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September 03, 2008

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When will she be interviewed by the press?
When will she be interviewed by the press?
When will she be interviewed by the press?
When will she be interviewed by the press?
When will she be interviewed by the press?

When will she be interviewed by the press?

Don't worry, I'm sure that Fox News is prep'ing a studio as we speak.

It was only a matter of time: Giuliani says Palin ready to handle 9/11 crisis

From http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2008/09/giuliani_says_palin_ready_to_h.php

TPM">http://snipurl.com/3ml35">TPM

Don't worry, I'm sure that Fox News is prep'ing a studio as we speak.

I said "press".

I think the key to her staying on the ticket is the attempt to fire the ex-brother in law. Let's see how that develops.

Prepping the battlefield….

IMO the media pushback will be effective because they did kind of flip out. The experience ad will also likely be effective.

I'm not sure getting the media to genuflect in the short term is a win for McCain. The biggest thing he's had going for him was the media's insistence that he was the totally awesome McCain they remembered from 8 years ago. That could continue indefinitely as long as he didn't do too much to suggest otherwise. It only works as long as the media can suspend their disbelief. But the Palin pick with the lack of vetting and her scandals (troopergate, going into debt as mayor and governor, earmarks, bridge to nowhere, etc.) are just too much: McCain has forced the media to look down and notice that they're running on blue sky and not cliff anymore. Picking Palin seems like a good way to win a battle while losing a war.

Governor Palin, you acknowledged in a press interview a couple of years ago that you had smoked marijuana, and that it was legal under Alaska law at the time. But it wasn't legal under federal law, then or now.

With that background, what is your position on situations where federal and state drug laws conflict, as is currently the case in California and other states where marijuana is allowed for medical use?

Oh, wait. Can't ask that; Carly Fiorina says it's a sexist question.


When will she be interviewed by the press?

Don't worry, I'm sure that Fox News is prep'ing a studio as we speak.

Nope. They're going to put her in front of some local news types first. Find some reporters who are known for giving softball interviews to political types (or at least Republican political types) and let them have the interview.

The "exploit the local yokel press" gambit has worked for them in the past, and they'll continue to use it. There's such a large group of local reporters to choose from that finding a hack or a lightweight isn't very hard, and they're hoping that it's easier to dazzle them with an "exclusive" than the national types. McCain's been doing this for a while now - shutting out the national press corps in favor of one-on-one interviews with local guys. They did this stuff with Bush too in the last election cycle. She'll be out in front of local reporters for a while before the national press gets an interview (outside of tabloid fodder like People or Us, of course).

No interviews, but she does have time for AIPAC:

She spent Tuesday in her hotel suite meeting with campaign aides and working on her speech. She had private sessions with Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and members of the pro-Israel group AIPAC, said people familiar with her schedule. An AIPAC spokesman said Gov. Palin told its members she would "work to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Israel."

Oh, and can we go ahead and make Israel the 51st state already? I'm tired of the fiction.

OT good news:
"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation," he said, "they will be pursued, not out of vengeance, not out of retribution - out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no one, no attorney general, no president, no one is above the law."

Joe Biden in FL from http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/biden-rips-bush.html

abc">http://snipurl.com/3mllo">abc via TPM

Also from that WSJ article:

"She has to familiarize herself with every position John McCain has held over a number of years. That takes work and briefing," one McCain aide said.

Especially given the multiple positions McCain has taken on any one issue.

But shouldn't she know that all already as his "soul-mate"?

Heh.

There was some media flip out, but by and large I see the McCain people strenuously exaggerating (that means "fabricating") most of the level and type of questioning from msm.

Any reporter that asked for DNA evidence of the baby's parantage is so grossly over the line they don't deserve to remain anonymous. If that were true, Schmidt should be posting the reporter's name on every media outlet he can. So who was it? As a civic duty, Schmidt needs to see to it that such a person never publishes again.

But going forward, the focus needs to be both on McCain’s rushed judgment and her rather extreme ideology. ... Palin needs to be incorporated into a longer-term political criticism. There may not be a short-term knockout, so Dems should prepare as if they’re trying to win by decision.

Going forward? That's been the approach the campaign and its less excitable advocates have been taking since the moment she was announced.

I agree with tomeck- stuff like lying about the Bridge To Nowhere will take the shine off of her, but Troopergate is the wild card. Her staff say she may not be available for a deposition this month, and the investigator in turn talked about going back to the investigating committee for a subpoena...

But it's probably developing too slowly to get her off of the ticket.

Dang. Sorry.

Italics, begone!

"She has to familiarize herself with every position John McCain has held over a number of years. That takes work and briefing," one McCain aide said.

POW. Maverick. War Hero. POW. Surge. POW. True American. Country First. POW. We are all Georgians. POW. War Hero. Knows how to win wars. POW. Maverick.

There, was that so hard? That took me what, about 45 seconds?

I'm listening to people from the DC Republican Party (a particularly weird branch) on the Kojo Nnamdi Show. They're faking their full enthusiasm for Palin. And one is pushing the idea that she's gay-friendly because she has gay friends and vetoed (because of its unconstitutionality) a bill that would have banned giving health benefits to same-sex couples.

The one Republican incumbent who will actually be on the ballot, council member Carol Schwartz, is not on. I don't imagine we'll be hearing much about her support of Palin, though she does have a conservative challenger in next week's primary (those wanting to make the council Republican-free are rooting for him, since he can't win in the general).

For the love of jeebus, someone better hunt down that librarian and find out what books Palin wanted to ban. At the very least it would be comedy gold. I bet: The Diary of Anne Frank, Fahrenheit 451, and My Pet Goat.

No interviews, but she does have time for AIPAC

Who knew that the Alaska Independence Party had a PAC?

The AIP story has not checked out.

well, it moved to her husband. and as we know from the months-long freakout over Michelle Obama, spouses are fair game, especially when it comes to anti-American remarks. so her husband's membership in a secessionist organiz.... oh nevermind, IOKIYAR

Can someone tell me what relationship, if any, is there between AIPAC and Jews for Jesus? I ask because Palin evidently was in the congregation when Jews for Jesus founder David Brickner spoke there recently and one of the few (the only?) group that Palin met was AIPAC. (that Haaretz link gave me some problems, but I couldn't get the cited WSJ article)

Don't be so sure that the AIP story has gone away. It turns out that the McCain campaign defense may not check out.

Sorry, I menat to say AIPAC was one of the few groups Palin has met after her nomination. I mean, she (or the McCain staff) blew off meeting Phyllis">http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/schlafly-chides.html">Phyllis Schlafly and the Republican National Coalition for Life

She'll be out in front of local reporters for a while before the national press gets an interview.

There's certainly no time for a Larry King interview!

There's one extremely large group of voters that I suspect will be hugely offended by Troopergate- divorced men who feel unfairly treated by the divorce courts, by the de facto preference for women in child custody decisions, and above all by their ex-wives. I know a lot of guys like that, and the idea of a powerful politician trying to destroy the livelihood of her sister's ex will not go down well at all. And, at least in my experience, they tend to be independent swing voters.

This will be especially true if any evidence emerges that the story that the ex was abusive was fabricated or exagerated.

I too REALLY want to know just what books Sarah Palin was trying to remove from the library, and I hope the Obama oppo research guys are onto that. For example, it would be much worse if she was trying to pull books on Wicca or abortion rights rather than something that was arguably obscene- though neither would be OK. Originally I suspected she was after the Harry Potter books, but the timing isn't right (first published 1998 in the US).

I don't think the AIP story is that significant, but the founder, Joe Vogler, seems a hell of a lot more controversial than Jeremiah Wright: after he was murdered in 1993 in "a plastic explosives sale gone bad", he "was buried in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada, fulfulling a wish that he not be buried under the American flag" (from Wikipedia, but it's been there since long before the Palin pick.

The AIP story has changed but it's still valid and viable. Multiple appearances at the radical AIP and her husband a long-time member of the same. The AIP happens to be the AK affiliate of the radical right-wing Constitution Party.

I have to agree: if Michelle Obama were a member of the Nation of Islam, and Barack Obama had - though he had never actually joined - attended meetings and spoken so often that the NoI assumed he was a member, that would be an issue.

September 12th exit date...

There's one extremely large group of voters that I suspect will be hugely offended by Troopergate- divorced men who feel unfairly treated by the divorce courts

I would think that this would be mostly balanced by sympathy from women who've been through ugly divorces.

So the fact that she wasn't immediately forced to withdraw is seen as a positive? Does the McCain campaign have any competency standards?

I do feel sorry for the poor daughter. It's tough enough for her being pregnant at 17 in a "you WILL keep the baby and you WILL marry the father" family environment; having Mom choose (and it was a choice; she could have turned the offer down citing family issues and gotten symtahetic press) to bring the world's hottest spotlight down on her must be excruciating.

There has not been too much media coverage of the Vice-Presidential "spouse" -- how well-behaved will her husband be during the campaign. And do you think the media will leave him alone, or swarm him? I think this is a big shoe that hasn't dropped yet.

(He might be sent to Cheney's bunker until the election)

The non-sexist question to keep asking is:

Why won't you testify in the investigation?
Why won't you testify in the investigation?
Why won't you testify in the investigation?
Why won't you testify in the investigation?
Why won't you testify in the investigation?

ack....sympathetic press

Z. Mulls, how DARE you badger this poor, innocent WOMAN, who can't be expected to stand up for herself in the political fray? You SEXIST!

Giuliani says Palin ready to handle 9/11 crisis

A little late for that, don't you think?

Oh, and can we go ahead and make Israel the 51st state already?

Not gonna happen. Too many Jews. Or, at least, not gonna happen until they convert.

Look, Palin's going to do fine in interviews. She's poised and well spoken, she's presentable, she's lively and likeable. The press will love her.

It's also (IMO) a waste of time to keep drilling down into all of the "gotcha" BS.

Nobody cares that her husband had a DUI 20 years ago. Nobody takes the AIP seriously. The only strong reaction anyone has about her pregnant daughter are folks who want to knit the baby some booties.

Here is why Palin is not a suitable VP.

Her conservative evangelical, creationist, no-abortions-ever-for-anyone, book-banning social agenda is not shared by most people in this country.

Governor of Alaska, worthy a position as it is, is not really a strong background for someone who might need to step up as POTUS.

End of story.

Eyes on the prize, folks.

Thanks -


Here is why Palin is not a suitable VP.

Her conservative evangelical, creationist, no-abortions-ever-for-anyone, book-banning social agenda is not shared by most people in this country.

Governor of Alaska, worthy a position as it is, is not really a strong background for someone who might need to step up as POTUS.

Yes, yes, and yes.

That is what I've been saying since the beginning of babygate. This is about policy (She would not be able to win an general election as a POTUS with those positions and resume and yet could very well end up President anyway), and about the hasty and amateur character of McCain's decision making process in choosing her.

The rest is noise.

the focus needs to be both on McCain’s rushed judgment and her rather extreme ideology

Whaddaya mean, "and"? McCain picked Palin because of her rather extreme ideology, and the convenient thing about rather extreme ideology is that it doesn't take a lot of vetting to spot it.

What are you suggesting here, Publius? That due diligence on McCain's part might have led him to the sober judgement that Palin is insufficiently extreme, ideologically? Or that she is insufficiently inexperienced? I kinda doubt that's what you're saying.

I think what you're saying is that a careful 'vetting process' would have considered exactly the sorts of questions, in private, which are now denounced as unseemly in public. Researching a public official's public acts is not what vetting is about, unless you're vetting a person of ambiguous ideology. It's the private stuff that vetting is supposed to dig up. (I count personal vendettas pursued using official powers as 'private stuff'; Palin did not campaign on firing her sister's ex.) Private stuff is either embarassing, or it isn't. If it isn't, or if it is out-of-bounds for civil and respectful public discourse, what's the big deal about insufficient vetting?

--TP

But going forward, the focus needs to be both on McCain’s rushed judgment and her rather extreme ideology. ... I’d be happy for all this to turn out to be a Von Hoffman, but I think Palin needs to be incorporated into a longer-term political criticism.

You can put some emphasis on what this says about McCain's maverick image, too. He wants to portray it as a bold, independent move, but it's really just caving in to the Religious Right. I think that could help with the Obama campaign's narrative of McCain as GWB's third term.

I just want the Obama campaign to start using 'McCain' and 'Reckless' in every sentence possible. Say it as often as possible, regarding the lack of vetting, etc. and get it to stick. Then, keep on it, and connect the dots to his reckless approach to international/foreign relations and crises.

I'm sure strategists and wordsmiths smarter than myself can easily find a way to start using the term Reckless to describe everything McCain does...

Palin is giving a speech written for a man.

Maverick!

There may not be a short-term knockout, so Dems should prepare as if they’re trying to win by decision.

If there's one thing I love about how Obama campaigns, its his ability to strategize. We've been playing 'rope-a-dope' ala Muhammad Ali on McCain and so for its been effective. We even managed to force him into the blunder of Palin by playing long-term and focusing on issues.

I have no doubt that the Obama team will make any big changes to their strategy. They'll continue to build steam and just dodge all the punches McCain throws until he collapses and the election is ours. So at the risk of spouting something talking point-ish, just relax, let Obama keep McCain under pressure, and make sure you tell friends and family about the real McCain/Palin.

(So I'm optimistic. Screw you. ^.^)

Also, I’d love to hear about her attempts to ban books -- which ones in particular? There's a pretty high correlation between a leader's scariness and the intensity of their efforts to ban books.

This appears to be even more of a non-story than the AIP false story. I was interested in it but couldn't find anything other than Palin questioning the librarian about "how to ban books." This is coming from one of Palin's opponents, and the librarian in question wouldn't comment. So where's the story? She apparently never actually tried to ban books. Even taking her critics words at face value, she could have simply been asking what the parameters are of banning books. Maybe the librarian told her to go read the Pico decision.


Plus, the expectations are so low tonight that she’ll almost certainly meet them

As I earlier predicted the results would be with the left's attacks. Should have followed the typical "coach" approach to the opposing team. Not only are there low expectations, there's lots of newspaper to hang in the locker room.

Eyes on the prize, folks.

They're not listening, russell, even though I think your advice is spot on for the dems.

From the Time article that publius linked: "In fact, according to some who were involved in that fight, Palin was a highly polarizing political figure who brought partisan politics and hot-button social issues like abortion and gun control into a mayoral race that had traditionally been contested like a friendly intramural contest among neighbors."

Move over Guiliani -- sounds like America's mayor to me.

Here is why Palin is not a suitable VP.


And for a change (or icing-on-the-cake, YMMV): some reasons why-not NOT based on either religious or "family" grounds (which will, pace the ObWings commentariat, p*ss off a lot of voters). That Sarah Palin, despite her artificially-concocted, overhyped reputation as a "pork-buster" executive - was, has been (and probably always will be) quite eager and willing to indulge in the politics of largesse - as long as it's her town/State/favored lobby on the receiving end of the handout.

Two birds with one stone: 1) Palin's reputation as a "maverick reformer", and 2) the idea that she will bring more to the GOP ticket than her looks and a media-juicy "story".


POW. Maverick. War Hero. POW. Surge. POW. True American. Country First. POW. We are all Georgians. POW. War Hero. Knows how to win wars. POW. Maverick.

There, was that so hard? That took me what, about 45 seconds?

But it takes lots of practice to say it with a straight face.

Here is why Palin is not a suitable VP.

Her conservative evangelical, creationist, no-abortions-ever-for-anyone, book-banning social agenda is not shared by most people in this country.

She did her job by getting Dobson et al, on board but nothing can make up for the fact that they haven't been campaigning for McCain from the pulpit for the last nine months.

The fact that she's already been caught lying about her record should undermine the "real reformer" theme that the Republicans have been pushing so hard but that may be too fine a point to make it through the reality distortion field.

In any event, even if she is a net positive, I don't think it's good for McCain that the VP is so dominating the coverage of the convention.

Even if the AIP thing looks weak to us, it is red meat that Obama surrogates absolutely have to go after. I know ObWi expects everyone to take the high ground, but dammit, somebody needs to ask Sarah Palin if she hates America. If she doesn't hate America, then why was she associated with and her husband a member of a group that professes to hate America? Does she denounce and reject the 'hate America' platform? At the very least it knocks them on their heels and forces them to give up the PatriotTM b.s. that they've run on the last 8 years.

There's no need to point out the press' double standard here -- we all know what would have been done to Michelle if she had even thought about black secessionism. But it's not a gotcha to seriously ask the question of what has Sarah Palin ever done for her country? Has she ever made a decision in AK that wasn't just for AK? It sure looks like her entire political career is built off of milking the rest of us for easy money.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
This is about policy

Would that this were actually the case. But if it were, you would have seen different results in 2000, 2002, and 2004. The GOP has been very good at making elections be about everything but policy.

As much as I'm sympathetic to your position that it ought to be about policy, the fact is, barring something way-the-hell-out-there that can also garner a crapload of MSM attention, an over-emphasis on policy has not been a winning strategy for Democrats. Even the 2006 victories had a lot more to do with demagoguery around the war than with policy per se.

Just my 2¢.

Best political metaphor on this mess so far (posted in comments by Chopper over at John Cole's Balloon-Juice):

man, the more i see this the more i think that this is john mccain’s own political shotgun wedding, where the parents of the bride are the christian right.

"but i wanted to marry lieberman…"

The remark of the Son of Cain's senior advisor Mark Salter about Obama to Salon should also be pushed more into the public light: "He has no business being president."
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/03/palin/print.html>link

This appears to be even more of a non-story than the AIP false story. I was interested in it but couldn't find anything other than Palin questioning the librarian about "how to ban books." This is coming from one of Palin's opponents, and the librarian in question wouldn't comment. So where's the story? She apparently never actually tried to ban books. Even taking her critics words at face value, she could have simply been asking what the parameters are of banning books. Maybe the librarian told her to go read the Pico decision.

Given that the librarian was later fired and then rehired under public pressure, there's something to explore here. And a mayor shouldn't be talking about "banning books" anyway....


Would that this were actually the case. But if it were, you would have seen different results in 2000, 2002, and 2004. The GOP has been very good at making elections be about everything but policy.

I didn't get the point across very well. We can fight this on the grounds of policy, or we can fight it on the grounds of personalities. If we do the latter, that's fighting on the GOP's home turf. They will bring in all the culture war stuff and make Gov. Palin out to be a victim of the mean ol' elitist liberal media.

Don't buy into that game. If we keep the focus on policy, the ground favors us, not them. Don't be sucked into using their favorite frame, because they already know how to play that game better than we do.

"But going forward, the focus needs to be both on McCain’s rushed judgment and her rather extreme ideology."

No, the focus needs to be on John McCain. The Vice-President is a distant freaking priority, for god's sake. Quit buying into the red cape the GOP has waved at you, darn it. Get back to pointing out the vast number of problems of John McCain. Palin is just one, now over-done, symptom. Pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

LeftTurn: Don't be sucked into using their favorite frame, because they already know how to play that game better than we do.

Exactly. I keep seeing folks essentially saying “we need to out-GOP the GOP” and I can only shake my head and think “yeah right”.

I’m getting repetitive I know – but so is everyone else. ;) Short term prediction is that she exceeds expectations tonight (because they were low to start with if you like) and by this time next week the McCain post convention bounce has mostly erased the Obama post convention bounce. Back to “margin of error” territory until someone manages to screw up or we find out that the 7 year old got in trouble in homeroom.

Even taking her critics words at face value, she could have simply been asking what the parameters are of banning books.

Asking is not actually banning. But it is *certainly* something, if true. I think we need to wait to verify the truth of it, but if you think that many Americans wouldn't react negatively to this, I think you will be unpleasantly surprised..

For the love of [your name here], please post about something else from time to time. *Please*.

It's still McCain/Bush, folks. Obama has that one right.

The rest is noise.

I think the firing of her brother-in-law's boss needs to be pushed. Corruption and abuse of power -- the Bush legacy continues.

It was only a matter of time: Giuliani says Palin ready to handle 9/11 crisis

How lon before McCain suggests she could have handled being a POW?

This appears to be even more of a non-story than the AIP false story

False?

Hmmm.

Let's see: Her husband was a registered member of the party for years. She herself spoke at the convention in 2000, and possibly 1994 as well. She was so ingrained with the party that many AIP members thought she was a member.

Now, it was likely false that Palin herself was a member of the AIP, but there is certainly something to the story of her connections to the AIP.

Corruption and abuse of power -- the Bush legacy continues.

and now she's refusing to testify. why, what a completely original approach for a Republican to take! yessiree, she's quite the maverick reformer.

by this time next week the McCain post convention bounce has mostly erased the Obama post convention bounce

I think that is unlikey. The audience numbers were huge for Obama, and very unlikely to be nearly as large for the RNC except for Palin's speech which may draw a big audience. But she needs to spend the speech establishing her own credentials rather than attacking Obama. After that, back to the snoozefest.

Net result is that what people actually see of the conventions will have been:

- Obama looking presidential and ripping into the GOP.
- Palin defending herself.

That combination is not a net winner for the GOP with undecided voters. I predict that Obama's bounce (Nate at 538 measured it at 6.7 points averaged across multiple national polls) will still be about 4 by this time next week, and might drop another point by mid month. I think Obama comes out of the convention period with a 3 point gain vs. mid August.

If Obama and Biden do well in the debates, McCain and Palin are in deep trouble. The social-con GOTV effort won't be able to overcome a multi-point deficit at the end, because Obama has his own GOTV machine.

This time, the Democrats didn't bring a knife to the gunfight.

I didn't get the point across very well. We can fight this on the grounds of policy, or we can fight it on the grounds of personalities. If we do the latter, that's fighting on the GOP's home turf.

For starters, if we do the former, we re-employ a strategy that simply hasn't worked as long as I can remember -- dating back to at least 1998.

I fail to see why we have to do only one or the other. I understand the caution against over-attacking Palin, but not attacking at all is simply suicide. Yes, we should emphasize policy, because we win there, but we shouldn't exclude attacks if we want to win.

And when I talk about "attacks," I'm not talking about the pregnant teen daughter BS -- I'm fully in hilzoy's camp on that one. I mean attacking her associations, shady dealings, etc. -- the stuff that is directly or indirectly relevant to the job.

This time, the Democrats didn't bring a knife to the gunfight.

I hope you're right, but I've heard that before.

I think it's a safe prediction to say that Palin will exceed expectations tonight -- she showed enough in her introductory shindig to believe that.

What comes after is a different matter.

I think we would all like to see her address policy issues.

Publius: "For instance, maybe someone should ask McCain what he thinks of her position that, if a woman gets raped, she must be forced by the state to give birth."

Actually, I'd like to see Gwen Ifill ask this question in the VP debate -- as well as the idea of burning books, which tramples the First Amendment -- and other hard-line stances of the potential VP.

Of course, Joe Biden can't just stand there like a potted plant. I hope he isn't overzealous when the time comes -- frankly, he should look quite moderate if he doesn't come on too strong.

---

I haven't see anyone tip their hat to Fred Thompson on ObWi's pages, so I will, seeing how I thought he gave a pretty impressive speech, albeit with plenty of dramatic license.

Thompson's re-telling of McCain's POW story was effective. At least he acknowledged that it wasn't a qualification to become POTUS but a reflection of the man's character -- try disputing that at your own peril.

Putting Joe Lieberman on after Thompson had that crowd eating out of his hand seemed odd to say the least. I think you have to view Lieberman's speech as if you were an Independent -- in which you case you might find his endorsement of McCain impressive. Lieberman lost credibility, to me, when he raved about Palin.

It may be petty, but I kept thinking "traitor" throughout Lieberman's speech.

    Net result is that what people actually see of the conventions will have been:

    - Obama looking presidential and ripping into the GOP.
    - Palin defending herself.

- Palin reading someone else's
speech.

And when I talk about "attacks," I'm not talking about the pregnant teen daughter BS -- I'm fully in hilzoy's camp on that one.

I think Hilzoy's "camp" just folded its tents and put out the campfire.

Since McCain's campaign fully intends to use young Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin as props at the convention, is it necessary to take the high road? After all, at some point during the GOP convention we're going to be treated to young Levi and young Bristol being introduced and presumably cheered by the Republican throng.

If one's family is private - and it should be - do we really need to ignore the spectacle of a slew of GOP delegates in full-throated support of a situation they've historically scorned and condemned?

"No interviews, but she does have time for AIPAC"

Given her preachers, and their view of Jews -- read "8-17-08 David Brickner -- Matt 23:37-39 The Jerusalem Dilemma" -- and her Christian fundamentalism and eagerness to use governmental power to push it, she better do something to not lose most all Jewish support.

Hey, Ugh. And we also bring you.

By the way:

[...] In a teleconference held with members of the Jewish press on Wednesday Delaware Senator and Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee Joseph Biden said that Israel must remain a strong ally of the United States, however its decisions "must be made in Jerusalem".

[...]

Biden dismissed the prominent role played by the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, saying the group "doesn't speak for the entire Jewish community," and it "doesn't speak for the state of Israel, no matter what it insists on any occasion."

[...]

The former chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations also criticized presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain's approach to Israel and the United States' diplomatic tensions with Iran by portraying the Islamic Republic as being in a fractured and weak state.

"McCain says it's status-quo or war - and there's nothing in between. We all know Iran is weak and weak economically," Biden said, adding "We should stop making Iran into this 12 foot giant. They are not. they are not. The more we do that, the more we undercut our own self-interest."

Biden also questioned the wisdom of a pre-emptive U.S.-led attack on Iran, at a time when the U.S. is "bogged-down in Iraq," adding that he has been "stunned by the incompetence" of the Bush administration in its handling of the war in Iraq.

And just because most Americans have no clue about Israeli stances:
Barak: Arab parts of Jeursalem could become Palestinian capital
And:
Ramon calls for evacuation of settlers east of security fence


- Palin reading someone else's speech.

It would be really funny if they forgot to take out the part where Lieberman she says: "..speaking as a former Democrat, I didn't leave the party of FDR and Truman, the party left me..".


Gary: Hey, Ugh.

I'm famous! ;-)

What on earth does it mean to say that a speech is too masculine?

And why aren't the people who are crafting the speech to be less masculine (whatever that means) the sexists here?

I didn't get the point across very well. We can fight this on the grounds of policy, or we can fight it on the grounds of personalities. If we do the latter, that's fighting on the GOP's home turf.

For starters, if we do the former, we re-employ a strategy that simply hasn't worked as long as I can remember -- dating back to at least 1998.

It's not clear to me that the strategy as such is bound to fail. It's more that Democrats have been bad at making compelling arguments for their positions since the late '70s; they're good at presenting facts, but much less good at embedding those facts in larger national narratives and, dare I say it, visions, which is where Republicans since Reagan have held the advantage. (The facts Reagan used to support his vision were not always true, but the vision itself was so emotionally compelling that many people didn't care; they could plug in facts of their own that would work just as well.) If anything, Obama's rhetoric before the convention was an overreaction to that problem--he had lots of well-thought-out policy specifics, but he didn't really root his vision in those specifics; the vision just seemed to float in the air. He's getting better, though. And he's not running against a Reagan, or even a Gingrich; McCain doesn't have an overarching vision, just an autobiography and a persona, and the latter is already showing some stress fractures even before the serious pounding has begun. It's possible for Obama to win on both personality and policy; but he'll do it by not sounding like the kind of Democrat we've gotten used to.

this is adorable... reporters talk about Palin, while they think their mics are off.

I hear most Presidential nominees greet the future husband of their Vice Presidential nominee's pregnant, eldest, teenage daughter in front of rolling TV cameras while bleating "leave my Vice Presidential nominee aloooooooooooooone!"

Hogan,

well put.

We had an interesting discussion a week back or so where I put out the proposition that the Republicans have been better storytellers than the Democrats for the last couple of decades, and narratives are what win elections.

"What on earth does it mean to say that a speech is too masculine?"

"My friends, as I said to my wife, the little woman, this morning, I told her with a little luck that she could be the only woman to serve as First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip. And my friends, that's some straight talk."

We had an interesting discussion a week back or so where I put out the proposition that the Republicans have been better storytellers than the Democrats for the last couple of decades, and narratives are what win elections.

I think that's exactly right, and I think one byproduct of the Democrats' lack of a shared story or meta-story is that it makes it easier to paint their party as nothing but a collection of fragmented special interests looking for government handouts rather than a group motivated by common beliefs and principles.

but I think Palin needs to be incorporated into a longer-term political criticism.

trooper-gate has legs.

but you be the judge.

this story contains the audio recording between the governor's agent and legislative laison in the Department of Public Safet, the infamous Bailey Phone call:

http://community.adn.com/node/128967

did Palin know? If so, then let's hope that not only divorced, middle-aged men are alienated by her, as ann says, but also everyone who opposes the abuse of power.

Publius, anybody who thought Palin would literally have to resign from the nomination was kidding themselves. She's definitely here to stay until November; the question is whether she stays crippled or stronger than before. I'm hoping the former, but it's way too soon to tell.

On the Sally Jesse side of the aisle, I hope that more people are (like me) shocked by her horrible judgment in taking an 8-hour flight while in labor with a special-needs baby, than are upset that the blogs beat up on her about it, but we'll see. I hope that the sheer number of insta-scandals taints her rather than (as seemed to be the case with Bush for a long time) made people ignore all the individual details. We'll see.

I agree with redwood that "Troopergate" has legs. And her firing of her police chief and town librarian as Mayor, and her blatant lie about the Bridge to Nowhere should not be completely forgotten, and will no doubt be relevant to other stories that will come up. We must continue to hammer at her inexperience, total disinterest in America let along the world, and far-right positions on, well, everything -- and also on her bad conduct in office.

cleek,

What do Murphy and Noonan say? I'm unfortunately trapped in a spot where I can't listen to computer audio... It's killing me.

B

"this is adorable... reporters talk about Palin, while they think their mics are off."

Mike Murphy is a Republican political consultant, and Peggy Noonan is Reagan's most famous speechwriter, and a Republican columnist, and neither is a reporter, but you're right that it is adorable.

Oh, I found a transcript

Jesus, that's harsh. Noonan and said it's over and Murphy and Todd agree.

Why the hell can't they say that on the air? *ssholes.

I'm all for bashing on Palin on the merits -- viz what Trilobite said just above -- but, as Gary and russell have pointed out: eyes on the prize. Palin's the VP and, in context, is interesting only insofar as the light she sheds on McCain's judgment. McCain's the target here, and the Dems need to react accordingly.

Though I will say that one of the supposed positives about Palin's selection, that she takes coverage from Obama, is, I think a net negative: it's focussing attention on McCain and, in general, that will only be to his detriment. His air of genial maverickiousosity is firmly rooted in the public's ignorance of his true positions; the more people hear about the real McCain, the duller his shine, and the more intent the press will become to destroy the image they helped to create. As TLTIA noted, live by the media, die by the media -- and McCain's number is coming up.

Why the hell can't they say that on the air? *ssholes.

Because Noonan and Murphy are not "reporters" or "analysts," but paid shills for the GOP, and the GOP don't pay shills that say the election is "over" on the teevee two months before it happens. That is a sure way to get your shilly a$$ fired and your paycheck canceled.

"What do Murphy and Noonan say?"

Noonan says "it's over."

There's a full transcript at the link now ("CT" is Chuck Todd, who is a journalist; I hadn't realized he was also speaking):

[...] Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

PN: It's over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MM: They're all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what' sreally the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

Pretty damn ironic of Peggy Noonan, of all people, to be dismissing narratives. Or more bluntly, blind.

I think a good post for Hilzoy would be to compare the qualifications of both Obama and Palin. That will help to illustrate how poorly McCain chose his VP.


do we really need to ignore the spectacle of a slew of GOP delegates in full-throated support of a situation they've historically scorned and condemned?

Works for me.

Conservatives have been running, and winning, on The Great Culture War for 40 years. It works for them because it's something their constituents feel very, very strongly about, so it turns out the vote.

Do you really care that Bristol Palin is pregnant? I don't. Kids fool around all the time, and sometimes they get pregnant. It's not ideal, but it's also not the end of the world. I'm sure the Palins will adjust and deal. They seem like a pretty tight family, and they have some good resources to bring to the table. How they work it out is really not my business. I wish them well.

End of story.

Other than the fact that they see an opportunity to play "gotcha" with Palin and McCain, I think most left-to-liberal folks would probably feel the same way as me.

For social conservatives, Bristol Palin -- daughter of an evangelical, socially conservative family, a young unwed mother who has decided to keep her child and marry the father -- is the living embodiment of everything they think is important.

Try to make some kind of point or object lesson out of her pregnancy, and you'll turn her into Joan of Arc. Her peeps will walk on glass to defend her.

There's no upside in that fight for my side, as far as I can tell.

I'd rather engage conservatives on issues that are actually important to *me*, that *I* feel strongly about, and that are likely to inspire and invigorate *my* tribe.

Expect to see the full Palin clan on the dais tonight. Expect loud huzzahs for Sarah, but expect something close to spontaneous explosions of ecstatic utterance when Bristol's face appears on the Jumbotron.

Maybe that seems weird, but everybody's different. Chacun a son gout. Different strokes, y'all.

I have no interest in fighting with conservatives about it. I just don't feel that strongly about it either way. She seems like a nice kid, I wish her luck, next topic.

Let's engage them on issues *we* feel strongly about. It will work better for us, that way.

Plus, you know, going negative is just so Republican. It creeps me out.

Thanks -

russell....totally agree. Can't say it any better.

Plus, you know, going negative is just so Republican. It creeps me out.

There's a difference between criticizing and "going negative", and it's going to be a crucial distinction to bear in mind for the next few months. In large part because, IMO, the Democrats are going to need to find a way of derailing the -- IMO, rather sickening -- positives of Palin's family without, well, going negative on them. Something along the lines of "We absolutely respect the right of Sarah Palin and her family to make those tough choices... but we refuse to give her the right to make them for you." Otherwise, they're going to -- sickeningly, once more -- ride those kids for all they're worth, possibly even to the White House.

Three key points: (1) McCain's made a huge error here, as he's undercut the reasons that many of the independents supported him in the past and were open to his candidacy (i.e., me). After the Palin selection, I'm so mad I've called the campaign to demand a refund of my campaign contributions. Face it, she's George Bush/Dick Cheney in high heels and the independents see it/should see it and that should be a huge turnoff.
(2) The choice of Palin should energize young woman (and men) who may have taken "choice" for granted. Now they realize (or should realize) the absolute importance of voting Obama-Biden. If Obama - Biden are to win, that point needs to be driven home and those voters need to turn out in historical proportions. Remember, turnout is a key!
(3) McCain's caught himself in the cross fire. While everyone is focusing on the blasts from the left with this choice, don't ignore the fact that a chunk of people from the right who are not happy at all about the exploitation of the children and the glamorization of "teenage love." There was nothing more foolish than John McCain showing up today at the airport for a photo op with the 17 year old, apparently high school dropout, father of Bristol's child. The people offended by this don't have to vote for McCain - Palin, they can vote for Barr or some other third party candidate. Or stay home. Either way, the Obama - Biden ticket benefits.

Net result is that what people actually see of the conventions will have been:

- Obama looking presidential and ripping into the GOP.
- Palin defending herself.

That combination is not a net winner for the GOP with undecided voters.


TLTIABQ, it would be nice if you or I lived long enough to see an election fought like this:

Dems: "We are for policies X,Y,Z; against A,B,C."
Reps: "We are for policies A,B,C; against X,Y,Z."

Got that? Each party agrees on what the policy positions are, its own and the other's, and the election is an empirical measurement of which policies most of the electorate prefers.

This election may yet turn out to be kinda like that, despite all the fuss about lapel pins, pastors, houses, war records, and field-dressing moose(s?). But the GOP is naturally doing its best to frame the election differently. Just as a trivial (in the sense of obvious) example: Obama says he's for X, where X is 'middle-class tax cuts' and against A, where A is 'indefinite occupation of Iraq'; McCain denies that Obama is for X, and denies that he himself favors A. The argument is not over whether X or A are good or bad policies, as far as the GOP spinmeisters are concerned. The argument is over whether McCain is a 'maverick', Palin is a 'reformer', and Obama is a 'patriot'.

The GOP wants to make the election about symbols. Symbols have power -- a power almost orthogonal to policy considerations. Symbols pull people along the north-south axis, policies along the east-west axis. And symbols are easy to be extreme about: if motherhood is good, more motherhood is better; if piety is good, more piety is better; if patriotism is good, more patriotism is better; if tax cuts are good, more tax cuts are better. You might think tax cuts are hardly symbolic, but in a sense they are: the top marginal tax rate, or the 'death tax', are of purely theoretical concern to 95% of Americans -- a symbolic rather than a practical consideration.

The GOP wants to fight on the north-south axis of symbolism; you and others advise the Dems to fight on the east-west axis of policy. To me, the trillion-dollar question is: does the vector along which the typical American votes align better with one axis, or the other? I haven't the foggiest idea.

--TP

Gary: Pretty damn ironic of Peggy Noonan, of all people, to be dismissing narratives. Or more bluntly, blind.

She sounded a bit more confident this morning.

Thanks for the link, cleek.

I usually tune Peggy Noonan out but Mike Murphy was expressing a lot of what he has already said on the air, just more bluntly -- he seems to be an honest guy.

A real sign that McCain went over to the dark side was when he went with the Rove folks and turned his back on MM.

Anarh, good to see you.


Let's engage them on issues *we* feel strongly about. It will work better for us, that way.

Amen and pass the plate!


There is a larger issue here. If you win just by attacking the weakness of the other side, and most especially when those weakness are specific to the individual candidate in this particular election (i.e. personality issues) then after the election is over and you’ve won, you have no mandate to govern.

In order to have a mandate, you have to be for something, not just against the other side. And that something needs to have some meat from a policy standpoint.

This is especially important for the next administration for two reasons:

- The docket is full in terms of challenges to deal with: cleanup on aisle W, healthcare, the economy, re-regulating the credit markets and shadow banking system, our relations with the rest of the world, etc.

- In the wake of the 2006 election the GOP has adopted a strategy of preventing bills from coming to a vote in the Senate. 60 votes is the new majority.

If we are to address any of the challenges listed above, it is going to take some extraordinary arm twisting in the Senate to get bills thru Congress. Obama will not be able to do that if he was elected on the basis of “McCain’s VP’s daughter had a baby out of wedlock” or any of these other more substantive scandals that are swirling around Gov. Palin right now.

That means that while Gov. Palin’s scandals can be used as rhetorical ammunition to score some political points, they should most emphatically not be the main emphasis of the Obama campaign from now till November.

Frankly, I think there are people in the GOP who would be quite satisfied to see Obama win this by a narrow margin and without a broad policy mandate, and then be pinned down by partisan gridlock for the next 4 years while our problems fester and worsen. That would be the perfect setup for them to sweep in as the party of reform in 2012, probably paving the way for an extended period of GOP dominance.

It happened once before, in 1976-1980, and I sure that Karl Rove and co. would love to see 2008-2012 repeat that scenario.

I don’t think Obama and his camp are stupid – I suspect they understand these realities as well as or better than I do. Part of the point of the 50 state strategy is to maximize the chances not only of a Democratic win this year, but of a Democratic win that brings with it a governing majority and a mandate for policy changes adequate to the task of dealing with the very formidable set of challenges we face ahead. That is why I think it is important for us to focus on policy more so than Alaskan soap operas. Not because of the election, but because of what happens after the election is over and the real work begins.

Having said that, from a purely tactical standpoint I would love to see these various Palin scandals continue to play out thru the end of the RNC and into next week to knock down McCain’s convention bounce. After that, it’s time to talk policy.

IMHO, YMMV, etc.

Publius and my ObWi friends,

I know we're supposed to take the high road here, but what the hell is going on? I cannot recall a bigger onslaught of crazy than this Palin fiasco. Even if that story isn't true, what... the... hell? When will this stop? Can't we have one day without some new allegations?

Is McCain REALLY threatening to sue the Enquirer???? That's another lapse in judgement right there, if true....

"...including some detailed public statements denying sensational stories that had not previously been reported by any mainstream media organizations."

Oops.

I'd pick Bristol & Levi for 'Most dangerous Palin scandal'.

The governor's daughter and the self-described 'fuckin redneck' who got her pregnant is going to be an endless tabloid media story, especially with Levi coming to the RNC. This reaches people who aren't touched by the elite political media. I don't know if the McCain campaign is aware of how much babysitting they're going to have to do until the election. I'd bet on Levi eating a news cycle or two by saying inappropriate things over the next two months.

Whatever your pick for top scandal is, the base loves Palin so much that there's no way McCain can let go of her and dispose of this situation.

Suing the National Enquirer? What happened to keeping your sense of humor, Senator McCain?

I think that her record as mayor of Wasilla is a gold mine. Reducing (progressive) property tax by 40% and making it up with (regressive) sales tax including food? Getting outbid for a property then building a facility on it anyway while the eminent domain lawsuit goes through court, ending up with a bill that is thousands per taxpayer for a place for your son to play hockey in? You mentioned the librarian thing. Firing 5 important city servants at once, to be replaced with cronies? This stuff is great on many levels - including the fact that every time you discuss this small-potatoes stuff you make it clearer what a small-potatoes candidate she is.

Game. On.

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