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November 05, 2008

Comments

Fox says... Africa a country... Heartbeat away...

AHH!!!

Maybe there's something to the theory that McCain was throwing the election.

Let the scapegoating begin!!!

No, she wasn't qualified. Yes, she did the best she could. Was it her fault? Only because she took advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Republican party really blew it this time.

The running disagreement between my wife and I was whether or not Palin was dumb or just uninformed and incurious. I've held to what I felt was the more charitable reading of her candidacy, but tonight I had to concede. There really does seem to be an awful lot of dumb piling up at Palin's door.

She wanted to go national in 2012, I think; the odds now are long. A book deal or two, a spot as a radio pundit... I think that's about as high as her star's going to go after this.

I like how Shep smacked down Cameron on the economy being responsible for Obama's rise in the polls rather than the Couric interview (to be sure, it's a combination of these and other factors). These people have got to get their stories straight if they want the Palin teardown and the McCain buildup to be effective.

I like how Shep smacked down Cameron on the economy being responsible for Obama's rise in the polls rather than the Couric interview (to be sure, it's a combination of these and other factors). These people have got to get their stories straight if they want the Palin teardown and the McCain buildup to be effective.

Wow.
OK, so she's out for 2012, then?

No, she wasn't qualified. Yes, she did the best she could.

God, that is SUCH a low bar....

Yesterday made me happy for many reasons. I was overcome with emotion to the point where I couldn't have even told you all the reasons why if you asked me. But one of a few things I know for sure is that I am absolutely ecstatic that soon, I will probably never have to hear another word about Sarah Palin ever again. Its like the moment when the jackhammer gets turned off. The base level of ambient noise feels incredibly pleasant.

From this CBS News piece:

There is evidence that Palin’s presence on the Republican ticket has hurt McCain with some voters. Fourteen percent of Obama's supporters say they once supported McCain, and the top reason given for their switch was McCain's selection of Palin as his running mate.

h/t Atrios.

If this is correct, one out of every seven folks who voted for Obama were once McCain supporters, with the top reason for switching being Palin.

One out of seven.

Don't know how that works out electorally, but I think that might have given McCain the popular vote.

I don't think it's particularly fair for Republicans to be dumping on Palin. Nobody told them they had to put her on the ticket, and she certainly did get the base fired up.

She may, however, also have cost McCain the election.

Hopefully, the lesson the Republicans will take from this is that "red meat for the base" means you get your rear end kicked at the polls.

We'll see how it plays out.

Thanks -

Comedian Jimmy Tingle used to do a bit where he did a dumb American act and said, "Europe? Excellent country!"

Africa's an excellent country, too. And it kinda sorta rhymes with Alaska. You betcha dog on it.

Comedian Jimmy Tingle used to do a bit where he did a dumb American act and said, "Europe? Excellent country!"

Africa's an excellent country, too. And it kinda sorta rhymes with Alaska. You betcha dog on it.

I come here to bury Palin, not to praise her.

Still...let's have a little reality check. Yes, Palin The Governor was and is supremely unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Maybe she was even less qualified than even I suspected.

But the key thing is, McCain chose her. Either he didn't properly check her out before selecting her or he knew what a dingbat she is and picked her anyway. Either way, it shows that he's even less qualified to run this country that she is.

As for Palin bringing down the ticket. I'm sure she lost McCain some votes, but her selection fired up the base and helped bring them out to the polls. Had McCain picked someone else, he might have done even worse than he did.

"If this is correct, one out of every seven folks who voted for Obama were once McCain supporters, with the top reason for switching being Palin."

So

Despite his opponent being tied to an unpopular president and party

Despite his opponent horribly mishandling the problems with the economy

Despite pulling in the youth vote

Despite pulling in the black vote

Despite pulling in the Hispanic vote

Despite being right about Iraq

Despite having the best ground game in years

Despite exciting the netroots

Despite exciting world wide opinion

Despite being calm, collected, and steady, while his opponent was erratic, impulsive, and lurching

Despite the best speech style of any recent candidate

Despite all these advantages, and more, Obama only won because 1/7th of his opponent's base went over because of the VP pick.

This should have been a Reagan-Mondale blowout, or even Washington vs. ....

She may, however, also have cost McCain the election.

I do see the point that you are making but I very much doubt that McCain was ever going to win this election. I think he was very much aware of that and that is why he picked Palin in the first place. If he was going to have any shot, he needed to make a move that significantly changed the dynamic as it existed up to that point. Romney or Lieberman wasn't going to do it. As it happened, he actually put himself in the running for awhile and if a few things had happened differently he might have even finished closer.

The number that didn't vote for him because of her is certainly a compelling statistic. But I think it is difficult to know how many votes he gained that he would not have had without her.

Despite all these advantages, and more, Obama only won because 1/7th of his opponent's base went over because of the VP pick.

Bizarre as it may be, I find that believable. Please see: George W Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Not the same as saying it's necessarily so, or that it's the only factor. Just believable.

My point here is not that Palin necessarily gave the election to Obama. It's that the "red meat" strategy cost the Republicans a significant number of voters.

I hope they take notice.

Thanks -

Carl Cameron and the other smug hack are hyenas.

They eat roadkill.

Palin is roadkill.

I feel sorry for none of them.

I can see bullshit from my house.

I know several people (my wife included) that say Palin completely turned them off of McCain. But I can't say that Palin isn't the reason they didn't vote for McCain - just the first thing that comes to their mind. There is no guarentee that these people would have voted for McCain if someone else was the VP selection.

If Palin was as unqualified as these stories make her out to be, I split the blame 80%/20% between McCain's fault / Palin's fault that she was the nominee. Obviously McCain's poor judgment is outstanding, for such a serious position requires serious consideration and which was not at all performed. But some of the blame rests with Palin for not having enough self-awareness to realize that the position of the VP was beyond her capabilities and experiences at this time (generously assuming she could eventually gain necessary experience while remaining in Alaska).

If my company was to offer me a position of department head, I believe I have enough experiene to apply for the position and would quickly learn that role. But if I was offered the position of CEO I would turn it down in a heartbeat. Being a CEO is way too far removed from the experiences I have gained so far for me to even consider an application.

The list of dumb things Sarah Palin has said is extremely long.

I vote on the "not dumb" side, however, in the sense that I think that has little to do with her IQ, which I suspect is at least above average. She managed to get herself elected Governor of Alaska and I doubt she had much help from Todd.

I think Sarah Palin is the kind of fundamentalist for whom all knowledge is revealed, not learned. I've had political discussions with people like that and it's pretty amazing. They know no cognitive dissonance. They easily believe mutually contradictory things at the same time with no discomfort. All important truth has been revealed to them via their religion so they not only have no use for science, they have no use for most of what the rest of us would call reality. Who cares whether Africa is a country or a continent? That's not germane to God's truth and any kind of curiosity for its own sake just takes away from focusing on that truth.

Every bit of information that does make its way in from the world is filtered through that revealed truth. If it can be used to reinforce those revealed beliefs it is kept for that purpose and if it can't it is simply ignored.

The narrower your world is, the easier it is to function without disturbing that framework.

It's a mystery to me how anyone could not know that Africa was a continent. But if anyone could pull it off, she could.

Let the scapegoating begin!!!

No, she wasn't qualified. Yes, she did the best she could. Was it her fault? Only because she took advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Republican party really blew it this time.

I agree.

Sarah Palin, for all her foibles, is very popular with the base and there are people who do not like that or the populist turn and are fighting against it.

This is just part of the GOP civil war. Did they lose by not being conservative enough (aka. blame McCain) or did they lose by being too socially conservative and populist (aka. blame Palin). Its all about the reaction to the loss and the direction of the party to come.

There is evidence that Palin’s presence on the Republican ticket has hurt McCain with some voters. Fourteen percent of Obama's supporters say they once supported McCain, and the top reason given for their switch was McCain's selection of Palin as his running mate.

----


This just doesn't sound credible to me. I haven't done the math, but my gut (blink?) reaction is that the polling data is being grossly misinterpreted.

It makes sense that a high proportion of McCain voters who switched to Obama did so because of Sarah Palin. Such people presumably either didn't go for Obama's policies in themselves, because they seemed too 'liberal' or thought he didn't have enough experience.

McCain's pick of Sarah Palin, as was said at the time, almost nullified the greater experience McCain had, because she had so little. And the campaign after that suggested that McCain didn't have any policies other than being 'mavericky' and appealing to the wingnuts. So it's not altogether surprising that moderate rightwingers who switched to Obama may have seen Palin as the symbol for all they didn't like about the Republican party.

Don't know how that works out electorally, but I think that might have given McCain the popular vote.

No, Palin was only their top reason. I'm guessing most had at least one other reason for switching to Obama (e.g., the economy, and Fraud Guy's list).

Palin was part of the last election's jokes. Why go back to them? Next election...

(Though it seemed clear to me that the nomination of Sarah Palin to the Vice Presidency, especially given John McCain's age and ill-health making the VP a lot more than purely nominal, was the trigger event that let a lot of Republicans say out loud that they were going to support Obama because he wasn't McCain. )

McCain won't be running next time. Palin might, but she'd never be a serious candidate. And Obama will have had four years of the usual Republican attacks made worse by racism. Who's next?

One of the better comments I've seen since the election on the subject of the Palin nomination was by August Pollak, to the effect that the adorable Obama girls are finally going to get their dog, and its selection will probably be more carefully considered and involve more research and vetting than the McCain campaign used to select a potential leader of the free world in their vice presidential nominee.

Thank you, Sarah Palin!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Republican Strategist: Hey, let's make the argument that 1 in 7 people that voted for Obama would have voted for McCain except for Palin.

Media Guy: Why?

Republican Strategist: Because that means Obama should govern from the center, if you know what I mean.

Sorry, I just boggled. A rumour surfaces that the Republican party wanted to put a woman who can't name all seven continents in charge of an arsenal of about 10,000 nuclear weapons. People wonder how it affected the vote, and how anyone can manage not to know the difference between Africa the continent and the fifty-three or fifty-four countries in Africa. And I can see the point of all that. Just... before you take a car on the road, they make you pass a test, so they know the purpose of a lane, and what the big red octagonal things mean, and that they don't put up those red green and yellow lights up there for decoration. But they'll let you drive an arsenal of ICBMs even if you don't know quite what a "continent" means.

Would be nice, if the Obamas choose a Husky or Malamute for WH dog*. At least one Alaskan would be there then ;-)

*generally not a big dog fan (more a cat person) but I find those beautiful.

This

Fourteen percent of Obama's supporters say they once supported McCain, and the top reason given for their switch was McCain's selection of Palin as his running mate.

does not mean the same as this

Despite all these advantages, and more, Obama only won because 1/7th of his opponent's base went over because of the VP pick.

1/7th of Obama's supporters used to be McCain supporters, yes, but they didn't all switch because of Palin. For all we know there were twenty different reasons given, and only 6% of the switchers gave Palin as their reason. Still makes Palin the top reason; but doesn't mean Palin decided the election.

i like that the leads off by admitting reporters have known all this stuff for a long time now, but couldn't say anything because it was "off the record".

seems to me that the public's need to know this stuff should outweigh the reporter's desire for continued access. the country could have unwittingly elected a giant ignoramus, and the damn liberal media would've kept us from the full story.

Umm, Bush didn't know it was a continent rather than a country either....

"Africa is a country with many problems" or whatever the quotation was.

;)

I can't believe that people believe a single word Carl Cameron said. Even if he's just repeating what he's been told to say what we're witnessing is an attempt by parts of the McCain team to shift all blame for their loss onto Palin.

We're going to witness a internecine struggle in the GOP to assign blame to one faction or another. The War of the Leeks has started.

" As it happened, he actually put himself in the running for awhile and if a few things had happened differently he might have even finished closer."

He probably would have done better had he picked Bo Derek.

I wholeheartedly concur with doretta's comments on the mindset of Christianists like Palin, who do not integrate any information that doesn't fall within the framework of God's revealed truth. It does not become obvious until they start really talking off-prompter and at length. Those who have not been subjected to this type of reality-free environment are not able to fathom it, but it is real and it is frickin' scary.

I am immeasurably relieved that McCain lost for so many reasons, but Palin is chief among them. It will be quite interesting to see if Ted Stevens regains his Senate seat and then steps aside for Palin to appoint herself. Sarah Goes To Washington!

D.R., Alaska changed its law after the Murkowski nepotism. The governor no longer appoints a temporary senator. They just have a special election (within 90 days, I think).

russell: She may, however, also have cost McCain the election.

Hopefully, the lesson the Republicans will take from this is that "red meat for the base" means you get your rear end kicked at the polls.

I hope you are correct. I’m not so sure.

2008 - 120,558,541 total votes cast
Obama: 64,058,618
McCain: 56,499,923

2004 - 121,069,054 total votes cast
Bush: 62,040,610
Kerry: 59,028,444

510,513 fewer votes cast in 2008 than in 2004. (Where did the “turnout shatters all records meme” start anyway?)

Obama got 5,030,174 more votes than Kerry.
McCain got 5,540,687 fewer votes than Bush.
510,513 fewer votes cast.

The actual shift looks like 5 million, but was it a shift? There was something like 9 million newly registered voters running 4:1 in favor of Democrats. Obviously all 7.2 million new Democrats did not vote. But if it was even half, then the actual number of regular Republican and Independent voters who moved from R to D is only a little over a million - the rest stayed home. And Republicans know you can’t count on getting those new voters out for the incumbent next time. It was close enough IMO that I doubt the GOP will learn a damned thing. I imagine they’ll figure what they need next time is more red meat because they just didn’t fire up their base enough this time. I’ll hope you are correct though.

I’m also sorry to report that Palin will be back. The developing consensus (beyond McCain staffers attempts at shifting the blame here) seems to be that she should go back to being Governor, get reelected as Governor, stay in the national spotlight as much as she can, bone up on the issues so she doesn’t come across so goshdarned incompetent next time, then re-emerge as the front-runner in 2012.

OCSteve, I think we'd better wait for all the votes to be counted before making any pronouncements about turnout differences. There are still apparently plenty to go in Alaska, Washington, and California, at least. So I think that explains some of the contradictory reports.

Yglesias has noted Redstate's new project to enforce loyalty to Palin.

Obviously all 7.2 million new Democrats did not vote. ...get to have their vote counted.

Fixed that for you.

510,513 fewer votes cast in 2008 than in 2004.

Or else at least 510,513 more votes just thrown away - plus how many more?

In regards to the 1/7th comments above, what Ajay and Halteclere said.

An undefined majority of respondents to an unspecified question regarding past support of McCain felt at the time they were asked that Palin was the most prominent reason they switched of the reasons available to choose from.

Which is to say, those are some awfully broad conclusions from awfully scant information.

_I doubt the GOP will learn a damned thing. I imagine they’ll figure what they need next time is more red meat because they just didn’t fire up their base enough this time._

That is the generally feeling I get from blogs I troll around on. If only they hit Obama harder, and sooner on his associations, so that he can't establish his own image, they would have won. The scary thing is they might be right. I'm not sure.

Either way, this "labeling" crap is coming again. Enjoy the victory in this battle, but the war is never over.

KCinDC: True – that’s a snapshot as of this morning and I should have noted that votes are still being counted. I’ll try to revisit that when I hear the tally is final.

OCSteve:

Those numbers are off:

More than 130 million people turned out to vote Tuesday, the most ever to vote in a presidential election.

With ballots still being counted in some precincts into Wednesday morning, an estimated 64 percent of the electorate turned out, making 2008 the highest percentage turnout in generations.

In 2004, 122.3 million voted in what was then the highest recorded turnout in the contest between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15306.html

in some states, turnout was the highest it's need in decades. NC, for example was something like 69% - higher than it's been since 84, IIRC.

OCSteve, I was making similar comments yesterday about turnout, but as KC notes there are millions of votes still to be counted, especially absentee, provisional, and (ironically) early votes. If you read the front page at Daily Kos, seemingly authoritative people with a professional interest in not making incorrect statements about electoral results are crunching the availiable numbers and predicting a turnout from 62-64%; the latter would be a record in the modern era. We'll see if they're right, of course. On a related note, Jes, unsubstantiated accusations that millions of votes were discarded seem deeply inappropriate. If you lived in the US or visited one of our elections, you might be aware that while there are definitely issues with voting machines that could in theory fail to record votes or even switch or invent votes, the total number of people attempting to cast votes is a harder number to fudge, and I for one have seen no suggestion that significant numbers of ballots indicated no preference for President.

need = been

wow. mirror-image dyslexia ?

More bizarre to me is that the number one energy expert in the country didn't know which countries were signatories to NAFTA. All snark aside, how could you be even gov of AK and not know that?

and I for one have seen no suggestion that significant numbers of ballots indicated no preference for President.

NC Board of Elections

4,321,001 ballots cast
4,272,701 votes for President

a difference of 48,300

but, given the design of NC's ballot (a Straight Ticket vote doesn't choose President), you don't need to assume anything nefarious.

Like other here, I too was wondering about the "record turnout" hoo-rah: but looking at the numbers (presuming that the figures from this map (via dKos) are accuarate) - I find 122.1 million votes already recorded (about the same as 2004). But if one adds in the the 7.1 M votes shown for MO and NC to the total - assuming they haven't been - you come out with 129.3M total: or near the predicted volume. Which is about 6% more, overall, than in 2004 - and is, of course, a "record" for sheer numbers.

Not bad, but hardly the overwhelming flood some quarters were predicting.

I have to say, I have a new respect for Cindy McCain after reading this from the current Newsweek series:

McCain was sincere. He did not want to win by playing on racial anxiety. He had too vivid a memory of being smeared in South Carolina in 2000. His wife, Cindy, had an even more searing recollection. She personally blamed Karl Rove, Bush's political guru, for unleashing the old Lee Atwater attack machine, using anonymous smear artists to spread around leaflets suggesting that her adopted daughter, Bridget, was the love child of John McCain and a black prostitute. Rove always vigorously denied any such thing, and the link was never proved. McCain, who prided himself on his sense of forgiveness, told friends that he was willing to get along with Rove and move on. But Cindy never did. At a private gathering in Aspen, Colo., in the summer of 2007, a friend asked Cindy whether she would stab Rove in the back if he walked by. "No," she answered, "I'd stab him in the front."

Heh.

I don't think the issue is that Palin didn't know that Africa is a continent. It's that she didn't know that there were many countries in Africa - she thought it was one country. She might not have quite known what a continent was, also.

Beyond that, I wanted to address

But the key thing is, McCain chose her. Either he didn't properly check her out before selecting her or he knew what a dingbat she is and picked her anyway. Either way, it shows that he's even less qualified to run this country that she is.

This is obviously true - McCain showed his unfitness by choosing her, and his aides attempts to cast the blame on her don't make him looking any better.

But this doesn't matter. John McCain is never going to be president, so there's no point any longer in focusing on what the Palin pick says about his judgment. More broadly, John McCain can no longer do anyone any harm, and if he manages to get the media to forgive him for his trespassed, I don't particularly care.

Furthermore, coddling McCain could be useful to us. McCain opposing Obama at this point does no more harm than his single vote in the Senate. But if he can be gotten to support measures proposed by Obama (which, given McCain's history of going all over the ideological map, who knows?), that would be a great boon to Obama. So coddle him, flatter him, talk about what an honorable man he is and how he gave a great concession speech and finally did put country first, etc. etc. etc. It can only help us.

Palin, on the other hand, is a potential threat. She is ambitious, and obviously wants to run for president in 2012. Helping the McCain people destroy her now is good work, and we should support it. McCain is irrelevant, except insofar as he can help us. Palin needs to be destroyed.

Ugh, in many ways I'm no fan of Cindy, but if I were on that jury she would not be convicted.

As a partisan Dem, I want to see Palin atop the GOP ticket in 4 years. I certainly don't want her destroyed.

She is a great gift to all liberals. She is a dumbed-down version of George W. Bush--without his political acumen. She honestly believes she can disguise her profound ignorance by flirtation.

You know, I'm indignant that the Republican party foisted on us a candidate who didn't know that Africa was a continent AND *AND* waited until after the election to disclose it.

Imagine. You're sitting on information that the possible next leader of the free world is woefully incompetent and you're perfectly willing to sit by and watch a country inadvertently subject itself to that.

My favoprite story abouutr Palin is the one from Schmidt about her saysaying out of the bathroom dressed in a ttowel. Is she stupid? My guess is no; her problem is narcissic personality disorder. The spending spree, the winking during a debate, the refusal to submit to an education because Sarah just needed to be Sarh to be loved by all, appearing nearly naked in from of senior staff. She acted like she was running for Homecoming Queen.

There is data which indicates that palin cost McCain Indiana. There are a couple areas tht norma;y go right which narrowly moved left andt he shift is not attribulable to an increase in voters. Exit pollsw showed that people were mad about the
Palin choice.
I don't think Palin cost McCAin the lecdtion but she could have boosted the size of his vicgtory.

Eric: More than 130 million people turned out to vote Tuesday, the most ever to vote in a presidential election.

Hadn’t seen the 130 number. Thanks. Got to love our electoral system. Election called 11PM Tuesday – Thursday morning there are still more uncounted ballets than the difference in the popular vote…

Palin costing McCain Indiana seems like a stretch - there was just a massive shift in Indiana towards the Democrats, far more than in any other state, and I'm not sure that's attributable to Palin. Something else (not sure what) was going on there.

The states that shifted only a bit towards Obama, and that Obama won narrowly (Florida, Ohio, to a lesser extent North Carolina and Virginia) seem like better bets for blaming Palin for McCain falling just short. None of it's enough to give McCain the election - he won states worth 278 electoral votes, I think, with margins greater than his national margin. His 270th electoral vote was in Colorado, which he won comfortably.


Palin, on the other hand, is a potential threat. She is ambitious, and obviously wants to run for president in 2012. Helping the McCain people destroy her now is good work, and we should support it. McCain is irrelevant, except insofar as he can help us. Palin needs to be destroyed.

Even swapping out the emotionally freighted word ‘destroyed’ for something more neutral – say ‘render her politically ineffective’, this logic bothers me.

First, would any of us trust the sources inside the McCain campaign who are dishing out this anti-Palin gossip if they were smearing a Democrat? I see no reason to believe that people who were willing to engage in all sorts of smears and lies regarding Obama have suddenly become unimpeachable truth tellers regarding what was going on inside the McCain/Palin campaign, especially when these stories are so obviously positioned to benefit the person telling them by shifting blame for a failed campaign. So as much as I enjoy the schadenfreude and appreciate the irony of watching the right wing slime machine honed for use against Democrats being turned around on one of their own, I’m taking these stories with buckets of salt until they are confirmed by better evidence than insider gossip.

Second, I don’t like the idea of a Democratic approach to national politics based on the concept of identifying the most likely GOP nominee for 2012 and then trying to tear them down in advance. To me that smacks of the Nixon administration and their obsession with tearing down Ed Muskie prior to the 1972 election. Having won this election, our politics should be driven by policy issues and connecting with voters and their needs, not the personalities and feuds within the GOP. Let them sort out their own mess.

This is not to say that I don’t have a rooting interest in the electoral post-mortem going on inside the GOP right now. I am watching it with some interest mainly because I’m hoping that the saner and more honest conservatives come out on top. I would rather have the GOP run a candidate in 2012 who is a strong threat to win but would govern tolerably well if they did win, rather than see them run someone who seems weak and unlikely to win but who would be a disaster in office if they did somehow pull off an upset, because strange and unpredictable things can happen during an election.

But I think the sort of outcome I'm hoping for within the GOP is unlikely to come out of a nasty attritional battle between adversaries who are trying to tear each other down, and I see nothing positive in encouraging that sort of process. We will all be better off if someone emerges from the GOP who is good at making a positive case for themselves and their policies rather than just attacking.

I'm indignant that the Republican party foisted on us a candidate who didn't know that Africa was a continent AND *AND* waited until after the election to disclose it.

Country First!

Newsweek is killing me by dribbling their big story out over several days. WHERE IS PART 5 DAMNIT?!!?

Michelle Malkin has put up a "thank you" site for Sarah Palin, so that fans can add their encouragement and support. If you feel like losing faith in the American electorate, feel free to read through some of them.

Got to love our electoral system. Election called 11PM Tuesday – Thursday morning there are still more uncounted ballets than the difference in the popular vote…

Seriously OCSteve. We need real reform.

McCain, who prided himself on his sense of forgiveness, told friends that he was willing to get along with Rove and move on. But Cindy never did.

Bullfeathers. She owns the houses, the cars, the money. If she felt so strongly about Rove, when his proteges approachs McCain, she could have told him that his funds would go bye-bye if he hired them. No love for Cindy from me.

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

So coddle him, flatter him, talk about what an honorable man he is and how he gave a great concession speech and finally did put country first, etc. etc. etc. It can only help us.

Doing this while kicking Lieberman to the curb would be fun and worthwhile. I vote YEA.

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

You're sitting on information that the possible next leader of the free world is woefully incompetent and you're perfectly willing to sit by and watch a country inadvertently subject itself to that.

Welcome to 2000!

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

I’m taking these stories with buckets of salt until they are confirmed by better evidence than insider gossip.

Some of them -- blaming staff for her mistakes, not learning (whether out of lack of desire or lack of ability), the "me first" attitude -- seem to be borne out by her conduct that we've seen so far. Specifics may vary, but this seems to be all of a piece with what I've seen of her.

I agree with LeftTurn's 12:28. Besides, if you do want to run against Palin, then destroying her now isn't a good path to that outcome. The destruction would need to come after she gets the nomination.

Got to love our electoral system. Election called 11PM Tuesday – Thursday morning there are still more uncounted ballets than the difference in the popular vote…

Remember that the elections are "called" by the networks and other pundits well in advance of the official returns.

There are problems with our electoral system, yes, but one of them is NOT: "You aren't counting as fast as we're guessing [projecting]."

If you want to know what actually - well, officially - happened, wait until they count the votes. Prior to that, it's all speculation, however well-grounded.

The really devious way would be not to 'destroy' her now but built her up for 2012 (like Limbaugh supported Hillary Clinton). Let the opposition choose the weakest one.
---
Seriously, I think Huckabee would be far more dangerous. He would be also the most interesting opponent for Obama. Battle of the charismatics!
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I say, send her home and keep her under quiet surveillance (so that there will not be any surprise). Meanwhile there is work to do! The next election can wait (hey, Big O is not even in office yet and the Shrub has two more month to cause mischief)
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wonkie, slow down a bit! Your typos begin to make your post difficult to read and that would be a pity.

dr ngo: If you want to know what actually - well, officially - happened, wait until they count the votes. Prior to that, it's all speculation, however well-grounded.

Actually, we’d have to wait until Dec. 15 when the electors vote. I don’t think this crew could really take that. ;) Even then, there is no actual requirement that the electors vote based on the popular vote in their state. So they could really mess with our minds. Of course explaining to all the Americans who firmly believe they have a constitutional right to cast a vote for president that, no, they actually have no such right at all would be such a drag that would never happen. ;)

I'm sorry Harmut. I am a lousy typist at any speed and I have difficulty reading the screen. The font size is a bit small for me. One of these days I'll get one of those computers with a really big screen.

Also I meant to say that Palin may have reduced McCain's support enough to make Obama's victory bigger than it would otherwise have been, but, all in all, I think Obama would have won regardless.

Just not Indiana maybe.

The font size is a bit small for me.

wonkie, have you tried using Firefox? It allows you to change the font size of any web page by pressing Control-Plus and Control-Minus. Life is too short to spend time squinting at the internet.

two things:

WTF kind of word is knowledgeability??

how many people listening to palin does cameron think even knew that africa wasn't a country? therefore how could they notice the gaffe?

palin/wurzelbacher12 oh please, oh please oh please

"Look," (in the voice of your favorite fill-in-the-blank red-team celebrity pundit) "it's a mistake anybody could have made. I mean, really, thinking Africa's a country is no big deal. Besides, who can blame Sarah Palin? Isn't it the media, especially the elite LIBERAL media, that's forever referring to the "State of Egypt", the "Somali Head of State", the "Darfur Region"? I mean anybody could get confused."

"It's like saying the State of Nebraska or the Great Plains Region. If you think of it that way, it'd be so easy for anybody to get confused, especially someone from Alaska. I for one don't see it as a big deal."

It's the perfect sound bite for Bay Buchanan.

@ OCSteve:
"Even then, there is no actual requirement that the electors vote based on the popular vote in their state."

Are you sure about this? ISTR that after a "rogue" elector cast a contrarian EV a few years ago (1988?) - several states (and I think this is a state-by-state standards thing) passed laws tightening up the process, and providing penalties for "mavericks".

palin/wurzelbacher12 oh please, oh please oh please

Be careful what you wish for.

Thanks -

Besides, who would name an entire country Djibouti?


Besides, who would name an entire country Djibouti?

Somebody (perhaps a couple of Canadian DJ's disguised as medical researchers) should call up Gov. Palin and ask if she would be willing to host a telethon raising money to seek a cure for Jungle Fever.

"Knowledgeability" is recognized by the OED as a mid-20th-century coinage, although it seems virtually synonymous with the late-19th-century "knowledgeableness."

This has been the latest installment of helpful lifestyle hints from the Consortium for Obsessive Lifelong Learning, Egregious Generalizations, Etc. [COLLEGE]

I understand what Shep was trying to say, but what I wished he should have said was:

"How is that a defense of McCain's campaign? That she pulled the ratings up? What if she'd never had the Couric interview, what if the economy had held out until November 5th, what if those ratings had stayed up? We would have a VP who doesn't know that Africa is a continent. And John McCain would know it, and the public wouldn't. How is that OK?"

THis is much worse than Caligula making his horse a senator. The horse could never have been emperor, wasn't capable of starting a religious war or making any other bad decisions, and Caligula was crazy, and he never tried to hide the fact that Incertus was a horse.

In short: John McCain is a goddam traitor.

Incitatus, not Incertus. Caligula's chances of winning the US presidency would be rather slim, given his sex life and gay attitudes ;-)

Jay C: Are you sure about this?

I’ll clarify to say that the electors have to vote based on the criteria set by the state legislature. But the states are free to determine for themselves what the criteria are. There is no constitutional requirement whatsoever for the states to base their electoral votes on the popular vote – the states don’t even have to hold a popular vote for president. State legislatures could tell their electors to cast their vote based on a coin flip if they so desired.

One of the biggest shocks (for me anyway) that came out of the 2000 fiasco was learning this. I think the first I heard of it was rumblings that the Florida legislature was considering simply directing their electors to cast their votes for Bush, and I said Huh?!? I dug into it back then and was kind of shocked. I always thought there was a constitutional right to vote for president. Nope. It’s done only by “the legislative grace” of the states.

I was pretty shocked to read this article back at the time.

One of the principal reasons the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to Florida for clarification was that it was unable to tell whether the Florida Supreme Court's decision had violated the Constitution, as interpreted in McPherson. Article II, § 1, clause 2 of the federal Constitution gives to each state the power to appoint its Presidential electors "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct." McPherson interprets this language to give state legislatures plenary authority to appoint electors — authority that is apparently unbounded even by state constitutions.

Yet McPherson's ruling that a state legislature has plenary power over elections is deeply troubling, in light of developments over the last century. For it implies that states may dispense with Presidential elections entirely.

Specifically, McPherson said that state legislatures have virtually unlimited power to designate the manner of selecting Presidential electors. The Court stated, "[t]he Constitution does not provide that the appointment of electors shall be by popular vote . . . and leaves it to the legislature exclusively to define the method of effecting the object." (emphasis added). The Court then noted the variety of methods for selection of Electors that the state legislature could designate, including selection "by the legislature itself . . . ."

The petitioners had also argued that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments confer a right to vote in Presidential elections. But in McPherson, the Court rejected that contention. It stated that the right to vote in Presidential elections is not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, even though Section Two of that Amendment speaks of denials of "the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States."

The Court also said that the Fifteenth Amendment merely states an anti-discrimination rule: If a state chooses to select Presidential electors by a vote of the citizens of the state, then it may not exclude people on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. However, the state has no obligation to hold elections for President in the first place.

In short, none of these amendments — if one accepts McPherson's logic — establishes a constitutional right to vote. Instead, according to McPherson, each places limitations on how voting may occur if and only if the state makes the initial choice to hold an election; the amendments say voting will be non-discriminatory and free of charge — if, that is, we are allowed to vote at all.

As always, IANAL (or a constitutional scholar) nor do I play one on the inter-tubes.

@OCSteve:

Thanks for the interesting info re states and electors: I had looked into a few references, and had noticed that the rules were a bit vague on some points: I hadn't realized that under the terms of the Constitution, states even could change the terms of selecting Presidential electors like that: i.e., into something like one of Jesurgislac's wilder posts.

As always, IANAL (or a constitutional scholar) nor do I play one on the inter-tubes.

Spoilsport. ;)


Breaking news from the "This Just In" department: A Senior McCain campaign spokesperson confirmed on MSNBC today that Sarah Palin did, in fact, know all along that Africa was, in fact, a whole continent... not just a country.

How proud they must be.

wonkie, have you tried using Firefox?

Also there is an extension add-on called "Resizeable Textarea" that allows you to do just that. Also FireFox has built in spell checking, which I, being a typist with skills comparable to Wonkie's, find invaluable.

But maybe we still can arrange a meeting of Palin with the Antarctic prime minister on a pole-to-pole conference or ask her about polar bear protection in Antarctica or whether she thinks that the penguins* should be protected from them ;-)

beloved by the evangelicals since a certain movie came out.

"OK, so she's out for 2012, then?"

I don't see that at all. Reagan made an endless number of similarly ignorant comments. Didn't make any significant difference.

"It's a mystery to me how anyone could not know that Africa was a continent."

It's a much larger mystery to me how anyone could not know which countries are in North America.

"The font size is a bit small for me."

Y'know -- or I guess you don't -- there's no browser made that you can't bump the font size up on. Usually it's by hitting the "control" (or Apple) key, and the "+" key, although you can also set it permanently to a given size via the menus.

Wow. I had no idea that I could increase the font size. Thank you, everyone! Now, I'm looking all over the keyboard and don't see anything that says "spell check", but this is great! Probably another one of those things that everyone on the planet knew about except me.

If you're using Firefox, and want spell-check (which I believe is the spawn of the devil, since it leads everyone who uses it to make constant homonym spelling errors -- god, it makes Matthew Yglesias almost unreadable, for instance -- but that's me, and to be sure, my eyesight, while mediocre, isn't that bad [although I keep my fonts -- which are under "Content," btw, bumped up to 20, myself, and often still bump them larger via the keyboard], go to the "Tools" menu, then "Options" and then "Advanced," and then "General," and check "Check my spelling as I type."

"Probably another one of those things that everyone on the planet knew about except me."

Probably not, but how would people with bad eyesight use browsers otherwise?

Although there's also using a read-it-aloud text-to-speech program, of which there are a jillion free ones. Would you like pointers? (If so, specifying your OS is necessary.)

Oh, and also, of course, if you use Windows, go to your Control Panel, and adjust "Accessibility Options." Under "Display," among other helpful options, you can adjust all your fonts. There are also other options for this in your "Display" Control Panel, as well.

Macs do the same thing, if you're using a Mac. I'm guessing you're not using Linux or something less popular.

I'm using a Dell laptop. My tool drop down menu doesn't have an "options" option, so I guess I'm on my own for spelling. My vision isn't that bad either in one eye. I'm just susceptible to eyestrain because I can only read with the one eye. The letters on the screen have to be close to an inch tall before I can see them with the other one. However, a big font is mush more relaxing to read one-eyed, so I am very grateful for the tip.

No open thread tonight.
Greg at Belgravia Dispatch is back. I figured he'd be back around election time but didn't think he'd take this long.

Gary,
How are you doing - is your injury better?

No, wonkie, you are not alone.

I did not know about the font thing, either, adding to the endless list of things I don't know about these computers. Still trying to figure out how to italizice and bold.

P.S. How is Blackie?

Make that italicize.

Need to find the spell-check on this damn thing, too.

C'mon, Gary, cut the Snow Machine Queen a little slack. What with South Carolina being a state, South Africa being a country and South America being a continent, who wouldn't get mixed up? After all, they all have the same first name. Kinda like Smokey The Bear and Attila The Hun. Easy to get 'em confused what with hows they got the same middle name.

Winkin, Blinkin an Palin...

After all the dust and BS has settled, I think what bothers me most about her is her automatic impulse to lie; to just settle for her best line of malarkey rather than to tell the truth. The Couric question about which newspapers & periodicals she reads regularly (or was it on a daily basis?) was very telling. The truth obviously was either The Wasilla Wahoo (or some other local rag) or "I don't read any printed news regularly. I get my information elsewhere." She was uncomfortable with the truth (whatever it happened to be) and so decided to lie. "I read 'em all," she said (i.e. lied)... and then, when she couldn't name one (got caught in her lie), was left twisting over the void like the spirit of John Ehrlichman. Sad and disturbing. But at least it ended as it should.

In general, I despise liars. Those - like Sarah Palin - the smug in their lying, who think they're outsmarting everyone with their lies - aaarrgggghh!

Blackie is here beside me on the couch. He is fine except for bad flea reaction. I need to take him to the vet to get another round of steroids.

Obviously we did not adopt Lassie. I don't know if I mentioned this: she attacked a dog at the shelter for the crime of being petted by me.

She didn't hurt the other dog (a great Dane/ridgeback mix twice her size! Grabbed him by the throat and threw him to the ground), but it was a definate warning that possesiveness was an issue with her, as it is with Blackie.

So I visit her three or four times a week. I'm hoping that I am the only person in the world who wants a lame pitbull mix for my very own. I'm hoping that when there is space in my house she will still be there for me to adopt.

"I'm using a Dell laptop."

Um, what hardware you have is irrelevant; what operating system are you using? I'm guessing a flavor of Windows, but which one? XP? Vista? 98? 95? I'm guessing not 3.1 or earlier.

"is your injury better?"

Well, it turned out that even the charity option for the orthopedic clinic would cost at least hundreds of dollars, and I prefer not to add that to the couple of thousand I've already been charged by the ER, on top of the ~$1400 for the ER visit back in September, so I decided to wait it out and see how it went, and I'm 94% sure it wasn't a break, and that the break they saw in the injury was an old one, which is what they pretty much leaned towards thinking at the ER, but there definitely was some kind of soft tissue tear (tendon? ligament?; beats me), as it still hurts quite a lot.

But I'm at the point where I can at least limp to the bathroom next to my bedroom, although even just walking downstairs is painful and something I'm holding off on unless I more or less have no choice. It's still pretty swollen, even though it's been a bit over three weeks, though it's all much much much better than it used to be. I took the cast off a couple of days ago, since it was really itching, and hurting more just keeping my foot so stiff.

(I wish I'd taken a picture in the first week; the purples and all were very impressive.)

Because I've had to put all my weight on my right leg, when I've had to move about, my right leg is fairly stressed by now, as well as the rest of my left leg. And that the gout keeps acting up on both feet helps not at all. It's actually been particularly painful the last couple of days, and it's all gotten very boring.

But it does seem to be getting better -- the left foot injury, that is, not the gout -- so it could have been much worse.

"Still trying to figure out how to italizice and bold."

You know the angle brackets? Just put an "i" in between a left and right one where you want to start, and an "/i" where you want to end. Be sure to make sure you've done the latter, or you'll italicize everything beneath where you started!

Same thing with "b" for bold. It's just that simple. Like so, but use angle brackets, not square ones: [i]words I want italized[/i]. That'll look like this: words I want italized.

For bold, like so: [b]words I want bolded[/b]. Which will result in words I want bolded.

To blockquote, just do [blockquote] and [/blockquote], but, again, with angle brackets. And keep in mind that it'll insert an extra line after end of the text when blockquoting, so you might want to close that up.

This is blockquoting.
Although why many people don't know how to use quotation marks, when called for, I have no idea.

Here is one of many guides to HTML tags. I don't know anything much about HTML beyond 6 or so basic tags, myself. It's all you need to get by to italicize, bold, blockquote, underline, strikeover, and link.

It's a much larger mystery to me how anyone could not know which countries are in North America.

Curiously, this is in fact a question ripe for confusion.

If one divides the Americas into North, Central, and South, then North is easy: Canada, US, and Mexico.

But if one looks at continents, there are only two in this hemisphere, North and South America, and North thus must also include Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama. (Listed from memory, just to see if I can do it. ?!)

Drink deep, or touch not the Pierian spring.
(Quoted from memory. ?!?)

Yeah, but I don't recall anyone ever referring to "North America" as other than Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. I'm pretty skeptical that your explanation, my good Doctor, while a lovely defense, applies.

I certainly could be wrong, of course, and making unfair presumptions. But it would seem to go along with not knowing who is in NAFTA.

To be sure, Rich Lowry claims it's lies, all lies!

Besides, I'm a bit fond of having an intoxicated brain.

Unbelievable.

Someone almost was within one heartbeat of being president without knowing that North America was made up of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Clipperton Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Isla Aves, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint-Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Andrés y Providencia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and maybe some other country.

WTF are they teaching in our schools that someone so ignorant could even graduate? Send her back to Alabama. Or wherever.

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