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.