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"Obama's new problem is that compared to a hockey mom governor from Alaska, Obama is nothing special, just another Washington politician."

Your kidding right?

I love how the rank and file Republicans are falling all over themselves to proclaim what a terrific candidate Sarah Palin is.

She's actually the most cynical pick the McCain campaign could have made: Find the most conservative woman possible and hope that some of those Hillary supporters will vote for McCain/Palin simply based on gynecology. Forget the dozens of other much more highly qualified possible candidates and negate the previous attacks on Obama's qualifications — we need a candidate with the right 23rd pair of chromosomes!

Having a president with minimal qualifications is one thing. But if president has died or become incapacitated, the nation is in crisis, and we need a strong VP who can step up to the plate immediately. I pains me to see the Democrats get the sequencing right, and the GOP bungle it so badly.

Sarah Palin is the least qualified candidate for VP since ... well, possibly since Dan Quayle, probably since Thomas Eagleton.

MP -- So it's more important for the VP to have qualifications than the President because he or she will be potentially taking over in a crisis situation? Interesting.

Wanted: Cynical pot looking for matching kettle.

Mike Parker, based on your comments, couldn't anyone say that Obama's whole campaign is therefore cynical?

"Forget the dozens of other much more highly qualified candidates...we need a candidate with the [most melanin]."

Mike, sorry, this doesn't hold water. Given that McCain lives even six months in office, Palin will have by that time more experience to slip into the role of president than Barak H. Obama will have on his first day as president. The need for a VP to be "qualified" is a valid need. However, the need for the PRESIDENT to be "qualified" is greater, and whatever Palin's inexperience, it doesn't compare to Obama's as a presidential candidate. So typical of the left to go nuts over an "unprepared" VP candidate and to ignore the "unprepared" PRESIDENTIAL candidate. Wow.

I think picking her was genius.

Sure it's a bit of a desperation move. But why not go for a "Hail Mary" when you are fixin' to lose?

Now you have all these evangelicals giddy over having a person on the ticket who thinks, among other things, that creationism ought to be taught in public schools (the evangelical-approved variation on creationism no doubt...)

Imagine is Romney got the call. The evangelicals might have stayed home entirely with a Mormon on the ticket. With Palin getting the gig McCain gets the evangelicals and the unwavering Mormon Republican vote as well.

Isn't the "what if McCain dies" argument cynical?

And I love how everyone always brings that up with a "God forbid." Hilarious.

What factors generally govern a nominee's selection of a VP candidate? To give balance to the ticket or to give strength in a key state or two or to compensate for a nominee's perceived weakness. Getting elected is a political process, so these political factors dominate the real decision process.

Of course, the rhetoric is always directed away from the real factors governing the selection, with the nominating party talking about how capable and qualified is the nominee and the opposing party saying just the opposite.

If being best prepared to step into the Presidency was the only factor, Obama should have named Bill Clinton as his VP.

Note that both candidates chose balance: Obama, an exciting young African-American candidate, picks an old, experienced white guy. McCain, an old, experienced white guy, picks an exciting young female governor.

The bothersome part of Palin's pick is that it was apparently very hasty, with little vetting whatsoever, and McCain hadn't even met her. Which means that he didn't pick her (someone else did) and her selection was purely an election move, not a decision about what a VP should be.

Which is somewhat ironic, since Palin herself hinted at the idea that no one really knows what a VP does, and before she could take the job she'd have to find out. In her case, the answer apparently is, "distract voters."

My gut feeling is that she was not adequately vetted and some less than helpful (to the McCain campaign) information will come out.

It's definitely a Hail Mary kind of pick, which might lead one to believe that his campaign thought less of his chances than the media has been portraying. If you think you're already in a good position you normally wouldn't do something so risky.

Far more often than not a Hail Mary comes up short in the end. But sometimes it's you're only shot, so why not take it? I mean he could have picked a yawner like Mitt or Pawlenty, but I don't think either of those would have done a thing for his chances. It will be interesting to watch, although I'm not sure how much she's going to be helping come November.

Gov. Palin is unqualified?

Let's see . . .

* She oversees a budget of $6.3 billion and 15,000 employees. She tackles issues like public safety, energy, education, and social services.

* Mr. Obama has never run anything except his campaign with 2500 employees and a few hundred million dollars he has raised. The goal? To elect him and Mr. Biden.


That contrast is stark. Defenders of Mr. Obama claim that he has been running for office, thinking deep thoughts, and tackling the media. Big whoop.

A quote from today's Wall Street Journal is applicable:

"Under 45, lover of the outdoors, a Republican reformer who has taken on the Republican Party establishment, has many children, and a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office - you describe Teddy Roosevelt in 1900 and Sarah Palin in 2008."


Steve, Exactly how has she "taken on the Republican establishment"? I'm really curious, 'cause I don't know. Her article on Wikipedia had this to say: "She sometimes broke with the state Republican establishment. For example, she endorsed Parnell's bid to unseat the state's longtime at-large U.S. Representative, Don Young.[49] Palin also publicly challenged Senator Ted Stevens to come clean about the ongoing federal investigation into his financial dealings. Shortly before his July 2008 indictment, she held a joint news conference with Stevens, described by The Washington Post as being "to make clear she had not abandoned him politically."" If there's more, then let's hear it. One or two disagreements does not a reformer (or "maverick") make.

As for managing Alaska's budget, compared to other states, that's akin to balancing a surgeon's checkbook: "How am I going to spend all this money?!"

Anyone familiar with the history of VP picks would have a hard time calling Gov. Palin a longshot or out of the ordinary in terms of VP picks. Any sitting governor or senator is a bona fide pick as a candidate for president or VP. Is the fact that Palin is governor of Alaska the problem? Hey, it's about 1000 times bigger than Delaware. It's not in the Eastern time zone, but then neither is Illinois or Arizona.

Steve --

Here role in "taking on the establishment" is really amazing.

She ran for Lt. Governor and lost. As a consolation she was appointed to the Alaskan Oil & Gas Commission. Very powerful.

She quickly determined that another member, the State GOP Chair, was taking payments from some of the oil companies. Highly illegal. She complained to the Governor (a Republican). Nothing happened.

She then had a problem. Under the Commission's rules, such disputes were to be kept confidential.

So, she resigned. Made public her concern. The state chair was charged and convicted.

THEN, she decided to run against the Governor for his involvement in covering up the corruption. She slaughtered him in a three-way primary.

Came in to office and has fired many of the state department heads and people who have been there forever. Pushed through a huge tax cut. And, cut state spending about 15%.

That, in and of itself, would be very impressive. But, Gov. Palin went further. When she was mayor of Wassila, she connected with Sen. Stevens and Rep. Young, two Alaska members of Congress, who encouraged her to seek earmarks. One sat on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the other on the House side. They provided millions for her town.

When she became Governor, she realized that earmarks were tied to lobbyists, special interests and just raw political power.

She first embarrassed Sen. Stevens heavily when, after first supporting, she officials killed the infamous bridge to no where (after having originally supporting it). He was furious. Denounced her in strong terms.

Then, Sen. Stevens was indicted for having a lobbyist and a company rebuild his house. She demanded he come clean.

Finally, she supported candidates against both Sen. Stevens and Rep. Young. Very, very gutsy.

She is despised by these guys and their compatriots. But, she did the right thing.

In contrast, Mr. Obama has never been on record in opposing the established forces in his own state --- most particularly the corrupt Democratic machine in Chicago.

This is all I have to say!:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13LRTrxC_fU

Steve -- I would hope that the posting of that sad little clip is a mistake.

Here is a more appropriate one. It is a set of pictures showing the Palin family meeting Senator McCain. Scroll through the pictures of Bristol, Levi and the Senator. Think of the pressure this couple is under because of the repeated and tacky attacks on them trying to do the right thing. You can view these pictures here.

It looks like that link didn't work. This one should.

I just got the video of Sen. McCain's interaction with the Palin family. Take a minute and watch, remembering what has been going on.

It is here.

The following is an excerpt from a Newsweek article on Gov. Palin last October:

"In Alaska, Palin is challenging the dominant, sometimes corrupting, role of oil companies in the state's political culture. "The public has put a lot of faith in us," says Palin during a meeting with lawmakers in her downtown Anchorage office, where—as if to drive the point home—the giant letters on the side of the ConocoPhillips skyscraper fill an entire wall of windows. "They're saying, 'Here's your shot, clean it up'." For Palin, that has meant tackling the cozy relationship between the state's political elite and the energy industry that provides 85 percent of Alaska's tax revenues—and distancing herself from fellow Republicans, including the state's senior U.S. senator, Ted Stevens, whose home was recently searched by FBI agents looking for evidence in an ongoing corruption investigation. (Stevens has denied any wrongdoing.) But even as she tackles Big Oil's power, Palin has transformed her own family's connections to the industry into a political advantage. Her husband, Todd, is a longtime employee of BP, but, as Palin points out, the "First Dude" is a blue-collar "sloper," a fieldworker on the North Slope, a cherished occupation in the state. "He's not in London making the decisions whether to build a gas line."

In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Palin said it's time for Alaska to "grow up" and end its reliance on pork-barrel spending. Shortly after taking office, Palin canceled funding for the "Bridge to Nowhere," a $330 million project that Stevens helped champion in Congress. The bridge, which would have linked the town of Ketchikan to an island airport, had come to symbolize Alaska's dependence on federal handouts. Rather than relying on such largesse, says Palin, she wants to prove Alaska can pay its own way, developing its huge energy wealth in ways that are "politically and environmentally clean.""

I must say that I am shocked, shocked, that significant numbers of Latter-day Saints think that Governor Palin is more qualified to be president than Senator Obama.

Out of curiosity, given that an Alaska governor has more executive experience and therefore is more qualified than most senators, should not the GOP convention reverse the order of the candidates, with Governor Palin as presidential candidate and Senator McCain as Vice President?

DavidH -- Please name one thing --- one -- that Obama has ever accomplished of substance: as a community organizer (protester), state senator or U.S. Senator?

After hearing Gov. Palin's address tonight, I think she is impressive. Get after her Dem's! Cut, smear, demean.

Dave,

Population of Delaware: 864,764

Population of Alaska: 683,478

In order for Alaska to be 1000 times bigger, you either must be talking about land mass (I am guessing that you were) or you were including penguins and polar bears (ain't they cute).

If anyone "familiar with the history of VP picks would have a hard time calling Gov. Palin a longshot or out of the ordinary in terms of VP pick," then why is everyone so surprised and calling it "historical." I am pretty sure that you are not one of those people "familiar with the history of VP picks." Though I will give you credit for being a good conservative foot soldier.

Criticizing Palin's experience is fair game, and the drive-by's by Obama supporters are fine, but I have yet to have one of them explain to me how he is qualified experience-wise.

And the "I've run a campaign..." is absolutely laughable. He runs a good campaign, therefore he will be a good president. Funny thing is, his campaign has stumbled a bit as of late.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122039919493892941.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

Steve,

Ahhh. I misunderstood you. When you claimed that Palin "took on the establishment," I thought you meant the national republican establishment. As in, she would surely shake up the party, part from the ways of Bush/Cheney, etc.---maybe as a counter to Obama's criticism that McCain sides with Bush 90% of the time. You meant that she shook things up in Alaska, standing up to corrupt politicians at the risk of her own career, and not that she would shake up the party.

TimJ,

It is McCain who has made this about experience. Funny thing is, that stumble includes a bounce in the polls.

Here's an article by a Wasilla resident about Palin. Obviously it's not flattering, but an interesting read nonetheless. I wonder if any of these allegations will start showing up in the MSM.

http://www.crosscut.com/politics-government/17341

Tim J: I agree with you that Obama should ignore any experience questions. I've said it before: it makes no sense to vote for the 'experienced' candidate if you think his policies are bad for America. In my case, I'm sure that McCain is experienced enough to get some of his policies through, and that is why I don't want him to be president: I fear his policies. I'm less certain that Obama will be successful enacting his policies, but since I agree with his policies then he is my choice.

BrianJ,

Thanks, and I agree. Experience is a non-factor. It was in W vs. Gore and Clinton vs. Bush.

Chris H, way to sidestep the question. And EVERY campaign gets a bounce in the polls immediately following the convention. Obama's was less than expected and even disappeared after the Palin announcement. Polling numbers reverted back to before the convention.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/31/obama.mccain.poll/index.html

Of course with the hundreds of polls out there, it depends on which one.

That email wreaks of the email from a soldier in Iraq criticizing Obama sort-of-hoax.

If I see her on TV, I'll be the first to admit she's real, but I have a hard time believing that's legitimate.

Teddy Roosevelt in 1900 and Sarah Palin in 2008

The Wall Street Journal has a point here. Just look at Teddy now--he even has a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named after him. How many Democrats can say the same?

Answer: Harry S Truman, Carl Vinson, and John C. Stennis. The John F. Kennedy was conventionally fueled, and was decommissioned last year, leaving Kitty Hawk as our only non-nuclear carrier. Jimmy Carter has a nuclear submarine named for him because he was a submarine officer for seven years.

Tim J.

I you want to look at a range of polls and not just the only one the supports your arguments look here:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

The CNN poll is the oldest of the bunch and the only one that is close. We will see what the RNC convention does.

Again, Chris, post conventin bounces always happen.

Did you honestly think the polls would be this close at this point? Honestly?

They do not always happen to Republicans, so I am optimistic. It did not happen to John Kerry. There is a difference between repeating conventional wisdom and actually knowing what you are talking about.

Thank you, John. ; )

"It did not happen to John Kerry."

I don't know, you can google "Kerry convention bounce" and find the same discussion as to whether or not there was one, similar to Obama's case. Some polls say yes, others no.

Check out this clip from Jon Stewart, concerning GOP hypocrisy regarding Palin’s experience, pregnant daughter, and gender.

Not sure I catch your drift there, Dennis. I think you're just buying into not-quite-connected-to-reality liberal stereotypes -- from the same folks who can't figure out why their Evangelical stereotype misled them so badly regarding the public (as opposed to media) reaction to Sarah Palin's teenage daughter.

By contrast, I think the reliance of the liberal left on comedy programs to make their political statements shows the ideological bankruptcy of the left. I'm not laughing with them, I'm laughing at them.

Dave,

I'm not sure what "drift" anyone is supposed to be catching. I was simply referring to a funny clip that unquestionably shows some hypocrisy from certain right-wing folks regarding Palin. Certainly I'm not *relying* on a comedy program to make a political statement. In fact I found out about this clip by happenstance. I don't regularly watch Jon Stewart or any other comedy program.

Okay, Dennis, sounds like you're off the hook.

Not one of you has answered the, "What has Obama done" question? Is that because you can't? This question is always ignored. Is it because you don't have an answer?

I wouldn't hold your breath, Sam. Apparently it's off-limits to ask such questions.

Everyone here seems to know what you think of Sara Palin, but do any of you know what she thinks of Latter Day Saints? It would be very dangerous for us to back a candidate who at the republican convention in her speech says it is the responsibility of the government to bring everyone to God. To whom do you think she was refering? Living in the missionary field has given me a deep understanding of the way we are viewed among evangelicals. They consider the church to be a cult and most of them wish they could have held the gun that killed Joseph Smith. We better think long and hard before we vote for a candidate who opposes the amendment that separates church and state, especially when we all know that is the blessing of this nation that allowed the gospel to be restored.

Supposedly, I tried googling but only come up with recent articles, Palin was a supporter of Romney, so I'm not too concerned about what she thinks of Mormons.

That being said, I'm not sure what difference it makes. I have no idea what McCain thinks of Mormons, nor Obama, nor Biden. It's not really factoring into any decision I make.

You'd think that someone questioning Obama's accomplishments could attempt to actually look it up themselves but apparently that goes beyond the reasoning capacity of those with predetermined political notions.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/The/gG5tCk

Jon,

It's not a matter of simple accomplishments per se, but rather, what accomplishments has he had that qualifies him for the presidency.

Sponsorinng and co-sponsoring bills is fine, but who in the Senate hasn't done that. Note in her speech, Palin didn't criticize Obama for not sponsoring bills, but rather authoring them.

ANd the famed Lugar-Obama Bill which bears hi name was a safe bill for Obama to go with. It was basically an extension of the Nunn-Lugar bill written decades ago. There wasn't much debate about it.

Your link mentions he chairs the Subcommittee on European Affairs and yet he has NEVER met with them. Biden, head of the Foreign Relations Cmte., has had to do it himself.

Again, it's not what he's done. But what has he done that makes him ready to be president.

I laugh at the comparison to Palin to Theodore Roosevelt! Roosevelt was Harvard Grad (magna cum laude), attended Columbia Law School, went on to become Assemblyman in NYC (the world's largest city at the time), was appointed to the US Civil Service Commission, became Police Commissioner of NYC, then Assistant Secretary of the US Navy, then Lt. Colonel and later Colonel of the US Army (in which he was just recently awarded the Medal of Honor). From there he became governor of New York (again with NYC being the world largest city at the time, we are not talking about Alaska in which the current population is less than 1/5th of the population of NYC in 1900), then onto VP and President after President McKinley was shot. Give me a break! Please try not to insult the great leaders of our country's past!

I'm not defending the comparison, Jason, but it is worth noting that TR "found himself" out playing cowboy in the West, not reading the stacks at the Harvard library. What opinion he might have entertained about a moose-hunting governor from Alaska is an open question.

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