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30 August 2008

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Dave of Maryland

Any two-year governor who has been doing his/her job is already better qualified than a four-year US senator who shirked his job in favor of a fantasy run for the presidency.

Given McCain's & Obama's utter lack of qualifications for the job they seek, fuss about Palin strikes me as absurd.

To the contrary. If initial reports of Palin's background pass muster, it would appear that McCain is capable of shrewder decisions than I thought possible. The ability to make critical decisions under pressure & without all the data one might like, is one of the requirements for the job.

Again, provided Palin is as good as claimed. Time will tell.

The Dude Abides

Col. Lang, I posted a question in the previous thread, and maybe you missed it. I'm wondering if Gov. Palin blew operational security in Dayton when she named her son's unit, deployment date, and country of deployment. I've never been in the military, but isn't this something that's not kosher? Excellent and informative blog, BTW.

Patrick Lang

Dude

I asked you off line what she said so that I could make a jusgment before answering your quation. you did not respond.

BTW I am not under an obligation to post any of your comments. pl

Paul

The Washington Post had a piece about McCain's tenuous relationship with his father while at Annapolis. His unruly character and personal quirks (especially his study habits) survive to this day.

In watching video clips of Ms. Palin, she comes across as opininated and assertive with too much to say. Indeed, she is typical of many PTA loudmouths who provide instant answers for every ill. (Apologies to all those decent and reasonable women who shore up PTAs across the country.)

Neither McCain or Ms. Palin think like negotiators. I get the feeling it's very much like Bush's "ready, fire, aim".

Biden has to be careful because he has a propensity to say too much. On the other hand, one can see the wheels turning in Obama's head whenever he speaks extemporaneously.

It is painful to see that many fine Republicans with years of thoughtful scholarship are passed over for glitz and glib. The US/Russia tensions call for the involvement of people like Dick Lugar. The country will suffer (in the near term, if not immeditely) under McCain/Palin if they get elected.

Duncan Kinder

. It is so obvious that he is doing this as a political tactic that it makes me question his judgment.

More precisely, is this choice evidence that McCain is beginning to suffer from dementia?

I can appreciate that this is a historic moment for women

Actually no. That moment was Geraldine Ferraro's way back when. Although this still may be an historic moment for moose-hunting beauty queens or somebody like that.


GSD

Palin is a sop to the fundamentalist religious right. Dr. James Dobson is ecstatic as are I am sure most of the those who are seeking theo-democracy in the US.

If you loved the people that brought you the Terri Schiavo debacle, you'll love Gov. Sarah Palin.

-GSD

J

Colonel,

gov. sarah palin is a much more pleasant face to look at than if mccain had picked lieberman's crows feet.

whew.

alnval

Col. Lang:

My "she who must be obeyed" asks, "How long is the tingle about Palin going to last before the men get serious again?"

This whole issue also illustrates the wisdom of the founding fathers who patently rejected the idea of a job description for the office of POTUS as well as what Franklin may have meant when asked what kind of government we will have, "A republic, if you can keep it."

As others have noted, this current brouhaha tells us more about the quality of the executive judgment of McCain the manager, organizer, decision-maker, and planner than we might want to know.

Looking behind the curtain is never easy. And accepting that what we've been seeing is what we're going to continue to get can be even harder. At some point, the data become irrefutable.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

John McCain has resurrected his campaign. The rise of evangelistic home schooling Christianity is in direct correlation in the American workers economic decline and the increased corruption of the American State. The Base will enthusiastically support a female true believer a heart beat away from the Presidency. Pointedly her claim to fame is that she fought the corrupt unchristian good old white boys.

This is the Cultural Wars Election. We will see if the vision of true believer total incompetents leading the federal government for four more years and the likelihood of a apocalyptic nuclear exchange overrides the Media Owners’ fear of an increased tax rate and becomes the core election debate.

Patrick Lang

alnval

If she keeps on looking like she did yesterday, maybe the next eight years?

John McCain always had a weakness....

If you think about it, she will be easy meat for the neocon vulcan training crew who are undoubtedyl at work evenas we speak "filling out" her foreign policy knowledge base. pl

David W.

The panderfest continues apace, downhill. The professional political caste in this country, along with its beggars and hangers -on have devolved the process into something more like electing a Homecoming King and Queen.

Palin is a great choice--for the empty talking heads of the media to gush over mindlessly. Soon, if not already, they will gush over how women from Main Street USA would love to have a coffee klatsch with Palin, and any minor differences, such as how old the earth is, would be palliated by a nice warm cup of Folgers. Outlandish as this scenario may seem, it's been ginned up by the same 'folks' who told us confidently pre-2000 that Bush would be the guy 'you'd want to have a beer with,' irregardless of the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic.

It's enough to send me back to Mencken, who at least comforts us by proving that this despicable taint is nothing new:

The United States has never developed an aristocracy really disinterested or an intelligentsia really intelligent. Its history is simply a record of vacillations between two gangs of frauds.

Mencken also identified the political motivation that underlies such choices as McCain's:

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

Yet, Mencken both accurately predicts our current situation, and gives us hope:

Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.

Clifford Kiracofe

It is a shockingly irresponsible and reckless choice (as is McCain himself) which indicates the power and influence of the American Fundamentalist "End Times" subculture nationally and within the Republican Party.

An SST reader on another thread noted quite correctly the immediate approval of the Christian Right and New Right circles in the Republican Party. IMO, this is an indication the Palin choice was run by the very powerful, secretive far-right and Fundamentalist "Council for National Policy".

The New York Times in 2007 reported CNP's dissatisfaction with Guiliani and the threat to bolt the Republican Party. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/christan-conservatives-consider-third-party-effort/

Some background on the CNP is found at Wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_for_National_Policy

It will be interesting to see the effect on moderate and liberal Republicans and even some conservatives who are anti-Neocon and Fundi. Will they bolt to Obama-Biden? I would not rule it out. Will that make any difference? We will see in November.

Tim

If the Obama camp did not see Gov. Palin coming someone is not doing their job. The evangelical community has been pushing her for several months and the selection of Sen. Biden as Obama's VP allowed McCain to consolidate his base, ensure that Republicans can claim the first woman, and assert his maverickness. As a Governor she is more qualfied than McCain or Obama for the day to day Presidential duties. Few Presidents are foriegn policy experts, they consider the options presented to them and select what seems best. The trick is to look at all the options. Likewise Commander in Chief, the President defines the goal and lets professionals lead the military toward that goal. As a 73 year old life long Democrat I am not pleased with my choices.

Peter

At least when Palin sits in Cheney's seat next January she will have experiance in applying the Dept of Justice to do her bidding.

http://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/what-is-mccain-thinking-one-alaskans-perspective/

lina

What were they thinking?

Why would you pick a VP who puts the entire national media machine on to an ethics investigation that involves family dirty laundry?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washingtonpostinvestigations/2008/08/mccains_vp_pick_palin_facing_e.html

The way it's scheduled right now, Gov. Palin is going to have to leave the campaign trail to be deposed in this investigation. If the Republicans try to get the whole thing continued until after the election, that will garner more media attention.

From a purely public relations standpoint, was this a wise VP choice?

The Obama-Biden people should handle her selection with kid gloves to avoid any sexism rantings. They can just sit back and watch this candidacy derail itself.

Bill W, NH, USA

After researching Palin a bit I've come to the conclusion there never was an attempt by McCain to lure in disaffected HRC voters, Palin just would never be their cup of tea and they probably resent her more than anything. The Christian Right was tepid about McCain, now McCain will get their full backing. McCain will also get the huge Catholic vote now. Obama shot himself in the foot twice, first by backing off his leftist stance (thereby losing 12% of the Democrats, hopefully to Cynthia McKinney) and then by picking Biden for VP. Biden, like Pelosi, consider themselves staunch Catholics who just happen to support abortion rights, an oxymoron that will be broadcast loud and clear to church-goers.

Guess who's supporters are now getting excited about McCain (a man they can't stand) - Ron Paul and Buchanan supporters. Obama is toast.

We can only hope that McCain has to step down early on in his Presidency and that Palin takes over.

Marcus

Is she ready to be president? Rasmussen poll question:

Men: -6%
Women: -29%

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/08/women-more-skeptical-of-palin-than-men.html

Cold War Zoomie

Any two-year governor who has been doing his/her job is already better qualified than a four-year US senator who shirked his job in favor of a fantasy run for the presidency.

What kind of experience matters most to be President? Executive? George W Bush had more executive experience than Abraham Lincoln. Who was the better president? (Now that's a loaded question here at SST!)

In my field, more often than not concrete experience with particular technologies is the primary focus while "soft skills" are considered less important. Evaluating a person's qualifications is pretty darn easy - do they know the technology or not? As long as they aren't complete sociopaths, we can work with them!

Maybe voters tend to focus on character and personality because deep down we know that no-one has the specific, concrete experience to be president. No governor has had to deal with the range and complexity of issues that presidents do. Congress-critters often deal with those same issues, just not as an executive. Maybe deep down we understand that the "soft skills" matter most to be president.

Now I'm making this argument while a firm believer in concrete experience. Personally, I'd put more weight on executive experience than legislative experience. But maybe the exceptions are truly the rule - we've seen how a governor with plenty of documented executive experience completely fowled everything up.

Politics makes my head hurt. Time for a nap followed by a motorcycle ride.

Cieran

Sarah Palin is not much more than Monica Goodling with a brunette wig and glasses. Her religious beliefs alone point to a close-mindedness that is the antithesis of what is required to govern this nation effectively in this day and age.

I used to be astonished by how the Bush administration chose its personnel based on ideological fervor and lack of knowledge (much less real-world experience) on all affairs of import to their policies. I thought this was a failing of Bush and his political team.

The choice of Palin as VP verifies the view that this wrong-headedness is in fact a GOP political strategy, and while it might win a few electoral battles, it's a loser for the long term.

Somewhere in Russia, Vladimir Putin is smiling right now...

JohnH

Among other things Palin will put the oil issue front and center: "Alaska has plenty of oil, why can't we just drill to our heart's content?"

Oil companies and evangelicals make for a nasty brew, as we have seen for the last eight years.

fnord

Sir, again speaking to the invisible choir : I think the right way to attack this election is to let her have all the rope in the world. Treat her with dignity and respect, and ask her hard questions.

Channeling H.S. Thompson, I have to think that this is the repubs throwing McCain, giving an Obama/Biden (with the very real possibility of this becoming a Biden/?) a chance to rescue the finances enough for another raid.

May I say, as an old anti-sexist, that I am a bit put off by the virulent tone of the initial posts concerning her candidacy? I think respect and politeness is the way to counter this ... interesting... development. ( I was together with a former top-model for a year once, so my sympathy kind of goes out to her..)

Sidney O. Smith III

Kindly word to Joe Biden Democrats…

Just my opinion, but, at this point, I would attack McCain for this decision, not Ms. Palin. At least to me, McCain’s decision to choose her as VP says much more about McCain than Ms. Palin.

Is Governor Palin qualified to make foreign policy decisions? Of course not. My guess is that Ms. Palin knows as much about national security issues as I know about “moose“ hunting, which means nothing at all. But this is exactly what McCain wants because odds increase she will defer to others when it comes time to push the nuclear button.

When the crisis comes, Podhoretz and Hagee will just take her aside and, with great sentimentality, talk to her about the rapture. What is the saying about sentimentality? Joseph Campbell once said that “sentimentality is but an echo of brutality”.

Regardless, if Democrats and the media attack her too viciously and in a haughty way, people will recoil. Many working women can relate to her. Husbands too.

Ms. Palin is not a Southern California Britney Spears bimbo type. Think more of the heroine in the film Norma Rae, except that she probably reads “The Left Behind” series.

If I may and from what I can tell, I grew up with a lot of women who share Ms. Palin’s cultural background, although not all are as “attractive”. These women are, by and large, selfless givers. Extraordinarily so. And I can’t tell you how many times, this type has saved me from a jam. Some were attorneys and others were legal assistants. Heroic givers all and God bless them.

And I bet you that much of America would agree with me.

And at least from my experience, some (but certainly not all) Wellesley types can act very condescendingly towards Ms. Palin and those of her ilk. I have seen (some, not all) Wellesley types treat the Palin type viciously in office situations, mocking them in front of others. It creates compassion, plus other women resent the absolute hell out of it.

From what I can tell, Ms. Palin is not the type who grew up reading such books as the Bell Jar and then placing it at the center of her belief system. But so what.

Plus, the NY-Washington-LA sophisticates, including, most particularly, those of Woodstock nation, play the same attractiveness game, if not more so. Watched CNN or Fox lately? Truth be told, Ms. Crowley is the best political analyst of them all. Why isn’t she anchoring a show? Way did the elite overlook her? Why Campbell Brown instead? Talking about the pot calling the kettle black.

People in the fly over states know this dynamic. And if the “intelligentsia” attack her too viciously, at least right now, people will simmer in rage and you will see a political blowback.

Go after McCain. Best way to prevent a nuclear war and the degradation of the world.

anna missed

McCain has chosen his "daughter" as his running mate. Her beauty will inspire sympathy and deference if not prejudice against all assaults on her character. Her Christian credentials will back that up with unquestionable moral superiority. Or in other words her integrity, like her Daddies, will be presented as an inpenetratable icon of what it is to be "American".

john in the boro

Whether out of desperation or cool calculation, John McCain's choice of Palin for his running mate looks like a “force multiplier.” He throws a bone to the social and Christian conservatives, makes a bid for the women's vote, and counters racism with sexism. Myth makers now can laud the election as a reaffirmation of American “values” no matter the outcome. The McCain camp continues the “Mayberry Machiavelli” (John J. DiIulio Jr.) tradition. David W. and the inestimable Mencken are right.

frank durkee

Check out some the quotes fro alaskan news and other sources at Washington Monthly, Political Animal.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ it also includes a report on the Dems first add response which does seem to avoid most of the pitfalls some above and elsewhere have and are worried about.

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