sarah palin knows (exactly 90 seconds worth of material about) the issues


One of the happy byproducts of Sarah Palin’s debate performance, to which conservatives – tense to the point of nausea that she might embarrass herself and her party – overreacted by substituting rapture for relief, is that the McCain campaign may be tempted to once again allow her to face actual questions by an actual reporter.

That would be awesome, because this is still a candidate with tremendous potential to not only stick a foot in her mouth but completely gnaw it off and suck dry the bones before realizing it’s her own.

That Palin showed decently last night was a tribute not to the candidate but the format – a debate sans any debate. The Alaska governor recited her scripts perfectly for the most part. But the questions were broad to the point of uselessness. And what fun we all could have had if the format had allowed for even a single follow-up question or even a bit of back and forth with Joe Biden.

As I noted in last night’s live blog with Luiza Savage, Palin was utterly at a loss on the rare occasions when a question didn’t match one of the 45 index cards she’d committed to memory. She would stare down at her notes. She would umm and ahhh. Consider this reply when the talk turned to nuclear war: “Nuclear weaponry of course would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people and too many parts of our planet.”

Got that? Nuclear war would kill just too many people. Bad nuclear weapons!

Anyone who last night watched CNN’s John King walk through the calculus of election day understands that, with only a month to go in the campaign, a McCain-Palin victory is a longshot at best. They need a miracle.

But the truth is they’re justified in looking on the bright side. They have good reason to believe in miracles. After all, against all odds, millions of Americans continue to look upon Sarah Palin as something other than an absolute joke of a candidate.

Filed under:

sarah palin knows (exactly 90 seconds worth of material about) the issues

  1. drill baby drill. When you have to use that in a debate, surely you are in trouble. And yet, some of that “folksy” talk is not so different from what Dubya has said, or even Ralph Klein speak, so it may still win over people.

  2. That would be awesome, because this is still a candidate with tremendous potential to not only stick a foot in her mouth but completely gnaw it off and suck dry the bones before realizing it’s her own.

    This was pure gold, macleans blogger post of the week. Good to see Feschuk earning his keep as teh funnyman.

  3. Another angry post from Palin’s spurned secret admirer.

    Are you knickers in a twist today, Scott, because Palin did well last night and now the msm’s meme that she’s Quayle II looks foolish and patronizing?

    Lets have a look at some of the gems Biden said last night:

    “we’ve spent less in Afghanistan in seven years than we spend in a month in Iraq” (wrong)

    recently had a meal with patrons at ‘Katie’s restaurant’ (lie – place closed in 1990 and he had the wrong street name)

    “I brought Serbs, Croatians, and Bosniaks together” (Bosniaks???)

    “The idea, he [Vice President Cheney] doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the Vice President. That’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch.” (Wrong, he’s talking about Article II)

    Lebanon/Hezbollah/Bush (wtf was that answer???)


    After all, against all odds, millions of Americans continue to look upon Joe Biden as something other than an absolute joke of a candidate.

    Some people are impressed with Biden because he can bs convincingly. He makes it seem like he knows what he’s talking about when he talks about FDR going on television right after Wall St crash. He’s a convincing liar and buffoon.

  4. Sorry to disappoint you jwl, but “Bosniak” is the correct term.

    They’re a primarily-Muslim ethnic group that is found predominantly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Along with Serbs and Croats — that latter one he got wrong, as Croatian is the name of the language while Croat is the correct name for the people.)

  5. jwl has genius after all, too bad his genius is limited to his own propensity for the fantastical.

  6. It certainly was a pretty baffling piece of political theatre. jwl has a point (I got caught by the “Bonsiak thing as well), but just because Joe Biden is a smooth practiced purveyor of bs doesn’t really impact the astounding emptiness of Palin’s responses.

    But there is something very appealing about her (she is almost begging for our indulgence when she talks because she knows that we know that she has no idea on the specifics) and this is clearly enough to keep her on the ticket.

  7. Charles, you’re absolutely correct about Bosniak, and even Croatian isn’t necessarily wrong – for example, referring to a sports team, you would say “the Croatians are up 2-0”.

    The pressure exerted by the right on Gwen Ifill paid off – she asked very open-ended questions, and almost no follow-ups (where Palin could be counted on to slip from her talking points and reveal her rank ignorance).

    Biden was superb last night. Palin, well….the best we can say is that she *didn’t* screw up as badly as she did with Couric.

  8. Palin did fine at not saying too much that was outright stupid last night. Mainly because she didn’t actually comment on questions she wasn’t prepared for, just started talking about something else. Man, did Biden ever burn her on the healtcare plan. That was pretty funny.

  9. Hey JWL.

    Newsflash. Sarah Palin has a long way to go (40 IQ points, I’s say) to be as smart as Dan Quayle.

  10. Mega5,
    If she is so dumb, how is she the Governor of Alaska? She is very smart and focussed and has left a lot of intelligent, educated people in her wake as she has made her way up the greasy pole. She has certainly not wasted much time on detail or specifics or history or background, but often that is more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to politics.

    It is always a mistake to underestimate the Palin’s of this world.Everyone sneered at Bush for the same reasons and he is just completed two terms as POTUS. How dumb is that?

  11. “How dumb is that?” i believe that is actually the slogan of bush’s eight years in office.

  12. It is still 60 seconds more than Obama who is running for the top job!

  13. You know someone is fighting a losing battle when the best compliment they can give their candidate is to compare them favourably to Bush. It absolutely BOGGLES my mind that there are still people who aren’t either illiterate or millionaires that support him.

    The reason the GOP comes up with candidates like GW Bush and Palin is because they can easily be manipulated into flying the banner of the real operatives (Cheney, Rove, the CIA director of the day, etc.) in something that comes across as layman’s terms. They don’t have the background knowledge in foreign affairs or even the history of their own country to realize what they are ostensibly fighting for, nor do they have the ounce of curiousity it would take to possibly consider getting a second opinion.

  14. What I loved about Palin last night was her incessant repetition of things she’s just learned, as if to substitute for insight – how many times did she say Ahmadinejad? It was so adorable, like a 3rd grader coming home from school having learned a new word and eager to share it with everyone she knows.

    Also, why is no one mentioning her comment about Biden’s wife that “her reward is in heaven”? WTF? I think I heard the sound of every single teacher in America voting for Obama.

  15. teacher’s don’t need money–their reward is in heaven. forgive my ignorance, but is that the same wife who died?

  16. gentry: Croatians would be fine in your example, as it’s referring to citizens of the country as opposed to members of the ethnic group.

    (That said, one can away with using Croatians to refer to the ethnic group, it’s just not technically correct.)

  17. anon,

    No, apparently Palin is hurrying along the death of Biden’s current wife, who is the teacher.

  18. What debate?

    The format is a joke and their should be a panel who judges the candidates on their ability to answer the question.

    Biden at least tried to answer the question. Palin on many occasions provided answers that totally unrelated to the question in favour of scripted material.

    Now the debates are over hopefully the public will be able to see all candidates in their true form to judge them accordingly. In particular, if the back room boys keep Palin from the public interviews I would be very concerned as a voter.

  19. I don’t mind Palin using cue cards and not having memorized everything yet. She’s only running for VP, after all. McCain just has to survive 20 months, because apparently that’s how long it takes to learn enough to be president.

  20. Steve M – I trust your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you typed that comment…because otherwise…your lack of lucid logical deduction is hanging out of the back of your pants…


    can i just say that i am so disappointed that this f’n chick is representing women. i could care less about the shit that comes out of her mouth and i can not let myself think that the americans/alaskans are more dumb than i think by allowing this chick to have any f’n spotlight and waste all of our time.

  22. I thought that Sarah Palin was very stiff and sounded practised. There were some questions which were not answered and, by changing the subject, it appeared that she did not understand the issues. Although I respect the intelligence she must have to be Governor of Alaska, I don’t think that she is ready to take over the presidency of the USA. The position is too important. As someone else on this blog mentioned, it might be too easy for someone who knows the issues to steer her in a wrong direction. Never mind the teachers, Heaven help America!

  23. Give Palin a break. The nutters have to vote for somebody. Our country’s no different.

  24. On CBC someone who worked for Belinda Stronach compared Palin to Stronach. It’s an excellent comparison. Stronach did manage to go pretty far without any actual substance.

  25. “On CBC someone who worked for Belinda Stronach compared Palin to Stronach.”

    There’s at least two differences in that Stronach used her dad’s fortune to buy her way into politics while Palin has climbed the greasy pole without family connections or fortune. And Palin has political experience while Stronach had none.

  26. Plus the IQ differential.

  27. Betcha a bible thumpin, moose shootin, Joe Lunchpail, with nice tits will get the votes.This is foretold by scripture, just ask any bornaginer.The same God that wants an Alaskin pipeline wants Palin as VP.

  28. People love to argue “How dumb could she be? She is the governor of Alaska and she has left many people who underestimated her in her wake..” As if this was sufficient to demonstrate her intelligence. Of course, everyone must admit, that by everyday standards Palin can’t be that stupid — after all, she did memorize all those little stump speeches for the debate. The point is that, when we start talking about leaders of a superpower, we must up our standards of intelligence. If Palin was a friend of mine or a co-worker at my summer job, I would certainly say she is smart. But to potentially be the leader of a nation, she is just wildly inadequate. Not only that, but the mere fact that she is politically skilled says almost nothing about her ability to balance a budget, deal with foreign nations, conduct a war properly, handle congress in an efficient fashion. And whoever said that knowledge of history, law, the constitution etc often gets in the way of being a good political leader needs to check his/her history (but i guess by his/her thinking, this would get inthe way of judging a candidate?). It’s flatly absurd: How are you going to avoid trampling on the constitution when you don’t understand it or its history; how are you going to avoid the same mistakes made in the past if you are shamelessly unaware of those mistakes; how are you going to deal with foreign nations without knowing what their values are. We knew better in roman times (alexander). We should know better now.

  29. “We should know better now.”

    ‘should’ being the key word!

  30. She is mean spirited, but what the anti Obama people want. She will make racist statements to incite the rednecks (many who wear suits). McCain won’t make these statements but wants them made.

    The only time her mouth wll be empty is when she is changing feet.

Sign in to comment.