You, too, can be a doomed man’s running mate


Luiza’s already written about this, but you should read it all. What a consummate five-alarm gong show. It makes the selection of Michaëlle Jean for GG look like the Manhattan Project.


You, too, can be a doomed man’s running mate

  1. Maverick McCain to Mad-Dog McCain within one 24-hour news cycle. Ah yes, the power of cable news. Any bets on when Sarah Palin will step aside for the sake of her family?

  2. I hear Alan Keyes is ready to take over.

  3. McCain is doomed to… what? Lose? Win? Die trying?

  4. Paul I am curious to know why think the NY Times is an authoritative source for Republican news?

    Palin was being considered for vp spot since at least May and the NY Times has interviewed her political enemies to find out if she vetted.

    I think it’s funny that everyone assumes she wasn’t vetted because they haven’t heard of her. People are ignorant about her and they assume McCain campaign must be the same.

    Except for those people already in the tank for Obama, nobody is really thinking she is about to quit. Palin has fired up the base like few others could have and she’s already a major plus as far as McCain campaign is concerned.

  5. “I think it’s funny that everyone assumes she wasn’t vetted because they haven’t heard of her”

    Er, no – people assume that she hasn’t been vetted because of the staggering number of damaging revelations that have come out within a few days (and on a holiday weekend, no less) of her being chosen. So it’s either that 1) McCain knew all of this and chose Palin nonetheless, which shows staggering recklessness and shirking of responsibility or 2) McCain didn’t know, and the only reason for him not to know would be a crappy (or nonexistent) vetting process, because a few bloggers with internet access found a veritable treasure trove of dirty secrets.

    Did you hear that, apparently, Palin didn’t even win that Miss Congeniality as she’s claimed? This just keeps getting better and better.

  6. I think people assume she hasn’t been vetted, because it appears that she hasn’t been vetted. Certainly, McCain’s campaign did not prepare the ground for what they should have known would have been asked – which tells you that they aeither thought

    A) the Democrats wouldn’t ask about things like Bristol, the Alaska Independence Party, Husbands DWI, Bridge to Nowhere, connections with Ted Stevens etc.

    or B) that they had not vetted her and did not know about these things themselves.

    For me, there are shades of McGovern/Eagleton here

  7. jwl, the Times quotes a dozen Republican sources on the record. Don’t be a twit.

  8. Gentry

    What staggering number of damaging revelations are you referring to? I have yet to see anything that illustrates she is bringing the McCain campaign down.

    Once again, the only reason people think she wasn’t vetted is because they are ignorant and she has not been on the national stage for years. There is no reason, yet, to think she wasn’t vetted because Palin was aware in May, at the latest, that she was being considered for vp spot.

  9. Paul It would be nice if you took a look at who the Republican sources are before you accuse me of being a twit. The NY Times has gone to her political enemies and asked them what they think.

    Lyda Green, Gail Phillips and Randy Ruedrich are all on record as not liking Palin because she went after corruption in her own party.

    So if you think interviewing her enemies for a hatchet piece in the NY Times is good reporting, I have to disagree.

  10. jwl possibly you’re confused about what “vetted” means.

  11. What number of staggering revelations? Are you kidding? Chris B listed them above but let’s recap:

    – under investigation for abuse of executive authority (aka Troopergate)
    – Alaska Independence Party
    – pregnant 17 yr old unmarried daughter (which I personally don’t care about but the optics look terrible for a governor who promoted abstinence-only sex ed)
    – no interest in foreign affairs (didn’t even have a passport till 2007)
    – supported Bridge to Nowhere (after claiming to have fought against it)

    Clearly the McCain camp was/is totally unprepared for these revelations which have been hitting national news with staggering speed and frequency.

    Either way, it looks bad for McCain – he didn’t vet her at all and made the decision in haste, or the vetting process was so crappy that they missed all of this stuff.

    But when we put it together with statements from basically *everyone in Alaska* saying they were never consulted, the picture becomes much clearer.

  12. Hi Paul,

    The official line back at the NYT from the McCain website is a mild rebuke but with a troubling claim — the NYT article made stuff up, like her membership to an Alaska separatist party. I’m not screaming bias – but, I sure wouldn’t want the NYT caught in another (serial) case of making stuff up to report.

    “While the press scrambles to report on the process by which Governor Palin was offered the second spot on the Republican ticket, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller has opted instead to make up her own version of events. As the AP reports, “Sarah Palin voluntarily told John McCain’s campaign about her pregnant teenage daughter and her husband’s 2-decade-old DUI arrest during questioning as part of the Republican’s vice presidential search, the lawyer who conducted the background review said.” Yet according to Bumiller, yesterday’s disclosures “called into question” how thoroughly Governor Palin had been vetted. Why the discrepancy? It seems one reporter actually reported the story, while Bumiller made up her own….

    And Bumiller writes that Governor Palin “was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party.” Not true, and unsourced. Governor Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982.

    Ms. Bumiller, if you’d like to try reporting instead of writing fiction, here’s a link to our press line. “

  13. jwl is not a twit. Nor is he confused.
    He’s a self-described librarian…uh,sorry… Libertarian with a concern for media bias such as that shown by the radical crowd that Mr. Wherry foists upon us.

  14. Cheney shot a man in the face. And got away with it.

    Let’s keep things in perspective when considering what is and isn’t fitting behaviour for the Vice President.

  15. “Cheney shot a man in the face. ”

    Isn’t that the perfect imagery for the Bush administration, though?

  16. Watch out chuckercanuck or you too will be called a twit for questioning the NY Times and their partiality when they cover the Republicans!

  17. GMM, I’d like to see you keep your composure during a stressful situation like trying to shoot a bird in a cage.

  18. jwl,

    it was one of the finest moments of the Bush-Kerry debates when Bush did even finish his sentence reacting to a quote from the NYT. It had us neo-geo-theo-brio cons giggling.

    (Note to Paul Wells: you have sufficient authority to guide us to the links as you please and I will follow. I’m not picking on the NYT, just teasing them a little. Although, if they did fudge some stuff about Palin, well, that ain’t too good.)

  19. We will learn soon if Palin can respond under pressure. There is obviously a ton of heat on her to deliver a great speech tomorrow night. If she hits it out of the park, a lot of this will go away. If she craters, her problems will of course persist.

    Look at this from the GOP’s perspective, though. Eventually, the Palin issue will go away in the media one way or another, because at the end of the day no one votes for or against the VP. (The Dukakis campaign ran ads against Dan Quayle in ’88, and they didn’t budge the needle a bit.) After a while, the national media will go back to covering McCain and Obama, while Biden and Palin take on the traditional role of raising money and hitting the secondary markets.

    What will remain for the GOP, though, is the fact that Palin remains a huge winner with the GOP base. A week ago, the GOP had a significant problem with voter intensity. McCain had a very Bob Dole-esque effect on the party. (There were buttons amongst GOP insiders in ’96 that read, “Dole – I guess”.) Palin has now fired up the base like no one’s business — they have raised $10 million since she was named, and the conservative activists who were lukewarm on McCain a week ago are now over the moon with joy. They will move heaven and earth to raise money and get their people to the polls now. McCain needed to get his party united and energized far more than he needed to gain the approval of the Sunday morning talking heads. It is hard to think of a pick that could have done that better than Palin.

    On the vetting issue, there is probably a middle ground. Did they vet her? To the extent they looked at the state trooper issue and the Alaskan Independence Party stuff, the answer is probably yes. Were they thorough? Obviously not if you want to talk about personal life. They may not have known about the husband’s DUI (although it was 24 years ago), and despite their protests to the contrary I’ll guarantee they didn’t know about the pregnant daughter.

    Still, I did hear someone say, only partly in jest, that if McCain/Palin gets the vote of every woman who was already pregnant at the wedding, they win in a landslide. Sure, we all laugh, but think about it — if people are being honest, everyone will acknowledge that at sometime, somewhere in their extended family, they have seen a situation similar to the one the Palins are dealing with.

  20. After all the “revelations” — I like her even more!

  21. Oh please..

    Could we just ask the first question everyone woman has?

    Is she the token woman candidate or a delusion of John McCain’s I’m only 72 and don’t worry about her experience because she energizes the Christian Coalition and I’ll live forever.

    It’s absurd. If this is judgment of John McCain to rush to a decision based on an unqualified woman candidate to pacify the extreme right – it shows he should not be the next President of the United States.

  22. Take your pick of tokens….

    she’s the token right wing extremist.

    she’s the token reformer with a record.

    she’s the token person with executive experience on the either ticket.

  23. Bonnie N…I love it…”extreme right”… what is it that makes her “extreme”?

  24. Bonnie N

    I wonder why you think Palin is a token pick. She has experience in governing. Do you think Hillary would have been a token if she had won the Dem nomination? I wonder because Palin has more experience than Clinton does/did. Clinton has been around for years but has done little except ride her husband’s coattails.

  25. Is this one of those “any news is good news” situations? I suspect more ink has already spilt on Palin in less than a week than has on Biden since he was chosen.

    Anyway, people will argue over whether the Palin was brilliance or insanity (or a combination of the two) but either way it’s pretty obvious that it was made out of desperation.

  26. AH yes, the famously unbiased NYT with the laughable reports from a “source close to the Republican Party”.

    Gee, not even a senior source.

    Must not have as good contacts as those crack Canadian reporters. Their source is always a “senior inside” party member.

    Although the truth level seems comparable.

  27. The teenage daughter of a VP received more scrutiny in 72 hours than Obama has received in the last two years.

    As for Paul Wells snitty defense of the NY times, here’s the explanation from the editor of the “paper of record” as to why the Times witheld on the Edwards love child story (Edwards, a leading candidate for the Obama VP at the time, former Dem presidential candidate, and central Dem party figure):

    “It is … the kind of story that The Times seems instinctively to recoil from, just as it ignored such stories in its own backyard as A-Rod and Madonna and Christie Brinkley’s ugly divorce, and played down the “love child” scandal involving New York City’s only Republican congressman, Vito Fossella, earlier this year. …”

    Today the “paper of record” had no less than three front page stories on the uteral affairs of a seventeen year old girl who has no political import and/or involvement with the political campaign.

    Paul Wells, you (or more importantly the Directors of your company who have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders), may do well to note the paper of record’s dramatic decline in share prices and circulation numbers.

    You (they) may also do well to recognize that engaging advocacy/agenda journalism, while claiming to be simple impartial purveyors of fact, reduces your trustworthines and your brand equity.

    Now….back to your snitty defense of a paper which is in an economic free fall.

  28. Giuliani is speaking Wed at 10 p.m. When is Palin speaking? Anybody know? Is the attack on the media McCain’s get-out-of-Palin strategy? Sort of like an anti-media surge and then declare victory?

  29. I also love the Paper of Record’s(tm) decision to run a full front page story about a speculative rumor involving a potential McCain fling with a woman a decade ago.

    Whereas Obama’s deep ties to Rezco and other “chicago style” dealings that brought Obama to (and kept him in) power, why, that’s just beneath the times. He’s just soooooo dreamy after all.

  30. Mr.Wells doesn’t recognize his Liberal leanings, or the absolutely deplorable bias of a good portion of the Canadian media.

    He sure won’t see it in the Left’s Bible.

    Of course, taking any media at face value is a mug’s game.

    Truth is just a word in that business.

  31. I like when Wells gets proven wrong he always tries to defend himself, but when he can’t, he suddenly becomes absent from the debate.

    I should be nice though, maybe he’s just busy writing some post on jazz that nobody will ever read.

  32. What’s strange to me – apart from jwl and kody – is that the McCain campaign must have done their vetting of other VP possibles: it’s just inconceivable that they wouldn’t have vetted anyone.

    It follows that they picked Palin very, very late in the day. Moreover, the strategy of upstaging the Obama convention apparently trumped vetting: otherwise they could have taken a few days (and a few days is all they needed) to vet Palin, and presumably to rule her out.

    I must say, the McCain campaign is clearly run by nincompoops.

  33. I must say, I didn’t know there were as many literate libertarian nuts in Canada as the Maclean’s blogs attract in one afternoon. Assuming it’s not all sockpuppetry, of course; but presumably the black helicopters (the kind they use to distribute the NYT in rural areas) would be targeting them if they used their real names.

  34. Jack Mitchell Other than reading partisan sources, what makes you think she wasn’t vetted. Did you have the same reaction about vetting when the connections between Biden, his son and Biden’s brother and credit card company MBNA.

    I think how Bristol’s pregnancy was revealed shows that Palin was vetted. What better way to tell america about her pregnant daughter than on a holiday monday, with a storm barreling down on NO, and no one is paying attention to Repub convention.

  35. jwl, Palin was a token pick because it’s impossible to imagine a Republican man with her resume getting chosen. Clinton, however, would not have been a token pick because she would have been chosen by voters – in fact, she was chosen by 18 million voters, about 3000 times the population of Wasilla.

  36. I can’t say that holiday monday/gustav “We are going to flush the toilet” strategy worked so well jwl. I heard on NPR this morning a male caller saying he didn’t have a problem with Palin’s pregnent daughter, because at least “she won’t be going on welfare”.

  37. Some people’s comments indicate an urgent need for a nom de plume.

  38. You know there is a media bias when the media never criticize each other unless they really, really, really have to (ie Jayson Blair).

    No member of the press gallery every publicly questions another member’s sources, bias, ethics, or conflict of interest.

    For instance, how is not universally known that Gloria Galloway’s husband is Dion’s director of communications. I’m pretty sure there should be a disclaimer at the bottom of each of her articles.

    There are so many examples on both sides of the aisle. I just want a simple answer.

    Wells, why isn’t this kind of stuff ever reported? How are these type of conflicts of interest NEVER reported on in the media?

  39. Gentry

    Yes, both Clinton and Obama received lots of votes from the party of affirmative action but I am not sure how that proves either Clinton or Obama weren’t tokens. As far as I can tell, it’s all about colour or gender for the Dems because neither of their two main candidates has much of a resume.

  40. jwl, you’re totally right, neither leading Democratic candidate has the valuable experience of being in a Vietnamese prison, bilking millions of Americans out of their life savings, abusing executive power to get their brother-in-law fired, or preaching abstinence-only sex ed while their teenage daughter gets knocked up.

  41. jwl:

    “Other than reading partisan sources, what makes you think she wasn’t vetted?”

    Your list of non-partisan sources must be slimming vastly, jwl. I hope you’re remembering which ones are outrageously biased, for future reference.

    Um, what makes me think she wasn’t vetted, lessee.

    * Her statement that she hasn’t thought much about the war in Iraq (together with the weird talking point, evidently conceived as a rebuttal, that Alaska is close to Russia so her expertise has been focused elsewhere).

    * The bridge-to-nowhere flipflop.

    * The fact that she once ran a 527 when McCain has been campaigning against them.

    * The fact that she has a 16-year-old pregnant daughter (complicates the pro-life angle).

    * Troopergate.

    * Her tenure as a tax-and-spend mayor of that small town, where her first act was to fire everybody.

    * The fact that she’s under investigation in Alaska and the report comes out a few days before the election.

    This doesn’t necessarily add up to her being a bad candidate, but it means she wasn’t vetted. (“Vetting,” FYI, means “finding out all the skeletons in the closet beforehand.”) There are too many storylines here for the McCain campaign to have approved of.

    Of course, I can hear you saying, if we didn’t have a vast liberal conspiracy in the media keen to exploit these storylines, none of it would be an issue.

    But you see how that’s a circular argument, right? I mean, nothing would be an issue if nobody had any opinions of any kind.

  42. JWL – i think one could argue that there is a bit of a difference between the way a presidential candidate is selected (by all members of the party, and some independents and members of the other party) and a vice-presidential candidate (by one man).

    Somebody selected by 10’s of millions of votes cannot be a “token.” Somebody hand picked, can.

    Anyways, I think the real reason that McCain’s VP matters is that McCain is 72 years old – according to US Government Actuarial table, he has a 3.3% chance of dying this year (and that ignores the exra stress of the Presidency). By the time he is 76, he will have a 4.8% chance of dying.

    Compare that to a 50 year old man – 0.6%. There is a very real possibility that McCain’s VP will become president. It sounds awful to say that, but it is true

    Here is my link:

  43. Yes. One could “think” about something and then run their mouth off, looking foolish and uninformed in the process.

    Or one could investigate and find out that they were propagating propaganda.

    Amazing how popular the former is with some folk.

  44. Poor old Momma McCain. Still going strong at 96.

    Besides, you guys could reuse all your Reagan talking points.

  45. Oh, and she also belongs to an apocalyptic, pro-war church:


    Which, unlike Obama, she can’t really distance herself from, since a lot of the Republican base she was chosen to appeal to belongs to similarly Rapture-oriented churches.

    The talking point being, “Hand her the nukes?” etc.

  46. I like shiny things, the Lord, and people.

    Polar bears,depth and good judgement are my enemies.

  47. Jack Mitchell

    I don’t have a problem with how the msm behaves towards the Republicans, at least most of the time because this has not been their finest hour, but I do have a problem with how the don’t do their jobs when it comes to Democrats. All those things you list are insignificant but you have convinced yourself that they are major problems.

    I would like to know why we didn’t have wall to wall coverage of Joe and Hunter Biden and what they get up to and why no one was questioning if they were vetted.

    All that’s happening here is that msm is trying to paint Palin with a bad narrative before she gets chance to create a good one for herself. I watched Meet The Press on the weekend and one of brain trust from Obama’s campaign said they were going to take the high road and not talk disparaging about Palin. Someone else suggested the media would do the dirty work for him and Obama’s man just nodded and smiled.



  48. Bud,
    My Grandma is still going at 95. But anecdotal evidence proves nothing. That is why I used an acturial table, which is based on empirical (you know, testable) evidence. I do not think it likely that McCain will die. However it is MORE likely that he would die than a younger man (like say, George W. or Obama). And a 1 in 20 chance is significant (just)

    If you don’t believe that, then let us have a bet. I will take a random group of 1000 72 year old men, and you take a random group of 1000 45 year old men. For everyone of the former who dies within a year, you pay me $100, and for everyone of the latter who dies, I pay you $100. Sound good?

  49. The media bias is real. Most reporters in the U.S. vote democrat by a large margin as was revealed in a study done on the topic a few years ago. I suspect much the same occurs here in Canada with the journalism schools and universities churning out graduates who’ve not only not questioned there own biased assumptions, but actually reinforced them.

    The farcical non-coverage of democratic presidential candidate John Edwards being a case in point. The NY Times is a good example of a paper whose stories come with cookie-cutter liberal assumptions that shape the coverage. If a story doesn’t fit those assumptions, or if it might hurt the Liberal cause it is not covered or buried at page 22.

    The NY Times once upon a time had some credibility but that was some time ago. Oh, some of our liberal elites like Mr. Wells may think it is still authoritative but for those less ideologically inclined, we do tend to take the reporting there with a grain of salt.

    Is Palin’s daughter running for high school president? Then I guess her story should be reported in the school newspaper. But the NY Times? What a liberal frenzy. But I for one am hardly surprised.

  50. ChrisB, Bud, can’t you embark on less morbid friendly wagers? Please don’t include my demographic in your mortality sweepstakes.

    Sheesh, youz guys. Reminds me of why I don’t want an annuity. Best not to have anyone stake a financial interest in my own death.

    Sleeping with one eye open,

  51. Oh that dern liberal MSM bias. When will the Republicans ever get a break?

    “Me, myself and I, have just one point of view, We’re convinced…”
    – Billie Holiday

  52. Now without casting aspersions one way or another, its worth remembering that John McCain seems to be the “Achilles Heel” of the paper of record. He’s the sun to their Icarus, it seems, and one would think that the Times would try harder to bulletproof itself whenever it tries to report anything about John Sidney or his close friends.

    Was Sarah P a member of the AIP? A prudent reporter would check the voter registraton rolls (a US construct I know, but they are public documents). Apparently, the Times reporter didn’t, preferring a bit of AIP gossip to anything from the State of Alaska. It raises an important question in my mind…where does Liz Bumiller think she works…the Toronto Star? Front page stories in the Times tend to get noticed, even if the fact-checking leaves something to be desired.

    From the Times perspective, this story is starting to look like another Vicki Iseman exclusive; an effort to string together some juicy gossip as a serious new story. I expect that we’ll be hearing from Clark Hoyt soon enough (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/opinion/24pubed.html_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin) explaining how the story didn’t meet the Times’ rigorous news standards, but never quite explaining how it made the front page.

    I have a philosophy that usually applies in situations like this, “if in doubt assume incompetence, not malice.” The problem is that the paper of record can’t seem to hold back when the issue is McCain, whereas a model citizen like John Edwards gets a free pass because the story is “beneath the standards” of reputable journos.

    Personally, I’m still torn as to whether the Sarah P selection is a brilliant political move, or the fork in the road that leads to perdition for McCain and company. But experience shows that McCain has a habit of staring down the Times (over their exclusives) while improving his popularity and raising a whack of cash. I would not be at all surprised to see that that happen yet again.

  53. “jwl, Palin was a token pick because it’s impossible to imagine a Republican man with her resume getting chosen.”

    Bobby Jindal comes close though.

    And talking history and all, I believe Richard Nixon was a Republican.

    So, if you can’t possibly imagine a Republican man with her resume getting chosen you are willfully limiting your imagination considerably.

  54. “Clinton, however, would not have been a token pick because she would have been chosen by voters – in fact, she was chosen by 18 million voters, about 3000 times the population of Wasilla.”

    Its rather Reverend Pfeffer-istic to be skipping a resume step into her mayoral experience by comparing Clinton’s votes to the population of Wasilla rather than the more current comparison of the population of Alaska.

    How many votes did Clinton get in Alaska? If we did it that way, Palin creams Clinton many times over.

    I have been sold the idea that Democrats and its Canadian counterpart were big on women. But I can’t imagine a Republican Male with the same resume not being treated as a Governor.

    Maybe the mysoginist left will become a much discussed demographic in this campaign. Should be interesting.

  55. Maybe the mysoginist left will become a much discussed demographic in this campaign.

    Discussed by whom? The media? Yeah, sure…

  56. The NY Times, like MSNBC, caters to a left of centre readership, and is partisan to the point of not reporting stories that don’t fit its ideological narrative and disregarding or slanting facts to fit a narrative it wants to put forward, all in the interests of the political left. One of the mottoes of the left is that the ends justifies the means.

  57. We are not only the mysoginist left, we are the “angry left“. All this name calling is getting me down.

    “Me, myself and I, have just one point of view, We’re convinced…”
    – Billie Holiday

  58. Oh yeah?

    Them’s that’s got shall have, them’s that not shall lose, so the Bible says and it still is news.

  59. “Its rather Reverend Pfeffer-istic to be skipping a resume step into her mayoral experience by comparing Clinton’s votes to the population of Wasilla rather than the more current comparison of the population of Alaska.”

    Right – so instead of 3000 times, we get 30 times?

    “How many votes did Clinton get in Alaska? If we did it that way, Palin creams Clinton many times over.”

    A perfectly sound suggestion, if only Clinton had been running for President of Alaska, and not the United States.

  60. “The NY Times once upon a time had some credibility but that was some time ago. ”

    Yeah, it’s been overtaken in the credibility stakes by more reputable institutions such as Fox News.

  61. “Is Palin’s daughter running for high school president? Then I guess her story should be reported in the school newspaper. But the NY Times? What a liberal frenzy. But I for one am hardly surprised.”

    Isn’t it precious how the GOP suddenly considers family and children “off-limits”, considering they were the ones who opened this can of worms with their highlighting of Palin’s fabulous birthrate, the son in Iraq, and her Downs syndrome baby.

    It’s also difficult not to remember that the GOP never extended such careful consideration when it came to Chelsea Clinton, so it’s difficult to view the Palin’s brood’s current predicament as anything but just deserts (for the parents, anyway).

  62. “I would like to know why we didn’t have wall to wall coverage of Joe and Hunter Biden and what they get up to and why no one was questioning if they were vetted. ”

    But that’s just it – don’t you get it? Joe Biden’s been a Senator for 34 years, and a Presidential candidate twice – there *are* no salacious stories to be told, unless they’ve been told already. He’s already been subjected to intense and long-standing public scrutiny.

    You guys are misunderstanding what “vetting” means – it just means doing thorough research on the candidate, be aware of any potential red flags, and mitigating their effect if at all possible.

    Given the amount of stuff that’s come out in only 3-4 days, I have to think that either 1) she wasn’t vetted, or 2) she was vetted, but they decided none of the myriad revelations coming out would matter.

    In either case, we are talking serious errors in judgement by the McCain camp.

  63. “I watched Meet The Press on the weekend and one of brain trust from Obama’s campaign said they were going to take the high road and not talk disparaging about Palin. Someone else suggested the media would do the dirty work for him and Obama’s man just nodded and smiled.”

    What you’re neglecting to mention, of course, is that a great many conservative pundits and commentators are less than enthusiastic, to put it mildly, about the Palin pick.

    I guess I don’t get it – if Obama had made such an egregiously disastrous pick for VP, I’d be all up in his junk about it, instead of glad-handing it.

  64. gentry, exactly. David Frum, loony leftist.

  65. “A perfectly sound suggestion, if only Clinton had been running for President of Alaska, and not the United States.”

    Simple. Wait for the national count to come in.

  66. Gentry, Jack

    You have one conservative writer who worries about her experience and that’s evidence Repubs don’t support her? If you read more than NY Times and other partisan sources, you would see the base is fired up about her but you two continue to keep your heads in the sand.

    I think Palin is brilliant, I am totally in the tank for her. I don’t think a loss this election would be all that bad for her because she’ll gain gravitas over the next few years and be front of the line for Repub president nominee next round. Her and Jindal are future Dem slayers.

  67. I never claimed the base doesn’t support her – I was merely responding to your assertion that questions about the vetting process and her experience came only from the “liberal” media, which obviously isn’t true even if I do allow you to somehow slot the New York Times into that category.

    Just as a thought exercise, what would have been wrong with picking a more experienced Republican woman? Seems like you’d get all of the Palin benefits, such as they are, without the liabilities – Elizabeth Dole, Olympia Snowe, freakin’ Condoleezza Rice?

  68. For the NYT bashers out there:

    (1) Why do you assume that the McCain press release is more accurate than the Times?

    (2) The source for the membershp into AIP is the head of the AIP. Presumably I can join the AIP without adjusting my official registration with the government.

  69. Gentry

    The NY Times article yesterday was a hatchet job that only Obama-supporters could take seriously. Palin has tried to clean up corruption in her own party and so there are a lot of people who don’t like her and the NY Times interviewed her enemies for an article. I mean, they interviewed Randy Ruedrich for god’s sake, a man Palin filed a complaint against for misusing public resources.

    I like Palin lots because she is normal. Do you ever notice how so many politicians try to portray themselves as ‘one of us’ but they are not. Well, Palin doesn’t have to play that charade because she’s normal, has a normal family and has lead an average life.

    I have a streak of populism in me and I am not a big fan of ‘elites’ in any party. Rice would have been awesome if she had any experience at all in campaigning. I think she would have been a disaster at campaigning, rope-line and would come across as being entirely amateur. Snowe and Dole are as blue blood as they come and I also disagree with a lot of their positions. Snowe is a Repub in name only, she would be more comfortable in Dem party I think.

  70. Like I said, even if we put the NYT article aside, most of the talk in the media yesterday was “Was Palin vetted properly?”, and commentators and pundits of all political stripes generally agreed that she hadn’t been, or at the very least that there was no real evidence that she had been.

    I’m a little disturbed by your repeated use of the term “normal” – I’m not so sure what’s normal about Palin’s family that isn’t the case about Obama’s, for example. If by normal you meant “mainstream”, I’m not sure I agree with that either – some of her views are pretty extreme, though I do understand they dovetail nicely with a certain wing of the Republican party.

    I’ll ask again – don’t you find it disturbing that McCain was cowed into hastily picking Palin when his real top choice was Lieberman, followed closely by Ridge?

  71. I think Palin was vetted, the McCain campaign just kept the process secret and because few know her, they assume no one else does either. Palin has been seen as an up and comer within the party since at least last summer but few people knew of her and they are reacting to NY Times knife in the back articles.

    Obama does not come across as being normal to me because he has not lead an average life. Prep school, ivy league colleges, Law Review, jobs that were created out of air for him and his wife, ties to domestic terrorists, two autobiographies before he’s 50 and with little achievement to his name and bought mansion through his ties to a convicted felon. How many of us can relate to that experience?

    I don’t find it disturbing that McCain choose a conservative, and not a liberal, as his running mate. I am no fan of McCain, disagree with many of his beliefs, but he would have destroyed his chances at presidency if he choose Lieberman or Ridge.

    The Repub base are suspicious of McCain, he seems to go out of his way to poke the base in the eye sometimes, and he would have set off a firestorm within the party if he had chosen either of two guys you suggest. There are reports that McCain campaign was told that if he chose Lieberman, a few state delegations would have nominated their own vp and would have let the delegates decide as a whole who the vp would be. That would have been a disaster.

  72. Alas, jwl, it’s all too true:


    Source = “two knowledgeable McCain officials”

    Your remarks on the logic for the pick are doubtless spot-on, but don’t you think they illustrate how difficult it is for McCain, or any Republican, to appeal to the centre when they have to appease a hard-right base? I mean, I find it difficult to believe anyone could find John McCain too “liberal,” but that’s precisely what the revolutionary wing thinks.

    Well, they’re about to get what’s coming to them.

  73. Again I think we keep coming up against the fact that you don’t understand what “vetting” means. There’s no evidence that the campaign talked to other politicians in Alaska, or businesspeople, journalists, etc, or even done proper research on the Internet. If you think that’s fine, no worries. Personally, I’m a little concerned about a Presidential candidate making his most important pre-election decision “from the gut” rather than after careful and deliberate consideration.

    You forgot to mention that Obama is a Muslim, right? Otherwise it’s not worth responding to, and really, the idea that people would hold it against Obama that he worked hard enough to get into Harvard and become president of the Law Review is laughable, but I guess when we compare to a guy who finished bottom of his class at West Point, perhaps it’s worth a comparison. As for the money thing, McCain of course is considerably wealthier, but in typical Republican fashion did not earn his money. Very relatable, marrying into a beer baroness’ fortune.

    Finally, it’s not a question for me whether McCain chose a liberal or a conservative (btw – Lieberman a liberal? come on). The relevant point is that Liberman was *who* *McCain* *wanted*. His position is so precarious and desperate that he couldn’t even get the VP he wanted, and now is stuck with Palin. I guess it’s still possible he pulls it out, but if he succeeds it will be in spite of his VP, not because of her.

  74. Jack M and Gentry

    I think we keep coming up against the fact that you two don’t understand what “vetting” means. It means a check into her background, which was done, as the article Jack links to illustrates. It doesn’t mean that it has to be done in a way, or on a schedule, that meets the approval of Obama supporters who don’t like republicans.

    I wonder why we didn’t see any articles exploring the minutiae of Obama’s process to pick a vp who said his potential boss wasn’t ready to be president and “the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training”.

    I am no fan of McCain. I think he’s lead an honourable life but I don’t like many of his ideas. And for every McCain and beer baroness’ fortune there is a Kerry and a ketchup billionaire. And I don’t care if Obama is muslim or not but Hillary was certainly quick to imply that he was. I care about character and Obama’s is lacking.

  75. Ooops. When do the other retractions start to come out?

  76. Just to balance things, here is an argument to encourage the left to support Palin after all: Wall Street hates her too.


    It will be interesting to see how well the next administration manages to keep the investment banks from raiding the treasury. Palin doesn’t seem to be on-side with that, and neither does the “real” McCain (wherever he went).

    You know it’s a fun election when neither candidate has any core supporters left.

  77. Kady – I think this is one of the most delightful of your blogs in the last while.
    Couldn’t resist pimping it on Myspace (which is having temporary technical difficulties but will be back online shortly).
    Expect an onslaught shortly of American sourced commentators of all stripes to weigh in with maybe some more balanced / factual based comments…about Governor Palin…

  78. Colleague Wells gets all the credit, Wascally Wabbit – I haven’t really waded into the Palin debacle yet. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but because stupid Canadian politics keeps getting in the way. STOP HAPPENING, THINGS.

  79. Oh Dear – you just went down a notch in my estimations…
    perfect response would have been
    Stuff happens…ah – but maybe it has just become overused!

  80. MarkCh says “Ooops. When do the other retractions start to come out?”

    PW says to “read it all” and you’re a “twit” if you question it. It is the main stream media’s elite newspaper after all.

    They wouldn’t print it if it wasn’t true, right Paul? (Even as we now know that some of it isn’t.)Just like CBS’s Dan Rather wouldn’t report on Bush’s National Guard story unless it was propertly sourced, right?

    Sorry, but agenda reporting is a sad reality in both Canada and the U.S. That includes misreporting, failing to report, and skewing a story with an agenda-ridden narrative.

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