Open thread on the GOP ticket.

Palin_190__4 There seems to be a lot of "evidence" concerning the prior career, beliefs and character of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.  pl

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45 Responses to Open thread on the GOP ticket.

  1. paul says:

    I’m still figuring out what to think about Sarah Palin — maybe once she does a press conference. But I will say that, by putting forward a VP nominee without vetting her (as is clearly the case, despite the GOP damage control talking points), John McCain has proven himself to be astonishingly reckless.

  2. Ronald says:

    In choosing Palin as he did, McCain failed his first test as potential president.
    It is that simple. Only cultural conservatives can be happy with this pick.
    BTW, I have never been impressed by experience alone. The pertinent question is always whether someone has benefitted from his or her experience. Has McCain?

  3. CP says:

    VPILF in a thong PL?
    Appeals to the Nascar folks, and probably u and I.

  4. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Looks like a tsunami is headed her way. Can’t tell yet.
    But, regardless, don’t alienate her culture, you need the votes. And then go after McCain for his poor “judgment”. As Paul writes…“astonishingly reckless”.
    In fact, you can flip his selection process around and use it to press his buttons. Golden opportunity. But it’s very important that Democrats stress that the “meltdown” , so to speak, was not her fault but his, at least in my opinion.
    Press his buttons now, so he doesn’t have the opportunity to press a nuclear launch button later. The last thing we need is a prez who takes a look at the prospect of nuclear war and then says, “Yes we can”.
    Obama, by the way, handled the rumor mill very well yesterday, in my opinion. Appeared very classy. Much better than some of his more ardent supporters.

  5. soopermouse says:

    If vetting is so important to you, why was Obama not vetted?
    Of course Palin appeals to social conservatives, that is the whole reason to have her. However, do not underestimate her. She managed to singlehandedly erase Obama’s convention bump. No small feat, that. As for the “evidence”? Insofar all I see are smears

  6. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Looking at the foreign press, this item turns up in the Guardian/London:
    “New revelations about the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin — including her membership of a party that wants Alaskans to vote on becoming a separate country — are raising questions about how thoroughly John McCain’s campaign vetted her background before adding her to the ticket.
    Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence party (AIP) before becoming an elected Republican official, according to party members, and recorded a video message for the AIP convention this year. The AIP’s chief goal is securing Alaska a vote on seceding from the US, a goal that party leaders believe the state was denied before it became part of the US almost 50 years ago.”
    Her video to the 2008 AIP Convention at
    So Alaska as a separate country to await the “End Times” as her trained in Arizona Armageddonist preacher Ed Kalnins in Wasilla puts it?

  7. Lysander says:

    After some observation I’ve come to the conclusion that Palin wouldn’t make a good president. That said, the things that bother the left the most about Palin don’t trouble me at all. I like the second amendment (even though I’ve never owned a gun.) I like states being free of Federal domination. I’m pro choice but I’ve got no problem with differing opinions on the matter. Her daughter’s life is none of my business and we are all hypocrites to some degree. Experience? Honestly, how hard can it be? I’m of the firm belief that the country can run itself and the less that the government does the better. Lack of experience is a plus. Of course, without considerable political skill, one does not become President.
    No. My problem is that she is probably pro war, pro empire and feels both are a god given assignment. That sort of thing scares me, but makes her no worse than any other candidate.

  8. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Neocons endorse Palin.
    Bill Kristol was high on Palin 29 June in an interview with FOX:
    “CHRIS WALLACE (host): Bill, how important the Clintons, and will Bill Clinton stop sulking in his tent like Achilles and behave?
    KRISTOL: Psychoanalyzing Bill Clinton is a tough role, a tough task. I think Hillary Clinton was gracious. She’s put behind her the horrible sexism and misogyny the Democratic primary voters demonstrated, which I’m appalled by, personally. Never would have happened in the Republican Party. You know, we’re — Republicans are much more open to strong women. And that’s why McCain’s going to put Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, on the ticket as vice president.
    WALLACE: Is that your prediction?
    KRISTOL: That’s my — I’m moving from [Louisiana Gov. Bobby] Jindal to Palin. I’m being even bolder. She’s fantastic, yeah. You know, she was the point guard on the Alaska state championship high school basketball team in 1982. She could take Obama one-on-one on the court. Be fantastic.
    Anyway, I do think — I actually think Sarah Palin would be a great vice presidential pick, and it would be interesting to actually — to have a woman on the Republican ticket after Hillary Clinton has come so close and failed on the Democratic side.”

  9. Ed says:

    I think the far right may have found the perfect female candidate with Palin. She doesn’t mind being objectified and she likes to shoot things.

  10. Perry says:

    “If vetting is so important to you, why was Obama not vetted?”-soopermouse.
    It is called a Primary: Over a year of campaigning in public, many (too many) debates, town hall meetings, interviews, attacks from both the left and right, and actual citizens voting (over 18 million for him). If that is not vetting I do not know what vetting is. You need to wipe the kool-aid mustache off of your upper lip.

  11. Lynne says:

    Governor Palin is a right wing Christian theocrat. McCain needs her to win this election.
    If a majority of Americans are comfortable that she can take over the presidency (due to death or illness), the GOP ticket will probably win.
    National Security is still the number one issue in this election. I am old enough to remember the 1964 flower commercial and the Kennedy missile gap.

  12. lina says:

    Piling on to what people have already said (and ignoring Col. Lang’s specific writing assignment) we can formulate a judgment about each of these candidates by the first executive decision they made, i.e., VP selection.
    Obama went with the cautious, safe, establishment choice. McCain went with an impulsive choice based on very little information.
    Take what you will from this first test of Presidential behavior.

  13. The Republican ticket is designed to lead not govern. Unfortunately after eight years of posturing as a leader, most Americans now understand what real leadership means. And it could be this ticket. Question of course is how do you work with a Republican party almost competely devoid of talent that is not somehow even now ripping off the public and America’s future. We do need two strong competent parties. Right now I would argue that there are none. McCain and Palin, whether elected or defeated, will hasten a realignment that will leave the Republican party created by Ronald Reagan as completely behind as Reagan’s party left IKE’s party. This could be interesting to watch. Neither of these people is completely sure of what they believe but you can be sure if elected they will show up for sure and we might like it or might not. They cannot be considered predictable in any way but hey McCain was a jet fighter pilot was he not? Jinking meant living or not being shot down? Oh he was shot down? Just means his jinking then was not the best. Maybe now it is.

  14. The Dude Abides says:

    McCain’s choice of Gov. Jerry Springer (R-Alaska) is already backfiring big time in the polls. The four national polls released today all show a 6% to 9% lead for Obama. A higher percentage of disaffected Hillary voters will vote for Obama because of McCain’s veep pick, as will a higher percentage of independents. She has already lawyered up in the abuse of power probe back home, and her attorney says she “might not have time” to give her deposition before election day, and is also claiming executive privilege. To independents and wayward Democrats, that sounds too much like the Bush Administration. Now, combine this with her stance against teaching sex education in public schools, her desire to outlaw contraception for married couples, her tacit support of Alaska’s secession from the US (why was she so eager to get home to Alaska for her baby’s birth? so he could be a citizen of the country of Alaska?), her husband Todd Palin firing a member of her staff because the staffer wouldn’t break up with the ex-wife of one of Todd’s friends, etc…well, you get the picture. It’s not a pretty one for McCain.

  15. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    re Sidney Smith’s possible tsunami, the AP reports this evening that the RNC has cancelled its TV ad buys in New Mexico.
    “Republicans’ Senate campaign arm called off television ads Tuesday that were to air in New Mexico in the run-up to Election Day, an indication that it’s leaving the GOP candidate there to fend for himself as the party braces for losses.
    The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s decision to cancel the New Mexico spots reflects its priorities during a tough year for the GOP, with the party lagging badly in fundraising and resigned to losing seats in the Senate.”
    To the extent that this is (to mix the metaphor) the tip of an iceberg, what substantive factors the public might use to rearrange the deckchairs may not be nearly as important as the sheer absence of cash.

  16. zanzibar says:

    Via Laura Rozen:
    David Frum
    Us Weekly
    How does the juxtaposition of these two points of view play in the Rust Belt?

  17. Dumass says:

    The fact is that even if an “ordinary” person was somehow parachuted into the presidency, the fact of simply occupying the office would confer a power and gravitas on that person. He/she would have access to the best brains on the planet (for example, is it really necessary for a candidate to personally know all the “stans” and their power-brokers vs. having this info provided as needed?), be accorded an automatic deference, etc., etc. I’d posit you could do better with someone of good sense and instincts vs. just someone smart…

  18. Small Axe says:

    McCain, in his first ‘presidential’ decision, failed to get his way. He didn’t prevail over the Christianist wing of his Party, who were never enthusiastic about McCain. He wanted Lieberman or Ridge, and he was overruled. I guess he’s not The Decider.
    I imagine McCain relented on Palin in a fit of pique, but also assumed that she wouldn’t get in his way.
    Palin, for all of her good qualities, is in no way qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. She is not the choice of a candidate who puts country first, but of a candidate who needed to appease his Party’s base.

  19. Simon says:

    the polls quite clearly show a bounce..not just that but women seemed to have firmed into the Obama camp
    Palin may have ‘electrfied’ the GOP base..but who else were they gonna vote for? She’s just scared off the moderates who may have voted McCain.

  20. David W. says:

    Palin is to VP picks what Harriet Miers was to Supreme Court nominees–is there an Alito equivalent waiting in the wings?

  21. Walter Moore says:

    Palin is a theocrat – and that pernicious type of theocrat who wants to push creationism in schools. That alone disqualifies her from any job of importance – heck it should have disqualified her from the PTA.
    Our nation can not survive as a great power if we dismantle our education system. We’ll rot out from within.
    McCain has demonstrated that streak of rashness choosing Palin – I just can not trust him in command of our nation’s military.
    Obama-Biden by default.

  22. Paul says:

    The punditry always rely on conventional polling at elections.
    Polls cannot measure the mood of those who are registering and voting for the first time this year – and they are plenty of them.
    I see a thumping of McCain/Palin.

  23. greg0 says:

    McCain has revealed that he and Palin would be no better than Bush and Cheney.
    Palin has attempted to use the power of the state for personal vendettas. The reformer label is a bad joke with her involvement in questionable fundraising and earmarks.
    Science is a bigger mystery than the Bible to her. There is no ‘final’ authority in science saying “you shall believe!”. Global warming will continue to be ignored.
    If elected, they will not solve any real problems. Torture, rendition, and shredding the US Constitution will continue. The media and public will be endlessly whirled from crisis to crisis and military conflict will be their only answer, even to domestic unrest.

  24. m savoca says:

    supermouse above wrote
    If vetting is so important to you, why was Obama not vetted?
    obama was vetted over the course of 6 months of elections, press reports and investigations, criticism by members of his own party and the other

  25. Mr.Murder says:

    She wanted to secede from one of the 57 states Obama plans on being President for…
    doesn’t she know her place as a woman?

  26. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    AIPAC loves Palin, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency:
    “Sarah Palin met with pro-Israel lobbyists to express her support for U.S.-Israel ties.
    Palin, the Alaska governor who was tapped last week by Sen. John McCain to be his vice-presidential running mate, met for 45 minutes Tuesday in the Minneapolis area with several leaders of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Also in attendance at the AIPAC meeting was U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), the McCain campaign’s most prominent Jewish backer.
    McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said Palin spoke about “the relationship between Israel and American national security, and the threats to Israel from Iran and others.”
    “She was extremely well received,” Goldfarb said, noting that Palin was interrupted by applause twice.”

  27. taters says:

    Is Gov. Palin John McCain’s answer to not letting him place Lieberman on the ticket?

  28. fnord says:

    As mentioned above, she is a über-religious candidate, who introduced wedgepolitics into the local politics in her hometown, firing democrats and trying to get books banned from the library. She is a former supporter of the Alaskan separation party, whose motto “Alaska First!” goes in exact opposition to McCains motto “Nation First”. She is a creationist, and her former pastor saw the Will of God manifested in Iraq, and declared that all those who did not vote for Bush would not get salvation. All of these are salient and good approaches for attacks for the Obama camp.
    As for the coolertalk, the question is wether a mother with one newly born child and one 17 y.o. daughter about to get a child fits into the “family first” profile of the Republican conservatives. I think a lot of mothers will be turned off by this, not turned on, because it seems like putting ambition/Will of God-fanatism above the familys needs. (I say this without any moralistic intentions, but it seems to me a fact that both her children will need her attention in the coming year, and this does not rhyme well with being the VP or, god forbid, the POTUS.)
    In short, I think she will scare off more voters than she attracts. I hope that the Obama campaign will continue to separate the bullshit from the substance in their critiscism of her, if so she could become one of their greatest assets. A sober and pointed list of questions should be released in about a week, when the Britney-factor has drawn down and she has had a chance of making a fool out of herself (or not) on her own machine.

  29. J says:

    watching nbc this morning, they’re showing live footage of palin talking with her handlers about what she is supposed to do in her speech and presentation.
    have you noticed about the political conventions (both gop and dem), that it’s all about THEM and never about u.s., have you noticed it also?
    and THEY (political parties and their wunderkind and media bubble heads who slobber all over themselves fawning over the political ‘candidates’) wonder why the american people are so ‘turned off’ regarding politics and their ‘conventions’ and what the mainstream media call ‘news’.
    the political conventions remind me of college frat brats during finals week who fall all over themselves half-naked slobber=knockin-drunk instead of studying for their finals and their grades and their overall gpa suffers as a result. we the american people and our nation spelled ‘u.s.’ suffer because of the slobber=knockin=full-of-themselves political conventions, and the bobble head media who fawn all over the political candidates instead of ‘vetting them’ which is what the media should be doing.
    has the media ever broached the subject of just how many drugs that mccain is taking, why mccain fought pow/mia families’s during a senate committee session where the families sought investigations into manipulation of pow/captives by their chinese/soviet/vietnamese captors, or about obama and the weatherman terrorist ayers’s still close affiliations? no, instead we the people get ‘pablum’ from the media instead of hard hitting ‘vetting’ of presidential candidates and their running mates (spelled vice presidential candidate types who may or not wear skirts).

  30. Drongo says:

    It is interesting that every comment I have read so far in this thread is essentially about Ms Palin the possible VP, and only peripherally about the man who would actually be President, Mr McCain. Certainly, the choice of Ms Palin seems to have drawn all media attention away from the Obama phenomenon and towards the Republican Party, though not towards the ageing and reputedly foul tempered cancer survivor himself. Over this side of the Atlantic, many are wondering whether Ms Palin will join that small club consisting of females who in the past fifty years have become heads of government in their various countries -Margaret, Benazir , Indira , Golda and, maybe, Angela, all of them so outstandingly successful in making their place in history that their surnames need not be uttered. Maybe in the not too distant future, “Sarah” will be enough….

  31. Maureen Lang says:

    Will Gov. Palin present herself as a crusading reformer @ this evening’s RNC?
    From Andrew Taylor of AP, via Yahoo news:
    Palin’s Pork Requests Confound Reformer Image-

  32. Ken says:

    “Governor Palin is a right wing Christian theocrat.”
    Senator Obama is a hard left, marxian theocrat.
    And thst is the reason I’ll vote for ANYONE over Obama anyday for anything.

  33. Cato says:

    Soopermouse says:
    However, do not underestimate her. She managed to singlehandedly erase Obama’s convention bump.
    See the news article excerpt below:
    “Barack Obama has reached the 50% mark in polling of US voting intentions, giving him a clear lead in the race for the presidency.
    A well-received acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in Denver last week, coupled with the fallout from John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate, helped Obama gain five percentage points in yesterday’s Gallup tracking poll.
    Up to this point, no more than 49% of registered voters had supported Obama for president, according to the daily tracking. McCain’s figure of 42% yesterday was well below his peak of 48%.”
    Lysander says:
    Lack of experience is a plus.
    Yes, look how well the current White House occupant has done.
    Let’s not let reality interfere with our perceptions. Lysander, you shame antiquity by your choice of nom de blog.

  34. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Does Governor Palin Symbolize An Evangelical Army Mom?
    And is that one reason that McCain chose her?
    She has a son headed to Iraq. And footage of her visits to US troops airs on FOX 24/7 and will continue to do so, assuming an attack on Iran is part of the McCain plan. And yes it is (play on the words, “Yes, we can”).
    Once an attack on Iran takes place, then she will play an archetypal and ceremonial role of rallying the nation as the Evangelical Army mom.
    And an Israeli attack on Iran may occur before you think. UPI editor Arnaud De Borchgrave in his September 3 commentary, “Israel of the Caucasus” described the connection between Georgia and Israel. Here is the key quote:
    “In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations.”
    Justin Raimondo, who has been right more than wrong in his analysis of US foreign policy, suggests that such an attack may occur as early as this month. Such a “September Surprise” makes sense politically. Voters will rally around McCain, as he polls higher than Obama on the question of who has the greater ability to fight terrorism. So an Israeli attack transforms McCain into the war leader with Palin rallying the troops.
    We may find out more after she gives her nomination speech but evidence suggests strongly that Ms. Palin would support such a war. She apparently subscribes to a Pentecostal-Hagee rapturist worldview that promotes a nuclear war in the Middle East on behalf of Israel to usher in the Second Coming.
    Plus, Jim Lobe has written that Likud leaning Zionists (meaning followers of Jabotinsky, not Buber) have vetted her and given her their imprimatur. This may explain why Joe (aka Avigdor) Lieberman so warmly embraces the McCain ticket and speaks so fondly of Ms. Palin.
    There is another dimension of Palin’s selection that suggests this Republican strategy. If I have identified Governor Palin’s culture — and I am confident that I have — Governor and Mr. Palin come across very much like parents all across America who have provided a high (perhaps the highest) number of soldiers to the US military. God bless them.
    But now the Daily Kos Democrats have ridiculed an Army mom. As a result, they played right into Republican hands.
    So, following this line of thinking a bit further, Republicans knew full well that the Daily Kos crowd — led by Ms. Dowd — would immediately strike out and attack Ms. Palin’s culture and her view of family values. (And we all know why.)
    But by doing so, the Democrats attacked an Army mom. They did not see it, which may suggest a cultural arrogance that the Republicans knew they could exploit. The result is a potential blowback that will only strengthen an evangelical Army mom rallying US troops after an Israeli attack on Iran, which of course, is a prelude to a massive US retaliation against Islamic sites.
    The objective of the Republican strategy thus becomes clear: It is the Hagee-Podhoretz desire of a clash of civilizations under the Republican slogan, “Country First”.

  35. Nevadan says:

    The following link is to Anchorage Daily News, from the 2006 Alaska Gubernatorial race. Positions of candidates are examined on several issues that are important to the rest of America.

  36. Andy says:

    I think some of you need to get out your dictionaries and look up “theocrat.”
    I also think almost everyone here is wrong about Palin and are grossly underestimating her political skill and the benefits she brings the McCain ticket. She got to the governorship with a trail of GoP bodies in her wake including some of that state’s most powerful and influential (and bought) politicians. She’s maintained a very high approval rating as well. Some of you would be wise not to underestimate her.
    The problem with the McCain campaign has always been the GoP base. For all the mantra of “McSame” coming from the left, McCain has always had a problem with the base of the party. My sense is that the VP choice for McCain came down to two strategies: He could pick a moderate with the goal of going after disaffected HRC supporters or he could pick someone to shore up his base. Wisely, he chose the latter – the number of HRC voters he might get would probably not make up for a pissed-off base staying home on election day. The gamble was picking an unknown instead of someone like Romney, but it looks to be paying off for now – no one’s talking about Obama and even his supporters are besides themselves attacking her. As the old saying goes, bad press is better than no press.
    So overall, I think the ticket is probably as strong as the GoP can expect considering all the problems with the GoP and the legacy of President Bush. Unless there is a major screw-up on one side or the other, I think this will be another very close election.

  37. fnord says:

    ken: “Senator Obama is a hard left, marxian theocrat.”
    Sir, with all due respect: He is not. Heck, he is too liberal to fit into the Norwegian conservative party, he would be almost far-right over here. Trust me on this one.

  38. zanzibar says:

    Your comments are always insightful.
    Although, I am skeptical about attacks on Iran as a political ploy I recognize that we have some deeply cynical politicians running the show.
    In your opinion how do the stories now circulating in “pop” media such as the National Enquirer and Us Weekly of “family values” more akin to a Jerry Springer episode as well as abuse of power for personal vendettas play to the “culture” issue so important to the Republican base and those in the Rust Belt where this election will be decided?
    And how will the fact that Joe Biden’s son also deploying to Iraq play in the context of Palin being the “Army mom”?
    BTW, I am with those that believe it would be unwise to underestimate the power of spin enjoyed by the Republican noise machine and their ability to manipulate our corporate media to mold the emotions of those that are so necessary for their power.

  39. Paul says:

    On the front page of the New York Times on-line edition this afternoon is a photograph of McCain and Palin greeting young Levi (accompanied by Miss Bristol)to Minneapolis.
    What the hell is this? Since when is McCain in the business of glorifying pre-marital sex? If those two kids were black they would be ridiculed as “shiftless and no-count”.
    And McCain wants the press to back off? John Stewart had the best advice for the Democrats: “shit on him”. I completely agree with Stewart and hope the press picks up on it.

  40. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Peggy Noonan says per Palin:
    “PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this — excuse me– political bullshit about narratives –”

  41. Joan Simon says:

    The best comment ever for the theocrat Palin, from a newspaper in Fairbanks: “Someone needs to remind Sarah Palin that Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a govenor”.

  42. Curious says:

    uh oh, the rumor she was having an affair with hubby’s business partner is getting stronger.
    I’ve been saying to people for days that we should really probably not touch the looming National Enquirer story about an alleged affair between Sarah Palin and her husband’s business partner. Not because I don’t think it may not be true, but because I think it would be wise to see just what they’ve got before we go nutz with it. There’s also the possibility that it could be yet another GOP ratfuck a la “Fortunate Son.”
    All that said, that Enquirer story appears to be about to get much, much more interesting. Andrew Sullivan is reporting (with a link to the actual doc) that Todd’s business partner has filed for an emergency motion to have his divorce papers sealed.

  43. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    In the 1980s, some Senate staffers (Republican) referred to McCain as “The Manchurian Candidate” owing to his well-known instability. A staff colleague who coined in the 1980s the monniker for McCain was a Vietnam Vet/Marine Corps officer.
    “The important question, said Dallek, is whether and how McCain controls his outbursts. Though his aides insist that his temper is simply a way of expressing passion — and that he sometimes uses it for effect — some observers remain concerned.
    “It seems the only way to deal with John McCain is to think the way he does,” said Hinz, the former Arizona GOP official who now runs an insurance reform advocacy group in Phoenix. “If he gets more power, what’s going to make him suddenly become a fuzzy, nice guy?”

  44. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Data on Palin and religion:
    “The Wasilla Bible Church has made waves as well. Two weeks ago, a guest speaker, David Brickner — a conservative Christian who condemns the Jewish faith and tries to convert its adherents through his Jews for Jesus ministry — suggested that terrorism in Israel is God’s judgment against Jews.
    The McCain campaign has acknowledged that Palin was in the audience. But in a press statement , campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said the governor did not know Brickner would be speaking, and Palin does not share the views he expressed…..”
    “All four fellowships the family has attended appear to have one trait in common: They all insist on the inerrancy of the Bible. Their pastors preach that scripture is literally God’s spoken word.”
    Bricker and Jews for Jesus at:

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