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September 24, 2008

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Oh god. This is awful. I feel sorry for you, hilzoy. I feel sorry for Sarah Palin. I feel sorry for the USA. But most of all, I feel sorry for me -- me and my beautiful mind.

And to think: maybe tomorrow, maybe in a couple days, but without question, Sarah Palin will lower that bar yet again.

Drink, please. Make it an octuple, barkeep.

ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease don't cancel the VP debate!

hilzoy, I think you may be wrong to say that Palin is a quick study. You have to take into account the material she has been studying. Since most of McCain's positions are bankrupt and his (and I may say his staffers) knowledge is sparse, she may actually being doing a good job of parroting back what they are telling her.

And remember, after the convention and the first few appearances with McCain she went back to Alaska where she was supposed to be thoroughly briefed. The word from the aides was that she was a quick study who rarely asked questions. IOW, a mile wide and an inch deep.

I'm giving the McCain campaign 50/50 odds of just flat-out saying that, no, Palin is not going to show up for any debate no matter what.

It fits their pattern of behavior: unilaterally trying to set the terms of the game to their advantage. Pretending to ignore anything they're terrified of.

My apologies making a duplicate comment, but this observation seems to belong more on this Palin-centric thread than the previous one which is focused on McCain:

What Obama and Biden should do is to announce, unilaterally, that he (Obama) will be in DC on Friday attending to the issue of the Wall St. bailout legislation.

Nevertheless, the debate will go on as scheduled. Joe Biden will take Obama's place, showing the American people that he (Joe Biden) is ready to step in at a moments notice if something were to happen to the President. That is what the VP must be ready to do.

Obama and Biden will both state that they expect that Sarah Palin will also show up in place of John McCain, assuming she is ready for the task.

The subject of the debate will be foreign policy, as previously scheduled. When a VP has to step in for a President, they don't get to pick and choose the time or the subject at hand. They have to play the cards already dealt.

LeftTurn has the right idea: Test how well the VP picks do at taking over when the guy at the top isn't available. We can have the VP debate this Friday.

that would be a test of how well the moderators can come up with a new set of focus-grouped questions.

it's not like they can give Biden the Rev Wright questions they were planning for Obama.

Eh: I think Obama has played it well so far, and that letting McCain dictate terms the way he seems to want to would be a mistake.

It would, of course, be different if he were actually needed in DC, or for that matter if his going to DC would not be anything other than a monstrous headache for the people who are trying to hammer out a deal. I think he's right to accept the President's invitation -- he is, after all, the President -- but not McCain's.

COURIC: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

Hmm, deferring a decision because of the looming economic crisis... it's like something else that was in the media today... I can't quite place it

Damn,

I've seen more cogent answers on essay questions that got graded as "C"s in high school. And those were usually festooned with red ink notes like "cite specifics" "provide support" and (my favorite) "I know you can do better than this."

No way. If Obama budges, he'll be perceived as being yanked around by McCain. NO WAY! Let him debate an empty chair, if need be.

John Stewart creeped me out a few minutes ago. For a Republican VP, this is exposure.

Quick, when was the last time you saw Cheney?

(Sunday talk shows don't count, otherwise the joke doesn't work.)

it's not like they can give Biden the Rev Wright questions they were planning for Obama.

Oh, sure they can.
"Senator Biden, your running mate has been a member of a church where the pastor has given anti American sermons. What do you think about that?"

"Governor Palin, your running mate was a POW who was tortured by the North Vietnamese. What do you think that tells us about his character?"

Watching Palin being interviewed was like nails on a blackboard. Gawd, it hurt.

No. No. No. No. Don't react at all. Let McCain wither out their like a petulant child who didn't like the position so he upended the chessboard.

I've noticed Dems like me have been quailed into these two fearful beliefs:
(1) Any Republican ploy, no matter how cynical, will always work.
(2) The Republicans will always march in lock-step, no matter what.

These things are just not true this election cycle. McCain is making himself look like an intemperate fool. He's getting punked by David Letterman and Campbell Brown. There's no reason for Obama to react and dignify these twists in the wind.

Governor Palin, your running mate was a POW who was tortured by the North Vietnamese. What do you think that tells us about his character?"

Or, Governor Palin, you opponent has been accused of being anti american because he often appears without a flag lapel pin. Yet your husband was a long time member of a political party which supported seccession from the USA.

Which of the two hates America more? The one working to change it or the one working to dissolve his states participation in this great country of ours.

Sadly, a lot of the wingnuts might claim he was right.

When I was a kid, I was unable to watch more than a couple minutes of the Newlywed Game. It was just too much to watch someone willingly humiliate themselves and be laughed at by a large studio audience.

I'm starting to feel that way about Sarah Palin.

Armbinder:

A senior campaign official says that McCain will NOT debate -- no matter what -- if Congress hasn't reached an agreement on a bailout package.

The aide said that Obama's refusal to suspend his campaign will have no bearing on McCain's decision to attend the debate.

The aide did not know whether Gov. Palin would attend Oct. 2's vice presidential debate if Congress, by that point, still hasn't reached a deal.

Another aide said: "The VP debate is days off. We're focused on getting a deal and getting to the debate on Friday."

Armbinder also quotes Hugh Hewitt:
Today was Obama's Katrina moment and an example of great leadership by John McCain. This contrast was telling and will matter.
9 minutes of Letterman.

Many thanks for that Gary.

Does anyone else think that Ambinder's line "Mr. Letterman has really let his political colors show this election.." was as sh**ty as I do?

Sorry, that was from the Letterman link, which was in an Ambinder post that Gary provided the link to.

Sarah Palin - just think Chance the Gardner from "Being There".

Sarah Palin would appear to be Bush's perfect heir.

If the rumors about John McCain's health are accurate (and until he's willing to release his medical records, rumors are all we have) Palin's likely to be President by 2012. So the question is: who will her Vice President be? Dick Cheney would doubtless consider himself ideal (is there any rule saying a Vice President can't serve more than two terms?) and then things could just continue the way the 29%ers think they should: good-looking regular person out front to make speeches, experienced partisan representative running the government as the sole member of the Fourth Branch.

When McCain made his announcement yesterday, my first reaction was to tell my wife this was a ply to try and cancel the veep debate. Sure enough, Graham's announcement comes out hours later. After I saw the Couric interview, it became clear that McCain/Schmidt are in full panic mode.

Maybe I'm am looking at this the wrong way, but no matter what happens, we will be rewarding people who made bad decisions.

If everyone made good decisions we wouldn't be in this shithole in the first place.

Only Sarah Palin is qualified to protect us from Moose Terrorism. Joe Biden has no experience with moose or polar bears.

I've been in education. Here's how it is.

This is an AP (advanced placement) course in politics.

Palin belongs in the R (regular) class.

Can we also put a moratorium on the cute rearranging of Lloyd Bentsen's famous remarks to Quayle. It's unfair to Quayle to compare Palin to him.

Can Sarah Palin see Zimbabwe from on of the islands in Alaska? If she could, she would be an expert on any African matter.

Ordinarily, I might view Bush's remarks as fairly statesmanlike.

But given our history of overestimating the man, I'm going to say that Bush is bringing McCain and Obama back to Washington so that he tell them:

"I'm going down in flames and my summons to both of you guarantees you're strapped in with me."

I thought the Letterman nine minutes was pretty good.

Showing his political stripes? Ahh, why not?

Conservatives don't like it? Resurrect the Fairness Doctrine. Does Michael Savage do comedy?

Actually, Letterman had time to fill and late-night hosts don't like being stiffed by big-name guests. No doubt he tried to get Dody Goodman (the late) or Tony Danza to fill in, like Johnny Carson would have. Letterman doesn't do diversionary tap-dancing like Carson did.

He lets you know this is going to be the longest nine minutes in television history.

I wish Letterman had gone to the roof of the Ed Sullivan theater and dropped plaster busts of McCain and Palin over the edge to shatter on the sidewalk below.

I picture DaveC. staggering around on the sidewalk desperately flailing and cracking wise as he tries to catch the busts raining down on his head. ;) He'd catch one while flop-sweating and carefully set it down. As soon as he turned his back to catch another, a New York city cab driver would run over the previous one.

I keep hearing that McCain isn't on the Banking Committee, so why is he returning to Washington?

If I were him, I'd get a guy with a handheld camera to follow me as I crashed through the doors of the Banking Committee's meeting room, stood on a desk, and did a Lou Piniella into the Committee Chairman's face. Then chew on a microphone.

Then do my best Rickles impression as I barked that we oughta just nuke Iran, too, while we're at it. Sarah Palin could don a blonde wig and fake boobies and whisper sexual double entendres while holding cue cards asking "Where would I find instances of John McCain demanding more regulation of the financial markets."

The congregation of flailing clowns that make up 51% of the electorate who have given us the last eight years would love it.

I'm almost waiting for one of two things:
1) Palin blows. The McCain people think she is utterly incompetent and do everything to show it; can she really want 4 more years of that? There was a point at the world leaders photo op where she wanted to answer a question, seemed to argue with McCain, and he was shaking his head no--how much fun can it be to work with people who see you as fundraiser Barbie?

2) Someone with the McCain group just comes out and says he's losing his marbles and they can't take the risk of him actually winning the election.

The McCain people think she is utterly incompetent and do everything to show it

yeah, and i gotta think Palin can see what's going on - she's not stupid, just ignorant, and wrong. but it's gotta be demoralizing, at least a little. not that i feel pity for her, since she agreed to take part in this, knowing her own limitations.

I'm usually not one to critique Thullen's works of art, but not getting Gingrich (who said that "the decision to suspend campaigning and lend a hand to the negotiations in Washington was "the greatest single act of responsibility ever taken by a presidential candidate." He said it rivaled Dwight Eisenhower's declaration during the 1952 campaign that he would go to Korea as president, if necessary, to help end the conflict there.") and Lindsay Graham (who said he was "dumbfounded" that Mr. Reid would rebuff the idea of the nominees throwing themselves into negotiations.") some sort of role in the clown show seems to be a big lacuna.

Are you sure that the problem isn't just that McCain's campaign doesn't actually have a position on this, and she doesn't want to accidentally commit to something the McCain campaign won't uphold?

This is troubling. A little off thread, but it is after all all related at this point.

Patrick: McCain's campaign doesn't actually have a position on this
No problem. Just take the tail-pin, put on the blindfold, and walk over to the donkey-drawing and stick it. Voilá! McCain’s position.

Deborah: Now that’s worth waiting for!

Sorry, bad manners; the ‘This’ above has to do with Warren Buffett, Obama’s advisor, buying 5B (1/10th) of Lehmann, who stand to clean up.

Deborah: how much fun can it be to work with people who see you as fundraiser Barbie?

None at all, I should think. My sympathy for Palin on this is kinda muted, though: (a) She really isn't qualified to hold her own in the Vice President nominee position (b) She's not a brand-new newbie in Republican politics: she was one of three directors for a 527 that is described as "a political boot camp for Republican women in [Alaska]" (cite)

It is like Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations." Or, in this case, a woman. Maybe she should have blinked.

I used to be a Republican until about 3 months ago. I will never vote for another Republican candidate again. Ever. The party can rot in hell with the witches.

LJ:

If Heath Ledger hadn't died, he could do Gingrich in the Republican mini-series about the current dark days.

By the time this is over, I want Gingrich to suggest that the U.S. government should issue bonds for the bailout and then default on the national debt.

You could pan Ledger's awful laughter to the left on the soundtrack and Jack Nicholson's "wait till they get a load of me" to the right and maybe dub in a little of Frank Gorswhin's Joker cackle reverbed to the hilt right down the middle.

to rikyrah:

Actually, I am going to bet a moose-burger and a cup of McCain-laced Metamucil that Palin belongs in the "special ed" class.

Cesar Romero. Gorshin was the Riddler.

I was stunned last night when I watched that interview. I no longer can parse words to describe this "candidate". Fortunately, I don't feel the need to anymore. If you can't see what's in front of your face when she talks what could I possibly say?

But other comments have been awesome, my favorite "she's as dumb as a box of hair."

"Stunt Man" -- that's the title of this Slate piece by John Dickerson.

My favorite line, referencing McCain's desperation:

"Chanting 'Drill, baby, drill' won't help."

I was stunned last night when I watched that interview. I no longer can parse words to describe this "candidate". Fortunately, I don't feel the need to anymore. If you can't see what's in front of your face when she talks what could I possibly say?

But other comments have been awesome, my favorite "she's as dumb as a box of hair."

We interrupt your regularly scheduled thread for this pedantic nitpick:

...Frank Gorswhin's Joker ...

Frank Gorshin played the Riddler, though his Riddler was known for his giggle. Cesar Romero played the Joker.

We now return to your thread, already in progress.

Well,we like to use "squirrel in eye-liner", but that's just us.

Sorry.

My last comment should have gone in the "Say What?" thread -- I can't stomach much Palin talk.

"Cesar Romero played the Joker."

Only because "Batman" was my absolute favorite show as a boy, I thought I might add that Romero refused to shave off his trademark mustache for the Joker part, a role he was very proud of.

What ThatLeftTurnInABQ said:

What Obama and Biden should do is to announce, unilaterally, that he (Obama) will be in DC on Friday attending to the issue of the Wall St. bailout legislation.

Nevertheless, the debate will go on as scheduled. Joe Biden will take Obama's place, showing the American people that he (Joe Biden) is ready to step in at a moments notice if something were to happen to the President. That is what the VP must be ready to do.

Obama and Biden will both state that they expect that Sarah Palin will also show up in place of John McCain, assuming she is ready for the task.

The subject of the debate will be foreign policy, as previously scheduled. When a VP has to step in for a President, they don't get to pick and choose the time or the subject at hand. They have to play the cards already dealt.

Has anything actually been suspended, other than McCain's attendance at the debate and his appearance on Letterman (which was apparently replaced by a Couric interview)? As far as I can tell, McCain hasn't changed anything. He's still running ads, sending out surrogates, giving speeches. What's suspended?

The "suspension" was not only a stupid stunt, but apparently also yet another McCain lie.

I ask this question seriously: What would 2004 McCain think of 2008 McCain?

Would a moratorium on foreclosures keep people in their homes, or would it make banks even less likely to make mortgage loans, while driving them closer to insolvency?

Exactly. It's a simple question, isn't it? It doesn't have a simple answer, but asking the question, and other questions like it, are the first step in finding a useful solution. It shouldn't be a lot to ask that a candidate for the second highest executive office in the country be able to articulate that.

Nobody expects Palin to have the answer to every problem. The problems the nation faces, including the financial problems, are complex, and nobody expects her to have mastered every detail and nuance.

What would be nice, however, would be for her to demonstrate some basic ability to unpack the issues beyond the sound bite level.

It doesn't require a PhD in economics to ask basic questions like those that hilzoy presents here. All it requires is that you have an interest, that you pay attention, and that you *think*.

The country DOES NOT NEED another four or eight years of slogans. We need leadership that is able to look at problems, ask intelligent questions, and then follow the answers to those questions to what are, hopefully, useful and constructive solutions.

Everyone talks about what a smart tactical move Palin's nomination was, and that's true. Palin will, to some degree, bring the social conservative base back into the Republican fold, and McCain can't win without them.

My question is: assume the "hail mary pass" works, and McCain wins.

What then?

What happens when somebody like Palin has to actually *do* something more than parrot talking points? What happens when the safety and well being of other people depends on her ability to do so?

For my money, the nomination of Palin is one of the most irresponsible political acts of the last half century.

I have nothing against her personally. I don't really care if she shoots moose and speaks in tongues. Her family life is not my hash to settle.

The woman just does not give any evidence of having a useful clue about anything outside of the parochial circle of her own personal experience. That's so far from good enough that it might as well be on another planet.

Thanks -

What's suspended?

Democracy.

Nothing new there.

What would 2004 McCain think of 2008 McCain?

Why do you care?

Hall of Fame ObWi post title, Hil.

"COURIC: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

PALIN: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing whether that is part of the solution or not ..."

Interesting that she says "that John McCain and I" as opposed to "that John and I"... It's sort of weird - implies a distance between her and her running mate. In addition, it implies that she thinks people won't know who she's talking about if she says "John" vs "John McCain". It's just really odd

Well,we like to use "squirrel in eye-liner", but that's just us
I’ll go with “the ewok with rhinoplasty”.

My question now is ‘Is everything really coming to a head, or is it all the tail wagging the dog?’ (i.e. a manufactured, scripted media event; a distraction, a feint).
I really can’t guess which. Even though I’ve been expecting an implosion for forty years, I lean towards the latter.


I used to be a Republican until about 3 months ago. I will never vote for another Republican candidate again. Ever. The party can rot in hell with the witches.

RustyJohn,

Just out of curiosity (if you don’t mind sharing), what was the tipping point for you? You are pretty specific about the timeframe, so was there a proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” for you with the GOP after a long accumulation of slowing growing problems, or was there one big thing that you just couldn’t stand?

I thought the answer was fine. IT's more than I've heard any of the other candidates say. Maybe Biden wants to go back and rewatch Roosevelt's depression speech on TV before giving an answer.

Now that Caribou Barbie has a few days off since McCrazy suspended his campaign activities (yea right), she can go back to Alaska and shoot a few more wolves so hunters can find their precious moose.

Perhaps, CB could take this time out to talk to investigators about Troopergate, or simply go spend time with her children. Nothing better than a nanny though.

Sarah Palin mentioned in the same breath with Dan Quayle would seriously insult Quayle.. Who'd have thought anyone would EVER find a worse running mate than Quayle and low and behold, McCrazy managed to trump Quayle big time.

Palin is being shielded from the press for clearly obvious reasons. She's got nothing, absolutely nothing to offer anyone.

I've watched video's of her Alaska speeches as Gov and she did the same, ABSOLUTELY IDENTICAL things regarding Alaska politics. Double worded platitudes, repeating the questions out loud so she could add another 10 seconds to think about it, then spewing content-free answers. Her beauty pageant answers won't work with being VP and one melanoma away from being the President.

Even Republicans are terrified about the potential of Caribou Barbie being president.. Scary, very scary..

The word from the aides was that she was a quick study who rarely asked questions.
If you rarely ask questions, you're not a quick study; you're incurious like Bush.

Does anyone else think that Ambinder's line "Mr. Letterman has really let his political colors show this election.." was as sh**ty as I do?

Not really. Letterman's usually better at being at least somewhat partial. This year, he can't help but show his disgust at McCain. It is a very different feeling from most years.

=========================

not getting Gingrich ... some sort of role in the clown show

NPR had an interview eith him earlier in the week. They read two letters of feedback (blance, ya know), one of which essentailly said that Gringrich had come around to the Democrats way of thinking, the other (probably FAR more typical) asking why they chose the ethically challenged, deregulating, corrupt Gingrich on the program in the first place.

Next week, John Yoo on Human Rights.

Caribou Barbie

WE HAVE A WINNER! Nice phrase, Expert. I'm takin' that one home today.

Caribou Barbie

I think TBogg came up with that one first.

I don't think I'm afraid of McCain dying and Palin stepping in-- rather, the more likely: McCain staying in power and Palin his puppet. Now THAT would be a change from the past 8 years.

Please read this link:http://www.grizzlybay.org/SarahPalinInfoPage.htm

I am not an American, If her party wins, not only Americans will suffer, but also the wildlife Americans have.

someone's comments earlier could not have been more accurate. Sarah Palin is George Bush in a skirt. She is just as clueless and just as devout. They both apparently forget we live in a secular state and hold rigidly to their beliefs regardless of the facts at hand. Tina Fey for VP

What a bunch of babies just because Sarah Palin is a strong women and intolerant to certain things she believes.People hate her.Because of her right to be intolerant. Personaly I hate to be tolerant so I'm not and I don't have to be and I do not have a problem telling people what I believe and to stand up for my choices its my right to freedom of speech and FREE WILL to be true to my beliefs just like sarah has the same rights and you don't have to agree thats your right we all have free will and our own choices that does not make her close minded it makes her strong and she is strong I think people have a problem with that they want some kind of mouse for President or Vice President. GROW UP PEOPLE

I'd hide her too if I knew about all her scandals. Here's my top 5.

http://current.com/items/89342991_top_5_palin_scandals

People hate her.Because of her right to be intolerant.

I try to stay out of the hating business.

But, were I to take it up, folks insisting on their "right to be intolerant" would probably go right to the head of my hating line.

In any case, I'm perfectly happy with saying that insisting on that right is a hands-down disqualifier for national office.

Thanks -

I saw McCain on CNN today and he was totally confident and relaxed. That is because he is going to cheat during the debate. Remember, McCain finished last in his military college and chose a woman who has no knowledge of history, current affairs, the world. What would suddenly put him at ease, now that we've seen Palin has no clue how to coherently respond to the simplest interview question?

He is going to cheat. His team will rig Palin with electronic devices so that they can advise her during the debate, in the Dr. Phil show mode. So Palin will suddenly know more about foreign affairs than the most seasoned diplomats and she will be an expert on every topic, like an erudite professor.

Tune in to see this. It should be a lot of fun. The contrast from Palin totally lost and confused in her rare recent interviews to this new Palin will be utterly miraculous --and I'm sure that Palin will call it an ACT OF GOD.

What would suddenly put him at ease, now that we've seen Palin has no clue how to coherently respond to the simplest interview question?

Heavy medication.

Thanks -

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Whatnot


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