Sarah Palin

GOP Re-Affirming Itself As The Party Of The South

If the 2012 GOP presidential nominee turns out to be a governor, chances are he will be from the south, and not Alaska. Governor Palin was denied a leadership seat in the Republican Governor's Association on Friday. This would make running for Ted Stevens' Senate seat more appealing for Palin, assuming she both wants to run for president and strengthen her resume and experience. So assuming she is the GOP Senator to throw her hat into the ring in 2012, we have several southern governors (current and former) who are in-position to at least explore a run in two years:

Mike Huckabee, 53, former fat governor of Arkansas
Bobby Jindal, 37, governor of Louisiana, who is making progress on his populist policy-making skills
Charlie Crist, 52, governor of Florida
Rick Perry, 58, governor of Texas
Sonny Perdue, 61, Governor of Georgia
Haley Barbour, 61, Governor of Mississippi, and an unapologetic ally of White Supramacists (who does he pal around with?)
Mark Sanford, 48, governor of South Carolina, who was given the RGA chairmanship

It certainly does seem that the GOP is going to remain a party of rural and/or southern voters. That is the strategy for now. Their other route would have to be an urban Republican celebrity - a Schwarzenegger-type figure. But the former is far more likely.

You Reap What You Sow, Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a wingnut, and frequently writes lunatic right-wing articles for Town Hall. She has spewed hatred, liberal-killing fantasies, and twisted logic for years. When she finally took an honest, objective look at Sarah Palin and concluded that she is not qualified for the chief executive branch, her readers gave her a taste of her own rage and blood lust. When a wingnut bites the hand that feeds her, we can see what goes around, comes around.

Michigan Stays Blue / Palin's Huge Gamble

McCain pulls out of Michigan. He has canceled TV ads, and is closing his Michigan campaign offices. With Obama now surprising everyone with a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania polls, McCain has sounded the alarm to fall back and regroup.

Oh, and his campaign is beginning to run short on cash. Not good.

And in Palin news today, her handlers have revealed her strategy: aggressively go after Biden:

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. ... Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”

Really? I thought she was just going to portray herself as a humble regular Jane Doe. But, if she wants to go down swinging at the wrong guy, she can go right ahead.

Andrew Halcro's Debate Advice For Joe Biden

Andrew Halcro: What It's Like To Debate Sarah Palin

On April 18, 2006, Palin and I sat together in a hotel coffee shop comparing campaign trail notes. As we talked about the debates, Palin made a comment that highlights the phenomenon that Biden is up against.

"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.

While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin's knowledge on public policy issues never matured – because it didn't have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.


So what does that mean for Biden? With shorter question-and-answer times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in the role of the bully.

On the other side of the stage, if Palin is to be successful, she needs to do what she does best: fill the room with her presence and stick to the scripted sound bites.

Three Media Blackouts

Just wanted to point-out three recent events that have not been covered in the mainstream media - two big and one small.

1. You may have noticed that pictures, videos, and coverage from Galveston, TX have not been plentiful. Ike was a devistating hurricane - on-par with hurricane Andrew and close to Katrina in terms of the cost of damage. In terms of how many homes were destroyed, it was on-par with Katrina. But you probably didn't see much of the aftermath. That's because Galveston's mayor, Lyda Ann Thomas, kicked the press out and prohibited city employees from talking to the press.

2. Glenn Greenwald at Salon is one of the only journalists to point this out: For the first time since the end of the Civil War, a US Army brigade has been assigned for duty in the US mainland. Didn't hear about that? Read about it here.

3. And in Anchoridge, AK, back on September 17th, there was a good-sized anti-Palin rally. Hundreds showed-up. Pictures below.

The Palin Robot Malfuntions

It's OK, Katie. I'm pretty pissed-off myself. This woman is making zero sense.

Here, Sarah Palin is able to recall a talking point in the middle of answering the question in the video. Unfortunately for her, the answer she gives is incomprehensible.

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.

McCain's Really Bad Wednesday - Recap

Senator McCain lied to David Letterman in order to duck-out of yesterday afternoon's show. He called Dave to say that he was off to Washington, when in fact he dropped his appearance on Letterman in favor of an appearance on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Dave let the hammer come down, and rightly so.

Wednesday was so bad, Palin's poor interview with Katie Couric didn't get proper attention until Thursday.

Firedoglake to come-up with not one, but two recaps for what was a crazy day.

Blue Texan:

Special scared little scaredy cats edition.

* McSame wimps out.
* And so does Palin.
* But Bush comes to their rescue!
* Of course, no one cares what Bush says.
* And only 10% of Americans think the debate should be postponed.
* Here's why McSame flipped over the game board.
* Does she ask his permission to go to the bathroom, too?
* "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring 'em to ya."
* Stupid Democrats.

Christy Hardin Smith:

So, let's recap:

-- McCain campaign manager Rick Davis not only worked for Freddie Mac, but Davis persuaded the troubled lender to pay his lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, $15,000 a month for not working because he was close to John McCain.

-- Alaskans are now beyond miffed at Palin's troopergate machinations. Especially since it's McCain folks from outside Alaska who are roiling the political waters.

-- After a disastrous interview with Charlie Gibson, and bizarre spoon-fed answers with Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin moved into the Katie Couric Zone of Death. Wherein Palin promptly sucked. That Katie, she's a tiger. Sarah Palin let Katie Couric give her homework. Uh. Mah. Gawd.

...Palin did so badly that McCain tried a reverse maneuver to overshadow her crapitude. (With McCain's $5,000 make-up pro in tow?)

-- To do this, McCain had to cancel Letterman. By lying. What's worse than pissing off a comedian with a daily late night show? Other comedians now must one up Letterman's snarking about your craptastic idiocy. Because comedians cannot help themselves. Just tack a "big joke" sign on McCain's forehead now.

-- Palin. Witchcraft exorcism. Um...

-- Then there's the too frazzled to debate maneuver with a side of chicken. And the leaked McCain memo on selling it.

Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, the economy is still are McCain's electoral numbers.

The Anointing Of Sarah Palin, Wisilla Assembly of God, May 2005

Fast-forward to the 7:00 minute mark before this video disappears from the Internet again:

The Nation's Max Blumenthal provides some background:

On September 20 and 21, I attended services at the church Sarah Palin belonged to since she was an adolescent, the Wasilla Assembly of God. Though Palin officially left the church in 2002, she is listed on its website as “a friend,” and spoke there as recently as June 8 of this year.

I went specifically to see a pastor visiting from Kiambu, Kenya named Thomas Muthee. Muthee gained fame within Pentecostal circles by claiming that he defeated a local witch, Mama Jane, in a great spiritual battle, thus liberating his town from sin and opening its people to the spirit of Jesus.

Muthee’s mounting stardom took him to Wasilla Assembly of God in May, 2005, where he prayed over Palin and called upon Jesus to propel her into the governor’s mansion — and beyond. Muthee also implored Jesus to protect Palin from “the spirit of witchcraft.” The video archive of that startling sermon was scrubbed from Wasilla Assembly of God’s website, but now it has reappeared...Next week, I will post an exclusive video documentary [on my blog] that will shed further light on Palin’s relationship with Muthee and the religious right in Alaska. Stay tuned.

She Didn't Blink?

Sarah Palin keeps on lying and lying and lying. I'm close to calling her a pathological liar. Remember last week when she told Charles Gibson that she didn't hesitate or blink when McCain asked her to be his running mate? Here she is last night on Hannity and Colmes:

HANNITY: All right. You said when you were asked to be Senator McCain's running mate that you didn't hesitate, you didn't blink. Tell us about the call, when that came.

PALIN: Well, I found out about the actual selection just a couple of days before you guys all did. Getting that nod was quite an experience, of course, because I knew that Senator McCain and his team had been doing a heck of a lot of research and vetting of many names.

So, of course, it's the utmost honor is what I felt when he actually said, do you want to help me do this? And I said, absolutely. Let's get in there and let's reform. We'll shake some things up.

HANNITY: What was your family's reaction? Was there time to huddle and have a hockey team meeting?

PALIN: It was a time of asking the girls to vote on it, anyway. And they voted unanimously, yes. Didn't bother asking my son because, you know, he's going to be off doing his thing anyway, so he wouldn't be so impacted by, at least, the campaign period here.

So asked the girls what they thought and they're like, absolutely. Let's do this, mom.

Catching Up With TIVO

Oddball, as seen on Countdown, September 15th, 2008. Keith Olbermann takes a a jab at the Mets and a laugh at an unlucky groundhog:

Bill Maher, opening monologue, September 12th, 2008. It includes the rarely-seen alternate angle of Sarah Palin's response to the 'Bush Doctrine' question:

Bill Maher interviews Paul Begala, September 12th, 2008:

Bill Maher, New Rules, September 12th, 2008:

Copyright 2008 NBC Universal and Time Warner / HBO.

Sarah Palin Won't Be Facing Questions Anytime Soon

Perhaps she will be accepting filtered questions from Republican voters at campaign rallies and town halls, but Sarah Palin is not ready for questions from the evil media. Not Sunday morning, not on Oprah, not on MTV, not in primetime. Not for a while.

So says Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign. You remember Nicole "It doesn't matter" Wallace. She's that Scots-Irish American hothead who runs the communications for the Scots-Irish American hothead running for president.

Here she is telling Jay Carney of Time Magazine that Sarah doesn't have to take any questions from the media, or from the general public.

Sorry, public. You'll have to rely on Ms. Palin's scripted speeches until her debate with Senator Biden. Nyah-nyah! You'll just have to trust us handlers. You're not naive to think that we live in a democracy, are ya?

Fair Investigative Journalism Covering Sarah Palin

The Right can complain about commentators on Daily Kos, but there are paid, legitimate journalists who are doing the work that the McCain campaign should have done weeks ago.

Laura McGann at the Washington Independent is doing a fine job going through all the public documents related to Sarah Palin's two terms as mayor of Wasilla. Take a lot at some of her first dispatches from Alaska:

Wasilla hired a Washington lobbyist in 2000 to attract more federal grants.

Palin to Wasilla librarian in 1996: Are you OK with censorship?

Palin on running Wasilla in 1996: "It's not rocket science."

McGann's colleague at the Washington Independent, Mike Lillis, follows-up on the federal lobbyist story:

With Palin remaining receptive to “Don Young’s Way,” Sen Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, has seen an opening. Thursday his office pounced, sending an email blast to reporters proclaiming, “Palin only announced opposition to one ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ still supports the other one.”

[Lobbyist Steven] Silver, the former chief of staff to the now-indicted Stevens, began lobbying Congress on behalf of Wasilla in 2000. With Silver’s help, the town secured nearly $27 million in federal earmarks while Palin was mayor, according to an analysis done by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group.

A Word About Community Organizers

I see Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin both ridiculed Barack Obama for once being a "community organizer" on Chicago's South Side. It's arguably the weakest part of his resume, since you know, law school professor, attorney, state senator, and US Senator are pretty prestigious jobs to have.

It was good for a laugh, and for a moment, I was worried because I had feared that Barack's lack of a desk job between college and law school could hurt his campaign.

But then I had a good night's sleep. And then I thought more about it. And now I can see right through their attack. It is not a weak link in Obama's resume, it is a small part of his resume that simply frightens Republicans.

The ridicule of Obama's time as a "community organizer" ties-into the Republican anti-urban, anti-intellectual platform / culture war. Most ordinary Americans do not recognize a community organizer as a regular 9-to-5 job. But look at what the Republicans are attacking.

A community organizer is a hybrid role. It is part consultant, and part lobbyist. He's a consultant in that he offers advice and ideas to people who have fallen on hard times, and helps them help themselves to get back up (Joe Biden's theme). And he's a lobbyist for the neighborhood, working to attract businesses to replace those that have left. Bridgeport lost factories, but eventually won two professional sports teams. Pittsburgh lost steel mills, but eventually gained banks and museums. That wasn't just the work of business leaders. It took some grass-roots initiative as well. Community organizers bring together neighborhoods, local politicians, and business leaders (investors, corporations, etc.) in an effort to improve people's quality of life.

Community organizers run non-profit, grass-roots organizations that offer job and interview training, tenants' rights campaigns, and act as agents between residents, government, and businesses.

And it's not all selfless and out of the goodness of their hearts. Barack Obama probably would not have become a politician if he hadn't been a community organizer early in his career. It may have helped him get into Harvard Law School. After all, his three-year stint as a community organizer was in-between his bachelor's degree and his entrance into Harvard Law School in 1988. He was a young man. He was 25 when he left a New York think tank and moved to Chicago to get involved in the lives of South Side residents.

But let's dig deeper. Why does the Right hate community organizers? The simple Wikipedia entry gives us many clues:

The American Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movements, the Chicano movement, the feminist movement, and the gay rights movement all influenced and were influenced by ideas of neighborhood organizing. Experience with federal anti-poverty programs and the upheavals in the cities produced a thoughtful response among activists and theorists in the early 1970s that has informed activities, organizations, strategies and movements through the end of the century. Less dramatically, civic associations and neighborhood block clubs were formed all across the country to foster community spirit and civic duty, as well as provide a social outlet.

Many of the most notable leaders in community organizing today emerged from the National Welfare Rights Organization. John Calkins of DART, Ernesto Cortes of the Industrial Areas Foundation, Wade Rathke of ACORN, John Dodds of Philadelphia Unemployment Project and Mark Splain of the AFL-CIO, among others.

Other famous community organizers include: Jane Addams, César Chávez, Samuel Gompers, Martin Luther King, Jr., John L. Lewis, Ralph Nader, Barack Obama, Pat Robertson, and Paul Wellstone.

Ah ha! There are some pretty evil names in that list. Union leaders. Civil rights leaders. Religious leaders. And a dead, liberal Senator from Minnesota.

Add to that list - Susan B. Anthony. You remember her from the history books? She fought for the right of American women to vote. And also add some historical dude named Jesus Christ.

No wonder they hate community organizers. They help people get back up and fight for equality and justice.

Hey. I just thought of three other non-traditional jobs. But these are jobs that the Republicans don't ridicule. I'm sure there are more. But off the top of my head, I can think of -


Jack Abramoff was sentenced today, BTW.

Security consultants

The NYPD's resident spook, David Cohen, who has almost no recorded existence.

Defense contractors

You wont see the Right attacking or ridiculing those jobs.

And we know what great, productive, community-building job Sarah Palin held before becoming mayor of Wasilla, right?

(Sorry, no photos, video stills or videos available. They are all being erased from the Internets.)

In light of this, Keith Olbermann might be over-qualified to be President.

Critical Reactions To Sarah Palin's Speech

Will Bunch:

Yes, it was a great speech politically, and a great night for her family, but an empty speech for America -- and for America's families. It was defined by its lowest moment, Palin's shameless lie about "the Bridge to Nowhere." This was a Speech to Nowhere.

Adam McGourney, NY Times (registration required):

Clearly, her big task on Wednesday and in the days ahead was to drive home the image the McCain campaign has sought to attach to this unexpected pick: the corruption-fighting governor from outside Washington, a socially conservative mother of five who can easily connect with working-class Americans in a way that Mr. Obama has so far had trouble doing. She scorned the trappings of elitism — she talked about driving herself to work, and how she put the Alaska governor’s plane up for sale on eBay — as she signaled that she would serve as Mr. McCain’s ambassador to Americans who think the government has lost touch with their values and needs. She went as far to compare herself to a haberdasher from Missouri who became vice president and later president, Harry S. Truman.

The problem for Ms. Palin is that that story has been tripped up by disclosures about her professional and personal life, enough so that at least until Wednesday, she had become a bigger figure at this convention than Mr. McCain.

John Dickerson, Slate:
John McCain will win by making Barack Obama look un-American. That's sensitive stuff. Hillary Clinton destroyed herself trying to use it. But Palin may know how to use it. Palin's attacks are potentially dangerous because they are aimed at the crucial voting bloc of women and middle-class voters who can see their lives in her life. Obama talked about coming from a middle-class life. Palin still lives one. She could improvise a joke about being a hockey mom—what's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? Lipstick—because she is one.

The secondary purpose of Palin's speech may be the most important in the long run. She wasn't just launching a new brand (her own). She was relaunching a whole new product: the McCain-Palin ticket. Experience is no longer the central argument. Reform is. McCain and Palin are presenting themselves as leaders who can deliver because they speak and act regardless of the political risk. "Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election," said Palin. "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."

It was a great act—but it was an act, a one-shot show. Palin will have to keep it up for the next nine weeks, when there won't be time to practice or the opportunity to sand down that line to keep it from sounding small and mean. This is a test Obama has already passed. And her sarcasm will wear thin quickly. Reagan could do it because he was a sunny optimist offering a vision of the future. Palin didn't do much of that, other than by offering platitudes (hey, she had a lot of ground to cover).

The Rude Pundit:

So, like, what the fuck does the governor of Alaska do? You can talk about getting rid of corruption as much as you want, but you're still lappin' at that pipeline like a rim job-givin' man whore. Essentially, one's job as governor of Alaska is to keep the oil companies happy as a pig in shit. Because without them, Alaska would still just be a territory of outlaws, moose hunters, and prospectors wondering what the fuck to do about the Inuit.

And to answer another of Palin's statements, um, a community organizer in the projects of Chicago is probably a little more active than a small town mayor in a distant suburb of Alaska. All Mayor Palin had to deal with was tax abatements for the new Target and the occasional walrus attack.

By the way, using one's PTA membership as an example of one's experience to be the vice president of the United States is like saying that because you once took an aspirin, you can handle your speedballs.

So the reason many of us are saying that Sarah Palin is unqualified is not sexism or anti-middle class bias or sucking up to the Washington power structure or whatever stupid ass excuse the right desperately is clinging to in order to calm that gut churn they're feeling. No, the reason we think Sarah Palin is unqualified is because she's unqualified.