Re: Number Two

1

I'd place my bet on Palin.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:44 AM
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The Governor's spokesperson says she is in Alaska and attending the state fair today. Could be subterfuge, I guess.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:46 AM
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On the one hand, I'm disappointed that we're all taken with McCain's attempt to steal Obama's thunder. On the other hand, I'm excited that there will be someone else to make fun of. Such a conflicted morning.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:48 AM
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My boss is afraid he's going to pick a woman in an attempt to pick up PUMAs. I think she's a little overly nervous about the number of actual PUMAs out there, and the risk that they'll flip to McCain rather than staying home: while there may be some Hillary stalwarts who aren't pro-choice (I'm sure there are -- conservative Catholic feminists might go that way), I don't think there can really be a lot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:50 AM
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IT'S MIKE GRAVEL!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:50 AM
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Honest question: is Charlie Crist out of consideration, and if so, why?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:52 AM
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Ted Stevens!


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:54 AM
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6: Apo will demontrate on/for you.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:54 AM
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I don't think he has to flip PUMAs, just get the media talking about these PUMAs, and what a maverick McCain is, and does this present a problem for Obama, and oh, what a problem for Obama. It's not like the media is going to get tired of casting older feminists as bitter crones.

But Palin seems like a weird choice for someone whose themes have been about experience, etc. I still think McCain is something of a fall guy for the Republicans this year, though, so maybe the thinking is why ruin someone's actual chances at the presidency when we can take a scandal-ridden governor with 18 months of experience and score some credit for being a maverick?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:54 AM
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DICK CHENEY!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:55 AM
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2: That was the same as Pawlenty's excuse - at the State Fair.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:55 AM
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11: State Fair = Standpipe's Blog?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:56 AM
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Also, I'm pretty sure its going to be the Mittster.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:56 AM
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14

KEN BLACKWELL!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:56 AM
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RICK SANTORUM!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:57 AM
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Lynn Swann!


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:57 AM
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Ooh, no, I got it! He's picking Palin as as cost-saving measure, since he's only have to pay her 73% as much as a boy VP. Fiscal responsibility!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:58 AM
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13: Your lips to God's ear.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:58 AM
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ALBERTO GONZALES


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:59 AM
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RUMSFELD!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:00 AM
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Honest question: is Charlie Crist out of consideration, and if so, why?

Isn't there a fair bit of speculation that Crist is teh ghey?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:00 AM
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This calls to mind the guy I knew in 2000 who didn't vote for Nader because he didn't think that Winona LaDuke was ready to step in, should something happen to Nader.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:01 AM
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Winona LaDuke!


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:01 AM
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DAISY DUKE!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:02 AM
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22 is hilarious.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:02 AM
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Hm.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:02 AM
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Monica Goodling!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:03 AM
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Isn't there a fair bit of speculation that Crist is teh ghey?

I hadn't heard that, but apo's backpocket can't lie.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:04 AM
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29

Hillary Clinton!


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:04 AM
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22 is similar to my reason for being wary of voting for Cynthia McKinney. Is Rosa Alicia Clemente really ready for the big time?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:07 AM
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And . . . now a handful of outlets are saying it is definitely Palin! It is a paradox!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:08 AM
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If Palin can really bilocate, I think McCain just REALLY nominated Satan.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:08 AM
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31: There's no question it's Palin.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:10 AM
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SCOOTER LIBBY!

(John Yoo was going to be my next choice, but it turns out he was born in South Korea. Those Republicans would never do anything to violate the Constitution!)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:10 AM
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It'll be Stevens.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:10 AM
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It's not like the media is going to get tired of casting older feminists as bitter crones.

The media's obsession with the PUMAs is a distraction from a real problem. That is, Obama does have a problem with a segment of women voters, but they're not the women the media thinks they are. Working-class women, many of whom don't even self-identify as feminist, but they came out for Hillary Clinton and Obama has yet to reach them. Could McCain peel off some of these women by choosing a woman VP? Yes.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:10 AM
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The important factor to remember with McCain's veep is that McCain is very old and may well be dead in four years. Usually veeps don't actually matter, but this is a case where one could actually be president. So picking someone with gravitas is key. Two years as governor of Alaska really ain't much in terms of gravitas.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:15 AM
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You know, I just wandered over to the PUMA website for the first time. Good god.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:16 AM
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I'm pretty sure its going to be the Mittster.

I'm placing my bets on Mittens, too, but word on the street is that Lindsay Graham has "cleared his fall schedule." It won't happen, I'm almost sure of it, but I wish it would, if only for the opportunity to make endless Batman and Robin jokes.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:16 AM
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36: Correct, I was about to dispute Cala as well. People whose preference could conceivably run Clinton > McCain > Obama are not feminists and are not people who know or care anything about the policies or issues involved in the election.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:16 AM
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38: I know, right? I just learned from one this morning that BHO plagiarized huge swaths of HRC speeches for his speech last night.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:18 AM
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36: I haven't found a breakdown of women by socioeconomic group, but Obama has a very strong lead among women voters, and among the white working class. McCain might be able to peel off a few, but I don't think these are groups that are thought to be seriously in play.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:18 AM
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43

I predict he will pick Tropical Storm Gustav as his running mate.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:19 AM
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43: No, too ethnic.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:21 AM
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45

Lou Dobbs!


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:21 AM
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40: I'm not sure what you're disputing. I didn't say that all women are behind Obama, or that all Clinton supporters will support Obama, or that it's inconceivable that anyone could prefer Clinton over McCain over Obama, just that McCain doesn't actually have to win these PUMAs in order to get the media benefits from nominating a woman. In other words, he doesn't nominate a woman to try to win the white working class, but to convince the undecided moderates that their vote for another four years is really groundbreaking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:24 AM
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I don't think it will be Romney. I think they really don't care for each other. Plus, even the press thinks that Romney is a big phony.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:27 AM
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But Romney locks up Nevada and probably Colorado. There are a lot of Mormons out there.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:29 AM
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Wasn't Romney the money-holders' favorite?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:30 AM
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If it is Palin, will this defang Biden in debates? Will the PUMA-baiting press shriek, "ZOMG! Mean to a girl!!!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:31 AM
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I still think it'll be a woman in another bald bid to draw away Hillary supporters who feel let down. I also, incredibly shallowly, think he or his team are scared there is no male they can pick for him to stand next to who won't make him look small and frail and who is not also a closet case (Graham), woefully dull (Lieberman) or freaky (Romney).

On preview, pwned by LB's boss.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:31 AM
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Also, a lot of the jesus people that weren't behind Huckabee were behind Romney. Apparently he's a "real conservative." How he managed that, I don't understand.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:32 AM
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CNN says it's Palin.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:32 AM
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From the Times:

John Harwood, of CNBC and The New York Times, reports that a Republican strategist reports being informed by McCain campaign official choice is Palin.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:33 AM
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"A Gulfstream IV from Anchorage, Alaska, flew into Middletown Regional Airport in Butler County near Cincinnati about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, said Rich Bevis, airport manager. He said several people came off the plane, including a woman and two teens, but there was no confirmation of who was aboard."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:34 AM
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CNN says it's Palin.

NBC, too.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:35 AM
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This morning Rah told me he'd heard CNN report that the woman and two teens were "whisked away in a white van" and my immediate, unspoken thought was, great, the Republicans are so desperate to scare people they've let the DC shooters kidnap their Veep.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:37 AM
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58

Could the Dems get away with someone currently under an ethics investigation in their home state?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:37 AM
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59

sigh.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:38 AM
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Palin's husband is a Native Yup'ik Eskimo, so McCain has probably sewn up that important demographic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:39 AM
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So Palin undercuts McCain's claim that experience matters, right?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:39 AM
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This is sexist and racist and shit, but Palin has a striking resemblance to Lurita Doan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:40 AM
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59: What does sigh mean, Ari? Are you afeared of her?

[When I type "Ari" my fingers go on autopilot and keep typing "s-t-o-t-l-e."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:41 AM
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64

Well, it's Mavericky. Stupid, but Mavericky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:41 AM
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65

I'm shocked it's Palin. I thought for sure he'd go with Chuck Norris.


Posted by: tonkelu | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:41 AM
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to convince the undecided moderates that their vote for another four years is really groundbreaking.

I could see how choosing Palin might appeal to moderate, Republican-leaning women, PUMA's who want to cast a protest vote, and maybe people who want any excuse not to vote for Obama, but I have no idea how large a fraction of the electorate that is. I tend to think that If McCain has the votes, he has them for reasons that don't rely on a "change" VP; and if he doesn't have the votes, I'm not sure such a pick with put him over the top. Generally, I think, running on "change" only muddies McCain's message, which is really, "more of the same, only different."

On preview: Ah! It's Palin?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:42 AM
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I'm shocked it's Palin. I thought for sure he'd go with Chuck Norris.

Instructive internet memes inform me that Palin is Chuck Norris' drag persona.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:44 AM
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While we're getting the sexism out, Palin falls right in the uncanny valley of politician-hot. (Flailingly attempting to make it less sexist: Mitt Romney did also!)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:45 AM
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Well, this will get people talking about McCain again. Had he gone with Mittens, no one would have noticed and the focus would still be on Obama all weekend.

Tactically, its a good move. Strategically, I think questionable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:45 AM
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70

Desperation move, is I think the term you're looking for.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:47 AM
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I think it's a strong move overall.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:48 AM
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Will the attention last for more than five minutes? We've had a female VP nominee before.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:48 AM
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A scandal-ridden governor from a tiny state who nobody's ever heard of? I am unconvinced.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:49 AM
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Instructive internet memes inform me that Palin is Chuck Norris' drag persona.

So the Republican VP candidate is a tranny? Sweet!


Posted by: tonkelu | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:49 AM
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I'll just repeat off-topic what I said a couple days ago, also off-topic then. McCain is a living fossil who can't even send an email, whereas Obama is a twenty-first century internet wizard has mastered even spam. If he's not elected, he'll still do very well selling penis enlargers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:50 AM
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It will last long enough to bump the Obama speech from the news cycle.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:50 AM
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he'll still do very well selling penis enlargers.

The secret to his funding advantage?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:51 AM
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73: I don't think what the VP does matters as nearly as much as what the VP looks like and says.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:52 AM
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Well, this will get people talking about McCain again.

Talking, sure, but what will they be saying?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:52 AM
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73: Seriously. Isn't it possible to spin her acceptance as a way to try to get promoted out of being fired or something?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:52 AM
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Good grief. This year is nowhere as fun as I expected, no burning shit down...yet...but an Alaskan non-Waspy woman on the Red ticket? This is just rumour, right?

Not following frickin Alaskan politics, I thought you were talking about Michael. Cleese for Commerce! Gilliam to Defense!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:52 AM
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It will last long enough to bump the Obama speech from the news cycle.

And the hurricane will knock out both.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:54 AM
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63: No, I'm afraid of the press. Obama gave a truly great speech last night, and the news cycle now belongs to McCain. That said, I think she's a lousy choice. Sure, she may be somewhat difficult for Biden to debate (I'm not sure I buy this, by the way), but veep debates don't matter. Sure, she may reach out to some undecided women, but Cala's right: most women have already decided. In the end, though, she's a little-known politician from Alaska. And, as you pointed out, she's under investigation for messing around with civil service/law and order issues.

So the sigh was about how the press wants nothing more, needs nothing more, than to make this a race: Alaska's the last refuge of the pioneering spirit; PUMAs are dangerous creatures; that kind of thing. Again: sigh.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:55 AM
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A scandal-ridden governor from a tiny state who nobody's ever heard of?

Come, on, who hasn't heard of Alaska?

I'm thinking that there will be a secret strategy to get womens' votes -- a leak of McCain's medical records so that women will be sure he's going to die in office.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:55 AM
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78: who knows what she's going to say, though. A new, untested surrogate in a campaign that already has trouble managing them? Eeeyikes.

In other news, does anybody else think Putin's kinda got a point, and wonder if that might not end up being a bit of a scandal?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:56 AM
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Palin as far as I know is Caucasian. She was born in Idaho.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:58 AM
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A friend in news just told me Obama's campaign is apparently already pointing out that the question of experience is now completely off the table for the rest of the campaign. So... thanks, McCain!


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:59 AM
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I do think Putin has a point, but I think it coming from Putin makes it harder for anyone else to pick it up. No one wants to look as if they're following Putin's lead -- certainly Obama doesn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:59 AM
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89

a tiny state?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:59 AM
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Woman from Alaska? Almost as good as the Dakotas! Caribou-hunting parents!

"From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

"Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's parents were called early this morning at their home in Wasilla and told to "listen to the radio" by Palin's husband, Tim.

"Palin's father, Chuck Heath, says he and his wife were caribou hunting when they were told to come home and tune into their local radio station to hear "exciting news," but said he did not know if his daughter was the choice for John McCain's vice president.

"The river was swollen, so we almost didn't get back," Palin's mother, Sally Heath, told CBS News.

The two said they said the call was "a wonderful surprise."

"I am shocked!" said Mrs. Heath.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:59 AM
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But people watched Obama's speech last night, right? Or they didn't. They're not watching CNN right noww. I'd prefer he have picked Mittens, but Jesus F. Christ, watching blogs obsess about the cable networks is becoming only slightly less unbearable than watching the cable networks.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:00 AM
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I'm actually watching CNN, and they seem to be as baffled as we are. I don't think the press is reflexively impressed.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:00 AM
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85: I always think that kind of thing. Republicans do that shit all the time. For all I know, Democrats do too, though they've had fewer chances in recent decades.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:01 AM
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Wow, she has a 4-month-old with Down's Syndrome?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:01 AM
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84: Alaska is one of them foreign states, like Hawaii.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:01 AM
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makes it harder for anyone else to pick it up.

When this country had a real journalistic tradition, someone would have dug into this.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:01 AM
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And, as you pointed out, she's under investigation for messing around with civil service/law and order issues.

Isn't she the one who had an ex-brother-in-law fired from his job with the state police?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:01 AM
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Alaska is one of them foreign states, like Hawaii,, Utah, and Florida.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:02 AM
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a tiny state?

A tiny state.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:03 AM
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And Louisiana, with the creoles, Cajuns, and Negroes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:03 AM
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89: you may have surmised I didn't mean in terms of landmass.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:03 AM
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And Massachusetts.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:04 AM
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I woke up to NPR hailing her as a "fighter of corruption". Good brand for Alaska, especially if you are corrupt.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:05 AM
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A tiny, parasitical state full of grafters.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:05 AM
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94: No humanizing!

Shit, though, that plus her membership in Feminists for Life make me think they're going to try to make abortion a wedge issue again, with dark hints at eugenics and all that.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:05 AM
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my absolute genuine first thought re georgia was that the white house had orchestrated it to SHAFT mccain

bush doesn't care who comes after him, and he's bored with "being president" -- all he has left is ginning up a little fun to see the candidate-cats battle in the sock, and take best on who comes out best (which i think is very unclear)

i forget which russian politician it was called georgia america's "virtual project"

putin i would guess prefers mccain


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:06 AM
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I move that McCain's bumping of the Obama speech from the news cycle be henceforth known as the "Palindrone".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:07 AM
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107: I was thinking we either refer to her as Palindrone if she turns out to be a bad speaker, or, if she isn't, refer to the pair as Palin and the Drone.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:09 AM
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I think this is a weak but understandable pick by McCain - he's trying to reinforce the McMaverick narrative and pick up some disaffected older women, but that strikes me as a bankshot and bankshots are almost by definition less likely to work. His team seems to be putting an awful lot of eggs in the PUMA basket, which is right for somebody operating from a position of weakness.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:09 AM
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Wow, she has a 4-month-old with Down's Syndrome?

Choosing Palin is a very strong move. I did not expect McCain to make it to the election, let alone serve out his term. Remember there are tens of millions out there who believe there isn't a dime's worth of difference etc, and vote on symbolic or emotional grounds.

Bounce hell, I expect Obama to be down ten points a week from today, and worse in battlegrounds. Take a look at our first woman President.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:09 AM
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Palin is a member of Feminists for Life.

Kinda like Jews for Jesus.

I'll bet it will be less than 24 hours before the Obama campaign has video of some member of that group arguing for the banning of contraception.

Also - she vetoed legislation that would have prevented the extension of domestic benefits to same sex partners of government employees. So she's soft on Teh Gay.

You know, she looks kinda manly...

Like that New Mexico woman..


Posted by: Adam | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:10 AM
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The Corner says this means McCain is making this about abortion and the born alive infants act, due to her pro-life stance and son with Downs syndrome.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:11 AM
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Well. Now I know why he sent Cindy to Georgia. Wife #3!

Anyways, it's a good, strong choice ('Look, America! Hot chicks!'), that might as well be McCain's concession speech. Over the long haul, I imagine it'll save his reputation.

max
['52-46%']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:11 AM
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Place your bets.

$100 on Palin!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:12 AM
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I think using Palin to make it about abortion will backfire. People who are deeply pro-life are also deeply pro-subjugation-of-women. Having an actual woman on the ticket won't really go over well with that crowd.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:14 AM
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As always, I'll say that I'm deeply skeptical that VP picks really make any difference.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:15 AM
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115: Disagree. The Vice Presidency is not always distinguishable from the First Lady, and this will just blur comfortably for those people.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:16 AM
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117: The key here is that McCain has one foot in the grave and that his veep will quite possibly be the next president.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:18 AM
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The Vice Presidency is not always distinguishable from the First Lady

I can't believe Obama married that white guy with the teeth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:19 AM
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109: People who think this to pick up PUMAs need to read Cala's 46 again. This is to wash the guilty racist in a wave of soothing groundbreakingness.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:20 AM
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The impression I hope this reinforces in people's minds, both in the timing of the pick and the choice itself, is that McCain is focused on winning, not governing. Obama and Biden, for all their faults, seem very presidential; McCain choosing a governor from a meaningless state (who might be corrupt!) just because she's a woman makes me think he's not thinking at all of how he would govern, just how best to campaign.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:20 AM
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Start the meme:
SARAH PALIN = A PLAIN RASH


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:20 AM
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It certainly is an interesting pick that changes a lot of the dynamics of the race. But I think it really is a "Hail Mary". If AP wants to write about how *this* choice shows a fundamental weakness in the campaign, go right ahead. I think they decided that Mitt or anyone "conventional" was going to be a lose. I would really like to know when the final decision was made. Were they suffering "speech shock"?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:20 AM
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Dude, this is hilarious - I got the news from a locally-based Alaskan Salmon importer! In my Inbox the email read CONGRATULATIONS T... and I thought, Oh, they must've gotten some award or something....

Since I think the actual number of POed HRC supporters who would've voted for any non-HRC Dem is tiny, I'm not worried from a strategic POV. It will certainly make the press chatter, but the Clintons did great this week, and so I think the salience of that issue is mostly passed.

And now the GOP is stuck with a VP with distinctly less experience than BHO. I think this was a mistake, but I also think that they had a bad hand, and they decided to make a risky play.

All bets off if she turns out to be personally impressive*, of course.

* beyond what you'd expect of a typical pol


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:21 AM
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My official position is 71 qualified by 116. Now I'm going to have breakfast with my cool rabbi.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:21 AM
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It's about fucking turnout, folks, in rural precincts in Ohio & Pennsylvania. The choice of Palin will make the base delirious.

115:Wrong. By our understanding the wingnut base is anti-woman, but that is not their self-understanding. Phyllis Schafley? Hutchinson? Libby Dole? They would just love to have the right kind of woman break that barrier.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:22 AM
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Any chance that Romney, Pawlenty, or any others turned down the offer? That would solves some mysteries.

Two years ago Palin was a small town mayor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:23 AM
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124: Uncanny-valley hott, according to someone above.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:25 AM
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Apparently Rove told Lieberman to preëmptively turn it down.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:26 AM
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From McCain's statement:

She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources

...

As the head of Alaska's National Guard


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:26 AM
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This is to wash the guilty racist in a wave of soothing groundbreakingness.

It helps combat Obama's exoticness. Look! Both parties are not a pair of white men! So we might as well look at the issues.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:26 AM
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It doesn't seem like a bad choice given the other alternatives most often mentioned were Mittens, Lieberman & Pawlenty: she adds a frisson of mavericky-ness without alienating social conservatives. And Biden will have to be sure not to act like a bully or a patronizing schmuck in the debate. But, nominating a politician who's never been on the national stage is risky, the Illinois State Senate looks downright Lincolnesque compared to the Wasilla mayoralty, and the VP pick is just the VP pick.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:27 AM
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Illinois State Senate looks downright Lincolnesque.

The Illinois State Senate was Lincolnesque. It was Abe's only political experience aside from two years in Congress.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:29 AM
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Two years ago Palin was a small town mayor.

And 24 years ago she won Miss Congeniality in the Miss Alaska contest.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:30 AM
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Remember Ohio & Missouri in 2004.

Remember the primaries vs Clinton in the purplish states, the Midwest. Remember how Obama couldn't close it out. Read somewhere yesterday that Obama still isn't working the sticks, in Oregon, I think was the example.

The black/urban turnout strategy may have been Obama's only option, for a lot of reasons. But the DLC assholes have always had a point about appealing to Red/Purple America.

Read Robert Frank the Lesser yesterday, screaming for Obama to go populist. But that may not be possible. Obama is who he is.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:31 AM
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It's a strong strategic move by McCain. Since Palin is pro-life, it pretty much solves his problem with the Christian right. It also makes it that much harder for Dems to push the 'party of stale ideas and old white men' thing (well, we're the ones with a woman on our ticket...).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:31 AM
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mcmanus is the only person making sense in this thread. it was a great choice for mccain, politically. and 115 is bullshit.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:32 AM
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Okay, accentuates it's Lincolnesque-ness. (I thought he was in the lower house of the Illinois legis., but I really don't have a clue).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:32 AM
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It's a strong strategic move by McCain. Since Palin is pro-life, it pretty much solves his problem with the Christian right.

I think it's a strong tactical move, but I'm not at all convinced that it's a strong strategic move. It takes away his ability to holler "experience experience experience", Palin's currently got an ethics investigation going, and I'm not remotely convinced she's going to perform well at the national level - remember, just like Obama vs. Ryan/Keyes, Palin fell into the governor's office after Murkowski blew up over corruption charges. I honestly have no idea how nimble, good on television, and knowledgeable she actually is, but the odds are pretty good that she won't be a stone-speechgiving freak like Obama was.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:36 AM
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Semi-off-topic:

Some dingbat that I went to hs with but never spoke to "friended" me on Facebook and has since then been sending me semi-badgering and annoying messages that start out political and end up creepy. Since he seems to have sussed out that I don't answer his messages, he now posts things on my "wall." So now I have a couple of obnoxious anti-BHO messages on my "wall" and I don't quite know what to do. I am too old for this! I don't want to to "unfriend" him and delete the posts, because then he will be like, "Damn! I schooled that bitch!" But I also don't want to engage. Argh!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:36 AM
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Two of her kids are named Bristol and Track, so the NASCAR dimwits are totally locked up.


Posted by: shpx.ohfu | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:36 AM
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Remember the primaries vs Clinton in the purplish states

Good thing McCain didn't pick Clinton as his running mate, then. Again, once the novelty wears off, the fact will remain this is possibly the thinnest resume he could possibly have picked.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:37 AM
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140: If I know one thing about trolls, it's that deleting them regularly and swiftly makes them go away. If they threaten that they "win" if you delete them, they're lying. They don't win shit and you don't have to look at them on your own damn wall anymore.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:38 AM
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Unfriend him and delete the messages. Think of it as a form of ignoring. He can't really escalate anyway.


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:38 AM
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I think it's a strong tactical move, but I'm not at all convinced that it's a strong strategic move.

Now two different people have said this, leading me to believe there's some sort of difference between "tactics" and "strategy".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:38 AM
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?I don't want to to "unfriend" him and delete the posts, because then he will be like, "Damn! I schooled that bitch!"

So? Unfriend him and delete the posts. Do you really care what someone you never spoke to thinks?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:38 AM
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does this work at all to counter `four more years' ?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:38 AM
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Here is some local TV coverage of her trooper controversy. I did not realize how recent it was.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:38 AM
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I think it's a strong tactical move, but I'm not at all convinced that it's a strong strategic move.

Can someone explain what the difference is between these again? I go for my whole life hearing them used as synonyms. Maybe it's a philosopher thing to see them as not synonyms.


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:39 AM
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Any chance that Romney, Pawlenty, or any others turned down the offer? That would solves some mysteries.

Some Republicans have been pushing for Palin for at least a couple of months now (at least since early June, when Clinton conceded to Obama). A woman, pro-life, rising star, etc, etc.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:39 AM
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victory in yr head = ethos
victory in the room = tactics
victory in the world = strategy


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:41 AM
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VERY informally, tactics are the short-term details, whereas strategy is the long-term overarching battleplan.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:41 AM
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A woman, pro-life, rising star, etc, etc.

Wow, pro-life! that is indeed an unusual choice for a Republican.

VOMIT VOMIT VOMIT

The media makes this like when instant replay came to the NFL. the actual news does not matter at all. we only find out if this was a good move after the refs in the media decide whether or not they will say it was a good move.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:41 AM
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I still think McCain's going to pick Clinton after all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:41 AM
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146: Sort of. I am a choad.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:43 AM
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Since Palin is pro-life, it pretty much solves his problem with the Christian right.

Here's John McCain's ratings from NARAL over the past eight years:
2007: 0 percent
2006: 0 percent
2005: 0 percent
2004: 0 percent
2003: 0 percent
2002: 0 percent
2001: Because only one choice-related vote was taken in 2001 - to confirm John Ashcroft as United States Attorney General - no numerical score was given for the year. Sen. McCain voted anti-choice.

Whatever problems McCain has with the religious right, it ain't about abortion.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:43 AM
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I don't know if having a former member of Monty Python on the ticket is as "game changing" as Fred Tank promised. I admit that he's very talented, but aren't there constitutional issues?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:43 AM
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Isn't it possible to spin her acceptance as a way to try to get promoted out of being fired or something?

I absolutely think the Dems need to run with this line - if they refine it enough, it doesn't even have to be surrogate material. Tie her to AK corruption (Stevens goes to trial before the election, doesn't he?), tie her to R corruption, and it's of a piece with the idea that she's a young pup.

It is depressing to see Obama's speech effectively off the NYT front page - I know it'd proper news judgement, but still.

The Putin accusation is still up there, BTW.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:43 AM
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Tactically, I think I get the difference, but we'll have to see if my understanding pans out strategically.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:46 AM
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I'm disappointed because I was hoping for some serious thumping in the VP debate. Biden has the goods to deliver a smackdown, but if he does it to Miss Congeniality he'll look like a bully.

This is a strong tactical pick and will really help in the election. If McCrazyOldAsshole keels over dead in office we're fucked. We've already done the inexperienced evangelical governor of an oil rich state as president, and it sucks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:46 AM
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What's a choad?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:47 AM
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Biden has the goods to deliver a smackdown, but if he does it to Miss Congeniality he'll look like a bully.

Biden just has to attack the hell out of McCain, to her. Then he's not going to get called out on being mean to her, but she can still squirm and have trouble responding.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:48 AM
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160: I'm hoping Biden goes ahead with the smackdown anyway. He might look like a bully, but he will also make her look like a totally inexperienced neophyte.

And if he doesn't, the press will spin it as "patronizing".


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:48 AM
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Choad.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:48 AM
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What's a choad?

choad.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:48 AM
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And 24 years ago she won Miss Congeniality in the Miss Alaska contest.

I must say, Tweety must be feeling pretty good about his line about VP that annoyed stras so much yesterday.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:49 AM
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161: a grundle.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:49 AM
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A choad is a taint.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:49 AM
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156: you'd think not, but, oddly, he really does. Or did. I do think this might help.

(His problems all relate to his 1999 statement that he didn't support the immediate overturn of Roe V. Wade.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:49 AM
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In other news, does anybody else think Putin's kinda got a point, and wonder if that might not end up being a bit of a scandal?

Sifu, I didn't reckon you for a "blame America first" type. Here's some perspective:
www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/08/the-truth-about-1.php


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:50 AM
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This story beats anything McCain, Obama or Biden have ever done for pure machismo:

Palin was in Texas at a Republican Governors Association energy conference last week when early signs of labor began. She said she called her doctor early Thursday morning after some amniotic fluid began to leak. She talked over what was happening with her doctor, and they consulted about what to do.

She gave the keynote luncheon address, then she and Todd caught an Alaska Airlines flight back to Alaska. She said was never in full-blown labor on the plane but was having a contraction or two every hour.

"By my fifth child, I know what labor feels like," Palin said. That wasn't labor, she said.



Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:51 AM
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Whatever problems McCain has with the religious right, it ain't about abortion.

I think that's wrong. I think they suspect him of being lukewarm on the issue, or of being not really pro-life. In any case, he no longer has a problem with that demographic:

"They're beyond ecstatic," said Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition. "This is a home run. She is a reformer governor who is solidly pro-life and a person of deep Christian faith. And she is really one of the bright shining new stars in the Republican firmament."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:51 AM
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I was really hoping for Mittens, because my mom says none of her type would even go to the booth. Palin wins her vote.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:51 AM
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leading me to believe there's some sort of difference between "tactics" and "strategy".

Heebie is right!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:52 AM
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Not sure picking Palin really did take the experience argument off the table - Instapundit has already pivoted, noting that she has more executive experience than McCain-Obama-Biden combined. We'll see if that flies - watch the shift to using executive in talking points.

I'm also betting that there's a "real change" message in the works, to counter the "four more years of Bush" argument. Palin is under investigation now for a mess with her ex-brother-in-law, but she ran on an anti-corruption platform and still has that tagline. She is also very definitely not a Beltway insider, and made intra-party waves by attacking Stevens over the bridge to nowhere and ethics generally. (On preview - the problem with tying her to AK corruption is that that's where she made her name - being the whistleblowing reformer who resigned in protest).

Choosing her as VP is good tactics; I'm not sure it's bad strategy. Risky, sure. She's a relative unknown. But was McCain ever going to win this election by playing it safe?


Posted by: HC | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:52 AM
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The strategic consideration most of you might be missing is that McCain's base loves Palin, and couldn't give a shit about experience. With her as VP, they'd be thrilled if he dropped dead on day 1. So they're excited by the news--whcih means they're excited for the first time this campaign.

Combine that with the fact that she's a women, which could help attract some independants and PUMAs. And she helps buttress McCain's "maverick" repuation (which is the implicit rebuttable to Obama's "change" theme).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:54 AM
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she looks like BPhD, a little bit


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:55 AM
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It takes away his ability to holler "experience experience experience"

The idea that Republican rants need to be reality-based contradicts much recent history.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:56 AM
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she and Todd caught an Alaska Airlines flight back to Alaska. She said was never in full-blown labor on the plane but was having a contraction or two every hour.

Whoa! Flying in the goddam third trimester is non-recommended. After the 8th month is highly deprecated. Damn.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:56 AM
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I don't mind the Obama speech being bumped from the news cycle since the media reactions are ... predictable, just giving people the reasons they need either to love it or hate it. (My reason to love it is that it showcased for the first time in a long time Obama's strengths as a campaigner and gave credence to the idea that his campaign has the whole election blueprinted.) The utility of the speech will depend on those who saw it and their water cooler conversations.

Palin? Attacking your opponent's strong points is one thing, but undermining your strongest point of attack is strategically problematic (especially when you have so few). Nevertheless, she's probably among the smarter choices for McCain's impossible task of keeping the base and the independents happy.


Posted by: lurky lou | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 9:57 AM
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This is bad. Her policies are terrible, but she is good looking and has a compelling story. McCain just did himself a huge favor. Also bob's right: we are looking at the first female president of the US. (Sorry Rory.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:01 AM
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Wild speculation, but with this news, I am wondering if the choice of Biden was influenced by not only the more commonly mentioned factor, but also his Catholicism.

This shit is like chess. I am expecting bombs to fall before Christmas. Biden will help.

I am crazy enough to think wonder if Putin & the Rethugs are working together to keep oil prices high.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:01 AM
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The strategic consideration most of you might be missing is that McCain's base loves Palin

Eh. Enough to drive massive turnout, which is what they need? I have serious doubts about that. Look at it this way - in 2004, any Republican ticket that motivated its base even a little less than Bush did would have lost.

I wonder if this sets her up for a future national profile, or if it's a one-off deal? Obviously, it depends almost entirely on her performance this fall, but as an outsider without an independent political base, I don't know if she can break down Party doors in future years.

I'm sorry, I can't fix that misplaced modifier. Although it is true that I, too, am an outsider without an independent political base.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:02 AM
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166: it's not my line. It's my co-blogger's.

On the news cycle tip, I actually don't think Obama's campaign was trying to control the cycle -- they knew this would happen. I think their prime goal was to get as many people as possible to watch the actual speech; apparently they had phones at Invesco field, and they asked people to call off a list they had to ask other people to watch the speech.

That's actually what I think was so clever about it; they built up hype and expectations for the speech, made it into this huge almost must-watch spectacle -- if nothing else, you wanted to see if it would backfire -- and then exactly and specifically set out their frame for the attacks, the election, the opponent, everything. Clever, clever. So in that sense, they can let McCain play his little game. Two days from now, huge numbers of people will still have seen the speech, and McCain will have an unknown, untested hard-right corrupt reformer saying god-knows-what on his behalf.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:02 AM
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I am wondering if the choice of Biden was influenced by not only the more commonly mentioned factor, but also his Catholicism.

Of course it was a consideration.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:03 AM
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177: She combines looking hott with looking intelligent and experienced in a lot of the same ways that B does.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:03 AM
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in 2004, any Republican ticket that motivated its base even a little less than Bush did would have lost

A whole lot of the base really disliked Bush by 2004. They just disliked Kerry more.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:04 AM
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The strategic consideration most of you might be missing is that McCain's base loves Palin

Conversely, the majority of the country that is not pro-life and knows that the SC is one vote away from overturning Roe v Wade will have the opposite reaction. I suspect the PUMA phenomenon is much, much smaller than it appears from watching the media (which loves to see a fight more than anything else) and I'm betting anybody who was rabidly pro-Hillary wasn't pro-life.

He's got to get the base rallied, of course, but the base isn't enough to carry him past the post.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:04 AM
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Also, how much damage did McCain do to the GOP's chances of retaining Stevens and Young's seats?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:05 AM
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Visuals, visuals, visuals.

4 yr old with Down's syndrome on the campaign trail? Infants in the West Wing? Caroline might have been the margin for JFK.

This is a killer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:05 AM
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Vpilf doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. ("Tongue". Heh.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:05 AM
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177, 186. Whew.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:06 AM
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181: It's very bad if McCain wins. It's pretty good if he doesn't in that Rep base pandering will have another negative data point.


Posted by: lurky lou | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:07 AM
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how much damage did McCain do to the GOP's chances of retaining Stevens and Young's seats?

I don't see that it hurts those chances at all. What's your reasoning?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:07 AM
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190: Obama's girls make the cute-kid factor at worst a draw.

And one thing the pro-life VP does to McCain, if they play it up, is loses him the undeserved reputation he still had for being a moderate. There's a lot of pro-choice moderates out there, I understand, who didn't know how reliably pro-life McCain was. They will now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:08 AM
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So: 12 hours after Obama kicks ass & is widely perceived to have done so, he is DOOMED and Sarah Palin is going to be the first female president. Okay. How many people saying this have actually heard Palin utter two words? I think it was a reasonably smart pick for McCain given the other options discussed--there's down side & risk, but there's also a potential upside, whereas the others seemed either completely meh or actively stupid.

I mean, mcmanus obviously enjoys prophesying doom in general & for Obama in particular, so he's at least being consistent. But christ, the instinctual Democratic-defensive-OMG-what-will-cable-news-say0crouch mentality is not limited to Congress.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:08 AM
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194: well, if they're going to promote her as anti-corruption, they have to be talking about the corruption she's anti-, which puts them all over the news.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:09 AM
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197: all they need to do is mention that she's anti-corruption, or that that's how she made her name, or something. They don't need to get into specifics.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:11 AM
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4 yr old with Down's syndrome

4-month-old.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:11 AM
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190: Try 4 month old. He won't quite be able to perform for you, bob.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:11 AM
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You know, I think the answer for Dems is just what Clinton said in her speech: why'd you support me? It wasn't 'cause I was a chick, it was because you liked what I had to say about X, Y, and Z. We still got X, Y, and Z. (With an implicit subtext: Silly McCain, thinking he wouldn't need to solve problems if he picked someone with ovaries.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:12 AM
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198: I'm not so sure. Anyhow, I can't wait to see how she performs on the national stage: being mayor of a town of 8000'll prepare you for anything.

It's almost like they decided lack of experience was Obama's strong point, and thought they could outdo him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:13 AM
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As opposed to all those explicit subtexts. Whatever.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:13 AM
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This story beats anything McCain, Obama or Biden have ever done for pure machismo:

If you haven't read the story about Pat Summitt going into labor during a recruiting visit, it's a classic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:16 AM
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191: You're the third person (of three very separate people) that I know to say that.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:17 AM
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This story beats anything McCain, Obama or Biden have ever done for pure machismo:

Toughness, perhaps, but having babies is pretty much the direct opposite of machismo, isn't it?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:18 AM
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I'd like to very humbly request that people not talk about Palin's infant son like he's a political prop. If she makes the first move on the national stage, so be it. But until then, I'd be grateful if we can leave the baby out of this. And I know I that have no standing to make this request. I'm just asking for a favor is all.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:19 AM
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207: She's a prop; it's hard to imagine how her son isn't going to be.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:20 AM
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188 gets it right. IME, the low-information squishy liberal types who have approved of McCain (the ones who thought Kerry/McCain was a good idea four years ago) don't know about his position on reproductive rights, because it hasn't been that strong an element of his political profile. Now the issue will be prominent; people will know that electing McCain means overturning Roe v. Wade, and I just don't see the PUMA crowd or women in general opting for that. Maybe it's just the irrational optimism that comes with my second cup of coffee, but Palin will seem like a good (mavericky, shrewd) choice for a few days tops. They'll be regretting it soon.

Plus: attractive? Sure. Hott? Please.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:22 AM
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201: Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Sort of, "This choice is insulting to women because he clearly picked her without any regard for qualifications just so he could have a woman on the ticket. Just shows he still has no idea that seriously qualified women exist." Or something.

Aw, hell. Cala made the point better in 201 -- I should just leave this at "Exactly."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:23 AM
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207: I'm with ari on that. I can think of some very wrong ways a candidate having an infant with Downs Syndrome could play out, and I'd rather not be involved in discussions of them.

On the labor/machismo front, I've noted repeatedly that Sally was born literally the day after I took the Bar exam? (Not that there was anything particularly tough about it; I wasn't in labor, I was just extremely large.) But I figure I get to claim toughness on that basis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:23 AM
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196.2:I have nightmares of being pecked to death by black swans.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:24 AM
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I'm also with Ari on 207.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:25 AM
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Elbee for veep!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:25 AM
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211: I just had a mental image of you trying to squeeze into one of those seats with the wrap-around desks.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:26 AM
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I'm with ari on that. I can think of some very wrong ways a candidate having an infant with Downs Syndrome could play out, and I'd rather not be involved in discussions of them.

Like, for example, my immediate thought, "How the hell does the mother of a 4-month-old special needs child have the time or energy to serve as/campaign for Vice President?"

I realize my thoughts make me a traitor to working moms everywhere.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:26 AM
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210: In a way, this can play into the post-partisan stuff Obama's got going. Hey, this election year is historic! Go America! Look how inclusive we are, with both sides willing to forgo cheap identity politics to whoever they think the best people are! USA! USA! ....And, oh, dear, does that not look good for you two.....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:30 AM
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Here's what PowerLine says:

UPDATE: OK, it's later. I'm worried about Palin. I'm afraid she may be the Geraldine Ferraro of 2008. If she really is the nominee, will it come across as a desperation move, a Hail Mary, as Mondale's choice of Ferraro did in 1984? I'm afraid so. Her experience just doesn't justify a place on the ticket. If McCain really wanted to go radical, Bobby Jindal was the far sounder choice--but maybe Jindal turned him down, on the theory that he needs to do his job as Governor of Louisiana before trying to go national.

On the bright side, Mitt Romney reportedly is in Dayton too, so maybe he's the Veep pick and Palin is just there to introduce him. Or something like that.

ONE MORE: The AP says the McCain camp "hopes the announcement of his running mate will stunt any momentum that Democratic rival Barack Obama might get from the just concluded Democratic National Convention." If it really is Palin, I'm afraid the opposite will happen. Press reaction will be 100% negative; the emphasis will all be on Palin's inexperience--she's been Governor of Alaska for less than two years--and the fallout will augment, not limit, Obama's convention bounce. The most important thing McCain has going for him in this race is the perception that he is the serious candidate. Choosing a running mate who will be widely perceived as unqualified would go a long way toward squandering that advantage.

Don't get me wrong: I like Sarah Palin, from what little I know of her, and I'd much rather have her as President than Barack Obama. What we're talking here is politics. If McCain loses the election, it's all for naught.

PAUL adds: I agree with John, and it's not just politics. I don't want to prejudge Palin, but she's going to have to persuade me she's qualified for the presidency, and this won't be easy. I hope we're witnessing the kind of misdirection that promised us Edith Clement and delivered John Roberts. Not that we have a Roberts for this office.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:31 AM
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link


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:31 AM
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216: Right. I'm terrified that either the Obama campaign, or more likely some loose cannon who the media will blame on the Obama campaign despite the lack of any real connection, will go there, implying that hiring help to take care of the baby, which is obviously what she's doing, makes her a bad mother. Please, please, please, let no one say anything which could possibly be interpreted like that. Which means please let no one in the Democratic party mention that she has children.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:32 AM
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Powerline's logic is based on the assumptions that America loves Mitt and the press is biased against McCain?


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:32 AM
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logic has never been Powerline's strong suit.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:34 AM
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"On the labor/machismo front, I've noted repeatedly that Sally was born literally the day after I took the Bar exam? (Not that there was anything particularly tough about it; I wasn't in labor, I was just extremely large.) But I figure I get to claim toughness on that basis."

To judge by how my sisters have felt during the last week of pregnancy that's pretty freaking tough.

On Palin, I hope idle speculation about the logistics of running for VP with ANY four month old doesn't run afoul of Ari's rule. I.e., does she breastfeed? Because after hearing people's stories about pumping on business trips, & seeing the campaign press's inability to handle Hillary Clinton's run because of all the scary estrogen...I'm imagining Chris Matthews opening the fridge on the campaign plane in search of his lunch, and completely losing his shit.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:35 AM
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196: ok, I'm trying to calm down now. I am an extremely negative person by instinct. But I can pull out of it. Maybe when I'm bob's age I'll be stuck in the negative.

There's a lot we (or at least I) don't know about her. The thing with her ex brother in law could have legs. Maybe she will lose the "submitted wife" evangelical vote. Maybe there are nude pictures of her.

The world hasn't ended yet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:36 AM
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I'd assume that she can't possibly be breastfeeding. If she is, more power to her, but it would be really difficult with a busy, erratic, schedule.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:37 AM
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Meanwhile, a top Senate Democrat said the pick is a "Hail Mary pass" and a "roll of the dice," in what is the initial reactions from McCain's rival party.

Speaking on a South Carolina radio station, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn likened the choice of Palin to Walter Mondale's choice of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and George H.W. Bush's pick of Dan Quayle in 1988. Both picks -- relatively unknown political figures at the time -- generated initial excitement but were ultimately deemed poor choices by many political observers.

"I think (her selection) would be something similar to Dan Quayle -- Dan Quayle proved to be sort of an embarrassment as a campaigner, being thrust on a national stage like that could be very tough," Clyburn said. "Now Mondale tried to shake things up by going with Geraldine Ferraro, she proved to be a disaster as a running mate. And as a campaigner, she was absolutely awful."

"And so I just think that it is very risky for McCain to do this, but it may be all he has left," Clyburn also said.

In an issued statement, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Palin is significantly mismatched to Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden and said the prospect of her becoming president is "troubling."

"It is a real role of the dice and shows how John McCain, Karl Rove et al realize what a strong position the Obama-Biden team and Democrats in general are in in this election," Schumer said. "Certainly the choice of Palin puts to rest any argument about inexperience on the Democratic team and while Palin is a fine person, her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling. I particularly look forward to the Biden-Palin debate in Missouri."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:38 AM
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So is she going to take the infant on the campaign trail? Or leave it at home? Not to disparage working mothers, but either one seems ludicrously unfair to the child.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:38 AM
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But evangelicals hate breastfeeding.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:39 AM
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225: yeah, I would imagine she's using formula, her husband's the primary caregiver, & they hire help as well. Fortunately I think Obama knows not to be stupid about any of this.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:39 AM
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224: Plus, Rob, plus! Do you honestly thing Rory is going to let this pro-life beauty queen steal her first woman president crown? Do you? If she could knock HRC out of the running, Palin should be easy pickings!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:39 AM
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I am crazy enough to think wonder if Putin & the Rethugs are working together to keep oil prices high.

Well, Putin is in charge of one of the biggest oil exporting countries in the world. The fall of the Soviet Union was in no small part due to the low oil prices during the 80s. So clearly he wants oil prices to be and remain high.

Not sure about the Republicans - high oil prices can make oil companies happy, but they violently annoy everyone else.

Whoa! Flying in the goddam third trimester is non-recommended. After the 8th month is highly deprecated. Damn.

Radiation?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:39 AM
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either one seems ludicrously unfair to the child

This is bound to compete at least a little with the YayYayProLife instinct in the Family Values crowd.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:41 AM
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227: Argh. Yeah, exactly that was where I didn't want to go. And honestly, a baby that young doesn't care where it is; with someone steady and familiar doing the childcare (the father, a nanny), the baby will be just fine whether he stays home in Alaska or spends the next two months in a Pack n Play on the Straight Talk bus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:41 AM
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227: I'm not sure how either option seems unfair to the baby, actually. It probably doesn't care one way or the other.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:41 AM
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But evangelicals hate breastfeeding.

Since when?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:41 AM
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I think the baby will be a lot bigger deal to nervous-nellie Republicans than to Dems. The moral-issues-type Republican folks like my mother will be totally won over, as long as they don't think too hard about what a mother of a 4mo is doing threatening to become President if Oldy McOldster kicks it. It's the national-security Republicans who are going to have to bite a stick while they pull the lever.

My guess? She drops out of the race before November and McCain has to pick a new running mate. Not because she's a woman, but because she sounds like a rural-state pol who's had a fairly easy ride of it until now. Not much money in those campaigns, not much national scrutiny or nastiness. Her opinions are popular in Alaska, mostly, and incredibly unpopular everywhere else. She's going to get so much shit thrown at her that she's never even smelled before.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:42 AM
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224: Plus, Rob, plus! Do you honestly thing Rory is going to let this pro-life beauty queen steal her first woman president crown? Do you? If she could knock HRC out of the running, Palin should be easy pickings!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:42 AM
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231: Radiation wouldn't be the worry in the third trimester, I think it's a combination of air pressure, restricted movement, and a bad place to suddenly go into emergency labor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:42 AM
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Life on a campaign and all the attendant instability and commotion is not a great thing for babies who tend to thrive on routine. And life without Mom just sucks.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:43 AM
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164: So, is oud calling herself a dick when she says that she's a choad?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:44 AM
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evangelicals hate breastfeeding

They're not all that jazzed about working mothers either.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:44 AM
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Life on a campaign and all the attendant instability and commotion is not a great thing for babies who tend to thrive on routine.

Oh, nonsense. Babies thrive on affection, attention, food, and warm soft places to sleep. Toddlers get fussy about routine. Babies don't give a damn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:45 AM
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241 has a point. But everyone knows elected officials don't really "work".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:46 AM
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Most of my pro-life family just love babies, without real regard for their environment—a picture is enough. (If they were worried about babies not getting enough care, why would they hate potential single mothers who get abortions?)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:46 AM
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or babies who tend to thrive on routine

Some do. Some don't. Babies, strangely like other human beings, have a range of temperaments and personalities...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:47 AM
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I'm not sure a baby would even recognize stability, if it had it. And babies love commotion.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:47 AM
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I just heard some twit of a McCain spokesman respond to a question about Palin's youth and inexperience by saying that "she has more executive experience than Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:48 AM
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235: Like homosexuality, they're okay with it, but they don't want it shoved in their face.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:48 AM
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She's the governor; her husband takes primary responsibility for the kids. If there's anything to celebrate about Palin, it's that.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:48 AM
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248: Heh heh. In their face.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:49 AM
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Frankly, I'm not worried about the baby. She's the mom, and I'm sure she has a lot of help, or she wouldn't have agreed to it. The problem is presenting the image of a possible Mommy-In-Chief. You can maybe run Alaska with five kids, including an infant, but the whole country? I don't even think a man with five young kids would get a break on that issue. Look how much attention BHO has to pay to say, all the time, "I am in my daughters' lives" lest he come off as Absentee Black Dad. And that's just two girls, of school age. This is going to come up with Palin, and a lot.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:49 AM
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247 was anticipated by 175 (and just about everywhere else).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:49 AM
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Like homosexuality, they're okay with it

Wow, is that wrong. Let me find a better analogy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:49 AM
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LB is right on the needs of babies, IME.

Conservative Christians* may not like most working moms, but they love working moms whose job it is to tell other moms not to work (Cf Caitlyn Flannigan & that Eagle forum person)

* Conservative Christian =! evangelical =! fundamentalist.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:49 AM
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251: I have my doubts. Who do you expect will be pressing this issue?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:51 AM
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I think I wrote 249 as a preemptive response to 251.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:51 AM
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Is the media saying anything yet? Past the honeymoon period, this is going to get ugly. Obama-Biden won't have to lift a finger, nor should they.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:51 AM
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253: I'm going with "black people".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:52 AM
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She's the governor; her husband takes primary responsibility for the kids.

SHE LEAVES HER KIDS WITH AN ESKIMO!? What kind of irresponsible mother does that?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:52 AM
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how much attention BHO has to pay to say, all the time, "I am in my daughters' lives" lest he come off as Absentee Black Dad.

You know, Sasha's adorable interrupting bit when he was teleconferencing in after Michelle's speech really worked for him on that front. It was absolutely clear that she doesn't think of him as distant or unavailable; that was a little girl talking to a father she's close and comfortable with. That really made him look like a good daddy.

(And anyone voting on the basis of their personal sense of the candidate's family relationships is an idiot. I'm going to keep on repeating this because I'm completely crushing on the Obamas as a family. But that's not why I'm voting for him.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:53 AM
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is an idiot

Unfortunately, idiots are not an endangered species in this country.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:54 AM
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her lack of experience makes the thought of her assuming the presidency troubling

Okay, obviously ( see Bush the lesser) the "just folks" aspect of lack of experience is an asset not a liability for the Repub base. And Obama can try, like Kerry tried, but Obama can't be an ordinary shmoe.

I know this may be offensive, but people have tried to articulate the problem for a year and failed, so my failure doesn't bother me too much. Clinton could connect with purples, even as a Rhodes scholar and political genius. Obama can't.

If you can't join them, fight 'em. FDR & Truman fought them, JFK, Carter, Clinton joined them. I didn't say anything last night, but Obama still had some of that "and cats will sleep with dogs" shit last night that makes me barf.

I think Obama is ambitious beyond reason, wanting not only an end of war, peace & prosperity, an carbon-free energy system, and broad political participation in an open government. I think Obama seriously believes he, Obama Pacifici, can get Republicans & Democrats to hug each other and go golfing, and I think this is his top priority. Loooosssserrrrr.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:54 AM
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The ideological breastfeeding world is a hodgepodge of Catholics, hippies, new agers, health nuts, back-to-the-landers, survivalists, and patriarchalists -- Barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

The only wingers I can thing of who might be anti would country club freemarketers and maybe some hott prosperity theology babes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:55 AM
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It's a strong strategic move by McCain. Since Palin is pro-life, it pretty much solves his problem with the Christian right.

It solves his problem with pro-life women, particularly suburbanites. It doesn't solve his problem with right-wing men. It helps with the PUMAs, but it now leaves the union guys wide open to be picked up by Obama, if he fights for them. Demographically, it's a wash. This will be the fall electoral season of the catfight tho.

It's also a big FUCK YOU to the bidness establishment that liked Romney the Robot... probably because McCain didn't get to pick his true love, Lieberman. (Does anybody else hear the "Awwww, mommmmm! Fine! I'LL PICK SOMETHING ELSE! {huff huff huff}" quality to the choice?)

This is a killer.

Relax, Bob. Tweety is correct this is a desperation choice... it's a fabulous desperation choice, but it's definately got clown show written all over it. If he was really trying to carry out a strategy of going after the white women, he'd have picked Kay Bailey. Hutchinson. But she's not so much with the anti-choice and she's a rival, so he's not serious, he just spazzed.

There's a problem with teh sexism here: they're going to try to label attacks on her as sexist, and I can already see the Unfogged threads unrolling right now.

Thing is, is that a two-term mayor and governor for a year is going to become the face of the R campaign. Which is not so good for them, because it'll be obvious that she'll be a better choice for President than that doddering old fool... who is on the top of the ticket. Future tense campaign moments! Like when McCain makes a point of insisting that he's the President not her! Er, candidate for President. Whatever. And of course, the awkward Biden gaffe about her looks versus her experience. Rude plastic surgery remarks!

McCain moved to prevent a catastropic R blowout, but he's still hosed and he just played his last card.

max
['Not. Good. Enough.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:56 AM
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Unfortunately, idiots are not an endangered species in this country.

More of a cultivated domestic species, really.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:56 AM
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Clinton could connect with purples, even as a Rhodes scholar and political genius. Obama can't.

Which is why he rolled up so many victories in red states, I suppose. Keep trying, bob.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:57 AM
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I have nightmares of being pecked to death by black swans.

That sounds terrifying, and yet, my first thought was, "Awesome."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:57 AM
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or spends the next two months in a Pack n Play on the Straight Talk bus

Oh, to a fly on the wall of that bus. I'm imagining Grandpa John trying to take his afternoon nap while the baby cries. "Will SOMEONE put a cork in that child! Jesus! I haven't been so deprived of sleep since I was a POW!"


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 10:59 AM
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246: Babies love commotion for short periods of time. I think a campaign bus would get old quick, both for the baby, and for the people on board the bus with the crying baby.

Leaving the kid at home with Dad is more viable option, it just kinda sucks for an infant to be away from its Mom for extended periods of time.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:00 AM
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Who cares about the kid? It's not yours, and, if apple-doesn't-fall-far-from-the-tree evidence we have for political affiliation is accurate, someday it's going to vote Republican.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:01 AM
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241 & 251 are just horrible.

Speaking as Republican:Well. so Democrats want a woman in the White House, just the right kind of woman, huh. Women with young kids shouldn't be put in positions of responsibility?

They will eat us alive if we are not very very careful.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:02 AM
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No, really Apo's right. I'm sure things are changing, as they are in the culture at large, but a lot of evangelicals feel pretty icky about boobs all around, and the idea of using them to feed their kids seems somehow dirty. It's not thought to be "wrong", just somewhat distateful--the kind behavior you'd magnanimously tolerate in another, because "god bless her heart she probably can't afford to bottle feed", but certainly not something to celebrate.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:02 AM
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it just kinda sucks for an infant to be away from its Mom for extended periods of time.

Again, not so much. A baby cares that someone familiar is taking care of it. If breastfeeding isn't an issue, whether on not that person is Mom doesn't make a lick of difference. If the baby's primary caregiver is his father, the baby will do just fine; same with a steady nanny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:04 AM
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At least Hillary Clinton waited until her kid could be left alone in the house over the weekend before she decided to get involved in presidential politics. Sarah Palin is one of these new feminists who have never known anything but feminism, and really think they can have it all, that they can do everything, all at once. Well, it's not that simple, as I learned from how horrible my son turned out.


Posted by: Dr. Laura Schlesinger | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:04 AM
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269: Is there a law that requires her to be on the bus from now to November? Plus, really, that's not even three months -- the child* will not be damaged by being separated from it's mother for three months.

* Palin's child. Should ever a suggestion be made that Rory spend three months separated from me in the care of her dad, I hereby disavow any suggestion that said separation would be anything less than totally devastating.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:05 AM
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I don't even think a man with five young kids would get a break on that issue.

You can't be serious.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:05 AM
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The breast-feeding thing is this:

Breast-feeding is like menstruation. It's something women have to do, but men should never, ever know it's happening. She should excuse herself to the bathroom to do it, or pretend to need a nap or something. For God's sakes, not in the living room! For all her husband knows, she's bottle-feeding, because that's what she does in front of him.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:05 AM
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And certainly not past 4 months. 6-8 weeks in the beginning, I've heard there might be health benefits, but Jesus, get that kid a bottle by the time it's a few months old.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:06 AM
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Thing is, is that a two-term mayor and governor for a year is going to become the face of the R campaign. Which is not so good for them, because it'll be obvious that she'll be a better choice for President than that doddering old fool... who is on the top of the ticket

Bush + Cheney won twice...err 1 1/2...whatever.
Would y'all have screamed about Harry in 1944?

McCain moved to prevent a catastropic R blowout, but he's still hosed and he just played his last card.

Rocket's Red Glare is the last card.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:06 AM
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272: I think you're wrong on this, Brock. It's how God meant to provide for babies. Plus, Dad can't do it, so Mom really should be the one to stay home. Public breastfeeding, now maybe that's just crass, which is another reason the Sainted Mother who Cares About Her Baby will stay at home.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:06 AM
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anything less than totally devastating.

to you, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:06 AM
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And 277 isn't kidding, btw. There's a great fear among this crowd that the husband will stop seeing those titties as belonging to him and him alone, as King of the Titties. But bottle-feeding is unnatural and should only be used in emergencies. It's one more fun way to create a backwater of shame and fear in the wife.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:07 AM
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With 5 kids she's a tough frontierswoman, like those powerful older women in Tennessee and other border states that Fischer (sp.?) wrote about in Albion's Seed. I really wish that he would do another book like that. I want to know about the Dutch in New York.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:07 AM
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Hello, major media? We're not Democratic strategists or party stalwarts here. Just a bunch of grumbly ordinary voters -- in many cases alcoholics and the like. Please go somewhere else when you want to find out what Democrats think.

Also, MM, I don't have a hog farm at all. The hog farm is purely a figure of speech -- a "notlob", to be specific.

Also, I don't think that a hog would eat Karl Rove even if you cured him in molasses and fried him in batter.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:08 AM
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277, 278: Whenever it happens, the first breastfeeding mother in a national campaign is going to be really funny. I may have been goofier than most, I usually am, but I lost a whole lot of my nudity taboo -- I just got so used to messing around with my tits all day that it got very hard to remember that they're conventionally not exposed in public. I would bet that anyone breastfeeding during a campaign would totally flash a TV camera by accident at least once.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:09 AM
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Glenn Beck: 'She's totally traditional! She believes marriage is between a man and a women. But she's the first person in Alaska to extend benefits for the homosexuals! This is a revolutionary choice!'
HNN dude: 'But how can McCain criticize Obama for being too inexperienced when Palin only 44?'
Glenn Beck: 'I dunno if you've ever heard of this concept... it's called the Apprentice and the Master...'

New McCain campaign theme song: Love Shack GITMO!

max
['The jokes write themselves.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:10 AM
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Well, I haven't really read this thread, but while the possibility of the religious right or Republican base hating on Palin to the point of campaign implosion is certainly attractive, I'm more getting ready for a flood of ill-judged sexist-but-how-can-I-be-sexist-I'm-voting-for-a-black-guy stuff from Obamanauts.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:10 AM
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Cala: I am thinking more of breastfeeding in public, but that's what (most) mothers who breastfeed do when they're in public. Especially when "in public" is defined as "not alone".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:10 AM
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270: Presumably she cares about the kid, because its hers. It will be interesting to see how that affects her commitment to the campaign. If the baby is left at home, it could end up quite a few side trips back to Alaska. Which may take its toll on a packed schedule.

But whatever ends up happening, I'm sure it will be the subject of fawning articles in Parade Magazine.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:10 AM
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282: Hell, that's not even limited to the evangelical crowd. My educated liberal family was very much of the "you're going to take her to the bathroom to do that, aren't you?" mindset when I was nursing Rory.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:11 AM
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And certainly not past 4 months. 6-8 weeks in the beginning, I've heard there might be health benefits, but Jesus, get that kid a bottle by the time it's a few months old

Brock, don't be a jackass.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:11 AM
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With 5 kids she's a tough frontierswoman

Yep. Apparently she has hunting rifles and shit.

I can't believe Democrats would want to go down that 'should a mother with young children be running for high office?' road. Or maybe I can. Not a winning strategy, though.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:12 AM
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291: Psst -- I think he was parodying....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:12 AM
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291: Just to make peace, I understood Brock to be channeling his understanding of an evangelical/conservative reaction to breastfeeding, not speaking in his own persona.

And this from 287: I'm more getting ready for a flood of ill-judged sexist-but-how-can-I-be-sexist-I'm-voting-for-a-black-guy stuff from Obamanauts.

is exactly what I'm afraid of too.


Posted by: LizardBreat | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:13 AM
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278: Wait, sorry. You were continuing your characterization of the Evangelos, right? My apologies.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:13 AM
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I worked with a very conservative Christian (JW) once who violently repressed all his sneezes. I think that one wing of CCs finds all bodily functions shameful, including breastfeeding and maybe eating.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:13 AM
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I am jetlagged.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:14 AM
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I'm more getting ready for a flood of ill-judged sexist-but-how-can-I-be-sexist-I'm-voting-for-a-black-guy stuff from Obamanauts.

I'm a little worried about that, too. If you're a guy, and you can think of some aspect of womanhood on which she might be vulnerable, chortle silently about your insight and shut the fuck up.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:15 AM
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I lost a whole lot of my nudity taboo

We should go out for drinks sometime, LB.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:15 AM
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One way to go after it: she has five kids and works full-time. That's really great! Wouldn't it be nice if other women who didn't have nannies and retinues could do follow their dreams, too? Gee, why does Palin not support that kind of policy?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:17 AM
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And don't ever suggest either that being mayor of a town of 6000 isn't really executive experience. Or that neither is a year running a parasitical colonial outpost, populated by drifters, that lives off federal welfare.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:17 AM
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I have to say, I am deeply saddened about Mittens and Pawlenty, either of which would have been so so fun to make fun of for the next few months. I had a great LOL-Mc-and-Mitt all ready for you guys.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:18 AM
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299: It grew back once I had a month or two where I wasn't covered in baby vomit.

But there was a period there where I had to catch myself to remember that I couldn't just take my shirt off to breastfeed because I was outdoors.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:19 AM
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Yep. Apparently she has hunting rifles and shit.

Maybe she can show Cheney how to use a shotgun safely.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:19 AM
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292.2 is right on. It might be good tactics to employ sexism in this situation, but it's certainly bad strategy if you think the war is going to last more than this electoral cycle.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:19 AM
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300: srsly. Once you drop the "a woman's place is in the kitchen" thing, how is the GOP position on family leave & sick days anything other than grossly anti-family (or at least, anti-middle-class and poor family).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:19 AM
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300: In another 25 years or so, I really hope Cala will be available as Rory's campaign strategist...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:20 AM
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Rory can be my VP.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:22 AM
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Can I be Sec'y of State?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:22 AM
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And now let me just say that 298 is right. Again: she governs the state, he takes care of the kids, that's an arrangement that works and should be lauded.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:22 AM
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Again: she governs the state, he takes care of the kids kickbacks


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:23 AM
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290: oh, no, of course not--far from it. It's just a prominent attitude there, IME.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:23 AM
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One way to go after it: she has five kids and works full-time. That's really great! Wouldn't it be nice if other women who didn't have nannies and retinues could do follow their dreams, too? Gee, why does Palin not support that kind of policy?

Sure. Have a woman--hell, many women--go after her on those grounds. Maybe push her on Ledbetter, too.

And I hope someone on the Dem side quickly acknowledges the historic nature of the pick and notes that it was made possible by HRC's strong campaign in which she knocked down assumed barrier after assumed barrier. Also, someone should claim that while Dems are glad that Republicans have finally got religion on female capability, we might not seem as jazzed by the historic moment only because we spent the better part of two years anticipating a female President. That is, we've already done that work and are pre-comfortable with a woman as President. If McCain's right that the Republicans are, too, that's a great day for America. Thanks, Senator Clinton, for making it possible.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:24 AM
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309: Sure! But we're not creating a Department of Punctuation Security.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:25 AM
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Thanks, Senator Clinton, for making it possible.

Nicely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:25 AM
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And I hope someone on the Dem side quickly acknowledges the historic nature of the pick

Gerry Ferraro, maybe.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:25 AM
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Two observations:

1. The Obamas have both made significant inroads in some key demographics (my wife and mother- in- law). Both speeches were pitch perfect for crossover appeal.

2. Palin in definitely a Hail Mary, but sometimes they work (cf. Flutie- an entire career because of one pass). Why are Republican VP choices so bad? (Besides the obvious) Nixon, Agnew, Quale, I mean WTF?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:27 AM
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Gerry Ferraro, maybe.

I don't think we could trust her not to endorse the ticket.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:29 AM
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308: I'm okay with that. Hopefully in 25 years that whole "married to a foreigner" thing won't be too much of a liability for you...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:29 AM
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These kind of glass-ceiling breaches really matter, btw -- not so much at the level of nominations, but seeing as there'll either be a woman or a black guy in the White House next year, it's significant either way. In Ireland, when Mary Robinson was elected President in 1990 (thanks to the self-destruction of her main opponent's campaign) people were weirded out, but in the next Presidential election four of the five candidates were women, and a woman won.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:30 AM
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313: So, the Republicans are the ones with a woman on the ticket, while the Democrats were "pre-comfortable" with the idea?! Jesus Christ, we really are fucked...


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:30 AM
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On the Hail Mary thing, in the department of unintentional irony: apparently the music at Palin's announcement was from the movie Rudy. Underdog who walks on to ND and gets to sack the quarterback.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:30 AM
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319: He loved this country so much that he CHOSE to become a citizen. That's, uh, the American dream!! (It had nothing to do with his wife's desire never to have to deal with USCIS again.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:32 AM
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Why are Republican VP choices so bad?

In the southern hemisphere, Democratic VP choices are bad instead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:33 AM
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AWB, show us your LOL-Mitt anyway. Please?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:33 AM
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By that time we'll have had a constitutional amendment and Cala will be campaigning against Governor Schwarzenegger.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:33 AM
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So, the Republicans are the ones with a woman on the ticket, while the Democrats were "pre-comfortable" with the idea?! Jesus Christ, we really are fucked...

That doesn't seem so crazy a position. If I asked which states were more likely to back a female candidate in a statewide election, it wouldn't be crazy to pick the Blue states, even if Red states picked one up first. Does anyone really doubt that Dems are better with/on women in power? IIRC, we have double the relative number of women in positions of elected power, up and down the governing chain.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:34 AM
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318. I don't think we could trust her not to endorse the ticket.

Psychic

http://www.foundingbloggers.com/wordpress/2008/08/geraldine-ferraro-likes-the-palin-pick-video/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:35 AM
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326: But by that time, he'll be really feeble and I will have shiv challenge him to a benchpressing contest.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:35 AM
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Lord. She's spent all summer having to get closer to admitting that she her staff got her ex-brother-in-law fired from his job (love the quotes from this interview: "Many of these inquires were completely appropriate," and "It is my assumption that some of the calls placed to the department may have been made because of personal concern for the well-being of my family") and earlier this summer she told CNBC she didn't know what the Vice President does. I really think bob just loves the view from inside the bunker.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:36 AM
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328: ARG. HATE. HATE. HATE. Fucking Ferraro.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:37 AM
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earlier this summer she told CNBC she didn't know what the Vice President does

On tape? That'd be cool.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:37 AM
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But by that time, he'll be really feeble bionic and shiv'll be in trouble.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:38 AM
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She should also be asked whether or not she agrees with McCain that the Community Choice Act is too expensive. It would also be interesting to hear if she supports forcing people with disabilities into nursing homes and institutions, which the CCA prevents.


Posted by: tantalus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:38 AM
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Obama has won over my cryptoracist grandfather, my grandmother, both my brothers, and potentially my dad. When my dad told me that Grandpa was voting for Obama, my jaw literally, as Biden would say, literally dropped to the ground.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:39 AM
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earlier this summer she told CNBC she didn't know what the Vice President does

Can you get me a link to that?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:41 AM
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Palin can be taken behind Cheney's veil of secrecy to get a clue. At the moment almost no one knows what the VP does. Can't hold it against Palin.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:41 AM
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I didn't notice any use of "literally" in Biden's convention speech. He did say "abysmal" at least twice. Was it more?


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:41 AM
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That's the beauty of a society where open racism is unacceptable. If you're not allowed to say something openly, even if it's still somewhere in the depths of your psyche, it's just not going to be as powerful and consistent. Looks like your grandfather is in the process of faking it till he makes it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:42 AM
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Also 331? Exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:42 AM
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earlier this summer she told CNBC she didn't know what the Vice President does.

To be fair, I don't know either. I assume Cheney spends his days holed up in his underground liar, feeding the blood of virgins. But thats just a guess.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:42 AM
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Does anyone really doubt that Dems are better with/on women in power?

I actually think it's sort of the opposite. Women need to have already raised their kids, but people are comfortable with right-wing women, e.g., Margaret Thatcher. They make men who don't want to change the status quo comfortable, because they don't call for legal changes; they did it without help and all that.

I honestly believe that the first woman president will be a Republican.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:42 AM
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336: Article. I can't find video.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:42 AM
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On tape? That'd be cool.

I haven't seen it but the NY Daily News describes it. I would imagine it's on tape.

literally, as Biden would say

He so loves to point at people and grin and half-wink that last night I said to Rah, "Jesus Christ, we're going to have a game show host as our next Vice President."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:42 AM
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I honestly believe that the first woman president will be a Republican.

Rory will kick your ass for even thinking that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:44 AM
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Bush + Cheney won twice...err 1 1/2...whatever. Would y'all have screamed about Harry in 1944?

As against, um, whatshisname, the previous VP? No.

Rocket's Red Glare is the last card.

Bob, obviously, getting a small war started with the Russians indicates that they have no compunctions whatsoever. However, if they're really going to go for it, they can just have Bush stagger up drunkenly to the camera on November 4th and declare martial law.

At which point the burning down of shit will go nationwide.

Does anyone really doubt that Dems are better with/on women in power?

Does anyone doubt that D's are Democrats? Has that prevented McCain from running as John McObama (D - Honktastic), the Democrat from Real America?

So yes, the Obama campaign is going to have a PUMA problem the whole way. Thus the feminist women against those other women fistfight for the next 60 days.

max
['Will probably win that one.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:45 AM
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Will someone please take Ferraro behind a woodshed and shoot her?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:46 AM
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Wow -- daring choice by the Reps. Totally shakes up the dynamic of young/bold/historic Dems vs. old codger Republicans. In that sense it's very smart. I was hoping for Lieberman.

THe inexperience angle is funny. On the one hand, it's hard for the Democrats to attack Palin for inexperience, since the Reps can say she has more executive experience than Obama. On the other hand, it makes it harder for them to attack Obama's inexperience.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:47 AM
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I honestly believe that the first woman president will be a Republican.

I suspect you're probably right, if only because the harshest attacks are currently on their side. On the other hand, I figured the first black major party candidate would have to be a Republican, too, so, woo!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:49 AM
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348: It is an interesting choice, and probably a good one, for the Republicans. Given the inexperience* and youth, it may also point out that McCain is very, very old.

* Where "inexperience" really means lack of exposure in the national media.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:50 AM
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since the Reps can say she has more executive experience than Obama

Since they can say that about McCain as well, I'm not convinced that's a workable argument. The bigger issue here is when you stand her next to McCain, he suddenly looks *even older* than he did to begin with. Which really does raise the "one heartbeat away" question, and in the end, I don't think that reflects well on the pick.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:50 AM
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Anyway, we'll see.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:51 AM
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Transcript here, though it looks like more of a rhetorical move than anything else. I think it's easy to respond with a "we don't know what Dick Cheney does, either, since he has all his meetings in a secret lair," and even as a rhetorical question she makes it sound like the job is beneath her.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:51 AM
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325: I never actually made it, but it was going to involve these two iconic photos.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:52 AM
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the Reps can say she has more executive experience than Obama.

Of a sort, anyway. Governor of Alaska? I doubt this is realistic preparatory executive experience.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:52 AM
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355 cont'd: also, she won't be the president, McCain will be.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:53 AM
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At which point the burning down of shit will go nationwide.

Such an optimist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:54 AM
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I'm not sure what having been governor proves. GWB was a governor. Clinton was a governor. Reagan was a governor. Very different presidents. Plus, less than two years in office? She's totally unpredictable.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:54 AM
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The Wikipedia entry has changed and now her husband has been downgraded to only 1/8 Eskimo. The demographic is still in play!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:55 AM
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And honestly, the population of Alaska is smaller than that of the Bronx. Would anyone be terribly impressed by the executive experience of the Bronx boro president on a national ticked? I think not.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:56 AM
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I think it's a strong move overall.

I do too, Cala. As you said, it shows McCain as a ground breaker which would mitigate some of what Obama represents. I suspect she'll appeal to many independent women and maybe even some independent men.

She has her oldest son in the Army deploying to Iraq and Gawker reports that she had her baby knowing what was to come. Thank god she only used the first in her acceptance speech. If both are true, there are probably many against her on those issues that will respect her greatly.

I'm really worried about his choice. It's not Lieberman or Romney, something I was praying for.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:56 AM
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The relevant part from that link, where she's being interviewed on CNBC:

[Palin:] But as for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does everyday? I'm used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we're trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.
Kudlow: Well I worked in the White House during President Reagan's first term, let me assure you, and I've spent a lot of time in the Bush White House as a journalist in meetings with interviews. It's a pretty big job, Madame Governor. It's a real big job. You'd be surprised by how big the veep job is these days!
Palin: Well this is a pretty cool job here too though as Governor of Alaska--the wealthiest state in the union in consideration of the natural resources that we have. Again, and we being in a position ready, willing and able to tap these resources, flow them into hungry markets across the U.S. to lead towards a more secure nation; to lead towards a more peaceful nation also and energy independence. All those things that Alaska should be contributing. I think that I can help do that as Governor of Alaska.

Earlier in the same interview she assures Kudlow that the wildlife in ANWR are on the side of those who want to drill.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:56 AM
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I'm not sure what having been governor proves

Don't forget Carter. But executive experience is completely different than legislative. Many pols get exposure to both. Pete Wilson in 2012.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:57 AM
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downgraded to only 1/8 Eskimo. The demographic is still in play!

Au contraire. The demographic has gotten 8 times as big.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:57 AM
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360: My wingnut uncle was trumpeting Rudy's executive experience; he was the mayor of the largest city. Of courser he's no swing voter.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:58 AM
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360 is why the real america hates NYC.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:58 AM
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Yglesias is right:

He'll call on her insights about . . . what?

The line of attack should be clear. Biden gets on television—preferably while walking and chewing—and says, "I know what the Vice President's job is, even if Palin doesn't: it's to advise. And what advice can she give? How to drill for oil as a stop-gap in her own state?"


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 11:59 AM
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And honestly, the population of Alaska is smaller than that of the Bronx. Would anyone be terribly impressed by the executive experience of the Bronx boro president on a national ticked? I think not.

And the Bronx boro president would face fewer budget constraints if she were sitting on a lot of oil selling for $100 a barrel.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:00 PM
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I would only be impressed if she had vice-executive experience.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:01 PM
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Governor of Alaska? I doubt this is realistic preparatory executive experience.

Reminds me of this scene from NewsRadio:

Bill: You're not in Wisconsin, Dave. The big story isn't about a cow wandering into the town square.
Dave: Bill, I worked in Milwaukee, you know. It's a city with a population of a million people.
Bill: So that must have been quite a hub-bub when that cow got loose.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:02 PM
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I mean, Alaska's the one state in America prepared to pay to make people willing to live there, right?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:02 PM
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Yeah, I think casting Palin as a marker of McCain's leadership in the Oil Forever movement is a good strategy. She brings nothing else except her gender and her hatred of abortion.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:03 PM
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On the subject of female world leaders, has anyone linked to this informative page before? You can scroll to the bottom to see the really nice part: a map where countries that have had female leaders are pink and countries with multiple female leaders are magenta.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:06 PM
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369: Yep. Only governors should run for president and only lieutenant governors should run for vice president.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:06 PM
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and maybe some hott prosperity theology babes.

Pictures?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:06 PM
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I wasn't saying Gov of Alaska really is a good prep -- just that from a political / PR standpoint Obama's relative inexperience can help inoculate the Republicans against attacks on Palin's inexperience, but also vice versa (making it harder to hit Obama for youth/inexperience), and I was curious how it would all play out.

Palin is really Mrs. Smith goes to Washington. Her life reads like a Frank Capra story. A Washington outsider for sure. What a shake-up this is, amazing. What an incredible political year this is.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:17 PM
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As against, um, whatshisname, the previous VP? No.

Henry Wallace. Wallace of the Communist party!

Yeah, there was a lot of noise about Truman being massively inexperienced; we got lucky.

I don't know if Palin has any sense. If she does, she's a better candidate than McCain; if she doesn't, she's a drag on the ticket. Either of those are exploitable holes.

You still have to explain to the voters over and over in small words that Obama is a Democrat and McCain is not. You also have to explain that McCain is crazy and evil. Had to do that anyways.

The strategic attack that was developing (Georgia + Cold War + McCain as JFK) was dangerous to Obama, bu he moved to block, and then McCain just fumbled his own attack by sending his left wing marching off in some weird direction. Obama will still get attacked (and hurt) by Palin, but the actually dangerous attack configuration that was developing is gone, since they've mispositioned themselves for that attack. Oops.

Now there's a giant hole right down the goddamn middle. Obama still has to attack to win the victory but there are no gymnastics required. Just keep slugging.

Next week is going to be ugly tho, since they've got her. It's also going to be totally schizophrenic. On the one hand they'll saying, 'Look at the shiny new improved Republican party that's just like the Democrats!' and on the other hand, they'll be trying to push 'Muslim Communist Black Panther!'. Both of those will hurt for a little while, newscycle and pollingwise, but the damaging counterstrike is obvious.

max
['Coming soon: the sighing and the 'I just want this to be over!'.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:18 PM
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A quarter-century ago, when John McCain was merely old, the Democrats nominated a woman for VP. It seems the Republicans are catching up!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:18 PM
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how old is she, exactly? [checks] wow! the ticket is BARELY in n/2+7 compliance.....


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:19 PM
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how old is she, exactly? [checks] wow! the ticket is BARELY in n/2+7 compliance.....


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:21 PM
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Alaska's the one state in America prepared to pay to make people willing to live there, right?

I would like it if this resulted in Alaskans' slurping at the national teat becoming better known.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:23 PM
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377: Now there's a giant hole right down the goddamn middle.

This is exactly right, and the next two months are going to be EXHAUSTING.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:23 PM
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I'm surprised that no (here) has said:

Guess Obama can give up on winning Alaska.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:24 PM
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['Coming soon: the sighing and the 'I just want this to be over!'.']

Ooh! Max has a date tonight!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:26 PM
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||

According to the NYDaily News (via Salon), "Duchovney Battles Sex Addition"

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:26 PM
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Video of Palin's "What does the VP do?" remark is here at about the 2:55 mark.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:27 PM
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the Reps can say she has more executive experience than Obama

FFS, this is utter bullshit, a transparently disingenuous argument, and if the Obama campaign can't neutralize it they deserve to lose.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:27 PM
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"What does the VP do?"
Re-reads his HS civics textbook until the answer appears, like magic.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:28 PM
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385: Some guys have all the luck. It's been nothing but subtraction for me...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:28 PM
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The bigger issue here is when you stand her next to McCain, he suddenly looks *even older* than he did to begin with.

This isn't the first time McCain's chosen a younger woman.

I think it's too early to tell if this is a strong move. If Palin turns out to have some political chops, then, yeah, maybe. Right now the pick looks more like a gimmick, and it's appealing to people who like gimmicks--pundits, single-issue voters, and protest voters. But I honestly don't see how Palin produces a net gain in credibility for McCain on any issue.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:29 PM
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Also, according to atrios commenters, she said, "nucular."

Do you hear that, people? I actually turned to atrios comments for important facts about my world. Unfogged has failed me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:31 PM
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This isn't the first time McCain's chosen a younger woman.

OK, this falls in the sexist-but-funny category of Palin remarks.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:33 PM
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Also, Mark Schmitt notes that Palin is WAY less experienced than Dan Quayle was.

Pleaseopleaseoplase, Joe, say it. You know you want to. "I worked with Dan Quayle, Governor...."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:34 PM
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374: Now you're on the trolley, Otto.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:34 PM
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Dave: Bill, I worked in Milwaukee, you know. It's a city with a population of a million people.

Milwaukee: Bigger than Alaska.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:35 PM
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I am running around the blogs and seeing stuff like "beauty queen." What they think it's easy to win a beauty pageant? Do they have any idea of the work & self-control required? That, to me, is a qualification in itself. and a better qualification Harvard Law Review. Does that make me an anti-intellectual? No, because I recognize the mind is at least as much in use in performing for those judges.

It is a certain kind of person that believes that you need letters after your name in order to be able to think or have good judgement.

I am loving this. The sexism and elitism is erupting like Vesuvius out there. Palin is perfect, and she will eat the elitist jerks alive.

You still have to explain to the voters over and over in small words that Obama is a Democrat and McCain is not. You also have to explain that McCain is crazy and evil. Had to do that anyways.

I hate Red America like I hate cancer and dogticks. But I don't hold it in contempt.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:39 PM
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"Duchovney Battles Sex Addition"

Yeah, sex addiction. "Okay, you caught me, Tea, but I have a disease."

Anyhow, the line to repeat is that Sarah Palin is Harriet Miers all over again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:40 PM
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Editing the Harvard Law Review doesn't take much in the way of work or discipline, I hear.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:41 PM
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That's some weak-ass trolling, mcmanus. Frankly, I expect better work from you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:42 PM
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Why do I hate the pointy-headed liberal intellekshuls?

Because they are the most compromised least reflective tools of the capital class. Give me a welder or waitress for President over any think tank hack or academic shill.

It ain't the welders and waitresses who sold globalization and neo-imperialism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:44 PM
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I think the choice-set mostly consists of lawyers, bob.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:48 PM
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--


Posted by: -- | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:48 PM
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What they think it's easy to win a beauty pageant? Do they have any idea of the work & self-control required? That, to me, is a qualification in itself. and a better qualification Harvard Law Review.

I saw Legally Blonde, too!


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:49 PM
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And y'all aren't really saying Palin is "unqualified" to be President. I don't know what the qualifications should be, but they are characterological and tempermental rather than experience and book-larning.

You are really the credentialled reinforcing credentilism. That won't fly in the Swing States. They're smarter than y'all out there. They can see what the experts have done to us, and don't necessarily trust in a different set of experts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:49 PM
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391: Oh, golly, I did too! There was actually an interesting link about her giving some lucrative contract to a Canadian firm, but having the US assume all the risk.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:50 PM
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"Her life reads like a Frank Capra story"

I thought more a proposed Northern Exposure character, where the writers decided "you know, maybe we're laying it on a little thick with the quirkiness here."

bob, doesn't it trouble you that she's a pageant also ran? I mean, runner up in Miss Alaska--there are at least 50 women a year who actually make it to the next level.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:51 PM
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Hey bob, let's double our bet, okay? I mean, Palin's so great, you should be giving me odds. But we'll stick with the old deal, just doubling the stakes. Are you in?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:51 PM
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404: Yeah, it was all the fucking expertise of the Bush administration that did us in, Bob. Character and temperament may be important, but konwing shit is kinda helpful, too,


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:52 PM
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When you think about how this pick'll backfire, this springs to mind.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:53 PM
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Krugman & Mankiw are both tenured at Harvard;DeLong and Yoo both tenured at Berkeley.

So what's the difference between them? Education? Experience? Raw intelligence?

So what really does matter?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:55 PM
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God forbid someone who makes laws know anything about law. Jesus, Bob.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:55 PM
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Krugman & Mankiw are both tenured at Harvard

Try again.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:56 PM
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411:We can pay people to do the grunt work. God knows the intellentsia will sell out for a few bucks and a chance to be on tv.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:58 PM
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People, bob's playing the same character he did during the primaries. Don't be suckered.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:58 PM
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Damn, cala-pwned by 17.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:58 PM
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The more I think about it, the stupider the choice of Palin seems.

Dear women of America and especially Clinton supporters feeling disenfranchised:

Here you go, a woman. Now kiss your reproductive rights goodbye.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:59 PM
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412:Krugman at Yale?

My credibility is ruined. Jesus.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 12:59 PM
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396: Palin is perfect, and she will eat the elitist jerks alive

When I went out to the store a bit ago, the radio was delivering the words of some woman who was going on and on with introductions of her children (Bristol, somebody, somebody else, and baby boy, um, Trig?), explaining that she and her husband grew up working with their hands, and that she was a hockey mom, then ran for city council and then mayor of her small town in Alaska ....

I wondered why the hell the radio was telling me this; woman sounds like she's running for Governor of Alaska, I thought.

Back in the car, I tuned in again to hear her say that 'if there's anyone who personifies these qualities, and is the biggest enemy of business as usual in Washington, it's ... John S. McCain!'

Yeah, bob, she's hands-on appealing. She also sounds like an idiot to describe McCain in such a way. We'll see, right?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:00 PM
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She smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska. I might vote for her on that basis alone. OTOH Barack hit the bong too, so maybe it's a wash.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:07 PM
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Another potential plus: maybe the Obama campaign pushes a bunch of Dem women front and center, improving the profile of those women and deepening the Dem women politician advantage over the long term.

In three weeks, after the convention and related hubbub, we'll see how Palin is most likely to be effectively characterized. I don't think the Dems will go after her directly on experience or credentials. Rather, they'll accept that the Republicans won't be able to credibly do the same to Obama. And they'll just keep pounding the Republican ticket as the natural outgrowth of a Republican party best known for its manifest policy failures.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:07 PM
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This is actually the first ever thread where I'm skipping bob's comments without even a glance. He's gone bonkers - by bob standards!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:08 PM
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Yeah, bob, she's hands-on appealing. She also sounds like an idiot to describe McCain in such a way. We'll see, right?

Keep it up. Today I'm back to heightening-the-contradictions.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:08 PM
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417: Twice over, it seems.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:10 PM
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She smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska. I might vote for her on that basis alone.

Yeah, but she says she didn't like it. Which means she is not to be trusted.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:10 PM
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Rather, they'll accept that the Republicans won't be able to credibly do the same to Obama.

I just don't see this as likely. Unless you're putting a lot of weight on "credibly". I think they'll continue questioning his credentials and they'll continue getting away with it. And their attacks may not seem "credible", but neither does 95% of what they say.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:11 PM
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Another potential plus: maybe the Obama campaign pushes a bunch of Dem women front and center

I think this is what is going to happen. Hillary is going to go out there and say, "Seriously? You're invoking me and my legacy? No."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:11 PM
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427: Yes, and in a larger sense, I sincerely hope that the Democratic Party gets out there and whoops it up for Obama-Biden a LOT and on-message. McCain's position w/r/t Republicans is that they're waiting for him to impress them. Their relationships with the media are the opposite; the media are waiting to be impressed by O-B, while Mc has their support to lose.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:14 PM
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sounds like an idiot

To the average voter, who is much more cynical, I think, than you believe. I could be wrong. McCain took a serious hit (surprisingly, to me) over his failure to know how many houses he owns: the public really glommed on to that. For Palin to rattle on about he doesn't represent business as usual is likely to invite a snort of derision. But again, we'll see.

What's more interesting to me is that the VP pick in both Obama's and McCain's cases appears to be a function of electoral promise -- just get yourself elected! -- rather than executive team-building. Not that I want to revisit the argument over Biden.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:16 PM
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425: Yeah, but you're a natural mope on Republican advantage. Minutes before Obama is sworn in, you'll be thinking, "I bet the Republicans stage a coup right now, and American public goes for it." If you're right, you're right, but we were doomed anyway.

I think a straight banging campaign suits Obama's team. Anyway, only a couple more months of all of this, one way or another.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:18 PM
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a function of electoral promise [...] rather than executive team-building

With the exception of Clinton/Gore, that has pretty much always been the case, hasn't it?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:19 PM
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-


Posted by: - | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:20 PM
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410: Was it Bill Buckley that said he would rather be ruled by any random person from the telephone book than a tenured professor at Harvard?

I kind of buy what bob is saying -- being a beauty pageant contestant is very similar to running for office. And these days with the campaign going continously holding office and running for office aren't all that different either.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:21 PM
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"With the exception of Clinton/Gore, that has pretty much always been the case, hasn't it?"

Well, I'm sure Dick Cheney sincerely thought Dick Cheney was the most qualified person to run the gov't.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:22 PM
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McManus is gloating too much, but his read on all of this is not nearly as crazy as some would like to believe. Describing McCain as an enemy of business as usual is pushing the maverick theme, which is the opposite of idiotic for the Republican VP to do.

I hope people drop the 'beauty queen' snark really fast.

I don't think Obama is doomed, btw. But I do think this changes the race in a big way.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:27 PM
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430: With the exception of Clinton/Gore, that has pretty much always been the case, hasn't it?

I honestly have never thought about it before. In retrospect, yeah, probably maybe. I'm glad, in a way, that this election is throwing that question into sharp relief.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:27 PM
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Anyway, only a couple more months of all of this, one way or another... before the next one starts, at which point I destroy our television.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:31 PM
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Describing McCain as an enemy of business as usual is pushing the maverick theme, which is the opposite of idiotic for the Republican VP to do.

Sure, I understand what the strategy is. It'll come down to whether that theme wins out over Obama's (and others') repeated mention of the fact that McCain votes with Bush 90% of the time.

McCain had better distance himself from Bush, but fast.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:34 PM
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I hope people drop the 'beauty queen' snark really fast.

Which people are you referring to, MC?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:35 PM
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For the record, I was a also a defender of Harriet Miers, at least in a "Why not" form of defense.

When Balkin or Lederman or whoever say a given Kennedy or given Scalia opinon is idiotic I am not as impressed as they are that it is eruditely idiotic.
Well-argued evil remains evil.

Maybe I am an anti-intellectual. Back to Durer's "Melencholia I" Fascinating stuff.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:37 PM
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Same people Bob was referring to in 396? He might have been inventing them, but if people are talking like that it's probably counterproductive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:37 PM
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I hope people drop the 'beauty queen' snark really fast.

I agree that people need to very mindful of the avenues of their attacks. If Dem folks are saying that, other Dem folks should tell them to shut the fuck up.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:42 PM
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He might have been inventing them, but if people are talking like that it's probably counterproductive.

You wanna see trolling? Call me a liar again. I will fill the server up with links and quotes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:44 PM
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Call me a liar again.

huh?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:45 PM
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Maybe I am an anti-intellectual. Back to Durer's "Melencholia I" Fascinating stuff.

Well, bob, just to help you out here, you'd be a more convincing anti-intellectual if you said something like "Back to fixing my truck", or "Back to watching the soaps."



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:45 PM
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You wanna see trolling?

I think we've seen quite enough, thanks.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:46 PM
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I'm far more scared of this person as President than I am of McCain. Global warming denier vs. guy who really doesn't care one way or the other but thinks rationally at least. Extreme anti-abortion activist vs. guy who really doesn't care one way or the other but thinks rationally at least. Creationist vs. guy who really doesn't care one way or the other but thinks rationally at least. Person owned by oil companies vs. person owned by at least a wide spectrum of companies of all kinds.

Geez. She probably has an approval rating of 5% and a disapproval rating of 5% right now, with 90% "don't know", so I await the mad rush by people on both sides to create her public image from scratch. Somehow I don't think it's going to end up resembling reality in the slightest.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:46 PM
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441: I'm pretty sure the wingnuts will cover that one.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:48 PM
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There are still two months and a week to go, folks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:49 PM
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442: Oh, calm down. Apo seemed to be questioning the existence of any such people, so I pointed out that MC was reacting to your assertion that they existed. I was not calling you a liar, just making it clear that Apo should, if he's doubtful, either rely on his assessment of your credibility or should go look for himself.

Again, not calling you a liar, just identifying you as the source of the questioned datum. I do apologize for giving the impression that I meant to impugn your credibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:49 PM
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but thinks rationally at least

Depending on what day you ask him and what audience is in front of him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:50 PM
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Apo seemed to be questioning the existence of any such people

No, I was asking whether MC was referring to people here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:51 PM
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I do apologize for giving the impression that I meant to impugn your credibility.

To the guy who has repeatedly admitted that he's doing a performance art piece? You just got trolled again, LB.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:52 PM
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Which people are you referring to, MC?

You want me to name names?! Right here in this thread, somebody calls her a pro-life beauty queen, and somebody else refers to her having won Miss Congeniality. I wasn't trying to personally accuse anyone, or make a huge deal out of it. But it's a really bad way to go.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:54 PM
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I don't think it's a useful attack, agreed. Somebody should tell WorldNetDaily and Human Events, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 1:59 PM
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bob used the phrase "sharpen the contradictions" earlier -- well i can see how palin as pick brings a certain unexpected tranche of value, and clearly shakes stuff up, but how's this not at the the expense of everything the gop team has so far been trying to build: insofar as she balances the ticket she does it by sharpening the contradictions within the gop brand, i mean, REALLY sharpening them -- as in opening the campaign to half a dozen new very visible wedge issues and vulnerabilities (which is bold, yes, but...)

and it's not as there isn't already a fair degree of infighting and mutual suspicion there: the people being appealed to may well ADORE palin, but they still don't actually like or trust mccain, and to them he has to be selling himself as just-the-disposable-portal-to-her; how is that going to go?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:00 PM
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bob mcmanus (in the other thread, maybe my mistake):
And hell, Yglesias himself, who has made a crusade of "judgement over experience", fails to credit the valuable kinds of experience and wisdom women, having been shut out of traditional positions of power, have created on their own. What kind of advice can VP Palin give President McCain?

Maybe "war bad"? Would McCain get that advice from O'Hanlon, Pollack, Albright, Holbrooke, Power?

I think this is an excellent argument.

The only problem for McCain is that it undercuts one of his main arguments for why he would be a better President than Obama.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:09 PM
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456 :Maybe "war bad"? Would McCain get that advice from O'Hanlon, Pollack, Albright, Holbrooke, Power?

That part should have been in italics too.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:10 PM
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"[Palin] said she felt kind of bad she couldn't support a woman, but she didn't like Clinton's 'whining'."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:12 PM
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Yeah, but she says she didn't like it. Which means she is not to be trusted.

I didn't really like pot either, although there was a period where I smoked regularly. I hated not being able to finish a sentence and then getting paranoid and self conscious about not being able to finish a sentence.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:14 PM
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"Palin arrived on stage with her husband and four children, telling the crowd that their oldest son is serving in Iraq. "It was Sen. McCain who refused to hedge his support for our troops in Iraq, regardless of the political costs," she said. "As the mother of one of those troops, and as the commander of Alaska's National Guard, that's the kind of man I want as our commander in chief."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:14 PM
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I think this is an excellent argument.

I think it's quite a ridiculous argument, and maddeningly essentialist, to boot. One might as well argue that Obama has some magical characteristic because black people have historically been shut out of power.

And if Palin is McCain's foreign policy advisor, we have problems.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:16 PM
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Ooh! Max has a date tonight!

<Judy Tenuta>It could happen!</Judy Tenuta>

Emerson: Such an optimist.

PBBBBTHHH! PBBBTHHH! An optimistic pessimist. Or a pessimistic optimist, I forget which. Anyways, if things go that way, well, they were gonna do that anyways, just way more subtlely. Better to have a chance to challenge the police state rather than no chance at all.

Global warming denier vs. guy who really doesn't care one way or the other but thinks rationally at least. Extreme anti-abortion activist vs. guy who really doesn't care one way or the other but thinks rationally at least.

You're still buying into Mr. Maverick. I see no evidence that McCain thinks rationally; if he did, he wouldn't want to blow up the world. I have serious doubts that a mother of five (creationist or no) wants to blow up the world.

For Palin to rattle on about he doesn't represent business as usual is likely to invite a snort of derision. But again, we'll see.

The derision comes if you [we, Obama, D's] push back. But pushing back must be done.

It seems to me that SCMT is close to the right way to deal with this: get Hillary Clinton to help organize the Democratic Laydeez from Hades to explain things to people. (And by explain, I mean 'bitchslap repeatedly').

max
['Lemons, lemonade.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:18 PM
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Why exactly is it bad to point out her pageant past? It's not like most people view beauty pageants as some kind of test of steel that forges a great leader. In practice, they are grueling and require some fairly impressive skills, but the widespread perception is of a lightweight and silly undertaking for young women who aspire to little more than the status of arm candy. It'd be a mistake for Obama or his surrogates to use that line of attack, but I don't see a problem with a little mockery down here in the trenches.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:19 PM
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her son the soldier is a wedge issue -- just bring up the things mccain and the gop have not supported, re the troops (adequate body armour; any kind of adequate support infrastructure when they get home; if they get home)

if bob's right and "women all be bein against war and the end of the world" that's a wedge issue too (i guess albright and powers aren't "real" women in this formulation; all that book-larnin)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:24 PM
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I think it's quite a ridiculous argument, and maddeningly essentialist, to boot. One might as well argue that Obama has some magical characteristic because black people have historically been shut out of power.

I guess you're taking the argument as being that Palin is likely to be anti-war because she's a woman.

That isn't what I thought the mcmanus argument was -- after all Allbright and Power are women.

I thought it was just an argument against experience and the establishment. And as bob points out it is an argument that Yglesias has made many times to argue for Obama.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:26 PM
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McCain has a son in Iraq, too. This isn't a wedge issue.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:27 PM
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OK, I do have to admit I think it would be really awesome if BHO congratulated McCain by listing all of Palin's accomplishments: having made it through almost two years of the governorship of the largest unpopulated stretches of land in US territory, having succeeded as mayor of a rural hamlet beset by wild beasts of the field, and having had the uniquely grueling experience of catwalking, truly "giving back" to the nation and showing honor, bravery, and selflessness throughout.

Seriously, there isn't a single Republican woman who has better lifetime creds than huntin 'n' fishin and skill with boob tape? How people have spent their youthful years is absolutely on the table. Belittling her by emphasizing her good looks is stupid. But this shit is going to come up in a campaign that has been obsessed with what the candidates have done with their youthful years.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:27 PM
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McCain has a son in Iraq, too. This isn't a wedge issue.

You mean Biden.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:29 PM
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...but then, I'm bitter about all the attacks on BHO for being too good-looking and too interested in his own image. If you're so anti-image, don't hire a fucking beauty queen to run your anti-pretty-celeb campaign.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:29 PM
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McCain has a son in Iraq, too.

And Biden, in short order.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:29 PM
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belittling her as as a beauty queen reinforces patriarchy and is therefore a long term bad.

OTOH, I have been happy in the past to belittle Schwarzenegger for the beauty contests he first became famous for participating in.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:30 PM
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468: Lance Corporal Jimmy McCain is in Iraq, but John McCain doesn't really talk about it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:31 PM
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belittling her as as a beauty queen reinforces patriarchy

I thought beauty pageants reinforced patriarchy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:31 PM
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469: I suppose this blunts both their "inexperienced" and "good looking celebrity" attacks.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:32 PM
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465: I realize I'm perhaps guilty of expecting coherence, but 'fails to credit the valuable kinds of experience and wisdom women, having been shut out of traditional positions of power, have created on their own' seems to tie it to her gender, not her outsider status and 'war bad' seems to mean that she'll think war is bad.
--
I don't want to go after the pageant stuff because since I'm assuming she's not listing it as her qualifications for national office, it comes off like shitting on the pretty girl because, ew, femme stuff. It's about as relevant as Obama's basketball.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:33 PM
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all the mccains since forever were born to war and besides are protected (by wealth; by a warrior clan's sense of higher duty) against its aftermath; a hockey mom's son really isn't --- it can be made a wedge issue... quiz her on the reality of the aftermath (it should be a huge political issue anyway; it's always been nuts to assume that the troops and their relatives all support the pro-war party uncritically)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:36 PM
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467: Do any of you remember this from the 1992 campaign -- at some point Bush started attacking Clinton by pointing out what a loser of a state Arkansas was -- so small, and close to last in income and education? It was an awful idea then, and I think belittling Alaska would be a lousy idea now.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:36 PM
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473: It's a double edged (pronged?) tiara, apo.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:36 PM
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it comes off like shitting on the pretty girl because, ew, femme stuff. It's about as relevant as Obama's basketball.

Exactly. You said it best.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:37 PM
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you shouldn't be belittling her, you should be bigging her up -- mccain's the one with the vanity problem and the short fuse


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:38 PM
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Here's the video of the quote Apo noted in 458.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:39 PM
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468: Lance Corporal Jimmy McCain is in Iraq, but John McCain doesn't really talk about it.

Huh, I didn't realize that. I thought his son was y.a. Naval pilot. Wikipedia suggests that's Doug McCain.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:40 PM
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obama should sincerely congratulate mccain for stepping outside the stagnant and corrupt buggins-turn pool of ageing gop hopefuls and compromised pointyheads: which would really rub it in the faces of all those overlooked


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:42 PM
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475: Sorry, Cala -- 'fails to credit the valuable kinds of experience and wisdom women, having been shut out of traditional positions of power, have created on their own' -- I actually managed not to read that part at all!

I did think that bob made a good point that Yglesias was being completely hypocritical in going after Palin for her inexperience.

But, no, I don't buy that -- since Palin is a women she will counsel peace stuff.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:42 PM
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you should be bigging her up

You mean "embiggening her", I assume?

A real live woman finds Palin's being chosen "sort of unbelievable and completely patronizing and shows just how [McCain] views the decisionmaking of the american public".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:43 PM
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Beauty queen snark.

It's irresistible today, because of what Sifu was saying yesterday. Tomorrow, it'll be just another old joke.

Having heard complaints about a thin resume for months and months now, it's also hard to resist calling out a humorous item from Gov. Palin's thin resume. How do you suppose she answered the question at the pageant about how she would bring about world peace, or whatever they asked her? It's a funny thought.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:45 PM
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375: Hott prosperity theology babes look like Stepford wives, possibly with a twist of Desperate Housewives. They are people whom God has blessed with Nice Stuff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:47 PM
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Is my dislike of her voice purely driven by an accent, or is it really kind of annoying? Reminds me of Herb Tarlek's wife.

One thing I'll say about the other three candidates: none of their voices grate on me the way GWB's does. And, for the record, HRC's voice didn't bother me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:47 PM
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In practice, they are grueling and require some fairly impressive skills, but the widespread perception is of a lightweight and silly undertaking for young women who aspire to little more than the status of arm candy.

To follow up on this a bit, she did this when she was what, 19 or 20? Maybe younger? 1984, says Wikipedia. The problem with going after her on fluff grounds is that the percentage of young women who do fluffy stuff like pageants in high school and then go off to college or work and more serious things is quite high. It's not really a trophy-wife finishing school.

I mean, look, I was on the baton-twirling squad in high school. Short skirt, white boots, the whole nine yards. If that were to come up as a reason that I must not be a good philosopher when I come up for a job, that would piss me off.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:48 PM
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There's experience, & there's conveying the impression that you know what the hell you're talking about on policy. Dan Quayle was reasonably experienced but came off as a total lightweight. Hillary Clinton was not actually nearly as experienced as, e.g., Bill Richardson, but conveyed a lot more competence & mastery of policy in the debates. Obama already knows his stuff on policy better than McCain. Maybe Palin is actually some kind of wonk genius with unknown depths, but....


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:48 PM
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The idea that any Democrat is going to spend much time at all attacking Palin is both far-fetched and probably pretty counterproductive. I say that because after the buzz wears off, most people aren't going to care much that she's the nominee or spend a great deal of their time pondering what her selection reveals about John McCain. And so, hand-crafting the finest in artisanal attacks to bring down Palin just doesn't make much sense and buys into framing of McCain's construction. The election is about McCain versus Obama. The veep nominees are water carriers or attack dogs. That's really it.

It is interesting, though, that we're not talking about what a game-changing speech Obama gave last night. I suppose the fact that instead we're all spending this much time thinking about how to deal with Palin suggests how good a tactical move this was by McCain. He won the day, a day that should have been incredibly bad for him.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:49 PM
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Look, unless you made fun of Bush for being a cheerleader, you don't get to make fun of Palin for being a pageant contestant. Simple as that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:50 PM
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I'm just going to state again that, for all we and the rest of the blogosphere loves to hyperanalyze them, neither Biden nor Palin are particularly important in this election beyond filling empty time on the news networks. It's still all about Obama, McCain, and Bush.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:50 PM
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485.2 is exactly right. This choice is offensive, and if she can't be attacked on her inexperience, her poor fit for the job, her apparent lack of understanding of eleventh-grade-level U.S. Gov't, her personal history, and her personal priorities, what the fuck is she doing in national politics? This isn't a feminist choice on McCain's part. It's insulting. She's a pro-life creationist radical who may follow a disastrously wrong-headed old dude who may croak and further ruin all our lives. Playing the "don't say mean things about the pwetty widdle wady" game is fucking insulting to professional women who would like to be treated like actual human beings by the government.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:51 PM
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Boy, apo gets passed over one time for Student Body VP, and he dedicates the rest of his life to shitting on the office.

Let it go, man.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:51 PM
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ari-pwned


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:51 PM
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Jesus, Bob. Now we know why beauty queens have played such a tremendous role in our civilization.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:52 PM
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I was Student Council president in the 6th grade! But after that, it never seemed interesting again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:52 PM
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485: Were I a Republican woman with actual leadership and governance experience, I'd be really annoyed right about now.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:53 PM
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491.2 is a bit silly. We didn't talk about anybody's speech for more than a few hours after it ended - we would get pretty bored of endlessly repeating how brilliant Obama (very) was and how screwed McCain is (extremely).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:54 PM
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'fails to credit the valuable kinds of experience and wisdom women, having been shut out of traditional positions of power, have created on their own' seems to tie it to her gender

Essentialist? Well, in my mind the argument that Palin doesn't have "any experience" is connected to the arguments that "women's work" isn't really work. I do not value the knowledges gained By Kay Bailey Hutchinson and whoever, that CEO of HP, more highly than Palin's.

Sorry. I am quie serious. Maybe a Cultural Revolution Maoist or something, but the idea that I should trust my money & economic future to Hank Paulson or Jeffrey Skilling of Enron (or some other highly-experienced over-credentialled crook) because of their creds strikes me as insane.

Nobody ever really answers my question as to why I should trust Juan Cole more than Bernard Lewis except that one is wrong and the other right because Eric Martin (expert #3) says so.

PS:I of course despise Palin's politics, ideology, and religious opinions. I guess one should try to imagine a Democrat with her life story in order to see the point I am making.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:54 PM
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"It is interesting, though, that we're not talking about what a game-changing speech Obama gave last night. I suppose the fact that instead we're all spending this much time thinking about how to deal with Palin suggests how good a tactical move this was by McCain. He won the day, a day that should have been incredibly bad for him."

No. No, no, no. We're deranged political junkies who blather endlessly about a horse race about which we have little really useful to say & over which we have no control, and put far too much stock in the news cycle than is good for either accurately reading the electorate, or our own psychological well-being. 38 million people watched Obama's speech last night, not counting PBS, C-Span, & online. I don't know how many people there actually are on blogs obsessing about Palin right now, but I'll guarantee you it's a hell of a lot fewer.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:56 PM
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500: First, you're wrong. We spent an entire day talking about Obama's speech on race. That was a better speech, sure, but this one was much more important. Second, I wasn't only talking about the "we" that's here. I meant the blogosphere, the nets, the newspaper websites. Obama got about seven hours of coverage for one of the finest political speeches of my lifetime. Then the breathless speculation about McCain's pick began. And now we're all mired in the swamp of how to deal with Palin. Third and finally, I wasn't pointing fingers. I'm right there with everyone else. It just hit me when I wrote the comment that this really is working very well for McCain. Sorry if that offended you.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:59 PM
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Look, unless you made fun of Bush for being a cheerleader,

you know, that wasn't done nearly often enough.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 2:59 PM
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the argument that Palin doesn't have "any experience" is connected to the arguments that "women's work" isn't really work

Which would almost make sense, except that prior to entering politics, she worked as a sports reporter and a commercial fisher(wo)man, which really aren't considered "women's work."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:00 PM
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Were I a Republican woman with actual leadership and governance experience, I'd be really annoyed right about now.

Ya know, I have been consistent about this for eight years. The problem with GWB is not that he is stupid or ignorant but that he is evil.

And this is also why I am always ranting about the enlightenment, the idea that knowledge equals goodness, or that evil is ignorance. That wisdom is knowledge + reason. It's a very pernicious delusion. Dewey's Educated Democracy.

Knowledge, experience, intelligence are irrelevant.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:01 PM
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502: Turn on the news, Katherine. Or look over at your hometown newspaper's website There isn't much about Obama's speech. It's all Palin all the time. McCain did well, at least in the short term. Again, I'm not judging anyone here. When I said "interesting", I meant interesting. "Telling" might have been a better choice of words.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:02 PM
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465: Power is a woman, and so is Slaughter, and thus it has been since the beginning of time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:04 PM
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Correction:

Knowledge, experience, intelligence [as commonly understood by the ruling elites, who set the rules for becoming a member of their class] are irrelevant.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:04 PM
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I mean, look, I was on the baton-twirling squad in high school. Short skirt, white boots, the whole nine yards. If that were to come up as a reason that I must not be a good philosopher when I come up for a job, that would piss me off.

The bizarre thing here is that, if the stories are to be believed, if a hiring committee knew this, it might conceivably play a role.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:05 PM
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507: Yeah, but that's the nature of the ADD news cycle, and it would have happened no matter who McCain picked. If Amy Winehouse drops dead tomorrow or Gustav makes landfall, Sarah Palin will disappear off the news for the day too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:06 PM
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491: The news cycle isn't everything. At least 38 million people watched Obama's speech live; they don't need to hear about it again.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:06 PM
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Obama's speech wasn't brilliant, at least not in any intellectual sense. It was an extremely competent and effective performance that did everything he needed to do for this stage in the election. It hit all the proper buttons; superb political performance. But contentwise, it was same old, same old -- a very standard litany of Democratic talking points. The race speech was more interesting intellectually.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:06 PM
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38 million > the combined viewership of CNN, MSNBC, & Fox at 4 pm. Liberal blogs' pathological obsession with the media-bubble is making them increasingly: (1) useless (2) unreadable. More and more we just swarm around the same damn soccer ball as everyone else in D.C. (I do it too--though less, these days--so it's hypocritical of me to criticize. But it's still very dumb.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:08 PM
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510: Well. Philosophers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:08 PM
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Dan Quayle with titties! Hooray!

More soberly: do we really think this selection is about McCain being all sober and strategrical, or do we think it's about his being a stupid, petulant jerk? My money's on the latter.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:09 PM
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489: We think well of you for having overcome that, Cala.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:11 PM
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I think it's the third option -- it's a desperation long-shot play. She's very different from his other possibilities: if he's sure they wouldn't help him enough, and doesn't know what effect she'll have, what does he have to lose?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:11 PM
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511: Yes, that's true. But this was still a win for McCain.

514: Yes, that's true. But this was still a win for McCain.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:12 PM
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518: Maybe, but I don't really think he's self-aware enough for that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:12 PM
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Liberal blogs' pathological obsession with the media-bubble is making them increasingly: (1) useless (2) unreadable.

But the *purpose* of political blogs is to give you a little community of fellow pathological obsessives to gossip with, so such obsession hardly makes them useless. If the purpose were understanding the world, then I'd agree. And I guess you could say that when you get a whole bunch of pathological obsessives together, the meta-ness of it all can become annoying even if you're a little obsessive yourself.

But the Palin thing is legitimately really interesting. It's a big novelty, very new, not just in terms of her gender but her background too. And because of age McCain has an ex ante greater chance of dying/being incapacitated in office than just about any President has.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:14 PM
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501: By the end of the day Bob will have named every malign credentialed person in history, thus proving that we should elect some random know-nothing to the Presidency.

It can't be someone who was competent in something else, though, because it's always possible to find jerkish winger doctors and lawyers and dentists and contractors and carpenters. It will have to be something who with no qualifications whatsoever.

Well-played, Bob!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:16 PM
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I'm not at all sure it was a bad pick for McCain; it's risky, but there are potential upsides & who SHOULD he have picked? I'm not actively gleeful the way I would've been about Lieberman or Romney. There just aren't a lot of people who are: (1) acceptable to the base (2) remotely appealing. I just think it's going to matter a lot less than the Dem. convention in general & Obama's speech in particular.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:17 PM
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It will have to be something who with no qualifications whatsoever.

*ahem*


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:18 PM
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Look, unless you made fun of Bush for being a cheerleader, you don't get to make fun of Palin for being a pageant contestant.

I'm OK on this one.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:19 PM
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Surely we can agree to celebrate Mitt Romney turning out to be a loser one last time, can't we?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:21 PM
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"But the *purpose* of political blogs is to give you a little community of fellow pathological obsessives to gossip with, so such obsession hardly makes them useless. "

Right, but if part of the goal is to gossip with your fellow political junkies instead of watching the soul-killing spectacle that passes for political journalism in the mainstream press, blogs' increasing inability to stop staring at Chris Matthews' navel just sucks all the fun out of it after a while.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:21 PM
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Obama:

"I haven't met her before. She seems like a compelling person ... with a terrific personal story.

"I'm sure that she will help make the case for Republicans, unfortunately the case is more of the same, and so ultimately John McCain is at the top of the ticket."

"He wants to take the country in the wrong direction, I'm assuming Gov. Palin agrees with him and his policies."

"But the fact that she ... will soon be nominated ... is one more indicator of this country moving forward ... one more hit against that glass ceiling. I congratulate her and look forward to a vigorous debate."

"I'm pleased with my choice for vice president, Joe Biden. I think he's the man who can help me guide this country in a better direction and help working families."


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:22 PM
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"Professor, I thought that you would want to see these photos of the mereologist we've been thinking of hiring. The costume she's wearing is apparently for one of her people's fertility rituals."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:24 PM
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Look, unless you made fun of Bush for being a cheerleader

Did somebody not make fun of Bush being a cheerleader?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:26 PM
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I'm home sick watching Hardball, and Chris Matthews just showed the journalist survival kit supplied by the RNC to every press person going to the convention. Its two candy bars: 100 Grand and Payday.

They don't even care about people realizing they're the plutocrat party, do they?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:28 PM
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525: Me, too. But I still think it's best to stay away from that line of attack. Obama, quoted by ari, seems to have the right line.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:30 PM
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526 is a good line.

Ezra's top post right now makes a great point: McCain had lots of much better options*. But they're all pro-choice, so they're out. It's a straitjacket for the party.

Now, arguably no Dem could be VP, much less Pres, as pro-life, but we have pro-life leaders (most obviously Reid, but there are others) and they have none at all.

* Including Jody Rell, KBailey Hutch, Tom Ridge, and CTWhitman


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:31 PM
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528: excellent response. Obama has clearly absorbed the idea that this is a Democratic year, with a down economy, and every word out of his mouth is going to establish him as the Democratic alternative to Bush-ism.

Knowledge, experience, intelligence [as commonly understood by the ruling elites, who set the rules for becoming a member of their class] are irrelevant.

It's both bad and good, rarely irrelevant. Knowledge overinvests you in a corrupt and often dysfunctional system, but ignorance can make you helpless to change that system. Being a "serious", "experienced" member of certain DC policy communities -- e.g. the foreign policy community -- is not just irrelevant but an actively negative thing. But if you're really clueless about how the existing system works you'll practically be a lame duck before you figure out how to change things.

But speaking as someone who has known lots of people with massive credentials/experience in politics, I have real sympathy with Bob's perspective.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:31 PM
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Did somebody not make fun of Bush being a cheerleader?

Check Standpipe's other blog.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:32 PM
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531: The DNC gave those out.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:35 PM
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More seriously, the point of attck, it seems to me, re Gov. Palin is that selecting her is a huge capitulation to the religious right. We're not going to get RR votes anyway, and now that she's on the ballot, they're not going to stay home. We need moderates and independents to see her as a Monica Goodling, imposed on McCain rather than the guy he wanted (Lieberman) who happens to agree with most of the country on most of the issues.

Surrogates should be working refs on this already, so when she slips and says something out-of-the-mainstream, it'll confirm the narrative.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:35 PM
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Me, too. But I still think it's best to stay away from that line of attack.

I'm not really advocating for it (although I really don't see why we shouldn't make the ridiculous Republican VP nominee into a figure of ridicule - it's one thing late-80s Dems were able to get right), just pointing out that anyone claiming it's somehow gender-based* is nuts.

* It is sex-based, in that both figures are being denigrated for doing something femme, but in the case of Bush it was less about dick-swinging dominance and more about ridiculing a dick-swinger who had been a fucking cheerleader


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:35 PM
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You know who was a cheerleader in high school? Laurie Anderson. Kinda puts "Oh, Superman" in a different light.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:36 PM
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thus proving that we should elect some random know-nothing to the Presidency.

The hell with elections. I want a lottery!

Sarah Palin Sexism Watch at Shakesville


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:40 PM
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538: Eh. Look, when Bush was nominated, the first paragraph didn't include 'former cheerleader' among his list of accomplishments. I didn't know a damn thing about Palin before this morning, and I know she was a beauty queen. It's not the same thing, and of course it's gender-based.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:44 PM
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Sarah Palin Sexism Watch at Shakesville

It's one thing to steal the thunder of a regular old political candidate; that's all part of this stupid, cynical game. But it wasn't just Obama's thunder McCain endeavored to steal. It wasn't just the Democrats' thunder. It was the thunder of every American--because Obama's nomination was part of the history of this nation and belongs to all its citizens.

Fuck John McCain and his contempt for history and contempt for country and contempt for all of us. The rotten thief.

We should never forget that this announcement, made when it was and how it was, was in no small part because John McCain and Karl Rove and the GOP are hostile to genuine progress and have not the slightest modicum of respect for the history Barack Obama has made.

I generally love Melissa's work, but that's just about the dumbest thing I've read by her.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:44 PM
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If Amy Winehouse drops dead tomorrow

Wait. You mean...


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:48 PM
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I don't think that being the Governor of a small state vs. Governor of a big state makes that much difference, or we would only elect former Governors of California, New York or Illinois. And two years of actually doing the job is probably enough to get all the previous experience she will need for VP. Let's face it, outside of sitting (or former) VPs it's all OJT for the new President.

McCain has secured the evangelicals, which he needed to do. He already has the eye of a lot of independents, which is reinforced by the whole "maverick" thing that the press loves. I still say it is a "Hail Mary", but I don't think it was cynical.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 3:49 PM
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I don't think this was a ridiculous choice by McCain at all, in fact in certain ways it might have been inspired.

I generally love Melissa's work, but that's just about the dumbest thing I've read by her.

Agreed. I also found this statement by Melissa really weird.

McCain's selection of Palin is opportunistic, disingenuous, cynical, and an egregious insult to women in that it suggests women are: A) interchangeable; B) monolithic; and C) too unsophisticated to cast a vote based on issues.

Huh?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:05 PM
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Harsh, but interesting, on Palin.

Yglesias is having a very good day, by the way.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:07 PM
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545: I'm not endorsing it as an assesment of Palin (I might after I knew more about her) but my understanding of Melissa is that she's sayingthe following: Palin is an empty suit, without qualifications for the VP job. McCain's choice of a female empty suit suggests that he has contempt for female/feminist voters -- women uniformly will be happy with any female candidate, regardless of qualifications.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:08 PM
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545: That seems pretty clear to me. Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton agree on very few issues and have very little in common. Selecting Palin in hopes of appealing to women that supported Clinton thus assumes that those women don't care about anything other than getting the chance to vote for a Ticket With Ovaries.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:09 PM
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McCain's selection of Palin is opportunistic, disingenuous, cynical, and an egregious insult to women in that it suggests women are: A) interchangeable; B) monolithic; and C) too unsophisticated to cast a vote based on issues.

What's hard to understand about that? If you think that McCain chose Palin qua woman, it makes perfect sense: he needed some woman (A and B) to get the Woman Vote (C).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:10 PM
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The link in 546 supports this.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:11 PM
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Rahm Emanuel gets it exactly right:

"On his 72nd birthday, this is the guy's judgment of who he wants one heartbeat from the presidency?" said Mr. Emanuel, who said the selection smacked of political panic. "Please."

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:14 PM
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In fairness to McCain's strategic vision, I'm not sure that he really thinks many uncommitted women will vote for an anti-choice ticket. He may just be hoping to suppress turnout among women who believe that the more-qualified Senator Clinton got passed over by misogynistic Democrats who chose the boy wonder instead.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:16 PM
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In February and/or March there was a bit of talk about Palin as VP, the big drawback I remember coming up being that she was too much like McCain in his maverick/reformist image and that McCain needed someone more doctrinaire conservative.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:16 PM
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547, 549:So if McCain had chosen a Romney, it would have been because of Romney's qualifications. But he chose Sarah Palin because she has tits? Republicans are delirious about the pick, and it isn't because of Palin's gender.

Let me add this to Shake's sexism watch.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:18 PM
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554: Geez, bob, for someone who gets touchy about being mischaracterized, you're awfully ready to take a statement preceded with "I'm not endorsing it as an assesment of Palin (I might after I knew more about her) but my understanding of Melissa is that she's saying the following" as an illustration of my personal sexism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:20 PM
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But he chose Sarah Palin because she has tits? Republicans are delirious about the pick, and it isn't because of Palin's gender.

Plausibly yes to the question, and you're wrong in the second sentence. (See, on ari's suggestion, Saiselgy.) The only reason anyone seems to be happy about this is that it's supposedly a cunning strategic move.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:20 PM
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Performance art.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:22 PM
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547-549: I don't think Palin is an empty suit, or a token, or a woman qua woman.

1) The VP slot is incredibly important in a McCain administration -- do you think he'll be running again at the age of 76? If he wins, she just became a frontrunner for the 2012 or 2016 Republican nomination. That's not a position you give out as a token.

2) Regardless of sex, Palin makes sense. She can claim to be an energy/drilling expert, she fires up the religious right, she's a "maverick" who took on the Alaska political establishment and helps reinforce that aspect of McCain's campaign, she's an ethics/clean government person who gives distance on recent Republican scandals, she couldn't be further from the Bush administration, she has a great bio. Her (major) flaw is inexperience, but that's not dispositive, especially this year. If she'd been a man, I think she still would have made the short list and gotten serious consideration, although probably not selected.

3) Palin's sex probably will be a plus, but that doesn't show contempt for women -- it's a fact of political life and it's accurate enough if you accept any kind of general premise that women should have an interest in having women in power. McCain just gave a woman real, genuine political power, and he also showed willingness to take unconventional risks, reach beyond the Beltway, etc. Every politician has some arbitrary aspect of their background that makes them more or less appealing as a selection.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:24 PM
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555:As usual, a criticism of a remark as sexist is not a judgement of character.

But Yglesias and his blog may have been sexism center during the primaries. With Yggles systemic paternalistic elitism, I am not at all surprised he is "having a field day."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:25 PM
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But Yglesias and his blog may have been sexism center during the primaries

An investigation is pending.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:27 PM
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556:Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Take people like Douthat seriously.

Hell, she is a hunter & professional fisher A gun nut. Commander of Alaskan National Guard. Small town family values. Fervently pro-life.

There is very little about her and her history that is not perfect for conservatives, and to say all that is irrelevant is simple sexism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:29 PM
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559: Yes, but a criticism of a remark as sexist, where that remark is identified as an explanation of someone else's words, is loopy. If you want to call Melissa's remark sexist, go for it. If you want to say I misinterpreted her, that's good too. Taking it as a straightforward statement of my views? Not reasonable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:29 PM
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557 to half this thread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:32 PM
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558.1: You seriously think that McCain picked Palin because he thought she was qualified to become President after him? Yes, it's possible that someone who's been Governor of a small, isolated, corrupt, one-party, one-industry state for two years could turn out to be the second coming of Abraham Lincoln, but I live in a state kind of like that, and I'm skeptical.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:32 PM
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Every politician has some arbitrary aspect of their background that makes them more or less appealing as a selection.

What makes it appear insulting isn't that we find some arbitrary bit of her background puzzling, but that if McCain were trying to reach out to women who were allegedly pro-Clinton for the usual Democratic reasons, Palin only fulfills that function to the extent she has ovaries. Let's replace their center-left politician with wingnut crystals, and see if they notice. I think that's what McEwan is finding insulting.

It reminds me a bit of the Miers kerfluffle, to be honest.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:34 PM
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appealing to women that supported Clinton thus assumes that those women don't care about anything other than getting the chance to vote for a Ticket With Ovaries. have felt disenfranchised for a very long time.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:35 PM
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If she'd been a man, I think she still would have made the short list and gotten serious consideration, although probably not selected.

I think she very well might have been selected were she male.She is a great candidate.

As a small town Mayor, she took on a powerful & moneyed incumbent Governor and won.

Right now, I think it is a good thing that Obama has distanced himself from the blogosphere, which reeks of sexism. It may not be enough.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:36 PM
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because he thought she was qualified to become President after him?

The bar for `qualified to be president' is empirically pretty low these days.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:36 PM
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what conservatives -- and their performance-art fanboy bob -- are finding so exciting about palin is that she isn't mccain: this is thrilling in the news-cycle short-term (for everyone) (she is a new face) but it's a problem for the mccain campaign in the medium term


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:36 PM
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Yes, Obama is going to go down because sexism has survived in the liberal blogosphere after being extirpated everywhere else in the US. Bob, as usual, is right on the money.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:38 PM
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I really loved Northern Exposure. And if this choice means that show makes a comeback, or there's a movie or something, I'm totally voting for McCain.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:39 PM
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You seriously think that McCain picked Palin because he thought she was qualified to become President after him?

Presidents think they're immortal & irreplaceable, but yes, I do think McCain believes she would make an adequate President. Ideology & character/biography matter more to conservatives than credentials.

See Reagan. See GWB.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:40 PM
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I love that McCain has barely met her. That's just the kind of maverick he is!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:43 PM
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568: Agreed, but it's not a good thing. I don't necessarily put a lot of stock in experience as training for the Presidency, but it's useful to know that someone has demonstrated the ability to be effective at complex tasks over a period of time. And credentials-wise, Palin makes GWB look like a cross between Eisenhower and LBJ.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:44 PM
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McCain were trying to reach out to women who were allegedly pro-Clinton for the usual Democratic reasons, Palin only fulfills that function to the extent she has ovaries. Let's replace their center-left politician with wingnut crystals, and see if they notice. I think that's what McEwan is finding insulting.

I don't think he's reaching out to Clinton voters per se (if anything Palin reaches out to the religious right). I do think he's trying to get in on the "new! history-making!' vibe of the Obama campaign and not get boxed in as the stale old guy.

McCain has always been anti-abortion and it's not realistic that he would choose a woman who disagreed with him on that. Yet any woman he picked who was anti-abortion would be denounced by feminists. But that's about policy, not gender. There are plenty of right-leaning women who aren't nececssarily turned off by the wingnut or religious right agenda, but who might be swing votes.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:44 PM
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Ladies and gentlemen, Howard W-lfs-n:

"Both campaigns seemed to have decided that Hillary Clinton's 18 millions voters represent a key swing bloc in this election -- both Barack Obama's speech and John McCain's pick were at least partially aimed at them."

"The fact that Palin is pro-life and pro-gun will be a block for many of Senator Clinton's supporters -- but not all. And it will raise the question for many why Senator Obama didn't pick Senator Clinton as his running mate."

Source.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:45 PM
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571: McCain/Palin...yeah...Northern Exposure meets Night of the Living Dead...brilliant concept! Focus groups will love it! Women will swoon!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:47 PM
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W-lfs-n lost more than Clinton did when Clinton lost. She still has a career, but her lackeys, parasites, operatives, and stooges don't. She can rebuild, and they can't, and she can't protect them.

Of course, there's always flacking for third-world dictators, Fox News, and other malefactors, but that's second best. People go into politics to be close to power, not for the money.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:49 PM
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But isn't that a pretty good reason for W-lfs-n to shut up and get busy looking for asses to kiss? Who's the target audience for a dumb-ass remark like that?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:51 PM
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574:That the same left blogosphere that has been pushing Sebellius as a possible VP for six months now finds Palin ridiculously underqualified speaks for itself.

Petey says today Democrats play checkers while Republicans play chess. Find a different argument about Palin than "experience" because that one is gonna lose.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:52 PM
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Fox News, I think. Or maybe Mugabe. Who knows?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:52 PM
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Atrios links to a Washington Post Q&A with an Anchorage Daily News reporter, in re Palin":

Washington, D.C.: Why don't reporters and legislators have a high opinion of the governor? Gregg Erickson: It is clear that she has not paid much attention to the nitty-gritty unglamorous work of government, of gaining consensus, and making difficult compromises. She seems to be of the view that politics shouild be all rather simple. That often appeals to the wider public, but frustrates those who see themselves as laboring in the less glamorous parts of the vineyard. ... Arlington, Va.: Do you think Hillary supporters will vote for McCain now just because there's a woman on the ticket -- even though she's about as opposite as Hillary as a candidate could be? Gregg Erickson: As i replied to another question, the only way I can figure that it makes sense is that McCain believes his campaign is in big trouble, and hopes this very unconventional choice will give his candidacy much needed appeal women voters and those from the religous right who have been not quite comfortable with his credentials as a social conservative. Appealing to Hillary supporters by choosing someone opposed to any abortion, rights seems odd to me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:55 PM
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Everybody has to agree that McCain is at least living up to his Presidential obligation to entertain the public. Think how boring Tim Pawlenty would have been.

If Obama had the perfect bio, looks, and affect to play the President on a liberal show like West Wing, Palin has the perfect bio and looks to be the political hero in some kind of alternative Christian right miniseries. Perhaps related to "Left Behind". Although she personally doesn't seem like the full-on nut job type of religious rightist.

As a small town Mayor, she took on a powerful & moneyed incumbent Governor and won.

That would have been a great Northern Exposure plot.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:55 PM
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580: You don't think that Democrats are being partisan do you, Mr. Broder?

Sebelius has been in politics for 22 years, so it isn't sexist to prefer her to Palin. (Though I don't get that argument anyway.)

Bob, we aren't the Democratic strategy team. I'd direct you to them if I could.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:56 PM
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Petey says today Democrats play checkers while Republicans play chess.

And lord knows Petey's observations have been exceptionally astute this election cycle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:57 PM
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No comment.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 4:59 PM
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581: Oh, them. Makes sense. To the hog farm with him.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:00 PM
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A line I'm willing to steal: this is roughly the same play as getting Alan Keyes to run against Obama in the Senate race.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:01 PM
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The VPILF meme seems to have gone viral. She still doesn't come close to Yulia, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:03 PM
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By resume standards, Sebelius is far more qualified than Palin, so you can't charge hypocrisy there.

In terms of pure jobs/resume though, Obama isn't really more experienced than Palin. It depends how you weight being a junior U.S. Senator vs. being governor of a small state, being a state legislator again small-town mayor/member of state commissions, etc.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:04 PM
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588: The crazification 27% has been nailed down.

I'd scratch small-town mayor. It's more or less an amateur job. Her governor experience is less than two years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:07 PM
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590 -- And community organizing versus sports reporting. Editing the law review versus whatever she did in Moscow.

We'll see. She may end up being a personally impressive person. Or maybe she's the kind of executive the Alaska reporters say she is.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:08 PM
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I think it's odd that people are up in arms about bringing up her beauty queen past. She has a compelling biography, and being a former beauty queen is a positive part of it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:11 PM
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Obama didn't even make varsity on his HS basketball team, while Palin hit a crucial free throw in the final seconds to win the state championship for her team. While playing with a stress fracture!

I rest my case.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:12 PM
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Commander of Alaskan National Guard.

Cut that shit out, Bob. Taking your troll-points from McCain is lackluster performance art.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:12 PM
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Plus, Bush I was right to make fun of Arkansas. It was a relevant point to make. McCain is right to criticize Obama for his lack of experience. Experience counts for something, just not everything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:14 PM
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I agree with PGD in 558, and I think McManus is basically right about the sexism.

Also, this wasn't some last-minute panic choice by McCain. Palin's name has been circulating as a VP possibility for a couple of months now, with the peel off some of Hillary's voters argument being made quite explicitly. Yesterday's Telegraph had the story:

The prospect of a woman has some senior Democrats very jittery, as the Clinton psychodrama plays out its latest chapter in Denver while polls show Mr Obama slipping behind.

A senior strategist, who has run two presidential campaigns, told me: "If McCain picks a woman, this thing is done."

On the basis that a politician should always do what his opponent least wants him to, Hutchison has a shot, as does Sarah Palin, the photogenic young mother who is Governor of Alaska.

Some Republicans like her because they think she will help reinforce Mr McCain's support for renewed oil drilling, one of his few policies to capture the public imagination this year, at a time of rising fuel prices.

So: Obama was in a really difficult spot, obviously. Choose a woman and run the risk of having too risky a ticket (first black man plus first woman), or Don't choose a woman and risk having McCain choose a woman and peel off some of his women voters. There's no way that Obama and his team weren't well aware of the risks on both sides. They chose to play it safe, which was probably not the best choice.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:14 PM
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594: I was actually wondering if there's any shot they'd end up playing Horse or something, or shooting foul shots. Obviously, one-on-one would be a bad idea, but given that they're both ball players, it would be entertaining to see them play.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:15 PM
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She was a really tough Guard commander. She had them face-down in the mud at 3 a.m. in the middle of winter. Frozen mud. She rebuffed several Cannadian border incursions. She kept Alaska safe from polar bears.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:15 PM
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As I remember it was Bill Kristol who was circulating Palin's name. That doesn't add credibility.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:18 PM
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594.1: False! (Didn't start, IIRC, but played varsity off the bench.)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:20 PM
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: Eh. Look, when Bush was nominated, the first paragraph didn't include 'former cheerleader' among his list of accomplishments.

First of all, even the egregiously unqualified Bush had more quals than Palin. Second of all, that para (and let's be real, the only place this para exists is blog shorthand - MSM is not leading with Miss Alaska) DID include failed businessman and ex-drunk and presumed cokehead. When an inexperienced clown gets thrown up on the national stage, the pre-experience stuff hits pretty fast. Did you recall that Dan Quayle had over 10 years experience in the Federal Gov't? No, but you knew he was in the Indiana National Guard.

I understand the squick factor over emphasizing a woman's less professional accomplishments. But let's not act as if, were it Mitt, we wouldn't be talking about dogs on car roofs, and if it were Rudy!, we wouldn't be talking about drag.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:20 PM
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Actually, the Alaskan ANG and National Guard have been forward deployed into combat. Not that she commanded them in action, but still.

http://www.ak-prepared.com/dmva/Press_Releases/2008/08_May/2008May7_Air_Guard_Returns_from_Afghanistan.pdf


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:20 PM
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But still WHAT?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:22 PM
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Bob, we aren't the Democratic strategy team. I'd direct you to them if I could.

I actually think this would be a bad idea.

Just for the record.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:22 PM
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Do you think that Bob would take over?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:25 PM
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591: OK. I retract 590.2. Obama's the least experienced Presidential candidate since WWII (Jimmy Carter comes close, but not quite). But Palin is amazingly less experienced.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:26 PM
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Are you suggesting, MC, that women don't care about any issues at all?


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:27 PM
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They're busy people, and have more important things to do than trying to decipher Bob.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:27 PM
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But still WHAT?

Emerson's mocking the Alaska National Guard as defending us from Canada and polar bears is a little disgusting since they are actually doing pararescue in Afghanistan. Sometimes the funny doesn't work, or hits the wrong target is all I mean.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:29 PM
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Are you suggesting, MC, that women don't care about any issues at all?

The proportion of Americans who pay little to no attention to politics but still vote for which TV character they like better is not negligible. And about half of them are women.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:30 PM
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In terms of pure jobs/resume though, Obama isn't really more experienced than Palin. It depends how you weight being a junior U.S. Senator vs. being governor of a small state, being a state legislator again small-town mayor/member of state commissions, etc.

But Obama did all these things for longer than Palin did her things. And, given how tiny AK and her little town were, I don't see them as even slightly comparable. Not to mention that Obama has already run a VERY impressive national political campaign.

Look, if Palin had been a badass governor of AK, then I might be willing to listen. But the above quote via atrios, plus a general sense of what governor in shithole states like AK is generally like, makes me strongly suspect that 1 year as AK gov


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:32 PM
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When the National Guard is doing something military, they're not commanded by the Governor any more. I understand that Americans have the duty to bow down and worship all military persons, but I don't take Palin seriously as a military leader.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:32 PM
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611: For example.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:33 PM
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610: I believe Emerson was mocking Sarah Palin, not the Alaska National Guard.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:33 PM
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PGD is Ron Fournier.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:33 PM
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607: Goddamnit, it's not fair to pwn me when I'm proving you wrong.

Fucking graciousness.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:34 PM
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614, from Apo's link, Apo speaking: And Emerson is completely right about the complicity of the media being the real story here. I don't know if the American media has ever turned a performance more disappointing than the last seven years. I've never seen more enthusiastic ankle-grabbing in all my life.

And if there's anyone who looks for ankle-grabbing, that would be Apo.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:35 PM
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608: Not really. Undecideds are indifferent between candidates on the issues.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:36 PM
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616: sigh.

617: wow, that was gratifying.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:38 PM
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Ignorant != indifferent.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:39 PM
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I haven't caught up on this thread or most of the VP news. Are there reports that people turned down the job? I could see, with the likelihood of an Obama win this year, a number of people preferring not to be on the ticket.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:41 PM
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being a junior U.S. Senator vs. being governor of a small state, being a state legislator again small-town mayor/member of state commissions

Wait, is there any possible way this weighting doesn't go in Obama's favor? I know we're all biased towards Obama, but I thought the fetishization of the executive was the hobby of Republicans and the media, not liberals. Without that, I don't see how national and state experience don't trump state and municipal experience.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:43 PM
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597- This about taking a risk and making a play for independent women. Pumas may not be the only ones who've felt disenfranchised but maybe just the most vocal. Besides, what's he got to lose when you look at what his options were.

All this snarking about Palin's experience, Alaska, and her beauty pageants. Palin may fail miserably, but I suspect there are many independents who'll be willing to give her some time and make their own judgments no matter what Matt Yglesias says.

I don't support her. But the liberal response has me wondering if we are on the path of stealing defeat again.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:44 PM
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I don't think that Pawlenty or Romney turned it down. Jindal and Lieberman may have. I've asked the same question.

Goldwater had trouble getting a VP candidate and ended up with the then (and still) unknown William Miller.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:44 PM
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616: No, I think he's Sean Wilentz.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:46 PM
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623, see 607 (and 617, snicker).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:49 PM
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Palin strikes me as a crappy, desperate, inadequate candidate and a hard core winger. One reason people are talking about the cheerleader and basketball stuff is that there really isn't a lot of other stuff to talk about.

As I've said, being the mayor of a town of 6,000 is very low on the food chain. In Wobegon (1/4 as big) they have to beg people to take the office. It's like middle-management with a tremendous amount of networking and dealing with personalities.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:49 PM
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Palin really isn't that bad a pick (in electoral terms). She's got a thin resume, sure, but a compelling biography and she looks comfortable in front of a camera. Just from the little I've seen her speak, she certainly seems brighter than Dan Quayle ever dreamt of being. Alaska's Republican Party is drowning in legal problems, but she can credibly claim to have gone after and cleaned up corruption in her own party there. If she loses, her stature in Alaskan and national politics still goes way, way up.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:50 PM
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That's ankle-grabbingly objective and neutral, Apo. You of all people.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:52 PM
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Are you suggesting, MC, that women don't care about any issues at all?

Of course not! Where do you see me suggesting this? But: when you need to appeal to a specific bloc/
demographic/constituency, it helps to put a recognizable member of that constituency on your ticket. That's not saying that voters in that demographic only care about that identity/representation angle, but of course it's going to be a factor. And it's not unreasonable for women to have getting women into public office as a goal, anyway.

In this case, for most female Clinton voters, the identity/representation value of McCain's pick is more than cancelled out by the GOP's horrible record on women. But there's no question in my mind that McCain is going to gain some female votes out of this. That's why I called it a very good strategic move.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:54 PM
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Apparently God has decided to intervene in the news cycle: they're talking about a mandatory evacuation order in New Orleans. I suppose this gives Bush a chance to get something right.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:58 PM
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I don't take Palin seriously as a military leader.

I think that Governors should get a kewl uniform, with all kinds of stars n scrambled eggs all over the place to wear as they salute the brave men and women of their state guard as they go to the various overseas deployments. Not when they mobilize for a natural disaster, though, cuz that would be gross, and probably distracting.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 5:59 PM
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"Who could have predicted that we'd have two 50-year-storms in four years? We just assumed that after Katrina we'd have a few years of slack."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:00 PM
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David Sirota thinks the Palin pick is brilliant

Ok, I'm having fun now. Gender aside, that McCain would pick a total off-the-wall wingnnut is a hoot.

DNC doesn't have enough C4 for the way I want to pay politics. Maybe a President Sarah will make liberals get serious.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:00 PM
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But there's no question in my mind that McCain is going to gain some female votes out of this. That's why I called it a very good strategic move.

I have to think that's true. Remember, as well, Republicans have a 10% advantage among white females. I don't know how much of that comes from the South, but he doesn't have to move that many women that far.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:02 PM
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One reason people are talking about the cheerleader and basketball stuff is that there really isn't a lot of other stuff to talk about.

Right, because people only talk about that kind of stuff when there's nothing else to talk about.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:03 PM
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What is there to talk about? No one on either side has come up with anything interesting from her mayoralty, and the only thing that amounts to anything from her gubenatorial career is a mini-scandal. So you're left with family life, high school, and ideology.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:07 PM
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Yes, it was probably an effective move for various reasons, but shouldn't it be our job to badmouth Palin?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:08 PM
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Is any sort of self-confidence among liberals actually illegal? No, we are not on the path of stealing defeat again, whatever that means. This is an incredibly high-stakes gamble by McCain. If Palin can't handle the media spotlight, this could be a disastrous Eagleton-level pick.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:09 PM
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Yes, it was probably an effective move for various reasons, but shouldn't it be our job to badmouth Palin?

Only insofar as it helps rather than hurts. It is surprisingly easy for men to irritate women when criticizing a female politician, as recent experience has demonstrated. That's not to say the women are wrong to be irritated, but rather that the rightness/wrongness doesn't much matter, as you want their votes and they don't want to vote someone who irritates them even if he's convinced he's in the right. And, as regards their votes, they sort of have the whip hand.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:13 PM
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As a quasi Democrat of the next-to-lowest possible rank I'm inclined to take the risk on irritating women. Obama doesn't have to follow me on this, and on the phone he indicated that he wouldn't. I'm no longer in his inner circle.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:17 PM
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they sort of have the whip hand

ATM


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:18 PM
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I really think the most important aspect of the Palin pick is how it will fire up the base, cause a fired up crazed wingnut base is a force. Any and all condescension by liberals toward Palin will crazy them up even more.

In crazed mode, wingnuts will do anything, anything to win.

Democrats could also tear up voter rolls, rig machines, lie, cheat, steal, threaten...but that would be wrong. Winning, even when millions of lives and the fate of the world is at stake, is not losing your integrity. Republicans are our brothers & sisters. We must create a new politics...

Bang.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:24 PM
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The crazies are a constant, and I think they've already maxed out. There have been rumors that some of them might stay home, but it would be stupid to plan on that and my understanding is that Obama's strategy is getting out the non-crazy vote. If I could poke every crazy in the US with a stick all at once, I'd do it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:28 PM
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640 could well be true too. This is just such a wacky pick, there are so many potential positives and negatives here and it's hard to predict how they'll play out. It also seems like McCain was having decent success with his "inexperienced celebrity" line of attack, and this really undercuts it. Maybe McCain is more comfortable contesting the "candidate of change" label with Obama.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:31 PM
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this could be a disastrous Eagleton-level pick

Let's hope so. And then we can return to John McCain's judgment.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:33 PM
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"This is a perilous story for Palin and McCain. I flagged some of the details earlier in the day. But this is the kind of story, the kind of investigation, where it is highly unlikely that Palin hasn't made public false statements about her involvement in what happened. I think that's generous. As always in cases like this, the question is whether anyone can prove it. There are a couple investigations -- one under the auspices of the state legislature and another of the state Attorney General, which she either supported or 'requested'. That latter investigation already surfaced taped phone calls that forced Palin walk back her original denials and admit that her aides had pressed for the firings, just without her knowledge."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:38 PM
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He didn't have to pick an inexperienced running mate to move the argument away from BO's inexperience to BO being the empty-rhetoric 'candidate of change.'

Also, when McCain was announcing Palin, he said she was a good choice to help bring "the kind of change Washington needs" to Washington.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:39 PM
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649 -> 646


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:40 PM
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For those who think Palin is a good pick: what makes her a better choice than Mike Huckabee, who would seem to have many of the same things going for him and whose resume is at least somewhat less implausible?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:53 PM
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Both her eyes point in the same direction.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:54 PM
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651: Panty test.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:55 PM
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651. No tape of Palin going on about how she would be a better President than McCain. There's plenty of Biden and Clinton dissing Obama.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 6:57 PM
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Seriously, though, if what she has going for her is basically that she's a hardcore wingnut who's pretty good at hiding her horns and tail, isn't that basically Huckabee?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:00 PM
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654: True, but it was a primary contest and shit happens.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:03 PM
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655:Democrats kinda liked Huckabee, while Palin will make their heads spin.

Huskabee had unacceptable economic ideas.

McCain couldn't stand Huckabee.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:10 PM
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I think there are some important points here that are perhaps pulling in different directions:

1. VP picks are lots of fun for political junkies and reporters but don't actually move very many voters from one column to the next, unless they self-destruct. In the end, it's still Obama and McCain/Bush.

2. There is a decent-sized chuck of the American voting population that does not think like anybody here. Policy really isn't that important to them, but they've still absorbed the CW that it's their duty to vote. So they pick it either the same way the pick their American Idol vote (I like his hair better), or the same way they pick who they want to win a football game (I've always pulled for the Packers. Go Pack!).

3. The folks worrying about enraging this or that voting bloc by being condescending toward Palin's activities as a 19-year-old: this is an election that has already featured Photoshopped pictures of McCain in blackface and email campaigns proclaiming that Obama is the anti-Christ. This election is already so soaked in silliness that any more is like throwing packs of matches into a bonfire.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:12 PM
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The folks worrying about enraging this or that voting bloc by being condescending toward Palin's activities as a 19-year-old:

I think the beliefs are that there are a lot of women who are on the fence, in numbers if not percentages, that this will be a close election and those votes could matter, that it is really easy for men to aggravate women, even unintentionally, and that this might affect someone's vote.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:27 PM
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Like I said, pulling in different directions. Right-wing Alaskans who don't like Palin.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:36 PM
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Is this a principled stand, or is it a wonk calculation that there are more women who'd be offended by anti-cheerleader slurs than there are men and women who have their doubts about cheerleaders in high office?

Our most recent cheerleader President didn't work out so well.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 7:37 PM
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Frankly I was unaware that she was a hardcore wingnut, since about 30 out of 30 things I've read about her in the last couple of years were all on libertarian blogs about how great of a libertarian she is by making Alaska less corrupt (if you're looking for something to de-corruptify, Ala"bridge to nowhere"ska is pretty low-hanging fruit.).

Fortunately it seems like the hardcore wingnut aspect may become the conventional wisdom. The people who like that sort of thing were already prepared to be fired up by the opportunity to vote against the Antichrist, no?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:20 PM
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the hardcore wingnut aspect may become the conventional wisdom

Or the caught in an obvious lie aspect. One can hope.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:23 PM
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And wasn't she for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it? Aha. Yes. Quoting from here:

Here's what she told the Anchorage Daily News on October 22, 2006, during the race for the governor's seat (via Nexis):

5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?

Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-29-08 8:31 PM
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580 is fucking sexist.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 11:44 AM
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SARAH PALIN IS THE ANTICHRIST!!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 4:58 PM
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597- This about taking a risk and making a play for independent women. Pumas may not be the only ones who've felt disenfranchised but maybe just the most vocal. Besides, what's he got to lose when you look at what his options were.

Yup. Where "independent women" mean "women who often vote Republican but voted for Hillary in the primary or would have in the general."

All this snarking about Palin's experience, Alaska, and her beauty pageants. Palin may fail miserably, but I suspect there are many independents who'll be willing to give her some time and make their own judgments no matter what Matt Yglesias says.

Double yup.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:34 PM
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Palin is probably competitive for the country vote everywhere. Genuinely non-urban.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:36 PM
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Conservatives are also publicly pointing out that Palin is risible. I am really not interested in being ultra-timid about running her down, and don't think such timidity will do anyone any good, either. There are misogynist lines of attack on her that are gross, and I would certainly be much happier if no one made them (and further believe they would backfire). However, I also think that there is no mandate for anyone who opposes her politically to bend over backwards in an attempt to accord her every last drop of respect that she might conceivably be entitled to. She's a nasty piece of work who went on a sad sack power mad spree in her town firing everyone who was for her opponent, who incidentally wants to make abortion illegal for everyone everywhere always.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:47 PM
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I regret the ambiguous reference of "who" in that final sentence.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:48 PM
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One possible happy consequence of the Palin pick: it may inspire Hillary Clinton to be a more vocal, compelling, and unambiguous participant in the campaign against McCain. "That is what you think constitutes an adequate substitute for me? I don't think so!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:53 PM
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Oooh, 671 presents an optimistic thought that had not occurred to me. Thanks, rfts!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:57 PM
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God knows that is how I would react if I were in her place! It's a nice thought.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 5:59 PM
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I think the debates will take care of themselves, both at the pres and veep levels, but, just as Obama has learned since 2006 how to do a little less of the "OMG I can't believe this idiot just said that" face, Biden needs to take a class or two in not looking like a condescending dick when responding to someone who just doesn't know as much as he does. I don't know much about Palin's knowledge about the world, but Biden is probably one of the most knowledgeable foreign policy folks in the government today, and nearly everything he says to her has the danger of sounding like a very patient 7th-grade geography teacher, even if he does manage not to be a dick. (Personally, I sort of love it when Biden is a dick, but it will smack of misogyny against Palin, whether it's just his general dickery or not.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 6:05 PM
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Pam Spaulding at Pandagon has a good thread asking about how Obama should respond to Palin. Most of the suggestions focus on ignoring her and attacking McCain, and having people other than Obama/Biden comment directly on her. I think that makes sense. I also think this comment is terrific:

Here's what Biden does: he talks about the VP's constitutional duties, almost in passing--to keep breathing, to break ties--then says that the rest of the office depends upon the powers delegated by the president. Then he says 'What John McCain intends, I don't know. Here's what Barack Obama will do, and here's where I think I can help him.'
That way you talk around Palin. You talk about McCain. And you especially talk about Cheney, because wingnuts love Cheney and most Americans hate the fucker. Biden can say 'Cheney did X, Y and Z, and I'm not doing any of that.' Get Palin into positions where she either has to endorse Cheney or repudiate him.
It's a completely honest answer: being Veep is what you make it. When presidential candidates debate, they're talking about a job that has its duties pretty well set out. When Veep candidates debate, there's the succession question and then it opens out.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 6:21 PM
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It's a pity that Geraldine Ferraro seems to have become (always was? I don't know) a Fox News Democrat, because if not for that, I would think her name should be dropped whenever someone on the left talks about Palin. I mean, gender aside, Palin is an underexperienced, telegenic wingnut from Alaska, right? Throw gender back into the mix, and Palin shows that it took McCain 24 years to follow the example of Walter Fucking Mondale. Choosing Palin isn't mavericky or groundbreaking. That ground's been broken, and we're left with Mike Huckabee with trickle-down economics and a parka, and we can all see how well his candidacy turned out. People in the tank for Republicans are people in the tank for Republicans, and people who are obstinately low-information are obstinately low-information, but everyone only has to be a tiny bit reachable to see this as a campaign ploy.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-30-08 8:22 PM
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Not belittling her as as a beauty queen reinforces patriarchy and is therefore a long term bad.

Fixed that.

FFS, coming first at a glorified cattle market does not a qualification for vice president make, even if politics is showbiz for ugly people. Her later career isn't exactly full of win either, just another Republican failing upwards.

But then again, perhaps McCain is just looking for another wife or mistress (all of whom were former beauty queens). He really can't be too serious with her being vice president if he selected her after only speaking to her once and not checking out her credentials. He wasn't quite drooling yet in his speech about her, but it was close.



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:25 AM
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Actually, Martin, he was visibly ogling her.

My two sisters were small-time beauty queens, and that's a fight we don't need to have, as far as I'm concerned. This is America, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:33 AM
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You don't have to have a fight about the intrisic value of beauty pageants, as much as the Democrats need to point out that McCain only chose her because she's a beauty queen, not for any real values of her own, that if he wanted to have a woman for vice president there are hordes more qualified women in the Republican party to chose from. That this choice is either because McCain is a bit of a pervert and I wouldn't let him alone to judge a Miss Arkansas competition if you know what I mean, or because he thinks the voters are stupid enough to believe Palin is uniquely qualified.

Also, this woman wasn't even capable of running her hometown without fighting with everybody.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 11:15 AM
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