reformer, who will clean up Washington and get our government working again for you.
So tonight, I ask you whether you are an independent, a Reagan Democrat or a Clinton Democrat, or just a Democrat: This year, when you vote for president, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to.
Vote for the leader who, since the age of 17, when he raised his hand and took an oath to defend and protect our Constitution, has always put our country first.
So, let’s come together to make a great American patriot our next great president.
You can view the entire speech via C-Span by clicking here.
According to a news item this morning, George Romney, Mitt’s dad, was the worlds most experienced executive! George Romney? Yes, I kid you not. His Chairmanship of American Motors, Governor of Michigan and several campaigns for the Presidency make it so. He is followed closely by those well-known titans of industry, Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. You didn’t know Nixon and Humphrey were executives? You thought they were well-known politicians/office holders? Well that’s because you don’t believe in change! You’re an antiquated relic from the past, perhaps…even…..perhaps even a distraction….
The news item I spoke of above was an interview with Barack Obama. The Chosen One. On Anderson Cooper’s show @ CNN Mr. Obama made some pretty amazing assertions, after the obligatory Hurricane Gustav concerns:
Now the video, aside from proving the man cannot speak easily without a teleprompter, is to me, absolutely stunning.
Obama: Well, you know, my understanding is that Governor Palin’s town, has I think 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about 3 times that just for the month. So I think our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear…
Obama compares the size of his campaign to the small Alaskan town Governor Palin was mayor of and suggests that since his campaign has more employees and will spend more money, that he is then the more experienced and more qualified executive! Stop and think about those exact words.
Obama apparently forgot that Governor Palin is also a governor. And perhaps he didn’t know (but of course he does), but the number of state employees in Alaska dwarfs anything his campaign could ever hope to hire. And the Alaska state budget is some 22 times higher than the budget of the Obama campaign. And the investment boards and total revenue invested for the Alaska Trust (these are the mandadated investment of all mineral revenues) is in the tens of billions of dollars!
Oddly enough, Obama doesn’t site his days as a “community organizer” or his service in the Illinois State Senate, where presumably he did have a staff, as part of his executive experience.
In his very own words, Senator Obama concedes that the only executive experience he has had is that of running his campaign for President, these scant past two years. He is actually suggesting that the experience he has gotten from running his campaign is a major part of what qualifies him to be president!
John McCain’s spokesman called the suggestion “laughable.”
“For Barack Obama to argue that he’s experienced enough to be president because he’s running for president is desperate circular logic and its laughable. It is a testament to Barack Obama’s inexperience and failing qualifications that he would stoop to passing off his candidacy as comparable to Governor Sarah Palin’s executive experience managing a budget of over $10 billion and more than 24,000 employees,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.
This is the first that I could find, in hours of searching, of Barack Obama claiming to take a personal role in running his campaign, being in effect the CEO of it. All previous mentions by Obama reference his campaign manager, media people, and all that. I did find a video of him in his Chicago HQ remarking how he barely recognized the faces, the place had grown so. I have run some pretty large campaigns, and have yet to run across a candidate one could compare to a CEO/COO/Chairman.
Using only Obama’s standard, it is crystal clear Governor Palin has the far greater executive experience. She controls a budget of almost $10 billion and a state work force of some 20,000+ employees – ten times the number Obama employs in his campaign. And a budget some 20 times higher than anything Obama will manage in this year’s campaign.
Here are just a few of the duties a sitting governor deals with daily:
* Government administration
* Commerce, Community & Economic Development
* Corrections/Prisons/Criminal Justice
* Environmental policies
* Fish & Game
* Health and Social Services
* Military and Veterans’ Affairs
* Natural Resources
* Public Safety
* Transportation and Public Facilities
* State College and Universities
* State Legislature/Approving or Vetoing Bills
* Court System Administration
* Fund Capitalization
* Public Education Fund
* Special Appropriations
* Retirement policies
While many on the left are busy denouncing Palin for not having enough executive experience, while noting Obama’s vast experience as a community organizer and a state senator, they overlook the following: that as the governor of a state, even a small population state like Alaska, you confront issues and have responsibilities that are very much like those you will come into contact with in the White House.
I think it only logical to conclude that experience is even more relevant in Governor Palin’s case, as she is a politician used to being far closer, having more direct contact and feedback with her Constituents than Obama, who as a United States Senator and Illinois State Senator comes from a state with a compariatively huge population base that makes direct contact problematic.
What say you?
In the wake of John McCain’s decision to select Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, some in the press and bloggers are reporting on an inquiry involving the Department of Public Safety commissioner and Governor Palins former brother-in-law, a state trooper. The following are the facts of the matter, with full citations. Please feel free to comment or ask questions!
- Governor Palin is an open book on this — she did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide. As a reformer and a leader on ethics reform, she has been happy to cooperate fully in the inquiry of this matter.
- Governor Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because of an honest disagreement over budget priorities — thats it. Though Governor Palin had differences of opinion over department policy, she valued Monegans talents and offered him another position in the administration that was consistent with Monegans skill set and that was in an area where the two shared the same policy goals.
- The allegation that Governor Palin retaliated against Commissioner Monegan for not firing Trooper Wooten is cut from whole cloth. In fact, it was first made, without any evidence, by a blogger who, as Governor Palins opponent in her 2006 gubernatorial race (receiving nine percent of the vote), has blasted the Governor ever since she turned down his request for a government job.
Former Public Safety Commissioner Monegan stated that at no time did Governor Palin, her husband, or anyone on her staff tell him to fire trooper Mike Wooten. Monegan told the Anchorage Daily News, for the record, no one ever said fire Wooten. Not the governor. Not Todd. Not any of the other staff.
After initially saying he was not certain why he was dismissed, Monegan later said he felt pressured to do something about Wooten, but had no knowledge that pressure was connected with his later dismissal. Gov. Palin stated that she had not pressured Monegan or his Department to fire Wooten, and that she had asked Monegan to take a different position in her administration because she wanted a new direction in the Department.
- The questions related to threats made by Governor Palins ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten, arise from a particularly contentious divorce between Wooten and the Governors sister, Molly McCann, a dispute that began in 2005 (prior to her becoming Governor).
- Mike Wooten, the former husband of Governor Palins sister, was a state trooper who made threats against his wife and father-in-law and used a taser against his 10-year old step son.
These threats, which resulted in a court-imposed Domestic Violence Protective Order, included telling others that his wifes father would eat a f***ing lead bullet if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce. As a result of these actions, Wooten was suspended from duty with the State Police. In suspending the state trooper, the State Police cited the state troopers serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity, and threatened to fire him if his behavior continued. Following this, he issued continuing threats against the Governor and her family. Since his January 2006 divorce from Molly McCann, Wooten (age 35) has married and divorced again — his fourth divorce.
- When Sarah Palin was elected Governor in 2006, the Governors security detail routinely asked if she was aware of any threats against her or her family, and learned of Wootens actions and threats.
Special Agent Bob Cockrell, of the governors security detail, instructed that Public Safety Commissioner Monegan be notified about Wootens threats on the governors fathers life and against the governor because Wooten constituted a security threat. Governor Palin raised the subject with Monegan, and he suggested that it would be better for them not to talk about it, but that her husband, Todd Palin, could contact him about Wooten if necessary. Todd Palin did so, and made follow-up inquiries, as did other members of the Governors staff, inquiring about the appropriate Department of Public Safety procedures for dealing with someone they considered a dangerous person and rogue trooper. Monegan never informed Todd Palin of the disciplinary action against Wooten at the time, and the Governor did not learn of Wootens suspension until after Monegan had left the Department of Public Safety. The governor did not learn of these contacts by Todd Palin until August of this year.
- Thereafter, Governor Palin discovered that others in her administration had spoken to Monegan about Wooten, and that there was a recording of one, Frank Bailey, doing so.
Governor Palin was the first to disclose the discovery, publicly releasing a tape of the conversation. She stated that she was unaware of Baileys actions, that they were unauthorized and wrong and she suspended him from his duties. Bailey has testified under oath that no one on the governors staff authorized his inquiry about Wooten, and that he acted on his own initiative because he thought Wooten was a dangerous threat to the security of the governor and her father.
- The legislature and Attorney General are both currently reviewing the circumstances of Walt Monegans departure from the Department of Public Safety, and the Governor is fully cooperating with those inquiries.
As an appointee of the Governor, Monegan could legally be removed from office for any reason whatsoever, however, the governor removed Monegan from office for reasons related to their differences over budget policy, not for anything connected to her family.
Background Information On Trooper Inquiry:
- In 2005, Sarah Palin Alleged That Her Brother-In-Law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, Threatened Her Family And Had Used A Stun Gun On His 10-Year Old Stepson. In 2005, Governor Palin alleged that her brother in-law, Mike Wooten, had threatened to harm her sister and father and had engaged in numerous instances of misconduct, including using a stun gun on his 10-year-old stepson, according to state documents. (Jim Carlton, Alaskas Palin Faces Probe, The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08)
- An Internal State Police Investigation Confirmed That Wooten Used A Taser On His Stepson, Threatened His Father-In-Law With Violence And Drank Beer In His Patrol Car. As the investigation got under way in 2005, Wooten was in the midst of a bitter divorce from Palins sister, Molly McCann. The couple was fighting over custody of their two young children. Accusations flew from both sides. Troopers eventually investigated 13 issues and found four in which Wooten violated policy or broke the law or both: –Wooten used a Taser on his stepson. –He illegally shot a moose. –He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion. –He told others his father-in-law would eat a fing lead bullet if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce. Beyond the investigation sparked by the family, trooper commanders saw cause to discipline or give written instructions to correct Wooten seven times since he joined the force, according to Grimes letter to Wooten. Those incidents included: a reprimand in January 2004 for negligent damage to a state vehicle; a January 2005 instruction after being accused of speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely and not using turn signals in his state vehicle; a June 2005 instruction regarding personal cell phone calls; an October 2005 suspension from work after getting a speeding ticket; and a November 2005 memo to clarify duty hours, tardiness and personal business during duty time. (Lisa Demer, Is Wooten A Good Trooper? Anchorage Daily News, 7/27/08)
- Wooten Was Suspended By State Police, Who Cited His Record Of A Serious And Concentrated Pattern Of Unacceptable And At Times, Illegal Activity Occurring Over A Lengthy Period, Which Establishes A Course Of Conduct Totally At Odds With The Ethics Of Our Profession. The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession, Col. Julia Grimes, then head of Alaska State Troopers, wrote in March 1, 2006, letter suspending Wooten for 10 days. After the union protested it, the suspension was reduced to five days. She warned that if he messed up again, hed be fired. (Lisa Demer, Is Wooten A Good Trooper? Anchorage Daily News, 7/27/08)
- A State Police Investigation Revealed That After Palins Sister Filed Protective Order Against Wooten, He Was Ordered To Surrender His Department-Issued Guns, Badge, Credentials And Vehicle During His Off-Duty Time, While The Order Was In Effect. The troopers investigation into Wooten began after Chuck Heath — Wootens father-in-law and Palin and McCanns dad — alerted troopers about a domestic violence protective order McCann had obtained against Wooten on April 11, 2005. McCann filed for divorce the same day, according to the court docket. The trooper had not physically assaulted his wife but intimidated her and threatened to shoot him, Heath told troopers, according to a memo about the complaint. The same day, a concerned neighbor of the couple called troopers with more accusations, including alcohol abuse, based on what Heath and McCann had relayed to him. Wooten seemed disconnected lately, the neighbor said. He told troopers that Heath and McCann were afraid to call troopers themselves. Extreme verbal abuse and violent threats and physical intimidation, McCann wrote in her April 11, 2005, petition to the court. He had driven drunk multiple times, threatened her father, told her to put a leash on your sister and family or Im going to bring them down, her petition says. A judge issued a 20-day protective order to keep Wooten away. In written orders to Wooten sent the next day, trooper Capt. Matt Leveque echoed the courts directive. Leveque, now a major, also told Wooten to give up his department-issued guns, badge, credentials and vehicle during his off-duty time, while the order was in effect. (Lisa Demer, Is Wooten A Good Trooper? Anchorage Daily News, 7/27/08)
- In July 2007, Palin Dismissed The Department Of Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, Who Then Complained That Palin Had Pressured Him To Fire Wooten. On July 11 of this year, Ms. Palin fired Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Mr. Monegan then complained that she and her husband had pressured him to fire Mr. Wooten. (Jim Carlton, Alaskas Palin Faces Probe, The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08)
- Palin Agreed To Cooperate With A Legislative Inquiry Of Monegans Departure. Ms. Palin, in a statement, denied that, saying she had removed the commissioner she had appointed 18 months earlier because she wanted a new direction. She said she will cooperate with the legislative probe, which is expected to be completed by November. (Jim Carlton, Alaskas Palin Faces Probe, The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08)
- Palin Disclosed That She Had Discovered That Administration Staff Discussed Wooten With The Department Of Public Safety. Palin, who has previously said her administration didnt exert pressure to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten, also disclosed that members of her staff had made about two dozen contacts with public safety officials about the trooper. I do now have to tell Alaskans that such pressure could have been perceived to exist although I have only now become aware of it, Palin said. (Sean Cockerham, Palin Staff Pushed To Have Trooper Fired, Anchorage Daily News, 8/14/08)
- Palin Suspended Administration Staffer Frank Bailey, Who Said He Made Phone Call On Wooten Without Governor Palins Knowledge. Gov. Sarah Palin placed the states director of boards and commissions on paid administrative leave Tuesday while an investigation continues into whether she abused her power when firing former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan. Frank Bailey was one of several officials who placed a call to the Alaska State Troopers questioning the employment of an officer who went through a messy divorce with Palins sister. Monegan has said he felt pressure to fire the trooper, Mike Wooten. Palin denies firing Monegan because he refused to dismiss the trooper. But last week, she acknowledged that at least two dozen calls were made by staff members to Public Safety Department officials questioning Wootens employment, including one by Bailey that was retained on tape. Bailey has said he made the phone call on his own without knowledge of Palin or her husband, Todd. Nearly a week later after the call was made public, Palin announced her decision to place Bailey on leave. (Steve Quinn, Palin Places Bailey On Administrative Leave, The Associated Press, 8/20/08)
- Palin Said Administration Staffer Frank Baileys Actions Were Unauthorized And Wrong: His Comments Were Unauthorized As Well As Just Wrong. But it was Baileys conversation with a trooper, Ketchikan-based Lt. Rodney Dial, that Palin said last week was most disturbing and problematic. Mr. Bailey seemed to be speaking on my behalf, but Mr. Bailey was not speaking for me, Palin said last week. His comments were unauthorized as well as just wrong. (Steve Quinn, Palin Places Bailey On Administrative Leave, The Associated Press, 8/20/08)
- Note: The Head Of Governor Palins Security, Special Agent Bob Cockrell, Instructed Todd Palin To Contact Monegan Directly About Any Security Concerns: When Made Aware Of The Security Concerns Regarding A State Trooper, I Instructed The First Gentleman To Contact The Commissioner Of Public Safety. Monegan has also raised questions about the propriety of the First Gentleman, Todd Palin, meeting with Monegan right after the Governor was elected to discuss security concerns surrounding a state trooper. That meeting occurred following standard questioning of any newly-elected Governor and First Family members regarding security detail concerns. The First Gentleman was specifically told to meet with Monegan by the Governors top security detail, Special Agent Bob Cockrell, to forward serious concerns that were substantiated in an internal trooper investigation. The concerns regarding the trooper included: using a Taser stun gun on his stepson, illegally killing a moose and driving with an open container in his patrol car. The First Gentleman also expressed concern over death threats made against a family member by the trooper. When made aware of the security concerns regarding a state trooper, I instructed the First Gentleman to contact the commissioner of Public Safety, Cockrell said. It is standard protocol to ask every governor about any threats they perceive or have realized. I will not hesitate to set the record straight in answering these false allegations by former Commissioner Monegan. (Governor Sarah Palin, Palin Responds To Latest Falsehoods Accusations By Former Commissioner, Press Release, 7/22/08)
- Note: Monegan Said It Was Appropriate For Todd Palin To Contact Him About Any Security Threats. The governor raised the issue again in February 2007 during the legislative session in Juneau. As we were walking down the stairs in the capitol building, Monegan said, she wanted to talk to me about her former brother-in-law. I said, Ma’am, I need to keep you at arms length with this. I cant deal about him with you. If need be, I can talk to Todd. (James V. Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy, Palin Focus Of Probe In Police Chiefs Firing, The Washington Post, 8/30/08)
Governor Palin Has Dedicated Her Career To Reform, Taking On Corruption And Passing Ethics Reform. If you still have doubts about Sarah Palin, look into the following. It will be illuminating….
Palin Flies High As Reformer –Anchorage Daily News, 12/27/07
Palin Signs Ethics Reforms Into Law –The Associated Press, 7/10/07
Rebel Status Has Fueled Front-Runners Success: Palin: Her Reputation As A Crusader Has Had Perfect Timing –Anchorage Daily News, 10/24/06
Palin, Croft Call For Expanded Ethics Investigation –The Associated Press, 12/11/04
Palins Simply Doing The Right Thing –Anchorage Daily News, 6/24/07
Oil Industry Clout Pushed Back By Palin, Legislators –Anchorage Daily News, 11/19/07
The Joan Of Arc Of Alaska Politics –Anchorage Daily News, 8/29/08
Palin Sends Ethics Bill To House –Anchorage Daily News, 1/26/07
Shes No Good Ol Boy –Los Angeles Times, 8/30/08
Bipartisan Duo Seeks Formal Ethics Probe Of Governor, Renkes –Anchorage Daily News, 12/11/04
Palin Recounts Investigation Of Alaska GOP Chairman –The Associated Press, 9/22/04
Interesting report I have seen from from many sources, this one from NewsBusters:
“Meet the Press this week was as prosaic as ever, but for one little line uttered by the increasingly partisan Andrea Mitchell. In a discussion about the McCain VP pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, guest Doris Kerns Goodwin, plagiarist/historian, said that the choice of Palin is a “very strange choice,” showing how little she bothered to even think about the facts.
But the most outrageous analysis came from Mitchell who said that only uneducated, female voters will be drawn to Sarah Palin, not those smart, college educated ones. After Brokaw asked Mitchell what this Palin pick means for Hillary voters, we find that Andrea Mitchell took the occasion to attack instead of answer the question with serious analysis….
So, only the stupid, uneducated, working class ninnies will be somehow fooled into voting for the McCain/Palin ticket, Andrea? Them thar smart, educated, upper class women are too smart for that? Is that what we are saying here, Andrea?
But, notice how Mitchell didn’t just answer Brokaw’s question but did her best to gig at the GOP for their “booing” of Hillary Clinton? Brokaw asked about Clinton voters crossing the aisle to vote McCain because of his VP pick, he did NOT ask anything about how traditional conservative voters react to mention of Hillary Clinton’s name at rallies. Further, no one should expect conservatives to have any different reaction to Clinton now that she is a loser than they’ve ever had. So, Mitchell’s attempt to make Republicans look mean because they booed Clinton’s name was gratuitous needling on her part. Of course conservatives are going to boo Hillary, but, Andrea, THAT wasn’t the subject under discussion!
So, on top of calling any women who might vote for McCain because of the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket uneducated, Mitchell needlessly strayed off topic to search for some way to make Republicans look mean.
Yep, that’s the partisan hack Mitchell we have become so used to!”
“McCain has reached for the stars and grabbed one. On a recent cruise to Alaska, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Sarah Palin. She is brilliant and articulate and, in Alaska politics, is a breath of fresh air as an alternative to their corruption epitomized by Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens. Now Obama, who has spent two years preventing a woman from being president, will spend two months preventing one from becoming vice president – and hopes to do so with women votes. The entire premise of the Democratic convention was the fungibility of Bush and McCain. Now McCain has vividly demonstrated the difference. Sarah Palin is no Dick Cheney!”
Sarah Palin has emerged as John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate. Palin talked to Newsmax magazine for its upcoming September 2008 issue about Alaskan oil, global warming, and John McCain.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a God-fearing, gun-toting former beauty queen who could just become America’s next vice president.
In Alaska, the right to bear arms means staying on top of the food chain. Palin, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, hunts, shoots, and fishes.
Husband Todd holds a commercial fishing license for salmon. In the mid-1990s, when Todd got a job working on Alaska’s North Slope, Palin decided to occupy herself by becoming mayor of Wasilla, the state’s fastest-growing community.
As mayor, she gradually grew frustrated with Alaska’s “good ol’ boy” style of governance — so she decided to do something about it. She ran for governor in 2006 and won, defeating popular former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles.
Palin’s victory made her Alaska’s first female chief executive, and its youngest.
Now, many insiders believe this 44-year-old mother of five would add a strong conservative presence to the GOP ticket.
Palin tells Newsmax that it’s high time Congress allows the development of Alaska’s wealth of oil and gas. She doubts global warming stems from human activity, and she considers herself both a fiscal and social conservative.
Are you open to running as McCain’s vice president?
Palin: I have so much on my plate as governor, it’s hard to even imagine such an offer. I would just have to cross that bridge when it comes.
What do you think of McCain’s chances, and what should he and the GOP do to win in November?
I believe John McCain will be our next president. To win, he needs to continue his message that America needs leadership devoted to the public interest — not the special interest. The GOP needs to live the planks of its platform, not just offer lip service.
How did you pull off your election victory as governor?
Alaska was ready for a positive change and tired of the good ol’ boy network. It caused many Alaskans to lose faith in their government. People want faith in their government. I have been able to pass a comprehensive reform law and place the state’s checkbook online. You can be a reformer and also be a conservative.
And your stand on abortion?
I’m pro-life. I’ll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.
Politically, how would you describe yourself?
Fiscally and socially, I am a conservative. My respect for the three different branches of government and the balance between them has been my guide.
If you were running for president, what causes would you champion?
I would push for a strong military and a sound energy policy. I believe that Alaska can help set an example on energy policy.
Speaking of energy, how much oil and gas does America really have?
We have billions and billions of barrels of oil and trillions of feet of natural gas. We have so much potential from tapping our resources here in Alaska. And we can do this with minimum environmental impact. We have a very pro-development president in President Bush, and yet he failed to push for opening up parts of Alaska to drilling through Congress — and a Republican-controlled Congress, I might add.
I thought when we hit $100 a barrel for oil it would have been a psychological barrier that would have caused Congress to reconsider, but they didn’t. Now we are approaching $200 a barrel. It’s nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one.
What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?
A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being 100% man-made.
The wipeout in the 2006 election left Republicans in such a state of dejection that they’ve overlooked the one shining victory in which a Republican star was born. The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating of 90%.
Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle–especially to transparency and accountability in government–can produce political success. And by the way, Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state’s proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, “may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.”
As recently as last year, Palin (pronounced pale-in) was a political outcast. She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.
State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. But she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who’d been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders.
“McCain, I thought, had just made his first important decision as presidential nominee and blown it. I began mentally formulating jokes and one-liners. Then I Googled Palin’s background and began to learn more about her. As I did, I sobered up. Here was a self-made woman with political and leadership skills. In a state known for corruption, she had — as a mayor, chair of a state commission, and governor — faced down at every stage the good-ole-boy network accustomed to running things. She had beaten better known candidates in her campaigns for office. She had called out and fired public officials for corruption. She had successfully taken on corporations, lobbyists, and special-interest types when they challenged her. She was pro-life and an NRA member but, nonethless, known for acknowledging the good faith of those who disagreed with her. Her husband, a commercial fisherman and pipeline worker, was a Steelworker. Palin herself was a former union member. They have five children, the oldest on his way to Iraq as an Army enlisted man, the youngest a Down Syndrome baby. Her parents, a teacher and school secretary, were hard working people who earned extra money by coaching school teams. She chaired a 50-state governors’ natural resources committee. As McCain, she was known for speaking her mind directly and breaking with Republican party-line positions when she thought they were wrong. She was aggressive and smart as hell.
Then I witnessed the rally in Dayton, Ohio, at which McCain introduced her. She was more poised than McCain. She was direct, no-nonsense, speaking to constituencies beyond the Republican base, and clearly at home with herself and her role. She appealed to Sen. Hillary Clinton supporters to come on over and break the glass ceiling with her. I found myself rooting for her — just as I had for Obama and Biden the night before — as an underdog and outsider living out the American Dream. If I felt that way, I thought, millions of others might be having the same thoughts at that moment.
So. What seemed at first glance an improbable, out-of-the-blue political gamble — and perhaps a world-class blunder — began to appear to be a gamble, alright, but perhaps a brilliant one.
The Obama campaign will issue more condescending put-downs at its peril.
- Born: February 11, 1964 (44 years old) – Sandpoint, Idaho
- College: University of Idaho
- Profession: Journalist
- Spouse: Todd Palin
- Children: 5
- Interesting Facts:
- Placed Second in “Miss Alaska”
- Nickname: “Sarah Barracuda”
- Has one son in the military, Army. Soon to deploy to Iraq
- Has one child with Downs Syndrome
- Husband is three-time champion of the world’s longest snowmachine race
- Husband is a Union Member & Commercial Fisherman, Oil Worker
- Wasilla City Council
- Wasilla Mayor
- Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
- Governor of Alaska
- Approval rating continually around 90%
On the Issues:
- Abortion: Pro-Life
- Energy Exploration: Supports drilling in ANWR
- Second Amendment: Strong supporter of gun-owner rights
- Health Care: Supports relaxing insurance regulations to increase competition, and lower costs
- Taxes: Opposed to “nuisance” taxes and high fees for small business owners
- Gay Marriage: Opposes same sex marriages
- Lifetime NRA Member
- Iditarod PTA
- Former Salvation Army Board
- Chamber of Commerce
- Valley Youth Sports Coach, Hockey Team Manager
- Honorary Member, Rotary
Philosophy on Governing (from Gubernatorial Campaign Page):
I look forward to building a team that will put Alaskans first! I believe in fairness and inclusion and will call on the public to work together for Alaska’s common good. I refuse to use divisive tactics that polarize us for political gain. As Mayor of Wasilla, the fastest growing area of Alaska; as President of the Alaska Conference of Mayor; as Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; and as a business owner and mom, I approached issues with a fair, balanced, common sense approach. I love the challenge of hiring and appointing the best people to serve with me and I will bring this positive approach to Alaska as Governor. In building a public service team, my commitment to my home state is to always put Alaskans first and never allow special interests to take advantage of us. I know that government has its place, and it should be limited. My focus is on education, public safety, infrastructure and access to our resources. As manager of our vast public resources, the Governor must act as an effective CEO on behalf of all Alaskans in negotiating the best deals for the state, and I am prepared to tackle that challenge.
Note: This is a collaborative effort, so if you’re a blogger covering this and would like to have some info listed, simply mention it in the comments section.
Articles on Sarah Palin:
- Weekly Standard: The Most Popular Governor
What a surprise she is! Especially after watching the Democrats debate for nearly two years having a female in the person of Hilliary Clinton at the top or No. 2 spot on their ticket, it was actually the Republicans, with a candidate who turns 72 today, picking a pro-life woman three years younger than Obama, who’s been a city councilwoman, a tax-cutting mayor and an anti-pork barrel state chief executive. Some might say it is fitting coming from a “maverick” Republican. Remember, it was Ronald Reagan who gave America its first female Supreme Court Justice!
And for you crazy Obamabots, try to remember this before you make bigger fools out of yourselves: How many years was John F. Kennedy a Senator before becoming President? And before he was a United States Senator, what was his executive experience? None. Palin was a City Councilman and Mayor before getting elected Governor.
Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted said that backers of Hillary Clinton have “found someone to support today. If they weren’t already in McCain’s camp, this is just another reason to be there.”
From the Seattle Times:
Republicans in Congress this June united to defeat a proposed windfall tax on oil companies, deriding it as a bad idea that would discourage investment in U.S. oil exploration.
Things worked out far differently in the GOP stronghold of Alaska, a state whose economic fate is closely tied to the oil industry.
Over the opposition of oil companies, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Alaska’s Legislature last year approved a major increase in taxes on the oil industry — a step that has generated stunning new wealth for the state as oil prices soared.
Also see this post, and others in this blog about Governor Palin!
Sarah Heath Palin (born February 11, 1964) is the current Governor of Alaska, and a member of the Republican Party. She is the first female governor of Alaska, its youngest, and is the first governor born after Alaska achieved statehood. Brought to statewide attention because of her whistleblowing on ethical violations by state Republican Party leaders, she won election in 2006 by first defeating the incumbent Governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan Governor in the general election.
Details of Palin’s personal life have contributed to her political image. She hunts, eats moose burgers, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane. Palin holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not really like it.
Palin holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho where she also minored in politics. She briefly worked as a sports reporter for local Anchorage television stations, while also working as a commercial fisherman with her husband, Todd, her high school sweetheart. One summer when she was working on Todd’s fishing boat, the boat collided with a tender while she was holding onto the railing; Palin broke several fingers. Outside the fishing season, Todd works for BP at an oil field on the North Slope and is a champion snowmobiler, winning the 2000-mile “Iron Dog” race four times. The two eloped shortly after Palin graduated college; when they learned they needed witnesses for the civil ceremony, they recruited two residents from the old-age home down the street. Todd is a Native Yup’ik Eskimo. The Palin family lives in Wasilla, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Anchorage.
On September 11, 2007, the Palins’ son Track joined the Army. Eighteen years old at the time, he is the eldest of Palin’s five children. Track now serves in an infantry brigade, and will be deployed to Iraq in September. She also has three daughters, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7. On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down syndrome.(Sarah returned to the office three days after giving birth.) Palin refused to let the results of pre-natal genetic testing change her decision to have the baby. “I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?” .From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.