Vetting Palin: An Easy Guide to What's Smart and What's Not

By Al Giordano

Criticizing, ridiculing, and/or condemning GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for her slavish devotion to oil company destruction of the natural environment, for her efforts to criminalize abortion, for her crusade to force schoolchildren learn creationism as "science," for her record in public office (which is only now coming into focus), for her support of Pat Buchanan for president in 2000 (at a time when Buchanan's anti-semitism was no secret), for her lack of knowledge of foreign policy (or even much domestic policy as it applies to the mainland states), for her unpreparedness to be commander-in-chief, is all well and good.

Mocking her "celebrity" status in the coming weeks as she'll be on the cover of every glossy magazine on earth, and having good fun with her other her evident eccentricities - she seems very much a weirdo freakazoid (not that it's a bad thing, I find it endearing) - all seem to me to be within the bounds of fair political discourse.

So is this kind of humor (from Hunter over at DKos):

A McCain/Palin pairing? I'm sorry, but that's just... weird. It's a pairing that seems to be drawn not from politics, but from a 1980's network sitcom.
HE is an ex-POW turned multimillionaire. He has power, wealth, and more houses than most people have ties. But can anything -- or anyone -- calm his savage temper, and teach him to love again?

SHE's a young creationist who knows little about politics and is in trouble with the law. He'll take her in -- but can he teach her the ways of Washington before she embarrasses him at the big Telecom Ball?



(This is going to be a great ticket for Saturday Night Live.)

But here's what this blog won't do, and asks its commenters to follow suit:

Attacks on a mother for working when she has kids at home are a misogynist attack on every working mother, and, yes, including when one of those kids has special needs. Attacks on her personal decisions of how many children to have, and at what age to have them, are as anti-choice in sentiment as are her policies. Such attacks are also politically stupid, because they can only generate deserved sympathy among single moms and their kids who are otherwise- if you don't screw it up - already voting for Obama in big numbers. (We've just lived through a season where Obama was blamed for every act of sexism in the media or by anybody else for the past 5,000 years, let's not get that Rock-o-la spinning its tune again.)

Oh, and although it might be meant in good fun, don't ask her if she knows how many igloos she owns... Or why she named her kids Exxon, Mobil, Shell, Sunoco and BP!

Update: And as Sean at 538 notes, that goes for you too, Joe Biden!


Here, Here (or is it Hear, Hear?)

Well played, well mannered, well spoke. I concur.

how to attack effectively..

At the risk of being too fawning, I think that this is a good moral compass. I've personally thought through all of the various arguments, and everyone around "so tell me more about your family decisions" ends in bad situations. I'll be honest: I don't agree with many of the decisions, much the way that I don't agree with many of Barack Obama's "christian" or "faith-based" decisions. I don't think, though, that I'm going to make much headway on either within this forum.

I *do* think that her pro-oil positions, stridently pro-life positions, and other positions that make her *horribly unprepared* to lead this country are wide open.

after the "should we talk about camo helmets or not?" debate, I should also say that I love that Al is willing to err on the side of laughing a bit, too. I will agree though that the more I think through the former, 'family' oriented debates the more i think you're just not going to get anywhere on them within the next 65 days or whatever.

I love this forum where "effective" action is considered the standard by which various decisions are judged. Let's keep it going and if anything, raise the elevation of political discourse.

In that spirit, remember to register with

Al:   This is beyond weird.



This is beyond weird. Can I make fun of her educational background?  A measly journalism degree from the Univ of Idaho.  Her husband, a high school diploma.  What kind of intelligent discourse is at their dinner table.  I am having flashbacks to the movie Idiocracy.

After Bill Burton's foolish first response

The leader of the democratic party issued a gracious congratulatory press release and he and his VP pick called Palin to wish her luck

we all has to be gracious, and head Al's advice...ignore her...and concentrate the fire on McCain.

Al, do you think this nomination will close the enthusiasm gap between Obama and McCain campaign? the religious Fundis seem just in 7th heaven with her nomination.

Educational background

RiverRed - I never graduated from college. I think people who make fun of other people for not having degrees (or having them from "lesser" institutions) are elitists, and I think most of the huge number of people that never went to "the right schools" see it pretty much the same.

I also think objecting to people coming from small towns, or small states, is pretty small minded, too. And electorally dumb: they're important voters in this election.

I know that people of privilege - liberal or conservative or whatever, it doesn't make much difference - like to look down on people born with less. But that kind of classism should be what we're against, not for.

Great points

Millions of women with several children/disabled children/infants work outside the home. The right wing typically tries to make these women feel like crap (even though most of them have to work), we shouldn't be using that line.

I will say it pisses me off to see the "Focus on the Family" types praising Palin to the skies, when you know that if a Democratic woman with a special needs infant was running, she'd be held up as the worst mother on earth.


i think the value at play here is not "PC"

But rather "what is effective". Yes, we could get into a looong discussion about how many degrees one needs to have to be president, but seriously, is that *really* effective with any particular constituency that we are trying to persuade toward our side?

I may not like the idea that she only has "x" amount of formal education experience. You might not like the idea that she is going on the campaign trail with a 4 month old with a serious condition (I'm saying this as someone who posted like 3 or 4 times that I don't think that it's really "cool" to choose to have a baby with Down's Syndrome and then run for VP.) At the same time, where is that debate going to take us? Do we want to be bogged down with discussions around what is the 'right' among of formal education, or how much time one "ought" to spend with their children?

Ultimately, *any debate about such choices is going to fracture the electorate instead of focusing us on decisions where there are real differences and opportunities to make change*. We can *all* agree that oil companies ought not write our eonomic policies. We all know the other 3 key issues of this election: Iraq, health care, energy / jobs. She, and McCain are on the wrong side of this.

*This* is where we will get the most traction and anything else is playing into the distractions that the system has set up for and counted on us participating in. The Obama campaign has defined the enemy that I care about (enough to volunteer) and let's not distract ourselves from it and deal with other interesting, yet ultimately debatable issues.

Oddly, this all makes much more sense when I imagine myself working on the south side of chicago, thinking through how would i negotiate a bunch of families, some of which have stay at home moms, some of which don't. Seems like this is an *old* set of issues that others have worked through a bunch. The key is to not get distracted and let the sideline show distract us from real social change.




The question is, what Hillary will or should do now.

This seems to be a naked play for her voters.


Not a hero

Palin was described today as a hero for raising a "special child". She's no hero, anymore than my wife and I are for raising a "special" child. We are parents, and raised Steven just as we raised Andrew, a so called normal child. You work with the children you have, and love them and nurture them as best you can. No parents are heroes simply because they have children. Just as she has the absolute right to work while raising young children, she also has to realize that SHE is nothing special in that regard. If she or the McCain campaign make a big deal of the fact, she makes those children political pawns, voluntarily. It's then okay to drill her on stem cell research and neonatal health care. If she keeps her private life private, then clearly it's hands off. McCain is the main target anyway.

This post needs to get out

This post needs to get out beyond The Field. I hope the Obama campaign itself keeps its troops in line with who needs to be attacked here, and over what.

In light of the Palin pick, the Biden choice is looking all the more wise. Obama is stressing the presidential strength of the Obama/Biden ticket as a whole, which will greatly contrast McCain/Palin, which can be seen by even the most politically lay as desperation and tokenism.

I'm also interested in seeing what happens between McCain and Palin on the road together. They barely know each other, and who knows what sort of drama could come of it.

And although a recent college graduate myself, I have to strongly echo Al's statements on education. Besides that the necessity of post-secondary education is so over-blown in this country that it has essentially become a scam, it's just not a smart political move to attack someone because they have a lesser degree.

It's the McCain, Stupid!

My question, with the tiny part of my brain that is unstupefied by this pick and after reading through Ben's Remainders tonight, does McCain show any sign any more that he knows ANY of the meanings of the words "vet" or "vets"?


Thank you thank you thank you from one of your female readers for posting this.

I'm as horrified (and darkly amused) by the Palin choice as the next good liberal/progressive/Dem/non kool aid drinker -- but we should all use Obama's attitude as a model here. He has been beyond decent and respectful toward McCain -- despite having the kitchen sink of ridicule thrown at him. I have no doubt they will do the same toward Palin. It's the smart strategy -- and it's also the decent thing to do.

I could not care less about Palin's personal choices. What I do care about is that she is horribly unqualified and now potentially a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and wants to impose her own personal choices/religious values on the rest of us. ::shudder::

But you know who I really feel horrible for? All the qualified and over-qualified Republican women who've given years and decades to their party and were past over for the honor of the first woman on a GOP ticket. Olympia Snowe, anyone? I may not agree with her on a lot of issues, but that woman has given a lot to this country and actually has a record to be proud of (she co-chaired the Cong Women's Caucus for years and was a leader on family medical leave and other important issues). Kay Bailey Hutchison? Susan Collins? And on and on. They must be PISSED and rightly so.

Honestly, as a woman, this is sad and embarassing, that the first woman on a GOP ticket is someone many in their party don't even know! At least Geraldine Ferraro -- as much as I've come to loathe her this year -- back in the day at least she had some national level experience, some years of service, some perspective beyond her own little corner of the world. And a sense of the importance of her choice, of the symbolism. Sarah Palin seems fairly clueless as to the magnitude of what she represents.

Holy hat that must be a cold slap in the face to experienced Republican female leaders who should have been on his short list and should have been chosen if there really was a desire to make an historic pick. Altho they're all to some degree pro-choice so I've now answered my own question, eh? Also from what I've seen of McCain's attitutde toward women, I doubt he could have handled a female running mate who was a true peer.

Still, sad -- and I predict this choice will have some ugly unintended consequences down the road. I bet a lot of GOP women bolt to Obama even more now. And I will not be surprised if McCain is forced to pick someone else in the face of extreme backlash. Probably not likely as he's so stubborn, but stranger things have happened.

Again, thank you for speaking out against folks making sexist remarks. Much appreciated.

The University of Comedy -- where's that?


My dad only has a high school education, and I consider him to be among the smartest, and wisest, people I know — the kind of blue-collar voter that has long been ignored, and frankly, completely misunderstood by the book-educated pundits.

Class-based humor falls flat, almost all the time. Marx-based humor (all about character) is the mark to shoot for, since it resonates with all of us regardless of our position in life.

Groucho Marx: I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members. 

At least that's what I find funny, if one goal is making people like me chuckle in all of this. 


Very Smart!

Thank you for saying this. Let's face it, if her husband was governor no one would be criticizing him for taking the job with a baby at home. People's personal lives are their personal lives.

Not to mention that apparently the Alaskan leg is only in session about 90 days a year and that Palin -- from reports -- seems to be the kind of administrator that appoints good people and lets them run the show. Alaska has a population less than that of Austin, Texas. Being governor and a Mom just ain't that hard up there. But even if she was from NY, it would be good advise.

doors open

there is no reason to attack sarah at all. the pick was obviously wrong. it opens the door to the age card, the judgement card and lessens the use by McCain to use the experience card. so Palin = the Green Background. it makes McCain look bad.

so there is no need to attack her. Obama should and I hink will ignore her. the traget is McCain and Bush and they will stay on that. they attack McCain and she tries to defend. let's see how she does.

post secondary education

Feel free to delete this (may be the margaritas talking and I know i'ts off topic) but as a new tenured professor (w00t!) at a reasonably good school (wisconsin-madison) formal education has its strengths and weaknesses. formalized education keeps you from participating in the world for some of your best years of your life, and spits you out unengaged and unaffected (usually). At the same time, it (if it works) introduces you to the idea doing work that must live up to a particular community of people and what works in the world for them. I think there's a big gap between what we do in school and what is useful in the world, which I try to overcome via a variety of means. But let's not make degrees a litmus test because the formal education system can (and is designed to) squeeze the soul out of any of us.


Same deal with hurricanes

Another example of this came from Michael Moore on Countdown tonight. I don't have the exact quote but the upshot was he said that Gustav is proof that there is a God.

Moore saying this brings him right down to the level of the religious reactionaries who say earthquakes, hurricanes, acts of violence etc. are visited upon the sinful.

The way I'd deal with Gustav and the Reptilian Nationalist Convention would be to say something like: Republicans are very fearful of hurricanes. They think  huge tropical storms can somehow make people notice how useless they are.

Point made, ony the R's are targeted and no one can accuse you of endorsing a calamity.

Anyway, I was just thinking about it when I read your post, Al.



Ronald Reagan did okay in politics with "just" a college degree.  I don't think that's a place to criticize Palin.  She should have plenty of opportunities, unless the Repub machine keeps her cloaked, to reveal what she knows and thinks about the world. 

I hope the Alaskans don't take the brunt of late-night humor.

Palin's experience

I gather from reading right-wing commentators that the McCain campaign legitimately believes Sarah Palin is more qualified to be commander-in-chief than Barack Obama.  The campaign packages her experience as “executive” as if that designation alone trumped all other considerations.  If they intend to bait Obama into an argument about experience, their incredulity is almost delusional.  Palin is a governor, true, but she’s only held that office about as long as Barack Obama has been running for President.  When McCain, Clinton, and the whole pack were preparing for this long slog to the White House, Palin was the mayor of a town the size of a small liberal arts college.  Barack Obama was elected to represent a district in Illinois 27 times that size.  And that was in 1996.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but Ms. Palin’s pedigree belies any ability to cope with the demands of the nation’s second highest office.  While Senator Obama is a magna cum laude graduate of the most prestigious law school in the nation, she holds a B.S. in communications from a state school in Moscow, Idaho.  If this consideration makes me elitist, so be it, but what in Ms. Palin’s background makes anyone think she has any understanding of the intracacies of domestic and foreign issues, much less the procedural quagmire that must be navigated on capitol hill?  Charlie Black, John McCain’s chief advisor shrugged off these concerns saying, “she's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years,” but who will teach her if the unthinkable happens and she has to take the helm in a time of crisis? 

         Whatever one thinks about Obama’s experience, he has spent a considerate amount of time under national scrutiny and has articulated well-thought-out positions on every major issue.  He taught at a university with an international reputation for producing policy expertise of the highest order.  He has held national office for four years now, and has stellar executive experience running the most unlikely campaign in modern American history that ultimately defeated the most vaunted political machine in the Democratic party.  Does anyone think Palin could have achieved that?

I was thinking the same thing Barry

when I saw that on Countdown.  He tried to dig himself out of it a bit, but it's in terrible taste to hope for political gain out of something that has the potential to adversely affect a great many people.  It also makes all of us look small and petty to boot.

Good to see you here Barry and I hope you're doing well.



Thanks, Al!  You are absolutely correct.  It isn't being is keeping your eyes on the prize.  The Obama campaign has fantastic message discipline, and we in the volunteer community need to follow their example.


And I was ready to strangle Michael Moore on Olbermann this evening.  Talk about playing to the stereotypes.  And did anyone else notice that of all the places in the US they could have chosen to unveil their new right-wing veep choice, they pick the Nutter Center?  The jokes just write themselves....

I don't think we need to attack her at all- this is about MCCAIN

and his BS slogan of 'Country First'.


NOBODY who believes in putting this country first, would choose her.


Make it about McCain. Take it to him.


We also need to be very clear about her stance on abortion. She's against it - EVEN IN CASES OF RAPE AND INCEST.


Two tracks : tearing down McCain's BS ' Country First' and also making sure folks understand her and McCain's stance on Roe.

Deep Breath...

Like Al said...myself included...

We all knew that McNutter was going to annouce his pick on Friday...he said that last week...we also knew that he had to "bus people in" to fill only 1/2 the available space at his rally.

We also know that the MSM is totally out of it--and yes, Mika and Andrea were totally rude to Kathleen and Wes...talking on the phone and checking their Crackberries while supposedly conducting an interview...

When oh when are we REALLY going to follow the leads of our Leaders O-man and Al?

Remember when I *yelled help* for Al a couple of posts ago?  It was Chicken Little Part Deux that I saw coming...

I just want to say that WE are the ones we have been waiting for, and we have WORK to do.

If I were Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Olympia Snowe, etc., I would be highly pissed.  As a matter of fact, KBH IS highly pissed even though she didn't want to be Veep.

We have to remember that Obama was ELECTED, he ran a superior campaign--even Hillary knows that.  That's why the Superdelegate debate was so hot...would they vote to overturn the WILL OF THE PEOPLE?

Sarah what's-her-name WAS *selected* over many more highly qualified Repub women and she is NOT ready to be president.  It DOES speak to McMansion's judgment and *ambition* to be prez over what is best for the country.

Of course, after Al re-inoculates everyone, we will realize that all of those *non-issues* are just that, and can get everyone in trouble, to boot.

It's not only "the economy, stupid", it's "McCain, stupid", and he's already failed his first major decision.  The O-man knows that.

McCain can't even stand up to his own *advisors*; Lieberman would have been the best pick for McCain--that's who he wanted and needed...Palin can't even whisper the correct answers in his ear!

This IS a gift for us, if WE don't blow it!

Obama is more and more brilliant every day...go back and watch the intro vids...and salute Stanley Ann Dunham...

Now, how many people did you say you were going to register this weekend?


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Amanda, your post brings up another point

This is another Clarence Thomas.

Contrary to certain beliefs, there were numerous QUALIFIED Black REPUBLICAN Intellectual Judges that Bush 41 could have chosen.

We got that clown Thomas.

This is another Clarence Thomas.

There were plenty of QUALIFIED GOP women that got passed over for this lightweight reactionary.

But it works both ways

Al, in itself I agree with you, but I'm not surprised to see such attacks because in my opinion it is just the flip side of this endless parading of children and mothers and other family members in front of the cameras I've seen over the last months. I remember some outcry about an attack on Chelsea Clinton which was indeed not very classy, but on the other hand I've seen and heard about her on an almost daily basis during that convention while she, as far as I recall, was neither a delegate nor candidate. Joe Biden's grandchildren - what the hell do they have to do with anything?

I know that this is how these things work in America, but I find such attacks as the ones you describe not much more or less rejectable than the clawing into a former candidate and his wife over some affair he had (where I come from this wouldn't even be news) or pimping out the (grand)children to get a message of "family values" across during the best scripted emo-show I've seen in years. Making private life part of politics to the extend that American politicians do to get elected is practically inviting these kind of attacks, or at least scrutiny. It all leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Palin supported Buchanan's 2000 run

Al, I haven't found any references to earlier elections, but Chris Hayes at The Nation has Palin wearing a Buchanan button and meeting him in 1999.  Doesn't this mean she was supporting him when he had abandoned the Republican Party altogether and ran as the Reform Party candidate?

Do the Republicans understand what this means?  She wasn't for Bush, or McCain, in 2000?

We should never

We should never under-estimate our opponents. The media has been good at dumbing down expectations, so a mediocre performance by her on economic or foreign policy will be viewed as a flying success. Our task got a bit more challenging today. In order for Barack to be elected as our next POTUS we will need to commit ourselves to this task ever more than we felt a day or two ago. On a positive note, Palin's selection undercut the two strongest arguments the Repubicans and undecideds have, (1) He doesn't have enough experience (2) We don't know enough about him. The Obama campaign is savvy enough to deal with this and will be laser focus on the issues. We should too not get caught up in trivial arguments.

About the Speech...

he managed to kill completely the post-convention buzz and more importantly, any meaningful discussion about it, all within 12 hours.

But I'm of the opinion, once again, that this is a good thing. 38 million+ left that speech with a positive vibe and an understanding of Barack Obama, and this announcement more or less short circuited anyone's ability to spend the next day, or two, or five diminshing it.

So we get to spend the holiday weekend comparing and contrasting the DNC with McCain's pick of Palin. I'll take that deal any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Agreed...but let's talk about a REAL serious issue.

Sarah is in no way prepared to be " a heartbeat away" from becoming President of this country. This is no laughing matter. Our country is facing some serious problems at home and abroad. I can't help but feel that McCain is playing games with the lives of American's. Many people are trying to pay for gas, their homes, losing jobs, losing healthcare, and our troops are still dying in an endless war and this is the respect the Republican machine shows to the nation. They are treating the two most important positions in this country-and some would argue in the entire world- as if they are a joke. There are no guarantees that McSame would live through his first term and to line this situation up for the country is devastating on so many levels. I'm insulted beyond party lines. I'm insulted as an American citizen because many, many people have fought for the best of this country and this act is shameful to their great names. Not to mention the extremism of this woman's record. Creationism in schools, Pro-life-even for rape and incest, Pro big oil, and if I can find the link I'll repost it but according to an article I read earlier she questioned a Librarian about how she would feel about censorship. Can you imagine what our lives would become if this somehow happened? By the way, I in no way think this will  happen but the idea that it is even a remote possibility after what we have all been through for the past eight years is nothing less than astounding to me. I do believe that many conservatives jumped for joy today but as the reality sets in, and voters decide that they are putting their lives and their children's lives in the hands of a new Administration, most people who think logically and love this country can not and will not vote for McCain out of their own good conscience. They may stay home....but that's alright by me. This distasteful display, both silly and surreal, must and will end.


So not vetted

I'm starting to feel sorry for this gal.   She was so not vetted.  This was done very quickly.  As of two weeks ago, she was still not under consideration.  There has been sooo much that has come out about her in just 12 hours!!!

Vetoed a relief bill to assist those in Juneau pay for a 500% increase in electricity bills after a disaster.  Gave kudos to Obama's energy plan two weeks ago.   Called Hillary a whiner.  Left the town she was mayor of with an enormous debt.  And of course, the ongoing ethics investigation set to be released before the election.  Did they really think this particular hail mary was worth the risk??


A week ago, nobody had a bad thing to say about Biden other than that he runs at the mouth.  Chosing the VP  is the first big test of the presidential candidate.  I think it was WJC who mentioned that this week.  So how did our two candidates do??  Man what a difference.


I certainly haven't been in any sort of Chicken Little mode.  I'm loving it actually.  I'm not going to get cocky or anything and went to a Neighborood Leader Meeting tonite (check it out guys - all the local offices are having them).  So I will work hard for Obama but I am pretty confident.

executive experience

So, she has executive experience.

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan had executive experience, lots of it. Ryan is currently in a federal prison, convicted on corruption charges.

Executive experience isn't always a good thing. 

it's all about voter registration

Should be a great weekend for voter registration.  In most states, there's not that much time left.  If you're feeling Chicken-Littleish, registering voters is a good way to feel like things are back in control.

Palin has a lot of flaws (especially for high-information voters) but she's going to draw a lot of attention for the next few weeks.  Don't get worried.  Register.

Here's another one...

Apparently, Sarah went on a talk radio program early this year and sat there and laughed repeatedly as the host savaged her longtime rival Lyda Green, calling Lyda "a cancer and a bitch."

Green is a cancer survivor.

How Christian of Sarah.

Keeps his word...

I do hope, and am confident, that Biden and Obama will keep to the mantra that Momma Biden walked when it comes to her -- "No one is better than you. You are everyone's equal, and everyone is equal to you."  Good on them for taking the high road in personally contacting her, and "welcoming her" into the contest.  That was a hallmark of last night's speech -- in that Obama is daring McCain not to be cynical (not let this election be about "small things").  Well, just because McCain went there doesn't mean Obama or Biden also have to follow him there as well.


It's blatantly obvious she doesn't have the gravitas.  And, if they want to compare her to Obama:  Sure.  As soon as she raises 300 million dollars out of nowhere, defeats 7 of her rivals in a 18 month war of attrition primary, and is prescient on at least three foreign policy or domestic (For Barack:  Iraq Withdrawal, Iran Engagement and Afghanistan/Pakistan Al-Qaeda, Gas Tax TomFoolery), then I'll put her and Barack in the same sentence.  However, Obama/Biden will probably leave that to the media (who will feast on her Beauty Queen Background, TrooperGate, and her husband's ties to British Petroleum/Big Oil) and surrogates like the Clintons to "go there."


I'll wait to see how this pick plays out after a week, and seeing if McCain can "unify his party" -- word has it that Mitt and Pawlenty are sore.  I don't think he'll do as stellar as a job as Obama did with his.  However, all bets are off if the media will call it that way.


This will also be a test of the Obama ground game.  The big part of the DNC for me was seeing the everyday Americans say their piece on why they need a Barack Obama.  Those are the real surrogates, who are going to talk to their friends and neighbors, and logic it out for their peers on what a cynical choice that "putting country first" McCain pulled.  Back in the realm of the concrete -- Team Obama is relentlessly registering new voters and building his base.  If anything, this move will just fire up that process even more.


Upon further reflection, McCain taking Palin on the ticket is a bold move.  So is running an onside kick for the first play of the Super Bowl.

How is the msm spinning this ? Are they still

peddling, 'aw, shucks, he is so maverick' bullshit ? What about Hillary acolytes like Begala, Carville & Lanny ? How do they like this gal trampling all over her "base" ?


@ Allan: Legacy?

This person (gender irrelevant) makes George Bush look dignified and substantial.  Legacy burnishing, courtesy McCain?

But seriously, much like Quayle this pick if nothing else represents NO regard for the future of the GOP: no investment, no future prospect for the White House.  Maybe McCain is snubbing his nose at the base-cultivators in the GOP who wouldn't let him pick Leiberman?

Anchorage Daily News

You may want to breeze through the 12 comments following the announcement of Klondike Sarah as VP running mate.  Some Alaskans aren't welcoming the scrutiny of their fair state:

Point out the obvious: McCain is now the Evangelical's Bitch

Forgot to tell you this:
1. McCain has NO ground game. Obama has been building one for months.
2. Palin is an evangelical crazy- those are who make up their ground game.
3. Dobson was on board.

We need to make this point too- her choice means that JAMES DOBSON AND HIS ILK OWN MCCAIN'S ASS. He has, without a doubt, completely SOLD OUT TO THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT. As much as Dubya ever did.

THIS needs to be pounded about him.

On a slightly related note I

On a slightly related note I made a comment about the criticisms on gender at

Don't criticise Pailn as being chosen for her gender.


Carville got stomped all over by one of the female GOP mouthpieces today -- when he expressed incredulity at the pick and said Palin wasn't qualified, he got hit in the face with the "you are sexist for demeaning her achievements and women are tired of it" b.s. defense.  He looked rather stunned, to be honest -- not a good moment for him.

Begala, on the other hand, has been a rock star all day.  Laser-focused on the fact that the decision calls into question the judgement of John McCain, repeating over and over that McCain entrusted the lives of 300 Million Americans to the hands of somebody he had met only once.

Paul was excellent today.

Thanks Bryan. Glad to know HRC acolytes

are fighting back. Carville got stomped over feminist bs ? That must be a new experience for him. Begala was absolutely right about this 'instant lottery' selection.

Hope to hear from Hillary.


Spot on Al... usual, and I'm sure the Obama campaign will know that.

But here are two things that bother me:

  • Firstly, Republicans calling this a "game-changer". How on earth exactly? She adds NOTHING to the ticket, besides making the conservative base happy and trying to tap into Hillary's audience. She has no domestic, foreign policy or economy. No issues with immigration either as Canadians aren't exactly flocking to Alaska.
  • In a time where the barriers of race and sex are being actually overcome, it will annoy me the fact that the Democrats will have to refrain any sort of attack (Not personal) against Palin, because it will seem either sexist or not polite. Which means Biden will have to hold back in the debates or will be seen as a prick, unfortunately.


Finally, I am sure she's a great mother, but the US (and I ain't American) need a great President and VP, not a great mother.


Agree to disagree

Al, although I agree with you that from a political standpoint, her approach to campaigning and her family is not a matter of discussion, the fact remains that individual people can and will question her choice.  But I think the best way to deal with it is to turn it onto McCain.


Speaking of misogynistic, did he even think of how this could impact her family?  He is the one who put her in this position.  Does anyone really think a person in her position could say no?  Probably others did and she was a second or third choice.


But McCain put her in the position that some people would criticize her for.  And worse, as pointed out over an over, he did this with only meeting her once.  And he did this without proper vetting.  (BTW, I think McCain probably thought the fact that her 4 month old has Down syndrome was a political plus, which makes it even worse.)


So his judgement is definitely suspect.  And this also shows him putting country anything but first.

Hillary Clinton's anti-feminist Legacy

"Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, but it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."
- GOV. SARAH PALIN, of Alaska.

I have been a feminist for 20 years. This is the first time that I have seen so many people claim to be feminists (it's the "f" word and apparently outdated) and talk about sexism. Clearly, this is suspicious.

THIS is Clinton's legacy. By not taking the historic nature of her candidacy seriously, by not truly recognizing those who have made her candidacy possible (her access due to her HUSBAND and his political machine, her being the beneficiary of Affirmative Action, which white women benefit from the most) and claiming to have done it all alone as a fighter/warrior, and by not recognizing her race, class, and heterosexist privilege, Clinton squandered the opportunity to be a leader (where was her speech on gender?).

She played the gender card as a political strategy and cried sexism (as did Ferraro) at every turn when legitimately challenged as a candidate at the expense of genuine sexism that pervades women's lives so thoroughly, women who do not have even a iota of the privileges she has had. 

And now the mockery and perversion of feminism continues in this election (please do not construe my thoughts as saying Palin and Clinton are of the same caliber. This is not the comparison I am making). Any criticism of Palin will be cast as sexism. What Carville got was a taste of his own candidate's medicine. And those of us in the trenches fighting against sexism, racism, etc. have just had our work made even more impossible than it already is.


Spin won't work

I don't think *we* need to say much. This is such a patently ridiculous pick to have someone one heartbeat away. The media and the comics will do their jobs; reporters are all winging their way to Alaska to check into her background. They smell blood as she overburnished her reformer cred by lying about the bridge to nowhere. The anti-science, anti-polar bear, anti-global warming views will just look even more out of touch.


But, perhaps as importantly is this. Did anyone watch that announcement yesterday? McCain looked SO uncomfortable. He looked ill at ease and awkward. That will do as much damage to the ticket as anything.

Geez...Fun Weekend!

I wake up and turn on the local news...and there is a story about a restaurant in the nearby 'burbs that serves "mooseburgers"!  Won't Governor Palin feel comfortable here?  the reporter says laughing...

BUT...the next story...Barack and Michelle and Joe and Jill will be marching in the Labor Day Parade!!  (A tradition for Dem Presidential Candidates here in Detroit...)  Yippee!! Then they will be speaking at Hart Plaza at the River just before the JazzFest starts!  Maybe Barack will stay to hear Ravi Coltrane!! Yes!!

Today, I'm doing a Neighbor to Neighbor Barack Walk today @ noon...

Meanwhile, I am turning OFF the MSM...

Saturday afternoon: Going to a festival in Republican Oakland County in ALL my Obama gear!!

Sunday afternoon: Going to the Detroit GrandPrix Race on Belle Isle in ALL my Obama gear!! Hope I run into some "NASCAR Dads", although this is an Indy race with THREE women drivers...

Monday monring: Gonna take my 84-year-old Mom to see our next President on Monday in ALL our Obama gear!

Sarah who?

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


McCain and celebrity

I have to wonder how McCain, who was clearly coming unraveled over the amount of attention showed to Barack Obama, is going to deal with his VP pick totally and completely overshadowing him. She is going to be the "rock star", not him. I dont see him handling it very well.

Let's not kid ourselves...

McCain picking Palin has energized the Fundies base, some of them crazies tink that is actually a game changer , and McCain has won the election( rediculous I know, but since when those people had any sense of relity?).
Things that should be done...
*Obama campaign, ignore her completely...once Joe assumes the position of the Attack dog( after the conventions), she will be thrust into the a lime light so bright which will reveal her without the need of the Obama campaign to say anything.
*DON'T question her cildren, her role as a mom, or anything personl, there was a horrifying diary on dKos that was speculating about who could be the mother of the small infant. I was horrified , not only because the discussion was tasteless and out of bounds, but because there are some liberals that are this clueless( to be fair, a lot of commentators in that diary were demanding forcefully for the auther to delete it).
* Ladies and gentelmen...the hard work is just begining, after all the great feeling of Thursday, McSame poured a cold bucket of water on Friday, to remind us, that we DON'T have this thing in the bag, he reminded us of how dangerous he and his sidekick could be to the future, safety, nd security of this country.

*I am canvanssing today in Provo Utah...let me tell something about Provo, Bush still has approval rating of 70+% , Hitler will win a land slide in this town if he had an (R) by his name....and still..there are 10 people who volunteered to go out and canvass today.....fully knowing that there is no way in hell Obama wil win Utah, but maybe we can identify a supporter or two who will make a phone call or two that will add some votes to Obama in CO or NV.
The time of sitting on our hands and doing nothing is gone...we do that on our own peril.


Add comment

Our Policy on Comment Submissions: Co-publishers of Narco News (which includes The Narcosphere and The Field) may post comments without moderation. A ll co-publishers comment under their real name, have contributed resources or volunteer labor to this project, have filled out this application and agreed to some simple guidelines about commenting.

Narco News has recently opened its comments section for submissions to moderated comments (that’s this box, here) by everybody else. More than 95 percent of all submitted comments are typically approved, because they are on-topic, coherent, don’t spread false claims or rumors, don’t gratuitously insult other commenters, and don’t engage in commerce, spam or otherwise hijack the thread. Narco News reserves the right to reject any comment for any reason, so, especially if you choose to comment anonymously, the burden is on you to make your comment interesting and relev ant. That said, as you can see, hundreds of comments are approved each week here. Good luck in your comment submission!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

User login


About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

RSS Feed