Sarah Palin as McCain's running-mate
August 29, 2008 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Fox, the BBC and CNN have all revealed that Republican US presidential candidate John McCain has picked Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate on his 72nd birthday on the eve of the start of Republican National Convention. Despite being wildly popular in Alaska, Palin has recently been involved in an investigation over whether she dismissed a public safety commissioner because he refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law.
posted by HaloMan (5555 comments total) 135 users marked this as a favorite

 
Palin comparison. Too easy.
posted by ColdChef at 7:57 AM on August 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


Could she be a political bridge builder?
posted by b1tr0t at 7:57 AM on August 29, 2008 [16 favorites]


a bitty?
posted by yonation at 7:58 AM on August 29, 2008


That CNN link is strong.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:58 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


In 2005, before Palin ran for office, the Palin family accused [ex-brother-in-law]Wooten of drinking a beer while in his patrol car, illegal hunting and firing a Taser at his 11-year-old stepson. The Palins also claimed Wooten threatened to kill Sarah Palin's father.

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
posted by ColdChef at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2008 [50 favorites]


Wait, wait, one of the Pythons has been....?

Oh, sorry. I'll get me coat.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You beat me to the punch, though this FPP is better than mine would've been! Never heard of this woman, but it's a smart strategy if only to attract those couple-of-million or so PUMAs, the Clintonites who won't vote for Obama. (Not to be confused with cougars, btw).
posted by zardoz at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2008


Oooww, this is gonna be fun to watch at Alegre's Corner.

(Alegre being a Hillary dead-ender whose fervent support of Hillary has been eclipsed by her hate for Obama, ostensibly out of love for Hillary.)
posted by orthogonality at 8:00 AM on August 29, 2008


All snark aside: History is now guaranteed to be made in November. (Perhaps a silver lining in one case, though.)
posted by DU at 8:00 AM on August 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


McCain wants to siphon the disgruntled/woman scorned Hillary vote, I guess.

Obama's speech last night was incredibly moving. America, such an amazing, wonderful place, would do well to elect Obama. He is the dream realized.
posted by plexi at 8:01 AM on August 29, 2008 [21 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see how successful the strategy of trying to siphon off -- or at least create some cognitive dissonance in -- disappointed Hillary supporters will be. My guess is that even the most bitter Hillary supporters won't pull the lever for someone as pro-life as Palin apparently is.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:02 AM on August 29, 2008


who?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:03 AM on August 29, 2008


Hah! I can't wait until the former Hillary supporters decide that having two X chromosomes is more important than any conceivable position on the issues. Four more years! 100 more years of war! Woohoo!
posted by nasreddin at 8:03 AM on August 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not like it.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:03 AM on August 29, 2008


In a near 50/50 split, all the Republicans would need is a small number of Hillary supporters who cared more about what Hillary represented than her policies to switch over. The man is crazy like a fox.
posted by the jam at 8:04 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


She was a heartbeat away from being Miss Alaska.
posted by Poolio at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


First black president or first female vice president? That's awesome.

My two cents, since that's what this thread is I guess: in comparison to Biden, who seems to have been picked for his expertise and experience, Palin seems like the ultimate ploy to hack the vote demographically - women, younger voters, the base - that seems really off to me. Shouldn't we be thinking now more than ever about who is ready to lead this country on day one, not who can get elected? It all just looks like such a nakedly political move to me in a way that Biden's selection really didn't come off as.

Then again, I'm just another rabid Obama fan in our little echo chamber here, so I don't think the campaign cares what I think
posted by Muffpub at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Movin' water wiv a bukkit? That's Palin.
posted by Mister_A at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not like it.

At least she inhaled.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


All the presidents and VPs in US history have been white and male. That is guaranteed to change this January, barring some freak occurrence, and I think that's awesome.

But is the Christian right really going to accept a mother with a 5-month-old infant going on the campaign trail? I've known too many who think that mothers shouldn't be working at all, or at least not till the kids are in school. And there's no way she's prepard to take over if McCain dies.
posted by Jeanne at 8:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain/Palin: Do it for your ovaries.
posted by plexi at 8:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


She was crowned Miss Wasilla in 1984 and was a runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant.
posted by ColdChef at 8:07 AM on August 29, 2008


What's the over/under on how long it takes McCain to flip-flop on his position on drilling in ANWAR? He currently claims to be opposed. She is for. Hmmm... who do you think will win? Not the oil companies, surely?
posted by The Bellman at 8:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah and Todd Palin have five children: boys Track, 19, and Trig, 4 months, and daughters Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7.

Dear GOD! Vice Presidents don't get to NAME anything, do they?!
posted by ColdChef at 8:09 AM on August 29, 2008 [216 favorites]


Her?
posted by mjthomas at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


So Hillary was cheering for Obama to lose so she can have her run in 2012. Now what? If Obama loses, You have McCain for 4-8 years, then you have to run against Palin, another woman and the sitting Vice President. Not only does this cinch the election for McCain, it completely screws over and buries Clinton. Her dream of being the first female President just got a lot harder.
posted by loquax at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh my god, really?

Really?

Look, to be fair, I was halfway through a post last night on my own site about how ridiculous I though all the hard-right Freepers/Cornerites/etc. were harping about Palin. She was basically their new Fred Thompson. But I am seriously dumbfounded that they would have been this stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, on a PR level this is masterful for McCain. He’s killed all the momentum and press coverage about Obama’s amazing speech last night. So I really am amazed they think that one shot at gaining the press advantage was worth the most unbelievably inept VP pick I could have possibly imagined.

Forget even among fields of conservatives in general: is anyone from the McCain camp going to make a convincing case that Palin is remotely close to the most qualified woman in the GOP to be a heartbeat away from taking over a guy who turns 72 today and has a history of cancer? She has been governor- for 18 months- of a state with a population smaller than Obama’s state senate district in Illinois. Her previous office was the mayor of an Alaskan town with a population smaller than 3,000 people. At the very minimum, Obama has sat in on foreign policy sessions and dealt with national and international issues on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Palin has no foreign policy experience. This is literally one step above giving the slot to the winner of a game show.

So in what I can only perceive as a complete fit of insanity, McCain has decided to destroy with one pick the three talking points he had as an advantage over Obama:

Experience: She has none. Palin is utterly unqualified to be president of the U.S. Senate, let alone the country should anything befall McCain.

Celebrity: She’s a former beauty pageant winner who’s done multiple cover shoots for fashion and culture magazines and her claim to fame is being the subject of an article titled “America’s Hottest Governor.” There will be more talk about how she’s attractive than her actual policy credentials. Her gender, in light of her utter political weakness, will be seen blatantly- and rightly- as the novelty McCain picked it for. There is no clearer a celebrity pick for McCain than this one.

Moderate Female Voters: Putting aside for a moment that she's outrageously anti-choice, if McCain truly believes that what really appeals to middle-age working-class white women is a younger, prettier, but amazingly less-qualified woman getting the promotion that Hillary Clinton didn’t, then I can’t really reflect any greater how utterly deaf to the interests of women the Republican Party is.


Jesus tap-dancing Christ. If McCain wanted a former beauty queen with no experience and a criminal investigation on her record I don’t know why he didn’t just pick his own wife.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [460 favorites]


Very smart choice by McCain. I mean, sure, nobody knows anything about her, but she covers his biggest flaws: too old, and more of the same. Honestly, is there anyone else he could have picked that anyone would be excited about at all?

(Although, the talking heads are going to have a field day with the beauty queen angle.)
posted by designbot at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2008


I have this dreadful feeling that America *will* vote for four eight years more of McBush. Obama seems a bit too good to be true, and a adding a somewhat 'progressive' (if an anti-abortion, life-time member of NRA can be called that) swing to his campaign... my somewhat bitter money is on McCain winning this thing.

Also, she (hopefully unfairly) reminds me of Mrs. Kitty Farmer from Donnie Darko.
posted by Harry at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Twenty bucks says Lorne Michaels gets Tina Fey to play her on SNL. It's uncanny!
posted by ColdChef at 8:11 AM on August 29, 2008 [32 favorites]


Hah! I can't wait until the former Hillary supporters decide that having two X chromosomes is more important than any conceivable position on the issues. Four more years! 100 more years of war! Woohoo!

What's Bizzare is that some of the really hard-core Hillary types have been demanding that Obama not pick any other woman.

Sarah Palin is totally out of left Feild, some people were expecting McCain to pick Kay Bailey Hutchison or even Meg Whitman, along with the usual suspects of Pawlenty or Lieberman or Tom Ridge.

I don't know that much about Palin, I do know she got into office after defeating seriously corrupt incumbent (Lisa Merkowski's father, IIRC) in the republican primary.
posted by delmoi at 8:12 AM on August 29, 2008


Shouldn't we be thinking now more than ever about who is ready to lead this country on day one, not who can get elected?

Don't be silly. I'd take a milf over smarmy Joe Biden any day.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:12 AM on August 29, 2008


Might as well start:

...and this spring she gave birth to her fifth child, who was found to have Down syndrome.

Uh-huh. 44 years old and four kids aren't enough? Did she not get the memo about the high chance of Down's Syndrome for babies born by older (over 35 I believe) women? I imagine wanting to have as many kids as possible has something to do with her religious beliefs. Probably everything to do with her religious beliefs.

The investigation outlined in that last link sounds like an episode of COPS. Real class act we got here. She is easy on the eyes, though, which can only help her TV presence.

And yes, she really was Miss Congeniality. No, really.
posted by zardoz at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


And there's no way she's prepard to take over if McCain dies.

I've heard this from a number of times already, and I don't think the Obama supporters making this claim realize how ridiculous it sounds coming from them. Four years as a Senator is plenty of experience, but two years of governorship? No way she's prepared.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


MCCAIN CHOOSES YOUNGER WOMAN.

Cindy said to be worried.
posted by djgh at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


I question the wisdom of this choice from a McCain perspective. You'll get some PUMAs, sure, but it severely undercuts the Republicans' main line of attack against Obama: that he's not experienced enough. Has Palin ever been outside of the country? Met a foreign leader?

Also: how long before we see footage of the Miss Alaska pageant juxtaposed with a scary attack-ad narrator reminding Americans that the presidency is "not a beauty pageant"?
posted by sy at 8:15 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not only does this cinch the election for McCain...

What.

she coversaccentuates his biggest flaws: too old,

FTFY
posted by DU at 8:15 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


In a near 50/50 split, all the Republicans would need is a bunch of crooked voting machines.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:16 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


I heard they are sending Palin to Russia to sort out this war!

That would be a weird scoop
posted by Harry at 8:16 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."
posted by flashboy at 8:16 AM on August 29, 2008 [87 favorites]


In a near 50/50 split, all the Republicans would need is a small number of Hillary supporters who cared more about what Hillary represented than her policies to switch over. The man is crazy like a fox.

That's what Im thinking. A lot of women who may reluctantly vote Democrat or who dont usually vote will come out in droves to vote for another women, solely on gender. If that gets McCain an extra half percent in 2 or 3 strategic states then he just won. I think this is a genius move.

I feel that Obama just lost or that this race will be decided on a razor thin margin.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:16 AM on August 29, 2008


Clearly McCain's got a thing for beauty queens.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:17 AM on August 29, 2008


Wait, what... McCain selected Harriet Myers as his VP?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:17 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have that same dread. But maybe (just maybe) Obama can actually get the younger demographic to come out and !(@!& vote on what is probably the most important elected position on this planet.
posted by Harry at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia she eats moose burgers. Recipe here
posted by randomination at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2008


Two years ago she was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (named after a pagan god), pop. 8,471.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2008


experience: She has none. Palin is utterly unqualified to be president of the U.S. Senate, let alone the country should anything befall McCain.

She’s a former beauty pageant winner who’s done multiple cover shoots for fashion and culture magazines

Take a gander at Fox News sometime. Do you think any of those peroxide blondes have ever taken a journalism course?

Joe Republican wants gays to stay in San Francisco, a closet full of guns, and a TV full of war and pretty women. If "experience" or "qualifications' were any sort of requirement Republicans would never win.
posted by plexi at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Four years as a Senator is plenty of experience, but two years of governorship? No way she's prepared.

No, four years as a U.S. Senator plus eight years as a State Senator is more prepared than 18 months of governorship and six years as the mayor of a town smaller than your average community college. Can we be done with this one now?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2008 [64 favorites]


Looks like a pretty naked attempt to go after the Ellen Jamesian Society vote -- voters so blinded with anger and bitterness about the primary loss to Obama, that they'll vote for McCain just out of spite, even against the exhortations of their own messiah -- on McCain's part.

I do not think that this cohort is statistically significant in anyway, so it won't work. It's a blown opportunity for McCain.

I was really hoping for Lieberman, if for no other reason than for an opportunity to see both of these demagogic jackasses run out of the country on a rail come November.
posted by psmealey at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


I gather she hates bears.
posted by twsf at 8:19 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uh-huh. 44 years old and four kids aren't enough? Did she not get the memo about the high chance of Down's Syndrome for babies born by older (over 35 I believe) women? I imagine wanting to have as many kids as possible has something to do with her religious beliefs. Probably everything to do with her religious beliefs.

Sarah Palin appears to be an inexperienced politician chosen primarily for short-sighted demographic appeal. But (imho, of course) it's completely distasteful to criticize her for wanting to have children, or for having the misfortunate to have a disabled child. Quite frankly, I found her quoted response about her child in the Wikipedia article:
"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"
To be quite inspiring.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [31 favorites]


Wow. If there was any doubt that this whole election is about identity politics, that's pretty much gone now.

Problem is - McCain is old. Are Republicans really going to be okay with this woman as President?

He's playing to the undecideds, here, but he risks losing his Republican base.

I heard that he might pick her on NPR this morning. The only clue? Someone had updated the wikipedia article about her and then quickly changed it back....
posted by lunit at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:21 AM on August 29, 2008


It's gonna take a lot of popcorn and beer and a real comfortable chair to sit and watch the next few months.....
posted by HuronBob at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"

"Thank God he's not gay, amirite?" she added.
posted by notmydesk at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2008 [63 favorites]


Celebrity: She’s a former beauty pageant winner who’s done multiple cover shoots for fashion and culture magazines and her claim to fame is being the subject of an article titled “America’s Hottest Governor.” There will be more talk about how she’s attractive than her actual policy credentials. Her gender, in light of her utter political weakness, will be seen blatantly- and rightly- as the novelty McCain picked it for. There is no clearer a celebrity pick for McCain than this one.

I also wonder if that's going to seriously backfire with the PUMA types as well, I mean if these older women are upset about all the men that they feel have gotten an easier time in life because of their gender, how are they going to feel about a beautiful woman getting ahead based on her looks, rather then her "hard work". Hillary was never about good looks and glamor.

I mean I don't know at all, but I imagine that some of those women are going to feel that she was picked for her looks, since she really doesn't have much experience. Certainly doesn't compare to Biden or even Obama himself.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]



I've heard this from a number of times already, and I don't think the Obama supporters making this claim realize how ridiculous it sounds coming from them. Four years as a Senator is plenty of experience, but two years of governorship? No way she's prepared.


From wikipedia:

Palin's experience: After being selected as the runner up in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla, Alaska City Council from 1992 to 1996, was elected mayor of Wasilla in 1996, and ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor in 2002.

After charging ethical violations by state Republican Party leaders,[2] she won election in 2006 by first defeating the incumbent governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan governor in the general election.


Obama's experience: A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote.

As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel. After announcing his presidential campaign in February 2007, Obama emphasized withdrawing American troops from Iraq, energy independence, decreasing the influence of lobbyists, and promoting universal health care as top national priorities.


Who sounds more qualified to be President?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:24 AM on August 29, 2008 [24 favorites]


She's a spokesmodel for the conservative right. It's a smart, if revolting, pick.
posted by argybarg at 8:25 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't like Sarah Palin. I admit it's something of a pet issue of mine, but her wildlife management practices in Alaska are horrible. After Alaskan voters voted against aerial hunting of wolves, she went against the will of the people by adding a bounty for wolf kills.

I'm sick to death of this entire "presidential race" and I wish they could just get things over with and let the Republicans steal the election now so we can all go back to our lives already.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:25 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


How tough will Joe Biden be able to get on her in the debate without people calling him a sexist pig? (Notwithstanding his voting record and the whole violence against women legislation thing or anything that actually makes sense)
posted by wabbittwax at 8:25 AM on August 29, 2008


Who sounds more qualified to be President?
posted by Fuzzy Monster


Hyuk. Garsh. The purdy one!!!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:26 AM on August 29, 2008


I also wonder if that's going to seriously backfire with the PUMA types as well, I mean if these older women are upset about all the men that they feel have gotten an easier time in life because of their gender, how are they going to feel about a beautiful woman getting ahead based on her looks, rather then her "hard work".

Hey, in John McCain's time, this was social progress.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:26 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


> In a near 50/50 split, all the Republicans would need is a bunch of crooked voting machines.

You're living in the past, Fuzzy Monster. It's just like that rainforest scare a few years back. Our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:27 AM on August 29, 2008


"I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?"

-- Sarah Palin, on being the possible vice presidential nominee
posted by Rhaomi at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


Bumbling, old senator as President, and the hot, young moose-burger-eating Governor from Alaska as VP?

I've got a great idea for a sitcom.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2008 [25 favorites]


I can't wait for the VP debates. "Governor Palin, Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?"
posted by hydrophonic at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2008 [29 favorites]


Remember when GHWB picked Dan Quale as his Vice Presidential running mate? People have been saying ever since that it was a misstep. This is an even bigger misstep and John McCain doesn't have the horsepower and momentum to overcome such an obviously poor choice. Experience and judgement indeed.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Rhaomi: ""I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?"

-- Sarah Palin, on being the possible vice presidential nominee
"

Source please.
posted by geekyguy at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2008


I've had this nagging fear all along that McCain was going to win no matter what Obama did. Now I know he is. This is indeed a brilliant PR move and yes, this election is historic no matter what.

*sigh* The first woman VP is pretty awesome. I just wish it could be from a campaign that wasn't going to flush America further down the toilet.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2008


LONGBOAT VEEP
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


come again?
posted by photoslob at 8:30 AM on August 29, 2008


But (imho, of course) it's completely distasteful to criticize her for wanting to have children, or for having the misfortunate to have a disabled child.

I am criticizing her for wanting to have children, but what does that have to do with having a disabled child? Please don't conflate these two things. I think it is a fair criticism to question a woman who is 44 years of age, and therefore more likely to have a disabled child. Her decision to have a child in the first place put the child at risk before he/she was even born. I dunno, maybe I'm cranky at the motives of religious types these days, but just because someone wants to be a mother doesn't automatically make it a good idea.
posted by zardoz at 8:31 AM on August 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


Shouldn't we be thinking now more than ever about who is ready to lead this country on day one, not who can get elected? It all just looks like such a nakedly political move to me in a way that Biden's selection really didn't come off as.

What are you talking about? The McCain camp has critized Obama as being too young and inexperienced in foreign policy, and not ready to lead, so Obama chose someone who can offset those charges -- someone who is old and experienced and has lots of foreign policy experience. Of course it was a political move to pick him. Pick the person who can most help you win the election. I mean, duh.

Obama's camp has critized McCain for being old and stuffy and too much like George Bush, and one of McCain's biggest weaknesses is in not being seen as someone who will bring about change, someone who cares about little people, someone who will bring in the breath of fresh air that Obama is seen as. Palin could not be further from George Bush and Washington. She has the same youth that Obama has and McCain lacks. She is a big reformer in Alaska, and is supposedly the most popular Governor in the US. The fact that she may appeal to the ex-Hillary voters is frankly a brilliantly political move. And it reinforces his reputation as a maverick, something the Democrats have been trying to erase during the convention.

I don't usually mind it, and I guess I don't mind it so much in this thread, either, but it is clear to me that Metafilter is so partisan that it can't really view election issues clearly or with any distance. This was a really smart move for McCain, as long as she doesn't have something in her past that will come back to bite him. This next week and the Republican convention might be tough for Democrats.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:31 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


I've gathered some immediate reactions from around the liberal blogosphere, illustrated by pictures of faceless, featureless DC Comics superheroine The Question.
posted by gerryblog at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll work my fingers to the bone for Obama, but this is depressing. Palin is good shtick -- imagine the convention address, the mooseburger recipes, etc. She'll be a horrible VP, but she's politically good pick.
posted by argybarg at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2008


pardonyou? writes "'I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection,' Palin said. 'Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?'"

Lots of Rupublican compassion for an extra chromosome, not so much for men born liking show-tunes and cock.
posted by orthogonality at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2008 [19 favorites]


Well, they won with Quayle.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


My $1.99 opinion: It's a desperation move. Someone who can make the ticket look younger and whom they hope will pull just enough PUMA votes away from the Obama-Biden ticket. I also think they are hoping her looks and personality will take some of the attention off McCain. Clearly, they are tightly managing his interviews and appearances...and for good reason!
posted by jleisek at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2008


Her previous office was the mayor of an Alaskan town with a population smaller than 3,000 people.

The GOP is sick of your lies. The town has 8,000 people now!
posted by Ironmouth at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2008


geekyguy: "Source please."

Here you go. (@2:50)
posted by Rhaomi at 8:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


"Thank God he's not gay, amirite?" she added.

Joke acknowledged, but she's not as conservative on that issue as you might think (which may actually end up causing a problem with ultra-conservatives):

She opposes same-sex marriage, but she has stated that she has gay friends and is receptive to gay and lesbian concerns about discrimination. While the previous administration did not implement same-sex benefits, Palin complied with a state Supreme Court order and signed them into law...Palin's first veto was used to block legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to gay state employees and their partners. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples. The veto occurred after Palin consulted with Alaska's attorney general on the constitutionality of the legislation

on preview: same point to orthogonality
posted by pardonyou? at 8:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This was a really smart move for McCain, as long as she doesn't have something in her past that will come back to bite him.

oops!.

This is a desperation pick folks.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


P-A-N-D-E-R-I-N-G.
posted by agregoli at 8:36 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


brilliant pick; even more brilliant given the fact that many, many Hillary voters saw Hillary as a step in the direction of women's rights. These voters aren't policy voters; they're visceral voters. That's why people still don't understand why Kerry lost in 2004. Voters are more visceral than most think; instead of fighting that ( like dems do), repulicans embrace it, and win. Our voting populace may be stupid, and we may elect corrupt bastards, but Dems have been so inept at understanding voter thinking that they think they'll win on the issues. McCain has such a great shot now.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:36 AM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


The smartest thing that McCain has done so far. Kudos to him for not selecting the "obvious" choices (Pawlenty, Ridge, etc). Palin brings energy, "youth," interesting background, and personality to the campaign.
posted by davidmsc at 8:38 AM on August 29, 2008


Palin faces probe.

That just sounds naisty!
posted by ColdChef at 8:38 AM on August 29, 2008


>Lots of Rupublican compassion for an extra chromosome, not so much for men born liking show-tunes and cock.

What? Where is this gay gene? Science explains homosexuality as being sourced for a slew of issues and we have seen that twins with identical DNA do not fall into the same sex preference. Its highly highly disingenuous to compare down's syndrome to homosexuality. That doesnt make homosexuality a choice, but we cant keep spreading the convenient lie that its no different than downs or hemophilia for bullshit political points. It makes your side look bad. Real bad.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:38 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is a desperation pick folks.

Well, to be fair, Palin is former a former member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. So I guess her energy platform will be using flop sweat as a renewable resource.

Good god I am peeing myself waiting for the debate with Biden now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:38 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is a new era in American history. No matter who wins, a long-standing barrier will be broken. At long last, a non-contiguous state will be represented in the White House!

If only Eisenhower was still here to see the realization of his beautiful dream. *sniff*
posted by designbot at 8:39 AM on August 29, 2008 [16 favorites]


Source please.

Via Politico:

Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain's ticket mate.
Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”

On preview: Rhaomi found the vid.
posted by mjthomas at 8:40 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


I've been carrying on a conversation with my sister all morning about who we wanter to see as McCain's VP. (we're both liberal Democrats.) My best-case scenario for Dems was Palin:

1. The Repubs just lost the "Obama hasn't got the experience" issue,

2. I can't wait to see her head to head against Biden in the debates.

3. I've always thought the PUMA issue was BS. Now McCain looks like he's pandering.
posted by Mcable at 8:40 AM on August 29, 2008


I guess McCain gets to put his "Maverick" hat back on.
posted by ColdChef at 8:41 AM on August 29, 2008


Hey! Here's a female politician it's okay to hate! And she's pretty! Let's break out the sexism!
posted by lunit at 8:43 AM on August 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


It really doesn't matter who John McCain picks.
John McCain could choose a former beauty queen from Alaska as a running mate and he'd still win this election.

Wait...
posted by sour cream at 8:43 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Weird, just weird. So far, this is the most confusing moment in this election cycle.

The effects of this are unpredictable.

It's like Obama upped the ante on the turn last night, forcing McCain, down on chips and with a mediocre hand, to decide whether to give up a substantial pot or gamble and go all in. This is McCain going all in.
posted by C.Batt at 8:44 AM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


This was a really smart move for McCain

I can't disagree with this more. She is a political lightweight, is in no way qualified to be president, and this decision will completely torpedo John McCain's claim to good judgement and the value of experience. If she makes the mistake of attempting to take Biden on in a debate, she will be utterly humiliated. Think John Connally eviscerated Dan Quayle? Just you wait.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:44 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


On preview: XQUZYPHYR nailed it.
posted by Mcable at 8:44 AM on August 29, 2008


Think John Connally eviscerated Dan Quayle? Just you wait.

I'd love to hear Biden say this: "I knew Dan Quayle. I served in the senate with Dan Quayle. You are no Dan Quayle."
posted by Mcable at 8:46 AM on August 29, 2008 [35 favorites]


On preview: XQUZYPHYR nailed it.

Seriously.
posted by gerryblog at 8:46 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


when did Alaska become a state? I thought it was still a territory.
posted by Postroad at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, this is not good for Biden in the debates.

Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, Biden could have wiped the floor with, no holds barred. But where are people's sympathies going to lie when they see an angry old man yelling at the nice, pretty hockey mom who only had a few weeks to get ready before being thrust into the national spotlight?
posted by designbot at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I guess Susan Collins, Christie Todd Whitman, Oympia Snowe, and Elizabeth Dole were busy.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:48 AM on August 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


"I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?"

Well, to be fair no one really knows what the V.P does every day, it's kind of a job you get to define in your own terms with the President. On the one hand you have Cheney, on the other you have Quayle. Some are powerful, some are not.
posted by delmoi at 8:48 AM on August 29, 2008


Or...

"I know Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine...."
posted by R. Mutt at 8:48 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hillary voters saw Hillary as a step in the direction of women's rights. These voters aren't policy voters; they're visceral voters. That's why people still don't understand why Kerry lost in 2004. Voters are more visceral than most think; instead of fighting that ( like dems do), repulicans embrace it, and win.

Hillary voters didn't just vote for a woman, they voted for Hillary Clinton. There's a big difference. Many of them have been following her political career for over a decade, and won't be likely to jump ship to some other woman in politics. If she campaigns strongly against Palin, she has a very good chance of defusing this momentum.

And as far as visceral, GWB won in 2004 off of the Evangelical vote. Many of those same people voted for Huckabee in the primaries this year rather than McCain. And many of those same people probably don't like the idea of having a woman president. I think this pick will lose more voters for McCain than it gains.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:48 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's gonna take a lot of popcorn and beer and a real comfortable chair to sit and watch the next few months.....
indeed!
LOL
posted by a3matrix at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2008


pardonyou? writes "on preview: same point to orthogonality"

Point taken, thanks for the correction.

But note I said "Republican compassion", not "Palin's compassion". Now, since she's pro-life but doesn't hate the gays, so it'll be interesting to see how the Fundies (who don't much like McCain) react to his choice. If he's gained Hillary dead-endrs with Palin but further eroded th Republican base's support, is this a net gain?

I mean, the Fundie base will man your phonebanks and vote. I can't see most of the Hillary dead-enders (other than the public faces of PUMA, who are probably mainly Republican operatives anyway) manning, er, womanning the phone banks. They might vote McCain to spite Obama, but they aren't going to make phone calls for an anti-choice candidate.
posted by orthogonality at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't fathom anyone actually buying into this crap. What a joke.
posted by fusinski at 8:50 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


What a weird choice. An unknown, inexperienced woman from the back of beyond, tainted with the whiff of scandal.

The Republicans either don't want to be elected (can't blame them; the mess that needs to be cleaned up is horrifying) or are so cock-sure about cheating themselves into rule that they can mock the electorate.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:52 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


She is a political lightweight...

One wonders how fast she'll be on her feet in front of the national press. Can she take a curveball with both feet out of her mouth?
posted by DU at 8:52 AM on August 29, 2008


But, can she spell 'potato?'
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."


"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:53 AM on August 29, 2008 [36 favorites]


Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Condoleeza Rice were busy, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:54 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Good god I am peeing myself waiting for the debate with Biden now.

I was thinking the exact same thing. His experience and ability to quickly cut deep with his words? It's going to be like watching a fight between an attack dog and a balloon.
posted by quin at 8:54 AM on August 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


If Hilary campaigns against Palin, going on record as to why Palin is no substitute for herself and that one is better to vote Obama, I doubt there's going to be much crossover voting.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


But where are people's sympathies going to lie when they see an angry old man yelling at the nice, pretty hockey mom who only had a few weeks to get ready before being thrust into the national spotlight?

There is no way he'll yell. He won't intimidate and he won't push hard. Quiet gravitas and appeals to experience, the very themes McCain has been hammering home as essential to this election, will be enough to wilt this pick.

Seriously, you have to wonder what these people are thinking. They push the celebrity line and then McCain undercuts it with his seven homes stumble. They push the experience line and McCain undercuts it by picking a running mate with next to no experience. The underlying anxiety about his candidacy is his age and his fading faculties, a concern which is only exacerbated by this choice. Obama is making decisive moves. He's building an organization and addressing his weaknesses on the national stage. Against that, McCain's campaign begins to look very small.

Also, how can Palin ever hope to fill this suit?
posted by felix betachat at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why is everyone assuming she'll do so poorly in the debates? Because she's a pretty woman?
posted by Perplexity at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


lunit: Wow. If there was any doubt that this whole election is about identity politics, that's pretty much gone now.

In spite of the disagreeable fractiousness of identity politics, which feels like the play-at-home version of corporate special interests, I sense something else in picks like this - a refined political theater that decouples the identity from the politics. That they can win public approval by fulfilling the pattern of "first woman X" without substantively bending to any associated policy is now obvious to them - I submit the Bush administration's very own Black female Secretary of State. Others have already pointed out Palin's stance on abortion.

It's worse than voting for someone who looks like me because I expect preferential representation. It's voting for someone who looks like me for the sympathetic magic, for the drama, for the vicarious hell of it.
posted by kid ichorous at 8:59 AM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


"All the presidents and VPs in US history have been white and male."

Yes, and if I'm remembering right, so have all the first ladies. Palin's husband is Yupik.
posted by merelyglib at 8:59 AM on August 29, 2008


As long as Biden can maintain the "hate the sin, not the sinner" approach that was (imho) well established during the convention, he ought to be able to attack her as firmly on the issues as he would've Romney or Pawlenty.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:00 AM on August 29, 2008


Why is everyone assuming she'll do so poorly in the debates? Because she's a pretty woman?

Why do you assume that's the only basis on which to doubt her performance in the debates?
posted by felix betachat at 9:00 AM on August 29, 2008 [26 favorites]


Here's a female politician it's okay to hate! And she's pretty! Let's break out the sexism!

Suggesting that someone is sexist because they don't like the Anti-Choice, creationist person who counts a beauty contest as election experience is like saying that because you don't care for Obama's healthcare plan, you are a racist.
posted by ColdChef at 9:00 AM on August 29, 2008 [57 favorites]


I just took two minutes out of my day to read up on her bio: this person has never had a job. Either this is a joke, or the GOP brass are the only ones in the know that the occupants of the White House are merely trade representatives of USA, Inc., and when it comes to peddling crap, it's better to offer something better to look at than your competition.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:01 AM on August 29, 2008


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."

"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"


"Anchorage."

"Do you really need encouragement just to answer the question?"
posted by ericbop at 9:01 AM on August 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


All the first ladies have been white males?! Well, that explains Eleanor Roosevelt.
posted by ColdChef at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Quite frankly, I found her quoted response about her child in the Wikipedia article:


"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," Palin said. "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"


To be quite inspiring.


Apart from the amazing and apparently unself-conscious irony of this statement in the mouth of a beauty pageant contestant, I'd be more inclined to agree if it weren't for the fact that all people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer disease in ther forties or early fifties.
posted by jamjam at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I gather she hates bears.

She's 100% on the side of oil drillers with keeping polar bears off the endangered species list.

Sufficed to say, Palin will not be getting The Sierra Club's endorsement.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2008


This is a really poor choice, IMO. Disgruntled PUMA's were going to vote for McCain anyway, and voters who wanted Clinton because of her history of "being a fighter" and a champion of women's rights are not going to be pleased with obvious pandering. Anyone who has the least concern about electing a 72 year old President is not going to be comforted by the thought of a former Alaskan governor with hardly any experience running the country. I think the campaign shot itself in the foot.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."

"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"

"Anchorage."

"Do you really need encouragement just to answer the question?"


Nome?

No sir, we do not. That's why we're asking you.
posted by felix betachat at 9:03 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


oops!.

Are you kidding me? The possible "scandal" is that she might — might — have abused her authority to try to get a cop who drove drunk on the job and tasered his 11-year-old kid fired. I'm sure people are going to be really fucking up in arms over that one. Come the fuck on. If it comes out during the campaign that she did do it, watch her positives jump as the campaign frames her as being hounded by meddling Democratic investigators for taking a bad cop off the street and if she had to bend a few rules to do it, well, that's just how effing mavericky she is ain't it?

Think John Connally eviscerated Dan Quayle? Just you wait.

You mean former vice president Dan Quayle? The guy who won?

Or, what onlyconnect said.
posted by enn at 9:03 AM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the Obama campaign suggested preparing an ad with the video of Palin saying she needs someone to tell her what the VP does and the suggestion was shot down because no way would McCain make such a poor choice.

The Hillary supporters are going to be insulted that McCain made such a bad choice just to pander to women. I'm glad that Obama didn't pick Hillary as his VP, but it would have been killer diller to watch Hillary smash Palin in such a one sided debate.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:03 AM on August 29, 2008


Why is everyone assuming she'll do so poorly in the debates? Because she's a pretty woman?

Yes, it's entirely a sexist thing, and has nothing to do with her lack of experience. Now quick, use the widest brush you have to tar "the left" for being sexist.

Is it December yet?
posted by Remy at 9:03 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I heard that there are so few women in Alaska that a "ten" is a four that brings a six-pack.
posted by Bitter soylent at 9:04 AM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


Trophy running mate? To go with the trophy wife, no?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:05 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't believe how many apparent Lefties on this site are so eager to trip over themselves in anguish over this "brilliant" move, like McCain has somehow locked up the election or something with this move.

As XQUZYPHYR said, "Really?"

Looks like a desperation move to me. What's she bringing to the table other than "woman"? And how is this pick going to bring the Evangelical Right, who already dislike McCain, back into the fold?

Folks, this election is not even going to be close. Mark my words.
posted by mkultra at 9:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


What are the other reasons? Why would lack of experience correlate with being bad at debating?
posted by Perplexity at 9:06 AM on August 29, 2008


[I]t is clear to me that Metafilter is so partisan that it can't really view election issues clearly or with any distance. This was a really smart move for McCain, as long as she doesn't have something in her past that will come back to bite him. This next week and the Republican convention might be tough for Democrats.

Palin was named on Veep lists (and future Pres. lists) a year or two ago, but not recently at all. From a purely pragmatic and political standpoint, the female Veep possibilities were "supposed" to be either Meg Whitman or Kay Bailey Hutchinson. The conventional wisdom has been that Palin was off the table because of her ongoing ethics scandal, it would grossly highlight's McCain's age, fallout from McCain's own hammering Obama on the experience/"ready to lead" issue would land on her as well, she adds little following, name-recognition, or clout to the ticket other than being fairly unobjectionable to the Republican base, and Palin herself has not made any deliberate play for or even demonstrated any interest in the position given that she's been busy taking care of her newborn. In short, she was eliminated from virtually all political insiders' first-tier picks for many, many reasons when she was looked at under cold, objective light a number of months ago. "Smart" is definitely overstating the case for choosing Palin, but "desperate" is being too uncharitable. Let's call a spade a spade: Palin as the VP pick would be extremely risky. I think a pick like this would say more about the McCain camp's own view of their current position, the other VP possibilities, and the expected trajectory of the rest of the campaign than anything else.

It's not the team sitting on a safe lead that calls for a Hail Mary -- but then again, the play's been known to win many a game. It's not exactly a smart play, but not quite as desperate as an onside kick or faked punt, either. It's a risky, usually unsuccessful maneuver that occasionally reaps massive dividends. Palin means McCain is a gambling man.
posted by DaShiv at 9:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [59 favorites]


An awful lot of you seem to be assuming that women voters are shallow idiots, and that PUMAs are more than an invention of Fox News.
posted by QIbHom at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [29 favorites]


But (imho, of course) it's completely distasteful to criticize her for wanting to have children, or for having the misfortunate to have a disabled child.

I think the really pertinent thing here is that her fifth child was born in April 2008, and she returned to work just three days after giving birth.

Obama has been a strong critic of the fact that the US is basically the only "first world" nation that fails to provide paid leave for new mothers. I have to wonder what Palin's view on parental leave is, given the example she's set that basically says to mothers "hey, its not that hard. Just go back to work. You can do it if you try hard enough."
posted by anastasiav at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


A seemingly brilliant move, but in reality, a 100% cynical choice.
posted by interrobang at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2008


Well, if nothing else this clarifies the contours of the crossroads America's arrived at. So which path will it be, America? Which version of yourself will you embrace in this dark hour? Are you the keepers of the bright and perpetual flame of enlightenment values and constitutional democracy, or are you a reality TV show cast handing out free junk food?
posted by gompa at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


zardoz: Her decision to have a child in the first place
It is quite likely that she did not decide to have a child, but that she became pregnant. It happens. Whatever the case, it is non of our business. Did you remark on the number of McCains children, and the fact that it is risky to have a child at a later age as a father (he was 55) in the threads about his nomination?

I found your Did she not get the memo about the high chance of Down's Syndrome for babies born by older (over 35 I believe) women? incredibly offensive. What exactly do you mean? Women who are older than 35 should not have children? Children with Down's syndrome should not exist? Women who get a child with Down syndrome are somehow stupid?
posted by davar at 9:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [28 favorites]


It's like Obama upped the ante on the turn last night, forcing McCain, down on chips and with a mediocre hand ...

What on earth are you talking about, "down on chips"?
For all I know, the media are yapping about how McCain closed the gap in the polls despite the Democratic convention and might be even leading now (although personally, I don't trust the polls and think they are one half skewed and the other half made up on the fly). He's poised to win.

quin on Biden: His experience and ability to quickly cut deep with his words? It's going to be like watching a fight between an attack dog and a balloon.

And this is why Biden will lose the debates. Nobody likes the attack dog who picked on the pretty girl. It's a situation where Biden cannot possibly score any points. Not that it matters much, since noone would choose Obama just because his VP candidate did good on the debates anyway. The situation is different for McCain, though, since there are enough idiots in the US that will make their choice solely based on gender, race or sexual history of the candidate, completely irregardless of their policy. The Republicans have figured this out better than the Dems.
posted by sour cream at 9:08 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is everyone assuming she'll do so poorly in the debates? Because she's a pretty woman?

No, it's because she doesn't have much experience and doesn't seem to know what the VP even does. That's 10th grade Government class basics, and she wants to BE the VP? Holy cow, McCain is DONE.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:09 AM on August 29, 2008


I also think the pick reflects McCain's intense displeasure at being upstaged by anyone, particularly his VP choice.

And how is this pick going to bring the Evangelical Right, who already dislike McCain, back into the fold?

Sarah Palin thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in schools. She's anti-choice. This is definitely a fundie pander as well.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:09 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was going to write something, but XQUZYPHYR, wrote it for me.
posted by rmmcclay at 9:09 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


More and more, I think the Republican party is deliberately throwing this election. They don't want to do the dirty work of cleaning up after Bush. It's going to be a difficult, costly, unpopular job, and I bet they're counting on the pain it causes to be such that it destroys the Democrats chances for re-election. They're giving up four years in return for twenty.

The same seems to be happening in Canada. The Reeeeeform party is out for blood, the intention being to wholly destroy our centrist Liberal party, turning this into a two-party state of extreme right and extreme left views.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [17 favorites]


Why is everyone assuming she'll do so poorly in the debates? Because she's a pretty woman?

Remy beat me to it, but it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman and everything to do with Biden having 35 years of experience as an elected official versus her eighteen or so months. Also, Biden has proven repeatedly that he can verbally eviscerate his opposition even when they have years of practice, so unless she has some kind of hidden debate-jujitsu, I'm betting she doesn't fare well against him.
posted by quin at 9:13 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sour cream: "..completely irregardless of their policy."

Fail.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:13 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


this feels a little bit like george mc govern's search for a vice presidential candidate in 1968: ted kennedy declined, sargent shriver was out of reach, walter mondale also said no, abe ribicoff had better things to do, kevin white was vetoed, walter cronkite wasn't asked until it was too late, gaylord nelson refused and by this time around it was down to the guy running the ice cream truck down the street and some obscure senater named tom eagleton nobody seemed to know all that well. we all know how that story turned out: words like landslide and electro-shock-therapy have been used more often than I care to recount.

so, dearest barack: you may have a funny name, you may be black, you may be against abortion, you may have a real problem with the hillary crowd but the republicans seem to have acquired a taste for that old dance the democrats have very nearly perfected since the days of good old hapless george mc govern. you may be hopeful.

and so am I.
posted by krautland at 9:13 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is the Clinton thing all he's got?
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on August 29, 2008


An awful lot of you seem to be assuming that women voters are shallow idiots

If the shoe fits…
posted by designbot at 9:14 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Think John Connally eviscerated Dan Quayle? Just you wait.

You mean former vice president Dan Quayle? The guy who won?


George H W Bush won in spite of picking Quayle as VP. Remember?
posted by Daddy-O at 9:15 AM on August 29, 2008


"brilliant pick; even more brilliant given the fact that many, many Hillary voters saw Hillary as a step in the direction of women's rights. These voters aren't policy voters; they're visceral voters." SeizeTheDay

Agreed. But I don't know why everyone's so quick to hate on or even be surprised by the "visceral" women; look at Obama's 90+ to 1 margin among black voters. Is the tribal nature of our politics so surprising to us that we can't move past it?
posted by resurrexit at 9:16 AM on August 29, 2008


damn... for abortion. I don't even get their pseudo-arguments listed right.
I need more sleep.
posted by krautland at 9:16 AM on August 29, 2008


For all I know, the media are yapping about how McCain closed the gap in the polls despite the Democratic convention and might be even leading now (although personally, I don't trust the polls and think they are one half skewed and the other half made up on the fly). He's poised to win.


I don't understand this- McCain's not leading the polls at the moment; convention bounce (if any) won't really be seen until Monday. 78% of women don't know who the heck Sarah Palin is. There hasn't been a single debate, and yet you can confidently state three months before the election that McCain is poised to win?
posted by oneirodynia at 9:17 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Suggesting that someone is sexist because they don't like the Anti-Choice, creationist person who counts a beauty contest as election experience...

Ah, but that's not what I suggested. I was referring to how quickly the thread filled with sex jokes. This knee-jerk defensiveness thing is old.
posted by lunit at 9:17 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


George H W Bush won in spite of picking Quayle as VP. Remember?

YES. YESYESYES. Oh my god yes.
posted by krautland at 9:17 AM on August 29, 2008


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."

"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"

"Anchorage."

"Do you really need encouragement just to answer the question?"

Nome?

No sir, we do not. That's why we're asking you.


"Fairbanks."

"Senator McCain, there will be time to discuss your financial policies later. I'm asking about your VP selection."
posted by pardonyou? at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Think John Connally eviscerated Dan Quayle?

No, I think Lloyd Bentsen did it. And still lost by 7 million votes and an 80/20 split of the electoral college. She's a lightweight, yes, but bad VP choices don't lose you an election. Perot grabbed nearly 20 million votes in spite of Stockdale's embarrassing performance.

Her abysmal qualifications only means the bar will be set so incredibly low that not killing herself tripping over it will be seen as a monumental achievement. OK, so McCain has put Eddie Gaedel up to bat for him. The Dems can't strike her out. And if she does happen to even touch the ball, it's a veritable home run.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2008


Am I the only one thinking he is going for Laura Roslin and the BSG vote?
posted by well_balanced at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


No, it's because she doesn't have much experience and doesn't seem to know what the VP even does.

That's not what she said. She said she doesn't know what a VP does from day to day. That's very different from not knowing what a VP's constitutional functions are, and is really not all that ignorant of a question--given the complete lack of powers given to the Vice President by the Constitution, the issue of spending your time usefully is certainly real.
posted by nasreddin at 9:19 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


George H W Bush won in spite of picking Quayle as VP. Remember?

Food for thought. If it hadn't been for H. Ross Perot, Dan Quayle may well have been just settling into his 2nd term as President on 9/11/01.
posted by loquax at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2008


And this is why Biden will lose the debates. Nobody likes the attack dog who picked on the pretty girl.

I hadn't considered this angle, but I don't think I completely agree. People have argued for so long that Democrats are soft and ineffectual, it would be a huge tonal shift for them to suddenly argue that the Dems are playing too rough.

Not saying they won't try it, though.
posted by quin at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised there are no baby boomers in this election. All the candidates were either born before 1945 or after 1960 (Obama is "technically" a baby boomer but he gives the impression of someone younger than 47). You would think this election would have baby boomers represented as they approach 60 and should be at the height of experience without being too old.

I wonder if those middle-aged Hillary supporters will like Palin or will they see someone who is closer in age to Lewinsky than them.
posted by bobo123 at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


>Is the tribal nature of our politics so surprising to us that we can't move past it?

Absolutely. Humans will never move past it. its our nature. Never underestime a swing or sometimes voter with something in common with a candidate.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2008


For those of you not old enough to have been there, the prevailing thought on the Quayle selection was that he was assassination insurance. People would think twice about killing the President when they saw who was next in line. There were no age or disease issues with George Bush, so the fact that Quayle was inexperienced and generally seen as a silver spooned buffoon wasn't really an issue. He did provide a young face to the ticket, and that was an advantage to counter Bush's experience.
posted by Eekacat at 9:21 AM on August 29, 2008


Think John Connally eviscerated Dan Quayle?

No, I think Lloyd Bentsen did it.


Duh.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:22 AM on August 29, 2008


So I will give the Canadian guy view - I am only and observer, but I am damn sure not neutral.

For people talking about debates, I think Joe Biden is in tough because its going to be a lot harder for him to go on the attack without looking like a jerk. That said, I am not sure the VP debate matters - hard core Republicans who have stuck with them through these last few years are clearly not people who think deep; nothing Biden/Palin could say would change their minds. If Biden plays it safe, and doesn't do anything to alienate his base he can't lose. Biden just has to play defence, and Palin would need a knockout to gain anything.

Last night also showed that when Barack Obama decides to go on offence he can do it with an impressive level of precision and authority, his acceptance speech was notable for a number of reason - he is perhaps the best speaker of his generation. Barack can clearly be his own attack dog, if he needs to be and Biden really only needs to face off agains Palin once, so its not that hard to dodge.

I don't see this Palin move as a factor. First, Palin's home base is geographically isolated. While Palin may pick off a few Hilary supporters, but I suspect the number of truly disaffected Hilary supporters has been overcounted and magnified by media coverage. Otherwise the Palin selection is a move to appeal to Republican supports, who want to cling to the idea that the Repubs can be fresh-looking, younger, and interesting too but have sufficient powers of denial to ignore the other advantages of the democratic ticket. Palin only becomes a true mainstream political asset on the vote-getting front if she publically declares herself to be anti-war, and talks about being a dove to balance McCain's hawk; I don't see that happening.

My prediction today is the same as it was last week. Obama takes the presidential election, by something like 52%-48%. I somehow think a lot of people who normally vote Republican will stay home on election day.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:22 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


More and more, I think the Republican party is deliberately throwing this election.

Could well be. On the other hand, hype aside, you could almost think the same of the democrats. I mean to say, it should be shoo in for them, and yet the polls do not show a trouncing.

Then again, such a strategy might really be beyond the Men In The Smoke Filled Room. It's not like the old days. Too many ambitious people who really do want to be president.

the prevailing thought on the Quayle selection was that he was assassination insurance.

Could be true, but for such an outrageous statement, we really do want a citation. "Prevailing thought" too vague.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:24 AM on August 29, 2008


You know, I think there's also a very good case to be made that this may motivate Hillary Clinton to work even harder to elect Barack Obama. There's absolutely no way that she would find the idea of a republican female president heartwarming. I think the Obama campaign is pretty pleased with this choice.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:24 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Does the VP do something from day to day?
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


FFF...I've been saying the same thing for a long time now. Yeah, it's beyond cynical, but it really does fall in-line with the sort of calculations I've come to expect from the Rove-era GOP.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2008


I think she's a poor choice and torpedoes McCain's attack line on experience (particularly given his own age and dodgy health) but I don't think the VP line is particularly bad.

VPs have in the past taken on different roles, and in context she was trying to do the politician thing of disclaiming a suggested job without implying she didn't want it.
posted by athenian at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2008


Not according to Sarah Palin:

In an interview just a month ago, she dissed the job, saying it didn’t seem “productive.”

In fact, she said she doesn’t know what the vice president does.

Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain's ticket mate.

Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”

posted by oneirodynia at 9:28 AM on August 29, 2008


"especially for Alaskans"?

So what's the general feel for Alaska, are they seen as crazy right-wing pork addicts?
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on August 29, 2008


Am I the only one thinking he is going for Laura Roslin and the BSG vote?

No, Margaret Spellings will be president when the robot revolution comes.
posted by designbot at 9:30 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know, I think there's also a very good case to be made that this may motivate Hillary Clinton to work even harder to elect Barack Obama. There's absolutely no way that she would find the idea of a republican female president heartwarming. I think the Obama campaign is pretty pleased with this choice.

If that makes you feel good, ok. I don't see it though.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2008


I can't help but think this is part of some bigger GOP plan. Have the dems focus on her inexperience and then after a few weeks she decides she cannot be the VP candidate because family comes first or something else. Then they go after Obama's inexperience again using quotes from dems about her inexperience. Or something like that. It just seems like such a desperate move.
posted by batou_ at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


* munches popcorn *

Goddamn, I do love being an American.

But sometimes I am not sure why.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus tap-dancing Christ. If McCain wanted a former beauty queen with no experience and a criminal investigation on her record I don’t know why he didn’t just pick his own wife.

Like many other goods lines I pick up here, that one is so good I will shamelessly steal it and re-use it elsewhere. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:34 AM on August 29, 2008 [16 favorites]


You know, I think there's also a very good case to be made that this may motivate Hillary Clinton to work even harder to elect Barack Obama. There's absolutely no way that she would find the idea of a republican female president heartwarming. I think the Obama campaign is pretty pleased with this choice.

If that makes you feel good, ok. I don't see it though.


So, you think Clinton will be pleased about the thought of Sarah Palin being closer in line to the presidency than she was, just by default of being chosen as the anti-Obama news item?
posted by oneirodynia at 9:35 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I liked Bailey Hutchinson, maybe she had some skeletons that made her a bad choice, I don't know. Palin's a gamble because, obviously, it's silly to select her for a ticket that has made the other side's "inexperience" a huge issue, but if you seriously think that the media will call bullshit on the next thre months of McCain hammering Obama for being inexperienced, you're either too naive or blinded by wishful thinking.

George ""I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun" Bush and Dick "other priorities" Cheney, two proven draft dodgers (Cheney even bragged about it), were allowed by the media to slam with impunity people like Kerry, Murtha, and poor Max Cleland who had actually gone to war (and in Clelend's case, left a few limbs there).

the media, that in a functioning democracy is supposed to be the ref, thought it O.K. and allowed the draft dodgers to cover the veterans in lies (Swift Boat and otherwise).

If you think the media will point out the bad faith in McCain's slamming Obama's inexperience these next three months, think again. unless there's a provable scandal that can damage her, Palin's home free. she has a Down syndrome baby, if you attack her you not only are a baby-killer but you also hate babies with Down syndrome. and those of you who hope she's clueless, she can't be more clueless than Dan Quayle. and Bush I / Quayle won in '88.
posted by matteo at 9:35 AM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


Does the VP do something from day to day?

Well, I read she is in the NRA and likes hunting so she can keep up the tradition of the VP shooting people in the face every now and then.
posted by starzero at 9:36 AM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD. Her voice isn't that far off from "Will & Grace's" Karen Walker!!!!

Anastasia Beaverhausen for VP!!!! (.wav file)
posted by matty at 9:36 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think a pick like this would say more about the McCain camp's own view of their current position, the other VP possibilities, and the expected trajectory of the rest of the campaign than anything else.

And possibly what the other VP possibilites' view of the expected trajectory. I wonder if even Romney, let alone Pawlenty, want the WH badly enough to get McCain/Bush all over their clean names.
posted by DU at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2008


She has a 5 month old baby. I don't think most women relate to having a 5 month old, returning to work 3 days later, and then running for VP.
posted by cell divide at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2008


Um, and it's not about me "feeling good". If you've got a good argument for why Clinton won't campaign harder, say so. I'm not making stuff up to post here in order to "feel good".
posted by oneirodynia at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2008


heh, I meant to say, "having a child, returning to work 3 days later, and 5 months later running for VP".
posted by cell divide at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2008


She's on CNN now (and here; she's got a really weird speaking voice. I guess that's what an Alaskan accent sounds like.
posted by designbot at 9:39 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."

"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"

"Anchorage."

"Do you really need encouragement just to answer the question?"

Nome?

No sir, we do not. That's why we're asking you.

"Fairbanks."

"Senator McCain, there will be time to discuss your financial policies later. I'm asking about your VP selection."


"What was the question again?"

[fuming] "Listen. Let me put it to you this way: the people who come from this place—they must call themselves something. What's the word they use to refer to themselves?"

"Inuit."

"Good. I suppose you wouldn't mind sharing it with me, then?"

"Eskimo."

"I'm not interviewing Moe—I'm asking you!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:39 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ah, this must be why people are winding up at my blog's review of Sarah Plain and Tall by searching for "Sarah Plain". Palin, people, Palin.
posted by orange swan at 9:40 AM on August 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: post made up stuff here to "feel good"
posted by Artw at 9:40 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


STOP CLAPPING INTO THE MIKE
posted by designbot at 9:41 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


http://www.vpilf.com/
posted by nitsuj at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


IT'S A TRAP!

If the left thinks they can attack her on the fact that she's some backwoods breeder they are going to step in it with "middle America."

How dare the left attack this woman for choosing to bring a new (if retarded) life into this world! How dare the left attack her small town values!

The left is out of touch, elitist, effete, and beholden to ivory towers socialists and inner city welfare leeches and their attacks on Palin just confirm this!

Who will keep us safe? The party of the welfare queens, the queers, and the baby killers? Or the party of the vets, the frontiersmen (and women) and those who recognize that family is the foundation of our society!

Not a genius move, but theirs is a party that neither desires nor respects genius...
posted by wfrgms at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


How tough will Joe Biden be able to get on her in the debate without people calling him a sexist pig?

As a feminist and supporter of full equal rights for pretty much everyone, I say, "eviscerate the shit out of her".

Also, McCain is a known skirt chaser who left his former-beauty-queen wife for a younger, might-as-well-be-former-beauty-queen heiress, and now wants to make a younger former beauty queen his #2. You want to talk about fucked up sexual dynamics? It's not Biden anyone has to worry about.
posted by mkultra at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2008 [31 favorites]


I can't help but think this is part of some bigger GOP plan. Have the dems focus on her inexperience and then after a few weeks she decides she cannot be the VP candidate because family comes first or something else. Then they go after Obama's inexperience again using quotes from dems about her inexperience. Or something like that. It just seems like such a desperate move.

My paranoid thought is she could be another Harriet Miers - an inappropriate candidate tossed out as a possibility (and a distraction), then later pulled back in favor of the person who was the "real" candidate all along.
posted by yhbc at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."

"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"

"Anchorage."

"Do you really need encouragement just to answer the question?"

Nome?

No sir, we do not. That's why we're asking you.

"Fairbanks."

"Senator McCain, there will be time to discuss your financial policies later. I'm asking about your VP selection."

"What was the question again?"

[fuming] "Listen. Let me put it to you this way: the people who come from this place—they must call themselves something. What's the word they use to refer to themselves?"

"Inuit."

"Good. I suppose you wouldn't mind sharing it with me, then?"

"Eskimo."

"I'm not interviewing Moe—I'm asking you!"


"So, Senator, is it true you picked Gov. Palin as a pandering move to women voters?"

"Denali."
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


mkultra - Ugh. Creepy. And it's about that time in his breeding cycle, things could go very wrong.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2008


Ouch:
I don't know Dan Quayle. But I hope that whatever golf course he's on, he's duly offended by the day's frequent comparisons between John McCain's frantic selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate and his own selection in 1988. Let's look at the record:

* Quayle: Two terms in the U.S. House, eight years in the U.S. Senate, representing a state of 6.5 million people.

* Palin: City council member and mayor of a town of 8,500 people, 20 months as governor of a state of 650,000 people.

No, Governor Palin, you're no Dan Quayle. Maybe in a few years.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:45 AM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Wait - the Harriet Miers thing was deliberate? What did it gain them?
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on August 29, 2008


Holy Christ McCain is going to get fucking stomped
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:46 AM on August 29, 2008


Let the VPILF jokes begin.

Meh. Give me Jennifer Granholm or Stephanie Herseth any day.

Or Margaret Thatcher. What, you don't think power is sexy? Tell me you don't think power is sexy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:46 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


she's got a really weird speaking voice

Really??? Sounds pretty normal to me. Certainly not the flat tv-announcer voice, but just sounds like most other regular folks. Of course, I am from Michigan, which is famous for its distinctive high-throated/nasal accent. And I now live in Montana, which is not as distinctive, and which I have probably acclimated to.

In any case, I wouldn't have the immediate reaction that she has a "weird" speaking voice. It's certainly less grating than some others.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:47 AM on August 29, 2008


McCain picks a pro-life, pro-second amendment, fiscal conservative, and current governor for VP. Sounds pretty normal.

Oh, and she's an attractive woman. OMG METAFILTER RAAAAAAAAAGE!!!

I thought the Republicans were supposed to be the male chauvinists.
posted by jsonic at 9:47 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or Margaret Thatcher. What, you don't think power is sexy? Tell me you don't think power is sexy.

If you're, you know, into that whole dominatrix/GMILF thing.

you know who you are
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:49 AM on August 29, 2008


You know, male democrats who don't get the whole Hillary Clinton thing have been pissing off female democrats who do during the entire primary season.

Lead Hillary off with all the tough debate questions and send a few easy ones to Obama, and then if the Hillary camp complains call them whining complainers.

Market a bunch of sexist products that make fun of Hillary (where no one would dare do the same thing to Obama), and have a bunch of media talking heads say awful sexist things to her, and then say her camp is a bunch of whiners and complainers when they speak up about it.

Once Obama has effectively won the primary, make it clear that he is not going to seriously consider her for VP, and don't let us know why, and pick some stuffy old white guy instead. Okay, fine.

Then, at the convention, when she more than any other losing candidate in history comes out and supports Obama and tells her voters to get out there and support Obama through a really moving speech, pick it apart and say that she didn't do enough, she wasn't really sincere, she should have talked more about why he is qualified to be president.

And now, when McCain surprises a large portion of americans who thought he was going to pick some old rich white dude as his VP but instead picks a "youngish" (mid-forties) woman (again, supposedly the most popular governor in America and known as a serious reformer), bust out jokes about how she was a beauty queen and how dumb she must be and how ridiculously political this move is. And how dumb it is to pick your VP just to go after the female vote.

It seems to me like a bunch of male democrats have been underestimating the importance of the female vote for a pretty serious stretch of time here. Maybe this will work out for McCain and maybe it won't. But you might do better with a little less derision and a little more understanding for what these women are on about. You think she got elected Governor of Alaska -- a state full of men -- because she is pretty? Whatever. This is really disappointing.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:49 AM on August 29, 2008 [40 favorites]


Just after Palin's speech a Fox News commentator read the Democratic response, which was basically that it was unseemly to have a person who has only been governor for two years and the mayor of a town of 8,000 a "heartbeat away from the presidency".

Immediately followed by:

ALERT:
OBAMA CAMPAIGN DISSES PALIN FOR SMALL-TOWN ORIGINS


Seriously.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:50 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I get the experience meme now. That insight is like a kick in the gut. I know Obama's record, so I always just wrote off the problem of experience. But now, the problem of experience actually applies, and it's terrifying.

I'm going to have an honest question for my Republican friends that I know love this country: what if McCain dies?

I do not think this is terrifying because Palin is a woman, or a beauty queen, or a mother. None of those are close to reasons to think she cannot do the job. It's going to be sickening once those attacks start, from the right or from the left. (Republicans don't have the monopoly on sexism, and I'm afraid of the attacks that are going to come from Democrats.) I believe the time is way overdue for a woman to get into office. But the sad fact of our past and current sexism does nothing to change the fact that she is not presidential material. The very worst part of this is that so many women are presidential material and they got passed over because she's an easy choice. She tows the party line, betraying her fellow women on the issues that count.

The problem with picking a woman for purely political purposes is a deep one. It confirms that the movers and shakers in the Republican political machine have nothing but contempt for women. "Yes, we were mean to you, but look, we got you this shiny handbag, just for you..."

This terrifies me because so much is riding on this election. Only a historic choice will do. I want a woman in office, but please, not one that doesn't even know what the job entails. Not one chosen in the cynical and desperate spirit of demographic politics.
posted by dosterm at 9:53 AM on August 29, 2008 [37 favorites]


I have to wonder what Palin's view on parental leave is, given the example she's set that basically says to mothers "hey, its not that hard. Just go back to work. You can do it if you try hard enough."

@anastasiav would you prefer if she were against paid leave and took a 90 day break herself? Be a sport and at least praise her for walking the talk - that is, if she IS against paid leaves, which I believe you're just speculating and it's all bullshit. Just another opportunity to put Obama in a good light by comparison.
posted by falameufilho at 9:53 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm really looking forward to the VP debates. Biden won't attack Palin, he'll attack John McCain, and she'll look helpless trying to respond. Biden doesn't have to say anything about her at all, and he can attack McCain with a smile on his face. It's a demographic ploy to shore up the evangelical base and try to lure Clinton voters, pure and simple. All Hillary has to do is come out strongly against Palin; she will. I think this choice is a big win for the Obama campaign; it's the sort of move that would have worked against Kerry and his Ineffectual Hamster Wheel Campaign of No Hope, but Obama and his people play in the big leagues.
posted by Kwine at 9:53 AM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Palin's husband is Yupik.
Yupik?
No, you pick!
posted by lukemeister at 9:54 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


onlyconnect: "supposedly the most popular governor in America and known as a serious reformer), bust out jokes about how she was a beauty queen and how dumb she must be and how ridiculously political this move is. And how dumb it is to pick your VP just to go after the female vote.

Honestly, I could give a flying shit about her being a beauty queen or having done a lot of cover shoots. As long as she governs well, who cares?

What I could care about is why the hell McCain picked someone who's had no foreign policy experience, no national domestic experience, and 18 months of statewide domestic (gubernatorial) experience to serve as backup for a 72-year-old cancer survivor's Presidency. I'd feel similarly if we were talking about Gov. Samuel Palin, if he had these credentials.
posted by WCityMike at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]



Not sure if this has been said yet, but it strikes me that it this is to throw a wrench in the works of Biden's debate performance. He's going to have to pull his punches with a woman, believe it or not. This strikes me as a pretty crass and cynical pick for VP. Of course the GOP would pick a woman VP without any substance whatsoever, a dolled up pretty-faced hack. They'd have done better with one of those blond women on CNBC.
posted by bukharin at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2008


just heard her speech: She sounds like one of the ladies from Prairie Home Companion. Genius, pure genius.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:57 AM on August 29, 2008


Man, I just want to hear the dialogue between Fleischman and O'Connell about this. He'd say something about how she's not competent to be president, and she'd take it as sexist, and then he'd have to dig himself out of a hole. Then, a couple of seasons later, they'd fuck. Off-camera, of course. Ah, man *wipes away a tear* good times, good times.

Too bad Ruth-Anne never ran for governor.
posted by Eideteker at 9:58 AM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


George H W Bush won in spite of picking Quayle as VP. Remember?

Bush won 40 states and 400+ electoral votes. I don't think it was quite possible for him to win even more had he picked anyone else.
posted by gyc at 9:59 AM on August 29, 2008


Funny that Mickey C picked a running-mate with a name no one can pronounce. Pah-lin? Pay-lin?
posted by ijoshua at 10:00 AM on August 29, 2008


betraying her fellow women on the issues that count.

Which issues? Which women? Not all women believe the same thing. No political party or ideaology has a lock on "women's issues."
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:01 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Then, at the convention, when she more than any other losing candidate in history comes out and supports Obama and tells her voters to get out there and support Obama through a really moving speech, pick it apart and say that she didn't do enough, she wasn't really sincere, she should have talked more about why he is qualified to be president.

To be fair, I don't think it was Obama's supporters doing that so much as the media. Which is not the same thing. It's a manufactured controversy; every Obama supporter I know (i.e., just about everyone in my life who isn't an AARP member) would agree that Clinton's speech and endorsement was gracious and effective.
posted by the_bone at 10:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know what's really pissing me off about this pick? The sentiment among the smug conservative pundits that McCain "broke the glass ceiling" with this selection. Bull. Shit. The fact that they cannot see the enormous logical fallacy of that statement is just staggering. The proverbial glass ceiling will be broken by a strong woman who does so of her own merit, not because the condescending establishment saw fit to cut a hole in it big enough only for her -- and did so only because it served their own cynical, fuck-the-95%-of-you agenda.
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [86 favorites]


I knew the GOP was the party of evil geniuses, but damn, bravo, they just hoisted the DNC on its own petard by choosing a rabidly pro-life (keep the party faithful happy) woman (oh hai center-right voters HRC was attracting) who started her political career around the same time as Obama (experience!). If they call out the sexist attacks on her that will certainly be made by the same fauxgressives who attacked Clinton while Obama, Dean etc said nothing, omfg, supermega evil genius.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Picking Biden let the democrats counter the GOP's claims that Obama lacked experience and foreign policy chops. Clearly the GOP wanted to do something similar with their VP pick, getting someone who could similarly dull an enemy attack and shore up weaknesses.

Problem is, even if the age thing has always been on the table, the Obama campaign has steered clear of it. As far as I know, there aren't Obama ads saying "McCain would be a great president... if he was younger." Even if it is implicit, it was never stated openly.

All this really does is to make McCain look desperate and pandering, and has the added effect of robbing McCain of his second big attack against Obama's lack of experience and his youth.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just after Palin's speech a Fox News commentator read the Democratic response, which was basically that it was unseemly to have a person who has only been governor for two years and the mayor of a town of 8,000 a "heartbeat away from the presidency".

Immediately followed by:

ALERT:
OBAMA CAMPAIGN DISSES PALIN FOR SMALL-TOWN ORIGINS

Seriously.


The release I saw from Bill Burton only mentions that she was a former small town mayor and doesn't mention the fact that she's Governor. To me, that was very insulting and definitely a try at playing the LOL she's hot so she must be stupid card.
posted by gyc at 10:07 AM on August 29, 2008


I feel that Palin's total lack of experience does not take the experience debate off the table.

I think it puts Obama in an awkward position. If he attacks Palin for being inexperienced, he validates the Republican claim that experience is important.

The natural Republican response would be that if experience is that important, then surely it is more important that the person who will actually be President is the experienced one.
posted by vorpal bunny at 10:09 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I heard they are sending Palin to Russia to sort out this war!

Fox News TV Host: Palin knows about foreign policy because Alaska is ‘right next door to Russia’
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2008


Several have said this removes McCain's 'experience' talking point. I don't see it. McCain's already got experience. n + 0 is still n.

Regarding the 'doesn't know what a VP does' meme, I think that may be a misreading of her statement from a few weeks ago:

....I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”

It sounds like she's saying to McCain and the Republican Party,"if you want me, you better give me a real job (oh, and there better be something in it for Alaska too)."

She only wants to run if she's going to do more than attend the funerals of lesser heads of state.
posted by zippy at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


anastasiav would you prefer if she were against paid leave and took a 90 day break herself? Be a sport and at least praise her for walking the talk - that is, if she IS against paid leaves, which I believe you're just speculating and it's all bullshit. Just another opportunity to put Obama in a good light by comparison.

So, now we have to praise politicians for actually doing what they expect their constituents to do? I do think it's weird to extrapolate from a female politician's behavior what she represents, because no woman governor in her right mind is going to take three months off, no matter what her position is. But acting all surprised that people would wonder about it is silly. Until we learn more about Palin, everyone is going to be speculating. That's a large part of why this announcement was made today: to take attention away from Obama.

Politics is all about framing your opponents' in such a way that it puts you in a good light by comparison.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2008


The beauty queen jokes would be sexist, if it were just a way for people to make fun of her looks. But she actually was a beauty queen. Maybe it's not the most incisive critique of her qualifications, but the fact that she competed to be "Miss Congeniality" tells you something about her. As I recall, lots of women have issues with beauty contests and the contestants who tape and vaseline themselves to win them.
posted by PlusDistance at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The choice strikes me as a tad "Can Hamsters Fly Planes?"-esque.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


When John McCain is ailin'
He brings in Sarah Palin.
When the polls are trailin'
He puts his hopes in Palin.
When the rhetoric's failin'
There's always Sarah Palin.
If liberalism's prevailin'
Then trust in Sarah Palin!

When the election was over, McCain was asked why
And he sheepishly grinned and said with a sigh:
"There once thing I wanted from Sarah Palin:
I needed someone who could explain emailin'."
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:11 AM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


An awful lot of you seem to be assuming that women voters are shallow idiots, and that PUMAs are more than an invention of Fox News.

Jesus Christ, yes, for the thousandth time: PUMA is a Republican operation. Its chairman voted for McCain in 2000 and contributed $500 bucks out of her own pocket to his campaign.

STOP TALKING ABOUT PUMA, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:11 AM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


[I]t is clear to me that Metafilter is so partisan that it can't really view election issues clearly or with any distance. This was a really smart move for McCain, as long as she doesn't have something in her past that will come back to bite him. This next week and the Republican convention might be tough for Democrats.[

Do you really think so? Really? If it's tough on the Dems it'll be because they will be trying not to have coronaries from laughing themselves sick and rolling around on the floor watching the Goobers On Parade trying to justify Palin's choice.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


But is the Christian right really going to accept a mother with a 5-month-old infant going on the campaign trail?

If the guy from the Christian right who has an office across from mine is any indication, the answer is yes. Before the Palin pick he was ready to sit out this election. What's important here is her pro-life, creationist position. As much as I hate to generalize, this is the one overriding factor for most folks I know who have this political bent.

The Hillary supporters are going to be insulted that McCain made such a bad choice just to pander to women. I'm glad that Obama didn't pick Hillary as his VP, but it would have been killer diller to watch Hillary smash Palin in such a one sided debate.

I can almost guarantee that if the Democratic ticket was Obama/Hillary, Palin would not have been McCain's veep choice, exactly for the reason you cite.

As it stands, the VP debates will be interesting to watch. Though Biden's a seasoned politician, when he strays from prepared speech, he can really stick his foot in his mouth.

It appears to me that Obama's choice of Biden is based on the assumption that Biden would actually make a good vice president. The cynic in me sees McCain's pick not as somebody who will help him govern, rather the opportunity to pick up a few votes.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:13 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barack: "Wait, McCain's VP pick is married to an Eskimo, champion snowmobile racer??"

*divorces Michelle, marries native-Hawaiian surfing champion.*

"Take *that,* Johnny!"
posted by ericbop at 10:15 AM on August 29, 2008


The questions about the VP debate will be interesting. The previous thinking was that you let Biden be Biden. Unleash the hounds, so to speak.

Now, not so much. Biden is going to have to play it straight, or else he looks like an asshole. I think he can do it, and do it well, but it certainly changes the equation.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:16 AM on August 29, 2008


She graduated with a degree in journalism. *blink* I am entirely confused as to how this is the best of the best to be the first person in the presidential line of succession.

I don't care what her beliefs are, this is astounding.

It's the only thing XQUZYPHYR didn't mention, otherwise I am in agreement with that post.
posted by fluffycreature at 10:16 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's speech last night was incredibly moving. America, such an amazing, wonderful place, would do well to elect Obama. He is the dream realized.

I just hope he doesn't suffer too much from stigmata or halo-chafing.
posted by mattholomew at 10:17 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Has Geraldine Ferraro spoken up about this? If there's anyone to compare Palin to, it would be her. Ferraro had a law degree and three terms in the House when she was on the ticket, and was perceived to be inexperienced.

But that was way back before the Culture War
posted by jsavimbi at 10:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


She might be inexperienced in absolute terms, but look at the bigger picture, people. Obama is claiming 12 years of experience out of 4.5 billion years of Earth, but Palin's got two years out of a mere 6,000 — she totally wins on the percentages.
posted by enn at 10:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [153 favorites]


So the woman VP is bad due to her lack of experience. Let's not forget that Obama's 'experience' led him to vote FOR retroactive immunity for the telecoms that helped Bush illegally spy on us all. But I guess we're all supposed to agree that one's quantity of experience is more important than its quality.
posted by jsonic at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2008


Oh, and she's an attractive woman. OMG METAFILTER RAAAAAAAAAGE!!!

I thought the Republicans were supposed to be the male chauvinists.


You know, I'm really naive in thinking that at some point in my life people will actually get it through their heads that feminism is as much about equally judging women's faults as it is about judging their attributes.

Whining that everyone here is ragging on Palin for her looks means you deliberately haven't read this thread, are pretending to be stupid, or merely think everyone else on this thread is stupid enough to believe what you said. None of those three options are highly appealing.

Palin's unfit to be vice-president. Biden is a better politician, a smarter person, and a more qualified candidate than her by an exponential factor. And if you think any of that is "chauvinist," then I really just give up on you.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2008 [48 favorites]


Despite the risks, one major McCain reason for picking Palin is becoming increasingly obvious: highest probability of self-inflicted Democratic wounds through various overenthusiastic and overreaching attacks. She's a ready-made target for the loose cannons. Hey there Democrats: a Palin pick is supposed designed purely to help McCain, and it's almost impossible for it to hurt Obama. In other words, it shores up his base but has virtually no effect on Obama's base -- PUMAs are minuscule in number, have never intended to vote to Obama under any circumstances to begin with, and they're not concentrated in any particular battleground state. Democratic women are strongly and overwhelmingly pro-choice, and for the most part independent women are as well. In short, Palin is supposed to generate more enthusiasm/turnout among Republicans (by addressing certain McCain weaknesses among his base -- for instance, her stanch creationist stance comes into play here), and Palin will not win crossover votes from Obama/Biden unless you people give voters a reason to. Don't screw it up with ill-conceived rhetoric like some are doing in this thread and elsewhere on various blogs, because that's exactly what McCain is hoping for, too. Especially from Biden in the VP debates, where I expect the McCain campaign to have a few particularly goading lines prepared for him. (HAI BIDEN, 4 PWNAGE STAY ON POLICY PLZ, KTHXBYE.)

As long as Democrats stay tactful, disciplined, and on-message, all the reasons why Palin was discounted as a serious veep possibility not so long ago will manifest themselves clearly during the course of the campaign. Very few people seriously expected McCain to pick Palin for many reasons, and those reasons will be played out in due time as long as Democrats don't trip over themselves trying too hard to push things along. Of course, asking Democrats not to screw up a campaign is like asking a bear not to shit in the woods. It might be even asking too much of the fabled Obama team to keep their party on-message.
posted by DaShiv at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2008 [30 favorites]


Uh-oh!

McCain's pick of Palin is backfiring with the Hillary dead-enders!
posted by orthogonality at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain's pick shows all the judgment and wisdom of George W. Bush picking Harriet Myers as the best possible candidate for the Supreme Court.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:27 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


I guess Susan Collins, Christie Todd Whitman, Oympia Snowe, and Elizabeth Dole were busy.

Or not batshit anti-abortion enough.
posted by jonp72 at 10:28 AM on August 29, 2008


Who cares if she's a woman? She's anti-choice, corrupt and in Big Oil's pocket. Picking her doesn't make John McCain a maverick. It makes him a Republican.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:29 AM on August 29, 2008 [19 favorites]


I hope Palin campaigns wearing a sash that says "For disgruntled Hillary fans".
posted by Cranberry at 10:29 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Americans were giddy with scorn when the media exposed Chinese Olympic officials had substituted a "pretty child" for the "ugly one" in the opening ceremonies ...

McCain has copied the strategy.

He has chosen an unqualified beauty queen over a long list of much more qualified and respected Republican women - i.e., Kathleen Sibelius Janet Napolitano Elizabeth Dole ...

I am not a Republican, and so should probably be happy about this horrific decision. However, I am a feminist. I find this act emblematic of people who view women as no more than decorative objects.

This kind of diminuation of women is such an insult. Don't EVEN compare this woman to Hillary!
posted by Surfurrus at 10:31 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


The couple-of-million or so PUMAs, the Clintonites who won't vote for Obama. (Not to be confused with cougars, btw).

There's a high degree of intersection.
posted by rokusan at 10:32 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


My first reaction was "cynical", followed immediately by "coldly calculating" which looped back to "cynical" again.

I do think it'll gain more votes than it loses, unless she falls very flat on her face in the next couple of months.
posted by rokusan at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008


Uh-oh!

McCain's pick of Palin is backfiring with the Hillary dead-enders!


Ha! Serves them right. There are a lot of unsavory adjectives you could apply to the Hillary dead-enders, but "Easily placated" sure is not one of them.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Gonna second Kwine's comment above, because it's the best attack line for the Democrats, and so far the Obama camp has been pretty damned good about following the right attack line. Palin's a non-entity. Biden is the anti-McCain attack dog, and as long as he stays on that scent he'll do fine. He doesn't have to attack Palin because there's just nothing there. Have Biden hammer against McCain in the debates, and he wins.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Biden is a better politician, a smarter person, and a more qualified candidate than her by an exponential factor.

Um, what? "Better Politician"?? What does that even mean? And how do you know if he's smarter or not?
posted by mattholomew at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008


This certainly puts the abortion issue back in play, which should boil away the mushy middle and leave us the starkly split electorate we've had in recent past.

onlyconnect: You know, male democrats who don't get the whole Hillary Clinton thing have been pissing off female democrats who do during the entire primary season.

Lead Hillary off with all the tough debate questions and send a few easy ones to Obama, and then if the Hillary camp complains call them whining complainers.


The debates were moderated by male Democrats?

Market a bunch of sexist products that make fun of Hillary (where no one would dare do the same thing to Obama), and have a bunch of media talking heads say awful sexist things to her, and then say her camp is a bunch of whiners and complainers when they speak up about it.

Which male democrats marketed these products? Which media talking heads were male Democrats?

Once Obama has effectively won the primary, make it clear that he is not going to seriously consider her for VP, and don't let us know why, and pick some stuffy old white guy instead. Okay, fine.

Which male Democrats said this? And let me just say, as Hillary fan (but Obama voter), I would much, MUCH rather have her kicking ass in the Senate than withering away as VP. If you wanted Hillary as VP for either the historical hit points or because you felt she deserved it, I think you should re-evaluate your political priorities. VP is for losers.

Then, at the convention, when she more than any other losing candidate in history comes out and supports Obama and tells her voters to get out there and support Obama through a really moving speech, pick it apart and say that she didn't do enough, she wasn't really sincere, she should have talked more about why he is qualified to be president.

Who the frak are you talking about? Male Democrats or the media?

And now, when McCain surprises a large portion of americans who thought he was going to pick some old rich white dude as his VP but instead picks a "youngish" (mid-forties) woman (again, supposedly the most popular governor in America and known as a serious reformer), bust out jokes about how she was a beauty queen and how dumb she must be and how ridiculously political this move is. And how dumb it is to pick your VP just to go after the female vote.

It's not "dumb", in fact it's politically expedient. But I for one am sick of political expediency. Nor is she dumb, and I don't know that anyone is claiming she is. But governor --> VP in two years does not inspire confidence that the pick was made for her political savvy.

It seems to me like a bunch of male democrats have been underestimating the importance of the female vote for a pretty serious stretch of time here.

You appear to claiming that the only way male Democrats could properly estimate the importance of the female vote would be to give them a female to vote for. Seems to me you're underestimating the intelligence of the average female voter.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [26 favorites]


He has chosen an unqualified beauty queen over a long list of much more qualified and respected Republican women - i.e., Kathleen Sibelius Janet Napolitano Elizabeth Dole ...

Well, one out of three ain't bad.
posted by EarBucket at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008


She's a creationist.

"In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms: "I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum."


So, she believes (and wishes to enforce teaching) that the Earth was "created" 1000 years after the Sumerians invented glue.
posted by plexi at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [19 favorites]


I had to look up PUMA. Thank you for the education.
posted by malaprohibita at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2008


First black president or first female vice president? That's awesome.

Fixed that for you. McCain is eleventy-six years old, so whoever his VP is is very very likely to become President, too.

And pretty or not, that sort of scares me, though I do like that we'll get one or the other, assuming she isn't impeached or resigns first.
posted by rokusan at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2008


When I opened my browser this morning and went to Yahoo to check my e-mail, this was the lead story. And I know people kid about this, and jokingly make this claim, but in this instance I literally did do a spit take with my Nescafé.

This so blatantly reaks of desperation as to be humorous.

Also, what XQUZYPHYR said.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


SteveInMaine: As it stands, the VP debates will be interesting to watch. Though Biden's a seasoned politician, when he strays from prepared speech, he can really stick his foot in his mouth.

As it stands, the Presidential debates will be interesting to watch. Though McCain's a seasoned politician, when he strays from prepared speech, he can really stick his foot in his mouth.
posted by mkultra at 10:35 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin's unfit to be vice-president.

HAHA. You just found out about this lady this morning. Yet you're already absolutely sure she can't be VP just because she has slightly less experience than Obama. Talk about jumping to conclusions, and then trying to rationalize them afterwards.
posted by jsonic at 10:35 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Surfurrus writes "He has chosen an unqualified beauty queen over a long list of much more qualified and respected Republican women - i.e., Kathleen Sibelius Janet Napolitano Elizabeth Dole ..."

Are you trying to be funny here? Sibelius and Napolitano are both Democrats. (And Liddy Dole started out working for Kennedy-Johnson '60, and then worked in LBJ's Whitehouse.)
posted by orthogonality at 10:36 AM on August 29, 2008


Has Geraldine Ferraro spoken up about this?

Kind of.
posted by ericbop at 10:37 AM on August 29, 2008


HAHA. You just found out about this lady this morning.

Umm... no, no I didn't. Some of us are actually interested in politics here.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:38 AM on August 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


Jeanne: And there's no way she's prepard to take over if McCain dies.

Palin has more executive governmental experience than Obama and Biden combined.
posted by Jahaza at 10:39 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


He has chosen an unqualified beauty queen over a long list of much more qualified and respected Republican women - i.e., Kathleen Sibelius Janet Napolitano Elizabeth Dole ...

Sebelius and Napolitano are Democrats.
posted by arianell at 10:39 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Though McCain's a seasoned politician, when he strays from prepared speech, he can really stick his foot in his mouth.

Yeah, at least Biden doesn't do that.
posted by mattholomew at 10:39 AM on August 29, 2008


You know, I'm really naive in thinking that at some point in my life people will actually get it through their heads that feminism is as much about equally judging women's faults as it is about judging their attributes.

I felt the same way when I had to defend my choice of voting for Obama over Clinton. Because I am a woman and a feminist, I was "supposed" to vote for Clinton. It took a lot to explain that being a feminist meant placing women on equal footing with men and not just voting for a woman just because she's a woman.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:40 AM on August 29, 2008 [17 favorites]


And if you think any of that is "chauvinist," then I really just give up on you.

Yeah, lets just ignore all the 'beauty queen' comments that are being attached quite liberally to most criticisms of this lady. I'm sure that has nothing to do with dismissing her based on her gender.
posted by jsonic at 10:40 AM on August 29, 2008


(My third reaction was: That old horndog McCain must have misunderstood the term "running mate".)
posted by rokusan at 10:41 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Has Geraldine Ferraro spoken up about this?

Geraldine will love Palin. 'Cause she's white.
posted by EarBucket at 10:41 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


She graduated with a degree in journalism.

Holy shit. I'M GONNA BE PRESIDENT! This is gonna fucking rock!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:41 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Biden is in a catch-22, he will be eviscerated in the debate. I won't argue my opinion, but I'll be happy to go down in mefi history as the guy who thought Joe would lose the debate...badly.
I'm pissed that Obama chose an old white beltway failed hothead as veep. Poor decision making. Play it safe move by team Obama. Methinks Palin intimidates some people here already.
NOT a McCain man at all.
posted by dawson at 10:41 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


ColdChef: "Sarah and Todd Palin have five children: boys Track, 19, and Trig, 4 months, and daughters Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7.

Dear GOD! Vice Presidents don't get to NAME anything, do they?!
"

Operation Ashley
Operation Britney
Operation Madison
etc.....

Leno just creamed his slacks.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:42 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin has more executive governmental experience than Obama and Biden combined.

By that measure, she has more than McCain as well.
posted by Slothrup at 10:42 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


jsonic, the beauty queen comments are coming from the fact that we're talking about a woman who was, literally, a beauty queen. Why is this an issue for you?
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:43 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


I wish McCain had chosen Hillary. Now that would have made for an interesting election.
posted by you just lost the game at 10:43 AM on August 29, 2008


Yeah, lets just ignore all the 'beauty queen' comments that are being attached quite liberally to most criticisms of this lady. I'm sure that has nothing to do with dismissing her based on her gender.

I think the non-sexist point there, whether on the mark or not, is that that's the BEST thing one can find to say about her. It's no more sexist than calling GWB a college cheerleader.
posted by rokusan at 10:45 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whatever may be her faults, McCain certainly succeeded in pushing last night's historic performance off the front page.
posted by DU at 10:45 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Though McCain's a seasoned politician, when he strays from prepared speech, he can really stick his foot in his mouth.

Yeah, at least Biden doesn't do that.
Heck, Biden can't give a prepared speech.
posted by Jahaza at 10:45 AM on August 29, 2008


So, she believes (and wishes to enforce teaching) that the Earth was "created" 1000 years after the Sumerians invented glue.

that's because the sumerians got sick of sticking to each other in space - god had to do something ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


I wish McCain had chosen Hillary. Now that would have made for an interesting election.
posted by mattholomew at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2008


McCain's biggest problem was that social conservatives don't like him and were contemplating staying home on election day. Social conservatives are euphoric over this pick and will now turn out in droves.
posted by spudsilo at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I wish McCain had chosen Hillary. Now that would have made for an interesting election.

Yikes, sorry about the double post - but I thought the same thing, that would be world-class entertainment.
posted by mattholomew at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2008


I'm going to have an honest question for my Republican friends that I know love this country: what if McCain dies?

I'd much rather have Palin as my President than Obama.

jsonic, the beauty queen comments are coming from the fact that we're talking about a woman who was, literally, a beauty queen. Why is this an issue for you?

Because it's very clearly that it's being used in this thread, if not outright, but as a subtext, to insinuate that somehow she's not smart enough to be Veep.
posted by gyc at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


mattholomew: "Biden is a better politician, a smarter person, and a more qualified candidate than her by an exponential factor.

Um, what? "Better Politician"?? What does that even mean? And how do you know if he's smarter or not?
"

Jesus, don't make us do all your work, eh?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


everyone's saying sarah palin is a conservative, but really, she's a feminist....for life.
posted by snofoam at 10:48 AM on August 29, 2008


My .02 is she is in for a fall, being set up as it were, and Lieberman is chosen (or Romney). That way McCain can say he tried, offered a woman for VP, but when she couldn't pass muster he went with the more expeirenced and proven (Fill in the blank).
posted by Gungho at 10:48 AM on August 29, 2008


She seems like more of a Mussolini than a Thatcher to me.
posted by Artw at 10:49 AM on August 29, 2008


Of course she is! Because denying women control over their own bodies is oh so feminist.
posted by agregoli at 10:49 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised to find out that her opponents two years ago were saying Palin didn't have the experience to be governor.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:49 AM on August 29, 2008


The announcement was made when McCain and another masked figure rode up to the assembled press on motorcycles. McCain, wearing his visor up, got off his bike and walked forward; the other figure, clothed all in black leather, with a black visor, stayed still. After some preamble, McCain said: "and now, the next Vice President of the United States!" All eyes turned to the masked rider, who then removed the helmet and *gasp* revealed herself to be a woman, with long hair spilling down about her shoulders.

Or at least, that's how it should have been.
posted by roombythelake at 10:50 AM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]



Are you trying to be funny here?


Nope, just didn't know any Republican women candidates offhand ... used a blog's list
(http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2008/02/john_mccains_top_22_potential.php).

Perhaps I should have left the list blank? Actually, maybe I should have put the question out:

-- DOES the Republican party have any 'respected, qualified' candidates who DON'T look like beauty contestants???

I still feel this is the case of a "pretty girl" substituted for an "ugly" one.

This Palin choice is no "advancement for women". It is just one more insult.
posted by Surfurrus at 10:50 AM on August 29, 2008


First sighting of 'I know Hillary Clinton, and...' meme...

More to come.
posted by rokusan at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2008


"Senator McCain, where is your VP candidate from?"

"Alaska"

"No, I'm asking YOU the question, Senator."

"Juneau."

"No, I DON'T know—that's why I'm asking!"

"Anchorage."

"Do you really need encouragement just to answer the question?"

Nome?

No sir, we do not. That's why we're asking you.

"Fairbanks."

"Senator McCain, there will be time to discuss your financial policies later. I'm asking about your VP selection."

"What was the question again?"

[fuming] "Listen. Let me put it to you this way: the people who come from this place—they must call themselves something. What's the word they use to refer to themselves?"

"Inuit."

"Good. I suppose you wouldn't mind sharing it with me, then?"

"Eskimo."

"I'm not interviewing Moe—I'm asking you!"

"So, Senator, is it true you picked Gov. Palin as a pandering move to women voters?"

"Denali."

"You can't deny that she's your running mate."

"Wasilla"
posted by goethean at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


But governor --> VP in two years does not inspire confidence that the pick was made for her political savvy.


Call me cynical but in my book "political savvy" = retread D.C. hack (Joe Biden anyone?). Do we really need yet another high elected official with decades of experience kowtowing to their corporate paymasters?
posted by MikeMc at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2008


Because it's very clearly that it's being used in this thread, if not outright, but as a subtext, to insinuate that somehow she's not smart enough to be Veep.

No, the deal is that we have a woman who's been governor of of a state (population of which is smaller than Obama's congressional district) for a mere 18 months, and before that was a mayor of a town smaller than the one where Elvis was born. We've got that and the beauty queen thing to go on. And not a whole hell of a lot else. Fair game.
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2008


wow. when did fark get this nice blue background?
posted by dawson at 10:53 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


This pick makes fools and hypocrites of all the Republicans who have been saying that Obama doesn't have enough experience and that that's why they won't vote for him.
posted by goethean at 10:53 AM on August 29, 2008


Don't make us do all your work, eh?

Sorry, you might have to do a bit more -- you've shown that Biden is mostly a democrat and Palin is mostly a Republican although I haven't seen anything that indicates that one is a 'better politician' or 'smarter' than the other. Biden's collossal verbal gaffe against Obama certainly doesn't help either case.
posted by mattholomew at 10:54 AM on August 29, 2008


the beauty queen comments are coming from the fact that we're talking about a woman who was, literally, a beauty queen. Why is this an issue for you?

It's always brought up derisively. It's the equivalent of saying she's an airhead because she's pretty. Otherwise why even bring it up? The entire relevance is the idea that "we all know" beauty queens shouldn't be taken seriously.

And admit it: If it were the republicans doing this, all of you would be raging hard.
posted by jsonic at 10:54 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Daily Show is going to use "Hot for Teacher" for any segments on her. They must.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:54 AM on August 29, 2008


I'd much rather have Palin as my President than Obama.

Okay, gyc, I'll bite -- why?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:56 AM on August 29, 2008


jsonic, so you consider beauty pageants worthy of some kind of respect? I don't see anything of substance or honorable about being in one.
posted by agregoli at 10:56 AM on August 29, 2008


wow. when did fark get this nice blue background?

It's part of the transition to full on /b/. You'll get over it.
posted by MikeMc at 10:58 AM on August 29, 2008


Yeah, lets just ignore all the 'beauty queen' comments that are being attached quite liberally to most criticisms of this lady. I'm sure that has nothing to do with dismissing her based on her gender.

Does everything need a disclaimer around here?

At some point, this woman decided to compete in a beauty contest. She seems to be proud of her performance in it. Therefore, this decision is fair game for criticism, especially with regard to what this could mean for jilted Hillary voters.

Lots of feminists consider beauty contests A Bad Thing™. I personally question someone's judgment who participates in one. This is clearly a red flag if we're operating under the hypothesis that this VP pick is pandering to Hillary supporters.
posted by butterstick at 11:00 AM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


bukharin, I have the same concern. I think the point Biden has to drive home is that Ahmedinajad/Medvedev/Putin/etc. are not going to pull punches when seated across the nuclear non-proliferation negotiating table from a possible President Palin (*shudder*), so she had better be able to conduct herself in a lousy VP debate.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:01 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


so you consider beauty pageants worthy of some kind of respect? I don't see anything of substance or honorable about being in one.

Nobody is making that argument. The beauty pageant comments are an attempt to discredit her as an airheaded woman. The fact that left-leaning commentors feel justified in doing this just adds to the hypocrisy.
posted by jsonic at 11:02 AM on August 29, 2008


I haven't seen anything that indicates that one is a 'better politician' or 'smarter' than the other.

Palin believes the Earth is 4,000 years old. What the hell more do you need?
posted by rokusan at 11:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [24 favorites]


Why is this an issue for you?

It is an issue for jsonic because jsonic likes to find things to chide metafilter for. If it hadn't been that, he'd have been offended by something else, possibly something only he could see.

It's the equivalent of saying she's an airhead because she's pretty.

For whatever it's worth to others who are actually interested in a conversation instead of the automatic gainsay of whatever "lefty" posture jsonic projects onto metafilter, it's not.

It's the equivalent of saying that she's an airhead because she participates in vapid, airheaded activities. Having voluntarily competed in beauty pageants should be as embarrassing as appearing on the Gong Show to any adult who wants to be taken seriously.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


mattholomew: Biden's collossal verbal gaffe

You've got an interesting interpretation of "collossal". "Makaka" was a collossal gaffe. All those folks saying gross and insulting things when they (incorrectly) think the mic is off are collossal gaffes.

Biden could have chosen his words better, but that was largely MSM manufactured outrage.
posted by mkultra at 11:02 AM on August 29, 2008


rokusan writes "First sighting of 'I know Hillary Clinton, and...' meme..."

You know, it's funny. Here is where I first saw the Plin news,and it didn't even occur to me to check the mainstream media's reaction.

I looked here, and on reddit and fark and dailykos, and on a few other blogs.

In fact, I never read the Washington Post's site anymore, because it requires a log-in. I don't read CNN or Reuters or the AP much, because they require javascript to work correctly.

And really, I'm more interested in blog or aggregator sites, because they give an idea of how Americans are reacting to the news. Weird, but except as sources for aggregators too link to, I don't have a use for the MSM; instead on rely on bloggers to filter my news.
posted by orthogonality at 11:02 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think there have been some sexist comments in this thread, but I don't think bringing up the nominee for Vice President's days in a beauty pageant is sexist. Unless we want to assume that something like that is intrinsic to being a woman, which is more insulting that any mention of the contest - I'm a woman, I think beauty pageants are stupid and demeaning and I think poorly of women who participate in them. I don't want women involved in them as my political leaders and I don't want them representing me unless they have a cornucopia of experience that overrides that one negative one. Which Palin really doesn't.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:03 AM on August 29, 2008 [19 favorites]


It's the equivalent of saying she's an airhead because she's pretty.

No.

It's a sad, funny, pathetic accomplishment on her resume, akin to "Sang and Danced in Local Theatre Production of Miss Saigon."

It would be so whether she was pretty or not.
posted by rokusan at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Call me cynical but in my book "political savvy" = retread D.C. hack (Joe Biden anyone?). Do we really need yet another high elected official with decades of experience kowtowing to their corporate paymasters?

Well shoot, high government experience has to count for something, doesn't it? Otherwise we might as well elect as President any old smartypants who made a meteoric rise from county clerk to head of the city council in two years. We want our politicians to get things done, yes? For better or for worse, getting things done doesn't mean just wanting to get them done, it means knowing how to get them done.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Video of her speech today
posted by Perplexity at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2008


You know, it's funny. Here is where I first saw the Plin news,and it didn't even occur to me to check the mainstream media's reaction.

I just Googled "Hillary +Palin" to find reactions. I'm now reading all the right wing sites in my bookmarks. It's... mixed.
posted by rokusan at 11:05 AM on August 29, 2008


Something I can't figure out from her bio: has she ever had a job aside from sports reporter and commercial fisherman? (And yes, I mean job outside of the home.)
posted by miss tea at 11:05 AM on August 29, 2008


Beauty pageants are all about judging a woman on how she looks. Period. You can burnish it all you like by calling it a "scholarship competition," have the participants sing opera and twirl batons and proclaim their desire for world peace, but there's no getting around that winners are selected using the most shallow and inconsequential of standards -- ones that completely undercut every effort for equality that women have tried to make. In other words, it's the ultimate endorsement of the belief that women are pretty objects that are placed on god's green earth for the oggling.

Beauty pageant participants are not automatically stupid, and no one here is saying that. But someone who values them enough to be a competitor indicates an obsession and an elevation of principles that I really wouldn't want in a politician, much less someone who has the very real potential to be president.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


Biden could have chosen his words better, but that was largely MSM manufactured outrage.

Right. Well, as long as it's convenient to think so, good luck with that.
posted by mattholomew at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008


It's the equivalent of saying that she's an airhead because she participates in vapid, airheaded activities.

It's still an ad hominem attack for the most part, though. Dick Cheney is a bad vice president because he supports bad policies, not because he has stupid hobbies.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008


In thinking more about the bizarreness of this pick and it's shades of Bush's Harriet Miers moment...

I really wonder how the Republican establishment feels about it. Certainly the Wall St. Republicans who have always wanted a Romney-esq pick are probably a little unsettled.

I don't think it will happen, but I wouldn't be greatly surprised if, in a few news cycles, Palin declines or changes her mind in the same manner that Miers was quietly swept under the rug. Stranger things have happened...
posted by wfrgms at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, gyc, I'll bite -- why?

Because I oppose Obama's policies and, from my research of her political views, support hers. I think working with McCain, who has a wealth of experience to share, she will be ready to lead. She's also shown that she's willing to call out corruption in her own political party, while I haven't seen anything like that from Obama, even though he comes from one of the most corrupt political environment in the country.

It's nothing personal against Obama, I just don't agree with much of his policies and he hasn't shown much tendency to call out his own party when necessary, as opposed to McCain and now Palin.
posted by gyc at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The beauty pageant comments are an attempt to discredit her as an airheaded woman.

It's not that beauty queens are stupid. I think it has more like, beauty queens are to feminism what Stepin Feticht is to civil rights. They place a woman's looks above every other aspect of her, demeaning and objectifying women everywhere.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Oh please, jsonic. If you're not arguing that it's worthy of respect, than it's somehow off-limits to criticize a possible VP picks choices? *I* don't respect beauty pageants, and added to her record and positions, it's only one more thing that proves she's as non-feminist as they come. I find it absolutely fair game to criticize someone's non-feminism, as that's important to me. It has nothing to do with calling her an airhead - it's questioning her beliefs about women.
posted by agregoli at 11:07 AM on August 29, 2008


McCain couldn't chose Hillary for the same reason Obama couldn't : they want to stay alive.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama doesn't kiss Biden on the cheek like that.
posted by XMLicious at 11:07 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin believes the Earth is 4,000 years old. What the hell more do you need?

If I'm not mistaken McCain, Obama and Biden all profess to believe in the Zombie Carpenter From Galilee so what does that say about them?
posted by MikeMc at 11:08 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Agreed. But I don't know why everyone's so quick to hate on or even be surprised by the "visceral" women; look at Obama's 90+ to 1 margin among black voters. Is the tribal nature of our politics so surprising to us that we can't move past it?

The idea that women were for Hillary just because she's a woman, or Blacks are for Obama just because he's black misses the point by a wide margin.

Blacks are so overwhelmingly for Obama because on a visceral level, his Blackness isn't the first thing they see, it's his obvious gifts. They well up with pride and emotion for Obama not because he's "one of us" because he's so damn good.

Women are so overwhelmingly for Clinton because on a visceral level, Her gender isn't the first thing they see, it's her obvious gifts. They well up with pride and emotion for Clinton not because she's "one of us", but because she's so damn good.

A lot of Black folks and Women have been seeing for the past 18 months what a lot of people just saw this week.

If McCain picked a Woman as a political ploy, then he truly doesn't get it. I mean, there's not a lot of women OR Black people exactly welling up with pride about Condoleeza Rice.

I think this might have been the best thing McCain could hae done, even if he did it for cynical, wrong headed reasons. If her being an Less experienced woman levels the playing field for him, then it levels the playing field for the Dems as well. If "experience", and "history" are off the table, that's just more room to talk about the bigger issues.

If McCain made this choice for cynical reasons, or because he really, really deep down in his heart believes Obama is an empty suit coasting in on a cult of personality, then he's in big trouble. Because from the looks of the past week, he has a bigger fight on his hands than he realizes.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:08 AM on August 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


In thinking more about the bizarreness of this pick and it's shades of Bush's Harriet Miers moment...

I disagree. Social conservatives hated Miers because they didn't trust her to be a reliably conservative Justice. Meanwhile, most social conservatives so far seem to love Palin.
posted by gyc at 11:09 AM on August 29, 2008


Everyone cites a lack of experience, but that hasn't stopped Obama or Hillary.
posted by VicNebulous at 11:09 AM on August 29, 2008


I want to know why the hell McCain was fiddling with his wedding ring during her speech.
posted by kyleg at 11:10 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Is there a source that shows Palin is a young-Earth creationist (Earth is only 6000 years old), or is she just a creationist (God got things going 4.5B years ago)? The two are pretty different.
posted by olinerd at 11:11 AM on August 29, 2008


Her voice isn't that far off from "Will & Grace's" Karen Walker!

Karen Walker for VP?
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Although some folks are calling this a move out of desperation, I don't think that's the case at all. McCain is pretty much running even with Obama, there's no desperation involved here. Hell, even his timing is spot on. You'll have to look deep to find any mention of Obama's speech, every news outlet is so busy reporting on Palin.

McCain's handlers are clearly on top of their game right now.
posted by tommasz at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


MikeMc:


Thank you sir or madam, check's in the mail.
posted by mattholomew at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2008


DOES the Republican party have any 'respected, qualified' candidates who DON'T look like beauty contestants???

Sure. Maine's excellent Senator Olympia Snowe.

FYI: I'm a hardcore Dem and Obama supporter. I wish McCain had picked Olympia. She rocks.
posted by anastasiav at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2008


"She's also shown that she's willing to call out corruption in her own political party, while I haven't seen anything like that from Obama, even though he comes from one of the most corrupt political environment in the country."

And so the Coburn–Obama Transparency Act was... what exactly?
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm going to have an honest question for my Republican friends that I know love this country: what if McCain dies?

"What do you mean?
Bill Clinton was 47 and governor of Arkansas when he became President. Sarah Palin is 44 and governor of Alaska and running for VP, not president. I can't understand why you call her "inexperienced".

Besides, she has given birth to five children. Even though she knew that the last one was going to be disabled. This alone proves that she can make the right choices and I trust that she would also be making the right choices as POTUS. She is strong and principled and she would also have the strength to make the right decisions as president.

How dare you criticize her just because she is from a small town?"

And how dare you diss John McCain, a former POW who lived in a box for five years and had to subsist on a thin stew of vegetables, beans, fish, potatoes, chicken, prawns and four kinds of rice.
posted by sour cream at 11:13 AM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Well shoot, high government experience has to count for something, doesn't it?

To be honest with you I'd rather see more candidates drawn from the civil service ranks that elected officials. Doesn't experience gained without begging lobbyists for money count for anything?
posted by MikeMc at 11:13 AM on August 29, 2008


McCain’s VP Choice Is Under Ethics Investigation For Abuse Of Power In Alaska
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, I don't really know exactly what McCain was thinking with this choice. Get some disaffected Hillaryites I guess? But this totally shoots down his "experience" message, because he has picked someone with less experience by far than anyone else on either ticket, and this would be someone one step from being leader of the free world if McCain were elected. She does not inspire confidence in me, at all, from a leadership perspective.

Oh, there's one other benefit for McCain: there's nothing in the media records showing her attacking McCain for anything. For anyone better-known, like his primary opponents, there probably is.

As a Democrat, I'm not displeased at all by his choice. I don't think this selection particularly shores up any McCain weaknesses, but it does detract from the efficacy of his "experience" message. And without that...what else does he have? Not much!
posted by jamstigator at 11:15 AM on August 29, 2008


It's not a contest, it's a scholarship program!
posted by garlic at 11:15 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


gyc: I think working with McCain, who has a wealth of experience to share, she will be ready to lead.

Where does the "ready to lead" part come from? You share her position on policies, so would you be ready to lead if you were working with McCain? Does Palin's 1.5 years as governor tip the scales in her favor over you?

Ultimately, this "ready to lead" issue is crap. You think she's ready to lead because you want her to be. I think Obama is ready to lead because I want him to be. Neither of us has a clue how ready either of them are, because it is not a measurable quality. This is why we should vote on the issues. And it's also why we don't. Because voting based on what you want is easy, while voting based on what is likely is hard.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:15 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is exactly the sort of VP candidate that I had been hoping Obama would pick — a governor from a Western or Southern state, youngish, a sort of rising star but who had carved out some idiosyncratic approaches rather than a party hack.

Instead, Obama chose an older white guy, a senator no less, from a small northeastern state. If that were a recipe for success, we'd be talking about whether or not VP Lieberman was considering a White House run about now. Biden is a nice guy, experienced, and really smart, but he doesn't exactly add a lot of zing to the ticket.

I think that this is a really smart move by McCain. She comes out of some pretty rough-and-tumble state politics (where the senior people are starting to have some real problems running into corruption charges), and is smart and fast on her feet. She's as tied to the energy business as anyone the GOP is likely to pick, but with a blend of western conservationism that permeates both parties out here. She's attractive and lively in a way that plays well against McCain, and he knows it.

So good for him, bad for my hopes of an end to republican presidents for the next four years.
posted by Forktine at 11:16 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


sour cream, again, has it.
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on August 29, 2008


Schoolgirl report: The debates were moderated by male Democrats? . . . Which male democrats marketed these products? Which media talking heads were male Democrats? You're correct that it was not necessarily male democrats committing the original acts (though many journalists are both male and democrat), but look back at any of the Metafilter threads on the primaries for tons and tons of male democrats calling Hillary's camp whining whiners for calling out the weird debate dynamics and the sexist behavior and full of praise for Obama for downplaying the race card.

Which male Democrats said this? I never heard Obama say he was considering Clinton for vice president, and from the short list that was talked about in the media -- which most often is leaked by the candidate's staff to get opinions about it before the decision was made -- it was clear she wasn't on it.

Who the frak are you talking about? Male Democrats or the media? Male democrats I talked to at work the day after Clinton's speech, and male liberals commenting in "The Fray" at Slate.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:18 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


And so the Coburn–Obama Transparency Act was... what exactly?

A bill that passed by unanimous conseent in the Senate?
posted by gyc at 11:18 AM on August 29, 2008


Is there a source that shows Palin is a young-Earth creationist (Earth is only 6000 years old), or is she just a creationist (God got things going 4.5B years ago)? The two are pretty different.
posted by olinerd at 7:11 PM on August 29


They are both predicated on magic, and neither is science.
posted by plexi at 11:19 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Beauty pageant participants are not automatically stupid, and no one here is saying that.

Yeah, and I'm sure that's why people keep bringing it up in order to dismiss her. Stay classy, guys.
posted by jsonic at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2008


'sup /b/?

I don't think think that there's anything sexist or chauvinistic about deriding any part of Palin questionable qualifications to be VP. In case anyone has been in a coma for the past seven years, let me remind them that the stakes are FAR TOO IMPORTANT to even allow such a person to even compete for the position.

A governor, you say? Yes, she is. Of a corrupt, former territory backwater which she took with 114,000 votes.

People, it's time we returned to 48 states.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2008


Conservatives react to Palin.
posted by lunit at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because I oppose Obama's policies and, from my research of her political views, support hers.

Which means you oppose abortion rights and gay rights, while supporting capital punishment and the teaching of creationism in schools. She's a whistle-blower, I grant you that, but according to the Wikipedia, "Governor Palin is currently under investigation by an independent investigator hired by a legislative panel to determine if she abused her power when firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan."

Well, we'll see.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:21 AM on August 29, 2008


jsonic, the beauty queen comments are coming from the fact that we're talking about a woman who was, literally, a beauty queen. Why is this an issue for you?

Because it's very clearly that it's being used in this thread, if not outright, but as a subtext, to insinuate that somehow she's not smart enough to be Veep.


Yeah, because when men who are former wrestlers, body builders, and actors campaign for office, no one ever makes comments about the lack of intelligence required in those lines of work. Get off it already.
posted by Nattie at 11:21 AM on August 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


Where does the "ready to lead" part come from? You share her position on policies, so would you be ready to lead if you were working with McCain? Does Palin's 1.5 years as governor tip the scales in her favor over you?

Sure, I would probably be just as ready to lead as Obama. He's been a Senator for 3.5 years, and has pretty much been spending most of that time campaigning to be President. Meanwhile, she's actually been spending her time as Governor actually governing and not running for another office.
posted by gyc at 11:22 AM on August 29, 2008


Besides, she has given birth to five children. Even though she knew that the last one was going to be disabled. This alone proves that she can make the right choices and I trust that she would also be making the right choices as POTUS.

So...every woman who has given birth is qualified to be POTUS? I don't understand the logic here.
posted by agregoli at 11:23 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I seriously think McCain's VP selection was probably the most important part of his campaign.

McCain's choice is much more important than Obama's due to his very real health issues. Thinking that people don't consider the VP of a 72 year old cancer survivor is amazingly naive, so to see so little thought put into this choice is quite remarkable. How did he expect the electorate to imagine her in the White House if something were to happen?

I've been watching his campaign make some pretty stellar blunders lately, but this is astounding. And it was CRUCIAL to get it right the first time.
posted by butterstick at 11:24 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I'm not mistaken McCain, Obama and Biden all profess to believe in the Zombie Carpenter From Galilee so what does that say about them?

Point.
posted by rokusan at 11:24 AM on August 29, 2008


I'd much rather have Palin as my President than Obama.

Wow, you must really hate America, huh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


I've read fifty-seven different people pointing out how this choice torpedoes McCain's previous attack on Obama's inexperience, but it seems everyone is missing the OTHER attack on Obama that this mitigates.

Palin named two of her children after TV witches. Witches.

You read it here first: I don't trust her. She's a secret pagan.
posted by rokusan at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


lunit, thanks for the link.

Tokenism. Can anyone say with a straight face that Palin would have gotten picked if she were a man?
posted by Surfurrus at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2008


anastasiav: I'm a hardcore Dem and Obama supporter. I wish McCain had picked Olympia. She rocks.

I agree, but a lot of republicans consider Olympia a liberal, which means she was never in the running.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2008


A bill that passed by unanimous conseent in the Senate?

Well, exactly. So I'm still trying to figure out how you can tout Palin's work against government corruption and yet say that you "haven't seen anything like that" from Obama, when he was one of the Senators who introduced the act. I mean, I have no illusions about persuading you to vote for the man, but if you're going to not vote for him, at least try to be accurate in your reasons why.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, heh heh headline: McCain taps Alaska Gov. Palin

Oh, to be a Daily Show writer today.
posted by rokusan at 11:28 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Even though she knew that the last one was going to be disabled. This alone proves that she can make the right choices and I trust that she would also be making the right choices as POTUS.

CrassFilter: I'd honestly have t say that she lacks the killer instinct that I'd like to see in my [potential] Commander in Chief.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:29 AM on August 29, 2008


Which means you oppose abortion rights and gay rights, while supporting capital punishment and the teaching of creationism in schools. She's a whistle-blower, I grant you that, but according to the Wikipedia, "Governor Palin is currently under investigation by an independent investigator hired by a legislative panel to determine if she abused her power when firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan."

I'm sure you agree 100% on every issue with your chosen candidate, right? Such as subsidies for corn ethanol and high tariffs for imported cellulosic ethanol, telecom immunity, being for the Bush-Cheney energy bill, being against gay marriage, and picking a corporate shill as Veep, right?
posted by gyc at 11:29 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia better get rid of this pic of Palin giving a speech.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:31 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I'm not mistaken McCain, Obama and Biden all profess to believe in the Zombie Carpenter From Galilee so what does that say about them?

So? There's a real different between being religious and being an extremist (what do you think a creationist is?) who wants to force schools to teach only their brand of craziness? Or are all non-atheists 100% alike?
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:31 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


plexi: agreed (I'm as atheist as they come), but to me, it's the difference between real fundamentalism and more mainstream Christianity. One scares the hell out of me, the other makes me a little nervous.

(Voting Obama in any case; just want to know what to argue about with the Republican parents)
posted by olinerd at 11:31 AM on August 29, 2008


Well, gvc, you're the one that made the original statement, not me.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:32 AM on August 29, 2008


agregoli, sour cream was making fun of how a McCain voter might defend the Palin choice, I think. Read his/her comment again.
posted by Kwine at 11:32 AM on August 29, 2008


She hunts wookies! And wears their pelts!
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Plus, all the posts in here about how she only thinks the world is 4000 or 6000 years old are rather misguided, and it does her a lot of disrespect to paint her as a fundamentalist if she's not.

If she is, though, all's fair.
posted by olinerd at 11:32 AM on August 29, 2008


“She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am,” Mr. McCain said as he introduced Ms. Palin to a crowd estimated by his campaign to be 15,000 at the Ervin J. Nutter Center here.

I am a Brit and this is far better than any soap opera, well did McCain deliberately chose the Nutter center to make this announcement from, Micheal Palin is this your doing?
posted by dollyknot at 11:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


so what does that say about them?

That they are all willing to tell a few unverifiable lies to pander to people who are demonstrably gullible, and to whom that fairy tale is extremely important?
posted by dirtdirt at 11:33 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Republican McCain picks woman as running mate
Keep it classy CNN.

Really though, what? Did they say "Obama picks man as running mate?" Obama picks caucasian as running mate?" Of course not, they would have just used Biden's name. Argh. This shit makes me mad. I guess they're just being honest though, I mean the reason she was chosen is that she's a woman.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:34 AM on August 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


It seems like most of the Obama supporters on Mefi (which is sort of redundant) think that this choice was a really bad idea for McCain.

I'm not sure they are the most reliable judges on this issue.
posted by Slap Factory at 11:35 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, Kwine. Sorry, sour cream. Reads too closely to actual rhetoric these days.
posted by agregoli at 11:35 AM on August 29, 2008


She hunts wookies! And wears their pelts!

artw, more likely to be a wampa. Cold weather, don'tcha know.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:35 AM on August 29, 2008


Is there a source that shows Palin is a young-Earth creationist (Earth is only 6000 years old), or is she just a creationist (God got things going 4.5B years ago)? The two are pretty different.

I'm going to guess that she'll probably "believe" both depending on the audience.

"Teach the controversy about Evolution!" is a dog-whistle that means different things in different settings. If Palin said something like that in a Baptist church, most listeners would *think* that she means a 6000 year old Earth. If she said something like that in, say, a Rotary Club meeting, most people would *think* she's just saying "Yeah, the Earth is real old but God created it!"

Creationism isn't about details anyway. Creationism has no details. Modern American Creationism is just a backdoor way to get God and Jesus back into classrooms, so the actual mechanics of little things like the age of the Earth are unimportant to creationist politicians. The most important thing, to them, is putting little stickers in science books that say "JESUS PROBABLY DID THIS!!!" so that kids will see that and stop doing drugs and being gay, or something.
posted by Avenger at 11:35 AM on August 29, 2008 [30 favorites]


Republican McCain picks woman as running mate

Well, it's not like anyone knows anything else about her without googling it.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's still an ad hominem attack for the most part, though.

So? It's an attack that's ad the hominem that's running for election.

This isn't a debate, where "You are a terrible person, therefore your position is invalid" is treyf.

This is an election, where "You are a terrible person, so people should not vote for you" is entirely kosher.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Besides, she has given birth to five children. Even though she knew that the last one was going to be disabled. This alone proves that she can make the right choices and I trust that she would also be making the right choices as POTUS.

What if she gets pregnant with #6 while in office?
posted by bink at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Palin has more executive governmental experience than Obama and Biden combined.

Population of Alaska: 683,478
Population of Fort Worth, TX: 681,818

If I'm not mistaken McCain, Obama and Biden all profess to believe in the Zombie Carpenter From Galilee so what does that say about them?

They live in a country where you have to profess that to get elected.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


A choice so crazy that it's political genius. A choice so far from anyone's expectations and so middle America that everybody forgot about that guy who gave a speech in Denver last night and they're talking about Sarah Palin.

I can imagine a GOP strategist saying (a la "Wag the Dog,") "Suppose instead of a VP, we're casting a reality show. Who can we find that is so Middle America that she wouldn't miss the lane if she bowled, could slug back a couple of boilermakers without wincing, clings to guns and religion hard enough to make Obama stop looking off into the distance and gaze at her and has some experience in elected office." I think a lot of Americans will see themselves in her.
posted by Frank Grimes at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


She just said "nuke-ular."
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 11:40 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Jesus tap-dancing Christ. If McCain wanted a former beauty queen with no experience and a criminal investigation on her record I don’t know why he didn’t just pick his own wife.
Tell us how you really feel . . .

I'm amazed he picked her with that investigation still outstanding. It's a huge distraction. Did he even really vet her?
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 11:40 AM on August 29, 2008


I think a lot of Americans will see themselves in her.

Too bad the likelihood is that those those same Americans won't follow that thought to its logical conclusion, namely, most of us aren't anywhere nearly qualified enough to be Vice President of the United States. Me, I'd be pissing myself in abject terror.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:41 AM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh good Christ...
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on August 29, 2008


olinerd: Is there a source that shows Palin is a young-Earth creationist (Earth is only 6000 years old), or is she just a creationist (God got things going 4.5B years ago)? The two are pretty different.

rokusan's comment made me go looking to confirm that and I couldn't. All I'm finding is that she said creationism should be discussed in school (backing off from a previous statement where she appeared to say it should be part of Alaska public school curriculum) and that she believes there is a creator. So this may be an equivalent of the "Obama is a Muslim" FUD.
posted by XMLicious at 11:42 AM on August 29, 2008


A choice so far from anyone's expectations and so middle America that everybody forgot about that guy who gave a speech in Denver last night and they're talking about Sarah Palin.

Which is all well and good, but you need to have more bullets in the gun to satisfy the media machine, or else they will bury you. In other words, you can steal thunder now (and everyone knew you could, simply because of the timing of the conventions), but what will you talk about on the Monday morning after the Republican convention?

McCain will talk about patriotism.
Obama will talk about hope.
Biden will talk about that time he knocked back beers with world leaders and all his time in the Senate.
Palin will talk about ... talk about ... umm ... ?

It's not a good long-term move, IMO.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2008


Little known facts about Sarah Palin

Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin keeps her hair in a beehive to hide her ninja weaponry.
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin will send Biden a pre-debate cheat sheet. The sheet will have tips on defending against Kung Fu Death Grip.
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin became governor because five children left her with too much spare energy.
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin's hotness is the largest single contributor to melting polar ice caps.

...and so on
posted by Class Goat at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


So? There's a real different between being religious and being an extremist

The difference is one epiphany. One "I saw the light" moment is all that separates the casually religious from the "True Believers". And if, as some have mentioned, they don't really believe but need to say they do, well, I guess it's ok to take advantage of people's personal beliefs for your own political gain. All's fair in love and war after all.
posted by MikeMc at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2008


Palin will talk about ... talk about ... umm ... ?

Palin will talk about getting rid of corruption.
posted by Class Goat at 11:45 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now you'll have another target for misogynist vitriol besides Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin.

As opposed to Islamophobic bigotry for someone who isn't even Muslim, of course.

Interesting tactic, for Republican thugs to call anyone who questions Palin's choice a misogynist, when Palin was picked by a man, McCain, for the cynical reason that she is a woman.

How you guys get away with this, I'll never figure out. But it's fascinating to see you get away with this tactic time and time again. It never gets old.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:46 AM on August 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


A governor, you say? Yes, she is. Of a corrupt, former territory backwater which she took with 114,000 votes.

You make her sound almost..."Clintonesque".
posted by MikeMc at 11:47 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin will talk about ... talk about ... umm ... ?

She will talk about defending unborn life and other conservative social issues. McCain isn't supported enthusiastically by social conservatives, and Palin fits the bill perfectly.
posted by jsonic at 11:48 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I'm not mistaken McCain, Obama and Biden all profess to believe in the Zombie Carpenter From Galilee so what does that say about them?

Not sure what it says about them, but casting sweeping generalizations across millions of people in this country who call themselves "Christian" says a lot about you. They all think, feel and believe the same things, right? Way to rise above the intolerance you supposedly rail against.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:49 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Palin will talk about getting rid of corruption.

McCain’s VP Choice Is Under Ethics Investigation For Abuse Of Power In Alaska
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2008


kyleg: I want to know why the hell McCain was fiddling with his wedding ring during her speech.

I thought this was a joke, but I watched the video- you're totally right, and it's totally creepy.
posted by mkultra at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of the chutzpah & cynicism involved when GHW Bush appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace Thurgood Marshall. Hey- Palin's a woman, Hillary's a woman, and all women are just alike. Right?

Clarence Thomas is to Thurgood Marshall as Sarah Palin is to Hillary Clinton.

Chalk & cheese.
posted by squalor at 11:52 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Palin will talk about ... talk about ... umm ... ?

about her husband hit by shrapnel in Iraq

about her son who'll be deployed in Iraq on 9/11

about the time when the doctor told her she was carrying a Down's syndrome baby and she decided to keep it

about hockey, PTAs, hockey moms, etc.

all while looking so very white, so very American, smalltown American, so very non threatening.

So non-Muslim.
posted by matteo at 11:52 AM on August 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin keeps her hair in a beehive to hide her ninja weaponry.
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin will send Biden a pre-debate cheat sheet. The sheet will have tips on defending against Kung Fu Death Grip.
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin became governor because five children left her with too much spare energy.
Little Known Fact: Sarah Palin's hotness is the largest single contributor to melting polar ice caps.


I will vote for whichever presidential campaign promises to have Chuck-Norrisian yucksters dragged out to the old granite quarry and shot in the head.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 11:53 AM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]



Palin will talk about ... talk about ... umm ... ?

Palin will talk about getting rid of corruption.


She's decided to withdraw already?
posted by Bookhouse at 11:54 AM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin will talk about getting rid of corruption.

"Only Nixon can go to China." - Old Vulcan proverb
posted by Bromius at 11:54 AM on August 29, 2008


I think a lot of Americans will see themselves in her.

Is that sexual innuendo based on her physical attractiveness? If so, I laughed.

I can't keep up.

Honestly, isn't 8 years of this dipshit President (and his even dumber heir apparent in McCain) enough of an argument to kill this "I vote for the candidate I most want to have a beer with" nonsense that idiots like Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough harp on so endlessly?
posted by psmealey at 11:55 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sorry, I learned about her creationism right here in this thread... which I will henceforth stop trusting before factchecking. :)
posted by rokusan at 11:56 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


They all think, feel and believe the same things, right?

Isn't God creating the Earth one of the bedrock tenets of Christianity (and the other Abrahamic religions) ? If Palin is a "Young Earth" Creationist is she really that far from other Christians many, if not most, of whom believe the Bible is the Divine Word of God?
posted by MikeMc at 11:56 AM on August 29, 2008


Can we please retire "[keep it | stay] classy"?
posted by everichon at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


all while looking so very white, so very American, smalltown American, so very non threatening.


... and with five kids I guess we know she could be awakened easily by a three am phone call ...

[ oops, she probably has five (undocumented?) nannies! ]
posted by Surfurrus at 12:00 PM on August 29, 2008


Can we please retire "[keep it | stay] classy"?

Classy retired years ago and is fishing up in Lake Obichokee, fifty miles up Rt. 9.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:01 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If Palin is a "Young Earth" Creationist is she really that far from other Christians many, if not most, of whom believe the Bible is the Divine Word of God?

There is actually a large continuum of belief on this matter. Very few of the Catholics I grew up with, and likely none of the Jesuits I knew, regarded the Bible as something to be taken as literal truth.

I am pretty sure this is also true for certain Protestant denominations as well.

/not a believer in anything except Bacchus
posted by everichon at 12:01 PM on August 29, 2008


Wait, so as far as her creationism goes, wanting it to be part of the state educational curriculum isn't damning enough?

I'm sure the red-meat evangelicals will love her for it, but I think that's pretty wrongheaded.
posted by butterstick at 12:01 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


MikeMc: If Palin is a "Young Earth" Creationist is she really that far from other Christians many, if not most, of whom believe the Bible is the Divine Word of God?

In a thread full of allegations of sexism, this has to be the most culturally ignorant thing said here so far.
posted by mkultra at 12:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


She is like "Ice Road Truckers," "Deadliest Catch," "Dirty Jobs," "Survivorman" and "Next Top Model" all rolled into one with a dash of "Orange County Choppers" meets "Wife Swap" (her husband is a snow mobile racer). The GOP saw that TV viewers wanted this and they delivered. Reagan came from Hollywood and now that scripted shows are fading into history it's time for a reality show candidate.
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


The difference is one epiphany.

So? What isnt that true of? Non-religious people convert all the time to being religious and religious people convert to being non-religious. There's no guarantees in life, especially in politics.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2008


If Palin is a "Young Earth" Creationist is she really that far from other Christians many, if not most, of whom believe the Bible is the Divine Word of God?

Yes. Most modern, "enlightened" Christians believe that the Old Testament was crafted in a pre-literate time when such stories had to be told using vivid imagery on their audiences, and that while they agree with the prevailing messages, dismiss the literal "truth" of it.

Not sure where the numbers break down among Christians as a group, but anecdotally most mainline Protestants and Catholics think that "Young Earth" Creationists are morons.
posted by psmealey at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


> FYI: I'm a hardcore Dem and Obama supporter. I wish McCain had picked Olympia. She rocks.

Agreed. Sadly, Snowe's brand of Republicanism no longer flies outside of New England and maybe a few other quasi-blue areas. She'd be a no-go in much of the country for exactly the same reasons why I (and probably many other MeFites) find her so attractive as a candidate: she's a secularist, pro-choice, pro-environment, if-not-pro-than-at-least-not-anti-gay Republican. The pro-choice part alone would scuttle her in large parts of the country.

I think at least at one point I remember her being listed as a member/supporter of the Republican Majority for Choice, but they seem to no longer list affiliated members of Congress.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:04 PM on August 29, 2008


Wait, so as far as her creationism goes, wanting it to be part of the state educational curriculum isn't damning enough?

Oh yeah, that's damning, it's just in no way an excuse to make shit up about here religious beliefs.
posted by XMLicious at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If anything non-religious people are MORE likely to spontaniously convert to the batshitinane branches of religion.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2008


Here's the thing: it's not the inexperience--experience as such is not necessarily dispositive--she's not accomplished. She's not a policy wonk; she does not have academic credentials; she has virtually no legislative experience of any kind; nothing in her resume even remotely suggests that she has a clue about matters of national security or foreign policy. I am not impressed. I want to be impressed. I want somebody smart and accomplished in the White House.

You say the same thing about Obama? I say bullshit. Give them both a fucking quiz. In fact, give all four candidates a quiz. Any issue, any policy, the Bible, the history of the Republican party. Whatever.

How we got to calling a law professor, policy expert with a steel trap memory and a powerful, nuanced intellect a naive, inexperienced and unprepared candidate will never cease to amaze me. How we got to calling yet another son of privilege of below average intelligence "ready to lead" and "strong" on foreign policy amazes me even more.

Palin is not impressive. She just isn't. There are impressive conservatives out there--many of them are women. This particular woman is weak sauce, and while clearly a talented politician and not totally frivolous, not the sort of accomplished person, thinker, or intellect--left or right, that can competently occupy the second seat, and, lest we forget, preside over the fucking Senate.
posted by kosem at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2008 [97 favorites]


Also, for whatever it’s worth, I’m totally okay with the fact that Obama is far more of a Christian than McCain.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


What if she gets pregnant with #6 while in office?

What is that supposed to mean?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


Did he even really vet her?

Not he, per se, but they did and their pick is great. They're surrendering the election before their own convention and they're getting their ducks lined up for 2012. All the while showing that McCain received what he was promised and they build some capital with the nut wing and women voters by throwing Palin up there.

The outcome is great for them, even though they lose this one. If she does well, they'll be able to use her to help build up the candidates in the next election, generating goodwill and plenty of TV coverage because SHE'S A GOOD LOOKING WOMAN. Maybe she'll even take over for Stevens. If she does poorly, come next election when women republicans demand another candidate (I'm being silly here), the good ol' boys can come back and say "Look, we gave it a shot, but women just aren't electable" and the issue won't rear its head for another fifty years. And they can say the same thing to "values voters". All this paves the way for Michael Bloomberg, a serious candidate with experience, in 2012.

You read it here first.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: McCain will talk about patriotism.
Obama will talk about hope.
Biden will talk about that time he knocked back beers with world leaders and all his time in the Senate.
Palin will talk about ... talk about ... umm ... ?


Palin will talk about how the doctor told her that her child will have Down syndrome.
How she discussed the issue with her family.
How she made a decision.
How she held the little baby in her arms and it was sooo sweet and she realized it was the right decision (which she knew all along).

And the whole country will go: Awwwwww...

How she can't understand that anyone can even consider murdering such a sweet little baby.
How hundred thousands are killed every year. Not in Iraq, but in our hospitals.
How it is now your turn to make the right decision on election day.

Thereby giving you the choice to vote for her ticket or for the baby killers.
posted by sour cream at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


Isn't God creating the Earth one of the bedrock tenets of Christianity (and the other Abrahamic religions) ?

Sure, but there's the notion that God created the Big Bang, God created the universe but not 6,000 years ago, and so on. Not everyone believes the Bible is a science textbook. I guess what really irks me about this is I have to not only watch the Talibaptists strangle this country just like everyone else, but I watch them strangle my faith as well. Where's the tolerance and forgiveness among these people? If the topic of religion comes up in mixed company - and it's a topic I avoid like the plague - I'll hear otherwise tolerant and intelligent people describe Christians as clinic-bombing, snake-handling, tongue-speaking, neo-fascist pricks. And the sad part is, I can't really blame them. It's the evangelicals who've muscled their way into the spotlight for the past 25 years or so. It doesn't matter how many other political leaders in history, in this country, and in the world in general have been both professed Christians and perfectly reasonable and tolerant people - it's the Pentacostalist voodoo men who get the air time. And my same multi-cultural, feminist, anti-war friends will use the word "Christian" as pretty much synonyous with these insane bigots. It just sicks and saddens me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


The Dinosaur and the Ditz. One can't remember anything after he was released from his POW camp, the other is campaigning for a job without knowing what it is.

"Because it's very clearly that it's being used in this thread, if not outright, but as a subtext, to insinuate that somehow she's not smart enough to be Veep."

She believes in Creationism. She's not smart enough for school board.
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ta-daaa! VPILF.COM
posted by Class Goat at 12:11 PM on August 29, 2008


You're scaring me with how good at this you are.
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on August 29, 2008


(That would be sour cream, not Mr. Goat)
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on August 29, 2008


I think a lot of Americans will see themselves in her.

That is just super. The last time we voted for a president because he seemed "just like us" we got.....well, you all know what we got......we got a simpleton shoved up our collective backsides. I am really glad that federal employees like McCain have really great health care plans.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 12:12 PM on August 29, 2008


Metafilter: batshitinane.
posted by cog_nate at 12:12 PM on August 29, 2008


"Wait, so as far as her creationism goes, wanting it to be part of the state educational curriculum isn't damning enough?"

Oh yeah, that's damning, it's just in no way an excuse to make shit up about here religious beliefs.


Fair enough, and noted. I see that some do, but I take no issue with her beliefs (cloudy as they are as of yet). I take issue with an attempt to foist them on schoolchildren, so as far as I'm concerned she's still got shitty judgment.
posted by butterstick at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2008


In a thread full of allegations of sexism, this has to be the most culturally ignorant thing said here so far.

This is America, there is no culture here.

and that while they agree with the prevailing messages, dismiss the literal "truth" of it.

Not sure where the numbers break down among Christians as a group, but anecdotally most mainline Protestants and Catholics think that "Young Earth" Creationists are morons.


I agree that most mainline Christians don't take the Bible literally, but if you don't why bother calling yourself a Christian? I would think Unitarian might be a better choice. Is it just me?.
posted by MikeMc at 12:15 PM on August 29, 2008


Maybe she'll even take over for Stevens.

BWAAHAAHAHAHAHA! Please tell me you're kidding. Because you are, after all, talking about someone WHO DOES NOT HAVE A LEGAL DEGREE.

I am seriously having a Mugatu-esqe "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" moment about that prediction.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:15 PM on August 29, 2008


Voters can be willfully smart or stubbornly stupid, so it's hard to see how this will go over. Either way, the past two elections and their practical results have taught me that whatever the outcome, as a whole we pretty much get the president we earn and deserve.
posted by troybob at 12:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Todd Palin
posted by small_ruminant at 12:17 PM on August 29, 2008


Ta-daaa! VPILF.COM

Vice Presidents I'd Like to Fuck?

Is this what Republicans meant by picking her based on her merits? It's nice to see your party show such respect for your own candidate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 PM on August 29, 2008


Oh wait -- I just realized you were probably referring to Series of Tubes Ted, and not the most senior member of the Supreme Court. Sorry about that.

You were talking about Ted, right?
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2008


It's the evangelicals who've muscled their way into the spotlight for the past 25 years or so.

It's the non-evangelicals who have remained conveniently silent about them when it happens to suit their moralizing or political needs.
posted by troybob at 12:22 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin opposes listing polar bears as a threatened species.

Why? Because it could restrict the oil industry that fills her pockets. I can't help but wonder if the republican VP position is now a defacto big-oil position.
posted by furtive at 12:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Reminds me of the chutzpah & cynicism involved when GHW Bush appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace Thurgood Marshall.

Or like when Jack Ryan dropped out of the 2004 Senate race against Obama and the GOP replaced him with Alan Keyes.


You're going to hear a lot about Palin's toughness, demonstrated by her delivering a speech after her water broke when she was carrying her fifth child. Here's a reply to a Nat Hentoff column (scroll down to the last comment by JakeW) that takes a different view of her actions and contrasts it against her pro-life positions:
Palin made the decision to travel to Texas to a Governor's conference while 36 weeks pregnant, a time during which obstetricians would tell you it’s foolish to travel via plane. Air travel is a known risk for pregnancy complications, which is indeed what happened. The governor, while on a self-promoting trip to deliver a speech, had premature rupture of fetal membranes: her water broke.

Call your local OB department and ask what to do if you think that your water has broken. You’ll be advised to seek an immediate hands-on examination by an obstetrician. The baby will be placed on a monitor to make sure it’s OK. Premature rupture of membranes can lead to life-threatening infection and premature delivery.

What did Sarah Palin do? She did NOT go to a local hospital and did NOT have her baby checked on a fetal monitor to make sure it was OK. She called her family practice doctor in Alaska for advice. What advice was given isn’t clear, but it’s clearly quoted that she "did not ask for a medical OK to fly". Whether it was OK to fly should be the FIRST question anyone considering traveling by air should have, if they were at all interested in protecting the life of the unborn. Regardless, she decided to give her speech at the conference without having any evaluation other than the long-distance advice of a family practitioner. Her speech was more important to her than making any effort to make sure her unborn child was OK. Then, she decided to fly back to Alaska, an 11-hour trip. In addition, she failed to inform flight personnel that her water had broken.
I don't know much about obstetrics, so I can't really judge whether JakeW's accusations have any merit. But it's an interesting take on a story that's going to be coming up a lot.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2008 [33 favorites]


When I casually mentioned this lady as McCain's choice today (while at the gym) three out of three times I was told by each person I was speaking to that they were voting for McCain.

No, the deal is that we have a woman who's been governor of of a state (population of which is smaller than Obama's congressional district) for a mere 18 months, and before that was a mayor of a town smaller than the one where Elvis was born. We've got that and the beauty queen thing to go on

We have someone who is just about as far away from the Washington beltway as it is possible to get. Someone who has already been known to fight against corruption. Someone who has proved she is a very strong campaigner, even when her own party was not a fan of hers. Joe Sixpack is gonna be thrilled.

Guys, I hear you re the experience thing, but I think you'd better not underestimate this woman. It takes a really strong, really forceful person to do what she has done and not only that, at the same time be a parent to five children. She is not only prolife but has a down's syndrome child in a time where many of these children are indeed aborted. People like my son, who up until now was planning to write in a candidate rather than vote for either, are going to at the very least sit up and take notice.

I had never even heard of her before today, but I think we'd all better fasten our seatbelts. We ain't seen nuttin' yet. This is gonna be quite a ride.
posted by konolia at 12:25 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin will talk about getting rid of corruption.

Republican corruption? That should be fun to watch.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:26 PM on August 29, 2008


[Todd] Palin's advocacy dovetails neatly with his wife's No. 1 priority: forging a construction contract with private companies to transport natural gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48. The export of natural gas would presumably replace revenue from the state's dwindling oil reserves, which funded 80 percent of the state budget last year.


The oil connections get thicker.
posted by furtive at 12:27 PM on August 29, 2008


Harriet Miers Jr.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:28 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


What if she gets pregnant with #6 while in office?

What is that supposed to mean?


Just that: what if? She is still of childbearing age, had the last one just a few months ago, and hasn't gone four years without being pregnant in a while; I think it's relevant. How would the stresses of such a job combine with a pregnancy? She's had babies while in office in Alaska, but how does that translate to the far bigger job of VP or POTUS?
posted by bink at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2008


MikeMc : I agree that most mainline Christians don't take the Bible literally, but if you don't why bother calling yourself a Christian? I would think Unitarian might be a better choice. Is it just me?

Yeah, that would be just you. Christians generally call themselves Christians because they believe that Christ was a divine being. (And I've even run into some who don't believe that and still call themselves Christians.)

</atheist>
posted by XMLicious at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oops, that should be ...is a divine being.
posted by XMLicious at 12:31 PM on August 29, 2008


Because it's very clearly that it's being used in this thread, if not outright, but as a subtext, to insinuate that somehow she's not smart enough to be Veep.

LOL. The repub defenders are revealing their hidden prejudices, methinks.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2008


It's the non-evangelicals who have remained conveniently silent about them when it happens to suit their moralizing or political needs.

Some have remained silent, but I think it's erroneous to claim that you know why. Maybe some people believe they can be worked with, and toned down. Others, like Richard Cizik, have tried changing the structure from within. Others still see idiots like Robertson and Haggard call themselves Christian, then hear their own friends talk about Christians in general as being crazy fascists, and think, "Well, fuck this." Sure, it avoids a moral obligation to right a wrong, but I think it's perfectly natural that some people just don't get involved in the entire discussion - not right, just understandable. I think there's also some complicity in believe that Christians are more easily represented by people like Swaggart than people like Tutu - that it's the hypocritical grandstander, and not the civil activist, who best represents what being Christian means.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2008


Pat Buchanan said that the Palin pick was the "biggest political gamble I believe just about in American political history." Interesting thing to say about a candidate like McCain with a known weakness for craps.
Only recently have McCain's aides urged him to pull back from the pastime. In the heat of the G.O.P. primary fight last spring, he announced on a visit to the Vegas Strip that he was going to the casino floor. When his aides stopped him, fearing a public relations disaster, McCain suggested that they ask the casino to take a craps table to a private room, a high-roller privilege McCain had indulged in before. His aides, with alarm bells ringing, refused again, according to two accounts of the discussion.

"He clearly knows that this is on the borderline of what is acceptable for him to be doing," says a Republican who has watched McCain play. "And he just sort of revels in it."
Did McCain roll the dice with the vice presidency?
posted by gerryblog at 12:33 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


VPILF.COM

Oy god.
posted by cortex at 12:33 PM on August 29, 2008


Just that: what if? She is still of childbearing age

You realize you are essentially questioning if a woman can be president or VP because she might get preggers, right?
posted by jsonic at 12:33 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


MikeMc, you don't know much about Xtianity in the United States, do you?
posted by everichon at 12:34 PM on August 29, 2008


We have someone who is just about as far away from the Washington beltway as it is possible to get.

This, IMHO, is her strongest selling point and appeals to people, like myself, who are tired of the same tired faces and the same "business as usual" candidates. If only Obama and McCain would swap running mates. Two entrenched Beltway hands vs. a couple of fresh young faces, that would be a race for the ages.
posted by MikeMc at 12:35 PM on August 29, 2008


How would the stresses of such a job combine with a pregnancy?

Not super well, but I know lots of women who have had babies while holding down a stressful job. Everybody involved is fine.

Also, I hope she loses.
posted by Camofrog at 12:35 PM on August 29, 2008


It's the non-evangelicals who have remained conveniently silent about them when it happens to suit their moralizing or political needs.

Some have remained silent, but I think it's erroneous to claim that you know why.


I didn't claim to know why. Just when.
posted by troybob at 12:36 PM on August 29, 2008


You realize you are essentially questioning if a woman can be president or VP because she might get preggers, right?

No kidding. Yes, being Vice President or President is stressful. I don't know of any job that isn't stressful (and if there is a stress-free job out there, could someone please tell me where it is, because I'm about to snap necks over here, and I am not anywhere near Vice President of the US). Women have been getting pregnant since the beginning of history, and the working world hasn't come to end, so should Palin chose to add to her familiy while holding the office of Vice President, I'm sure everyone will be just fine.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:37 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


You realize you are essentially questioning if a woman can be president or VP because she might get preggers, right?

You realize your party regularly questions if Obama can be president because he is black and has a Muslim-sounding name, right?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 PM on August 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


I think the saddest thing about all of this is, it shows what a crap system democracy is.

Well it might be as Churchill stated "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried"

The problem is, all the followers of Goebbels out there, think language should not be used for communication, the only purpose of language is to manipulate, but wait the Neocons did not use language, they used semiotics, they said go for the Billary vote by waving a beauty queen at us.

The low opinion most advertisers and spammers, have for the rest of humanity is indicative of the problem.

I vote Chinese.
posted by dollyknot at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2008


When I casually mentioned this lady as McCain's choice today (while at the gym) three out of three times I was told by each person I was speaking to that they were voting for McCain.

When I casually mentioned this woman as McCain's choice today (while at the gym) three out of three times I was told by each person I was speaking to that they were voting for Obama.
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree with DaShiv that this is a risky move with potential huge payoffs for McCain. I think the elections of 2000 and 2004 showed very clearly that winning elections when the electorate is divided so closely between conservatives and progressives isn't about appealing to the mythical "independent voter." It's about mobilizing your base, so more of your people than those of your opponent are fired up to go to the polls.

The reason this could pay off so hugely:

1. McCain recognized that social conservatives who were kind of meh about him could be a huge problem. By nominating a social conservative who is on the right side of all those issues, he fires up the base and makes it more likely they'll come out to vote rather than stay home. Her strong anti-choice positions are probably somewhat softened for a lot of moderate Republican women because she supports things like Feminists for Life--a group that pays at least lip service to expanding the resources that unexpectedly pregnant women have so they aren't forced to abort. And true pro-choicers and progressives aren't ever going to vote for McCain anyway, so there's no loss there.

2. McCain has obviously already recognized that not only does he need to get his base to the polls, but he needs to neutralize the enormous groundswell of support that Obama has from the left. I'd argue that his ads talking about how Hillary was passed over aren't really about convincing her disillusioned supporters to vote for him--that'd be a tough sell--but rather to keep them angry and disillusioned enough that they just don't show up at all. His choice of Palin is probably going to be really effective on this score as well. What do you want to bet we're going to see a bunch of the petty, sexist crap** flung at her that was flung at Hillary? Seeing that shit for 2 months won't make a lot of women want to vote for McCain, but it very well may make a lot of them stay home, reasoning that they can't in good conscience vote for either candidate because they're too disgusted with the whole thing.

**To all those who say "talking about her derisively for being in a beauty pagent isn't sexist!!", I'd urge you to read onlyconnect's comment, which hits the nail on the head. You don't have to agree with her analysis, but if you weren't someone who thought that Hillary faced a lot of sexist bullshit in the primaries, you're not really the target of this anyway. I was someone who was pissed off at her treatment, and I absolutely see how 2 months of crap from Democrats along those lines would make it hard for me to want to show up and vote, no matter how much I hate McCain. Which is probably exactly what McCain is going for.
posted by iminurmefi at 12:41 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I watched her speech on CNN this morning and felt like I was being given a cheery yet unpleasant talking to by the church lady. That voice! Poor McCain looks all that much more on death's door standing next to her, even though she'd incredibly prim and oldish for her age. She looks more like my grandmother than my mother, by a long shot.

Uhm, wtf is a PUMA, please?

I am hoping for the best for you long suffering Americans, I don't know how you can stand the cynical moves, the lies, the smears, and the hypocrisy for such a protracted length of time and all done with so much gusto! The republicans really seem to revel in it, it's gross. You really need to have shortened campaign time frame, written in law (not to mention pencil & paper ballots right across the country). I can only watch a few minutes of this stuff on your news and I start to feeling incredibly anxious, it takes my breath away. I'm gonna have to avoid it altogether now, since poor old Canada is about to be thrust into a federal election and I'll need all my nerve for that particular crock of shit, lol.

Best of luck Democrats, you have the best candidate, may he win.
posted by zarah at 12:42 PM on August 29, 2008


MikeMc, you don't know much about Xtianity in the United States, do you?

I try no to. Between Catholics, evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Mormons, Greek Orthodox, Coptics, Amish, Mennonites, Chaldeans etc... it's all too much for me to keep track of.
posted by MikeMc at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2008


>It's the non-evangelicals who have remained conveniently silent about them when it happens to suit their moralizing or political needs.

>Some have remained silent, but I think it's erroneous to claim that you know why.

>I didn't claim to know why. Just when.


Huh. Still sounds like you're claiming you know the reasons behind the silence of some, but alright.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2008


You realize you are essentially questioning if a woman can be president or VP because she might get preggers, right?

You realize what a misguided question this is, right?

Aside from Palin hypothetically bearing a child, you realize the Republican party also does anything it can to make life miserable for almost all working pregnant women and low-income families trying to raise children in the United States, right?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


She believes in Creationism. She's not smart enough for school board.

Reagan, Creatonist: 8 years in office.

Bush II, Creatonist: 8 years in office

Bush I, unclear, but his VP was indeed a proud creationist: 4 years in office.

Mondale, Kerry, Edwards, Gore -- all non-Creatonists.

see, this is why Republicans get such a kick out of beating you guys, because you always, always get it wrong about this stuff.


People like my son, who up until now was planning to write in a candidate rather than vote for either, are going to at the very least sit up and take notice

oh, Palin will energize the fetus/Jesus base, nobody here is denying that. McCain, for all his talk about bogus stories of "gooks" (his word, not mine) drawing crosses in the dirt, is indeed secular and has little love for the fundies (who hate him back, despite his solid anti-Roe record). what's your point? everybody knows she's good to energize the fundies (except those who have a problem with her Catholicism, there must still be some anti-Papists out there).

(while at the gym)


this would not be one of those gyms right next -- or inside -- evangelical church compounds, right? just to have a better idea about where your sample is coming from.
posted by matteo at 12:45 PM on August 29, 2008


Blaze and TPS, I'm starting to really like you guys. I may have to go lie down somewhere with a cool towel on my forehead.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:46 PM on August 29, 2008


Is there a source that shows Palin is a young-Earth creationist (Earth is only 6000 years old), or is she just a creationist (God got things going 4.5B years ago)? The two are pretty different.

The latter isn't even a scientific question, it's theological. If she wants creationism taught in the classroom (and she does), she is arguing against accepted science and believes in the former. The attempt to conflate the two is a political strategy for some.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:47 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The oil connections get thicker.
That's a particularly viscous attack.
posted by Floydd at 12:47 PM on August 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


I don't see a conflict between her claims of feminism and her participation in beauty pageants or pro-life behavior. There's nothing in feminism that directly forbids opportunism, to my knowledge.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:48 PM on August 29, 2008


Uhm, wtf is a PUMA, please?

ENOUGH
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:48 PM on August 29, 2008


What if she gets pregnant with #6 while in office?

This being a prime example of #2 above. If Biden--putting his foot in his mouth as he seems somewhat wont to do when speaking off-the-cuff (remember when he called Obama "articulate"?)--ever said something like this, I think it'd kill my vote. I hate to say that, because I hate McCain with heat of a thousand suns, but I absolutely, positively couldn't vote for a candidate who even suggested something like this.

And I'd bet dollars to donuts that I'm not the only female Democrat who feels this way. It'd only take one or two sexist gaffes to keep enough potential voters home to deliver toss-up states like Virginia.
posted by iminurmefi at 12:48 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


How would the stresses of such a job combine with a pregnancy? She's had babies while in office in Alaska, but how does that translate to the far bigger job of VP or POTUS?

Yeah! Or what if she got PMS? She could get hysterical!

But seriously, it doesn't seem like any more of an issue than Cheney's bum ticker or McCain's melanoma. This is what we have the 25th Amendment for.
posted by XMLicious at 12:49 PM on August 29, 2008


Women have been getting pregnant since the beginning of history, and the working world hasn't come to end

Yes, but they tend to take maternity leaves to do it. Does the office have a provision for that? What if there's a war on at the time?
posted by bink at 12:50 PM on August 29, 2008


Uhm, wtf is a PUMA, please?

"Party Unity, My Ass!" It refers to Hillary supporters who don't want to support Obama because they hold a grudge about how Hillary was treated.
posted by Class Goat at 12:51 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


bink, did you miss that she didn't take maternity leave for the last one?
posted by agregoli at 12:51 PM on August 29, 2008


Uhm, wtf is a PUMA, please?

ENOUGH


Is that an actual answer (some other acronym I'm ignorant of) or are you yelling at me for some reason? I briefly googled and came up with a sneaker and a wild cat.
posted by zarah at 12:52 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Either way, the past two elections and their practical results have taught me that whatever the outcome, as a whole we pretty much get the president we earn and deserve.
If the vote hadn't been oursourced to private, for profit, Republican organizations, who view tallying MY VOTE as a "trade secret", I'd agree with you.

As it is, I think Gore won. And Kerry did too. (The putzes.)
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 12:52 PM on August 29, 2008


If Biden--putting his foot in his mouth as he seems somewhat wont to do when speaking off-the-cuff (remember when he called Obama "articulate"?)--ever said something like this, I think it'd kill my vote.

So never mind the billions of dollars Biden set aside for the Violence Against Women Act. He says something stupid off the cuff, that trumps his voting record, which is one of the most pro-women in the Congress?

Forgive me if that strikes me as a little short-sighted.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:53 PM on August 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


"Party Unity, My Ass!" It refers to Hillary supporters who don't want to support Obama because they hold a grudge about how Hillary was treated.

Oh, I see! Thank you Class Goat!
posted by zarah at 12:53 PM on August 29, 2008


Yes, but they tend to take maternity leaves to do it. Does the office have a provision for that? What if there's a war on at the time?

I wonder if elected officials are covered by the Familiy and Medical Leave Act? Anyone know?

Beyond that question, I find it funny that the same people who would yell themself blue about hating this woman would also yell at her for taking any leave. We think you're lousy at your job, and you better not take one day off, either!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:53 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


All this "what if she gets preggers?" talk sounds like some serious false flag bullshit to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


It takes a really strong, really forceful person to do what she has done and not only that, at the same time be a parent to five children. She is not only prolife but has a down's syndrome child in a time where many of these children are indeed aborted.

I think Konolia makes a good point here. Unless she has been extremely wealthy her whole life, this does denote a strong and strong-willed woman who may present a formidable opponent in the race. We would be unwise to underestimate her, in spite of her misguided beauty pageant forays.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If she & McCain promise to campaign in pelts for the rest of the election season, they will have my attention. Not my vote, just my attention.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:55 PM on August 29, 2008


Ta-daaa! VPILF.COM

Well, that was...fast...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:55 PM on August 29, 2008


Is that an actual answer (some other acronym I'm ignorant of) or are you yelling at me for some reason?

Sorry about that, didn't mean to yell. There's been a lot of talk about these people here lately, and I'm all Swift Boated out.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2008


Palin says she felt safe flying to Alaska to have baby
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You realize your party regularly questions if Obama can be president because he is black and has a Muslim-sounding name, right?

Really? The Republican Party has said Obama can't be president because he's black? I'm well aware that some voters think that. Then again, some lefty voters believe some dumb things too.

You realize what a misguided question this is, right?

Someone implies that a women can't be president due to preggers. I point this out, and you say I'm the one who's misguided? Is that really a position you want to take?
posted by jsonic at 1:00 PM on August 29, 2008


For the record, I am in possession of a set of ovaries myself, and wouldn't vote for her in a million years. I'm just asking questions about something that could potentially take someone off a pretty significant job for a few months. There's no woman-hating motive here, I'm just curious about what would happen. What's wrong with wondering about these eventualities?
posted by bink at 1:01 PM on August 29, 2008


How is babby flown?
posted by orthogonality at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


bink, did you miss that she didn't take maternity leave for the last one?
I did miss that. That's exactly the kind of information I was wondering about. Thanks.
posted by bink at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2008


this would not be one of those gyms right next -- or inside -- evangelical church compounds, right?

No, it's owned by our local hospital. The three I spoke with were my male spin instructor (who went to a Benedictine college and originally told me he liked Hillary a few months ago), another instructor (married to a military guy) and a friend of mine, also an instructor, who is a casual mostly nonpracticing Catholic and fairly liberal type. That latter person liked Obama originally but was turned off by the brouhaha re his former pastor.
posted by konolia at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2008


Would you call this comment about how she played fast and loose with the safety of her unborn child, which unless I am TOTALLY mistaken was the one who we now know has Downs Syndrome, "misogynistic"? I call it one of the scariest things I have ever heard about a politician of either party.

(cross posted with in the MeTa callout thread)
posted by wendell at 1:05 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm probably late to posting this campaign portrait.
posted by empath at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


You realize you are essentially questioning if a woman can be president or VP because she might get preggers, right?

You realize McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, right?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


I wonder if this was the ONLY incident of her risking the life of an unborn child with Downs. Sounds like a Republican Abortion attempt to me.
posted by wendell at 1:07 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Nah, if pro-lifers want abortions they just go ahead and have them.
posted by Artw at 1:08 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Watching her speech, it's interesting to see how they're trying to snag the "Change" meme by going on about how she and McCain are "the best choice for change in Washington."

Also that she spends about 45 seconds talking very vaguely about how she fought some corruption once and then plays the McCain was a POW card.
posted by Shepherd at 1:09 PM on August 29, 2008


What did Sarah Palin do? She did NOT go to a local hospital and did NOT have her baby checked on a fetal monitor to make sure it was OK.

What a maverick.
posted by felix betachat at 1:11 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You realize McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, right?

Is that the one that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in United States v. Morrison?
posted by Perplexity at 1:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


It refers to an astroturf group purporting to be Hillary supporters who don't want to support Obama because they hold a grudge about how Hillary was treated.

FTFY
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


What if she gets pregnant with #6 while in office?

Bink raises a crucial issue.

WHO WOULD PRESIDE OVER PROCEDURAL MATTERS IN THE SENATE DURING HER BRIEF MATERNITY LEAVE????
(Assuming that the President pro tempore was also pregnant at the time.)
(And also all the junior senators who usually fill in for the President pro tempore to help them learn parliamentary procedure.)
(Also, every other senator.)


WHAT THEN, AMERICA?!?!? Won't someone think of the procedural matters?
posted by designbot at 1:13 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow I just stepped out for a minute there and, uh, so what did I miss?
posted by From Bklyn at 1:13 PM on August 29, 2008


One thing a lot of staunch Democrats and staunch Republicans might be forgetting is that there are an awful lot of people out there who while they might be registered for a party are not necessarily folks interested in the party line. They vote for who they like, not necessarily to forward an agenda (anathema, I know, to any true Party partisan.)

So, what I want to know is, how do Joe and Sally Sixpack see a woman like her? THAT will tell you what you need to know re the coming election. Go sit in the Waffle House this weekend, order a cup of coffee, and just listen. Because those are the people who will give us our next administration.
posted by konolia at 1:13 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Paul Begala: "When you're 72 and you have had four bouts with cancer, you ought to choose a qualified VP."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:14 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Palin Pleased with Obama's Energy Plan ("This is Google's cache of http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1384. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Aug 28, 2008 01:01:30 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime." Whaddaya know, it doesn't seem to be on her site any more.)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:14 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


This was a stupid stupid move by McCain. He's just laid waste to the only line of criticism against Obama that had any momentum.

Also, it reminds everyone that he's old. And not in a good way.
posted by bshort at 1:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I want to know why the hell McCain was fiddling with his wedding ring during her speech.

"His eyes hold Edith, his left hand holds his right.
What does that hand desire, that he grips it so tight ...?"

Joni Mitchell : "Edith and the Kingpin"
posted by essexjan at 1:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is that the one that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in United States v. Morrison?

Nope. The VAWA is still United States Law. Only the civil rights remedy of VAWA was struck down. Which you could have learned if you just clicked the link to the VAWA in the Wikipedia article you linked to, unless you were deliberately misrepresenting it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:19 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Palin is quite obviously a wacky choice. But the qualities she does have as a pro-life, pro-oil, creationist female are pretty attractive to the Republican base right now, who still aren't convinced McCain is the man for the job. Sure she's under a cloud of scandal, but what Republican isn't, amirite?

Here is my theory:

Rumor has it that McCain wanted to pick Lieberman. This might have won him some "change" voters, but would have done very little to appease the Republican base.

I think that the heads of the Republican party forced Palin on McCain not because she was the best candidate to run against the Democrats, but because she's attractive to the right.

I think they're punting on this election altogether and guaranteeing that whatever happens, the Republican right won't be so pissed off at being marginalized in 2008 that they won't be there in 2012.
posted by crickets at 1:20 PM on August 29, 2008


Bring out your disenfranchised Clinton supporters! [CLANG]
Bring out your disenfranchised Clinton supporters! [CLANG]
Bring out your disenfranchised Clinton supporters! [CLANG]
...
posted by jim in austin at 1:20 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Woah, talk about some heat in here today.

All I know is that I think she should give Kim Campbell a call and maybe back out before it's too late.
posted by GuyZero at 1:21 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Someone implies that a women can't be president due to preggers. I point this out, and you say I'm the one who's misguided?

I also point out that the Republican Party has a long history of being against career-track mommies in general, at all levels of the workforce.

Aside from it being misguided for you to suggest that it is wrong to ask reasonable questions how Palin would handle her putative and significant vice-presidential responsibilities while bringing a child to term, it is also misguided, because the question sidesteps the long, misogynistic history of the party she is affiliated with.

At the very least, we should examine the misogynistic record of her presidential running mate, John McCain, who voted against the Violence Against Women Act, skipped on voting to provide equal pay to women (and is on record for stating he would have otherwise voted against providing equal pay to women, had he showed up), voted to gut the Family and Medical Leave Act, and has voted against providing reproductive healthcare and education to young American women. This is in addition to promising to do what he can to overturn reproduction choice laws.

You are misguided.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:22 PM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


I'd just like to point out the Palin is not the governor of just any state, she is governor of Alaska. Why does is this important? Well, Alaska is bought and paid for by the oil companies. Oil money, subsidized with federal money, is what runs the state government - not income tax. A governor of Alaska doesn't have to worry about tax rates, balancing budgets or social spending - it's already dialed in.

Alaska, per capita, is one of the wealthiest states in the union.

Now compare this to other states, like, say, Ohio. Ohio is dealing with rampant unemployment, a mortgage crisis and yearly budget shortfalls funded by a declining tax-base. In Ohio, as in other states, the governor's office faces some real issues and has to show some real leadership.

Yes, she's a governor, but no, that doesn't amount to much "executive experience." If anything the Mayor of Dayton, Ohio has more executive experience - and if not, the Mayors of Chicago, New York, hell, even Cleveland do.

It's easy to dismiss criticisms of her lack of experience by claiming she's more experience than "Obama and Biden combined," but ultimately this is just empty rhetoric to back up a empty point.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [37 favorites]


Astro Zombie, I really hate it when people do the "if X wins the primary, then I'm gonna vote for X's opponent, so THERE!" thing, so I recognize the frustration in your question, but... yeah. I don't particularly like to admit it, I don't think it's necessarily right (in the sense of optimizing my life), but I'm being honest because I think this is an essential component of the strategy that McCain is trying to use. Casual, off-the-cuff sexism bothers me a lot, and I would have a really hard time overcoming my gut dislike of someone who said something like that. Combine it with the general PITA it is to vote--you know, waking up early, standing in line for an hour or two, having to work late because you got in late--and I think it's possible that my personal disappointment and dislike of a particular candidate on a ticket would lead me to not vote.

I guess I'm not saying it to point out "la la la I'm a special snowflake, PANDER TO ME"--let's be honest, one vote has a vanishingly small probability of actually deciding the election, Florida in 2000 aside--but rather to explain why I think the choice of Palin was probably a really canny one on McCain's part. A lot of people on metafilter didn't really seem to grok why so many women were angry about Hillary's treatment during the primaries, and while respecting that people can have different views on whether a specific incident or phrase is sexist or not, I think it's counterproductive to pretend that the issue doesn't exist. I really, really hope that the Democratic party doesn't fall into the trap that I think McCain has set for them by having a sexist foot-in-mouth moment every couple of days between now and November. I am not, however, particularly hopeful on that point.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is that the one that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in United States v. Morrison?

You mean that one that was reauthorized in 2000 and again in 2005? Signed into law by Bush? Yeah, it was that one.

The Supreme Court ruling only ruled out the civil rights remedy, not the funding.

You know, you could, like, read the Wikipedia article.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:24 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, what I want to know is, how do Joe and Sally Sixpack see a woman like her? ... Because those are the people who will give us our next administration.

And if the election were held the same day McCain made the announcement, it might just turn the election. But if the Sixpacks bother to learn anything about Sarah beyond "Woman Governor with Maverick Image!" in the next two months, not so much.
posted by wendell at 1:24 PM on August 29, 2008


Am I the only one thinking he is going for Laura Roslin and the BSG vote?

I have never been more proud of Metafilter than I was when I read this comment. Word up, well_balanced. I came here to post the same thing.

*Waves BSG Flag*
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:28 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


George W. Bush had a lot more "executive experience" than Sarah Palin in a much bigger (in every way but land mass) and complex state. What does that prove?
posted by wendell at 1:28 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, what I want to know is, how do Joe and Sally Sixpack see a woman like her? THAT will tell you what you need to know re the coming election. Go sit in the Waffle House this weekend, order a cup of coffee, and just listen. Because those are the people who will give us our next administration.

My guess is that they will be laughing and shaking their heads. And voting for either Obama or Barr.
posted by billysumday at 1:29 PM on August 29, 2008


A lot of people on metafilter didn't really seem to grok why so many women were angry about Hillary's treatment during the primaries, and while respecting that people can have different views on whether a specific incident or phrase is sexist or not, I think it's counterproductive to pretend that the issue doesn't exist.

Any woman who was pro-Clinton and then decides to switch to McCain over this has pretty much earned her second-class citizenship.
posted by troybob at 1:29 PM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


When I casually mentioned this lady as McCain's choice today (while at the gym) three out of three times I was told by each person I was speaking to that they were voting for McCain.

HOLY SHIT!

You found McCain voters in FAYETTEVILLE? Alert the news!

At 11: Rumors of Obama supporter in San Francisco.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:33 PM on August 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


Any woman who was pro-Clinton and then decides to switch to McCain over this has pretty much earned her second-class citizenship.

Classy.

In terms of people switching over to McCain after Hilary lost the primary, I say let them go. They aren't voting on any real issues, they aren't really involved in any process but their own, and more importantly, there aren't really that many of them.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:34 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You are misguided.

LOL. I think women deserve to be considered for president and VP, regardless of their potential for getting pregnant. How terribly misguided of me.
posted by jsonic at 1:35 PM on August 29, 2008


troybob, as I pointed out in my original comment, I think it's too simplistic to assume McCain is trying to win over pro-Clinton voters.

I think he's trying to get Obama's people (or hell, maybe just the media) to play the same game as in the primaries, which may have the effect of making pro-Clinton voters decide to just stay home.

(Also, that comment you made? About a woman who votes in a way you disagree with having "pretty much earned her second-class citizenship"? That's exactly the sort of shit that will create said backlash.)
posted by iminurmefi at 1:35 PM on August 29, 2008


You know, I think there's also a very good case to be made that this may motivate Hillary Clinton to work even harder to elect Barack Obama.

What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly? I'm tired of the HILLARY MUST WORK HARDER TO ELECT OBAMA idiocy, online and off. Is she supposed to immolate herself on a giant damn float that says I LOVE SENATOR OBAMA while singing the Star Spangled Banner? Will that do it? Or will people carp that she should have written PRESIDENT Obama so that we all know she's rlly, rlly serious this time?
posted by winna at 1:37 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


"George W. Bush had a lot more "executive experience" than Sarah Palin in a much bigger (in every way but land mass) and complex state. What does that prove?"

nothing

a necessary criteria does not mean it is a sufficient criteria

you can argue experience is not a necessary factor for competency,
but I don't think anyone is arguing it is the only factor and thus guarantees success
posted by sloe at 1:37 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree that most mainline Christians don't take the Bible literally, but if you don't why bother calling yourself a Christian?

The Christians that don't take the the Bible as a literal record of fact are the same Christians who believe that God must be smart enough to use metaphors.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:38 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly?

I'm pretty well convinced that no matter what she does or how hard she works, plenty of people will be ready to blame her first if Obama loses November. And that will be really annoying. It's Obama's campaign now.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:40 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly? I'm tired of the HILLARY MUST WORK HARDER TO ELECT OBAMA idiocy, online and off. Is she supposed to immolate herself on a giant damn float that says I LOVE SENATOR OBAMA while singing the Star Spangled Banner? Will that do it? Or will people carp that she should have written PRESIDENT Obama so that we all know she's rlly, rlly serious this time?

Well, it would certainly be better than standing in front of the classroom, shuffling her feet and stammering "I um support Barack Obama for president ok I'm going to go home now" like she basically did this week. I think the idea is that she cares more about her own ascension to presidency than her party or purported ideals winning.
posted by cellphone at 1:40 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it's too simplistic to assume McCain is trying to win over pro-Clinton voters.

I didn't speak to McCain's motives at all.

About a woman who votes in a way you disagree with...

I didn't apply this to any woman who votes in a way I disagree with. Just those who would shift their vote to McCain 'over this' (e.g., for this reason).
posted by troybob at 1:41 PM on August 29, 2008


i.e., not e.g. ugh
posted by troybob at 1:42 PM on August 29, 2008


"(Also, that comment you made? About a woman who votes in a way you disagree with having "pretty much earned her second-class citizenship"? That's exactly the sort of shit that will create said backlash.)"

A woman who votes for a candidate who wants to make her a second-class citizen because of some perceived imperfection in the character of the candidates who are working to make her a fully-equal citizen pretty fucking much deserves to get what she voted for.
posted by klangklangston at 1:42 PM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Any woman who was pro-Clinton and then decides to switch to McCain over this has pretty much earned her second-class citizenship.

Youch! I'm suddenly feeling better about my comments in this thread.
posted by MikeMc at 1:45 PM on August 29, 2008


Um, one thing that has sort of struck me- apparently it's a big thing that she didn't terminate her last pregnancy after learning that the child would have Downs syndrome? Like, Republicans think this is a huge deal? I know at least two people who have done the same thing, people who were actually okay with abortion in general. I don't know ANYONE who, after planning to carry a pregnancy to term, changed their mind because of something like that; I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but I've just never met anyone who has done that. I just think it's really bizarre that people think it's a crazy big deal that a person who doesn't believe in getting an abortion didn't get an abortion. Of course she didn't get an abortion, she was NEVER going to get an abortion, and the idea that people think it would be rare for this to happen generally makes me feel depressed about how people feel about people with learning disabilities in general.
posted by 235w103 at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


"I'm pretty well convinced that no matter what she does or how hard she works, plenty of people will be ready to blame her first if Obama loses November."

Which is a shame, because her speech (and her husband's speech, since he's often also labeled as a submariner) was pretty fantastic and hit exactly the right notes regarding appeals to HER base, which is more important than the broader coterie of folks who already support Obama.

"Well, it would certainly be better than standing in front of the classroom, shuffling her feet and stammering "I um support Barack Obama for president ok I'm going to go home now" like she basically did this week. I think the idea is that she cares more about her own ascension to presidency than her party or purported ideals winning."

Dude, that's totally bullshit given the speeches that she's made. She was enthusiastic, she was blunt, she was pretty damn brilliant in reaching HER audience, which is a significant subset of likely-Democratic voters. She did exactly what she was supposed to and exactly what she needed to do. I was about to complain to TPS that I thought the idea of her being less-than-gracious was something that was only being kept alive by idiots on CNN, who clearly came to her speech with their frames already hung, but c'mon.
posted by klangklangston at 1:47 PM on August 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


A woman who votes for a candidate who wants to make her a second-class citizen because of some perceived imperfection in the character of the candidates who are working to make her a fully-equal citizen pretty fucking much deserves to get what she voted for.

Either that OR your claim that the Republicans and McCain want to make women second-class citizens is just blowhard partisan rhetoric.
posted by jsonic at 1:48 PM on August 29, 2008


Well, it would certainly be better than standing in front of the classroom, shuffling her feet and stammering "I um support Barack Obama for president ok I'm going to go home now" like she basically did this week.

Oh, come on. Her speech was great.

But I do agree with the pink superhero: this is Obama's campaign now - if he loses it isn't Hilary's fault, but his own.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:48 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's nice that she didn't abort her pregnancy even after finding out the fetus had Down's Syndrome. Good for her, happy happy.

You know what's even nicer? That she CHOSE not to abort. That not aborting wasn't simply mandated. Anyone who thinks that anti-abortion leanings give you the right to get all up in others' vaginas needs an attitude adjustment.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [25 favorites]


Newsweek writes that Palin “felt kind of bad she couldn’t support a woman, but she didn’t like Clinton’s ‘whining.’”*
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


So, what I want to know is, how do Joe and Sally Sixpack see a woman like her?

I participate in an online group which is pretty much the polar opposite of this one politically - it's a group for mothers in Charlotte, NC. There are a few of us token lib'ruls, but most of the membership is cheerily conservative, with Bible verses or quotes like "Only two forces ever agreed to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier" in their signature lines.

They're already saying that Palin is "more experienced" than Obama, because it's executive experience, or something. They like her because she's pro-life, and a mother, and didn't abort her Down Syndrome baby, and that's enough to make them ignore any possible questions about her qualifications.

I'm not feeling very optimistic about North Carolina turning blue this year.
posted by Daily Alice at 1:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Either that OR your claim that the Republicans and McCain want to make women second-class citizens is just blowhard partisan rhetoric."

Well, since it's not (based on the legislative, judicial and executive priorities and actions of the party), I'll take it that you agree with me.
posted by klangklangston at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


jsonic: "Either that OR your claim that the Republicans and McCain want to make women second-class citizens is just blowhard partisan rhetoric."

McCain wants to remove from women a right that nobody would ever propose taking from men. Sounds like a second-class strategy to me.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Scandal-Plagued Ted Stevens Endorses Palin For VP, Says He’s ‘Known And Worked’ With Her ‘For Over A Decade’
posted by ericb at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2008


Palin denies global warming is man-made and is a "champion for Big Oil."
posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on August 29, 2008


I was curious who's behind VPILF. I guess I was hoping it wouldn't be an Obama supporter. Alas, no such luck.

Two clues from the top of the page:

1) masthead URL: http://web.me.com/dnksr/vpilf.com/[...]

2) "Brought to you by the same people who gave you: TheMovieSpoiler.com"


Alexa info for TheMovieSpoiler.com:
Kaiser, Dan
6111 97th Ave Ct W
Tacoma, WA
98467
US
Phone: +1 253 565 XXXX
dnksr [at] mac.com
note: web.me.com and mac.com are apple services that host user content. So dnksr@mac.com and web.me.com/dnksr/ are likely the same person.


...and a cached news article from the Tacoma News Tribune hints at Mr. Kaiser's political affiliation:
The stories behind the customized vanity license plates
IAN DEMSKY; ian.demsky@thenewstribune.com; 235-597-8872
Published: February 27th, 2008 01:00 AM
[...]
Dan Kaiser of University Place didn’t fare as well. State officials revoked his plate joking about President Bush. It read “F DUBYA.”
Congrats, Dan Kaiser, you're a dick.
posted by ryanrs at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, since it's not (based on the legislative, judicial and executive priorities and actions of the party)

Based on your interpretation of their positions. Many people of both sexes don't agree with your framing.
posted by jsonic at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2008


@ijoshua:
It's pronounced "pale-in".

As in "McCain's VP choice will pale in comparison with Obama's."
posted by AngerBoy at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It seems to me that the pick is at least partly based on two misconceptions:

1. I've seen some Republicans attribute their losses in the 2006 midterms to voters being fed up with corruption, so Palin's whistleblowing was probably a plus for her. I'm not convinced that corruption was all that important an issue in 2006, and it's not a major issue this year.

2. It drastically overestimates the number of "Hillary voters." If there's really this block of 18 million pissed-off Hillary supporters, why haven't they each chipped in $2 and retired her campaign debt?

This was a smart pick today because it took attention off Obama's great speech last night, but picking an underqualified unknown (even to McCain: Palin Recently Said She Had Met McCain Only a Few Times) demonstrates poor judgment. If he wanted to pick someone else and was pressured into picking her, that demonstrates an inability to command.

The vice president should be qualified to step in as president from Day One. Biden is, Palin isn't. Picking Palin will only affect McCain's chances of winning the election; there's no indication she'll be able to help run the country. Obama's pick of Biden shows better judgement: Biden would be an asset in governing the country, and could help Obama's chances in the election.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:57 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Based on your interpretation of their positions. Many people of both sexes don't agree with your framing."

Many people of both sexes believe that the earth wasn't formed roughly 4.5 billion years ago. As with your example, those people are wrong. Show me someone who believes that GOP policies are better for women and I'll show you a fool or a liar.
posted by klangklangston at 1:58 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


McCain wants to remove from women a right that nobody would ever propose taking from men. Sounds like a second-class strategy to me.

Oh, so being against the killing of unborn life means McCain is anti-women. I guess that makes those who support the killing of unborn life anti-everybody.
posted by jsonic at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2008


Based on your interpretation of their positions

Based more on roll calls for Senate legislation, and actual policy, you mean.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2008


Scandal-Plagued Ted Stevens Endorses Palin For VP

Oooohhhh, that's gotta hurt. Stevens probably hates her and is trying to take her down with him.
posted by MikeMc at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2008


Her primary four qualities, from McCain's perspective: 1) she's anti-choice/pro-life; 2) she's a she; 3) there isn't any video footage of her dissing McCain, as there is for just about every other person in this country that anyone's ever heard of; and 4) she's kinda hawt (although he won't admit this one, of course).

The big downside is that she completely eviscerates McCain's "experience is important" message, which is really the only message he had that was working at all among voters who aren't already pinned to the Republican Party because of social issues like keeping gays from getting married and keeping women from access to safe abortions.

I'm not objective here, but that one big downside seems to me to outweigh all the positives combined, because that leaves McCain with a whole lotta nothing to work with.
posted by jamstigator at 2:01 PM on August 29, 2008


Based on your interpretation of their positions. Many people of both sexes don't agree with your framing

Voted against a law protecting women from violence. Voted against making certain women got equal pay. Has consistently voted antichoice.

I'm sorry, this is not merely an issue of framing. This sort of voting really does relegate someone to a second-class status. Not everything is just a matter of opinion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Maria Bartiromo Talks With Sarah Palin
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, so being against the killing of unborn life means McCain is anti-women.

McCain voting against the Violence Against Women Act is anti-women. McCain voting against equal pay for women is anti-women. McCain voting against family leave is anti-women. McCain voting against reproductive healthcare and education is anti-women.

McCain being against reproductive choice is just the nail in the coffin.

Your continued, conscious decision to ignore McCain's voting record on all of these issues as they concern women is also anti-women.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2008 [41 favorites]


For the record, Fayetteville is filled with Democrats.
posted by konolia at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2008


Who cares if she's a woman, who cares if she's experienced. That's not what the election is about. If the Dems spend all their time trying to show why she's not a good VP pick, they're focusing on the wrong things. Obama's speech last night was about moving forward, and not letting these little things distract us. There are much bigger issues then anything represented in the Palin pick.
posted by cell divide at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


jsonic, you move those goalposts just 10% faster and I'm pretty sure you'll start travelling in time.
posted by Shepherd at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


"I'm sorry, this is not merely an issue of framing. This sort of voting really does relegate someone to a second-class status. Not everything is just a matter of opinion."

If I recall correctly, jsonic's also the guy who freaked out and got all belligerent because some woman said that she'd kick a guy in the balls if he asked to grope her breasts, so jsonic might not have the best grasp of gender equality.
posted by klangklangston at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh, so being against the killing of unborn life means McCain is anti-women.

Yes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


From this, just posted: Maria Bartiromo Talks With Sarah Palin:

"Q: How important is drilling in Alaska to ease the burden of high oil prices on Americans?

A: Not only to ease the high prices of energy in America but also for national security reasons. Drilling in Alaska is going to be a matter of life and death. Up here in Alaska, we're bursting with billions of barrels of oil that are warehoused underground. We have to pump [this oil] and feed our hungry markets instead of relying on the foreign sources of energy. "

LOL.
posted by Perplexity at 2:06 PM on August 29, 2008


cell divide for the win.

I'm outta here.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:10 PM on August 29, 2008


jamstigator: The big downside is that she completely eviscerates McCain's 'experience is important' message,

Totally. One of McCain's assertions was that someone who hasn't been to Iraq, and been there recently, can have no grasp of the proper way to handle the situation there. Well looky who that's applying to now.

I'm not objective here, but that one big downside seems to me to outweigh all the positives combined,

Exact-a-mundo, I agree with you 100%. As an Obama supporter I am very pleased with McCain's choice.
posted by XMLicious at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2008


Oooohhhh, that's gotta hurt. Stevens probably hates her and is trying to take her down with him.

"In 2006, Sen. Ted Stevens endorsed Palin.

Last month, after Stevens was indicted, Palin refused to call for his resignation, saying that he had 'dedicated his life to the betterment of the state.' She had previously called for another indicted lawmaker to resign."*

And she touts herself as a reformer and corruption fighter.
posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, I'd love to see a woman elected to either the prez or VP office. (I'm a white male.) When I was in the Army and overseas, I'd get my local ballots. This was before the internet though, so I knew none of the people on the ballots or what they stood for, nothing. Yet I did not want my vote to not count for *anything*, so I looked for all the Democrat females and voted for all of them, wherever there was one. Where there was no woman running, I picked the Democrat. So I blindly voted Democrat-but-weighted-toward-women, so that at least my vote would have some purpose behind it, addressing the one inequality in our society that I could identify solely based on the names of the candidates.

Since that young age, I've always wanted to see a woman elected to our highest offices. But it has to be the right woman, at least for me. Just any woman won't do, because it'll be a historic precedent when it happens, and you don't want the first woman to accomplish the feat to make it harder for the women of the future by being anything less than competent. This particular woman isn't the one. I was fine with Hillary, would in fact have preferred her to Obama, but life goes on, she was the loser, and I'm still a Democrat, so Obama it is.

Maybe this is McCain's way of saying, 'If you vote for two *dudes* then you're a fag, so vote for me and the hot chick and no one will think that." Sadly, that might even work in some parts of rural Bubbaville.
posted by jamstigator at 2:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Voted against a law protecting women from violence.

Did he possibly think there are already laws against abusing people? Remember, just because a bill has a positive sounding name, like the "Patriot Act", does not make voting against it wrong.

McCain voting against equal pay for women is anti-women

Or maybe he thinks it's not a politician's job to determine wages through law.

McCain voting against family leave is anti-women

Or maybe he thinks it's not a politican's job to specify employment contracts between an individual and a company.

McCain being against reproductive choice is just the nail in the coffin

Or maybe he wants to stop people from killing unborn life.
posted by jsonic at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2008


What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective. (Includes a panoramic photo of downtown Wasilla, Alaska.)
posted by kirkaracha at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


I think sour cream is clairivoyant.

What will your role be at the upcoming convention?
I'm doing a pro-life speech. Four months ago, my fifth child was born with Down syndrome…so I value innocent life. It took many months for me to get my arms around the idea of, first, having a fifth child at my age, but also knowing that my child would have an extra chromosome. But I prayed the whole time, "God, just prepare me, prepare my heart and prepare my family." And talk about confirmation of that prayer, I mean, Trig is just—he is to me—absolutely perfect. And everybody's in love with him, and he's the sweetest little baby in the world.

posted by designbot at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Maybe this is McCain's way of saying, 'If you vote for two *dudes* then you're a fag, so vote for me and the hot chick and no one will think that.""

If I hadn't blown my irony vote in 2000, I would vote for McCain with that slogan. Even better if he phrased it "Vote 4 2 dudez=UR fag."

I can just see Wolf Blitzer seriously contemplating whether that would win him the 4chan vote.
posted by klangklangston at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


jsonic: "Oh, so being against the killing of unborn life means McCain is anti-women. I guess that makes those who support the killing of unborn life anti-everybody."

I guess you're just being a dick, right? Because that's not what I wrote. What I said was that if anyone proposed a law that forced men to be a life-support system against their will, they'd be laughed at.

But, yes. Wanting the US Constitution to be amended to specifically take away women's rights based on the condition of their uterus IS anti-woman, REGARDLESS of the 'flaw' that you think needs correcting.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This could all be very horrible.
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on August 29, 2008


Interpret them as you will, jsonic; nonetheless, those votes had a cumulative effect of rekegating women to a second-class position in society. I don't care what logic goes into making decisions that are bad for people. They're still decisions that are bad for people.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Jsonic: Lot of maybes there, and the problem is that all of those things could be true and it would still add up to a net effect of making women second-class citizens. Frankly, I don't care if he votes against those bills because his pagan idol Yojo tells him to—it still adds up to being against the interests of women.
posted by klangklangston at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


relegating
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2008


This choice makes me think a couple of things:

-- McCain has given up on the "experience" attacks - probably his polling shows it was getting traction, probably also he waited to see Bill Clinton's strong support of Obama and also was influenced by the choice of Biden. In this sense, the choice is a huge win for Obama because it means they forced a sub-optimal choice onto McCain, a choice that seems entirely about "solidifying the base", almost none of whom would vote meaning I think McCain will now try to move to the centre which will expose him mightily form both sides - he loses points for judgment from some, will lose policy support from others, and may only make marginal gains in the centre.

-- The Republicans fear Obama's rhetorical skills such that they needed a nuclear bomb of publicity to try to nullify his acceptance speech which even had hard core Republican commentators wetting their pants, and quite likely would have been the most attention many voters & the media would have paid to Obama until the debates. So -- a short term choice designed for short term tactica reasons, not strategic ones within the context of the election as a whole, and one that reveals a deep, abiding Republican fear of Obama's ability to inspire.
posted by Rumple at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective.

And prominent in that photo of downtown Wasilla is the 'Mugshot Saloon.' How very appropriate.
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2008


If I recall correctly, jsonic's also the guy who freaked out and got all belligerent because some woman said that she'd kick a guy in the balls if he asked to grope her breasts, so jsonic might not have the best grasp of gender equality.

LOL. You think violence is ok if someone offends you. But only if you're a girl. Wonderful 'gender equality' you support there.
posted by jsonic at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2008


Arguably, the greatest tragedy of Palin's fifth child is that name she saddled the poor guy with. Like, he's already got enough to deal with—he doesn't need people assuming that his parents are yuppie assholes too.
posted by klangklangston at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't believe it took hundreds of comments for someone (235w103 and Dipsomaniac) to question the idea of Palin's choice to have her youngest son as some sort of paragon of her militant anti-choice ideals. It's completely irrelevant to questions of reproductive rights. She's one person, whose right it was to choose, and she made her choice, and anything beyond that is none of our business. And that's how choice works.

I mean, I see how it would matter to pro-life voters who get wrapped up in the issue emotionally and it warms their little hearts. But it doesn't really mean anything, legally. Like I've said here before, pro-life women have babies sometimes and also abortions sometimes. So do pro-choice women. It's got nothing to do with other women's pregnancies.

I've been perplexed about this all day, and I've been trying to find something on the internet that answers my totally honest question: Has Sarah Palin ever done anything pro-life/anti-choice? Everywhere I've looked has shown concrete examples of her position on gay rights, energy, the environment, etc.--you know, things like signing and vetoing laws, rescinding appointments, selling jets, and so on. On abortion, it's "she is pro-life" and nothing more. So far, it looks like her pro-life creds are:

1. Saying she's pro-life; other people saying she's pro-life.
2. Being a member of FFL.
3. Bearing children.

Those aren't really executive actions. It's not that I doubt that she's anti-choice. I'm sure she is; it's not like I've seen evidence to the contrary. But I can't help feel like I'm missing something. Am I? Seriously, I want to know.
posted by lampoil at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking they going to make the race ENTIRELY about abortion. They have nothing else, bar experience (busted) and Obama being a sekret muslim (never overtly stated, getting a bit tired).

And if they win they will be in a position to do something about it.

I think they have a pretty good shot.
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess that makes those who support the killing of unborn life anti-everybody.

Also, who supports the "killing" of "unborn life"? Removing your scientifically unsound terms here, people who are pro-choice aren't marching around crowing about how friggin' awesome abortions are. I'd suggest reading up on what pro-choice means before digging an even deeper hole.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly? I'm tired of the HILLARY MUST WORK HARDER TO ELECT OBAMA idiocy, online and off. Is she supposed to immolate herself on a giant damn float that says I LOVE SENATOR OBAMA while singing the Star Spangled Banner? Will that do it? Or will people carp that she should have written PRESIDENT Obama so that we all know she's rlly, rlly serious this time?

This is not an issue of "Clinton should be sucking up to her new lord and master Obama." If she cares about her party at all, it makes sense for her to address her voters who might now abandon her party and her ideals.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


**To all those who say "talking about her derisively for being in a beauty pagent isn't sexist!!", I'd urge you to read onlyconnect's comment, which hits the nail on the head. You don't have to agree with her analysis, but if you weren't someone who thought that Hillary faced a lot of sexist bullshit in the primaries, you're not really the target of this anyway.

I did read it, I do think Hillary faced a lot of sexist bullshit in the primaries, and I still disprove strongly of her for being in a beauty pageant.

Beauty pageants are the antithesis of everything I stand for as a feminist, and I do. not. want. people who participate in their bullshit to represent me as a woman, and as a human being.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


From the Mudflats ("Tiptoeing Through the Muck of Alaskan Politics") blog (to which kirkaracha links):
“Before her meteoric rise to political success as governor, just two short years ago Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla. I had a good chuckle at MSN.com’s claim that she had been the mayor of ‘Wasilla City’. It is not a city. Just Wasilla. Wasilla is the heart of the Alaska ‘Bible belt’ and Sarah was raised amongst the tribe that believes creationism should be taught in our public schools, homosexuality is a sin, and life begins at conception. She’s a gun-toting, hang ‘em high conservative. Remember…this is where her approval ratings come from. There is no doubt that McCain again is making a strategic choice to appeal to a particular demographic - fundamentalist right-wing gun-owning Christians. And Republican bloggers are already gushing about how she has ‘more executive experience’ than Obama does! Above is a picture of lovely downtown Wasilla, for those of you unfamiliar with the area. Behind the Mug-Shot Saloon (the first bar I visited when I moved to Alaska long ago) is a little strip mall. There are street signs in Wasilla with bullet holes in them. Wasilla has a population of about 5500 people, and 1979 occupied housing units. This is where your potential Vice President was two short years ago. Can you imagine her negotiating a nuclear non-proliferation treaty? Discussing foreign policy? Understanding non-Alaskan issues? Frankly, I don’t even know if she’s ever been out of the country. She may ‘get’ Alaska, but there are only a half a million people here. Don’t get me wrong….I love Alaska with all my heart. I’m just saying.”
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


"relegating"

You were first because you misspelled!

"LOL. You think violence is ok if someone offends you. But only if you're a girl. Wonderful 'gender equality' you support there."

Yeah, y'know how your first comment in that thread was so out-of-line that it got deleted, and how you spent, like, 30 more comments getting all apoplectic without understanding anything of the underlying issue? It makes your defender-of-women act here seem pretty hollow.
posted by klangklangston at 2:29 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


plenty of people will be ready to blame her first if Obama loses November. And that will be really annoying. It's Obama's campaign now.

why, of course. Hillary only wrote the script for the GOP's strategy against Obama, covered him in racist filth ("hardworking Americans, white Americans") allowing the McCain camp to step back and simply watch, letting her test the limits of you can and can not say against a black candidate (see Ferraro's statement, Bill's outburst) and take the heat for it. she wrote the plan, she's a star in the GOP's ads, she got herself an ovation earlier today during Palin's speech, but you're right, you're not running. there will be time to figure out who lost this thing that was almost impossible to lose given Bush's numbers and Congressional races polls and McCain's own long list of problems. there will be time, about three years exactly.

then, Sen. Clinton will be more than welcome to run again in the Democratic primaries in 2012 and try to unseat McCain/Palin. she's not exactly a shoo-in for the 2012 nomination either, because some of the bad mojo from 2008 may indeed get stuck on her, too, but we'll see. me, I'd advise the Democrats to run a non-liberal guy from the South next time, though.


"Either that OR your claim that the Republicans and McCain want to make women second-class citizens is just blowhard partisan rhetoric."


no, that's the gays -- they're the ones who thanks to the GOP can't marry like straight people can, because their love is filthy and immoral and abnormal and can not be sanctioned by the government. women, in the GOP's own platform, are the ones who can't decide what happens once they get pregnant -- Antonin Scalia decides for them.
posted by matteo at 2:31 PM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


And matteo nails it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:34 PM on August 29, 2008


A woman who votes for a candidate who wants to make her a second-class citizen because of some perceived imperfection in the character of the candidates who are working to make her a fully-equal citizen pretty fucking much deserves to get what she voted for.

Well, I guess by your reasoning, women are pretty much just fucked either way, then, since my original hypothetical was about not voting for someone who made a comment implying that women weren't suitable for holding the office of the Presidency solely by virtue of the fact that they have functioning reproductive organs--which, hello, I'd call a pretty strong statement about women being second-class citizens. I'm not talking about some random, unimportant "inperfection" in the character of the candidates like being a furry; I'm speaking specifically about what might happen if one of them starts spewing out sexist crap as talking points against Palin. (I guess you could believe that one's policies and one's beliefs are totally separate, but I have a hard time buying that.)

If you're making the argument that women deserve to be second-class citizens because they fail to vote for the candidate who is less bad on the issue (and honestly, anyone who thinks that Biden is some sort of paragon of pro-choice pro-woman policies has not investigated his record closely enough--he's worlds better than McCain, but certainly has some bad positions on reproductive rights, and VAWA doesn't just erase that), that's a different argument. I tend to believe that no woman "deserves" to be a second-class citizen, but I'm also one of the killjoys who hates rape jokes about Ann Coulter, so what the hell do I know.
posted by iminurmefi at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2008


Y'know, I realize it's silly, but by now I just want the Dems to win so that matteo will shut up for ten minutes (before attacking Obama for not being socialist enough). How's Berlusconi treatin' you?
posted by klangklangston at 2:37 PM on August 29, 2008


600th.
posted by Zambrano at 2:37 PM on August 29, 2008


Remember, Obama is a poker player - and I think he just put McCain all-in on a weak flop. Could pay, but it's a bad bet.
posted by nicwolff at 2:39 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


If someone actively sells out not only their rights, but the rights of others, they don't necessarily deserve the bad things that will happen. But they shouldn't expect the rest of us to be throwing them a freaking pity party anytime soon, either.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:42 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


"All eyes turned to the masked rider, who then removed the helmet and *gasp* revealed herself to be a woman, with long hair spilling down about her shoulders."

Just shows your political naivety. You've never heard of "helmet head", have you.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:43 PM on August 29, 2008


The repugnant VPILF site has posts dating back to last week, which is interesting (is it a new domain with back dated posts?).

I think this selection is also de facto acknowledgment that the PUMAs are a republican trojan horse with Palin meant to hoover up their support.
posted by Rumple at 2:44 PM on August 29, 2008


"(I guess you could believe that one's policies and one's beliefs are totally separate, but I have a hard time buying that.)"

In some sense, yes. Like I said upthread, it doesn't matter why McCain votes against the interests of women, just that he does. They're not totally separate, but I care much more about the policies than the beliefs that inform them. Given the choice between "says sexist crap+votes for women's rights" and "says sexist crap+votes against women's rights," I'd think the choice would still be clear, that the interest of a woman would be best served by someone who says sexist crap but votes in their interest. The ideal would be someone who doesn't say sexist crap and also votes in women's interests, but given the choice between two less-than-ideal candidates, an adult that votes against her interests does deserve to have a government that works against her interests.
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


You can see an inversion of that when you think about the rural poor—Republicans claim to work in their interest and say the right things, but vote against programs that would help them. Rural poor who vote for Republicans get what they deserve, broadly stated. The folks that get screwed are the ones who voted against those folks and lost.
posted by klangklangston at 2:46 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Go sit in the Waffle House this weekend, order a cup of coffee, and just listen. Because those are the people who will give us our next administration.

You heard it here first, folks. The programmers at Premier(Diebold) love Waffle House.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:46 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


But I also have very little but contempt for undecided voters, so I recognize that Dean won't be putting me on the phone banks anytime soon.
posted by klangklangston at 2:47 PM on August 29, 2008


Republican bloggers are already gushing about how she has ‘more executive experience’ than Obama does!

Wouldn't that mean she has more "executive experience" than McCain as well? Seems like a bad point to focus on.
posted by MikeMc at 2:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Artw nailed it. This announcement is, above all, a signal that McCain's campaign is going to make abortion the signature wedge issue from here on out. Sarah Palin's speech at the convention is going to have the pro-life church-going moms in tears.

"Sarah Palin thinks that babies are a precious gift from God, while Barack Obama wants to abort them alive and toss them in soiled utility baskets." I guarantee the e-mails are being frantically forwarded as we speak.
posted by designbot at 2:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the record, Fayetteville is filled with Democrats.

I don't doubt it. Democrats that keep voting for Republicans for President, like you find all over the south.

I mean, look. Cumberland County went just slightly for Bush in 04... but Cumberland County is also about 40% black.

If you really want I can try to dig up GIS data for election precincts in Cumberland County and cross-reference them with Census demographics and then with votes by precinct, but come on. White people in Cumberland County were almost certainly voting for Bush by three to one or more.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:52 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


FIRST!


oh, wait...damn.
posted by Muddler at 2:53 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


>> You know, I think there's also a very good case to be made that this may motivate Hillary Clinton to work even harder to elect Barack Obama.

> What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly? I'm tired of the HILLARY MUST WORK HARDER TO ELECT OBAMA idiocy, online and off.

I think you're looking at it bass ackwards: suddenly, the ante's been raised for Sen. Clinton. It's an opportunity, rather than an onerous burden -- especially if she still has her sights set on 2012/2016, governorship, whatever. The media, freshly consumed with the "what will Hillary's supporters do?" hype all over again, will be hanging on Sen. Clinton's every word on the stump now with Palin on the scene. Sen. Clinton is now, in every way, the Anti-Palin: and so on. Even without getting into the sexist notion of the younger woman being handed her position due to her attractiveness (and I scoff at any commentator who suggests with a straight face that Palin's resume and qualifications were more instrumental to her selection than the demographic appeal stemming largely from her age, gender, and photogenic appearance): Palin provides an absolute gold mine of contrasts for Clinton and her supporters, the proverbial silver lining in this whole campaign season. Regardless of which future position Sen. Clinton is angling for at this point (even if she hasn't decided), her speeches and attacks against the McCain/Palin ticket will suddenly matter in a whole new way, she can make those hits nobody else can without being labeled a bully or a sexist, and best of all she no longer has to play defense at all (which has always been the worst Clinton liability) -- it's all freebie opportunities to grow her political stature and increase her exposure in the media spotlight without any of the fratricidal concerns that she kept bumping into during the primaries. I can't imagine a better opportunity for her at this point to really flex her political muscles.

Just like that, the Obama/Biden campaign has suddenly become relevant again for Sen. Clinton. The press is going to be waiting to hear everything she has to say, and she's savvy enough to know it. I fully expect her to be working extra hard to elect Obama now -- because win or lose, she's going to reap those rewards. Other than Obama and Biden themselves, at this point no other Democrat stands to gain so much from this election.

Palin recycled Sen. Clinton's "18 million cracks" phrase in her speech today -- there's no way Sen. Clinton's going to let Palin try to co-opt her legacy from the primaries so easily like that. No way, no how, and Sen. Clinton's supporters know how this saying ends.
posted by DaShiv at 2:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [71 favorites]


I for one fully support the killing of unborn life. For the same reason I support the killing of undead zombies and vampires. Because the whole concept is an oxymoron based on fantasy and I am generally Reality-Based.
posted by wendell at 2:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Soiled utility baskets. The very worst kind.
posted by fleetmouse at 2:56 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


God, I hope that Clinton comes out swinging like that. I think, freed of some of the dumber elements from her campaign staff and the necessities of infrastructure, she could be an awesome hammer of rhetorical justice.
posted by klangklangston at 2:59 PM on August 29, 2008


ROU_Xenophobe, don't bother. My husband probably knows the stats by heart.

But also remember these folks here vote for the person, not the party, and I also know Obama had a big turnout when he was here.

Also remember that McCain is considered as fairly liberal by folks here, and that Obama is, well, Obama. The guy is incredibly charismatic. If it weren't for the topic of abortion I'd be tempted to drink the kool-aid.
posted by konolia at 3:02 PM on August 29, 2008


The ideal would be someone who doesn't say sexist crap and also votes in women's interests, but given the choice between two less-than-ideal candidates, an adult that votes against her interests does deserve to have a government that works against her interests.

There's a part of me that just really chokes on the "deserving it" rhetoric, but that's probably a holdover from my hate of how it's used against women in other situations. Setting aside my knee-jerk reaction to that particular phrasing, I don't disagree with you at all that it's in women's best interest to vote Obama/Biden. I don't think anyone who really calls themselves pro-womens-rights would disagree with that point. (Although I have to point out that I think in some ways it's easier to be a guy--no offense klang--and say, "Well of course you should vote Dem, no matter what offensive thing they say," because I don't think it really hits you in the gut the same way it does for some women. It's not the same sort of personal insult.)

I'm trying to draw a distinction, I guess, between what is rationally in people's best interest and how they are likely to act in that situation, and how the Democratic ticket should take that into account when deciding on their strategy for attacking McCain/Palin. I think a lot of Obama supporters are really misguided with the belief that because McCain is worse than Obama on women's rights, Palin doesn't represent some threat electorally. He doesn't have to convince women to vote for him, just to stay home--it's like the Nader argument of, well, both parties are so bad it's pointless to vote for either. In a close state, low turnout among women, who are much more likely to support Democrats, could be a deciding factor in tipping the state red. There are things that Obama and Biden can do to counteract this--number 1 being aware of it and not falling into the trap of (inadvertently) insulting women while trying to tear down Palin, and number 2 speaking out against anything like that when it comes up in the media or through their surrogates/supporters.
posted by iminurmefi at 3:03 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can just see Wolf Blitzer seriously contemplating whether that would win him the 4chan vote

Needs more Desu.
posted by MikeMc at 3:03 PM on August 29, 2008


they will have a vote, someone will win, yet again i will realise that mefites are all rabid democrats and not a representative cross setion of us society - so i wont get my hopes up.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:04 PM on August 29, 2008


I just think it's really bizarre that people think it's a crazy big deal that a person who doesn't believe in getting an abortion didn't get an abortion. Of course she didn't get an abortion, she was NEVER going to get an abortion

Depends on how she found out.

I've known women who would tell you that there's no reason to get specifically screened for Downs unless you're at least thinking of abortion.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


GuyZero, Kim Campbell had 15 kinds of class and way more relevant experience than this Palin person.

Man, US politics has gotten so skewed to the right that I'm wistfully looking at failed Conservative Canadian pols....
posted by QIbHom at 3:05 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


What a monumentally disastrous mistake by McCain. All of his gaffes over the past few months suggest to me a deteriorating mental acuity on his part. This choice is more evidence of impaired judgement. I'm really looking forward to the debates where networks such as CBS will not be able to excise his errors, or to hide Palin's painful inexperience.
posted by Neiltupper at 3:08 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You missed the news, or didn't pay attention. "Experience" just became utterly irrelevant, and a mcCain victory just became the most likely outcome.
posted by Artw at 3:10 PM on August 29, 2008


Soiled utility baskets. The very worst kind.

I wish I was exaggerating.

(To be perfectly clear, the source of these claims is a whack job, and the state's investigation turned up no evidence that what she alleges actually happened, and even if it did, it would have already been illegal under state law, making the bill Obama voted against completely irrelevant.)
posted by designbot at 3:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, I know, konolia.

But... it's not like running into conservative people, who would hold their nose and vote for McCain or just not vote, is hard to do in the rural south wedged between Pope and Bragg. That's all.

I'm sure that Palin will get some conservative evangelicals to the polls who weren't going to show up otherwise.

OTOH, I can't help but wonder what her being Catholic, and especially obviously Catholic with her parade of children, will have on the more fundamentalist voters. A papist a heartbeat away? When she wants prayer in school... is it to Christ or to Mary? Though by this point I'd bet the fraction who thinks Catholics aren't really Christian is pretty small.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:14 PM on August 29, 2008


and I scoff at any commentator who suggests with a straight face that Palin's resume and qualifications were more instrumental to her selection than the demographic appeal stemming largely from her age, gender, and photogenic appearance

She's pro-life, which fills in a big hole for McCain supporters. She is not a Washington insider. She's the most popular governor in the United States, with an approval rating in the 90 percent range. She has a reputation as a reformer -- she vetoed 13% of the state's proposed budget for capital projects and showed herself as someone capable of making tough decisions. She resigned from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining about ethical violations from another commissioner, and was villified for a while and then became a hero for it. (Again, another tough decision.)

Not a single one of these qualities or accomplishments are dependant on her age, gender, or photogenic appearance, but perhaps they are all things that you think it is appropriate to scoff at. But go ahead and continue to believe that McCain picked her because she is a pretty, pretty princess. Because Democrats have never underestimated Republicans before -- or the willingness of middle america to elect the folks who are not necessarily the smartest or went to the best schools, but seem to them like the most decent people. Scoff away. You're still not getting it.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


>> You know, I think there's also a very good case to be made that this may motivate Hillary Clinton to work even harder to elect Barack Obama.

> What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly? I'm tired of the HILLARY MUST WORK HARDER TO ELECT OBAMA idiocy, online and off.



And what the fuck makes you think that saying someone "may (be) motivate(d)" is the same as saying that she "MUST WORK HARDER"? Hillary can choose to do whatever she wants. However, I very much doubt she'll choose to sit this one out, for all the reasons DaShiv pointed out above.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:17 PM on August 29, 2008


All of his gaffes over the past few months suggest to me a deteriorating mental acuity on his part.

Do the candidates get to dictate these things? I assumed the party basically told them what to do, (but that the candidate probably got veto power if it was something they couldn't tolerate).
posted by small_ruminant at 3:21 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


BEST THREAD EVAH!
posted by Slothrup at 3:22 PM on August 29, 2008


Kim Campbell had 15 kinds of class and way more relevant experience than this Palin person.

Sure. Absolutely. But her career was destroyed by crashing onto the rocks during the backlash from Mulroney.

He's the worst case for Palin: McCain wins. McCain does a bunch of stuff all goes sour (like Mulroney at the end). Then he has a heart attack or something (election time finally came around for the Conservatives, now Campbell is at the helm). And who pays the price for the public's dislike of McCain (Mulroney)? That's right: the woman.

Seriously, for a (relatively) young politician, getting elected as VP could be the best, last move of Palin's political career. Campbell won the battle (becoming the first woman PM) but lost the war (was she the shortest-serving PM ever?). Palin could en up the exact same way. if I were her I would have stayed in Alaska and looked forward to a long series of oil company "loans" and "gifts" like ol' Ted.
posted by GuyZero at 3:22 PM on August 29, 2008


"I'm trying to draw a distinction, I guess, between what is rationally in people's best interest and how they are likely to act in that situation, and how the Democratic ticket should take that into account when deciding on their strategy for attacking McCain/Palin. "

I think that's a fair distinction, and I will agree that it's necessary to win irrational voters in order to win the presidency. I might even go so far as to say that morons are the biggest single demographic in America, and that the moron vote is often what decides the outcome of the presidential race.
posted by klangklangston at 3:27 PM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Huh. Wikipedia says she cancelled the "bridge to nowhere" after the federal funds were withdrawn and she declined to cough up the several hundred million dollar difference out of state funds. I keep hearing how she cancelled it, but that titbit sure casts it in a different light.
posted by Rumple at 3:32 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The repugnant VPILF site has posts dating back to last week, which is interesting (is it a new domain with back dated posts?).

It looks like Dan Kaiser registered the domain on August 4 2008. Back in 1992 he ran as a Dem in the Washington state senate primary, district 28. So he's probably not a Republican insider.

All the HTML and photos from the earlier posts have a modification date of August 29 2008, as do the reader comments. I think the dates on the posts are the publication dates of the linked news articles.

The Aug 4 domain registration date is pretty curious though.
posted by ryanrs at 3:33 PM on August 29, 2008


Because Democrats have never underestimated Republicans before -- or the willingness of middle america to elect the folks who are not necessarily the smartest or went to the best schools, but seem to them like the most decent people. Scoff away. You're still not getting it.

McCain is the son and grandson of two four-star admirals. Obama was abandoned by his father and raised by a mother who had to use food stamps to get by. Bush was the son of a President of the United States and the grandson of a U.S. Senator and went to Yale and Harvard Business School. Bill Clinton was similarly abandoned by his father. It really is time to drop the whole 'Democrats are elitists' trope and acknowledge that the facts show otherwise.

This isn't 1988 or even 2004. This is 2008 and so much has changed and the GOP brand is so discredited that it is highly unlikely that "middle America" will save McCain from his rightful fate as a losing presidential candidate.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:35 PM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


I never heard Obama say he was considering Clinton for vice president

Well, in May, Obama said she would be on anyone's short list of vice presidential candidates. But, indeed, that seems likely to have been more about flouting his lead than about his short list, given her absence when names were actually floated.

For what it's worth, I'm a male Democrat, and think Clinton faced a lot of disgusting sexism (and wish, particularly, that Chris Matthews were out of a job.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because the whole concept is an oxymoron based on fantasy and I am generally Reality-Based.

Oh, so now abortion doesn't kill a life? I wonder why people have abortions in the first place then? Oh, that's right, it's because if they didn't have the abortion, a human life would pop-out of them a few months later.

A woman's right to her own body is a very compelling argument in the abortion debate. And using that argument, I understand why people have a different position on this issue than me. But to try and claim that abortion doesn't end a developing baby's life runs counter to the ENTIRE reason people have abortions in the first place.
posted by jsonic at 3:37 PM on August 29, 2008


Campbell has that cushy think tank job in Spain still, right? I take your point, but she didn't exactly land hard.

While I'm fantasizing about Canadian female pols in US politics, maybe we could take Carolyn Parrish off your hands?
posted by QIbHom at 3:39 PM on August 29, 2008


Oh, so now abortion doesn't kill a life? I wonder why people have abortions in the first place then? Oh, that's right, it's because if they didn't have the abortion, a human life would pop-out of them a few months later.

And if they had a miscarriage, it wouldn't. Don't try to reduce the complexity of human reproduction down to a simmple binary of "is it life/isn't it?" It's awesomely complex and nobody knows for certain the moment when a mass of cells becomes something other than a mass of cells, which is why, when it comes time to make that decision, we leave it in the hands of the person we know to be affected by it, the women who has the mass of cells growing inside her.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:42 PM on August 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


Women have abortions when they have 'stupid sex' with men who won't use condoms.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:44 PM on August 29, 2008


Okay, it's just turned into crazy talk down here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:46 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]



OTOH, I can't help but wonder what her being Catholic
My understanding, for what it's worth, is that she is of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God persuasion.
posted by dawson at 3:48 PM on August 29, 2008


McCain is the son and grandson of two four-star admirals. Obama was abandoned by his father and raised by a mother who had to use food stamps to get by. Bush was the son of a President of the United States and the grandson of a U.S. Senator and went to Yale and Harvard Business School. Bill Clinton was similarly abandoned by his father. It really is time to drop the whole 'Democrats are elitists' trope and acknowledge that the facts show otherwise.

Were we watching the same campaign between Bush and Gore? Bush the Younger was the guy that everybody wanted to have a beer with, whereas Gore was the guy that talked like a robot in his speeches and folks thought was too much of a policy wonk, and not relatable to the average Joe. Likewise, Clinton was the guy who could talk to anybody, who had a way of making you feel like you were the only person in the room when he talked to you, whereas Bush the Elder was the guy who was so out of touch with middle america that he didn't know what a scanner in a grocery store was.

Obama's mom may have used food stamps, but as Obama himself said last night, he was able to go to the finest schools in the nation despite that. Surely you have heard the talk from naysayers that he has a messiah complex and is an elitist and is a "celebrity" candidate. McCain went to a military school (where he did badly) and went to war and spent half a decade in a prison camp and gets angry at people when he thinks they are rude to him.

So, in short, no, I don't think it's time to drop the trope that some people pick their presidential choice on the basis of who'd they'd rather have a beer with.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:48 PM on August 29, 2008


I'd rather have a beer with Obama.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:50 PM on August 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


What the fuck is Hillary Clinton supposed to do at this point, exactly? I'm tired of the HILLARY MUST WORK HARDER TO ELECT OBAMA idiocy, online and off.

Stump continuously in Ohio. Really, she has everything to gain by going around just like she was on the ticket about how important Pres. Obama will be to accomplishing her goals for America. She and Obama will vote together 90% of the time. If she delivers from the Senate a healthcare bill with mandates, Obama will probably have to sign it. If she delivers that same bill to McCain he will laugh and laugh and veto. Maybe mention how she doesn't really want VP, but a cabinet position might be nice.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:50 PM on August 29, 2008


While I'm fantasizing about Canadian female pols in US politics, maybe we could take Carolyn Parrish off your hands?

Please.
posted by mazola at 3:51 PM on August 29, 2008


I'm curious as to where on the list Palin appeared as a potential presidential candidate. If she wasn't worth mention before, why would she be so now?

And I'm hoping someone will put the question to McCain about who his VP candidate would be if Obama were not black. The charge of cynical tokenism applies here as much as it did back when Rice's name was being thrown about as a possibility, back when Clinton had a chance.
posted by troybob at 3:51 PM on August 29, 2008


Women have abortions when they have 'stupid sex' with men who won't use condoms.

With so much trolling potential in a thread like this, that's the best you could do? Amateur.
posted by iamabot at 3:53 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If it weren't for the topic of abortion I'd be tempted to drink the kool-aid.

So, knowing that the country could not possibly go back to outlawing abortion, you still choose to go with the less qualified and attractive candidate, because they mouth the right words on abortion? Let me know how that foot feels after the bullet passes through it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:55 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's awesomely complex and nobody knows for certain the moment when a mass of cells becomes something other than a mass of cells

We do know for certain, however, that baring a natural miscarriage, if you don't kill those living cells, a living human baby will be born. So any type of argument that claims a human life is not ended by abortion flies in the face of the very reason people have them in the first place.
posted by jsonic at 3:56 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please... don't bare a natural miscarriage.

And this is hardly fertile ground for the same old abortion debate everyone has had a thousand times.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:58 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Clinton's statement on Palin:
"We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin’s historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain. While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate."
Not exactly what DaShiv was predicting, I think.
posted by spiderwire at 3:58 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


re: beauty queen Because it's very clearly that it's being used in this thread, if not outright, but as a subtext, to insinuate that somehow she's not smart enough to be Veep.

I am halfway through 400+ posts, and I want to say I'm not getting that impression at all. Some people just want to see that subtext.
posted by glycolized at 3:59 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]



With so much trolling potential in a thread like this, that's the best you could do? Amateur.


Yes, sad. That comment (the condom one) was for jsonic. MEN who rage on about abortion piss me off.

I got carried away ... I will go now ...

... lighting candles for shriveling penises.
posted by Surfurrus at 4:00 PM on August 29, 2008


I am not a McCain supporter. I know nothing about Sarah Palin. I wouldn't vote for John McCain if Zombie Jesus himself was his running mate.

However. I would like to remind everyone that is yapping about "blah blah beauty pageant blah blah blah not smart enough to be VP blah blah blah" that Gerald Ford was a male model and coached JV Cheerleading before becoming VP, and then later, POTUS.

(That's not to say I'm a fan of Gerald Ford, either. It's just to say OH SHUT UP. Being pretty does NOT equal being stupid.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:00 PM on August 29, 2008


We do know for certain, however, that baring a natural miscarriage, if you don't kill those living cells, a living human baby will be born. So any type of argument that claims a human life is not ended by abortion flies in the face of the very reason people have them in the first place.

So what? The question is not what will it turn into, but what is it now, when it is still a zygote. And the answer is, we don't know. We just don't know when we should define it as human life. That's not an issue science can answer, and neither is it an issue religions agree on (nor should they be the ones to decide.) Which is why pro-choice is called pro-choice -- because, in the absense of certainty, the only fair thing we can do is allow the person (and I mean the person we know to be a person) affected by it to be the one to choose, base don their own ethics and morals and ability to reason.

Really, this is abortion debate 101. Go out and read a little, why don't you?
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:01 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


The question of the presidency is not resolved by the colour of the contendants skin it is asked by wether they have been circumcised or not?
posted by dollyknot at 4:01 PM on August 29, 2008


So any type of argument that claims a human life is not ended by abortion flies in the face of the very reason people have them in the first place.

FFS. Other things that will end a potential human life:

Condoms
The Pill
Getting turned down at the bar
posted by mkultra at 4:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


For future reference, here's a direct link to the Alaska Daily News article about Palin flying down to the Texas Governor's conference while 36 months pregnant with her Down syndrome child.

Way up in the thread, dollyknot commented that this (i.e., Palin's selection) just shows what is wrong with democracy.

Wrong. It shows that the way we implement democracy is broken. When you amalgamate opinion using a single vote system, you tend to wind up with two dominant parties (Duverger's Law). Of course, I'm slightly unhinged on this topic, never mind me.
posted by Araucaria at 4:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Male models can't walk and chew gum.
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on August 29, 2008


She's not stupid because Gerald Ford wasn't stupid, grapefruitmoon? Eehhhh.... not a winning argument!!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:03 PM on August 29, 2008


While I'm fantasizing about Canadian female pols in US politics, maybe we could take Carolyn Parrish off your hands?

Who was that woman I saw you with last night?

That was no woman - that was the ex-MP for Mississauga-Erindale!

I'm here all week, try the veal!

Besides, who would Parish score cheap points off of in the US? Hating Mexicans? oh god, I think I may actually be right

Still, Canada has had several female politicians that could both kick Palin's ass in a street fight and shut her down in a debate. Mainly I'm thinking of Sheila Cops here, whom I would not want to meet in either a dark alley or a parliamentary debate. Maybe McCain could have picked Belinda Stronach who kind of walks the Liberal-Conservative line. VPILF indeed. Rumors say Mr. Clinton may have.
posted by GuyZero at 4:03 PM on August 29, 2008


We do know for certain, however, that baring a natural miscarriage, if you don't kill those living cells, a living human baby will be born. So any type of argument that claims a human life is not ended by abortion flies in the face of the very reason people have them in the first place.

Are you, with a straight face, trying to present the idea that life-begins-at-conception isn't a matter of ongoing debate?

The less contentious phrasing here would be "prevented from developing", not "ended". And pushing into a fullblown rehash of that question is wandering pretty far afield from Palin, regardless.
posted by cortex at 4:03 PM on August 29, 2008


onlyconnect, it was a relief to read your excellent comment. You were able to articulate things that had only vaguely rattled around in the back of my thoughts. Thank you. Since the planet is divided fairly equally between the genders, it's always been so disheartening and bewildering to see, experience, the still rampant misogyny.

I never did like Hillary Clinton especially but I would have voted for her, reluctantly. However, I do think it was expected for her to be Obama's VP choice and when Biden was chosen it seemed lame, imo. The energy Hillary has put into Obama's election after she lost, it almost seems as if she has been like a VP choice. When McCain picked a female VP candidate, my first thought was how pathetically copycat wannabe. The thing is, by choosing a female VP, McCain may well get a larger percent of the women's vote. And that would be awful.

I just hope the Democrats are able to win.
posted by nickyskye at 4:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


There are 209 posts on the 18-hour-old Metafilter thread about Obama's historic nomination acceptance speech. This 8-hour-old thread, discussing McCain's VP choice of a little-known person with a thin resume, has 650 posts and rising. Palin's name and face are all over the front of every major news site, while coverage of the DNC has pretty much disappeared. Well played, McCain. I am worried.
posted by FrauMaschine at 4:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


36 months pregnant?

FFS. Other things that will end a potential human life:

Condoms
The Pill
Getting turned down at the bar


At least two of those will be illegal in 8 years time.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on August 29, 2008


However. I would like to remind everyone that is yapping about "blah blah beauty pageant blah blah blah not smart enough to be VP blah blah blah" that Gerald Ford was a male model and coached JV Cheerleading before becoming VP, and then later, POTUS.

Gerald Ford was not known for having either a good mind or good presidency.
posted by mkultra at 4:06 PM on August 29, 2008


We do know for certain, however, that baring a natural miscarriage, if you don't kill those living cells, a living human baby will be born. So any type of argument that claims a human life is not ended by abortion flies in the face of the very reason people have them in the first place.

And if you don't spay or neuter your pets, kittens will be born. STOP SPAYING YOUR PETS. WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE KITTENS.

Human life is not ended by abortion. What is removed in an abortion is not human. It is not viable. It can not live outside the uterus. It is, essentially, a tumor. A network of cells dependent on the host organism for growth. It is a human when it is born, living and breathing on its own. Trying to justify a pro-life stance by advocating that "babies" are killed isn't scientifically accurate and is a thinly veiled appeal to emotion, not reason.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:06 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Also, no tears for McCain not picking Meg Whitman? Was she really in the running in the end? She lacks the pageant credentials, but otherwise she's probably got more actual leadership experience than Palin. She could hire some developer to implement an eBay-like system for lobbyists to improve the economic efficiencies in buying off senators and house reps.
posted by GuyZero at 4:06 PM on August 29, 2008


grapefruitmoon, you are aware I'm sure that Gerald Ford was never elected to a National office? He was appointed VP, never elected to it, and we all know the rest of that story...
posted by Eekacat at 4:07 PM on August 29, 2008


She's not stupid because Gerald Ford wasn't stupid, grapefruitmoon? Eehhhh.... not a winning argument!!

No. She may be stupid because she's stupid. BUT. She's not stupid because she's pretty.

She may be pretty. She may be stupid. The two are NOT connected.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:08 PM on August 29, 2008


Konolia, I'd like to understand you and voters like you a bit better. What drives the abortion issue more for you with regard to presidential politics, is it that candidate's own belief that troubles you and colors your view of his judgement, or is it that you're afraid that he will appoint judges who will continue to not make abortion illegal? Or is it all the same thing?
posted by cell divide at 4:09 PM on August 29, 2008


True, Copps (especially) or Stronach would be better. I've just always had a weakness for the "screw it, I'm saying it" style of good ol' Carolyn. And doesn't McCain deserve being locked in a room with Parrish?

36 months pregnant, Arucaria? Holy shit! I'd be doing anything to bring that to an end I could, myself...
posted by QIbHom at 4:09 PM on August 29, 2008


Gerald Ford was not known for having either a good mind or good presidency.

Sure, I'm not debating that. I'm just saying that any perceived stupidity is completely INDEPENDENT of modeling/beauty pageant participation and it sticks in my craw to see people say "She was in beauty pageants! She can't be smart enough to be VP!"
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:10 PM on August 29, 2008


We do know for certain[sic], however, that baring[sic] a natural miscarriage, if you don't kill those living cells, a living human baby will be born.

[shaking his head like Reagan]There you go again, oversimplifying. Miscarriage isn't the only possibility and when you talk about possibilities rather than actualities, you are on a slippery slope. How probable does the anticipated human life have to be? As I've said before, each cell in your body is potentially a new human being, granted with very small probability, but if you wanted to you could get a molecular biologist to genetically engineer a clone from DNA out of one of your cells. So every time you spit, by your definition, human life is being killed.

Ah, well, we won't prosecute you when the laws change, murderer, but just know that you are one.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:10 PM on August 29, 2008


I'm totally not going to vote for Palin just because I was a Hillary supporter. I'm voting Democrat because I agree with (most) of the Obama/Biden policies. However, I did think it was cool that she called her husband, "Alaska's First Dude" in that Bartiromo interview. I can't imagine Biden calling his wife "Delaware's First Chick."
posted by bluefly at 4:11 PM on August 29, 2008


Clinton's statement on Palin

I assume this means Hillary Clinton's statement on Palin; the link didn't specify exactly which Clinton this was, I'll assume it was her. Interesting that her comment on Palin is almost an exact mirror of what McCain said about Obama in the nomination ad.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


grapefruitmoon, you are aware I'm sure that Gerald Ford was never elected to a National office? He was appointed VP, never elected to it, and we all know the rest of that story...

Oh geez. What brand of shampoo are we going to use on all of these hairs that we are splitting? I was talking about how any physical attractiveness-based program activities do NOT immediately place the participants on the short bus, ineligible for national office. Should we instead debate the merits of Gerald Ford's entire political career?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:14 PM on August 29, 2008


OTOH if Palin offered me beer and nachos, I would accept.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:14 PM on August 29, 2008


I personally don't care that a fetus could become a human being. I am ALREADY a human being, with legally given rights.

I am very afraid right now that they are going to make the entire election about abortion. And that if McCain is made President, well, I can kiss my reproductive rights (as well as many of those pesky Constitutional rights) out the window.

I'm not engaging in hyperbole - I am honestly, deeply, truly afraid.
posted by agregoli at 4:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


wedged between Pope and Bragg

Point of order: Pope is wedged INSIDE Bragg. No rednecks in between, sorry.
posted by konolia at 4:15 PM on August 29, 2008


Should we instead debate the merits of Gerald Ford's entire political career?

It's less tedious and fresher than the abortion debate.
posted by GuyZero at 4:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was talking about how any physical attractiveness-based program activities do NOT immediately place the participants on the short bus, ineligible for national office.

But why not? It's pretty laughable to engage in.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:19 PM on August 29, 2008


I don't understand, everybody seems to be completely missing the most important qualification:

Was she a POW or wasn't she?
posted by Flunkie at 4:19 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


But to try and claim that abortion doesn't end a developing baby's life runs counter to the ENTIRE reason people have abortions in the first place.

Which puts you in full support of Forced Childbirth, which is pretty much the bottom-line of the anti-abortion position. Which leads logically to the concept that any action to prevent conception is also immoral as another attempt to deny future children their lives. But you very nearly admitted the simple fact that fetuses are potential human life and, in the first few weeks, as close to a living human as a completed set of blueprints and a cleared lot are to a constructed house.

But even as one who places a distinct line between potential and realized human life, I still find the evidence that Mrs. Palin gave making an out-of-state poltical appearance priority over her unborn child's future life and health earlier this year to be extremely significant.
posted by wendell at 4:20 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


(That's not to say I'm a fan of Gerald Ford, either. It's just to say OH SHUT UP. Being pretty does NOT equal being stupid.)

Look, really, before you go tossing around the "OH SHUT UP"s, how many people are saying that? At this point you're willfully ignoring many responses to your same accusation, but I'll go ahead and say it again:

Beauty Pageant Contestant does NOT = Sarah Palin is stupid!

Beauty Pageant Contestant does = Sarah Palin supporting a practice many of us disagree with and fight against as feminists. Does being pretty mean you have to take part in competitions designed to rank and judge women based on their looks, as if society itself wasn't bad enough?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:20 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I would vote Obama regardless of the abortion issue (I'm stridently anti-abortion), what I'm wondering is, how many of you that embrace abortion rights more than, say, the right to belong to a religion, would NOT vote for McCain because of this veep pick?
What I mean is, is the right to abort an unborn human as large an issue to you as it seems? cause I'm getting the distinct impression some would not vote for a candidate based solely on their being opposed to abortion
on another note, will Firefox ever lean that Obama Barak is not a misspelling?
posted by dawson at 4:21 PM on August 29, 2008


Palin on the Charlie Rose show.

I saw this when it aired, and was actually pretty impressed with her. I in no way think that she is presidential material, but... she's impressive on camera.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:21 PM on August 29, 2008


She may be pretty. She may be stupid. The two are NOT connected.

Which is why the whole "it's a scholarship program" angle is such a joke.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:21 PM on August 29, 2008


I'm not engaging in hyperbole - I am honestly, deeply, truly afraid.

I'm pretty much assuming that's what's happening and that forcing the election to be an up down poll on abortion means an automatic win for the Republicans - because arguing against abortion is tricky (see: this thread), and if it's the only thing anyone talks about democrats can't really NOT tackle it.

If anyone has a good argument as to why I'm wrong so I can not be horribly depressed for this weekend (and the next two months) I'd be really happy to hear it right now.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on August 29, 2008


I don't think she's stupid because she was the runner up for Miss Alaska. I think she's funny because she was the runner up for Miss Alaska.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hello Whatsitsname,

Metafilter you are the star, whatever the result of the American fool elections.

A fool will end up running the human race.

okay.

Ask me why
posted by dollyknot at 4:23 PM on August 29, 2008


Oh, and also Sarah Palin got a 4 year scholarship from being in that beauty pageant. How 'stupid' is that I ask?
posted by dawson at 4:23 PM on August 29, 2008


An interview with Sarah Palin by Newsweek. Topics include her beauty queen past, her reaction to the media treatment of Hillary Clinton, motherhood and politics, corruption in Alaskan politics, partisanship and criticism of her by the Republican party.
posted by netbros at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2008


Just to throw the discussion off on another ridiculous tangent:

Am I the only one who thinks that Mrs. Palin resembles a slighly older version of Tina Fey? (Or is that just the glasses?)
posted by wendell at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


on non-preview, me go now.
posted by dawson at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2008


John McCain's gimmick: He doesn't even know Sarah Palin. They've only met twice.

No one knows Palin [video | 01:19].
posted by ericb at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2008


Human life is not ended by abortion

If a pregnant lady lets her baby develop, then a human life is born. If she has an abortion, then no baby is born. Yet you continue to claim that a human life is not actively ended by abortion. Regardless of one's opinion on when human life begins, the result is the same. This is completely different than the pill (in most cases) and condoms where no life has already started developing.

And this whole argument of "hey, a miscarriage might happen, so it's ok if we kill it now regardless" makes no sense and is kinda twisted. Might as well kill old people then, they might have a heart-attack tomorrow.
posted by jsonic at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2008


The Colonel Tigh (R- Hanoi Hilton)/Laura Roslin (R- Bosom of Jesus) ticket is actually going to be very hard to beat.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


Yawns widely

Smiles sadly
posted by dollyknot at 4:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin is a fundamentalist whacko. Obama is a poor choice to lead the charge against fundamentalist whack jobs, because he believes that religion is politically useful and should be rewarded by government.
posted by Brian B. at 4:27 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


And this whole argument of "hey, a miscarriage might happen, so it's ok if we kill it now regardless" makes no sense and is kinda twisted. Might as well kill old people then, they might have a heart-attack tomorrow.

Yeah, as I thought. You're not following the discussion at all, have not bothered to research it, and are falling back on the tiredest, most reductive argument of all, despite its flaws being repeatedly pointed out. I'm done.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:27 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


60 Days To Judge a Commander in Chief?
"I'm going to be very blunt, here. I wish Senator McCain a very long and happy life. But, at age 72 with a history of cancer, John McCain may not live through his first term, if elected. That would make Sarah Palin our Commander in Chief. I, and other vets and troops, have about 60 days to determine if she'll grow to be ready.

She's not ready now -- not based on the complete blank resume on global strategic issues and veterans issues. To be fair, Barack Obama wasn't ready to be Commander in Chief when he became Senator in 2005.

But, over the course of the last few years, and the last year-and-a-half in particular, I've been able to soundly judge Senator Obama, and watch him grow into a readied potential Commander in Chief. In the Senate, serving on the Foreign Affairs committee, he's tackled some of the major issues of our time, asking probing and highly informed questions of military leaders and diplomatic leaders.

I've been able to watch his thought process in action, and have seen him been proven right on Iraq, right on Afghanistan, right on talking to Iran, and right on the war on terror. He's shown an incredible ability to think in much larger strategic terms than this president, to the point that I'm supremely confident he is ready to lead our Armed Forces.

Sarah Palin? God only knows."

-- Jon Soltz, Co-Founder and Chair of VoteVets.org
posted by ericb at 4:28 PM on August 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


McCain Spokeswoman: I Have No Idea What McCain's Relationship Is With Palin.
posted by ericb at 4:31 PM on August 29, 2008


Oh, and also Sarah Palin got a 4 year scholarship from being in that beauty pageant. How 'stupid' is that I ask?

I don't think it's stupid. I think it's selling out, assuming she considers herself a feminist in a first place. It's like showing your boobs at mardi gras for beads. She got beads, how awesome! Who cares about setting women back or giving in to the disgusting misogynists who run the competitions... beads!!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:31 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


“As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”
Excuse me?

She wants to be Vice President of the United States of America so long as she can use her position to benefit Alaskans specifically?
posted by Flunkie at 4:32 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not educated about these things, but is it customary in the Army to be deployed exactly one year to the day after you have enlisted? For him to be shipped off to Iraq on September 11th, it all seems so .. contrived.
posted by Ugh at 4:35 PM on August 29, 2008


Palin is seemingly unaware of McCain’s Iraq plan.
"In an August 14 interview with Time Magazine, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), now Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) running mate, suggested that McCain had not shared his plan for Iraq with her. Palin, who has not been to Iraq, said she does not know 'what the plan is to ever end the war.' She later said its 'tough' to 'talk about the plan for the war' because her son will be deployed to Iraq this September. 'Let’s make sure we have a plan here,' she said. Palin then added, 'respecting McCain’s position on that too though.'

Matt Duss notes that by trying to 'make news with an unknown, stunt VP pick, McCain has shortchanged the issue which he himself insists is the most important — national security.'"
posted by ericb at 4:40 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would vote Obama regardless of the abortion issue (I'm stridently anti-abortion), what I'm wondering is, how many of you that embrace abortion rights more than, say, the right to belong to a religion, would NOT vote for McCain because of this veep pick? What I mean is, is the right to abort an unborn human as large an issue to you as it seems?

I'd choose the first amendment over Roe v. Wade, if that's what you're asking. Though I think the likelihood of seeing in my lifetime a candidate who'd strike the First and uphold Roe run against one who'd do the opposite, in a situation where both would be equally likely to succeed at those goals if elected, is...low.

In the real world, I don't think McCain's choice of VP would have any effect at all at whether Roe would be overturned as a result of a McCain presidency, no matter who he'd picked. He'll either get the chance to appoint justices or he won't. After that, it's in the hands of the court. It's more that choosing a pro-life VP reassures pro-life voters that he's really pro-life.
posted by lampoil at 4:41 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


YouTube footage of Sarah Palin calling Hillary Clinton's criticism of sexist media coverage as a perceived whine.
posted by jonp72 at 4:44 PM on August 29, 2008


There are 209 posts on the 18-hour-old Metafilter thread about Obama's historic nomination acceptance speech. This 8-hour-old thread, discussing McCain's VP choice of a little-known person with a thin resume, has 650 posts and rising. Palin's name and face are all over the front of every major news site, while coverage of the DNC has pretty much disappeared.

It's certainly getting attention, but I think a full week of around-the-clock coverage would be neccesary just to get people to remember her name. And I think all the comments in this thread are indicative not of McCain's bold and decisive whatever, but of how completely hilarious a choice this was.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 4:45 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin's Workout
Coming Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual fitness routine. Preview excerpt :P

viz!
posted by kliuless at 4:45 PM on August 29, 2008


grapefruitmoon, no, I'm not splitting hairs with you at all. Gerald Ford is just a bad example to use for anything Presidential since he never had to run for the national office he held, and when he did run, he lost. He was pretty much put in to be a patsy for a corrupt administration, and the fact he was a male model was probably to his benefit in getting confirmed. A dumb pretty boy was preferable to a jowly schemer.
posted by Eekacat at 4:46 PM on August 29, 2008


McCain Spokeswoman: I Have No Idea What McCain's Relationship Is With Palin.

Well it's not like McCains going to know either.
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on August 29, 2008


Flunkie: "Excuse me?

She wants to be Vice President of the United States of America so long as she can use her position to benefit Alaskans specifically?
"

To be completely fair, she's the Gov of AK. I don't think there's any shame in, when acting in that capacity, publicly desiring the best for one's constituency.

Less subtle: the other 49 weren't here problem then: they are now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:50 PM on August 29, 2008


Kliuless, that interview is so freaking cutesy.

And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don't freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup."

Yay!
posted by agregoli at 4:51 PM on August 29, 2008


Put me in the camp that thinks this pick was used as a distraction and she'll be replaced by someone else soon.
posted by diogenes at 4:51 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a "family thing." She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season.

Good thing he wasn't born in a different season.

"TEAM HANDBALL PALIN! Dinner time! And get your sister Synchronized Diving!"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:51 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Beauty Pageant Contestant does = Sarah Palin supporting a practice many of us disagree with and fight against as feminists. Does being pretty mean you have to take part in competitions designed to rank and judge women based on their looks, as if society itself wasn't bad enough?

I'm getting a lot of vibes from this thread that I've encountered a lot in Meat Space that, well, stick in my craw. And the vibes go as follows: attractive women are not allowed to "flaunt" said attractiveness without every other thing that they may ever do being negated by other women. You, yourself, say that she is participating in a system that is anti-feminist and that itself is worthy of scorn. So, you, as a feminist feel that beauty pageants are awful. Great. Don't participate in them! It doesn't strike me as very "feminist" to me to hear the message "You can be pretty, or you can be smart, but you can't be both!"

I'm a feminist. I've also worked as a model, both in fashion and in art. Not extensively, mind, but I have put myself on display to be ranked and judged - willingly. Did being pretty mean that I *had* to do this? No. But it was MY CHOICE. I refuse to accept that if you're a woman and you're pretty, that you should do everything you can to deny that or else you're a "bad feminist." And this is a message that I hear from other women, all the time.

Her decision to participate in a beauty pageant has no bearing on her ability to be VP. None. Whatsoever. Any faults she may have are completely independent of physical attractiveness and how she chooses to present it. If she is a "bad feminist," it is because of her political opinions, not because she won Miss Congeniality.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:56 PM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


It's not the team sitting on a safe lead that calls for a Hail Mary -- but then again, the play's been known to win many a game. It's not exactly a smart play, but not quite as desperate as an onside kick or faked punt, either. It's a risky, usually unsuccessful maneuver that occasionally reaps massive dividends. Palin means McCain is a gambling man.
Well that's certainly a fantastic characteristic for a President.

Oh, wait, I didn't mean "fantastic". I got confused, because the word I meant to say is also an adjective.
posted by Flunkie at 4:57 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


If a pregnant lady lets her baby develop, then a human life is born. If she has an abortion, then no baby is born. Yet you continue to claim that a human life is not actively ended by abortion. Regardless of one's opinion on when human life begins, the result is the same. This is completely different than the pill (in most cases) and condoms where no life has already started developing.

I think viability is a lousy metric to use to define personhood. It is ridiculously reductive, saying nothing about why a human life is important. I would suggest that it begins with the development of mind and the capacity for experience, a view that I expect many to most others here share. This is a process that begins, most neurologic evidence suggests, at some point fairly comfortably into the third trimester. Shrilly harping on about murdering unborn lives or whatever is doing very little to convince me that your metric is right and mine is wrong. May I suggest you take some time out to reflect on arguments you could make to me and others that at least carry some recognition of and which are directed towards this difference in our fundamental assumptions? I bet everyone will find it to be more interesting, and who knows, maybe there is some possibility that you'll convince someone of something.
posted by monocyte at 4:57 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's stupid. I think it's selling out, assuming she considers herself a feminist in a first place. It's like showing your boobs at mardi gras for beads. She got beads, how awesome! Who cares about setting women back or giving in to the disgusting misogynists who run the competitions... beads!!

This is exactly what I'm talking about.

Do we really all need to grow mullets and wear cargo pants and burlap sacks to be good feminists? Because you're going to have to rip my mascara out of my cold, dead hands.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:59 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


By the way, I'm going to add about Palin's scholarship. I have a four year scholarship for a higher ranked university than UI and I wasn't even in the top third of my high school class. I'm not a prodigy in anything, either - I practiced a lot for tests, in addition to applying to a lot of scholarships and spending a lot of time on essays.

Forgive me for not having a lot of patience with people who feel they'd rather earn a scholarship by trotting around in a swimsuit and having people score them. God. Don't get me wrong, they can do whatever they want to get that money - I just don't feel they represent me and have in fact done more to hurt my reputation as a woman than they have helped.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:00 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Palin's name and face are all over the front of every major news site, while coverage of the DNC has pretty much disappeared.

Fine by me. 38 MILLION people watched Barack's speech. The quicker the pundits talk about something else and let that direct experience marinate, the better. The alternative is is Fox newscasters and Ron Fournier of the AP explaining why Obama's speech wasn't what it appeared to be.
posted by msalt at 5:00 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Do we really all need to grow mullets and wear cargo pants and burlap sacks to be good feminists? Because you're going to have to rip my mascara out of my cold, dead hands.

Did I say that? Do you really see no difference between wearing what one wants and participating in being judged and scored based basically solely on your looks? Do you not understand how one is a fundamentally messed up practice designed to perpetrate the idea that it's fine and dandy to judge women based on how pretty they are?

I love my mascara, too, but if someone wants to score me based on my appearance they're going to find that nice stick of mascara jammed into their forehead.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:02 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Jesus tap-dancing Christ. If McCain wanted a former beauty queen with no experience and a criminal investigation on her record I don’t know why he didn’t just pick his own wife.

Maybe, but she's not NRA, not very religious (only pious), not all the kids are her own and she a second wife, not good for the ultraconservatives, and she had problems with drugs. She much more Diana than a soccer mom.

I guess McCain is going for identification, attempting to look less "librl lol" to some audience, captivating their vote, while looking moderate, but still better than Obama just because he's not librl, lol! bump and shit. Any critic direct to Palin could be seen as an attack to an archetype conservative, doesn't matter if it's an witty observation, it will be framed as an otrageous attack.
posted by elpapacito at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2008


Lets say that the only requisite for being a feminist is not objectifying women. Beauty Pageants make that... dissonant at best.
posted by butterstick at 5:04 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


FWIW I'd consider modeling a lot less weird and creepy than beauty pageant. Other things I consider less creepy than beauty pageant would include softcore and spiders.
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Things more creepy than beauty pageants: Dolls.
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on August 29, 2008


Have you seen child beauty pageants, Artw? Pretty much combine the two. Terrifying.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:06 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Put me in the camp that thinks this pick was used as a distraction and she'll be replaced by someone else soon.

Does this mean that there's still hope of a McCain/Romney ticket? It's been my dream all year to see Romney somewhere on the national ballot...
posted by kaibutsu at 5:06 PM on August 29, 2008


grapefruitmoon, I hear where you're coming from, I do. But her participation in beauty pageants, when combined with her known political positions, contributes to my viewing of her as someone who does not hold the same values as me - particularly feminist ones.

I still can't quite grok it - you don't have to "deny" your attractiveness to be truly feminist. But I'm not going to be all fuzzy about someone who says they are a feminist and yet participates in a competition with other women to be judged the most beautiful, when that is a metric often used to "rate" women outside of competitions, where it most certainly doesn't belong.

Your being a model in both fashion and art, is slightly different than being in a competition soley judging on looks. Both the fashion and art industries, despite their known evil connotations, are still based on good design and a desire for an artistic aesthetic. I can get behind that in many instances. Beauty pageants, not so much. I get what you're saying, I do...but I don't agree.
posted by agregoli at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Solon - They scare the living shit out of me to the point where I consider them to be a portion of the ULTRA-WRONG UNIVERSE into the earthly plane.
posted by Artw at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


what if McCain dies?

Indeed. With Tim Russert's sudden demise, Bernie Mac's turn for the worse -- I don't know which bothers me more, McCain's vulnerability to the onset of illness or his seeming obliviousness to the fact that whoever serves as VP, will have to be "ready" at a moment's notice.
posted by skyper at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2008


so, dearest barack: you may have a funny name, you may be black, you may be against abortion, you may have a real problem with the hillary crowd but the republicans seem to have acquired a taste for that old dance the democrats have very nearly perfected since the days of good old hapless george mc govern. you may be hopeful.
Barack Obama is a consistent and strong supporter of the right to choose.
posted by Flunkie at 5:09 PM on August 29, 2008


Does it have to be the VP?
posted by Artw at 5:09 PM on August 29, 2008


We all know that to date, Obama has received the lion's share of media coverage in this race.

Hmm, but look at this - so far mefites have offered:
209 comments on Obama's speech last night
653 comments on McCain's selection of Palin.

McCain's choice is, at the very least, getting him some attention.
posted by marlys at 5:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Put me in the camp that thinks this pick was used as a distraction and she'll be replaced by someone else soon.

There's no way that could be worth the horrible PR of screwing up your first VP pick. No, they (hilariously) mean to ride this one out.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:11 PM on August 29, 2008


The New Nixon
posted by homunculus at 5:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


(was she the shortest-serving PM ever?)

Nope, that was Sir Charles Tupper, for 2 months in 1896. For 9 days in 1894 we had no PM at all though, so Nobody wins the race for shortest term, as it were, lol.
posted by zarah at 5:16 PM on August 29, 2008


I wonder if anybody will notice this completely off-topic and useless comment in this vast sea of debate. *crosses fingers*
posted by tehloki at 5:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


I assume this means Hillary Clinton's statement on Palin; the link didn't specify exactly which Clinton this was, I'll assume it was her.

Yeah, it's from TalkLeft and it wasn't cited, so take it for what you will, etc. I'm hopeful that Hillary will at least eventually take a few swings -- I think DaShiv's right that her political and personal motives, as far as I'm able to divine them, both seem to counsel in favor of it.

The pandering that's implicit in the pick would have been bad enough on its own. But for Palin to explicitly invoke Hillary's campaign and to check the "18 million cracks" line is an insult. Hillary Clinton has been a New York Senator for longer than Sarah Palin has even been governor. Clinton was the First Lady of the United States and an accomplished national figure in her own right before Palin even entered politics as the mayor of a 9,000-person podunk town in Alaska. I mean, give me a break.

I wouldn't have said the same thing about, say, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, or any of a number of other eminently-qualified women who were apparently vetted by the McCain campaign. But this is lame.
posted by spiderwire at 5:19 PM on August 29, 2008


750 comments? Crazy

Other things I consider less creepy than beauty pageant would include softcore and spiders.

That seems very strange. Although I do think people have a stereotype of beauty pageant participants as being, well, not that bright.

attractive women are not allowed to "flaunt" said attractiveness without every other thing that they may ever do being negated by other women.

Well, attractive women are allowed to "flaunt" their attractiveness by men, but of course less attractive women are going to be jealous. Attractive women are able to achieve much more in life due to their good looks. What is a less attractive woman going to say "gosh, she's dumber then me and lazier, but she's so good looking so I don't mind her working half as hard for ten times as much money!"
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on August 29, 2008


I wouldn't have said the same thing about, say, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, or any of a number of other eminently-qualified women who were apparently vetted by the McCain campaign. But this is lame.

They went with Palin because she's a huckabeesque bible Thumper. The other women that were being considered for the job were much more feminist (read: pro-life).

Sarah Palin is not going to pick up disaffected Hillary voters, but she will really help congeal the religious part of the base, and make lots of news.
posted by delmoi at 5:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season.

Drome would have worked better.
posted by netbros at 5:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Alaska Legislature's report on Palin's trouper scandal to be released in the first couple days of November...
posted by delmoi at 5:27 PM on August 29, 2008


In addition to what I wrote above, let' see what Rush had to say to his loyal audience when John introduced her (just some bits taken here and there):

RUSH: He just bashed the liberals! All right!
RUSH: Okay, here she comes. She's coming out with her family and her husband who works in the oil business helping to create the fuel that Obama uses to fly all over the country.
RUSH: This is going so well. She's wearing a skirt, too, folks. She just introduced her family. Her husband and her celebrating their 20th anniversary today.
RUSH: Hockey mom. Pistol-packing hockey mom!
PALIN: It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all!
posted by elpapacito at 5:27 PM on August 29, 2008


Just chiming in here with those who said that abortion will be one of the central themes of this election -- except that it will probably be embedded into a broader theme. Something like 'family values' or 'American values'.

This is bad news for Obama: He will try to tip-toe around the issue, giving non-committal statements, whereas the other camp will just state their opinion straightforwardly. Straight-talk indeed. Obama is going to look bad in the process. Can he be trusted? Isn't his tiptoeing precisely the kind of politics he was promising to change? And speaking of change, why isn't he willing to do anything about the 100,000 babies killed each year? And if he doesn't care, why would he care about our troops in Iraq?

Also, like Artw said, experience just became utterly irrelevant. And for a good reason. Obama doesn't look or sound inexperienced. Casting him as inexperienced didn't work for Hillary, so why should it work for McCain?

In addition, I think there will be an additional 'Alaska angle'. Such as a stand-off with Russia regarding oil fields near Alaska that now have suddenly become accessible. This will not only create a general sense of crisis that will make the ex-POW look like the better choice, but will also give Palin the chance to look knowledgeable and relevant. ("Joe Biden may know a lot about Iranian arms programs, but how often has he been to Alaska? Obama may be popular in Europe, but will he do what is necessary to defend the largest state of the union?")

To sum up, this was a brilliant move. I can't wait to learn what they come up with next.
posted by sour cream at 5:29 PM on August 29, 2008


A great pick for McCain. A few hours ago I got an email from Joe Biden via Obama's website saying that today McCain would announce who the next Dick Cheney would be. Can they really paint this lady as Dick Cheney? Takes away a lot of the "McCain is Bush" rhetoric.

Her experience is a concern but Obama can't bring it up without the conversation turning to his own lack of experience, which is a conversation McCain wants to have. FWIW, executive experience is more valuable than senatorial experience. Until Gore and Cheney, the VP's job was basically to wake up and see if the president was dead. Perhaps we're going back to those days in either case.

Lots of dems are excited to see the VP debates, but how can Biden pound on a pretty, polite mother of 5? A difficult feat to pull off. Besides, here's a prediction on the VP debates: Republicans will say Palin is won and Dems will say Biden won.

With regards to military issues, a big cry from the anti-war crowd over the past 8 years was how Bush/Cheney's sent other people's kids to war when they never served and their own kids didn't either. Now you have two Iraq war proponents who's own children served or will serve in Iraq.

Finally, she's a pro-gun, pro-life mom with traditional values, which should play well to the religious right McCain was said to have trouble with.

The more I think about it, the more this shuts down so many of Obama's arguments. It's a really, really great pick, politically at least.
posted by b_thinky at 5:32 PM on August 29, 2008


I've never understood why it's OK for people to flaunt/use their intelligence (which you are to a large extent born with) to get ahead, but not their appearance. Both have a big innate quality, and both can be shaped by hard work (exercise, hygiene, etc in the case of appearance).

And the idea that all women are hurt because some choose to use their appearance seems equally lame. If you have to change your behavior based on what others (those who judge women solely/mostly on appearance for all things, ie assholes) are doing, they've still won. Women should be free to make either choice, like men are (or for the lucky ones, both). Maybe society is not quite there yet, but I don't think that should restrict individuals decisions on their own lives.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:32 PM on August 29, 2008


She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not like it.

FAIL.

First off, she's not extremely attractive (no more so than Cynthia McKinney), so let's just throw out that canard.

Second, I don't get the whole P.U.M.A. thing. Until today, I thought the puma slang term meant "cougar in training."

Did they pick that name on purpose? Ugh.

If you support Hillary Clinton and hate Barack Obama because of "the lack of respect" he gave to Clinton supporters, wouldn't you be better off supporting Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader (who lean much closer to Clinton politically) than John McCain?

I've known women who would tell you that there's no reason to get specifically screened for Downs unless you're at least thinking of abortion.

Agreed. Can anyone explain why else you would screen for genetic abnormalities unless you were considering abortion if the tests came back positive? My wife and I are expecting, and did not do any genetic or diagnostic testing because we wouldn't abort in any case.

It took many months for me to get my arms around the idea of, first, having a fifth child at my age, but also knowing that my child would have an extra chromosome.

So how and why did Sarah Palin find out ahead of time? Is there any other reason to test if you would never consider abortion?

If not, isn't the pro-choice story here that Sarah Palin had that choice to make and indeed made a choice, just like every other woman deserves?
posted by mrgrimm at 5:33 PM on August 29, 2008


So, how many favorites do we think DaShiv picks up in the next three months? I'm going with 2500. Seriously. Twenty five hundred favorites between now and and, say, two weeks after the election.
posted by Kwine at 5:40 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can anyone explain why else you would screen for genetic abnormalities unless you were considering abortion if the tests came back positive?

Just off the top of my head; if you're particularly conscientious, you would probably need to learn about the adjustments you'll need to make to your life in the future to care for a child with Downs syndrome. Maybe people like to find out in advance so they can start preparing to care for a child with special needs?

You don't need to know the sex of your child (and I'd hope no-one out there is getting abortions based on the sex of their foetus) but it's something people like to find out. Now that the technology exists, why not find out about genetic conditions your child will have as well?
posted by Jimbob at 5:45 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin's name and face are all over the front of every major news site, while coverage of the DNC has pretty much disappeared.

Obama's speech was front-page news on most newspapers this morning. I watched CNN, MSNBC and NBC Nightly News this evening and they all covered last night's record-breaking speech -- albeit after a story on Palin.

There are 209 posts on the 18-hour-old Metafilter thread about Obama's historic nomination acceptance speech. This 8-hour-old thread, discussing McCain's VP choice of a little-known person with a thin resume, has 650 posts and rising.

Yeah. So, what?

The fact that this thread is generating more comments than the Obama Speech thread is indicative of the fact that Palin is such an 'unknown' that we here on MeFi seek to discuss her selection as a V.P. candidate, learn more about her past, qualifications, etc.

There's not much nuance left to discuss regarding Obama's phenomenal performance last night.
MSNBC Pat Buchanan – ‘It was a genuinely outstanding speech. It was magnificent. It is the finest – and I saw Cuomo’s speech, I saw Kennedy in ‘80, I even saw Douglas MacArthur, I saw Martin Luther King – this is the greatest convention speech, and probably the most important because unlike Cuomo and the others this is an acceptance speech. This came out of the heart of America and he went right at the heart of America…’

FOX Bill Kristol – ‘Barack Obama faced very high expectations tonight and honestly I think he met them and I honestly think he exceeded them…He eloquently explained America’s promise. He explained why the Bush Cheney administration had fallen short of that…I thought it was an awfully impressive performance.

CNN David Gergen – ‘In many ways it was less a speech than a symphony…It was a masterpiece’

MSNBC Tom Brokaw – ‘It was a wonderfully crafted political speech and the Republicans I’m sure were looking in and wondering what they’re going to be able to do next week to match it’

CNN Paul Begala – ‘He went fearlessly at John McCain’s greatest strength, national security. He went proudly into the social issue terrain that Democrats are usually so afraid of. He went boldly attacking the status quo of George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain, and then he went very comfortably in your living room…This is my ninth convention, it was as very nearly a perfect convention speech as I can imagine…’

MSNBC Chris Matthews – ‘I thought it was amazing – I’ve written speeches all my life, of course nothing like this…It was a great way of throwing back the other side’s best shot and saying it’s full of crap’

CNN Campbell Brown – ‘If anybody ever thought that Barack Obama was not tough enough to run against John McCain this speech should really put an end to that…’

FOX Chris Wallace – ‘I thought it was an exceedingly smart speech in which Barack Obama played offense and defense very effectively.’

CNN – Sen. Clinton delegates on Obama’s speech:
Jessica Yellin: ‘I have three people who as you say have been following this for a long time. Two of these women are Hillary Clinton supporters and I wanted to ask you first…

Woman: ‘Were.’

Yellin: ‘Were Hillary Clinton supporters. What turned you tonight?

Woman: ‘His speech, and I like her enjoyed it all but the end is what got me. You know, it’s a dream and it’s going to come true we gotta’ work for it. That’s what I got out of it.’”
posted by ericb at 5:45 PM on August 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


A moment ago, I just saw video of her speech today. As she was talking, it genuinely looked like McCain was checking out her ass, or something like that.

I'm not snarking - I feel weird posting this, and it seemed genuinely bizarre to me. He kept doing it, too.

Did anyone else notice this, or am I imagining it?
posted by Flunkie at 5:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Google reveals that I am not alone in thinking that McCain was checking out her ass.
posted by Flunkie at 5:50 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Palin's name and face are all over the front of every major news site, while coverage of the DNC has pretty much disappeared.

BTW -- press coverage of the GOP convention this weekend (and next week) will likely have to compete with that of hurricane Gustav. A "split-screen" convention?

On Third Anniversary Of Katrina, Officials Aren’t Confident New Orleans’ Levees Can ‘Handle’ Gustav.
posted by ericb at 5:51 PM on August 29, 2008


Is there any other reason to test if you would never consider abortion?

Many women opt for the test so that they can prepare to care for a child with special needs. In addition, the "triple screen" test can also help to detect spina bifida, which may require surgery on the fetus while it's still in the womb.
posted by jrossi4r at 5:52 PM on August 29, 2008


Despite this anti-choice nut managing to push Obama off the front page, let us hold our heads high. We'll go dancing, everything will be all right.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:58 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


From the WP:
"Palin's political career began a decade later when she was elected to the Wasilla City Council and, four years after that, in 1996, she won the mayorship -- knocking off the incumbent by just a handful of votes."

Funny; I think there were only a handful of votes in total.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:59 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


A moment ago, I just saw video of her speech today. As she was talking, it genuinely looked like McCain was checking out her ass, or something like that.

Maybe he was looking at that lump on her back.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:59 PM on August 29, 2008


IIRC the same screening picks up things like Trisome 18, which causes fatal deformities, and which would in most cases lead to an abortion (the exception being die-hard pro-lifers).

(As I've mentioned elsewhere we had a risk factor for this, leading to an amnio which thankfully turned out negative, but it meant an extremely stressful time for us and some Googling that I really wish I hadn't done. )
posted by Artw at 5:59 PM on August 29, 2008


I keep seeing the video of this on the newsesque show that I'm watching. Now I'm thinking that there must have been a script on the lectern in front of her, and he must have been looking down at it, not at her ass.

She didn't seem to ever look down to the lectern, though.

But it has to be something like that. Doesn't it?

I mean, it was so blatant, and he did it so often.
posted by Flunkie at 6:07 PM on August 29, 2008


McCain has a history of having affairs with women that he works with, how will his wife feel about him working long hours with a younger, more attractive, more powerful woman? Having basically bought him his political career with her family money, how will she feel about him elevating a younger, more attractive woman to work along side him as an equal? I bet there are going to be some awkward conversations in the white house.

How long will it take John McCain to cheat on his wife again? He cheated on his first wife pretty much the first time that he met Cindy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npPJAN5MvJk

Notice that he's staring at her ass the whole time she's talking and what's he doing with his wedding ring? I bet he can't wait to take it off.

When does McCain's lechery become a campaign issue? He's willing to risk the country's future on a beauty queen, just like he wrecked his first marriage for a beauty queen.
posted by empath at 6:16 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin has more executive governmental experience than Obama and Biden combined.
They're already saying that Palin is "more experienced" than Obama, because it's executive experience

Thank goodness Abraham Lincoln had those terms as Governor of Illinois to steel him for the work that lay ahead.
posted by lukemeister at 6:19 PM on August 29, 2008


It took me three quarters of the thread to realize that Feminists for Life meant, you know, anti-choice, rather than Feminists Por Vida, Feminists for LYFE.

Feminist gangsters.
posted by sugarfish at 6:20 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain has a history of having affairs with women that he works with, how will his wife feel about him working long hours with a younger, more attractive, more powerful woman?

Right, because obviously Palin has no agency in that hypothetical. Or perhaps it's just assumed that she'd be *shudder* attracted to his power, like some pretty Alaskan Anakin Skywalker?!?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:24 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I executively wouldn't hit it
posted by uandt at 6:25 PM on August 29, 2008


good point! i'm just throwin' stuff up the flagpole to see what sticks. I'm sure someone will come up with a better variation of that before long, though.
posted by empath at 6:27 PM on August 29, 2008


He is an adulterer and a lech, though.
posted by empath at 6:28 PM on August 29, 2008


STOP MAKING ME PICTURE JOHN MCCAIN GETTING FREAKY.
posted by ColdChef at 6:33 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


As rokusan pointed out about 400 comments ago: McCain Taps Alaska Gov. Palin

(Nothing in the article, just the title of course...)
posted by XMLicious at 6:35 PM on August 29, 2008


hydrophonic, quoting someone else: "Call your local OB department and ask what to do if you think that your water has broken. You’ll be advised to seek an immediate hands-on examination by an obstetrician. The baby will be placed on a monitor to make sure it’s OK."

Eh? No, that's not true. You've got 24 hours to get the kid out after the water breaks before anyone panics, unless there's something else going on. Monitors are standard with hospital births -- they're not indicative of things going pear-shaped.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:41 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


onlyconnect: Re: gov'r of Alaska. First of all, Alaska is an incredibly homogeneous state -- overwhelmingly white, mostly male, one-party Republican rule -- and that pushes poll numbers toward the extremes. Thus, her approval ratings have to be taken with a grain of salt; governors like Schweitzer, Napolitano, and Sebelius who maintain very high approval ratings while governing as a minority-party governor are the ones whose high approval ratings are truly remarkable. Also, the article you link to is more than a year out of date. While Palin indeed had a 90%+ approval rating early this year, her ethics scandal and her controversial pipeline plan have combined to send her poll numbers into freefall the past months. The latest Rasmussen (8/29/08) pegs her at 67% -- a 25% drop in months, faster than even Bush's approval rating loss and more importantly, a continuous drop with no sign of bottoming out, let alone reversing. Had she not been picked for VP, it's quite likely her approval would've continue to fall below 50% since both of her scandals are still are ongoing, and a number of other Alaskan officials (most notably Sen. Stevens) are also suffering scandals of their own, dropping Republican party support across the board. (This is why Obama has been making a serious play for Alaska recently -- the last six polls have McCain leading by just an average of 5.9 points, an unheard of margin in such a solidly red state.) The timing of her precipitous fall in popularity was one major factor in her being written off as a viable VP candidate months ago.

Another issue: executive experience as gov'r of Alaska. Alaska has a statewide population of just two-thirds of a million people; New York City has a population of more than ten times that just by itself. Alaska's tax code and bureaucracy is greatly simplified by, again, the dominance of just a few industries (again, look at their income tax system as an example). Titles like "governor" and "mayor" aside, there's no doubt that candidates like "merely mayor" Guiliani have far more executive experience from an financial, organizational, and human-resources perspective, nevermind other governors like Romney and Pawlenty. If you're saying that Palin was picked because of her governorship of Alaska gives her an executive edge over the other contenders, I submit that you're nuts -- and I don't think you're hinging it all on her governorship. On that front, there are tons of stronger mayors, governors, CEOs, you name it with stronger executive records.

Her reputation as a reformer? Her ethics scandal, plummeting popularity, and Alaska's growing notoriety as a haven of Republican corruption have severely undermined that. It was thought to be too risky to tap her while some new development in Alaska could severely undermine the ticket; there are plenty of other GOP reformers like Jindal, DeMint, etc. if McCain were interested in a purely reform angle.

In fact that's what it boils down to. No matter what you're looking for in terms of resume and experience, there are better candidates. Virtually all the alternatives have a better executive resume, and most are stronger in various other areas as well. In fact, just looking at the women thought to be among the finalists: Fiorina has a far superior executive/economic/Washington-outsider background as a female Romney alternative, and Hutchinson is much stronger from a political qualifications and social issues perspective if McCain's primary goal were to shore up evangelical support. And that's ignoring the other female contenders like Dole that were eliminated early on alongside Palin. Looking at male contenders included, and we're talking about well over a dozen, probably two dozen more names here, and many of them do a better job of "covering all the bases" on the resume/experience question than Palin. In short, Palin was not chosen simply based on her resume and experiences.

"Not a single one of these qualities or accomplishments are dependant on her age, gender, or photogenic appearance, but perhaps they are all things that you think it is appropriate to scoff at. But go ahead and continue to believe that McCain picked her because she is a pretty, pretty princess. [...] You're still not getting it."

No, you're still not getting it. Palin isn't being dismissed just because she's a pretty, pretty princess; she's being dismissed because she was widely thought to have already been eliminated looking at purely the "paper qualifications", and given all the other choices at McCain's disposal, the only plausible reason remaining excludes resume and experience as the determining factors. Even though she checks all the necessary boxes -- a minimum of executive experience, pro-life, non-establishment, etc. -- just like many other more qualified candidates, the overwhelming consensus among those criticizing the choice is that she was chosen because she was "New and Different" as a counter to Obama's "New and Different." And in this case the derision comes from New and Different being -- in this case -- rather blatantly being young, female, and photogenic. I'm not scoffing at her for being a "pretty, pretty princess." If you look at my actual words, I was scoffing at what was "instrumental to her selection" -- that is to say, the cynicism behind the McCain camp's choice that this was more important than purely the various executive, reformer, outsider, social issues, etc criteria, when weighed against the other contenders.

You're tilting at conjured windmills constructed by strawmen here. I'm trying to describe why this was such a surprise pick, to choose someone widely considered eliminated months ago and the McCain camp's rationale for doing so when compared against the remaining field (if you don't believe me, search the news archives at various sites following the veepstakes and follow the evolution of names and the pros and cons being weighed for months; there's a reason why everyone thought it was down to a handful like Romney and Pawlenty this past weekend). You're acting as if I were taking an opportunistic jab at her as unqualified because she's merely a "pretty, pretty princess", and frankly that's a myopic and knee-jerk assessment. This is the last, surprising chapter of a process that's gone on for months, and you can't really describe why Palin is a surprise pick without looking at the timeline and the reasons behind her being listed, being dropped from mentioning, and now her sudden resurfacing in the Republican veepstakes.

Or you can believe that Palin was chosen because her record as a reformer was so strong, her governorship experience so remarkable, and her social credentials so morally pack-leading that it's actually a complete coincidence that she happens to be a "pretty, pretty princess." Personally, I think that's a flat-out wrong assessment. And it's not just me: while the GOP-win-go-win and the social conservative (NO RIDGE/LIEBERMAN/ROMNEY) sites are stoked and are falling in line, if you look at -- purely on the conservative sites -- the politics-as-sports horserace followers, the indy-conservative curmudgeons, the small-government libertarian-leaners, and the paleocon/old-school fiscal/isolationist Republican communities and commentators, you'll find the same criticism but in much harsher terms: "gender pandering", "tokenism", "trophy veep", and many similar assessments, laid out in arguments with far more data and more links. This isn't concern trolling to sink the Republican ticket or Palin-bashing for being a woman: this is about tracking and making sense of the radically altered trajectory of a story that has been closely followed for months. I think we'd all be interested in hearing a different, more plausible take from you -- but the argument that Palin won the pick based on just her resume and experience has far too many refutations. Setting aside the yay-GOP/yay-pro-life reactions, the aggregate reactions being tracked on both sides -- like on Kos/RedState and pundits like Ambinder/Halpern/etc -- have made the case I mentioned above pretty consistently and strongly.

And by the way, there's no double standard here when it comes to Obama. Obama's main selling pitch wasn't his resume -- he was emphasizing his judgment, his ability to lead through inspiration, his ability to turn out voters, his fund-raising, his infrastructure-building and managing the best-run campaign this primary season, etc. Bill Clinton alluded to this explicitly when he says Obama has gotten "stronger" as a candidate through the campaign. Obama been building all this since last January (and before then) to supplement the fact that his resume is thinner than most other Democratic candidates. Palin on the other hand has 60 days after the convention to make that case for herself, while acting as a newly-formed appendage shoehorned into an existing campaign framework. It's all somewhat farcical prima facie. That's why the resume and experience question for a veep is so crucial, because she won't be given the lengthy chance to prove herself as Obama has been for almost two years now. I've been seeing Palin being labeled as "Geraldine Quayle" from some on both the right and left; it'll be interesting to see if the charge sticks.

spiderwire: Clinton's statement on Palin: [...] Not exactly what DaShiv was predicting, I think.

It's the same echo of the faint praise McCain has been giving Obama for his historic nomination. After the GOP convention the campaign starts in earnest, and I'll be shocked if Sen. Clinton doesn't make some substantive attacks against the McCain/Palin ticket between now and November, especially on the issues of choice and health care. The real questions are how and how hard, because she's not going to just phone this one in. There are simply too many people watching her, especially after the Palin pick.
posted by DaShiv at 6:42 PM on August 29, 2008 [68 favorites]


I'm not a woman, though I enjoy doing a lot of things women do, but I'm curious as to whether this will, over time, be seen more as an insult to their sex. The Republicans are basically saying that yeah, when backed into a corner they'll go as far as putting a woman on the ticket, but only in second place. You can't take seriously that they appreciate her qualifications considering this is the first time they have been considered worth mention. Her name was never discussed for presidential nomination, though the qualifications are ostensibly the same. And then they're playing up the motherhood/Down's syndrome thing to draw in the Lifetime-movie-of-the-week crowd. I wouldn't say that this is how Republicans in general view women, but they shouldn't go as far as to brag that how they have gone about this is in any way complimentary.
posted by troybob at 6:42 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know, reading all the comments in regards to abortion, it seems very few ever address the simple pragmatic aspects of abortion being legal. In countries where abortion is illegal, the number of abortions per capita is not any less than in those countries where it is legal. What changes when it goes from legal to illegal is the number of *unsafe* abortions increases, while the number of abortions themselves remains more or less the same. In other words, when abortion is a crime the number of dead teenagers increases. That's it. So being 'pro-life' is an irony until itself, in that the goal of people who use that term to describe themselves, if ever (re)fulfilled, would result in an increased number of deaths -- of actual people, not clumps of fetal tissue. To be pragmatically accurate, the term should be something like 'pro-more-dead-young-people-unnecessarily'.
posted by jamstigator at 6:42 PM on August 29, 2008 [29 favorites]


...'unto itself'. I suck tonight. Pass the bong. ;)
posted by jamstigator at 6:46 PM on August 29, 2008


Let's see what happens. I think this is a very stupid pick. Once the bloom is off and her very serious ethical problems, total lack of foreign policy opinions (not experience, opinions) and the basely insulting nature of the pick are well aired, I think she'll live on in history as a punchline.

I'd lay money on it.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:50 PM on August 29, 2008


Imagine this scenario:

Clinton edges out Obama in a close fought primary race, leaving african americans bitter and dejected. McCain, seeing an opportunity to placate his Christianist base and to draw in alienated blacks nominates:

Alan Keyes.

Does anybody think black people would fall for that? Why would women democrats fall for this bamboozle?
posted by empath at 6:50 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Let's suppose that that phone rings at 3am in the morning and either Joe Biden or Sarah Palin has to answer it. You tell me," continued Cafferty. "After this pick, ask yourself again who has the better judgment, John McCain or Barack Obama."
posted by lukemeister at 6:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


This certainly puts the abortion issue back in play, which should boil away the mushy middle and leave us the starkly split electorate we've had in recent past.

Are today's younger people, ie. <4>really anti-choice? I should think most Americans are actually pretty much "meh" about the issue: no one actually wants abortion to be used, but most everyone pretty much understands it's a necessary option.

A vehemently vocal anti-choice candidate would, I should think, be a liability.

That, or the USA is way more bass-ackwards than I thought.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:05 PM on August 29, 2008


Does anybody think black people would fall for that? Why would women democrats fall for this bamboozle?

Well, hang on, meow. Alan Keyes is recognizably batshitinsane. Palin, for whatever faults she may have, so far has not exhibited anything akin to Alan Keyes.
posted by cavalier at 7:08 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I too late to the thread to discuss the incredibly odd rumor that the new kid may not be hers at all, but her daughter's?
posted by The Bellman at 7:08 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


That, or the USA is way more bass-ackwards than I thought.

Not just more ass-backwards than you think, but more ass-backwards than you can imagine.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


how will his wife feel about him working long hours with a younger, more attractive, more powerful woman?

Seriously, when's the last time a president actually worked long hours with a veep? The current administration doesn't count seeing as this President works for, not with, the Vice-President. Vice-Presidents exist to attend foreign state funerals and break ties in the Senate, anything over and above that only occurs in exceptional circumstances.
posted by MikeMc at 7:11 PM on August 29, 2008


"Here under protest is mooseburgers." -Orson Wells
posted by moonbird at 7:13 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"She may be pretty. She may be stupid. The two are NOT connected."

No, but it does strongly correlate with being shallow. Which doesn't correlate well with governing.
posted by klangklangston at 7:14 PM on August 29, 2008


You know, it's funny. Here is where I first saw the Plin news,and it didn't even occur to me to check the mainstream media's reaction. I looked here, and on reddit and fark and dailykos, and on a few other blogs.

One of my hopes for this election is that it turns out there is a great, previously-unacknowledged citizenry of internet-connected wonks who get off their asses and vote for common sense. I mean, come on people, Palin is a damned creationist! Even the Pope doesn't believe that shit any more. How vastly ignorant is she?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:14 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Bellman: "Am I too late to the thread to discuss the incredibly odd rumor that the new kid may not be hers at all, but her daughter's?"

Not at all. What an excellent rumor.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I confess, I have been pondering Harriet Miers for much of today.

Palin is used to knock Obama out of the headlines. She campaigns for a couple of weeks, gets the base worked up about pro-life issues, and then realizes that the campaign is too hard on her family and regretfully drops out to return to Alaska. McCain then picks Romney or some other more liberal VP with tons of experience and finishes the campaign with an added "feel bad for the Republicans because they lost their VP" boost.

/tinfoil
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:16 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


The Post's James Grimaldi got an exclusive interview with Walter Monegan, the canned Alaska Public Safety Commissioner at the center of Palin trooper-gate scandal. And he basically says Palin is lying in her assertion that while some of her aides contacting Monegan about firing her brother-in-law, that she herself did not.

How could the republicans miss this? It may be minor, it may not, but in the echo chamber of presidential politics even the most minor thing can get blown way out of proportion, just look at Obama's "land deal" with Rezko, a tiny issue that wouldn't even merit a senate ethics inquiry is showing up in T.V. ads.
Just chiming in here with those who said that abortion will be one of the central themes of this election -- except that it will probably be embedded into a broader theme. Something like 'family values' or 'American values'.

This is bad news for Obama: He will try to tip-toe around the issue, giving non-committal statements, whereas the other camp will just state their opinion straightforwardly. Straight-talk indeed. -- sour cream
Are you kidding? Did you actually watch the democratic convention? Democrats talk constantly about the need to protect Roe, about how the republicans are going to take it away, etc. Meanwhile the republicans tiptoe around it, talking about 'judicial appointments' and 'strict constructionists' when what they mean is they'll nominate judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade

Anyway, poll after poll shows that most Americans favor legalized abortion. It isn't a winning issue for the republicans, but it helps to motivate their base.
posted by delmoi at 7:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


You, yourself, say that she is participating in a system that is anti-feminist and that itself is worthy of scorn. So, you, as a feminist feel that beauty pageants are awful. Great. Don't participate in them! It doesn't strike me as very "feminist" to me to hear the message "You can be pretty, or you can be smart, but you can't be both!"

Look, all I'm trying to say at the end of the day is that she can do whatever the heck she wants to, but I don't feel she represents me if she does something I disagree with. Maybe if someone is really anti-drugs they won't vote for a person who has done drugs to represent them, even if that doesn't have a lot to do with running a country. That's their prerogative.

I don't think that's such a novel point. And I think you've been unfairly characterizing my argument as a series of strawmen re: what I feel about attractive people, who can be pretty, who can wear makeup.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:18 PM on August 29, 2008


(and really, the scare quotes around feminist were unnecessary to say the least.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:20 PM on August 29, 2008



I'm not a woman, though I enjoy doing a lot of things women do, but I'm curious as to whether this will, over time, be seen more as an insult to their sex.


I am a woman, I voted for Hillary on Super Tuesday, I had a grudging respect for the more centrist, "party maverick" McCain during the 2000 race--and let me tell you, Palin excites me and makes me feel all warm and proud inside the way the African American community *hearts* Alan Keyes during his presidential bids.

In this particular race, at this particular moment in time, I wouldn't jump party lines for anything, just like I held my nose and voted for Kerry in 2004. But I would have had much more respect for McCain--and less fear about a McCain ticket winning the Oval Office--if he had chosen Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Mitt Romney, anyone else. You can't pander to me like that ("but she's got boobs and a uterus! what more do you broads want?"). I have a hard time believing that even the most embittered PUMA would sign off on someone even further right than McCain on women's issues, gay rights, and environmental concerns, just because she's a chick.

Please.
posted by availablelight at 7:21 PM on August 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


She's a model Republican feminist: Make the most of yourself by selling yourself however you can, then do whatever you want - buy houses, humvees, hookers, blow and lawyers, make babies, wars, gorgeous new McMansions with granite, whatever you like. The world is your oyster and consequences are for someone else, someone who'll be eating your dust come the Rapture.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:22 PM on August 29, 2008 [16 favorites]


The thing about the pregnancy is very weird and kind of plausible. I've seen it on some dkos diaries and newsgroups, but nothing legit yet. It does seem weird that at 7 months, she wasn't showing at all, and that when she did have the kid, her water broke at a conference and she flew all the way back to alaska to deliver it?

If her daughter really did miss all that school from 'mono' at the same time, it's quite a plausible scenario to me. Are there any pictures of a pregnant Palin from this time period? I found a pic of her at 7 months, where she doesn't look slightly pregnant.

Random person from google image search for 7 months pregnant.

Sarah Palin, supposedly 7 months pregnant.
posted by empath at 7:23 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


All right, this rumor re: covering up for her pregnant daughter is discussed here among other places. It is, of course, a rumor and there aren't really any non-bulletin board sources that suggest that it might be true.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:23 PM on August 29, 2008


Have the GOP backroom power brokers thought this through? I wish no poor health to McCain, but what if there's a William Henry Harrison situation and McCain after a month in office checks out?

Back in 2000, people on both sides of the aisle that questioned Bush's qualifications said relax, Dick Cheney will be around to counsel. Jokes aside about Cheney being a puppet master, Cheney has made the office of the VP quite powerful (Gore started it, before that VPs waited around for the president to die, attended second tier country's state funerals, coronations and other shit the president didn't want or have time to do). So if McCain checks out, who will Palin go to for counsel? A yet-to-be-named member of the cabinet? Or will Cheney still be around from an undisclosed location. I'm not saying that Palin isn't intelligent and able to think on her feet, but running the country is a hell of a lot different than running a state with 600K people. A state where the second largest private employer is Safeway. Not trying to knock Alaska but really?

I really thought the bombshell McCain was going to drop today was saying Condi Rice was getting the nod. She has credentials. She's ready for the 3am call (and gets it more often that W does already). Or even Kay Bailey Hutchison (a complete hack, but still way more qualified). If McCain and the strategy guys wanted a woman to "diversify" and show the the GOP is down with change too, there are thousands of more qualified women around. All of them would tow the GOP line. And of course, it doesn't even have to be a woman!

John McCain has lost his mind! He is saying that of all 300+ million of us, he is the qualified to run the country. And his first big decision is saying Sarah Palin is his VP? Really?
posted by birdherder at 7:35 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uhm, wtf is a PUMA, please?
"Party Unity, My Ass!" It refers to Hillary supporters who don't want to support Obama because they hold a grudge about how Hillary was treated.
No. It refers to a Republican-funded disinformation campaign.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:36 PM on August 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


you can believe that Palin was chosen because her record as a reformer was so strong

apparently, according to brooks' people fwiw, she was picked because:
what he saw when he looked at her, according to the people I spoke to, is someone who fights the same fights I fight. The first gateway sort of fight that he thought they have in common was the bridge to nowhere. He's been talking about that for years. She's the one who killed it...

The second thing he liked was she took on the Republican Party. She had a corrupt Republican Party. It was her own party. She took it on in a very risky way. McCain sort of sometimes sees himself in that role, Jack Abramoff.

And the third thing was the fight she had with the oil companies over the pipeline, which was a big fight. And he saw her -- he goes after Boeing, she goes after the oil companies.

So he said, "This is someone who's like me." I mean, I'm sure he appreciated that she's a woman and all the differences. But the essential thing was a reformer like me, even though he doesn't know her that well.
a minimum of executive experience

in the other segment on the newshour, i thought this was kind of telling:
"The other thing you have to remember is Alaska is in a period of affluence now. The state treasury is filled with money. The high oil prices the rest of the country are paying has made the rest of us up here -- given us a full treasury, and now we don't have to worry about taxing.

"We can spend money on people and just -- we don't have to make the tough choices that you have to make where you live." -- Michael Carey, host of a weekly political program for Alaska Public Television and a columnist for the Anchorage Daily News
in part because of her windfall profits tax on oil companies & support for drilling :P altho...

and btw:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, how does she get along with state legislators?

[Alaska State Representative (D)] LINDSEY HOLMES: Well, I think it depends on the state legislator. There's been a bit of a hands-off approach, I would have to say. It's not...

JUDY WOODRUFF: A hands-off approach on whose...

LINDSEY HOLMES: To the legislature, from the governor's office to the legislature. There are definitely people in the legislature she just doesn't get along with at all.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Are they all Democrats?

LINDSEY HOLMES: No, actually, they're mostly Republicans, a lot of Republicans, some Democrats. It kind of depends on the issue. There have been some arguments over handling of things like budget vetoes without communicating them ahead of time to the legislature, just a lack of communication, I think, on a lot of things that we've been working on.
cheers!
posted by kliuless at 7:40 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin, supposedly 7 months pregnant.

It would help if you linked to the article where the photo appeared.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:41 PM on August 29, 2008


This photo is undated, but might have fed some of the rumors.

Although:

Many teen aged girls have little "pooches" on otherwise slim bodies, and all sorts of women carry differently when pregnant (very thin women, very tall women, and very overweight women can even have babies without realizing they're pregnant until the actual delivery pains).
posted by availablelight at 7:41 PM on August 29, 2008


Her much-blogged-about "whiner" comment, captured here on video, happened the day before she announced she was 7 months pregnant. I can see why the reporter was surprised to later learn the news.
posted by mothershock at 7:55 PM on August 29, 2008


Um, and it's not about me "feeling good". If you've got a good argument for why Clinton won't campaign harder, say so. I'm not making stuff up to post here in order to "feel good".

And what was the good argument that Hilary would campaign harder? That Palin is a republican?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:55 PM on August 29, 2008


That is a deliciously nasty rumor and a correspondingly terrific rationalization. Like someone posted above, the next few months are going to be interesting!
posted by sfts2 at 7:57 PM on August 29, 2008


Huh. I thought birth certificates were public records, but I was wrong. In Alaska, there's a hundred-year wait.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:58 PM on August 29, 2008


And what was the good argument that Hilary would campaign harder? That Palin is a republican?

DaShiv, upthread, gave quite a good rundown I think.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:03 PM on August 29, 2008


While dashiv is verbose, I don't think he's particularly intelligent on this. Anyone can go on blah blah blah without really saying anything. Just watch cable news some time.

I've been following this and have been perplexed at the choice. The best answer I've heard for her selection is that she represents a next generation of conservative that's the next step from the Reagan Republican. Ever so slightly more progressive on various issues, but supposedly still fiscally and socially conservative. It's a symbolic transition from McCain as an old-school (though he supposedly never was) conservative.

I think the Republican ticket looks a bit confused right now, and I imagine they'll try to focus themselves at their convention. They do have their work cut out for them, but the choice was intelligent as far as taking the news wind out of the sail of the democrats. Thing is 38 million people watched Obama's speech on TV, and who knows how many online. It's available to watch anytime anyone wants. I don't see McCain matching the rhetoric or the presentation of Obama, and they'll have to fall back on their perky "hockey mom" who is under investigation. Her choice is an incredible long shot, but I think if Obama's organization maintains their discipline, it'll end up being a negative. I expect to see Palin fade to obscurity after this election cycle.
posted by Eekacat at 8:03 PM on August 29, 2008


I was a little surprised to see, right over McCain's shoulder when he made the announcement about Palin, was Geoff Davis, the Kentucky congressman who called Obama "boy" just a few months ago. Was that a whistle only dogs can hear?
posted by tizzie at 8:10 PM on August 29, 2008


And he saw her -- he goes after Boeing, she goes after the oil companies.

No, he goes after Boeing because all his campaign advisors used to lobby for Lockheed, EADS, and McDonnell-Douglas.

This election is such a joke.
posted by spiderwire at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have been pondering Harriet Miers

fallows, fwiw, thinks she's more clarence thomas :P "an unbelievably obvious but potentially effective attempt to jiu-jitsu the standard identity politics of the moment in a way that flummoxes the Democrats," but citing brooks again, i'll entertain the idea that it's a genuine effort to take the party in a new direction:
she is an under-45 Republican. That means she's unwedded to Reaganism. She's Evangelical, but she's pretty progressive on gay and lesbian issues. She's for drilling in ANWR, but she talks about global warming quite a lot.

She's got different categories in her head than, I think, the older conservatives who are pretty much down the line ideologically.
that's the hope anyway!
posted by kliuless at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2008


Google reveals that I am not alone in thinking that McCain was checking out her ass.

What scares me is the sneaking suspicion that McCain was "thinking with his dick" when he made his vice presidential pick.
posted by jonp72 at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2008


Well I think that for now the rumor about it being her daughter's kid is confined to the truly insane lefty sources, but if it does turn out to be the real thing it's going to be a lot more interesting than her flip-flop on the Bridge to Nowhere.
posted by The Bellman at 8:22 PM on August 29, 2008


This election is such a joke.

They all are, sadly.
posted by a3matrix at 8:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


ColdChef: "STOP MAKING ME PICTURE JOHN MCCAIN GETTING FREAKY."

Why? Sex sells.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:27 PM on August 29, 2008


I told myself I wouldn't post on this thread, but I do think I should point out that the incidence of Down syndrome in kids of teen moms is really low, which argues against the crazy rumor.
posted by escabeche at 8:33 PM on August 29, 2008


Once the dwarfs accepted an easy path. Discovering it copied, a spew of hypocrisy enveloped the spheroid, great inconsequential masses paddled against the current.

Same as it ever was.
posted by Mblue at 8:38 PM on August 29, 2008


All this "what if she gets preggers?" talk sounds like some serious false flag bullshit to me.

I don't know, considering her personal history (and not just the case of any woman in office having any baby, ever) I would really question her decision to have another child.

If it were me? I'd consider that at 44 nature (or God, etc) has already given me a big fucking clue-by-four that I'm too old to have any more children, due to the lamentable but completely predictable trisomy 21 issue with the most recent child. I'd consider that with 5 other children requiring their allotted attention from me, and the youngest being a Downs baby requiring even more than a normal baby would, that a sixth child would necessarily cut into that already-limited mom time that they get, and that's not really fair to them. And I'd consider that elected office, *especially* something at the highest national level being an incredibly demanding career, that I'd be stretched too thin and struggle to give both my job and my family the attention that they deserve (yes it's a difficult balance with 5 but I think a 6th would take even more time away from work).

Personally I'd hope that at the highest levels women would have their childbearing years behind them, at least. There are just too many complications - how would she be perceived by other world leaders? What if she went into labor at an inopportune time? What about the complication of trying to make everyone understand her breastfeeding for two years (what every kid deserves, at the least, imho)? That's an uphill battle right there. In today's politics it is just a bridge too far, I'm afraid. There are too many traditionally-minded people who will think she should be at home, and that will detract from her electability and effectiveness.

You don't need to know the sex of your child (and I'd hope no-one out there is getting abortions based on the sex of their foetus) but it's something people like to find out. Now that the technology exists, why not find out about genetic conditions your child will have as well?

Unfortunately in other places in the world people abort female fetuses (solely because they are female) in vast numbers, I'm afraid. Personally I think keeping it a surprise is more fun, which is something I am glad I did with my kid.

And the genetic testing? It can cause miscarriage. It is a not-insignificant risk. "Your baby was perfectly healthy. Sorry that you lost it due to a complication from the amnio." It's a nightmare scenario to be sure but the risk is real, and lots of people won't chance it unless they have a serious reason to suspect abnormality. And other types of tests which may be less risky can have a high false-positive rate which only causes extreme worry about something that is likely to be just fine.
posted by marble at 8:39 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


One should mention that The Daily Show has done a kick-ass job of reporting on the Convention and have made so much fun of Obama that all Republicans should be watching. "Every time Obama speaks, an angel has an orgasm." They're ripping on him.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:39 PM on August 29, 2008


five fresh fish, I totally forgot to mention that! Thursday's show in particular was excellent. The segment on Biden's speech was particularly good. I think a democratic president would be a godsend for their comedy, though some people suggest otherwise.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:44 PM on August 29, 2008


I'm going to steal from Joe Conason, who steals from a prominent conservative in this piece:

Looking back on the Ferraro nomination, another well-known conservative wrote: "I believe that someday we are going to have a woman president, possibly during my life, and I've often thought the best way to pave the way for this was to first nominate and elect a woman as vice-president. But I think Mondale made a serious mistake when he picked Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. In my view, he guessed wrong in deciding to take a congresswoman that almost nobody had ever heard of and try to put her in line for the presidency ... I don't know who among the Democrats might have been a better choice, but it was obvious Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro simply because he believed there was a 'gender gap' where I was concerned and she was a woman."

Those are the words of Ronald Reagan in his 1991 memoir, "An American Life," pouring scorn on the nomination of a woman who had served six years in Congress working on foreign policy issues. In retrospect, he had a point. Only this Palin gambit could make the Ferraro mistake look responsible and wise.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:44 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


five fresh fish: "One should mention that The Daily Show has done a kick-ass job of reporting on the Convention and have made so much fun of Obama that all Republicans should be watching. "Every time Obama speaks, an angel has an orgasm." They're ripping on him."

Oh, absolutely. Here's the clip, for anyone who missed it.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:45 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


At 820 comments, I'm clearly late to the game here, but, you know.

I was at the rally this morning in Dayton when the announcement was made - begrudgingly, because I'm probably going to vote for Obama, but my mom wanted me to go, and it's half a mile from where I live, so, I went. And now I'm glad I did.

I really do think, despite her lack of experience, it'll help McCain. I'll tell you that in her speech she came off as incredibly capable and strong, but also very down-to-earth and genuine at the same time. She was immediately likeable in both personality and the way they described her life, and I really think that's what McCain needs right now.

My mom and at least 3 of my friends came away saying "Wow, I really like her! Wow, they've definetely got my vote!" Of course my data points don't prove anything, but all the conservative-leaning people I know (and I know a bunch) definetely think Obama is the essence of evil, and would probably vote for Mccain, except that they're not convinced he's in touch with the needs and wants of America at large, because he's 72, etc. Now that's he's picked a woman that they "really like", they'll definetely vote for him.

The bottom line is that the bulk of America, especially the bulk of conservative America, isn't going to vote for who they're going to vote for because they look long and hard at voting records and experience - they're going to say "Wow, I really like her! She's got 5 kids! Her son's in the military!" and that will be the end of it.

All in all I still don't think it will be enough to push McCain ahead of Obama in November. But I do think it was a smart decision on his part. The crowd went nuts for her this morning.
posted by Quidam at 8:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Personally I'd hope that at the highest levels women would have their childbearing years behind them, at least. There are just too many complications - how would she be perceived by other world leaders? What if she went into labor at an inopportune time? What about the complication of trying to make everyone understand her breastfeeding for two years (what every kid deserves, at the least, imho)? That's an uphill battle right there. In today's politics it is just a bridge too far, I'm afraid. There are too many traditionally-minded people who will think she should be at home, and that will detract from her electability and effectiveness.

Regarding parenting, I don't see how that would be any different than what a male VP with a child-bearing wife would have to go through - the amount of care involved, the time and energy of parenting so many kids. Should we object to any parent of a child with Down's Syndrome, a parent with multiple children, or both, from holding public office, or just the mothers? I also don't see how the physical aspects of pregnancy themselves would interfere with carrying out the duties of the office of the vice presidency.

Also, the same "traditional-minded" people who would object to a woman in the work place are the same people who will probably be able to overlook her not abiding her wifely place in the household if it means keeping Obama out of the White House.

For these reasons, and because I doubt a party that wants to retain women voters is going to try any strategy that involves Pailn's reproductive system, I seriously doubt there's going to be much of this coming from the Democratic side.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:56 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I too would hope that our highest elected officials were pretty much past their child bearing years, male or female. You want someone who has a bit more time to devote.
posted by gjc at 8:59 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


A great line:

We can't take four more years of this.

If McCain lives, it's going to be four more years of this. If McCain dies, the powers behind the administration will manipulate the naïf into delivering the same. It's not even a coded message: it's plain as day. This is an election between what has been, and a shot at making things what they should be.

I don't think the nation can survive another four years of following the gang who have hijacked the Republican party. This is not the America the Americans want. This is not the America Americans deserve.

Hell, if you're Republican, you should be voting for Obama so that you can spend four years reclaiming your party and be able to run a candidate of your own choosing, who must surely be a better man than McCain.

frankly, I think this is the last chance you have for reclaiming your party. If McCain is really the best you got, then your next government will effectively be your last. It'll be a gang-operated office forever.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:06 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


This was a crazy and stupid pick but as we've seen for the past eight years, Americans love crazy and stupid.
posted by effwerd at 9:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


comments about her reproductive choices are just completely out of bounds, and ironic to boot, at least from liberals.

buuuut - i feel pretty superficial at the moment so i'll just echo illiad, above. dana perino was *hot* - and i must say, guiltily, that her repulsive prevaricating somehow made her hotter.

palin is an average, normal-looking white woman. she has good skin and teeth, and she wears her hair with confidence, but she's an average-looking person, just like everybody else walking down the street.
posted by facetious at 9:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let's not do any creepy analysis of teenager's bodies looking for baby bumps, ok?
posted by garlic at 9:15 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


If McCain wins, Palin's going to have a hell of a time being both President and the nursing mother of a newborn. She'd have all my support were she to choose to be a good mother. At the same time, there is going to be one hell of a mess on her hands, a country crippled. And if she fails at managing that mess, Hilary will never be President. Hmmmm....
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM on August 29, 2008


We had a similar situation in Canada a few years ago involving a woman named Belinda Stronach, a good-looking woman from a monied family who had nothing else going for her. She'd never even been able to finish university, and her career had consisted of holding a series of ill-defined jobs within her father's companies - it wasn't ever clear exactly what she had done. When asked in an interview to name one important decision she had made as director of the Magna Corporation she was unable to do so. Thank heavens, despite the heavy backing of a wealthy, successful and well-connected father she didn't get far. She became an MP, but when she ran for Conservative party leader she lost. Then she "crossed the floor" to become a member of the then in-power Liberal party in return for a Cabinet portfolio, but the Liberals proceeded to promptly lose the next election to the Conservatives. I didn't like it that Stephen Harper won, but damn that particular consequence was satisfying and hilarious for me at least.

A columnist for the Globe and Mail commented at the time that choosing a physically attractive yet grossly unqualified woman for important political positions like that of Cabinet minister is a slap in the face for qualified women everywhere, and I quite agree. I'd predict that Palin will fall flat on her face shortly, but there's another dimension to this that did not exist in the whole Belinda Stronach fiasco and that frightens me.

There are so MANY Americans who will vote for anyone who is pro-life, pro-creationism, will keep the queers in line, and looks like a good person with whom to have a beer (or in this case, a date). It just sickens me that anyone can be so unthinking and so irresponsible to use such incredibly bad criteria for making a vote. And I wouldn't care if we were talking about some banana or potato republic and the consequences could mainly rest on the voters' own heads, but we're talking about the most powerful country in the world. Haven't Americans had enough of idiots driving the elephant?
posted by orange swan at 9:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Governor Palin Visits troops.
posted by garlic at 9:19 PM on August 29, 2008


True, the salmon fishin' snow runnin' ex-beauty queen reformist conservative ardent pro-lifer whose water broke when performing her governmental duties was, I'm guessing, from Season Four or so, but I can't quite pin down the episode, which bothers me.

Anyway, Northern Exposure sucked once the Fleischman character left. There was just no tension anymore.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:25 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by mazola at 9:28 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyway, Northern Exposure sucked once the Fleischman character left.

And that disc jockey who talkedtalkedtalkedtalkedtaaalked. Really don't miss that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:30 PM on August 29, 2008


Lies, damn lies & statistics. "most popular governor", means: she has the highest approval (recognition) rating in her own state. That's Alaska, which is like a small town the size of Texas. I've met schoolteachers in Alaska who knew families from darn near every small village all over the state.

So... Please. If she was "the most popular governor in America", then there wouldn't be all these headlines saying "who?". Honestly, I couldn't even think of her name on the way home after we'd been talking about her @ work all day. Look away from the screen(s) in front of you right now. Say her name.

I'm in California. We have the most popular governor in the world.

Please.

posted by Lukenlogs at 9:34 PM on August 29, 2008


i'm beginning to wonder something - is it possible that palin got the nod because mccain asked several other people and they all said no?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:46 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


You called it. Gotta be.
posted by jettloe at 9:56 PM on August 29, 2008


Women have abortions when they have 'stupid sex' with men who won't use condoms.

Bullshit. Pregnancy does occur when birth control fails (I AM pro-choice).

Looks like a pretty naked attempt to go after the Ellen Jamesian Society vote

My favorite lines from The World According to Garp were:

My name is Ellen James. I am NOT an Ellen Jamesian.
posted by brujita at 9:56 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Worth repeating, IMO:

They call her husband, the reigning champion in the annual Iron Dog snowmachine race, First Dude.

Also, can we just talk about this picture of her office in Anchorage?
posted by Quidam at 10:00 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


MikeMc: If Palin is a "Young Earth" Creationist is she really that far from other Christians many, if not most, of whom believe the Bible is the Divine Word of God?

Response:
In a thread full of allegations of sexism, this has to be the most culturally ignorant thing said here so far. posted by mkultra at 12:02 PM on August 29 [5 favorites +]


Being culturally ignorant about religious stupidity is refreshing to me. I dismiss those who pretend to understand it, and especially those who deem it normal.
posted by Brian B. at 10:00 PM on August 29, 2008


Even without getting into the sexist notion of the younger woman being handed her position due to her attractiveness (and I scoff at any commentator who suggests with a straight face that Palin's resume and qualifications were more instrumental to her selection than the demographic appeal stemming largely from her age, gender, and photogenic appearance)

Can you retire this canard already? It's about as relevant as pointing out that Senator Clinton's "resume and qualifications were more instrumental" to her professional career than the fact that she was married for years to the governor of a corrupt Southern state who became President. Maybe both points are true, but, really, we're going to try to separate objective qualifications and resume points from looks or personal relations now? I mean, do you think that you earned all the favorites to these posts and got none of them because you happen to take great pictures?
posted by Slap Factory at 10:01 PM on August 29, 2008


She's for drilling in ANWR, but she talks about global warming quite a lot.
This is like implying that Strom Thurmond was a stalwart civil rights activist because he spoke about black people a lot.
posted by Flunkie at 10:05 PM on August 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


I mean, do you think that you earned all the favorites to these posts and got none of them because you happen to take great pictures?

note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.
posted by ColdChef at 10:06 PM on August 29, 2008


Personally I'd hope that at the highest levels women would have their childbearing years behind them, at least. There are just too many complications - how would she be perceived by other world leaders? What if she went into labor at an inopportune time? What about the complication of trying to make everyone understand her breastfeeding for two years (what every kid deserves, at the least, imho)? That's an uphill battle right there. In today's politics it is just a bridge too far, I'm afraid. There are too many traditionally-minded people who will think she should be at home, and that will detract from her electability and effectiveness.

WOW. Congratulations, Marble, for leaving the most sexist comment in this whole nightmare thread. I especially like the deftness of the "I'm afraid" and "too many traditionally minded people who will think she should be at home". UM THAT'S YOU. YOU ARE THE ONE SAYING THAT.
posted by moxiedoll at 10:07 PM on August 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Palin has more executive governmental experience than Obama and Biden combined.
posted by Jahaza

Hang on, now. If you really want to pick apart what "executive experience" means, I think that her time as governor & mayor in Alaska does not compare to Biden's experience as chairman of several Senate committees.

Obama won a senate seat in a state of 12,000,000+ citizens. Alaska's population is just shy of 700,000.

Also, Biden & Obama both have law degrees, and both taught law @ universities, FWIW.
posted by Lukenlogs at 10:14 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


shhhh, Lukenlogs....don't interrupt when official taking points are being conveyed...it makes them confused, and they automatically revert to blaming everything on Bill Clinton...
posted by troybob at 10:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


WOW. Congratulations, Marble, for leaving the most sexist comment in this whole nightmare thread. I especially like the deftness of the "I'm afraid" and "too many traditionally minded people who will think she should be at home". UM THAT'S YOU. YOU ARE THE ONE SAYING THAT.

Yeah, my favorite part of this whole election cycle has been the way blatant racism and sexism are now legitimized at a meta-level by saying "You know, I don't believe this, some of my best friends are $MINORITY_GROUP, but those people over there--it's going to be a dealbreaker for them. Better stick to the safe white male candidates." There was even a poll some months back, in which a vast majority said they'd be willing to vote for a black person as president--but half of them said their neighbors wouldn't.
posted by nasreddin at 10:17 PM on August 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


My favorite part was definitely "What about the complication of trying to make everyone understand her breastfeeding for two years (what every kid deserves, at the least, imho)". Yes, how could a woman make "other people" understand the thing she is doing because they "think" she should do it? How indeed???
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:21 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


corrupt Southern state

I'm going to go way out on a limb here and guess, just guess that you've never set foot in Arkansas and in fact don't know a goddamn thing about it beyond the Clintons, Mike Huckabee, Johnny Cash, and Billy Bob Thornton. Please proceed to wow me with your next comment about how uniquely (or even remarkably) corrupt Arkansas government is compared to the rest of the nation. I await your informed, balanced answer with bated breath. And no good just googling up one or two political scandals -- that can be done with any state easily. Please, please tell me how worse we are than New York and California and D.C. and Illinois and Florida and really any of the other 46 states. Feel free to throw in Puerto Rico and Guam, if you'd really like to underscore your point.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:26 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Does the VP do something from day to day?

Actually, yes. The Vice President is the presiding officer of the Senate. The duties are normally delegated to the President pro tem , but the V.P. does have the power to break a tie vote. This is only occasionally necessary, though, and it is the only time the V.P. can vote at all. Otherwise, the V.P. may only show up on special occasions such as the State of the Union address (the practice established by Thomas Jefferson). Since 1947, the V.P. is also a member of the National Security Council.

I'm surprised there are no baby boomers in this election. All the candidates were either born before 1945 or after 1960 (Obama is "technically" a baby boomer but he gives the impression of someone younger than 47). You would think this election would have baby boomers represented as they approach 60 and should be at the height of experience without being too old.

This was remarked on during the primaries and even in 2004. The boomers, as a generation, seem to be skipping the presidency. It's not like there's a shortage of them! It's especially odd when you consider that the two major party candidates both chose non-boomers to balance their tickets. They both skipped over -- in different directions, yet! -- several potential eligible boomers. It's a pretty small sample size, but I wonder what this means.
posted by dhartung at 10:44 PM on August 29, 2008


This was remarked on during the primaries and even in 2004. The boomers, as a generation, seem to be skipping the presidency.

Well, I guess they gave up the presidency, but as a result would like us to spend the rest of our lives reliving their debates from the 60/70s.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:54 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


George W And Bill Clinton were both born in 1946 - doesn't that make them boomers? So yeah, the boomers skipped the Presidency, other than those 16 years.
posted by Rumple at 11:04 PM on August 29, 2008


Okay, you know, I'm aware we've moved on and this isn't the Solon show, but after thinking about it a little more I owe you, grapefruitmoon, and perhaps several other readers an apology if many are still hanging around this ridiculously long thread.

In retrospect, my argument drifted to a degree I'm not really comfortable with. I wanted to make the point that I feel it's possible to dislike Palin's involvement with pageants without intrinsically feeling that way because of sexism/without feeling that she is stupid because of it. That ended up becoming way more moralistic than it should have been and more of a "she is a bad person/feminist for doing this" rather than "this is one aspect of many that I am dubious about when viewed in combination with other things - not because I am trying to be sexist, but the opposite."

I should have been more sensitive to that fact that many people have faced arguments similar to mine, only those arguments were aimed at making people feel bad for their looks/intelligence/usage of such. I hope I didn't trod too much on anyone's feet while being caught up in the discussion.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:10 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yes W and Clinton were both boomers. So maybe you could say they skipped the presidency this year but they certainly got their turn.

Also, I just have to comment that the "what if she gives birth while presidentin!?'" comments are pretty ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 11:22 PM on August 29, 2008


Well, middleclasstool, I don't know anything about the government of Arkansas, but I can guess that it's no more corrupt than the Alaskan government! (See that! I diverted the derail!) Louisiana comes to mind, though. and florida, but it's arguable that they aren't 'really' Southern.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:23 PM on August 29, 2008


I couldn't believe it today when McCain picked such an inexperienced VP, so I thought I would tune in to right wing talk radio to see how they were coping with the news. Both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were saying what a great choice, maverick move, eminently qualified, out of the park home run, blah, blah, blah. It was the biggest fake orgasm in the history of the world. They've always hated McCain anyway.

Could you imagine how popular McCain would be if he really had acted as the maverick over the past 8 years? Picture McCain stridently battling Bush/Cheney over the lies that got us into Iraq, speaking out against torture and extraordinary rendition, defending Americans against the erosion of our Constitutional rights, condemning illegal wiretapping and ethnic profiling, and denouncing budget deficits like he once did. That would be a maverick, speaking truth to his party and earning the respect of all Americans. He would have been unstoppable. I think he discarded his principles and sold his soul over the last 8 years for a crack at the White House in 2008. THe Palin nomination is the icing on the cake.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:33 PM on August 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's surprise vice-presidential pick, is the subject of a legislative probe into claims that she abused her office by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.

Palin is likely to be deposed soon in the case, according to State Sen. Hollis French, who leads the state Senate's Legislative Counsel Committee.
Well, middleclasstool, I don't know anything about the government of Arkansas, but I can guess that it's no more corrupt than the Alaskan government! (See that! I diverted the derail!) Louisiana comes to mind, though. and florida, but it's arguable that they aren't 'really' Southern.

That's a pretty low bar. The Alaskan government has got to be one of the most corrupt state governments in the nation. They have two senators and one congressperson. One of the senators (Ted Stevens) is under indictment. Their congressman has hired a defense attorney and could be indicted as well. Palin came into office after defeating the incumbent governor, Frank Murkowski, in a primary, as he was under a cloud of scandal and on march 4th of this year his former chief of staff plead guilty to conspiracy.

What about Alaska's other senator, well, that would be Lisa Murkowski, franks daughter. She recently had to give back a house she purchased from a developer a deep discount, and Frank actually appointed her to fill his spot on the senate after leaving to become governer.

And now Sara Palin herself is in trouble and could be deposed soon in a legislative probe.

It's a fucking Orgy of corruption up there, man.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 PM on August 29, 2008


Solon and Thanks writes "In retrospect, my argument drifted to a degree I'm not really comfortable with. I wanted to make the point that I feel it's possible to dislike Palin's involvement with pageants without intrinsically feeling that way because of sexism/without feeling that she is stupid because of it. "

I don't think you need to apologize at all. You were pointing out that pageant participation is indicative of values. Anyone participating in any competition, beauty pageant or math decathlon, is putting time and effort into preparing for that competition. That's time and effort that could be used for other things, other things which are therefore evidentially not as valued by the cmpetitor.

Are beauty pageants less worthy of time and effort than, say, learning calculus (or French, or volunteering at a soup kitchen)? I'd argue yes, because in the case of a beauty pageant, the pay-off of all that preparation is transient and ephemeral, lasting only until the judges have judged and the make-up is washed off. Spending that same time learning calculus or French gives one a skill that lasts a lifetime and can be usefully applied in many situations. Spending that time at a soup-kitchen brightens many people's lives.

Learning to walk down a runway or apply make-up is also, I guess, a lasting skill, but it doesn't solve problems, or allow communication, or enrich others' lives; it's usefulness is pretty much limited to self-adornment. (Of course there are exceptions: the pageant winner who uses her make-up artistry to make cancer patients feel better, etc.)

So pageant participation is a window into a person's values, and it tells me that they value pageantry and presentation and ephemeral puffery over solid, substantial, lasting, meaningful uses of their time.

And I pesonally prefer substance. Especially for the position of understudy and possible successor to the highest office in the land.
posted by orthogonality at 11:47 PM on August 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


And I personally prefer substance. Especially for the position of understudy and possible successor to the highest office in the land.

Why do you hate America? *</sarky>
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:50 PM on August 29, 2008


And that disc jockey who talkedtalkedtalkedtalkedtaaalked. Really don't miss that.

No way, Chris was one of my favorites!

It's not the thing you fling, it's the fling itself.
posted by naoko at 11:55 PM on August 29, 2008


delmoi:
Josh Marshall has been running stories on Alaskan corruption cases all. year. long. It's mind boggling just how screwed up they're government is.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:17 AM on August 30, 2008


George W And Bill Clinton were both born in 1946 - doesn't that make them boomers? So yeah, the boomers skipped the Presidency, other than those 16 years.

You know, you're right-- I forgot my facts.* What was true in 2004 was that no member of the Silent Generation had been or seemed likely to be President. The White House was held by members of the Greatest Generation (the Strauss & Howe name) from 1961 to 1993, when it skipped to Boomers with Clinton. Now, we face a choice between a Silent (11th) and a Thirteen (commonly, Generation Xer). But the Silent guy has picked an Xer as sidekick (overlooking several Boomers), while the Xer has picked another Boomer. If Obama wins, demographically, it's the Silents who will have skipped the presidency. Unless there's someone who can run in 2012 at age 71 or older. [US News, recently]

But yeah, the Boomers definitely got their chance. Sorry about that.

* In my defense, I'm having a devil of a time with my browser at the moment.
posted by dhartung at 12:59 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh, I can't sleep with the absurdity. I mean, seriously:

The reasoning for why John McCain should be elected President of the United States seems to boil down to "He was a POW".

And now, to one-up that, the reasoning for why Sarah Palin should be elected Vice President of the United States seems to boil down to "She didn't have an abortion".

Seriously? Come on.
posted by Flunkie at 1:07 AM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Are beauty pageants less worthy of time and effort than, say, learning calculus (or French, or volunteering at a soup kitchen)? I'd argue yes, because in the case of a beauty pageant, the pay-off of all that preparation is transient and ephemeral, lasting only until the judges have judged and the make-up is washed off.

Subjectively, I can't agree more. My inclinations tell me that some arts (like clothes design) are lesser, and some (like poetry) greater; but I can't offer a single objective reason outside of my own preferences why this should be so. And further, this makes no account of interdependency between disciplines - without the trite little planktons of the arts, would the greater ones still flourish? Any less labor put into honing some woman's edged beauty, and we wouldn't have Adam's Curse or half of Yeats' repertoire.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:14 AM on August 30, 2008


Palin won't last September. Mark my words. After all the political backlash that accompanies her selection, McCain will have no real choice but to drop her. Of course, he won't do it himself--she'll suddenly decide "her family needs more right now." And then he'll go with some middle-of-the-road Republican (someone perhaps with some actual experience) holding out a faint hope that his base with their nanosecond-long attention spans will come swinging back to his defense for a last-ditch rally at the 11th hour. The media will be more than accomodating by giving the "sudden, surprising" twist of events plenty of free coverage in an advertising spree before the election. They'll bring plenty of "seasoned" Republican analysists who will reassure the people that McCain just had a momentary lapse of reason, and boy isn't that gal great for taking care of her retarded son, and boy howdy does this new (white, male) fella sure round McCain out. There won't be a dry Republican eye as they gush over how "hard" the decision must have been for her, and how "brave" she was for choosing her family over politics (not like them heartless Democrats!)

At this point, that's the best thing McCain can do. Palin is not going to be the VP ticket come November. No way, no how.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:17 AM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


Please proceed to wow me with your next comment about how uniquely (or even remarkably) corrupt Arkansas government is compared to the rest of the nation.

Well for starters, there's the issue of how you pronounce 'Arkansas'.
posted by Ritchie at 1:22 AM on August 30, 2008


Oh, the best part of the Palin remarks is at about 23:30, when she thanks Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton. With both names the crowd desperately wants to boo and it starts that way but turns into a pro forma cheer. Delicious to imagine the cognitive dissonance in the mind of the average person in that crowd -- after years of being told to do one thing, well, now dutifully they switch to doing the other. (We have always been at war peace with Eastasia.) In fact it's a speech taht must be full of pro forma cheering, because who many people knew who Palin was that morning, or by the time they showed up?

Anyway, that also followed an odd sort of dog whistle to Kennedy Democrats, with the Profiles in Courage thing. Did they not realize that the Kennedy contingent were the peacemakers between the Obama and Clinton camps, such as was necessary? There was an appeal to union membership and thereby "lunchbucket" voters, but they can't think that the Kennedy stuff really helps them there, can they?

Not to mention the nice things that John Glenn said about Mac. Boy, that Keating Five sure were thick as, uh, thieves .....
posted by dhartung at 1:23 AM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't think anyone has posted this yet:

The Daily Show covers the Sarah Palin Announcement.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:12 AM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Dangit, Civil_Disobedient, I wanted to be the first one to make that prediction. I think you've nailed it. She'll drop, someone else will step into the Veep spot, but the one part of your prediction that missed is that it isn't going to be middle-of-the-road R. It's going to be a far Right choice. That's the only way they can get a mass of voters [big enough to swing the whole election] to make that screeching U-turn.
posted by Lukenlogs at 2:34 AM on August 30, 2008


Civil_Disobedient: Palin won't last September. Mark my words. After all the political backlash that accompanies her selection, McCain will have no real choice but to drop her. Of course, he won't do it himself--she'll suddenly decide "her family needs more right now."

Oooh, excellent angle, I didn't see that one.
I guess this will give them the opportunity to steal this election as well, in case the whole new family/character thing doesn't pan out as planned: Like C_D suggested, they could just replace her by someone white, male and experienced, except that the replacement would take place only two weeks prior to the election. The polls will swing widely in both directions, as everybody is trying to make up their minds about the new situation, and at the finish line, the McCain team will be just slightly ahead, thanks to a little help by Premier/Diebold. "I guess this last-minute replacement did give the McCain team the last-minute boost it needed to come out on top."
posted by sour cream at 2:48 AM on August 30, 2008


LISTEN PEOPLE THE MOST FEMINIST RESPONSE is to recognize that all women live under and have to respond to and survive the patriarchy. And that competing in beauty pageants is a totally legit response to the shit that gets rained down, to the opportunities that are closed off, to the questions asked and the responses demanded. Everyone has their methods, their vanities, their ways of struggling, of taking advantage when necessary, of capitalizing on possible advances. It's a fucked up game and everyone is playing it. Beauty-Queen Palin is low-neckline everyone, is makeup and flirting or not, is pushing and pulling in response to the power that circulates. It doesn't mean what you think it means, her intelligence is not on the line.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:19 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Talk about the most transparently token choice in recent political history.

Any other Mad Men fans out there?
posted by rafter at 3:31 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess Susan Collins, Christie Todd Whitman, Oympia Snowe, and Elizabeth Dole were busy.

Yup, busy being pro-choice, pro-gay rights or, in Elizabeth Dole's case, being 77.

Seriously, try finding Republican woman in government who isn't pro-choice. I haven't checked the House, but it's darn rare.
posted by heathkit at 3:38 AM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season.

I'm hoping the next kid's named Camp David.
posted by essexjan at 3:48 AM on August 30, 2008


Dammit, if Mitt Romney would have got the party nomination, instead of McCain, he and Palin could have run on the Sexy Fundy ticket.

The New Republicans: You want to fuck us, and boy, are we going to fuck you.
posted by dgaicun at 4:25 AM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


I guess Susan Collins, Christie Todd Whitman, Oympia Snowe, and Elizabeth Dole were busy.

Actually Liddy's had nothing but free time since NC sent her to the Senate 6 years ago, because she sure as hell hasn't been doing anything there. But she probably remembers the 1996 campaign and isn't particularly interested in doing it again.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:30 AM on August 30, 2008


the issue of how you pronounce 'Arkansas'

ar-kansas? like pirate kansas?
posted by kliuless at 4:54 AM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


the reasoning for why Sarah Palin should be elected Vice President of the United States seems to boil down to "She didn't have an abortion".

C'mon, there's more to her than that. She didn't have five abortions.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:56 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Whew. I can't believe I read the whole thing.

Fascinating stuff. I still can't decide if it's a brilliant choice or a totally stupid one. My gut reaction is that it's entirely banking on Hillary defection which I've always thought was more smoke than fire.

And sure she's got some hardcore right-wing points but I thought McCain would have those in the bag by default. Who else were the pro-gun, anti-abortion folks going to vote for?

It does neutralize some attacks (Biden probably can't be as mean without seeming like a jerk) but it also undermines many of McCain's lines of attack.

All in all it's a real interesting pick. As a Canadian Obama supporter I was hoping for Romney because he seems like a generic Republican creep who'd get brutalized by Biden in the debates. Now I'm not sure how it'll play out, which is something.
posted by frenetic at 4:57 AM on August 30, 2008


God, she sounds completely incoherent talking about foreign policy. I kept expecting her to propose sending maps to the Iraq.
posted by EarBucket at 4:59 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]



God, she sounds completely incoherent talking about foreign policy. I kept expecting her to propose sending maps to the Iraq.


"I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."
-Sarah Palin, March 2007
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:12 AM on August 30, 2008


Oh god this shit just keeps getting better and better.

Local Reaction to the Palin Bombshell:
Alaska State Senate President Lyda Green (R): “She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?” (Green is from Palin’s home town of Wasilla.)

Alaska House Speaker John Harris (R): “She’s old enough. She’s a U.S. citizen.”

Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins: “In this very competitive election for them to go pick somebody who is … under a cloud of suspicion, who is under investigation for abuse of power. It just sounds like a pretty slow start to me. We need a vice president who can step in if, God forbid, something happened to John McCain. I don’t think she’s someone who is ready for that 3 a.m. phone call.”

Randy Ruedrich, Alaska Republican Party Chair: Not giving interviews.

Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg: “a mixed set of emotions, kind of an odd sense of Alaska nationalism or pride. This is like watching a moon landing or something. It’s just something you don’t expect to see very often. It’s wonderful. It was an emotional thing to see the governor walk out with her family and I say, wow, I work for her.”

McHugh Pierre, Alaska Republican Party Spokesman: “She brings her voice of new energy and change. And she knows Alaska.”

Indicted Alaska Sr. Senator Ted Stevens (R): “it’s a great day for the nation and Alaskans.”
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:37 AM on August 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


Fascinating stuff. I still can't decide if it's a brilliant choice or a totally stupid one.

In any case, John McCain has, again, demonstrated his ability to think outside the box, a trait that he picked up and perfected when he was forced to live in one for five years.

And Sarah Palin isn't doing to bad in that department either. I mean, Trig Paxson Van Palin!?
posted by sour cream at 5:48 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


yeah, so after a day, i'm going with the 'emerging narrative' of shoring up the base with a like-minded fellow maverick with a record of reform :P that is all!
posted by kliuless at 5:59 AM on August 30, 2008


'sarah palin' is an anagram for 'sip anal hair'
posted by quonsar at 6:07 AM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season.

With criteria like that, I'm surprised the other kids weren't named Duck, Deer, Bear and Football.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:28 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well stated point, orthogonality, and I do agree with you. I was just moving more into "she is a bad person" realm than I felt comfortable.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:29 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


ar-kansas? like pirate kansas?

"The pronunciation of Arkansas (ar-kan-saw) was made official by an act of the state legislature in 1881 after a dispute between the two U.S. Senators from Arkansas. One wanted to pronounce the name ar-kán-sas and the other wanted ár-kan-saw." [wiki, footnote of interest]
posted by paisley henosis at 6:30 AM on August 30, 2008


Kevin Drum has an excellent post on Palin's stance on the issues, which lays out seven talking points the Obama camp ought to hammer hard:

Joe Klein on taxes: Palin exploded her state's coffers by imposing a windfall profits tax on the oil companies...sort of — no, exactly — like the proposal Barack Obama has made and John McCain has attacked. Apparently, she also supported the Bridge to Nowhere, despite her disclaimer at today's event. So how does McCain explain putting a tax-raising porker on his ticket?

Alaska native Charles Wohlforth on the Troopergate scandal: In July, Palin fired the beloved commissioner of Public Safety, Walt Monegan, without meaningful explanation. Monegan said he had resisted administration pressure to fire a State Trooper who was in a bitter child custody battle with Palin's sister. Palin first denied the pressure, then released evidence, including a recorded phone call, that backed up Monegan's story. The legislature, which isn't exactly Palin-friendly, hired an ex-prosecutor to investigate.

Sarah Palin on creationism vs. evolution in public schools: I am a proponent of teaching both. And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.

Anchorage Daily News reporter Tom Kizzia on social issues: A significant part of Palin's base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope on big oil: Palin herself told Roll Call earlier this week, "When I look every day, the big oil company's building is right out there next to me, and it's quite a reminder that we should have mutually beneficial relationships with the oil industry." No one is closer to the the oil industry than Governor Palin. Along with her support for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts, she also opposes a windfall profit tax on the richest oil companies. Under her leadership, Alaska has sued the federal governent for considering listing the Polar Bear as a threatened species even though global warming threatens its very existence.

Sarah Palin on global warming: A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.

Politico's Glenn Thrush on spending: Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla — that amounts to $3,000 per resident. She argues that the debt was needed to fund improvements.

posted by EarBucket at 6:37 AM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


What a depressing thread, I came here excited to see the unqualified, inexperienced and going to be deposed Palin ripped to pieces as an obviosly horrible choice and great news for Obama. But it seems like the majority of Obama supporters here still can only see the glass as half empty.

Obama could have picked Jesus as his VP and McCain could have picked Zombie Hitler, y'all would still be whining that "Jesus is an all right guy, but what is he going to do in the debates with his turn the other cheek policy? Zombie Hitler will probably just eat is arm right off and he won't do anything about it."
posted by afu at 6:44 AM on August 30, 2008 [12 favorites]


Oh man. I saw Newt Gringrich on the Today Show this morning and he was talking about how, looking at the candidates on a split screen with the sound off he couldn't get over how they got the exciting young candidate and the Democrats picked the boring old white guy.

I just don't know what to do with that. My satire meter has exploded.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:48 AM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Sarah Palin laughs with radio host as he calls her opponent a "bitch" and a "cancer".

Her opponent in question, Lydia green, is a cancer survivor.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:02 AM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


It does neutralize some attacks (Biden probably can't be as mean without seeming like a jerk) but it also undermines many of McCain's lines of attack.


No, it doesn't. It's ok to have the inexperienced but talented person in the #2 slot, but putting that person in the #1 slot, like the Democrats did, when we're in the midst of two wars?! That's not only crazy and stupid, that's just plain irresponsible and UnAmerican! Expect similar arguments.

The Dems would do well to stop calling her a lightweight, especially in terms of debating Biden. At this point all she has to do is hold her own and she'll come out looking golden while Biden, the supposed experienced master, wouldn't be portrayed as a buffoon for not being able to beat that skirt from podunk Alaska.

McCain is the issue. Hit HIM hard.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on August 30, 2008


Sarah Palin laughs with radio host as he calls her opponent a "bitch" and a "cancer".

Well I guess that explains this reaction by fellow Republican Green:

Alaska State Senate President Lyda Green (R): “She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?” (Green is from Palin’s home town of Wasilla.)

But in any case, she is a fresh face and has her heart in the right place, so she can say anything she wants, including all that stupid nonsense about how the earth was created 6000 years ago and global warming is not man-made. Didn't you get the memo?
posted by sour cream at 7:16 AM on August 30, 2008


McCain's Folly... enough said.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:17 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Top McCain aide says McCain won't die during his first term in office, and admits Palin isn't ready to be commander in chief
Putting aside the creepiness of a top McCain adviser having to reassure the nation that McCain, at 72 years of age with four bouts of cancer, won't die in office, what Charlie Black said today was particularly damning of McCain's VP choice, Sarah Palin:
Mr. McCain’s advisers said Friday that Mr. McCain was well aware that Ms. Palin would be criticized for her lack of foreign policy experience, but that he viewed her as exceptionally talented and intelligent and that he felt she would be able to be educated quickly.

‘She’s going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long,’ said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain’s top advisers, making light of concerns about Mr. McCain’s health, which Mr. McCain’s doctors reported as excellent in May.
So Black, the guy who said another 9/11-style attack on America would help McCain's campaign, is saying that McCain's VP doesn't know a thing about national security, but she can learn on the job over the next four years, you know, like night school. We're at war. And they're admitting that Palin may be our next commander in chief on day one, if McCain were to die or fall ill in office, yet she knows nothing about national security, and has never met a world leader.”
While Palin crams for the "Commander-in-Chief" test, Bill Frist reviews McCain's medical records and guarantees him immortality!
posted by ericb at 7:20 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Delicious to imagine the cognitive dissonance in the mind of the average person in that crowd ...

Rove Flips On Qualifications For Vice Presidency, Says Palin Is Qualified For Same Reason Kaine Was Not
“Earlier this month, Karl Rove repeatedly argued that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) would not be ‘capable’ of being Vice President. He complained that ‘he’s been a governor for three years’ and said Kaine was mayor of only the ‘the 105th largest city in America,’ referring to Kaine’s tenure as mayor of Richmond, VA. ‘It’s not a big town,’ he quipped.

Yesterday, however, Rove argued just the opposite with regard to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). He explained on Fox News that Palin was a good choice as McCain’s vice presidential nominee because she was ‘mayor of the second largest city in Alaska’:
ROVE: She’s a populist, she’s an economic and a social conservative, she’s a reformer, she took on the incumbent governor of the state Frank Murkowski — Republican — beat him in the primary, won an upset in the general election. She’s a former mayor. She’s the mayor of, I think, the second largest city in Alaska before she ran for governor.
Kaine was indeed mayor of the ‘the 105th largest city in America.’ While there, he governed nearly 200,000 people and managed a bureaucracy of over 8,000 employees. By contrast, Palin was mayor of Wasilla, AK, a town of just over 8,000 people that currently employs just over 100 individuals and — contrary to Rove’s claim — didn’t even make it into the 10 largest cities in AK while she was mayor.”
posted by ericb at 7:29 AM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


Governor Palin Visits troops.
"Ms. Palin appears to have traveled very little outside the United States. In July 2007, she had to get a passport before she visited members of the Alaska National Guard stationed in Kuwait, according to her deputy communications director, Sharon Leighow. She also visited wounded troops in Germany during that trip."
posted by ericb at 7:32 AM on August 30, 2008


Watching them on stage yesterday, it seemed kind of Pygmalion-ish.
posted by carter at 7:40 AM on August 30, 2008


The Dems would do well to stop calling her a lightweight, especially in terms of debating Biden. At this point all she has to do is hold her own and she'll come out looking golden while Biden, the supposed experienced master, wouldn't be portrayed as a buffoon for not being able to beat that skirt from podunk Alaska.

Excellent point- like Gore and W in 2000, Biden is in an almost unwinnable situation.
posted by gjc at 7:40 AM on August 30, 2008


Excellent point- like Gore and W in 2000, Biden is in an almost unwinnable situation.

It's fine. He should not even engage her in the Veep debate, as she has nothing. All Biden has to do is ignore her (but not in a dismissive, sexist way... the tricky part) and focus his debate on attacking the Bush/McCain record. She won't be able to defend the record, and he can avoid looking like he's attacking her.
posted by psmealey at 7:44 AM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


SCANDAL! RUMOR! EXTRA!

Is Trig Palin really Bristol's child?

SCANDAL! HEARSAY! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:47 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Already mentioned above: Am I too late to the thread to discuss the incredibly odd rumor that the new kid may not be hers at all, but her daughter's?
posted by ericb at 7:50 AM on August 30, 2008


Yeah, I think Biden has a bit of a tricky line to walk in the debate, but so does Palin. All she has to do is say one stupid thing and that becomes her narrative. All it'll take is one "potatoe" soundbyte.

Remember John McCain talking a few weeks ago about the border between Iraq and Pakistan? That didn't stick with him, because the existing narrative is that he knows all about foreign policy, and gaffes usually don't get traction unless they reinforce people's preconceptions about someone. If Palin had said that, she'd become a punchline. And given the stuff that's already coming out just from the last month (saying she doesn't know what the vice president's job is? really?) I don't think we have long to wait.
posted by EarBucket at 7:51 AM on August 30, 2008


The Dems would do well to stop calling her a lightweight, especially in terms of debating Biden. At this point all she has to do is hold her own and she'll come out looking golden while Biden, the supposed experienced master, wouldn't be portrayed as a buffoon for not being able to beat that skirt from podunk Alaska.

As if it matters. Kerry absolutely destroyed Bush in all three debates, leaving Bush stammering like a buffoon and still lost. The debates don't do anything to change elections. The only thing idiot Americans have the attention span for are 30 second tv spots. That's the only way to move the people of America. The most important thing to happen so far in this election was the McCain Paris Hilton ad. If the Dems don't wake up and figure out how to connect McCain's anger to something in pop culture that they can relate to he'll have no chance. The Dems historically make the mistake that Americans are intelligent people, we are not, we are idiots, treat us like idiots and you'll have a chance.
posted by any major dude at 7:56 AM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


900!
Or thereabouts

Stay positive fellow Obama people, she's greener than a fluorescent booger. And McCain's older than Archimede's Screw. These are not great first impressions for the low information voters. There is much hope yet for November.
posted by nudar at 7:57 AM on August 30, 2008


As far as the pregnancy thing goes, this video looks to me like she could be pregnant. She doesn't look seven months along at all, but some women do carry differently.
posted by EarBucket at 8:00 AM on August 30, 2008


Good call, psmealey. It's just like debating stuff here — or anywhere, for that matter. It's always best to stick to the issues rather than making personal attacks. Someone who knows his or her stuff will always come across better than someone who doesn't.
posted by orange swan at 8:01 AM on August 30, 2008


It's fine. He should not even engage her in the Veep debate, as she has nothing. All Biden has to do is ignore her (but not in a dismissive, sexist way... the tricky part) and focus his debate on attacking the Bush/McCain record. She won't be able to defend the record, and he can avoid looking like he's attacking her.

Biden is a smart man, so I reckon that's exactly what he'll do. He's not going to beat her up. Which is exactly why she'll bring up her kids, her unaborted disabled child, over and over and over. Hopefully, Biden will respond by talking about which party has tried to do more for the nation's children and their parents, and which party has forsaken their futures to finance a disastrous war. Biden could play the child card just as well as Palin, if not better, because while she'll have the one-note melody of "I didn't abort my kids", he'll be able to say, "And no one loves kids as much as the Democratic Party, because of A, B, C, and D."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:02 AM on August 30, 2008


Ack, ericb, I swear I searched. Big thread makes brain go ow.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:02 AM on August 30, 2008


Her reproductive and child rearing choices are hers and the "first dude"'s. I find the discussion of these choices here utterly creepy. Privacy is at least the legal foundation of abortion rights in the US, right?

Also - with regards to the "problem" of breastfeeding while in office or campaigning... Grow up. America should have such problems as a VP who is a breastfeeding PSA.
posted by ~ at 8:19 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


dhartung: Oh wow, the crowd starts chanting "Yes We Can" at the 25:00 Mark. I have no idea what that means.
posted by Weebot at 8:23 AM on August 30, 2008


But it seems like the majority of Obama supporters here still can only see the glass as half empty.

It's okay. Novelty wears off quickly. And this whole election cycle has played out like some meth-crazed cleaning spree so I can't see it lasting long. The Palin pick was mostly unexpected and Obama supporters went to bed with the acceptance speech dominating the news then basically woke up to the Palin pick dominating the news. It was a well played media ploy and on the surface the pick appears (barely) effective and exciting. I'm sure there's also some lingering doubts about the Biden pick in the context of the FISA and offshore drilling compromises Obama has supported since winning the nomination. And the timing and unexpectedness of the pick basically took a lot of air out of the media gains from the Democratic Convention and effectively neutralized the Obama speech, so this was a fantastic morale killer.

I think of it like a bad chess move, though. McCain has just put his queen in the center of the board very early in the game. But it actually isn't a queen, it's two pawns taped together, and he moved it three spaces forward and four spaces to the right in one move, seemingly putting Obama in check. But that all depends on if you buy the story that the two pawns taped together is actually a queen and accept the improper move. Sure, it kinda looks like a queen, and the move was kinda like a diagonal, but the bluff is ridiculous and obvious.
posted by effwerd at 8:28 AM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


... the crowd starts chanting "Yes We Can" at the 25:00 Mark. I have no idea what that means.

Co-opting the Obama phrase and chant from the other night: "Yes We Can" (as per the original will.i.am video).
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on August 30, 2008


"Amid chants of "Yes we can," Democrats nominated Barack Obama for president."*
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on August 30, 2008


Obama Modifies 'Yes We Can' Message To Exclude Area Loser
posted by lukemeister at 8:38 AM on August 30, 2008


She doesn't look seven months along at all, but some women do carry differently.

Nicole Kidman had a baby this year, and she never looked as pregnant as she was. I have a friend, too, who didn't gain enough weight while pregnant to have to wear maternity clothes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:41 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's an essay that explains the major reason this was a huge mistake.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:42 AM on August 30, 2008


New Obama television ad featuring McCain's choice of Palin: "No Change."
posted by ericb at 8:44 AM on August 30, 2008


As far as the pregnancy thing goes, this video looks to me like she could be pregnant.

Yes, but she's drinking COFFEE! OMG who will think of the CHILDRUN!!!11ELEVENTY1!
posted by The Bellman at 8:45 AM on August 30, 2008


Newsweek: McCain’s ‘Hail Sarah’ Pass -- "His choice for veep is all but set up for failure in the fall."
posted by ericb at 8:49 AM on August 30, 2008


Hey, guys, don't worry! This guy says she'll step down if McCain dies!

This election is such an awesome roller coaster.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:12 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is Trig Palin really Bristol's child?

My sister! My daughter! My sister! My daughter!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:18 AM on August 30, 2008 [11 favorites]


ericb writes "‘She’s going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long,’ said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain’s top advisers,"

Most doctors. At least that long.

Wow, just wow.
posted by orthogonality at 9:20 AM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


That might be the worst piece of spin yet in this election cycle. "Yeah, she's not ready, but we figure she can learn on the job, and she'll probably be up to it in a couple of years. And we're pretty sure McCain won't drop dead by then. Probably."
posted by EarBucket at 9:23 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the big mistake everyone here is making is this: you focus on why she is a poor choice and why she will fail.

You need to keep in mind that she was very deliberately selected. There is a reason why the powers behind the process chose her. It advances them toward a goal.

What you should be doing is trying to figure out what that goal is.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 AM on August 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


Alaska House Speaker John Harris (R): “She’s old enough. She’s a U.S. citizen.”

That's a ringing endorsement. She's much more qualified than I am. I'm not old enough, and I'm not a U.S. citizen.

Anyway, Northern Exposure sucked once the Fleischman character left.

Fleishman and O'Connell were the most annoying characters on the show - the storylines about the other characters were much better. I think the problem with the end of the series is not that Fleishman left, but that they tried to (badly) replace him. Also, they were messing around with the schedule - that's just a death knell to any show.

Course, I would have happily tuned into the "Ed & Ruth-anne Show" (with Marilyn as perpetual guess star). I think Ed was enough neroses for the show, they didn't need to import so many nervous southerners.
posted by jb at 9:31 AM on August 30, 2008


I think the goal is pretty clear. McCain is the underdog. If he does nothing, he's doomed in November. He figures that rather than play it safe and lose for sure, he'd rather make a high-risk play and at least have a chance at winning.

Obama's choice of Biden is fundamentally confident. Biden doesn't bring a huge amount to the table electorally, but he's very much someone you could be comfortable with running the country. It's a governance choice, not an electoral one. It means he thinks he's going to win.

McCain choosing Palin means he thinks he's going to lose, and he needs to take a longshot chance at winning and deal with governing once he gets in.
posted by EarBucket at 9:33 AM on August 30, 2008 [10 favorites]


Palin Ad Starring Ted Stevens Already Scrubbed From Palin's Campaign Website
posted by homunculus at 9:41 AM on August 30, 2008


I'm sure there's also some lingering doubts about the Biden pick in the context of the FISA and offshore drilling compromises Obama has supported since winning the nomination.

The lingering doubts about Biden are that he's a boring old wrinkly white guy from a small northeastern state, not policy details. McCain picked an exciting VP option; Obama went boring.

An exciting VP choice is no guarantee of a win. But all the attention McCain's choice is getting is a good example of how a good choice has the potential to transform the race.
posted by Forktine at 9:46 AM on August 30, 2008


McCain did not choose Palin. McCain does not make very many choices during a campaign. He is a professionally-managed player. The much-smarter powers behind the party selected Palin for a purpose. "Longshot chance at winning" was certainly not the reason for selecting her.

Think strategically: the professionals that control the Republican party certainly do.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:49 AM on August 30, 2008


Why shouldn't Biden beat her up (rhetorically) in the VP debate? Isn't it sexist to say that? Wouldn't that contradict what she says herself in her comments about Hillary's "whining"?

This pick is a continuation of George W. Bush's tradition of picking unqualified incompetents and putting them into roles that are way over their heads, like putting Michael "Heckuva Job" Brown in charge of FEMA.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:49 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, I owe Dan Quayle an apology. I compared him to Governor Palin, but he was considerably more experienced when he was picked as the VP candidate.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:52 AM on August 30, 2008


Interestingly, she's polling much better among men than women.
posted by EarBucket at 9:52 AM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Dems historically make the mistake that Americans are intelligent people, we are not, we are idiots, treat us like idiots and you'll have a chance.

I cannot stress this enough.

The much-smarter powers behind the party selected Palin for a purpose. "Longshot chance at winning" was certainly not the reason for selecting her.

What you should be doing is trying to figure out what that goal is.

To get her something tantamount to the pow card? McCain has been in war, obviously. Palin's son is going off to war on (coinkydinkyinky!) 9/11 right? Let's say he dies in combat. Then you have McCain talking about the war, p.o.w.!p.o.w.!p.o.w.!, and Palin now is the grieving military mom who nobody can question because her son just died in Iraq. The news will be abuzz and they'll play the pow/grieving military mother angle with flags flying and eagles soaring and them looking sooo American.

"Palin isn't experienced. She had no opinion on the war in March 2007"

"Well she's had the experience of just losing a son in Iraq - is that not enough?"

"She's not ready - she doesn't have the experience to lead our troops"

"She already gave the life of her child. Who better to sincerely have their interests in mind."
posted by cashman at 10:07 AM on August 30, 2008


ericb: Well, I know that part already. I'm referring more to the fact that Obama's rhetoric seems to be defining his opponent's campaigns — Hillary's, McCain's. It's not a bad position to be in.
posted by Weebot at 10:16 AM on August 30, 2008


I also think those initial polling numbers are as good as it's going to get for her; it's all downhill from here. A year and a half ago, when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the GOP base was fired up over Fred Thompson, who was going to be the second coming of Ronald Reagan and save the party. Remember that guy?
posted by EarBucket at 10:49 AM on August 30, 2008


Exactly, EarBucket.

(good name, BTW)
posted by Bookhouse at 11:05 AM on August 30, 2008


It just gets better and better:

Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican political leader who has clashed with Palin in the past, was shocked when she heard the news Friday morning with her husband, Walt.

"I said to Walt, 'This can't be happening, because his advance team didn't come to Alaska to check her out," Phillips said.

Phillips has been active in the Ted Stevens re-election steering committee and remains in close touch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other party leaders, and she said nobody had heard anything about McCain's people doing research on his prospective running mate.

"We're not a very big state. People I talk to would have heard something."


It sounds like the McCain campaign didn't bother to vet her. How is that possible?
posted by EarBucket at 11:14 AM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


LOL THE REPUBLICANS ARE SCREWED

LET'S GO PARTY NOW, WE'VE WON.
posted by kldickson at 11:23 AM on August 30, 2008


Quidam: The bottom line is that the bulk of America, especially the bulk of conservative America, isn't going to vote for who they're going to vote for because they look long and hard at voting records and experience - they're going to say "Wow, I really like her! She's got 5 kids! Her son's in the military!" and that will be the end of it.

any major dude:The Dems historically make the mistake that Americans are intelligent people, we are not, we are idiots, treat us like idiots and you'll have a chance.

This. This, this, this. Average Americans have already proved that their votes are driven by gut feelings, not rationality. I can't believe the number of Dems making the same mistake they made in previous elections, making fun of a candidate for perceived lack of intelligence, lack of academic credentials, etc. Average Americans don't value intellectualism the way you do. You think if Palin makes a mistake like "potatoe" it'll sink her? Guess what, average Americans can't spell. They identify with people who are like them. They'll vote for people who are like them. The more they hear from Dems making fun of people like them, the more they'll reject the Dems' candidate.

Dems can ridicule her until the cows come home (and criticizing her for having a Downs kid? Christ!), and all they'll be doing is proving to Dick and Jane American that Dems have nothing but contempt for hardworking people who care about their families, who never got a college degree but worked their way up, despite intellectual snobbery from people like you.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:26 AM on August 30, 2008 [13 favorites]


The Dems historically make the mistake that Americans are intelligent people, we are not, we are idiots, treat us like idiots and you'll have a chance.

I disagree. The same mistake I've seen Democrats make over the years is taxes and guns. They've been taxing poor people to the detriment of the economy and government. A Republican can still dishonestly claim to lower taxes in America and get the attention of the working class. Dollar for dollar, the worst mistake ever for raising money in a demand economy. As for guns, they made people who see themselves as guardians take the side of the raider.
posted by Brian B. at 11:36 AM on August 30, 2008


Dems can ridicule her until the cows come home (and criticizing her for having a Downs kid? Christ!), and all they'll be doing is proving to Dick and Jane American that Dems have nothing but contempt for hardworking people who care about their families, who never got a college degree but worked their way up, despite intellectual snobbery from people like you.

You know, this old saw about what some vague, nebulous "Dick and Jane American" thinks and feels is wearing thin. "Dick and Jane American would never make a black man a viable candidate" - "Dick and Jane American would never vote for a guy with 'Hussein' for a middle name" - "Dick and Jane American in Iowa are going to put some old white guy in the forefront, Obama's done." Looks like we've got a different set of Dick and Jane Americans this year!

Votes are driven by gut feelings, sure. But it seems that this year, there's a different set of feelings people are voting from.

And do you honestly think it's "intellectual snobbery" to go after someone's lack of experience? Seemed to be good enough for "plain-talkin" McCain, up until yesterday, anyway.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:37 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why shouldn't Biden beat her up (rhetorically) in the VP debate? Isn't it sexist to say that? Wouldn't that contradict what she says herself in her comments about Hillary's "whining"?

It *is* sexist to think that she can't handle a debate with the good ol' boys. But that won't stop the media from playing it that way- what sells more Ped-Eggs?:

- "More experienced candidate wins debate."

or

- "Mean old white guy makes sexy librarian lady-governor cry."
posted by gjc at 11:43 AM on August 30, 2008


I disagree. The same mistake I've seen Democrats make over the years is taxes and guns. They've been taxing poor people to the detriment of the economy and government. A Republican can still dishonestly claim to lower taxes in America and get the attention of the working class. Dollar for dollar, the worst mistake ever for raising money in a demand economy. As for guns, they made people who see themselves as guardians take the side of the raider.

How are we going to pay for all the GOP big-government programs with out taxes?
posted by gjc at 11:45 AM on August 30, 2008


Hey, guys, don't worry! This guy says she'll step down if McCain dies!

McCain/To Be Announced '08

The lingering doubts about Biden are that he's a boring old wrinkly white guy from a small northeastern state, not policy details.

I won't argue. It works out the same in the end.

As far as the merits of making an exciting pick over a practical pick, well, I'm glad Obama went with practical.

It just gets better and better:

Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican political leader who has clashed with Palin in the past, was shocked when she heard the news Friday morning with her husband, Walt.

"I said to Walt, 'This can't be happening, because his advance team didn't come to Alaska to check her out," Phillips said.


I know it was suggested far up in the thread but this "Hockey Mom President" idea is sounding better and better. I mean someone at Lifetime has to be smacking their forehead.
posted by effwerd at 11:45 AM on August 30, 2008


He didn't vet her?

THE NEW SEASON OF "WHO WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT" IS AWESOME!!!111!
posted by Bookhouse at 11:51 AM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Regarding the teen-pregnancy rumors, the Democrats AND liberal websites need to stay far, far away from that one. It's SO soap opera-esque and sleazy. Just leave it to the National Enquirer to crack the case ... if there's any truth to it, I'm sure they'll have it into print, vetted by lawyers, within a week. Since they brought down Edwards, it wouldn't seem partisan ... the Enquirer's role IS to go after the high-drama and sleazy. But the left should try to stay above it all.

As for the equally distasteful thread of "parents (especially mothers) of young kids shouldn't have stressful, high-level jobs" ... you'd think that anyone smart and efficient enough to get a stressful, high-level job can also organize their personal life well enough to take care of everybody.

Really, there's enough to talk about regarding Palin's government experience and policies that we don't need to go anyplace else.
posted by lisa g at 11:56 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain did not choose Palin. McCain does not make very many choices during a campaign. He is a professionally-managed player. The much-smarter powers behind the party selected Palin for a purpose. "Longshot chance at winning" was certainly not the reason for selecting her.

What has the McCain campaign done that has made you think it's well run, it's near bankruptcy last year, the massive staff rearrangement in the middle of the summer or was it the fact that he won because the rest of the field imploded on themselves? Karl Rove is not running the McCain campaign, and while some of his spawn are, they are not showing themselves to be his equal.

Democrats have huge structural and political advantages this year and a great candidate for president. he adults that run the republican party understand this better than progressives scared shittless by Rove, which is why they went with the hail mary that is Palin. We need to stop being such so fucking scared of the republicans and start showing some confidence.
posted by afu at 11:57 AM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


How are we going to pay for all the GOP big-government programs with out taxes?

Tax the people with accountants, not wage earners who need new tires and brakes. How to do this fairly? Just don't tax anyone for any income under the average line. Levy a flat tax on all income after that.
posted by Brian B. at 11:58 AM on August 30, 2008


Please let Trig be short for Trigonometry, and Track short for Tracheotomy. Please.
posted by Grangousier at 12:00 PM on August 30, 2008


Thanks, lisa g. I agree 100%. No good can come of either strategy, and I have my doubts that any serious Democratic players - or any party that wants to keep women voters - are going to fling either one about. Especially since the Dems have the momentum and the energy to go all the way.

This is what I meant upthread about a "her reproductive system" offense seeming, to me, like false flag concern trolling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:07 PM on August 30, 2008


The Dems historically make the mistake that Americans are intelligent people, we are not, we are idiots, treat us like idiots and you'll have a chance.

I disagree. The same mistake I've seen Democrats make over the years is taxes and guns. They've been taxing poor people to the detriment of the economy and government. A Republican can still dishonestly claim to lower taxes in America and get the attention of the working class. Dollar for dollar, the worst mistake ever for raising money in a demand economy. As for guns, they made people who see themselves as guardians take the side of the raider.


Your comment proves the point that Americans don't vote on facts.

The current tax proposal from the Democratice candidate would cut taxes for poor people and the middle class BY A GREATER PERCENTAGE than the Republican candidate. Every family making up to about $111,000 a year (well above the median household income, and thus including all middle class people, who are, you know, suposedly in the middle of income distribution) would be taxed less by the so-called "tax & spend" Democratic candidate than the actually tax you more and rich people less Republican candidate. The current Republican candidate who wishes to tax poor people and the middle class -- a lot more than the current Democrats -- while doing nothing to address the cost of healthcare - a far greater burden for poor and middle class families in economic bad times than taxes. At the end of this year, I will have paid about $1500 in taxes for myself and my husband; my health care costs $2400, and that's after my employer has already paid half.

It's not just that the Republicans lie about who their tax cuts are for - it's also that the American people apparently let themselves be so ill-informed that they don't even understand the simplest aspect of the differences in the candidates - differences that can be summed up (and which have been summed up) on a simple graphic which is widely available.

Leaving aside the debate about whether tax cuts are or are not a good idea (so far, economic history does not support their efficacy as economic stimulants), in November thousands or even millions of Americans who support tax cuts will be voting against the candidate who would give them a bigger tax cut because they refuse to inform themselves as to the actual facts of the two platforms. By their own ideals, they will be voting like idiots.
posted by jb at 12:07 PM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Vet her, nothing - it's starting to sound like they didn't even focus group her. The first round of polls has opinion running from a high of warm fuzzies and outright disdain. The choice might get a few more people out to vote - some of the evangelicals who were thinking of staying home this year - but I think it's going to register as a joke for the majority of people.

On the other hand, talk about setting the bar low... She could probably just start flinging poo at reporters and later be hailed as exceeding expectations. And the papers would call her a maverick, unafraid to fling shit at the press corps in the face of hard questions about the issues.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:07 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tax the people with accountants, not wage earners who need new tires and brakes.

Good christ, generalize much? Accountants bad tires good?

How to do this fairly? Just don't tax anyone for any income under the average line. Levy a flat tax on all income after that.

I bet that doesn't seem fair to all the people who are stuck with that tax bill.
posted by gjc at 12:10 PM on August 30, 2008


Yup, busy being pro-choice, pro-gay rights or, in Elizabeth Dole's case, being 77.

Actually, it's 72, but that's still pretty shocking. She looks like she's in her late 40s or something. Must have had a lot of work done.

This. This, this, this. Average Americans have already proved that their votes are driven by gut feelings, not rationality. I can't believe the number of Dems making the same mistake they made in previous elections, making fun of a candidate for perceived lack of intelligence, lack of academic credentials, etc. Average Americans don't value intellectualism the way you do. You think if Palin makes a mistake like "potatoe" it'll sink her? Guess what, average Americans can't spell. They identify with people who are like them. They'll vote for people who are like them. The more they hear from Dems making fun of people like them, the more they'll reject the Dems' candidate.

Oh god not this again. That's such bullshit. Look, Obama is up in the polls, he's been up in the polls all year except for a few points where McCain managed to pull within the margin of error, and he's been way up since the start of his Convention. All this fear about how all Americans are pig-ignorant religious nutbag xenophobes is wearing a little thin. The average American doesn't fall for that bullshit. Now there certainly may be some below average people out there who will be fooled, and unfortunately they make up a key swing demographic: People to stupid to know what's going on. A lot of the campaign is tailored to them and it gives people the impression that the entire country is retarded.

But in fact it's just a key swing demographic, just like old people in Florida, Soccer Moms, etc.

Most Americans have made up their mind and Sarah Palin is not going to change it. It will have a huge motivational effect on the republican base, though, because she is a hardcore religious nutter, like Mike Huckabee
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Palin Adds Right-Wing Cruelty To GOP Ticket
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on August 30, 2008


I know it was suggested far up in the thread but this "Hockey Mom President" idea is sounding better and better. I mean someone at Lifetime has to be smacking their forehead.

Geena Davis is Mackenzie Allen, a leftfield VP pick who becomes the first femaie president after the guy that picked her suddenly dies in office. Her arch-nemesis is, er, this dude.
posted by cillit bang at 12:21 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tax the people with accountants, not wage earners who need new tires and brakes
posted by Brian B. at 2:58 PM on August 30 [+] [!]

Then you will be voting for Obama then in the fall? Since his tax-cut proposals favour wage earners far more than McCain's do.

However, you also don't seem to realise that any flat tax (as you propose) would benefit "people with accountants", at the detriment of "wage earners who need new tires and brakes".

How to tax people fairly? By having a progressive, tiered income tax whereby those who make more income (and thus have a higher proportion of their income as disposable income) pay a higher proportion of that income in taxes, with suitable deductions to recognize that people are individuals with individual situations and needs. It's a simple matter of arithmetic -- taking 15% from someone who has a disposable income of 15% is less fair than taking 15% from someone whose disposable income is 60% of the total. So why not take 5% from the first person, and 20% from the second? In both cases, you are taking 1/3 of their disposable income, whereas under a flat tax, one person would be paying 100% of their disposable income in tax, while the richer person who has more disposable income to start with pays only 1/4 of that in tax. Even in a progressive system, rich people have way more money than poor or middle class people, so you can't make any "incentive" argument against it.*

Funny enough, that would be a tax system like the one that exists in most first world countries, including the U.S. (to a degree). McCain's proposals would like to weaken that system at a time when the gov't is looking at bankruptcy in just a few decades, while Obama's would like to shore up government financing while offering tax cuts to the exact people you claim to care about.

* (Seriously - if anyone tries to make the argument that poor people are better off under current tax regimes, I want to see them live off minimum wage for a year. Until then, your words are like the quacking of birds. Not pretty song birds, but really uninformed and illogical birds.)
posted by jb at 12:25 PM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


Your comment proves the point that Americans don't vote on facts.

They vote on preferences, which becomes a fact. The fact they never got the solution memo or the problem memo is more likely than not. Either way I don't support treating anyone like dummies, because educating is easier than misinforming, and the latter presumes they're being taken advantage of--the excuse of likely the motive. The New York Times withheld all that damaging information on Bush, in favor of Kerry, until after the election because they believed in their own corrupt superiority.

Good christ, generalize much? Accountants bad tires good?

Over your head it seems.
posted by Brian B. at 12:26 PM on August 30, 2008


Well, as long as we are doing anagrams, I favor 'sharia plan' and 'a sharp nail'.
posted by A-Train at 12:31 PM on August 30, 2008


jb: In November thousands or even millions of Americans who support tax cuts will be voting against the candidate who would give them a bigger tax cut because they refuse to inform themselves as to the actual facts of the two platforms.

I think it is quite simple. Obama wants tax cuts for some people and a tax increase for other people. McCain, on the other hand, wants tax cuts for everybody! Don't all of the hard-working people in this country deserve a tax cut? People who want tax cuts for everybody should vote for McCain! How's that not in their best interest?

Hey, the same argument worked for Bush, why shouldn't it work this time?
posted by sour cream at 12:33 PM on August 30, 2008


Just don't tax anyone for any income under the average line. Levy a flat tax on all income after that.

Flat taxes are effectively regressive and harder on people with lower incomes. And why should I work harder to pull myself up above the average line if it suddenly means I'll be taxed and have a cut to my take home pay?
posted by hydrophonic at 12:39 PM on August 30, 2008


Hard working people like... John McCain, who married into a fortune that financed his senate run and bought his eight-to-ten-depending-on-how-you-count luxury homes.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:48 PM on August 30, 2008


please dont die please dont die please dont die...
"Im not supposed to say this anymore, but people, i ran a town thats about as big as a Biden family reunion. ive been governor of alaska for 19 months. Yesterday, somoene was talking about the asian flu and i figured we were talking health care so i said something about the importance of pharmaceutical research and it turned out they meant a central banking crisis and aspirin wasnt going to help."
posted by madamjujujive at 12:55 PM on August 30, 2008 [10 favorites]


Then you will be voting for Obama then in the fall?

I live in a crimson red state, Obama doesn't need my vote anymore than some others do.

However, you also don't seem to realise that any flat tax (as you propose) would benefit "people with accountants", at the detriment of "wage earners who need new tires and brakes".

No. I realize the ins and outs of progressive tax brackets and marginal rates just fine, I've been correcting people for years on the giant misconception of its unfairness. So after wasting all that time, I realized that it would be easier to simply assume the logic that any money taken needs to be after subsistence spending first, and that creates the margin. Compare a 32% flat tax after a $40,000 household exemption and you'll see progressive rates. The 80K income pays 16% of total, and the 800K income exceeds 30% of total.
posted by Brian B. at 12:55 PM on August 30, 2008


Hard working people like... John McCain, who married into a fortune that financed his senate run and bought his eight-to-ten-depending-on-how-you-count luxury homes.

And don't forget: McCain's trophy wife bought him a private jet so that he could fly around the country and denounce his opponent as an elitist.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 1:01 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


This. This, this, this. Average Americans have already proved that their votes are driven by gut feelings, not rationality.

I think you are right. Karl Rove, et al, know that many Americans harken back to the days of junior high school/high school student council and Prom Queen elections (e.g. With whom would you rather have a beer at the 'kegger.). Hence, the attempt to cast Obama as "effete, elite, intellectual, nerdy," etc. and McCain as "real guy, macho, maverick, P.O.W., 5th from the bottom of his class at Annapolis." McCain/Rove have now introduced a woman, ex-beauty queen, working mother with a young child with disabilities and a son soon off to Iraq. It's about the "life stories" and how they get framed. It's all about "identity politics."

Unfortunately, the majority of us fall for it and do not dig deeper (as many do here on MeFi) -- and enter the voting booth, casting a ballot often in contrast to our best interests as individuals and collectively as a country.
posted by ericb at 1:09 PM on August 30, 2008


This is presumably meant to be charming

(and where the fuck is Bridget?)
posted by cillit bang at 1:16 PM on August 30, 2008


Unfortunately, the majority of us fall for it and do not dig deeper (as many do here on MeFi) -- and enter the voting booth, casting a ballot often in contrast to our best interests as individuals and collectively as a country.

I wouldn't really say the majority of us fall for it. 2000 was very, very close, and 2004 had a Dem running against an incumbent, popular president in wartime. Then the Dems take Congress in 2006, and that's before Obama managed to trash most pre-conceived notions (including my own) of what it takes to win, and is still holding a lead in the polls. As has been mentioned, there's always a certain chunk of the electorate who vote decidedly Lifetime channel. But I think the notion that the majority of America votes this way can be safely put to bed.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:28 PM on August 30, 2008


But I think the notion that the majority of America votes this way can be safely put to bed.

Point well taken. Yet, many do vote on the "identity" and the "life story" without really understanding the issues, etc. Let's hope it truly is different this time around.
posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on August 30, 2008


McCain's Decision: Game-changing Move or Gimmick?
“The case for Palin.
For McCain, the biggest thing Sarah Palin brings is buzz. It's something the campaign has been seeking for some time. In fact, it has bothered Team McCain that it doesn’t get the same ‘gee whiz’ kind of coverage that Obama gets. Palin changes that discrepancy -- for now. She also helps McCain re-introduce himself as a change-reform candidate. Palin's whole shtick in Alaska is reformer; it's what got her into the governors mansion. Indeed, the Palin pick may signal that the McCain folks have concluded that ‘experience’ as a message isn't a winning one, even though they spent the entire summer developing that argument. So they are hoping Palin helps redefine GOP ticket as change. What's more, she brings a historical first to the McCain campaign. And finally, there's Palin's gender, which the McCain folks hope reopens some of the Clinton-Obama wounds that the Dem convention seemed to heal.
The case against Palin.
The biggest negative about the pick is that on its face, it looks like a political gimmick, a political calculation. And McCain's supposed to be anything but a calculating or gimmicky pol. Indeed, as the Los Angeles Times wonders, isn’t McCain supposed to be the guy putting ‘country first’ and not playing politics? The fact that McCain doesn't know Palin and spent all but a couple of hours getting to know her before making his pick is going to invite A LOT of judgment criticism. The perception is going to be that McCain panicked and wanted to do something radical to shake up the race. Well, he may have shaken up the race, but at the cost of undermining his best asset: that he was ready to lead. This decision doesn't look like it was well thought out, even as Palin has made a tremendous first impression.
The vetting question.
Just how well was she vetted? There's going to be a race to define Palin, and while the McCain has bought time by shocking the world with the pick, there's going to be a lot of interest by the press to dig around in Alaska. And this ‘Troopergate’ story is perhaps just the beginning. What's more, since she isn't well known, any little thing could get blown up pretty quickly.”
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy
The always amusing Mark Steyn. NB: Link goes to NRO, so if you have some principle about not going there, as I do about Daily Kos, don't click link.
posted by dawson at 1:55 PM on August 30, 2008


Regarding the teen-pregnancy rumors, the Democrats AND liberal websites need to stay far, far away from that one.

I agree 100% because even if it's true... I don't think it hurts her. I think people will see a mom trying to protect her daughter and grandson. I think the "OMG, HER TEENAGE DAUGHTER GOT KNOCKED-UP" sentiment gets lost in the sheer weirdness of the situation.
posted by kimdog at 2:16 PM on August 30, 2008


Regarding the teen-pregnancy rumors, the Democrats AND liberal websites need to stay far, far away from that one.

As Sarah Palin was recognized only as 'Miss Congenialty' in the 'Miss Alaska Beauty Contest,' I was second runner-up in my 7th. Grade Poetry Contest. Hence, I offer you my take on the specious rumor regarding the five-month old child, Trig Palin.

What Child is This?
What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Sarah's lap, is sleeping?
Whom Repubs greet with anthems sweet,
While pollsters watch are keeping?
This, this is McCain’s one hope,
Whom operatives guard and Fox News sings:
Haste, haste to bring him forth,
The Babe, to slay Obama!

So bring him incest, gold, and beer,
Come NASCAR things to own just him,
The one from one (?), freedom rings,
Let loving hearts think he’s of her.
Raise, raise the song on high,
But isn’t he from Bristol’s thigh?
Joy, joy, for Trig is born,
The Babe, the Grandson of sweet Sarah!

posted by ericb at 2:22 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I further support the "leave Brixton alone" sentiment. Appearing to attack the children of prominent politicians is still icky. I'm looking at you Mr. "Janet Reno was her father" McCain.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:24 PM on August 30, 2008


The much-smarter powers behind the party selected Palin for a purpose

That's not my sense at all. I think that the powers behind the party are sitting this one out and McCain is running the show. How else can you explain the flubs, the bizarre platform of running on Bush's economic plan, touting the Iraq war as won and otherwise offering no other policy proposals other than to snipe and snark at Obama.

If he wanted a serious woman politico as his running mate, he would have picked Kay Bailey Hutchison. Personally, I can't stand her, but she's a much more serious and sober choice than Palin. I suspect that Hutchison wanted nothing to do with him.

I really think his list was very short, only because a lot of prominent Republicans opted out of it. There's nothing to be gained from being his running mate. Barring any kind of major revelation about Obama in the next three months, he will surely lose, the only question left is by how much, and his running mate will be tainted forever.

I think that in Palin, he found someone with more ambition than brains (a kindred spirit in that way), and that it was 100% his own choice.
posted by psmealey at 2:28 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy

Spoken like a true member of the tax-cuts-for-me-first,-then-fuck-the-poor class.
posted by psmealey at 2:33 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain's trophy wife bought him a private jet so that he could fly around the country and denounce his opponent as an elitist.

I think you have it backwards. When they married, McCain was the trophy husband.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:46 PM on August 30, 2008


It's simply absurd to think that anyone's sitting this one out. The presidency is arguably the most powerful office in the country, why wouldn't the Republicans have their best and brightest out front fighting to take it? Anyone talking about McCain's VP choice being a crazy mistake or his own folly is about as misinformed and ignorant of the issues as the people who will end up voting Republican this year against their own interests.

I'm as confident as anyone in the Obama team's organizational abilities, but I've learned never to underestimate the other team when it comes to campaigning.
posted by palidor at 2:52 PM on August 30, 2008


The presidency is arguably the most powerful office in the country, why wouldn't the Republicans have their best and brightest out front fighting to take it?

Well, clearly they don't. So, explain, please.
posted by psmealey at 2:55 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, my "misinformed and ignorant" comment isn't intended to be mean-spirited. I just get the feeling sometimes that there's a lot of overconfidence and glossing over the fact that people vote for many different reasons; it's not just about which candidate has the best solutions or is the most dignified. The point about Democrats treating voters as if they're intelligent when they're not can't be repeated enough (although I wouldn't say voters are idiots so much as they're ignorant).
posted by palidor at 3:02 PM on August 30, 2008


FOX News' Alan Colmes: Conservative Family Values.
"In her speech in Dayton today, Gov. Sarah Palin announced that she and her husband are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, which means they were married on August 29, 1988.

On April 20, 1989 – less than eight months after they eloped – their first son, Track, was born.

I think I can guess the real reason why they eloped, and it wasn’t to save money on an expensive wedding."
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Right; I've been sensing mainly confusion on the part of McCain's advisers over the pick. There are multiple quotes from aides that are the public-eye-friendlified version of 'WHAT. THE. FUCK. McCAIN?" There's also stuff like the Karl Rove clip criticizing Kaine that make the key strategists sound scarily flip-floppy in the immediate wake of this. I think this was McCain's personal doing - he decided to 'be the maverick' and not consult his people at all. The other people in the VP running sound like they're actively pissed. If the choice does end up going badly in the public eye, I think we can expect some good infighting within Camp McCain.

And the best response is, I think, that McCain is obviously rolling the dice here. We don't need a president who plays dice with the fate of the country.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:07 PM on August 30, 2008


I would agree with that to some degree. I think the bigger problem is not that McCain is so much a formidable candidate (he's, in fact, terrible... weaker than Dole, Dukakis and Kerry), it's that Obama is also running against the mainstream media. The media has, all summer long, been doing that very thing they did in 2000 and 2004 where they repeat rumor, innuendo, and spiteful remarks as though they have equal counterweight to his policy details.

The only thing that stands in the way of this really being a relatively easy victory for Obama is this point: the accusation always appears on Page 1, and the retraction/correction invariably appears on Page 4 in tiny type.
posted by psmealey at 3:08 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone talking about McCain's VP choice being a crazy mistake or his own folly is about as misinformed and ignorant of the issues as the people who will end up voting Republican this year against their own interests.

Do you know something about Palin we don't? Is she really Karl Rove in a mask? Because I don't think people across the country are scratching their heads over this choice for nothing.

It's not like the Republicans are infallable or something, incapable of making poor choices that lead to election defeats, and we seriously need to get over this attitude that the Dems are somehow up against a formidable opponent just because he's a Republican. It's defeatist, for one, and contradictory to what's been going on in this country since 2006 to present. McCain's been floundering and bumbling all spring and summer, and then, true to his love of a crap shoot, decides to take a shot like this. There's a reason this move confuses people, and it's because for all intents and purposes it does look desperate. "But- but McCain is a Republican! Surely there must be some higher, mysterious, secret power at work that we're just not seeing." No, sometimes a bad move is just a bad move.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:09 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Surprise? First Two National Polls Find Palin Gains LESS Support from Women.
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would argue the fact that (up until the Dem convention) the polls were tied shows that the Republicans are running a fine campaign. With Bush's approval ratings so low, an unpopular war going on, an uncertain economy, and so on, you would expect the opposition party to have a clear lead, and they don't.

It's almost as if, with all of the media coverage Obama's been getting this year, he's the incumbent. Using all of the "it's the Dem's to lose" talk, the Republicans have turned the campaign into a referendum on Obama, rather than on Bush, who has been mostly out of the picture since the campaign started.
posted by palidor at 3:12 PM on August 30, 2008


Could she be a political bridge builder?

Palin Repeatedly Professed Desire To Renew Federal Funding For ‘Bridge To Nowhere’
posted by ericb at 3:17 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin On Iraq
"A reader has found some evidence that [Palin] has thought about foreign policy at some point in her 44 years. Drum roll, please:
'Alaska Business Monthly: We've lost a lot of Alaska's military members to the war in Iraq. How do you feel about sending more troops into battle, as President Bush is suggesting?

Palin: I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place; I want assurances that we are doing all we can to keep our troops safe. Every life lost is such a tragedy. I am very, very proud of the troops we have in Alaska, those fighting overseas for our freedoms, and the families here who are making so many sacrifices.'
She heard about the surge, McCain's campaign centerpiece, on the news. Does she still favor an exit plan?
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on August 30, 2008


I'm really not trying to be defeatist. Like I said, I have confidence in the Obama campaign's organizational abilities, which probably does more to win elections than VP picks or media smears.

My first reaction to McCain's choice was that it was a cynical grab for female and evangelical votes, and why wouldn't it work? If you were one of those groups and you were going to sit out the election, wouldn't it do a little to get you out to vote in November? I mean, I honestly don't know, but I really doubt that this was a random, last minute decision that no one but McCain wanted.

I do think there's strategy behind it, because like I said, this is a really high stakes game with a lot of money involved. No one is going to take any of it lightly.
posted by palidor at 3:24 PM on August 30, 2008


delmoi: "The average American doesn't fall for that bullshit. Now there certainly may be some below average people out there who will be fooled, and unfortunately they make up a key swing demographic: People to stupid to know what's going on. A lot of the campaign is tailored to them and it gives people the impression that the entire country is retarded.

But in fact it's just a key swing demographic, just like old people in Florida, Soccer Moms, etc.
"

Candidates Compete For Vital "Idgit" Vote
posted by Rhaomi at 3:28 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, clearly they don't. So, explain, please.

They need a moron on the ticket. Like Klang said, morons decide presidential elections in this country. And THE defining characteristic of the American Moron is this belief that we need an "average Joe" running the country. Like Bush.

See it's like this: Morons love to think they could run the country because all the real solutions to our problems don't take nuance or strategy. No. To the American Moron our solutions come from bold decisive "common sense" action. Self awareness, strategic analysis and corrective action are seen as a weekness for egg-heads.

And this, my friends, is why the American Morons have bad jobs, pathetic selfish consumer driven lives, and are the constant "victims" of history who blame everybody else for their problems.
posted by tkchrist at 3:33 PM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Accusing your opponents and their supporters of being idiots is not an effective electoral strategy.
posted by EarBucket at 3:36 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also, the media response to the pick plays right into the whole maverick thing, thus reinforcing McCain's image for undecided voters. And, as said upthread (probably a thousand times), Palin's "neighborly" image will prevent Dems from attacking hard because it can be perceived as a slight against the voters that identify with her. And we know who the sexy librarians are going to be voting for now...
posted by palidor at 3:40 PM on August 30, 2008


I already trademarked the phrase, "Don't blame me, I voted for Obama." So don't try stealin' it. Yeah, I'm lookin' your direction.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:41 PM on August 30, 2008


And we know who the sexy librarians are going to be voting for now

Obama?
posted by cillit bang at 3:52 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know all of the "idiot" talk comes out of a very real frustration with how some people vote (and act, but that's a whole other thousand-comment thread), but it gets us nowhere indeed. Maybe it's because I grew up in a small town in Ohio, and was surrounded by your typical beer-chugging Nascar anti-intellectuals, but eventually I realized that hating on this (very large) group of people does absolutely nothing to further your cause, and most of the time just alienates you from constructive efforts to inform and educate. I get frustrated as well, but assuming someone behaves the way they do because they're an idiot is pretty simple-minded, which is indeed ironic!
posted by palidor at 3:56 PM on August 30, 2008


Hate to tell you guys this but putting her on the ticket has electrified the Republicans and church folk here. I mean, they are stoked.
posted by konolia at 3:59 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a reason this move confuses people, and it's because for all intents and purposes it does look desperate. "But- but McCain is a Republican! Surely there must be some higher, mysterious, secret power at work that we're just not seeing." No, sometimes a bad move is just a bad move.

It appears that McCain had Joe Lieberman as his first choice, but Rove squelched the idea, presumably because a pro-choice Jew would not make the GOP base happy, no matter how hawkish he is. I think Rove required McCain to have an anti-abortion running mate, but that McCain had some leeway in who he could pick, based on personal chemistry. (Practically speaking, the short-tempered McCain is not going to be able to campaign effectively with somebody he can't stand.) It looks like McCain wanted a choice that was a demographic game-changer, which means he needed somebody nonwhite or a white woman. If he picked nonwhite males who oppose abortion, such as Bobby Jindal or Alan Keyes, he would undercut mobilization by racists and nativists who hate Obama for being "different." So the choices left are Republican white women. The problem for McCain is that the most competent pool of potential female VP candidates for the GOP are largely pro-choice (Kay Bailey Hutchison, Olympia Snowe, Carly Fiorina, Susan Collins, Jodi Rell, etc. etc.). Palin was probably one of the only possible choices left if you impose both Rove's condition (no pro-choicers) and McCain's condition (need an unconventional choice to "shake things up") on the selection process.

I think another simple factor is also at play. I think McCain simply ran out of time. The rules of major party conventions require a vice-presidential nominee to be selected before the convention is over. (That's why George McGovern's choice of Thomas Eagleton in 1972 proved to be such a disaster. Read Nixonland if you want more info on the backroom dealings.) Running out of time certainly provides a plausible explanation for why McCain selected Palin after only meeting her once. In addition, McCain made his decision, because he wanted to preempt coverage of Obama's acceptance speech. The gambit worked in the short-term, but I think Obama's speech might have intimidated other GOP politicians from taking on the VP job. Even the most minimal vetting should have found major drawbacks to choosing Palin. Even if they decided to pick Palin despite the drawbacks, better vetting would have allowed them to anticipate some of the negative coverage already coming out about her.

It's a simple analogy. Palin:McCain::Eagleton:McGovern
posted by jonp72 at 3:59 PM on August 30, 2008 [11 favorites]


Marisa Stole The Precious Thing: "Dick and Jane American would never make a black man a viable candidate" - "Dick and Jane American would never vote for a guy with 'Hussein' for a middle name" - "Dick and Jane American in Iowa are going to put some old white guy in the forefront, Obama's done."

And do you honestly think it's "intellectual snobbery" to go after someone's lack of experience?


I'm talking about how Dick and Jane will react to the rank-and-file Democrats sneering at Palin for having been a beauty contestant and not having a degree from a "respectable" college. Not about their reactions to Obama himself. Of course going after Palin's lack of experience isn't intellectual snobbery. I hope to God that Obama, Biden, and rank and file Democrats hammer away at it.

My point was that quite a few rank and file Obama supporters seem to have trouble keeping sneers out of the critiques they're trumpeting. Obama's charisma, intelligence, and grace has earned him a historic place in this election narrative, and by virtue of being unprecedented, that place is tenuous. The tone, as well as the substance, of his supporters' critiques will affect whether people on the fence will want to vote for him.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:59 PM on August 30, 2008


By the way, can we can the comments saying she was picked to garner the moron vote?

I think this woman has brains. For those of you who think she is an idiot re such things as foreign policy-please remember that when you are governing a STATE and being a mom at the same time, you tend to focus on that which is important to what you are doing. She needed to be informed on the things pertaining to the job she was doing. This was not a woman seeking to be chosen to be vice president. This was a woman who was doing HER JOB and concentrating on THAT.

Remember also that the other work she has done-such as the commercial fishing-gives her a real perspective on what is important to the average American. That is a perspective that a lot of people inside the Beltway truly lack.

Does this woman have weaknesses as a VP choice? Yes, of course. But she does have strengths. And I for one can't wait to hear what she has to say as she hits the campaign trail.
posted by konolia at 4:08 PM on August 30, 2008


cybercoitus: It's a good point, and I hope Obama's supporters make a point of snickering amongst themselves and following the lead of the campaign when it comes to Palin. I mean, the joke ultimately makes itself, and provides an excellent way to talk about McCain - his age, judgement, and temperament, in particular - without directly attacking Palin. She's irrelevant media-hoopla unless McCain bites it during his first term, in which case he would have fucked the country with his lack of foresight.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:13 PM on August 30, 2008


Enyone hoo dont vote like me is a idiot.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:19 PM on August 30, 2008


1000th comment!
posted by captain cosine at 4:20 PM on August 30, 2008


This was not a woman seeking to be chosen to be vice president. This was a woman who was doing HER JOB and concentrating on THAT.

Then she has a lot of catching up to do, doesn't she?
posted by krinklyfig at 4:24 PM on August 30, 2008


And I for one can't wait to hear what she has to say as she hits the campaign trail.

That makes two of us. My God, the gaffes she is going to make. I'm not saying she's stupid, only that no person on Earth can go from zero to presidential in the amount of time she has. Good gravy.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:24 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


As Bush contemplates taking the stage at the RNC on Monday, Hurricane Gustav bears down on New Orleans, due to arrive on...Monday. Odd coincidence? Bizarrely appropriate twist of fate? Talk about a party facing serious headwinds in their pursuit of the White House!

I'm anti-hurricane, and definitely anti-hurricane-fucking-over-people. That said, my Democratic palate finds the taste of this eerie juxtaposition of events to be rather...delicious. What's the plan? Bush cancels, the governor of Louisiana cancels, and we watch four days of split screen, with half of the screen showing sober-faced bummed-out-looking conservatives and the other half showing a hurricane blowing away New Orleans (and any chances the Republicans might have thought they had)? Is that the plan?

I hear the winds of change a-blowing, and this time they're blowing with hurricane force!
posted by jamstigator at 4:31 PM on August 30, 2008


Putting. Country. Last.
posted by homunculus at 4:35 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


For those of you who think she is an idiot re such things as foreign policy-please remember that when you are governing a STATE and being a mom at the same time

There are quite few a mothers who keep up with current events, including foreign policy, who would find this characterization insulting.
posted by jonp72 at 4:39 PM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


Hate to tell you guys this but putting her on the ticket has electrified the Republicans and church folk here. I mean, they are stoked.

Hate to tell you guys this but putting her on the ticket has electrified the Democrats and educated folk here. I mean, they are stoked. She'll sink the Republicans this election!
posted by ericb at 4:39 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


She's an interesting choice, and only time will tell the outcome, but there's no doubt she's a gamble. The Republicans can take that chance, because they've never been ahead in this race. The pick of McCain was something of a retirement gift, IMO, and the party doesn't necessarily expect him to win, and he doesn't really have the hard right in his corner. If he loses, they figure, at least he'll shut up about running for president, and the most conservative forces want him done with, though they'll take a puppet. So, yeah, a hail Mary type strategy. I don't think that's a controversial observation.

The realists within the party figure this one was lost years ago and are not happy today, but hope to put Bush behind them as quickly as possible and rebuild the party with a different direction. Rove and his ilk are powerful, however, and they will have a hard time letting go of their populist leanings. If McCain loses, the realists have an opening, though it's a bit odd because he used to be more in the realist camp than he is today. And the neocons are not really popular anymore with the realists and party elders, so this feels like a last shot before rebuilding.

The Democrats, for their part, need to remember that McCain still could win, particularly if the Republicans can create the dominant narrative, and Palin does help with that. But they can only do this if we never get below the surface, and I don't think the dynamics of the national conversation are the same as they were in 2004.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:42 PM on August 30, 2008


There are quite few a mothers who keep up with current events, including foreign policy, who would find this characterization insulting

Are any of those mothers you are invoking women who are also at present sitting governors of a state? Who one would think would be concentrating on the issues and problemsolving relevant to said state?

I keep up with current events. I even did it while working and parenting three small children.

But I was NOT an elected chief executive of a state.
posted by konolia at 4:45 PM on August 30, 2008


As Bush contemplates taking the stage at the RNC on Monday, Hurricane Gustav bears down on New Orleans, due to arrive on...Monday. Odd coincidence?

No. No coincidence at all. Like Katrina it's all because of the filthy gays and their annual Southern Decadence parade.

No comment from Republicans Larry Craig (whose bathroom stall at the St.Paul/Minneapolis Airport this weekend is considered a Republican Shrine to hot man-sex), Mark Foley, Rev. Ted Haggard, Bob Allen and Glenn Murphy Jr.
posted by ericb at 4:46 PM on August 30, 2008


Remember also that the other work she has done-such as the commercial fishing-gives her a real perspective on what is important to the average American. That is a perspective that a lot of people inside the Beltway truly lack.

Really? You're including commercial fishing as part of her resume? Republicans generally don't count Obama's effective record as a community organizer, editor of the Harvard Law Review, professor of constitutional law, or his 7 years as a state legislator. And none of these things were "inside the Beltway." You can't just change the goalposts anytime you feel like it, because it's convenient for the candidate you favor.
posted by jonp72 at 4:47 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Presidential scholars say she appears to be the least experienced, least credentialed person to join a major-party ticket in the modern era.

" “It would be one thing if she had only been governor for a year and a half, but prior to that she had not had major experience in public life,” said Dallek of Palin. “The fact that he would have to go to somebody who is clearly unqualified to be president makes Obama look like an elder statesman.”

And Alaska is a much smaller state than Illinois, the political base of Barack Obama, whom Republicans have repeatedly criticized for being inexperienced, having served nearly four years in the U.S. Senate after eight in the Illinois state Senate."
posted by cashman at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I keep up with current events. I even did it while working and parenting three small children.

But I was NOT an elected chief executive of a state.


Stop the anti-intellectualism. If somebody has enough talent to get elected governor of a state, they should keep up with current events too, especially if they're on the short list for the second-highest job in the country. That they choose not to do so, because they want to pander to the anti-intellectual and parochial prejudices of people in their own home state is not a virtue in a VP candidate.
posted by jonp72 at 4:50 PM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Capnjoy on Palin: my first reaction, honestly, was kind of giddy. i thought the choice showed desperation & would straightjacket mccain's offense against obama.

which is all true.

but a few hours later, i'm finding the choice depressing. not only because of it's based on an insultingly reductive understanding of female voters (samantha bee's piece on this was hilarious, btw). but because, in these very early hours, the media seems to be buying the mccain campaign's line about palin & obama's "inexperience" being comparable.

which is, of course, total BS.

barack obama is preparED to be president because he has dedicated himself to preparING. he's an astute and supple thinker who has applied himself to understanding the complexities of the issues facing America and to formulating forward-thinking policy in response. my favorite illustration of his competence is the lead from this article from the jerusalem post.

sarah palin has not prepared herself to step onto the national stage. in 2007, she admitted she had no opinions about iraq. she hasn't spent the time in-between studying up: her remarks on iraq in a time mag interview from 2 weeks ago she are meandering and baffling. her signature domestic policy platform seems to be a short-sighted embrace of drilling, a stance that's obviously inadequate to our long-term energy needs.

andrew sullivan is right: mccain's showing a profound misunderstanding of his opponent. and i hope the media isn't suckered into making the same mistake.

posted by chuckdarwin at 4:53 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


I keep up with current events. I even did it while working and parenting three small children.

But I was NOT an elected chief executive of a state.


So? Am I supposed to pity her?

Hey, good for her for working so hard and being accomplished. But I haven't heard anything from her that gives me confidence she could run this country. We've just met her, but I don't see the spark there, the feeling you get about some people that they will do great (or at least hugely influential) things.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:55 PM on August 30, 2008


jonp72: You can't just change the goalposts anytime you feel like it, because it's convenient for the candidate you favor.

Sure you can. Haven't you paid any attention these past 8 years?
posted by sour cream at 5:03 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really? You're including commercial fishing as part of her resume? Republicans generally don't count Obama's effective record as a community organizer, editor of the Harvard Law Review, professor of constitutional law, or his 7 years as a state legislator. And none of these things were "inside the Beltway." You can't just change the goalposts anytime you feel like it, because it's convenient for the candidate you favor.

The fact you just wrote that lets me know you missed my point entirely.


If somebody has enough talent to get elected governor of a state, they should keep up with current events too, especially if they're on the short list for the second-highest job in the country

Do you have any evidence that she honestly thought she had a snowball's chance in hell of getting on this ticket before a few days ago?

The difference between her and a lot of folks in politics is that this woman was not looking to the next rung in the ladder instead of concentrating on the job at hand. (*cough* John Edwards *cough*) I find that refreshing.

And I have a feeling there are others who will feel the same.
posted by konolia at 5:03 PM on August 30, 2008


The information that her daughter Bristol is the actual mother of Trig, the "fifth child" of Palin is getting some legs. I am staying tuned. Interesting times ahead.
posted by trii at 5:07 PM on August 30, 2008


I would argue the fact that (up until the Dem convention) the polls were tied shows that the Republicans are running a fine campaign.

I would argue the fact that the polls were tied is evidence that the polls are a tool of the media used to create "excitement" and "competition" and "news" where there is none.

I mean, seriously, half your population is so dumbfuck retarded that they're going to vote for McCain? I really can not believe that. The survival of the country is at stake and even though it would really suck to be a Republican that has to eat his pride and vote for Obama this one-and-only-time, it would really suck to be a Republican who is responsible for putting McCain into the Presidency and the US further down the toilet.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


1000th comment!

A thousand points of blight...
posted by mazola at 5:14 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you have any evidence that she honestly thought she had a snowball's chance in hell of getting on this ticket before a few days ago?

That's not an argument in her favor!
posted by Bookhouse at 5:19 PM on August 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


Really? You're including commercial fishing as part of her resume? Republicans generally don't count Obama's effective record as a community organizer, editor of the Harvard Law Review, professor of constitutional law, or his 7 years as a state legislator. And none of these things were "inside the Beltway." You can't just change the goalposts anytime you feel like it, because it's convenient for the candidate you favor.

The fact you just wrote that lets me know you missed my point entirely.


I think I got your point just fine. Before picking Palin, McCain insisted that Obama did not have enough conventional Washington experience to be president. On the other hand, McCain is also insistent that the best possible person to succeed him as Commander-in-Chief in the event of his death or incapacitation is somebody who has both less Washington D.C. experience than Obama and less experience in state government as well. This is especially galling, because experience has been a main theme of McCain's campaign, while Obama's campaign stresses the importance of judgment over experience. If Obama has non-Washington experience, you see that as proof of his unfitness for the job. But when you point to Palin's non-Washington experience, you call it "refreshing."
posted by jonp72 at 5:19 PM on August 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


Palin Was Excited That Obama Was Edging Ahead Of McCain In Alaska

Before she was running against him, Sarah Palin--the governor of Alaska and now the Republican candidate for Vice-President of the United States--thought it was pretty neat that Barack Obama was edging ahead of John McCain in her usually solidly red state. After all, she said, Obama's campaign was using the same sort of language that she had in her gubernatorial race. "The theme of our campaign was 'new energy,' " she said recently. "It was no more status quo, no more politics as usual, it was all about change. So then to see that Obama--literally, part of his campaign uses those themes, even, new energy, change, all that, I think, O.K., well, we were a little bit ahead on that." She also noted, "Something's kind of changing here in Alaska, too, for being such a red state on the Presidential level. Obama's doing just fine in polls up here, which is kind of wigging people out, because they're saying, 'This hasn't happened for decades that in polls the D' "--the Democratic candidate--" 'is doing just fine.' To me, that's indicative, too. It's the no-more-status-quo, it's change."
posted by cashman at 5:19 PM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


I mean, really, konolia. Would you want support taking someone completely out of the blue and putting them in charge of, say, the disposal of nuclear waste? Or, for that matter, in charge of a nuclear weapons stockpile? It belittles the importance of the job and the importance of this moment in our nation's history to say that this person is in any way ready to lead the country. Or that she even has a chance to be in 140 days. Even if not actively gunning for the Presidency, people who want to be a part of national politics should make some effort to prepare for their part once they get there. This means knowing the problems of their (NATIONAL) constituencies and, if looking for any kind of internationally important role, doing at least some reading on the state of world affairs. Even if you do scoff at ambition, I hope you don't scoff at the notion of picking people qualified for important positions. (And yes, given McCain's age and medical history, the vice presidency is an important position.)

She had chosen her place in the world: she could have been an excellent Alaskan statesperson for the rest of her years, and/or transitioned onto the national stage with a bit more time. But now she has accepted a nomination that makes her a strange fish in extremely unfamiliar waters. She has CHOSEN to accept this, and either doesn't realize or has chosen to ignore her lack of preparation and qualifications. I'm not sure which speaks worse of her, frankly.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:27 PM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


For those of you who think she is an idiot re such things as foreign policy-please remember that when you are governing a STATE and being a mom at the same time, you tend to focus on that which is important to what you are doing.

In all fairness, her state has a population equal to only two thirds of the COUNTY I live in. Shoot, Obama's district when he was in the IL senate had a higher population by over a hundred thousand people. Most governors of far more populous and demanding states seem to be able to keep up with basic current events and political news.
posted by Kellydamnit at 5:27 PM on August 30, 2008


jonp72 made a very astute point, konolia.
posted by agregoli at 5:31 PM on August 30, 2008


It appears konolia and her church gang are single-issue voters. Having an anti-abortionist as a potential VP makes the giddy with excitement.

Single issue voters are the death of the country. There are a dozen far more important issues than the one of Roe vs. Wade remaining status-quo for another four years. The end of the USA as a viable nation is creeping closer: the economic ruin, the endless mid-East war, and the rumblings of Russia are all things that can make or break the USA. Abortion is piffle by comparision.

Everyone needs to vote smarter this time around. Eat humble pie, put Obama into place for four years, purge and scour the corrupt Republican party, and come around in 2012 with a good candidate. It is the one and only sensible course of action.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:31 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Do you have any evidence that she honestly thought she had a snowball's chance in hell of getting on this ticket before a few days ago?

The difference between her and a lot of folks in politics is that this woman was not looking to the next rung in the ladder instead of concentrating on the job at hand. (*cough* John Edwards *cough*) I find that refreshing.


This website has been pushing a "Draft Sarah Palin for VP" campaign since 2007. In addition, online prediction markets showed a lot of enthusiasm about Palin in the months before McCain made the selection, although Romney and Pawlenty often traded for higher share prices. I agree that Palin would have been reasonable in thinking that her selection as VP would be implausible, but she should have had some inkling that it was a possibility, however slim. You'd think she'd want to be somewhat prepared, if only to make sure she didn't make her political party look foolish. That's not ambition. That's just being prepared.

Answer me this. Would you be gushing about how refreshing Sarah Palin is and making so many rationalizations for her weak qualifications if she were a pro-choice agnostic?
posted by jonp72 at 5:32 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow ... there is some serious crazy going on in this thread. A few thoughts:

1) There is not going to be a "bait and switch". There is no secret Old White Guy they're going to roll out a few weeks before the election. It's an insane idea, and would make them look like idiots. Palin really is the VP candidate. Really.

2) She has both her strengths and her weaknesses. But there are strengths. It seems obvious to me that she was picked to appeal to both right-wingers and independents, which she does, and maybe pick up some disaffected Clinton supporters in the bargain if they're lucky. Try to think of another candidate who does all that at once. It's not easy.

3) Don't assume that she will be a gaffe machine a la Dan Quayle. She might be. She might not be. Dan Quayle was a drag on the ticket (and he was, even though they won) because he was an idiot, not because he was inexperienced. Do not assume that she will be an idiot. Too many people are assuming that, and if she proves to be a reasonably good campaigner after all, the press will treat her as golden because of it.

4) However, she does have her drawbacks. Her lack of experience leaves her open to attack, and might (*might*) result in her looking like she doesn't know much about some important issues. The ongoing ethics scandal might (*might*) blow up in her face. Her choice does seem to mitigate the attacks on Obama's experience, but not entirely -- she is running for VP, not president.

But honestly ...

Whether she's a good pick or not is going to depend almost entirely on how she does on the campaign trail. All this speculation beforehand on how she's going to be received is just that ... speculation. She could be a drag on the ticket. She could be a shot in the arm for the ticket. But we don't know because, unlike Biden, she is an unknown quantity.

Wait and see, people. Don't bet for or against her until you've seen her run for awhile.
posted by kyrademon at 5:40 PM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


By the way, can we can the comments saying she was picked to garner the moron vote?

I think this woman has brains.


Why on earth would you think those things don't go together?

Remember also that the other work she has done-such as the commercial fishing-gives her a real perspective on what is important to the average American.

So you're saying that what's important to the average American is commercial fishing, beauty pageants, and running small towns into debt. Gotcha.

I'm curious how on earth you would think that commercial fishing, of all things, would help one to understand where the average American is coming from.

A job that only 2881 people in the US actually held in 2005 helps you understand what's important to normal people.

Uh-huh.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:43 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


If someone is campaigning for the presidency or vice presidency, there's an extra twist. That person has to have a line of argument to offer on any conceivable issue. Quick, without pausing in the next ninety seconds, tell me what you think about: the balance of relations between Taiwan and mainland China, and exactly what signals we're sending to Hamas, and what we think about Russia's role in the G-8 and potentially in NATO, and where North Korea stands on its nuclear pledges -- plus Iran while we're at it, plus the EU after the Irish vote, plus cap-and-trade as applied to India and China, and what's the right future for South Ossetia; and let's not even start on domestic issues.
posted by EarBucket at 5:44 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would argue the fact that the polls were tied is evidence that the polls are a tool of the media used to create "excitement" and "competition" and "news" where there is none.

I agree that the polls are used as a tool in the media narrative, which then affects how polls are responded to, as a sort of feedback loop, but you can't possibly believe that all of the independent polling groups are in league with the media to manufacture the numbers, can you?

All I'm saying is that the McCain campaign has been successful in making the election a referendum on Obama, and that they should not be underestimated. They keep up the attacks and put the Democrats in a defensive position, which is valuable in that it controls the media narrative. The polls reflect their success.

I'm a proud Obama supporter, and volunteered for his campaign last week here in Ohio, so I look forward to doing what I can in the next couple of months to get him elected. But I try to hold a more nuanced view and accept the Republican strengths for what they are. Maybe it's irrelevant to see it in those terms because I'm not a campaign strategist, and I should just join the noise machine, I don't know.
posted by palidor at 5:48 PM on August 30, 2008


Palin booed for mentioning Hillary Clinton
posted by jjoye at 5:49 PM on August 30, 2008


So you're saying that what's important to the average American is commercial fishing, beauty pageants, and running small towns into debt. Gotcha.


No, what I AM saying is that she and her husband WERE the average American. She is no elitist looking down from an intellectual ivory tower. She was no child of privilege born with the proverbial silver spoon. One thing this woman will never do is talk down to America.

She IS America.

(and as to single issue voting-of course I am thrilled with her position re abortion. But I am equally thrilled with her fight against corruption which made her enemies with leaders in her own party. Remember, I am no stranger to the innards of Party politics. What she has managed to accomplish while making the party functionaries unhappy is quite stunning. )
posted by konolia at 5:54 PM on August 30, 2008


For those of you who think she is an idiot re such things as foreign policy-please remember that when you are governing a STATE and being a mom at the same time, you tend to focus on that which is important to what you are doing.

Other governors with kids seem to be conversant with foreign policy.

For a governor from a coastal and border state to be unfamiliar with foreign policy seems downright baffling.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:54 PM on August 30, 2008


2 Top Alaska Newspapers Question Palin's Fitness.
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


People Magazine: "Do You Feel Ready To Be A Heartbeat Away From The Presidency?"

Palin: "Absolutely. Yup, Yup..."
posted by ericb at 5:57 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin In Pennsylvania: ''It's Great To See Another Part Of The Country."
posted by ericb at 6:00 PM on August 30, 2008


No, what I AM saying is that she and her husband WERE the average American.

Then you're saying that the average American wins beauty pageants and holds down astonishingly rare jobs? That being married to a commercial fisherman makes her better able to understand what office workers and retail salespeople and such go through?

Uh-huh.

She was no child of privilege born with the proverbial silver spoon.

As opposed to who exactly?

I often get annoyed with five fresh fish's constant YOU MUST DO BETTER THAN THIS AMERICA routine, but... geez.

You really can't see that her life has almost nothing in common with the lives of average Americans? Really? You honestly think that Average Joe is out there in his catcherboat headed to the factory ship, not pushing paper in an 8-5 or hawking retail goods or building houses? Really?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:04 PM on August 30, 2008


Do you have any evidence that she honestly thought she had a snowball's chance in hell of getting on this ticket before a few days ago?

It doesn't matter why she's not prepared, only that she is. This isn't a high school algebra test. This is the potential Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful country the world has ever seen.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:08 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do you have any evidence that she honestly thought she had a snowball's chance in hell of getting on this ticket before a few days ago?

The difference between her and a lot of folks in politics is that this woman was not looking to the next rung in the ladder instead of concentrating on the job at hand. (*cough* John Edwards *cough*) I find that refreshing.


Hit the nail on the head! She was being down to earth and practical. She wasn't all high and mighty, wasting time doing all that research, formulating policy strategies and following the issues a VP ought to, because who woulda thunk? So now she's totally unprepared for the monstrous job she's applying for, and I find that refreshing.

Indulgent sarcasm aside, I don't doubt she's a smart lady. But if someone asked me, out of nowhere, "Hey, wanna be Vice-President?" I'd respond "Yeah! Well, actually no, I don't think I can do that. Can I take a raincheck though?" She answered, "Hey what the hell. I'll pick it up as I go along," which would be an awesome new campaign slogan. She was justfied in focusing only on her state. She had her name in the running as a career/name recognition strategy, not a crime. She however accepted the nomination.

Would you box with Mike Tyson in 140 days?
Would you perform open heart surgery in 140 days?
Would you pilot an Airbus 380 in 140 days?
posted by damo at 6:09 PM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Pro-life"?

Abortion is a non-issue, at least as far as national and international politics goes. Perhaps it's a sign of the insularity of a lot of the United States, I don't know. I mean, I don't know whether the United States is really as insular as it seems to be. Though it seems to be autistically so in places.

The United States is an imperial power in decline, in that difficult stage before the next imperial power really manifests itself (everybody is saying China, but I'm not sure). It is theoretically possible to negotiate with the situation to get out with some dignity intact, but it takes diplomacy and tact (and even with very skilled diplomats, my own country left all manner of dreadfulness across its own former possessions and had a tough time getting used to its reduced status), whereas for the last eight years the U.S. has been led by an oligarchy who have pissed away its money, the considerable goodwill generated by the 9/11 attacks, the lives of its young people (and the people of other countries) and the last of its international political reputation, largely (as far as I can tell), to stuff the wallets of oil barons and war profiteers. McCain represents a continuation of that policy of self-abuse.

It's not a question of left or right: Bush has been a catastrophe for your country. McCain will continue that catastrophe all the way down into the toilet. Obama... might not be a disaster, I don't know. Possibly not a disaster is the best you can hope for at the moment.

With the stakes as they are, though, how a candidate feels about abortion is as relevant as how they feel about traffic violations or littering.

(Actually, Obama looks like the real deal from over here. But then so did Blair for a while.)
posted by Grangousier at 6:10 PM on August 30, 2008 [17 favorites]


Single issue voters are the death of the country. There are a dozen far more important issues than the one of Roe vs. Wade remaining status-quo for another four years.

Well, the way that the republicans plan on overturning Roe v. Wade is by placing conservative judges on the bench in the mold of Scalia, Alito, Roberts and Thomas. That kind of thing would have wide-ranging consequences far beyond abortion.
posted by delmoi at 6:12 PM on August 30, 2008


For some of us who view abortion as the holocaust it is, it is very much an issue.

A lot of us pray for the mercy of God to be poured out on this country because we know just how much we deserve judgement.
posted by konolia at 6:13 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


She is no elitist looking down from an intellectual ivory tower.

That's too bad. Those people are really good at running things.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:14 PM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


Undecideds don't like her.

Would you box with Mike Tyson in 140 days?
Would you perform open heart surgery in 140 days?
Would you pilot an Airbus 380 in 140 days?


Yeah. Oh, and while you're preparing to do these things, you will be appearing at campaign events and flying all over the country.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:16 PM on August 30, 2008


Would you box with Mike Tyson in 140 days? ... Would you perform open heart surgery in 140 days? ... Would you pilot an Airbus 380 in 140 days?

Fuck, yeah! I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!
posted by ericb at 6:18 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


And traffic violations kill a lot of people. But they don't bring down empires.
posted by Grangousier at 6:19 PM on August 30, 2008


I'm sure konolia's comments will be met with much restraint as abortion, the religious issue that it really is, is futile to discuss in any sort of logical manner (especially on the Internet).
posted by palidor at 6:19 PM on August 30, 2008


One thing this woman will never do is talk down to America.

She IS America.


"The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.

The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together, and bled together, and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America or a blue America; they have served the United States of America.

So I’ve got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first." --Barack Obama

America is bigger than all of us.
posted by jonp72 at 6:21 PM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


Enyone hoo dont vote like me is a idiot.

I'm just using this as an example of some fucking dumb-ass knee-jerk contrarian reductive thinking that is infuriating about Metafilter. The comment or the commenter themselves may not be. But I'm still using it.

And here is my point:

Yes. Anybody that voted for Bush in 2004 was either a complete god damned moron or had some vested financial interest in continuing the most obviously disastrous "mal-competent" policies in modern US history. AND THE REPUBLICANS KNEW THAT. The mobilizing issues: Flag burning? Gay marriage? Immigration?

Are you fucking kidding me?

The Republican party of the last twenty five years has deliberately and meticuoulsy created a climate of manufactured stupidity in this country. The destruction of public education, conflating creation myth with science, and the elimination of public service as a virtue. The promotion of selfishness and intolerance as values.

All this was done in order to push legislation that no thinking person (who is not of the entrenched power establishment) would ever consider. Old school Republicans, William Buckley/Barry Goldwater Republicans, were a dying breed the new republican, particularly of the last ten years, is a reactionary simpleton living in a mythical America who repeatedly act against thier own long term self interest.

Fuck this mamby-pamby tip toeing around the truth. These fuckers ARE stupid. Pretending they are not is not going to help us. You want to educate you have to identify the problem. These dangerous dip shits are not going to educate themselves.

Wake up. The stupidity level in this country has just about reached an unrecoverable critical mass. I think McCain is gonna win. I do. God I hope not. But this Polly Anna attitude pretending "hey, it's just a different point of view, man" is frigg'n cultural suicide. Progressives better wake up and stay the fuck on message and be ruthless or this country is lost for another two or three generations. And by then you can say hello to the new Third Word America.
posted by tkchrist at 6:23 PM on August 30, 2008 [35 favorites]


She was no child of privilege born with the proverbial silver spoon.

Such as George W. Bush, John McCain and Cindy Hensley McCain, amirite?
posted by ericb at 6:25 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


One thing this woman will never do is talk down to America.

Oh PAH-LEEEZE.

Her very existence on the ticket is an god damned insult. It's basically a cynical admission that the base constituency of the Republican party are complete idiots.
posted by tkchrist at 6:27 PM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


I've been stuck at home a bit for the past couple of days waiting on stuff from a client, with a lot more internet time than I've had in a while, so I have spent more time investigating the Palin choice than I would have expected.
I gotta say, this is a very cynical move by the McCain crowd.

She probably excels at the more ceremonial duties of being chief executive, is good at knowing the state reps and senators and delegates well to her staff, but I am reminded of our present president by her comfort in what she does not know.

The quotes cited above regarding the actual job duties of the Vice president and the state of the Iraq war are indicative of a very incurious mind. Hey, I got kids and three clients right now that are like having three jobs, no spouse for back up and still pay attention to world affairs. I listen to the BBC World Service read the New York Times and talk to intelligent people who don't always have the same point of view I have.

I'm not getting a sense of her really being up to the job. She isn't an idiot - she came across fairly well on Charlie Rose - but not up to being a heartbeat away. Look what happened to Bush. He had to rely on others to fill in the overwhelming gaps in his knowledge (remember in an 2000 interview he did not know who Parvez Musharruf was) and so was easily pushed into the debacle we're in now by the neo-cons.

Andrew Sullivan nails it with Putting Country Last

I'd like to think that the electorate would see this for the cynical crap move that it is, but i remember being astounded by Bush's lack of knowledge in the debates and talking to a guy about it who was totally at ease voting for someone with little grasp of politics outside the borders of the US. He liked Bush more for his ignorance - I guess that was his regular guy you could have a beer with quality - but look where that's got us.

The chance that McCain will be voted into office and she could become president is frightening to me, based on what I have seen so far.
posted by readery at 6:28 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hate to tell you guys this but putting her on the ticket has electrified the Republicans and church folk here. I mean, they are stoked.

They were going to delude themselves into being stoked if he'd have picked a tumbleweed. That's the GOP base- they fall into line when told.

1) There is not going to be a "bait and switch". There is no secret Old White Guy they're going to roll out a few weeks before the election. It's an insane idea, and would make them look like idiots. Palin really is the VP candidate. Really.


They did it with Harriet Meyers: Pick a politically correct but ineffectual nightmare, the media reacts, install angry right wing white guy.
posted by gjc at 6:31 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yay average America! I want an "average" American to pilot my 747. And to operate on my moms brain tumor.
posted by tkchrist at 6:33 PM on August 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Progressives do need to stay on message, but if that message is "stop being a fucking moron!" it will do absolutely no good. Stop looking at these people as idiots and understand that their worldviews were shaped by certain conditions that need to be changed. Education is incredibly important, as are a number of socioeconomic issues that end up pumping out "morons." If you want to build a coalition to improve these things, you cannot consider your potential partners as idiots. It is divisive thinking that only exacerbates the problem and plays into the stupid culture war idea.

Maybe I'm wrong and people will only become more ignorant, but I think the first step to solving these problems is to consider this "stupidity" as a different point of view, understanding how that point of view came about, and then mobilizing to change what affects that point of view. I don't see how calling someone a moron helps at all.
posted by palidor at 6:33 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just realized we're a thousand comments into a political thread in a heated election year and I'm trying to be reasonable and positive. I think I just failed at the Internet.
posted by palidor at 6:41 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


What'd I miss?
posted by Smedleyman at 6:42 PM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


EarBucket writes "That [Presidential or Vice-presidential candidate] has to have a line of argument to offer on any conceivable issue. Quick, without pausing in the next ninety seconds, tell me what you think about: the balance of relations between Taiwan and mainland China, and exactly what signals we're sending to Hamas, and what we think about Russia's role in the G-8 and potentially in NATO, and where North Korea stands on its nuclear pledges -- plus Iran while we're at it, plus the EU after the Irish vote, plus cap-and-trade as applied to India and China, and what's the right future for South Ossetia;"

My friends, in all seriousness, for five and a half years I starved in a box in the Hanoi Hilton, a prisoner of the Vietnamese Communists.
posted by orthogonality at 6:46 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I think this thread is depressing proof that the Republicans are already successful at their strategy of shifting the narrative from Iraq and the economy, to religion and its related wedge issues.
posted by naju at 6:48 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


And [God] help us all.
posted by naju at 6:49 PM on August 30, 2008


I'm starting to think that the people who pushed Palin on McCain don't actually care if he wins or not. Palin is the perfect GOP figurehead. She's religious, but not economically populist at all. Of course Alaska is practically a socialist state like Iceland or Norway, with Oil revenues being distributed to their (tiny) population. There isn't the same kind of intractable poverty problems you see in the rest of the country.

But anyway, Palin loves Jesus, and she loves Big Oil. By making her the VP for the republican party, they're cementing her place near the top. They're hoping to steer the republican "brand" in a new direction, vastly different from Bush and Cheney. She's still young and she could be around for a while.

Anyway.

No, what I AM saying is that she and her husband WERE the average American. She is no elitist looking down from an intellectual ivory tower. She was no child of privilege born with the proverbial silver spoon. One thing this woman will never do is talk down to America.

Okay, I'll take the easy hit on this as well. Look, Most people on Metafilter are "intellectual elitists", so I don't think that's a winning argument here. Look at all the crap in this thread about how dumb the average American is. Now I don't personally belive that, as I said above, I think most Americans are pretty smart, but there are lots of below average Americans who are too stupid to know what's going on, and are therefore easily manipulated by bullshit. So, as campaigns come to a close, candidates chase those idiots hard, giving the appearance that those people really define America. But most people are pretty smart and probably have a pretty good idea who they're voting for. Especially in this election.

Palin probably isn't dumb, and she's an ordinary middle class American. But that's not the point. I think it's important to have a middle class background like Obama, Palin, Biden, Clinton or Edwards, but born rich people can understand the struggles of the middle class too (but may not). Going to an elite school doesn't make you an elitist (although many people do end up that way)

But it is important that the country be run by genuinely exceptional people. George W. Bush never tried to pretend he wasn't a dumbass, and look what it got us.
posted by delmoi at 6:51 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


My friends, in all seriousness, for five and a half years I starved in a box in the Hanoi Hilton, a prisoner of the Vietnamese Communists.

Well played, sir.
posted by EarBucket at 6:52 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


And Smedleyman! Welcome back!
posted by EarBucket at 6:53 PM on August 30, 2008


I think I just failed at the Internet.
Your problem is that you think you can help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site. You gotta make fun of folks belief in a god, disrespect their convictions and tell them, repeatedly, to fuck off. It will probably help if you muse that Obama might really be a Muslim or that Sarah is covering for her daughters bastard child.
Whatever you do, keep your mind closed and dig in for your side!
Never mind that most people will be voting for either a woman or a black this fall. What's more important is rhetoric.
Create hatred, fear and consider becoming a suicide bomber.
Win at the internet by being a blowhard!
posted by dawson at 6:53 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


re: post-partisanship (and abortion ;) i liked kaine's formulation:
here's the distinction between Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Senator Obama believes abortion is a grave moral issue, that we can do things to reduce unwanted pregnancy and abortion but that we shouldn't criminalize the health care decisions of doctors and women to fight abortion.

Senator McCain, on the other hand, says he wants Roe vs. Wade to be overturned and that will be a step toward criminalizing the decisions of women and doctors with respect to abortion. We can reduce abortion and unwanted pregnancy in this country. We've shown it during the Clinton years. We can do it by--without making women and doctors criminals if they engage in abortion, in that procedure. And we shouldn't use the criminal laws of one instrument against women and doctors in this way. We can reduce abortion through access to education, access to contraception, abstinence-focused education, all those things can help us reduce abortion.

MR. GREGORY: When do you believe...

GOV. KAINE: But the criminal, the criminal law is not the way we should do it.

MR. GREGORY: When do you believe human rights begin?

GOV. KAINE: Well, human, human rights, broadly, my church teaches and I do believe that human rights begin early in life, at conception or shortly thereafter, and that is my personal belief. But I do not believe the force of the criminal law should compel others to necessarily follow that to the greatest degree. And that's why the strategy of Senator Obama is reduce abortion through education, health care access, point out the grave issue, support reasonable, common-sense restrictions on abortion, I think that's important. But you shouldn't be talking about overturning Roe vs. Wade or criminalizing women and their doctors.
cf. cheers!
posted by kliuless at 6:57 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


What'd I miss?

Michael Palin turned down an offer from John McCain to be his running mate. Palin realized he wasn't suited for the job -- as comedic an offer as it was. He suggested that McCain offer it to his distant cousin, Sarah -- someone he had only met once when hosting a fund-raising 'Monty Pyhton' retrospective on the PBS station in Idaho. She was working the phone bank, as one of the ever-eager college students attending the Univeristy of Idaho.

As it turns out, McCain also had only met her in person one time before. He was struck by the synchronicity and realized that such qualified her for his selection as a candidate for V.P. of the U.S. of A. (and a heart-beat away from becoming Commander-in-Chief). Not a "Roll-of-The-Dice" ... but, an appeal to a Higher Power (In the Christian God We All Should Trust -- or Forever Damn You To Hell, Especially Those Who Abort, The Fags and The Adulterers -- oh, err, wait, what?) led him in his decision.
posted by ericb at 6:58 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


"And, my friends, while I was in that prisoner of war camp for five and a half years ,my running mate, Governor SarahPalin, was working on her father's fishing trawler.

"I should say this, that Sarah didn't have a fancy metal speedboat. But she did sail a respectable Republican cloth boat, and I always tell her she'd look good in anything.

"One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don't they'll probably be saying this about me, too. A man down in Texas, a man named Karl, heard a mention on the radio mention that I didn't have a running mate. And believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from the Republican National Committee in Dayton, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little beauty pageant winner in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Alaska, black and white, with glasses. And our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it "Sarah Palin Checkers." And you know, the Republican base, like all kids, love my running mate, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what anyone says about it, we're gonna keep it."
posted by orthogonality at 7:03 PM on August 30, 2008 [11 favorites]


Surprisingly rancorous.
posted by Mister_A at 7:11 PM on August 30, 2008


[a few comments removed - take fuck off talk to metatalk or email, do not do that here, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 PM on August 30, 2008


ericb, what about Obama, who,for one instance, called his community organizers 'God's army'? That's the same god konolia worships. why are you making personal attacks?
you are out of line. you also appear desperate and the bigger asshole here.
posted by dawson at 7:13 PM on August 30, 2008


The much-smarter powers behind the party selected Palin for a purpose. "Longshot chance at winning" was certainly not the reason for selecting her. What you should be doing is trying to figure out what that goal is.

Sarah Palin was selected for one reason and one reason only. She's a dog whistle to the evangelical Republican voter base. This very public woman chose to raise rather than abort a child with Down's. Christian fundamentalists across America are writhing in ecstasy at her nomination. Disenfranchised Republicans unhappy because McCain is too liberal for their tastes will come out in droves to see this women seated in the White House.

Her experience is irrelevant. Her looks are irrelevant. Her intellect is irrelevant. She made the long list, fell off the short list, and then miraculously made the grade four months after giving birth to a baby with Down's. I seriously doubt we'd be seeing her on that podium were this not the case.

I am not, by the way, dissing her actual qualifications. She could be highly experienced, stunningly beautiful, outrageously smart and able to find Iraq on a map and all of that would still be irrelevant to the RNC.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:13 PM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


A lot of us pray for the mercy of God to be poured out on this country because we know just how much we deserve judgement.

...and then we go into the ballot box, and we vote to keep the hungry unfed, and we vote to keep the unclothed naked, and we vote to keep those sick and in prison unvisited, and we vote to keep strangers unwelcome, and we vote for neverending war.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:16 PM on August 30, 2008 [57 favorites]


If a hurricane hitting New Orleans as the Republican convention starts does not qualify, among believers, as a sign from god, I feel to see what would.
posted by troybob at 7:19 PM on August 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


For some of us who view abortion as the holocaust it is, it is very much an issue. A lot of us pray for the mercy of God to be poured out on this country because we know just how much we deserve judgement.

But, your God does not represent evryone's god.

Let's keep religion out of the public square, as our Founding Fathers sought a separation between church and state.
posted by ericb at 7:24 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


you are out of line. you also appear desperate and the bigger asshole here.

Huh?
posted by ericb at 7:29 PM on August 30, 2008


In fact, as Palin's cultural views become better known -- she oppose (sic) abortion in all cases and opposes the use of birth control pills and condoms even among married couples -- she will undoubtedly scare the hell out of the soccer moms and 98% of Hillary voters.
-- from "Worst Pick Ever?" by pollster Del Ali, the president of Research 2000.
posted by orthogonality at 7:32 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


What'd I miss?

Well, Mitt and Tim are mad at John for leading them on and choosing Sarah to be his partner instead, and Cindy is a little worried that John might have a thing for Sarah so Cindy has her father convince John to enter a race to sail around the world and when he does, he ends up trapped on this island where he can't get off because of an ever-present, spacetime-distorting hurricane.

Meanwhile in Denver, Hillary has finally found the cartharsis she'd been searching for but it was still pretty clear to Barry that Bill had some lingering tensions that would need to be stroked if Bill was going to feel any relief, and Barry realized that the best person for the job would be Bill himself. Despite scattered reports of large mountain cats in the area, Bill managed to pull it off. And it all seems pretty much resolved after Barry wins the Super Bowl and the greek chorus sings Brooks and Dunn's Only in America as the screen fades to black.

But before the credits roll on this episode we hear Sarah's name whispered by a gruff voice in the dark. Then we see Sarah stepping up to a mirror in a barely lit room. She's sees the specter of Dick in the reflection.

"Do not fear, Sarah. You will be instructed well in the dark ways of the vice presidency."

Pretty compelling stuff.
posted by effwerd at 7:33 PM on August 30, 2008 [13 favorites]


If a hurricane hitting New Orleans as the Republican convention starts does not qualify, among believers, as a sign from god, I feel to see what would.

McCain, Palin campaign with one eye on hurricane.
posted by ericb at 7:34 PM on August 30, 2008


The information that her daughter Bristol is the actual mother of Trig, the "fifth child" of Palin is getting some legs.

I really don't like this story. It, like the fact that she was once in a beauty pagent, has nothing to do with her policies. It's a mean, much-raking rumour.

---------------------------

She is no elitist looking down from an intellectual ivory tower.

I would like to point out that no university anywhere has ivory towers. If you are lucky, maybe you have a brick tower, maybe with some stone cladding for the fancy places. But the vast majority are made of concrete.

Seriously, I find the whole academic=elite meme really offensive. Say what you like about academics - that they are quarellsome and argumentative, the sucessful ones can be at times arrogant, that they are so independant minded they can have trouble working together -- but one thing they are not (as a group) is socially elitist. I mean you are talking about some really smart people who could have worked a lot of really renumerative jobs who instead have, out of love for what they study, have a much lower income than many of the people they went to university with. Many lived in real poverty as graduate students; even those with better funding live for years on with a low wage, unable to save or buy a house. (You want to talk elitist? To me "elite" means being able to go out for dinner, being able to have more than two rooms for you and your husband to live in. To be saving for retirement before you turn thirty, to be able to even think about buying a house or having kids sometime before you turn forty.)

More than that - a hell of of a lot of those academics know exactly what is happening with "ordinary" Americans (or Canadians or Brits, or Africans or Chinese people) because they study them for a living. All of the sociologists, economists, historians, anthropologists - they deal with real people (albeit sometimes dead) everyday, and they pay constant attention to what is happening in our world because they care. And academics in all disciplines come from all classes, races, and countries - - there is more diversity of experience in any given univerisity than just about anywhere in the world, and they talk to each other, so that they don't just have a sense of what life is like for most Americans, but also know a bit about the rest of the world too.

Or do you think they are "elitist" because they value knowledge above money? That sounds really elitist.

----------------------------

Up thread, I said that I felt like many Americans who claim that they want to vote for the candidate who will give them the biggest tax cut but who vote for McCain would be voting like idiots -- not that they were idiots. I don't believe that they are. But I do believe that they have been willfully ignorant, that they have abrogated their responsibilities to themselves, to their children and to their fellow citizens to pay attention to the civic process, and to at least learn the basic facts of the two platforms. It's not like the tax proposals have not been easily digested for them.

People like to talk about personal responsibility -- well, I think this is just about one of the most important personal responsibilities you have: learn before you vote. Find out what the proposals are, and what they mean. Don't vote with your gut; guts are for picking take-out. Most of us claim that we want democracy -- people to rule themselves -- so then we have a bit of work to do.

Not that I let the media off the hook either. Frankly, the American media should simply be sickened at what it has become. In 2004, over and over again the media questioned whether Kerry would "would do as good a job in the War on Terror as Bush has done", at the same time as the world's military and strategic communities were tearing their hair out at what a terrible mess Bush et al had made of it all. But the Hollywood story - Republicans are strong and pro-military (despite being strategically incompentant and eviserating verterans' support services) - was more important than, you know, reality. The media has abrogated its own responsibilities to put the truth and informing the public discourse first.
posted by jb at 7:50 PM on August 30, 2008 [49 favorites]


Just for the record, there is an abundance of religious language in the Declaration of Independence, and prayer has long been a part of the rituals in the Houses of Congress.

This is the entire constitutional basis of the concept of the separation of church and state:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The long-standing separation of church and state is the result of judicial interpretation of the first amendment, and not iron-clad constitutional language. It is crucial to remember this fact, because there are many literalists in the US–biblical literalists and constitutional literalists. It is not uncommon for these two literalist traits to sort together in one person. Literalists view neither the Bible nor the US Constitution as living, breathing documents, but rather as immutable commandments engraved on stone tablets handed down from on high.

Rigid belief systems like this offer psychic comfort to billions of people across the world who are terrified of punishment–punishment by God, by the Law, by their parents, by their bosses. Belief in a simple, clearly defined, immutable set of rules allays the fears of punishment among the masses, but it does not immunize them from depradation by the powerful; instead, it guarantees that these people will accede to the horrors visited upon them by those who hold power. When people prostrate themselves to rigid belief systems, they submit to and empower the cruel whims of the arbiters of those systems.

There is a large block of voters in the US whose belief system holds that abortion is a mortal sin, no matter the context. The Republican party has discovered that it can attach nearly any depraved rider to this bill, and it will pass unanimously in the congress of the religious right. The cynical manipulation of the fearful by so-called Christians in government and in the various hard-line ministries is deplorable and un-Christian, but also shockingly predictable. You must understand that the people you dismiss as stupid are only stupid because they are blinded by fear–they literally fear the fires of hell if they vote for Obama, because their radicalized churches tell them that voting for someone who supports Roe v Wade will indeed condemn them to the lake of fire. While they may understand that the policies of the government that they helped to create often hurt them economically, they do not believe they are voting against their own interests in the long term, because the long term is eternity.

posted by Mister_A at 8:00 PM on August 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


No, what I AM saying is that she and her husband WERE the average American. She is no elitist looking down from an intellectual ivory tower. She was no child of privilege born with the proverbial silver spoon.

Are you talking about Obama here? Seriously? McCain was the son and grandson of US Navy Admirals, people who walked the halls of power within the US government... that's a lot closer to silver spoon territory than anything in Obama's personal history prior to law school.

And I'm sorry for the tone... but please spare me the "ivory tower elitist" talk. Here's a fact you may not realize about college professors:

At one time, most of them were broke-ass graduate students, often living below the poverty level for years at a time.

My partner, one of my brothers and a few of my friends are pursuing PhDs right now, and not a one of them has two nickels to rub together. One would think that people who overcome financial adversity and go on to get good jobs would be celebrated by those who drive the Republican narrative... except wait, they don't agree with Republicans because they've actually been poor and know what the fuck it's like, so screw 'em.

(And to be honest, most of the "ivory tower academics" who seem to have any noticable effect on American political discourse are... wait for it... Republicans. People like Wolfowitz [PhD in poli sci from the University of Chicago], and Condi Rice [PhD in poli sci from the University of Denver, Stanford faculty member and provost], and countless intellectuals working in the rarefied environment of the conservative think tanks, where they don't have to form unions and deal with budget cuts like those professors. The only liberal academic [besides Obama, and he was never a full-time university professor like, say, Secretary Rice] I can think of offhand who has had any sort of effect on contemporary, popular political discourse is maaaybe George Lakoff. Maybe.)

I'm sorry, but when I hear someone talk about elitist academics who don't realize the hardships those people have faced to get a decent job, I know I'm not dealing with a serious person.
posted by the_bone at 8:09 PM on August 30, 2008 [31 favorites]


On preview: kind of what jb said, just angrier.
posted by the_bone at 8:11 PM on August 30, 2008


Crap, I forgot why I even came into this thread:

45+ Problems for McCain's Veep in Just 35 Hours

John McCain Is Ruining Sarah Palin's Life
posted by the_bone at 8:26 PM on August 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


jb writes "Seriously, I find the whole academic=elite meme really offensive."

"Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded."
posted by orthogonality at 8:33 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


othogonality, I wonder if your pollster has a source for the claim he/she makes in your quote?

If this is true, Palin will indeed "scare the hell out of the soccer moms," not to mention a good number of a partially overlapping demographic, conservative prolifers.

That's an extreme enough view that I have to be skeptical. Has Palin really come out and said that?
posted by torticat at 8:36 PM on August 30, 2008


Remember also that the other work she has done-such as the commercial fishing-gives her a real perspective on what is important to the average American. That is a perspective that a lot of people inside the Beltway truly lack.

Let's not forget that Obama worked at a Baskin Robbins.
posted by birdherder at 8:43 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


torticat writes "othogonality, I wonder if your pollster has a source for the claim he/she makes in your quote?"

Honestly, that was the first I've seen it, and I have no further cite.
posted by orthogonality at 8:49 PM on August 30, 2008


Well, she's a member of Feminists for Life, which, from what I understand, ARE for birth control. So I doubt she doesn't believe in any birth control.
posted by agregoli at 8:49 PM on August 30, 2008


Let me spell it out....she and her husband have been blue collar workers. She will understand the blue collar subculture. And blue collar people will relate to her.
posted by konolia at 8:51 PM on August 30, 2008


jb: Seriously, I find the whole academic=elite meme really offensive. Say what you like about academics - that they are quarellsome and argumentative, the sucessful ones can be at times arrogant, that they are so independant minded they can have trouble working together -- but one thing they are not (as a group) is socially elitist.

I think this is extremely dependent on locality; here in Boston, for example, there is an unambiguous, historic subtext of tension and class-envy between the academic and working worlds. People who go to MIT and Harvard are generally not from, and certainly not destined for, the average economic stratum of the surrounding population, nor do they resemble it demographically.
posted by kid ichorous at 8:52 PM on August 30, 2008


but there are lots of below average Americans who are too stupid to know what's going on, and are therefore easily manipulated by bullshit.

And lots of them are also left-wingers. Trust me- the right doesn't have a monopoly on uninformed idiots.

And jb, academics may be broke, but they're better than Those Guys Who Work In Factories. In Berkeley I've never run into that attitude, though I've never been to school here, either, but IU Bloomington's liberal arts grad school was rotten with it. The classism there was truly shocking. (And lots and lots of students in these schools were from long lines of academics- and felt pretty superior about it. I guess they'd HAVE to be snobby about it. How else could you justify being low-income for generations PLUS generally unable to function outside academia? I will never forget my department head's quote: "Get one of those knuckle-draggers up here to help me set up my voicemail." Disgusting. And pathetic.)
posted by small_ruminant at 8:52 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


...or I could just look around a bit myself.

See here. ("she is pro-contraception," etc.)

Still no direct quotes, so take it fwiw.
posted by torticat at 8:53 PM on August 30, 2008


Sarah Palin scrubs her own Wikipedia entry?
posted by effwerd at 8:59 PM on August 30, 2008


"Get one of those knuckle-draggers up here to help me set up my voicemail."

Clearly wasn't the head of either the anthropology or the computer science departments.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:01 PM on August 30, 2008


Her very existence on the ticket is an god damned insult. It's basically a cynical admission that the base constituency of the Republican party are complete idiots.

Well, I think the Democratic Party picking Obama over Hillary already proved that solid experience is not always what a party is looking for in a candidate. Hillary at least was married to a chief executive. And neither Obama or McCain has ever held an executive position.

Perhaps we need to have a rule that only former governors can run for President, if we really want to do more than give lip service to the idea we have "qualified " candidates.
posted by konolia at 9:01 PM on August 30, 2008


Palin becomes President, screws things up worse, lesson learned: don't let women have power.

And y'know, I suspect that would be fine with the Republican party.

And, hey, come back in 2012 with a manly-man who will "put things right." Yet another four years of power.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 PM on August 30, 2008


...and then we go into the ballot box, and we vote to keep the hungry unfed, and we vote to keep the unclothed naked, and we vote to keep those sick and in prison unvisited, and we vote to keep strangers unwelcome, and we vote for neverending war.

how many meals you serve to the homeless this week? how much unused clothing in your closets? how many sickbeds and prison cells you see this week? voting doesn't impact any of that shit, YOU do.
posted by quonsar at 9:24 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, she's a member of Feminists for Life, which, from what I understand, ARE for birth control. So I doubt she doesn't believe in any birth control.

Actually, FFL sorta darts around contraception.
Feminists for Life's mission is to address the unmet needs of women who are pregnant or parenting. Preconception issues including abstinence and contraception are outside of our mission. Some FFL members and supporters support the use of non-abortifacient contraception while others oppose contraception for a variety of reasons. FFL is concerned that certain forms of contraception have had adverse health effects on women.

Our membership enjoys a broad spectrum of opinion that reflects the diversity of opinions among the American public.
This article indicates FFL like most other pro-life groups is against contraception
Today, pro-life groups in the U.S. are reclassifying the most common contraception methods, including the birth control pill, the patch, the IUD and the depo-shot, as “abortifacients,” claiming, with no scientific backing, that they cause abortions. On their website, Feminists for Life classifies emergency contraception as an abortion method. If this were true, Feminists for Life should also classify 40 percent of all birth control methods as abortion methods because they all have the same mode of action as emergency contraception.
Now Gov. Palin may be "pro-contraception" as she indicated in the interview torticat linked to, but that doesn't mean it is policy of FFL. This post on DailyKOS has some interesting notes on FFL's position or non-position on birth control.
posted by birdherder at 9:25 PM on August 30, 2008


she and her husband have been blue collar workers. She will understand the blue collar subculture. And blue collar people will relate to her.

Wow, great. That puts her in an excellent position to advocate on behalf of this "subculture" in an advisory capacity to those who are making decisions. It doesn't qualify her for the big job itself.

If a decision process was being made in the design of a new automobile, I could possibly add a few suggestions. I've driven a car all my life. I don't think that would qualify me to become the president (or vice president) of Toyota.

Well, I think the Democratic Party picking Obama over Hillary already proved that solid experience is not always what a party is looking for in a candidate.

McCain based his whole campaign on chiding Obama's lack of experience.

And neither Obama or McCain has ever held an executive position.

Here's the new buzzword straight from the new talking point boilerplate.
"Executive Experience" = Governor of the least densely populated state for 16 months?
posted by damo at 9:28 PM on August 30, 2008


Hillary at least was married to a chief executive.

Chris Rock had a good bit about this: “I’ve been with my wife for 10 years now,” he said. “If she got onstage right now, y’all wouldn’t laugh at all.”

66 days before the election, out comes somebody with basically no experience that is a heartbeat away from the presidency, and you want to compare that to someone who has been getting scrutinized, attacked, responded, traveled across the country giving talks big and small, having every single word dissected since Spring 2007?? Obama has been investigated, raked over the coals, produced his tax records, had people questioning everything about him.

Not. Obama IS American. He is a great American. If I had a kid I would want him to grow up and make the most of his mind and his body and his opportunities. For you to imply that Obama is somehow less American? What's that about? That's lame.
posted by cashman at 9:29 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


interesting, the dismissive tone and scoffing of some here vs Camille Paglia's take:
"We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling. That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails."
Sure wouldn't guess even things were 10% of that by the cocky, sneering comments here!
posted by dawson at 9:29 PM on August 30, 2008


So apparently this most recent scandal isn't the first time Palin's been in trouble for possibly abusing the power of her office to fire someone.

Some citizens of Wasilia were considering pushing for a recall of her.

I don't have much to say to the general thrust(s) of the thread beyond the fact that I think if she makes it that long, this will be the most hilarious VP debate ever (or at least in my lifetime).

This feels seriously like a Harriet Miers moment to me.
posted by sparkletone at 9:35 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let me spell it out....she and her husband have been blue collar workers. She will understand the blue collar subculture. And blue collar people will relate to her.

What, do you think academics can only come out of white-collar families? My dad started working outdoors on a farm in Switzerland when he was age 5, and never stopped... he's currently a construction foreman in his early sixties who still does physical labor for nine hours a day. He drinks a six-pack a day, cusses up a storm, works like an ox, throws darts and goes camping for two weeks at a time, and became an American citizen a couple of years ago partly so he could vote against Republicans. My mom, whom I lived with when my parents split, had serious health problems and was on AFDC when I was living with her. My partner's parents grew up in poverty overseas (and incidentally are super-evangelical Christians who are nevertheless extremely liberal/leftist on economic issues... because they grew up outside of the US, and, again, were actually incredibly poor). I went to a major conservatory on my own dime, my brother is getting a PhD in literature on his own dime (save for the fact that he lives with our dad because, again, grad students are some of the broke-est motherfuckers around), my partner left an $80K/year programming gig to do a PhD in comp lit on her own dime and is at the end of her rope financially right now while she finishes her dissertation. So, how could you imply that people like myself, and my brother, and kaiserin can't relate to blue-collar worries? How dare you imply that? The final, galling irony here is that you're using this implication to slam Obama, who came from inauspicious beginnings, and who actually spent a chunk of time working with/for poor people before going on to law school.

Oh, wait. I'm sorry. Your line I quoted above wasn't about reality, it was about politics. She'll "understand" the blue-collar subculture, whatever the fuck that is, so that the Republicans can exploit it. Blue-collar people will "relate" to her, and thus vote against their best interests. It's telling that there was nothing in your comment implying that she might actually help these blue-collar people. As someone who grew up working class, I'll tell you that any blue-collar worker I know (who spends less than two hours a week in church, which is not to say that these folks aren't religious) knows that, rhetoric aside, the Republican Party is not, and never will be, the friend of the working man.
posted by the_bone at 9:39 PM on August 30, 2008 [23 favorites]


and working woman. [NOT SEXIST]
posted by the_bone at 9:45 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Perhaps we need to have a rule that only former governors can run for President, if we really want to do more than give lip service to the idea we have "qualified " candidates.

See: the last eight years.
posted by neroli at 9:47 PM on August 30, 2008


Perhaps we need to have a rule that only former governors can run for President, if we really want to do more than give lip service to the idea we have "qualified " candidates.

Or perhaps that is an absolutely ridiculous idea, and some people would do well to just stick with the party line of "executive experience blah blah blah" instead of trying to expound on it.

I mean, there have been some pretty darn good US Presidents among the 63% of them who never served as a governor before becoming president.
posted by Balonious Assault at 9:48 PM on August 30, 2008


When it comes time to pull that lever, there will be blue collar workers who will feel they have a lot more in common with Palin than Obama/Biden. Just sayin'.


When it comes right down to it, for many people voting is an emotional act. Obama is a master at producing those emotions, and convincing people he can actually do all those things he has promised. When I read his speech (then later watched it) all I could think of is, heck, all you gotta do is get up there and say you will do this, say you will do that, and the sheeple will swoon, and the fireworks will go off, and the music will soar, and the photogenic candidate and his photogenic wife and their adorable photogenic kids will be standing their looking totally like what a presidential family should look like.

Smoke and mirrors.


So mock Palin if you must. But if you think Obama/Biden is substantially better, it is only because you have neglected to look behind the curtain.
posted by konolia at 9:49 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Smoke and mirrors.

Worked for Bush.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:52 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Just what makes a "qualified" candidate?

Both Roosevelt's did not serve full terms as governor of New York, before FDR became president and Teddy became VP (Pres after McKinley's assasination) - both were great Presidents.

LBJ was succesful at getting what he wanted through congress, as he was an astute master of the senate.

What I think has been overlooked is the unbelievable rise of Barack Obama and what it says about him and his skills. As a life long Chicagoan I am amazed at what he has accomplished as an outsider. I live in the hot bed of nepotism. Not just the Daleys, but the former President of the Cook County board, John Stroger left his job to his son, Tod Stroger (in a county with a population of 5.3 million, an incredible tax base and helm of a patronage army), The president of the State Senate Emil Jones just gave his job to Emil junior

The head of the Illinois House of Representatives' daughter is Attorney General and expected to be the next governor. I often feel I live in the crookedest place in the world, and we locals have grown entirely too immune to it.

Well into this bastion comes an out of towner, Mr Obama, unconnected but with high hopes. And 15 years later he is the Democratic nominee for President. This is where Jesse Jackson thought his son Jesse Junior might be.

He did it with his obvious great personal charisma, incredible intellectual gifts and a sense of humor. But what I hear people praise him for is his ability to build a consensus. He has the ability to speak clearly and adroitly, letting people rise to their better natures.

He has been able to come out of Illinois politics without any hint of personal corrption (no mean feat) and generally well liked by even his opponents. And he seems to genuinely like the job he's doing.

This, I think, makes for a qualified candidate.

He understands what needs to be done to make our country great, he is a lover and scholar of the constitution, and he is a natural leader of people. I hope he proves to be one of our greatest presidents. I only wish McCain hadn't pulled this bone headed pick just to steal Obama's thunder from the most immpressive political speech I have ever witnessed.

And I will not be suprised if this is a "Harriet Myers" place holder deal. This is just too weird, in many respects.
posted by readery at 9:57 PM on August 30, 2008 [19 favorites]


Perhaps we need to have a rule that only former governors can run for President, if we really want to do more than give lip service to the idea we have "qualified " candidates.

See, konolia, we don't have such a rule, which means that me or thee are free to use any qualification standndard we want in supporting or criticizing a candidate. But the point at hand is at hand because the McCain campaign has made it a central campaign issue for the last umpty months. Picking Palin is as much as an admission "Oh, whoops, we didn't mean any of that shit. Our bad!"

I think you have it backwards. When they married, McCain was the trophy husband.

Exactly. The GOP spent $millions portraying Kerry as the trophy husband in HIS marriage. It was intended to make him look dependent and emasculate him.

Sarah Palin scrubs her own Wikipedia entry?

That's nuts. One of the first edits the user made was to redirect his user page to his user talk page. That's the mark of a pretty experienced editor. As to the timing, it could have been mere prescience.
posted by dhartung at 10:06 PM on August 30, 2008


"But- but McCain is a Republican! Surely there must be some higher, mysterious, secret power at work that we're just not seeing." No, sometimes a bad move is just a bad move.

I think the best way to look at it comes from a line by Hal Holbrook/Deep Throat in All The President's Men: "The truth is these are not very bright guys, and things got a little out of hand."

Before accepting a conspiratorial explanation for anything, always consider the possibility that it's all just some average guys who let things get out of hand.
posted by jonp72 at 10:06 PM on August 30, 2008


Actually, the more I think about it.

If it's not a "Harriet Miers" moment, it's totally a Thomas Eagleton moment.

I think I spelled that right. It's been a long time since I read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.
posted by sparkletone at 10:08 PM on August 30, 2008


Yeah, and I am a working class kid still living in the same neighborhood as ever, trying to make ends meet, just like my neighbors.

Sarah Palin's family income has consistently been six figures in an oil rich state. They own three homes and probably a fleet of snowmobiles. I don't think she speaks for me.
posted by readery at 10:08 PM on August 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


who will feel they have a lot more in common with Palin than Obama/Biden. Just sayin'.

Indeed.
posted by homunculus at 10:16 PM on August 30, 2008


the_bone: the Republican Party is not, and never will be, the friend of the working man.

This year's Republican National Convention is designed to showcase their scorn for the working man/woman: they're opening their convention on Labor Day (which was once a holiday to honor Labor...).
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:17 PM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


When it comes time to pull that lever, there will be blue collar workers who will feel they have a lot more in common with Obama than McMansion/Palin. Just sayin'.

When it comes right down to it, for many people voting is an emotional act. McCain is a master at producing those emotions by saying he's a P.O.W., or by trying to scare them with talk about surrendering, or by misrepresenting his opponents positions. When I read his srecord all I could think of is, heck, all you gotta do is put a woman up there, and you don't say out loud you will vote against women's rights as most see them, and the sheeple will cower in fear, and the "she's a woman!" fireworks will go off, and the harley engines will roar, and the American candidate and his "She IS American" running mate and their war-related stories will be standing there looking totally like what all the other presidents have looked like.

Fear and trickery.


So mock Obama if you must. But if you think McCain/Palin is substantially better, it is only because you have neglected to look past the fear, at the record.
posted by cashman at 10:21 PM on August 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


She is no elitist looking down from an intellectual ivory tower.

You hateful bigot.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:53 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


You hateful bigot.

huh?
posted by small_ruminant at 10:56 PM on August 30, 2008


The only liberal academic [besides Obama, and he was never a full-time university professor like, say, Secretary Rice] I can think of offhand who has had any sort of effect on contemporary, popular political discourse is maaaybe George Lakoff. Maybe

Bill and Hillary have both been law professors. In fact, the judge in the Monica Lewinski mess actually had Bill as one of her professors.
but there are lots of below average Americans who are too stupid to know what's going on, and are therefore easily manipulated by bullshit.
And lots of them are also left-wingers. Trust me- the right doesn't have a monopoly on uninformed idiots.


I never said they were, I but I was talking about swing voters specifically. A lot of the political advertising you see wouldn't work on most people, who actually are paying attention and read or watch the news and know what's going on. They've mostly made up their minds -- based on whatever criteria is important to them.

When it comes time to pull that lever, there will be blue collar workers who will feel they have a lot more in common with Palin than Obama/Biden. Just sayin'.

Well, I don't know who they'll feel like they'll have more in common with, but most of them will vote for the democratic ticket, as they have in the last few presidential elections. It's just a fact that lower middle class and working class people are more likely to vote Democratic. It's towards the upper end of the middle class where you find most of the republican voters. Higher then that, and the population is too small to make much of a difference.

Also, it's kind of weird to suggest that they won't feel comfortable with Biden, who seems to be well loved by working class people. And wouldn't they be more worried about the actual top of the ticket and John "how many houses" McCain? The guy spends $270,000 on personal staff like butlers and maids.
posted by delmoi at 11:00 PM on August 30, 2008


People who go to MIT and Harvard are generally not from, and certainly not destined for, the average economic stratum of the surrounding population, nor do they resemble it demographically.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:52 PM on August 30 [+] [!]


We can discuss access problems in higher education in another thread, but it's been my experience that post-graduate education even at elite universities is quite diverse in class origins. I'm speaking only anecdotally, as no one does stats on grad students, but a substantial number come from middle class and working class and poor backgrounds. Post-graduate programs draw from a diverse group of undergraduate universities, including many American state universities and international state universities which are themselves more accessible to lower income students. I know tenured academics (leaving students aside) whose fathers were farm labourers, miners, shop keepers, or factory workers, just as I know academics whose parents were other academics or professionals. Many academics are the first in their family to go to university.

I'm not saying that academics know all walks of life -- just that they are substantially less elite than just about anyone else with their level of education, and a lot less elite than the business or political leaders who love to paint them as being elite and out of touch. They do tend to be more well-read than the average citizen, but then again, that reading tends to be very specialised -- and they can be shockingly ignorant about somethings (like email -- see the above comment). But what I've seen of academics is that they are often more aware of economic realities of poor and working class people than most other middle class or higher people I've met - many because they have been there. I supose there is the rare perfectly well-funded academic whose degree didn't overrun, never took adjunct lecturing position or had to do a post-doc. But they are the crazy ones. Most are very familiar with pasta and chick peas on sale. (69 cents a can at Shaws right now - that was great).

And the vast majority of academics in North America work at non-elite universities, where they teach students who are themselves often the first in their families to go to university, and who have to work 20 hours a week to pay for tuition and/or live at home with all the distractions and family strife (esp due to economic problems) -- the teachers get all this back.
posted by jb at 11:08 PM on August 30, 2008


Why are you guys getting so pissy at Konolia because she's arguing that Palin appeals to the the Republican base? I mean, shit, I think we can all safely say that she's more familiar with that demographic than anybody else here. What are we getting out of yelling "No they don't! No they don't!"

If I were really interested in gathering voters, rather than dismissing her endorsement of Palin as balderdash, I would listen to why she (and others) like Palin and figure out how to change their like to dislike.

This pick is GREAT for courting the base, because Palin has conservative values and that same backwoodsy "Aw, shucks, me be the President? Well, I will if you guys want me to! Let's all have a beer!" schtick that Bush had and appeals to many, many voters.

Konolia, I'm sorry if you have already asked been asked this question and I missed it, this is a pretty huge thread. Are you comfortable with the amount of experience that Palin has had? Do you think she's qualified to be President if something were to happen to McCain? Were there any other potential VP candidates that you would have preferred? I ask this honestly, I know in a thread it's hard to not read everything as snark but I'd really like your perspective.
posted by schroedinger at 11:59 PM on August 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


DEMOCRATS TAKE WARNING: McCain just closed the evangelical vote
posted by homunculus at 12:00 AM on August 31, 2008


Palin's Buddy Pat Buchanan on Women
"More of the views that apparently attracted McCain's VP choice, Sarah Palin, to Pat Buchanan:
2007: 'The rise of women to power in a civilization is very often the mark of its decline.'

-- Pat Buchanan, On The McLaughlin Group, July 6, 2007

1983: 'Rail as they will against "discrimination," women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism…The momma bird builds the nest. So it was, so it ever shall be. Ronald Reagan is not responsible for this; God is."'

-- Pat Buchanan, Washington Times. November 18, 1983"
posted by ericb at 12:16 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin Connects with a Key Place: Exurban America -- "Just-settled edges of U.S. cities could be central to the GOP ticket's success."
posted by ericb at 12:21 AM on August 31, 2008


Was the evangelical vote ever really up for grabs?
posted by kid ichorous at 12:24 AM on August 31, 2008


Was the evangelical vote ever really up for grabs?

Obama has repeatedly said he wants to reach out to religious voters, there are liberal evangelicals. But of course the hard-core konolia type we typically consider as the "evangelical voter" was feared by the GOP to be unexcited and thus unlikely to turn out. And not only that, but the evangelical base is also key to the republican GOTV (get out the vote) operations.
posted by delmoi at 12:34 AM on August 31, 2008


Why are you guys getting so pissy at Konolia because she's arguing that Palin appeals to the the Republican base?

We're all quite aware that the Republican VP candidate will attract Republican votes, as well as what schtick the McCain team will be using to make Palin more appealing. I think the issue is with what Konolia believes Obama is or isn't, as opposed to what Palin is or isn't. That's what seems to be getting the biggest reaction from people here anyway, if I'm reading this correctly.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:36 AM on August 31, 2008


konolia writes "Obama is a master at producing those emotions... all I could think of is, heck, all you gotta do is get up there and say you will do this, say you will do that, and the sheeple will swoon,"

Wait, a McCain supporter just said "sheeple"?

I mean, konolia's never even been to reddit.com, right? Much less been a 9/11 Truther.

You're hurting my head, konolia!
posted by orthogonality at 1:15 AM on August 31, 2008


This thread. Wow.
posted by cj_ at 2:21 AM on August 31, 2008


DEMOCRATS TAKE WARNING: McCain just closed the evangelical vote

From the link: And it doesn't help that some believe Obama to be Muslim and the Anti-Christ: The Man who will create a One-World Government and bring in the Apocalypse. 12% of Americans believe this thanks to the power of viral emails.

That's got to be bullshit.
posted by kisch mokusch at 2:23 AM on August 31, 2008


He's playing to the undecideds, here, but he risks losing his Republican base.

Unless you are really uncharismatic, fail to push party lines, or come across as a chump, you will never really lose your base. Strong Republicans not going to vote for Obama just because they don't like Palin! On the other hand, undecideds are absolutely who you want to go for, and a woman, at least, is a good choice for this. Other options for VP to show diversity -- a black or Latino male VP -- might have come across as "copying" Obama. Going for a woman makes it seem like they're fulfilling a dream.

I just hope this election doesn't become a taste of whether America is more racist, or more sexist.

Also, the solution to the OMG PUMA supporters voting for McCain thing is to use Hillary in targeted ads. Find the areas where McCain is ahead because of disgruntled PUMAs and put Hillary on every billboard saying, "If you support what I fought for, vote for Obama."
posted by Deathalicious at 3:59 AM on August 31, 2008


500 comments later, I have two thoughts on this sort of distasteful but deliciously trashy whose-daughter-is-it-anyway thing...

(1) They named one son "Track" because he was born during track season? The boy in question is named "Trig"? Has anyone looked into which classes high-schooler Bristol was taking in the semester before she vanished from school for six months? How large are these classes? How many... boys? Who's the (gulp) teacher?

(2) If Gov Palin did indeed cover up her daughter's pregnancy by claiming the child as her own, that isn't necessarily going to look bad to the very conservative, old-fashioned type of voter, is it? Forty or fifty years ago... that's just what one did, after all, and it was understood that it was not talked about.. Calling her out for it, in fact, would itself be the height of rudeness, like commenting on daddy's drinky drinky problem.
posted by rokusan at 4:04 AM on August 31, 2008


And it doesn't help that some believe Obama to be Muslim and the Anti-Christ: The Man who will create a One-World Government and bring in the Apocalypse.

Well... every time I hear the McCain camp call him "the One" or place some other faux-flattering biblical label on Obama, I hear dogs howl. They are most definitely pushing that button over and over again.
posted by rokusan at 4:05 AM on August 31, 2008


Calling her out for it, in fact, would itself be the height of rudeness, like commenting on daddy's drinky drinky problem.

I'm not so sure about that. The voters have a right to know, don't you think?
Perhaps the matter could be cleared up by calling several hundred thousand registered Republicans and ask them whether this is an issue for them: "If you knew that the father of Trig Palin is not Sarah's husband Todd Palin but actually a student from Wasilla High School, would you be more or less likely to vote for Sarah Palin?"
posted by sour cream at 5:05 AM on August 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


6 things Palin pick says about 'maverick' McCain

• 1. He's desperate. Let's stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters - and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election and seem very sick of the Bush years.

McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.

McCain's pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even "mavericks" like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning - or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.


This is important to remember. I hope that the dem side can keep from coming apart at the seams over a move that was basically rooted in weakness... and most especially avoid further inflaming already raw feelings related to perceived and overt sexism, because whatever else McCain gains by naming her, she will also be bait for this sort of rotten behavior. VPILF wasn't a great beginning. It's also not promising that so many people are saying, "oh poo - now nobody can attack her on the issues because it will be seen as sexist/mean". Not true. Please do argue the issues, and not her reproductive system. Ask the hard questions, and stop worrying about how she's going to breastfeed as VP. Etc. She's a candidate for Vice President of the United States; crying that she can't be confronted on actual issues because she's a woman is just more stupid sexism, and that's not really helping anyone right now - especially the Democratic party.
posted by taz at 5:09 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


sour cream writes "'If you knew that the father of Trig Palin is not Sarah's husband Todd Palin but actually a student from Wasilla High School, would you be more or less likely to vote for Sarah Palin?'"

What, is Trig a illegitimate black baby?
posted by orthogonality at 5:17 AM on August 31, 2008


So mock Palin if you must. But if you think Obama/Biden is substantially better, it is only because you have neglected to look behind the curtain.

HiLARious.
posted by tristeza at 5:31 AM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


Palin has more executive governmental experience than Obama and Biden combined.

By that measure, she has more than McCain as well.


Technically, Michael Scott from "The Office" has more executive experience than Obama, Biden, and McCain.

Scott/Schrute '08!
posted by EarBucket at 5:49 AM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let me spell it out....she and her husband have been blue collar workers. She will understand the blue collar subculture. And blue collar people will relate to her.

i work at a factory as a blue collar worker and my blue collar co-workers have a phrase for those who would vote for mccain and palin - "you're working democratic but you're voting republican"

yeah, we "relate" to them - we relate to them as management, not as rank and file

and that's how things are in the world of blue-collar, pro-union, yankee NASCAR democrats
posted by pyramid termite at 5:51 AM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


More seriously, though, running a presidential campaign is a lot like running a large corporation. And the Obama campaign is the biggest, most well-organized campaign in history. He's been the head of a political machine that's been firing on all cylinders and has taken over the Democratic party from within, defeating Hillary, who had every advantage in the world. Whatever else you think about him, it's clear he's a hell of a manager.
posted by EarBucket at 5:51 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Konolia, I'm sorry if you have already asked been asked this question and I missed it, this is a pretty huge thread. Are you comfortable with the amount of experience that Palin has had? Do you think she's qualified to be President if something were to happen to McCain? Were there any other potential VP candidates that you would have preferred? I ask this honestly, I know in a thread it's hard to not read everything as snark but I'd really like your perspective.

First, I don't think McCain is about to kick the bucket any time soon. He can afford the finest of health care, for one thing. He is someone I trust with foreign policy and I also trust that he will see that his VP gets up to speed quickly.

Second of all, although her experience is limited, it has been the right kind of experience. I also like the fact that she ISN't one of those folks who have been around the political block forever. Fresh face, fresh ideas. Don't discount that. (After all, isn't that why so many folks are nuts for Obama?)

Third, there is NO ONE else out there, male or female that would have excited me. I am frankly as thrilled McCain DIDN'T pick Romney as I am that he DID pick Palin. I detest Romney. None of his reputed top four choices were people I was particularly interested in.

Fourth, don't underestimate the fact that there were a lot of folks out here planning to sit out the election because of their dislike of McCain, my own son one of them. Many of these folks are rethinking that position.
posted by konolia at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2008


If Gov Palin did indeed cover up her daughter's pregnancy by claiming the child as her own

The "evidence" for this claim is that Palin allegedly doesn't "look pregnant" in photos taken from October 2007-April 2008, while her daughter allegedly does "look pregnant": "Well, Sarah, I'm calling you a liar. And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson... Bristol is pregnant in these pictures. She is not carrying belly fat, which grows outwardly wide, and does not become dome-shaped."

Except:

1) Sarah Palin wore loose and/or heavy clothes during this period. It was winter in Alaska. While many people were unable to notice, some people who observed her in person in the final months quickly recognized that she was pregnant: "Of course I had to check out the “Hottest Governor in the US” and quickly turned to see her pregnant (she has since had her baby) with bags and daughter in tote."

2) Palin's own doctor has been quoted in the press about the birth and performing delivery procedures on Palin: "... she consulted with her doctor, family physician Cathy Baldwin-Johnson... The contractions slowed to one or two an hour, "which is not active labor," the doctor said... Baldwin-Johnson said she had to induce labor, and the baby didn't come until 6:30 a.m. Friday."

3) The photo of Bristol Palin's alleged pregnant belly was taken in late 2006 or early 2007; the children in the photo are all clearly listed as 2 years younger than they are now. Was Bristol Palin pregnant for 15 months?


So can we please stop humiliating a teenage girl yet?
posted by dgaicun at 6:12 AM on August 31, 2008 [12 favorites]


Wow, I hope that the Palins are not in charge of naming any more people or things. Cuz, Trig? Wow.
posted by Mister_A at 6:39 AM on August 31, 2008


He is someone I trust with foreign policy

That's a stunning admission. The man who sees military intervention as the solution to almost every international kerfuffle, in addition to his doubling and tripling and quadrupling down in Iraq because his ego won't permit him to admit that he was wrong?

This is someone that I don't want ANYWHERE NEAR foreign policy.
posted by psmealey at 6:59 AM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


So can we please stop humiliating a teenage girl yet?

Agreed.

Guys, by all reports she's been breastfeeding this child. While it is possible to induce lactation in a woman who has not given birth, its difficult. If she is nursing this baby, it'll be obvious to just about everyone who works with her or travels with her -- even if its just that she's disapearing every so often to pump and then there's bottles of breastmilk in the 'fridge.
posted by anastasiav at 7:08 AM on August 31, 2008


DEMOCRATS TAKE WARNING: McCain just closed the evangelical vote
Oh please. Evangelicals are extremists, and will show up to vote for Republicans no matter who is on the ticket. Does anyone seriously believe otherwise? Is there any data suggesting right-wing extremists were going to stay home on election day until Palin was announced? Color me extremely skeptical. Yes, they may now be making ringing endorsements of her, but that is not the same as them changing their vote. These people are thoroughly invested in the Republican party and will vote for them no matter who is VP.

Look, there is an ongoing culture war in this country that still hasn't come to head. We saw a lot of it in the 60s, and it has reared its ugly head now and then in the interim, and we're seeing it again in full force now. There's a huge divide in this country, and a lot of people fall on the Conservative side, whether you guys like it or not. To them, it's not so much about embracing Republican policies as it is about rejecting progressive ideas, because they are threatening to them.

The Republican party grokked this over a decade ago and have had so much success that they've transformed every aspect of this country to be in line with their beliefs, but somehow the supposedly smarter Liberals still have no fucking clue. Seriously, they have control of almost every aspect of this country -- our media, our economy, our social values -- and you still want to underestimate them because they are "stupid". Who's really being stupid here? The losers? Really, how does that work?

I think all the hand-wringing I see here about the VP choice is misguided. On the one hand you have the hopeless optimists who think that somehow her being a poor choice will hurt McCain's campaign. All I have to say to these people is, were you paying attention in 2004? Then on the other hand we have the cynics who think that somehow this decision was a hard-hitting blow to Obama's chances. What I say to you: We are already facing certain defeat. We are just going through the motions. No one except extreme partisans (like myself) give a shit about policy details. "Swing voters" (aka the stupidest people on the planet) will vote Republican because they hate faggots, niggers, and hippies (sorry for offensive terms). Spend less time on Internet forums and talk to these people and realize that their opinion is entirely based on hatred for one or more of the above.

The Republican party has cunningly capitalized on these fears and cultivated a boogeyman -- the Liberal -- while the Democrats have sat around arguing amongst themselves about whether everyone should be treated as if they were smart or stupid. We are fucking failing.

I really really hope I'm wrong about everything, and that Obama will sweep this election and steer our country back in the direction we deserve. I don't see this happening right now though. The extreme cluelessness I see in this thread about what's really happening in this election makes me very depressed.
posted by cj_ at 7:15 AM on August 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


Also, yes, lay off the "her 16yo daughter got pregnant and she pretended to be the mother" angle. Just let it go. It's almost certainly the case, but what you don't realize is that calling her out for this will totally backfire. I don't know about everyone else here, but I come from a disfunctional family myself. Attacking this woman's family is a sure way to look like an asshole.

I know you think that it makes her a hypocrite for being against birth control. But in reality she's being extremely consistent with her stated beliefs.
posted by cj_ at 7:28 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, yes, lay off the "her 16yo daughter got pregnant and she pretended to be the mother" angle. Just let it go. It's almost certainly the case...


Oh for fucks sake, did you even read my post? The whole basis for the rumor is a "pregnant" picture of the daughter.... taken in 2006!


... derrr, looks ma, da evydence Ubama is Muzzum.
posted by dgaicun at 7:38 AM on August 31, 2008


Oh please. Evangelicals are extremists, and will show up to vote for Republicans no matter who is on the ticket. Does anyone seriously believe otherwise? Is there any data suggesting right-wing extremists were going to stay home on election day until Palin was announced? Color me extremely skeptical. Yes, they may now be making ringing endorsements of her, but that is not the same as them changing their vote. These people are thoroughly invested in the Republican party and will vote for them no matter who is VP.

You're right, Evangelicals can be counted on to turn out for the Republican candidate. Many of them weren't that jazzed about McCain and as mefi's own Konolia said, his VP choice has brought excitement to the base. This is the difference between between blowing off going to the polling place if the weather is bad or something comes up and making sure you go. This is the difference between getting you just voting and getting up early and making sure you vote and everyone you know votes. That's what Gov. Palin brings.

It it won't matter in New York or California which are solid blue. The choice didn't matter in the solid red states. It comes down to the rural counties in the swing states. Like 2000 and 2004 it will come down to one or two states. Obama has been successful at getting out the vote but a lot of that success is in the places that would have voted for the democrat anyway.

Rove et al, aren't stupid. Clearly McCain has sold his soul to the machine to win this election at any cost. The straight talker from 2000 would kick the McCain of today's ass.
posted by birdherder at 7:51 AM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


The whole basis for the rumor is a "pregnant" picture of the daughter

Nah, there's more. It's the sudden announcement at 7 months, the leaking of fluid in Texas, yet insistence on giving a speech and then taking and 8 flight back and then going driving 45 minutes to a rural doctor to deliver the baby.

Even if the rumor isn't true, the above makes ya wonder about her judgement.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on August 31, 2008


Let me spell it out....she and her husband have been blue collar workers. She will understand the blue collar subculture. And blue collar people will relate to her.

Dear Konolia,

Answer me this. If Sarah Palin was a pro-life evangelical Republican named Muffy McFancyPants Rothschild-Rockefeller IV, you would still probably vote for her. But would you still call her "refreshing" and praise her ability to relate to blue-collar workers? You'd look pretty silly if you did.

You're a single-issue voter on the abortion issue. That's fine. That's your right as an American. I can even view it as noble, because as you see it, you believe that you are saving defenseless lives. What gets my goat (and probably gets the goat of some other MeFites too) is the disingenuous dog-whistle appeals and references to fishing, "America," the blue-collar subculture etc. etc.

I'm assuming you don't mean anything malicious by this. You don't seem like a prejudiced person to me. But when you say about Sarah Palin "She IS America," that really does legitimately irk some people, because it comes in the context of a fringe of McCain supporters who insist that Barack Obama is NOT America and CANNOT BE America. An evangelical pro-life Alaskan ex-beauty queen, mooseburger-eating, commercial-fishing, fur-wearing, recently pregnant governor IS America. But so is the interracial son of a Kenyan economist and a Kansas anthropologist, the grandson of Hawaiian grandparents, the nephew of a soldier who liberated a concentration camp, the little boy who went to both Catholic and Muslim elementary schools in Indonesia, the Harvard Law Review editor who passed up big bucks to do community organizing for chump change, the University of Chicago professor of constitutional law who played basketball on the side, the Illinois state legislator who won respect by playing in weekly bipartisan poker games with his Republican colleagues, the orator who came out of nowhere in 2004 to give a speech that revived their sense of patriotism and what they stand for... This man IS America too. And a legion of Barack Obama's supporters are not going to let you forget that.
posted by jonp72 at 7:57 AM on August 31, 2008 [58 favorites]


Actually I see Obama as more global. Think about it.

That's not a slam at him, that's actually a feature, and a strong point. But it doesn't help him relate to Joe Sixpack.
posted by konolia at 8:04 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, please. If his father was from Ireland instead of Africa, you wouldn't call him global.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:12 AM on August 31, 2008 [8 favorites]


Right on jonp.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:13 AM on August 31, 2008


Dear American liberal friends,

IGNORE HER UTERUS. I know that abortion rights are important, but you're not going to protect those rights by making this The Great Big Abortion Election. That's what they're trying to do.

For the first time in a long time, you've got a guy up front who can make the election about populist economic issues and win, and he can quote scripture a hundred times better than the Republican dude. The only way they win this is by dragging you back into another bloody culture war. Which you will lose, because you always lose those. Can't you see that this is what they want?

It doesn't matter how justified you think it might be to talk about her decision to have her baby, or her Secret Baby Conspiracy, or anything else that revolves around her uterus or the uteruses of her immediate family. I don't care how much you think it reveals her hypocrisy, or illuminates the danges of the anti-abortion movement, or whatever. It makes you sound like unpleasant assholes, and it will bring out Karl Rove's base in droves. Just ignore it. Sarah Palin's reproductive system can only lose you this election. So please, please, please do exactly what you've always wanted the government to do, and stay the hell out of it.

Regards, etc.
posted by flashboy at 8:14 AM</