Patterico's Pontifications


What’s Wrong With Palin?

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:04 pm

Posted by WLS:

Politico amplifies a whispering campaign now underway concerning the recent performances of Sarah Palin in her few exposures to a skeptical press corps.

Here’s my take — the McCain campaign is so concerned about staying on message and sticking with the narrative, they have tried to drill her with pre-programmed answers on a variety of subjects, rather than simply allow her to answer questions as she would if she weren’t part of a campaign team, and then deal after-the-fact with her remarks as needed.   

Since she’s been part of the McCain campaign for only 3 weeks of the past 8 years, its hardly surprising that she’s having trouble spitting up the campaign’s talking points in a coherent fashion.  Asking her do do so is only making her look like an idiot.

The much better course of action would be to simply allow her to answer questions in the same manner as if she were responding to contituents back in Alaska.  If she doesn’t know the answer to the question, don’t try to stuff some pre-programmed response that is tangentially related to the topic into an answer. 

When she’s answering questions you can see the gears spinning in her head trying to analyze both how she should answer and how her answer might be interpreted, rather than simply answering the question in an honest and straightforward way.

The campaign’s handling of her has made her appear to be both calculating AND uninformed at the same time. 

JUST LET HER ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THE WAY SHE WANTS TO, and deal with the consequences of the answers she gives after-the-fact.

82 Responses to “What’s Wrong With Palin?”

  1. Absolutly agree! Laura Ingraham pointed out today on her radio show that it would be good to let Gov. Palin go on talk radio and local media. She will NEVER impress the Dinosaur, Drive-By, Mainstream, Obama-Worshiping Media! But, going on talk radio and talking to local media will improve her skills in general. Time for the McCain campaign to let Saracuda loose!

    Mark J. Goluskin (7d94a9)

  2. Why is it verboten for a candidate to say “I don’t know”?

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  3. What’s wrong with Palin? She’s not media savvy. Apparently, that is what many people consider more important than her record (that’s right, she has a record of accomplishments, unlike some people).

    Yes, its time we all go post-politics, and right into present-performance. As in acting performance.
    With a media that isn’t interested in her opinions. It’s interested in shaping how she looks.

    When media savvy ranks above ideas, you’ll end up with the best snake oil salesman the networks can buy.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  4. Also, it’s quite funny that Obama’s supporters are pointing to Palin’s decreased media ability away from the teleprompter.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  5. If she doesn’t know the answer to the question, don’t try to stuff some pre-programmed response that is tangentially related to the topic into an answer.

    I agree! The McCain campaign chose her for her judgment and her record. They didn’t choose her because she’s an insider.
    Just say “I don’t know”. Let her be free, then her goofs and gaffes will just be a part of what people see of her everyday- like Obama, Biden, and McCain.

    MayBee (c0df75)

  6. Damn…they need to let her be herself…she’s a big girl, she can handle it. Let her answer the questions in the way she feel comfortable with, just let Sarah be SARAH…

    fmfnavydoc (0dd45c)

  7. That analysis is spot on. I wish she would just answer the question directly. If you look at her debates during her run for governor, she was pretty direct and concise. Whoever in the McCain campaign is coaching her should be fired.

    SAZMD (0949b6)

  8. Palin should refuse to talk to all MSM reporters and explain they have been so disingenuous and virulent to her and her children she has no confidence in their honesty, ethics, or professionalism.

    She might add that once individual members of the national press demonstrate they can meet her standards for accuracy and fairness she’ll reconsider her decision on a case by case basis.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  9. That is exactly what is going on. She is being over prepared and thus appears wooden. Which explains why she is getting worse not better. Let her be herself. She does not have to agree with McCain on everything. In fact she could say, I am going to support the Administration on it’s policies, but these are my personal takes on things and then just answer.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  10. They were smart to have her address reporters informally at Ground Zero. More of that. Sure there will be occasional gaffes (although I suspect far less than Joe Biden is giving). Let Sarah be Sarah.

    Joe (dcebbd)

  11. It’s really two problems. First, she isn’t herself running for President, she has to be an asset and spokesman for the McCain campaign. So she can’t just say what she thinks because she’s more instinctually conservative than McCain and would either contradict some of his positions or fail to phrase them in the tested “code words” McCain adopts to make conservative positions sound palatable to the moderates he is now trying to attract. You’ve seen what happens when Biden seemed to contradict Obama’s position on a few things already: it’s a VP candidate no-no of the highest order. As awkward as it makes her sound, I sort of disagree with you that dealing with the consequenses wouldn’t be that big of a deal when her answers seem to undermine McCain’s position. So, she sort of has to use approved campaign talking points even if they are phrased in a way that seem awkward or unnatural to her or coming from her.

    Second, she would do much better if someone sat her down and explained she should use one talking point at a time, per question or at least per verbal paragraph. Her only really embarrassing answers come when she tries to jam three or four points into a single response and they end up half articulated and tripping over each other. If she stuck to one point, she would come off much better even if she has other points to make as well.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  12. I can’t remember where I read it but yesterday there was a piece on her New York trip and the writer noted that when asked a question re U.S. presence in Iraq and provoking extremists, and she paused, gave some thought, and started to answer – then sort of snapped to and gave the company line. Rehearsed and robotic. Whether it was subjective or accurate, I don’t know but I think it reflects what the right is getting concerned about.

    She didn’t get to be governor of Alaska by being handled. McCain needs to trust his selection.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  13. What’s wrong with Biden — Actually it appears, everything. But the drive by media doesn’t even seem to notice. I wonder why not?

    bill-tb (26027c)

  14. Absolutely. Let Sarah do Sarah. Her speech at the convention was outstanding, and she was sparkling. When she speaks from her heart, she reaches the values voters in the base. I thought that’s why she was chosen.

    McCain is not “one of us.” Sarah is, and he needs her to be that way.

    ManlyDad (22e85d)

  15. The problem is when the subject is foreign affairs. It’s all facts.

    She can’t digest the mountain of facts that foreign policy requires in a matter of weeks any more than the brightest college student could take 3 years worth of classes in two weeks. Common sense is worthless in remembering world affairs. History’s the story of exceptions! She’s got little chance against a reporter. I feel sorry for her there. In the face of a stupid question, she literally has no way of figuring out if it’s a fact she missed or the reporter trying to get her to take something stupid seriously.

    It’s like a non-“sports fan” cramming three days on baseball before getting interviewed by the best reporter on ESPN. Terrifying.

    dieselm (84b4cf)

  16. I agree.
    She needs to be allowed to be herself and to hold opinions McCain does not. It works on ANWR and could work on other things.

    That said, the gotcha moments will continue.
    For example, she obviously is more pro Israel than even Bush, not to mention McCain, and she needs to deflect those types of questions… knowing where her differences are and deflecting back to the McCain campaign.
    When it comes to foreign policy and DC wonkiness she should play up her inexperience.
    Something like:
    “I’m a woman from Alaska, worked hard at two jobs my whole life, had five kids, and now I’ve worked my way up to the Governor’s office there. I’ve been working hard on making Alaska better for Alaskans and I’ll be working just as hard on the national level as fast as I can to make the USA better”

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  17. “Katie, I’m not going to try to bamboozle you on this one. Rick Davis sure as heck had a conflict of interest in the respect that Davis and Manafort — which, as you accurately point out, he remains invested in — was on retainer with Freddie Mac until they were seized last month. It’s yet another indication of how wound up the political world of Washington is in the mortgage crisis. And, frankly, Rick put John McCain out on a limb when he had him go after Senator Obama on his connections to the — whaddya call em, the GSOs, Freddie and Fannie and Sally. Then he made matters worse by calling the New York Times in the tank for Obama when it reported on this. I’ve told John that we’ve gotta take the moose by the antlers and face the situation — Rick has got to go. The American people aren’t going to trust us unless we walk the talk.

    “And you know what, Katie? Todd agrees with me.”

    Elisabeth Irwin (d63e61)

  18. I’ve been meaning to write exactly this post, WLS. Thanks for saving me the time and trouble. I endorse this completely.

    Patterico (c3398e)

  19. Elisabeth – What color is the sky in your world?

    JD (f7900a)

  20. Right now I’d say it’s cochineal.

    Elisabeth Irwin (04db65)

  21. I do not have my dictionary handy, but given the context, cochineal must look a lot like rectal brown.

    JD (f7900a)

  22. It’s buggy…

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  23. JD, you slay me.

    Elisabeth Irwin (04db65)

  24. Elisabeth Irwin? Hm. A sockpuppet from L.A., no?

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  25. Governors do not have foreign policy experience – none of them. Not GW Bush, not Clinton, not Reagan, not Carter, none of them.

    The question is silly and designed to trick her into looking bad but she’s stupid to answer it in the way she did. The correct response is to say exactly what I said with my first sentence.

    Or alternatively, she could say, Barry Hussien does not have real foreign policy experience, nor does he have any real executive experience.

    Plus, Barry Hussien has a muslim name, a muslim father, a muslim step-father. Barry Hussien studied in an Islamic Madrassa as a child and knows who to recite the Islamic Call To Prayer in Arabic. Do you think the American people want a President who has such Islamic sympathies? Duh.

    McCain-Palin by a comfortable margin.

    rsg (f6cafd)

  26. I said almost the exact same thing yesterday and all I got was a “what the FOOK????”

    SEK (072055)

  27. *kiss*

    Elisabeth Irwin (d63e61)

  28. SEK,

    It’s the almost that makes the difference.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  29. Sarah Palin = Caitlin Upton

    Backfill, cover, scramble, obfuscate, rationalize or whatever.

    She is what she is. What you think might be corrected by taking her off a script is obviously unscripted.
    Putin in Alaska’s air space makes her adept at foreign policy? You really think McCain’s people fed that to her? Yeh-huh.

    The fork is on its way. It will pierce her persona.

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  30. Whats wrong with Palin? Nothing. She has done exactly all that the McCain failing campaign required of her. Which was (1) Inject new life into his ICU-needing campaign (2) Distract attention from his gaffes (3) Compete with Obama on the celebrity front (4) Attempt to woo over Hillary’s supporters (5) Give rousing, uncontested speeches (6) Avoid the press (7) Look hot for foreign leaders and (8) Prove how being neighbors with Russia makes up for Foreign Relation credentials.
    She has done her very best for you all. Why are you turning on her now?
    Nothing is wrong with Palin. Everything is wrong with the fools that picked her, thinking she could do the magic and turn things around. Well, it didn’t happen.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)


    Amen to that. This way she’ll be much more efficient in providing an antidote to Kool-Aid’08

    Jeff Tyler (d737be)

  32. SEK — no, you got the “WTF” comment in response to this:

    I’m wondering why you think bringing up McCain’s record on regulation vs. deregulation is a “gotcha.” McCain has fought long and hard for deregulation — so much so that in an unfortunately timed article, he’s favorably comparing the deregulation of the banking industry with what should happen in the health care sector.

    The question was absolutely a “gotcha” question because its absolutely irrelevant whether Palin can recite/defend McCain’s voting record on deregulation. If Couric was really interested in getting a defense of McCain’s voting record, there are about 1000 better sources — staring with McCain himself.

    The question was meant to get Palin to say something of substance in a foolish manner, or to show that she wasn’t conversant on the topic.

    The point of my post is that the McCain campaign is using her in such a fashion that they are playing into the press’s narrative of her in an effort to defend his own narrative by having her try to stay on message with her answers.

    He nominated someone with little experience in foreign affairs or national media attention. He had to know there was going to be a downside to that aspect of his pick, and he should have simply been willing to accept it by cleaning up after her once in a while.

    Biden gets away with his gaffes because he’s seen as at least being earnest in his running commentary on everything.

    Palin looks exactly the opposite of being earnest, AND her performance reinforces the press’s view of her. The worst of both worlds.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  33. You’re on fire WLS – I think it’s 4 in a row where I’ve basically agreed with you. Gov. Palin HAS to be much brighter and more media savy than she has been coming across to have been elected as governor. Allowing her to speak in her ‘own voice’ would prevent a lot of the word salad she has been spewing out so far.

    I think the big problem is she has just not been very engaged as an individual on national or international affairs. Not a problem as Alaskan Governor (I guess), big problem for a VP candidate. For whatever gifts she brings to the ticket – and shoring up the conservative base was sorely needed – she is just not fluent on the issues a Vice President needs to be fluent on. There are a lot of commenters on this blog that are likely more qualified than she to be a candidate for that office. Your mileage may vary 😉 . . . .

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  34. McCain revealed his primal establishment instincts when he yanked Palin off the road for the Gibson interview. They were on a roll, but he slammed the brakes on. The subtext: I want your belated blessing, MSM. Since then it’s been downhill. This is really the classic mistake of the football coach who suddenly finds himself ahead in a game he never thought he had a chance of winning. Does he continue the bold, go-to-hell strategy that got him the lead? No, he starts playing it safe.

    Perhaps Palin is a limited person and candidate unequal to the task. Somehow I don’t believe this is so. But McCain has nothing to lose at this point in letting her be who she is. There are qualities there that people admire, that attract people. Let them shine.

    rrpjr (6135a4)

  35. When I read Kathleen Parker’s piece in NRO, I was struck by her bluntness. For instance,

    I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

    A remarkable statement to find in a conservative journal/Web site.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  36. ^ Tim, if the broadcast media weren’t in the tank for Obama, we’d hear the same about him. I’m actually more comfortable with her accomplishments compared to his claims — and the fact that he’s running in the top spot. Not dissing your view, just adding to it.
    . )

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  37. JUST LET HER ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THE WAY SHE WANTS TO, and deal with the consequences of the answers she gives after-the-fact.

    They’re not doing this.

    Do I assume they’re stupid in how they coached her or do I assume that they know how that plan would work out and think this one is better?

    joe (c0e4f8)

  38. An hour after the McCain campaign announced Palin as their choice for VP, the first idiot pulled the retarded “Alaska’s proximity to Russia means she’s a foreign policy heavy” meme out of his ass. This was an embarrassing mistake for us, right? Wrong.

    The campaign has embraced and amplified this absolutely ridiculous idea – and when Palin herself repeats in in the course of an interview where she is glaringly deficient in the foreign policy arena, she brings shame down on all of us – and especially herself and her boss.

    Let’s stop posturing in our own discussions on this topic. Come on, gang – that she’s so far off on this issue alone makes her a fatal candidate. I can’t believe that any of us here can pretend that this isn’t the case. Yes – it is important that we win, but it is even more important that we win without branding ourselves and our party leaders as brainless zombies who are so stupid that we advance and support this bit of insanity as our VP candidate’s primary qualification for office.

    When Putin rears his head it is in Alaskan airspace?

    Shame on us. Shame.

    Dumb Ivan (b8c7e2)

  39. Dumb Ivan – you got the first part right. The media has embraced many ridiculous ideas about Governor Palin, not just this one.

    I’m not looking for a teleprompter trained terrier. Palin has a history of going against the flow regarding corruption and budget bloat. That is what is important to me, as I don’t expect our military and State Department to quit once she’s sworn in to office.

    The foreign policy gaffes are an MSM meme. Palin’s only mistake has been trying to be cordial and get out a ‘message’. As far as I’m concerned, electing her is the message.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  40. P.S. I neglected to mention her extensive oversight of the multi-billion dollar Russia-Alaska trade-missions that occupy her time in the Governor’s office. It just occurred to me that with her on the campaign trail, these all-important trade missions are taking place without her immediate guidance! Let’s hope that she’s put some real foreign policy heavies in charge of the trade missions while she’s out campaigning. I’d hate to see the trade talks break down in her absence – who knows what trouble that might cause? Putin has the atomic bomb, you realize. I’d hate to see what could happen if his supply of scrimshaw and reindeer jerky was to be suddenly interrupted due to Palin’s replacement’s ham-fisted handling of this important work.

    Dumb Ivan (b8c7e2)

  41. Apogee:

    It’s not the media that’s running with this retarded idea. It’s Palin – and us. Kate Couric didn’t put those ridiculous words in Palin’s mouth. Palin is responsible – and we are, too, by not raising a stink over it. From day one we should have balked at that one. Instead we embraced it because we know she brings nothing to the table in terms of foreign policy.

    Once again we make the error of picking up and running with the most ridiculous of talking-points rather than conceding that she was an incredibly shitty choice – moose stew and all.

    Dumb Ivan (b8c7e2)

  42. It’s not the media that’s running with this retarded idea.

    Yes. Actually it is. Palin’s problem is not calling them on it.

    Her candidacy is about much more than this one statement, but you’d never know it from the MSM. What experience, exactly, does Barack Obama, running for President have?

    The media’s not interested.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  43. Amen!

    The handlers need to leave her alone–at this point she is not glib enough to regurgitate the talking points. Let her talk!!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  44. Amen!

    The handlers need to leave her alone–at this point she is not glib enough to regurgitate the talking points on command. Let her talk!!

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  45. Ivan, her foreign-policy is actually second to her remarkable accomplishments in the areas of reform and statewide corruption. Obama claims these as his but has no track record. (He voted to keep the Strogers in office when the political opposition was trying to clean up Chicago. But these pols are his team.)

    He’s disingenuous, a puppet for Soros and the mob. And the bill will come due in November. That’s why many of us look at Palin’s accomplishments and know that Obama’s boasts of reform are simply that. Boasts – with nothing to back it up.

    And let’s remember who’s running for President, here. The less qualified candidate. BHO won’t let anyone see examples of his management skills, a sure sign that the CAC was a $150 million debacle of waste and corruption. (Otherwise, let’s hear more about it; its success and benefits.) Instead, funds are left unaccounted for. The man seems to be telegenic but duplicitous. Vote for that if you want it.

    Still and all, the media’s propping up Obama while attacking Palin. I think we can all agree on that much.

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  46. The question was absolutely a “gotcha” question because its absolutely irrelevant whether Palin can recite/defend McCain’s voting record on deregulation.

    And my point, then as last night, was that it’s fairly obvious to everyone — including you and Patrick — that she should’ve had a better answer ready to hand . . . but didn’t. And that points to the McCain campaign’s failure to do what’s expected of every single VP candidate ever. You’re being overly defensive here. Just because I’m voting for the other guy doesn’t mean I can’t assess the problems with the McCain campaign. The fact that you’re now complaining that she seems to be muzzled — that is, that she seems to be doing her damnedest to forthright while still sticking to the ticket’s talking points — indicates that the McCain campaign’s misusing its resources.

    You can harp all you’d like about the VP not being expected to know the policies of the presidential candidate, but that’s nonsense. The VP’s always asked to defend the other half of the ticket. Palin herself made this clear in her speech at the RNC — she was chosen to be a pitbull with lipstick . . . but if she’s not briefed on his positions, she can’t do that. You can continue to insist that she’s not expected to do what every other VP candidate since televised debates has been expected to do, but that’s going to make you look silly the first time you criticize Biden for saying something that contradicts Obama’s record.

    Just something to keep in mind going forward. If the top of the ticket’s positions are off-limits, then you have to be intellectually honest and apply that criteria to all the candidates. I don’t think you’ll do that. It’d be better if you concede the obvious now, so you can criticize Biden when goes off-message without feeling like a fraud. (Nor should you — this is a normal expectation that you, for whatever reason, are refusing to acknowledge. Every VP is expected to know the top of the ticket’s positions and history.)

    SEK (072055)

  47. For those who think Sarah Palin should just be allowed to be herself, perhaps you should listen to her testimony of how/why she became Governor? No script there. She sounded not only nutty, but vacuous. You know, that youtube clip of her giving credit to the African witch hunter who prayed over her and saying his words made her governor? That appears to be Sarah Palin when Todd is not on the blackberry telling her what to say or do. Ding. Ding. with dimples?

    I think Palin was brought on board to do exactly what she did and the McCain people made the calculation (due to Palin’s slide in the polls) that she would not have crossover appeal or credibility unless she acted like other candidates and had interviews.

    They already knew she had a problem in actually staying on point. She is an airhead. That is obvious. But she is the right’s airhead and therein lies the biggest problem. When I read Parker’s take, I knew I was reading an old guard true conservative view: Country before party, national interests before the win. In the new guard the rule is win at all cost without caring or considering ramifications because the clean up can be later. Win even if honor and integrity and patriotism says with THAT pick, you should not–you must not.

    <i>Some things we just should not do as Americans. One is entrust our highest and most influential positions to people who are not ready–no matter who sweet, cute, charismatic or useful they are.

    Sarah could and should have been groomed. In about 5 years if it was in her to be so–she could have been in the Senate or Congress then on to the White House. Now, outside of Republicandom–she is a laughing stock.

    Those of you who persist in trying to make this possible idiot into a savant —or a silk purse out of a sows ear– are the same people that can admit no failings in ideology or actions of the GOP in the past 8 years. Look around you…Rome is burning–when will you acknowledge that Bush and company were the arsonist and now they want to pretend to be the firemen putting the fire out? The GOP is anathema due to your inability to admit mistakes and therefore to openly course correct. That is not bravery or integriy, just being jerks. But when it is the mindset of an entire party, who is left to tell you (that you would believe) that the party has degenerated into that?

    Now all of you dare to try another arsonist–except this one is like the 3 stooges and is so far out of her depth, that she may only end up burning the GOP house down. What ever happened to calling a spade a spade and brooking no nonsense? if you can’t admit McCain made a bad choice–the more it becomes obvious, the more craven and demoralized the right will appear. If anything you should be very angry with McCain. it is obvious he failed to vet her–it is equally obvious that her gender was more important than her expertise. In the end, this was and remains an affirmative action pick–but for those of us who actually are intelligent–it is an insult of the highest order. It says a lot about what the GOP must think of women and our discernment.

    But I’m an Independent with no love lost for the Democrats and their eager to spend ideology. So what to do? Tell you what I won’t do–I will NOT turn this country over to an airhead who could very well be placed in charge but due to her cluelessness simply be a puppet for others that I would NEVER put in charge.

    Palin is so far over her head, that her appeal and defense stops in the GOP camp. But there is something else rising among us Independents and others–that is the vague yet growing impression that to win, the right would bed the devil himself.

    How DARE you offer this bimbo up to represent us, speak for us and have power over us? She has no idea what she is doing and folksy she might be, but America is in no position to hire a warm, fuzzy for a candidate. We have real issues and we wanted a real and obvious alternative to the Democrats–and McCain insults us. Palin SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIDDEN. And Republicans should have trusted their better instincts and NOT gone with McCain. He is almost as bad. He acts like he has dementia and some type of erratic behavioral problems, he flip flops a lot, rarely appears to know what he is talking about (even in foreign policy he can’t get geography or who we are even fighting right) as for the economy, he should do a Bin Laden and just disappear on that–he looks like a fool.

    If Barack Obama did not have the race hurdle, this would not even be close. But this could have been such a better choice for the nation. Why not Romney? Or even Guiliani? Even he, would have behaved with more sense and stability than McCain.

    Finally here is the clincher–who are you people really for–just your party or the country? The rest of us really would like to know–when you offer such an empty suit and think we are too stupid to realize what you just did. At what point do the rest of you realize AND ADMIT that Palin is a horrible, horrible mistake–best left at the Party level instead of at the helm of our nation!!!

    queenbeethatsme9 (e5f100)

  48. Respnse to #46, SEK: In answering knowing the position at the top of the ticket–I would agree but that is not the main problem with Palin. She does not know much about ANYTHING. Makes me think when her State legislature complained about her being physically present in meetings but constantly on 2 blackberries, those two devices were her link to whoever actually thinks for her.
    They should be sure to check Palin for wires/electronics for the VP debates.

    The real horror of Palin is that she:

    1. Did not know the meaning of direct diplomacy
    2. Could rarely answer a question coherently
    3. Did not understand what nation building is or the ramification of is pro and con
    4. Did not know the ramifications or limitations of the bailout and obviously had failed to learn anything about it
    5. Has a very distorted view of our obligations and limits of that to Israel especially when it came to our own autonomy and letting another country’s actions dictate what wars we got into
    6. Appears not to know how to construct a sentence, stay on topic or actually answer what she has been asked (which leads us to conclude she is clueless and does not know or understand the question)

    In other words, Sarah Palin was clueless. And despite what the right may think, due to the nature of debates and interviews, it is impossible to deliver or coach answers for her and have her appear intelligent, unless you can specifically dictate the questions.

    No one doubts Sarah Palin is nice, likeable, charismatic or has great acting abilities and appeal–but we don’t place someone in charge based on those traits alone. They have to KNOW things. They have to be able to have a discernible thought pattern, a viable position–and once THEY state something, they must be able to elaborate and defend their statements.

    In every interview, she could have been eviscerated. The fact she was not is a testament to how the media walks on eggshells around this woman. So many times, it should have been pointed out–“you have not answered the question, do you know the answer?” You cannot teach someone to anticipate every question variable–but for heaven’s sake–if Gov. Palin was competent, she’d at least make certain she understood the hot tops we are discussing right now, she had a good vocabulary and understanding of key words or phrases (like nation building) and that someone/anyone told her that never try to baffle them with bullshit, when you don’t know what you are doing. Because she failed. The right knows it, the left knows it and we, Independents know it. The question is, will her failure (thus far) seal McCain’s doom? If it does–the GOP should remember that the time to repudiate this unknown was from day one–but they persisted in keeping her–their own fault.

    I keep hoping that all of this is a ruse. That really SArah is brilliant and is saving her true personality for the debates–and will catch Dems by surprise. if not—she is an airhead and Republicans ought to be ashamed of what they tried to foist off on this country, especially after the Bush years.

    queenbeethatsme9 (e5f100)

  49. Absolutely. Let Sarah do Sarah. Her speech at the convention was outstanding, and she was sparkling. When she speaks from her heart, she reaches the values voters in the base. I thought that’s why she was chosen.

    Her speach at the convention was not even written (by McCain’s camp) for her. They just made some minor corrections to make it fit her persona.

    Nikolay (f5b13d)

  50. Thank you for clarifying the frustration I have been feeling for the past week. Governor Palin is clearly not an idiot nor a robot. She is trying very hard to be a good team player, but I think the McCain campaign has tied her hands to such a degree that she is not free to shine as she can. Free Sarah Palin!

    Nick Psaki (8b0130)

  51. McCain is tired of being upstaged by Palin.

    jpm100 (b48b29)

  52. queenbeethatsme9 — Are you trying to set a record for idiocy and sexism in one thread? or is this just the by-product of your picayune shallowness?

    Icy Truth (202292)

  53. Icy-

    It seems to me that queenbeethatsme9 must not like Gov. Palin very much. Does it seem that way to you, too?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  54. Sarah Palin sure does bring out the hate filled crazy women. They just jump right up and start spewing bile given the slightest opportunity, and they don’t seem to notice how bad it makes them look. They just can’t seem to help themselves.

    It’s like the drunken wacko down the block, staggering around her front yard red faced with greasy hair and fat belly covered in a soiled housecoat, screaming insults at passing cars while the drivers quickly roll up their windows.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  55. MD in Philly — It’s the outright sexism contained in her rant (“no matter who sweet, cute, charismatic or useful they are” . . . “How DARE you offer this bimbo up to represent us”) that is most annoying. The stream of standard liberal talking points and the predictable slew of non sequiters and ad hominem attacks presented as “thoughtful opinion” add up to a lot of white noise.

    Icy Truth (b40a74)

  56. in a soiled housecoat, screaming insults at passing cars

    — Perfect opportunity to invoke the cat-lady from The Simpsons missed

    Icy Truth (b40a74)

  57. Poor Sarah Palan. She had it made but was taken in by John McCain’s offer for vice presidental candidate. After getting him the attention he needed–and making a fool of herself on his behalf, he parked her at an Irish bar in Philadelphia on the evening of the first debate. Better a photo op than learning the issues. Looks as though he’s through with her. John McCain — sexist!

    winnie (8540e4)

  58. Bottom line…I don’t give a rat’s butt if she can interview well with the MSM. It’s the work she’s done and WILL DO as her job as VP that impresses me.

    I will take Palin’s substance as a politician who gets her job done over the style (read: shell) of two empty suits on the opposing team any day. Same with McCain’s substance; he’s got TONS of it. I don’t care if he looks grumpy. I don’t care if he is grumpy. He’ll make a better president, period.

    I swear I don’t remember anyone on either side talking endlessly and grilling pretty boy John Edwards about his lack of foreign policy experience when he was Kerry’s running mate.

    jennifer (124db2)

  59. Indeed, use of the term “bimbo” is not very endearing.

    As Apogee said, given the choice between someone who has been in Washington long enough to play the game with reporters or someone who couldn’t care less about what the DC crowd thinks because they spend more time getting things done, I’ll take the latter.

    “Poor Sarah Palin”- an unnecessary phrase.

    Where better to watch a fight than in an Irish Pub? I just wish I knew about it earlier to see if I could get in.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  60. For the record, I’m a little annoyed at being shouted down by the lunatic fringe of people who happen to agree with me.

    SEK (072055)

  61. Folks,

    The best policy might be to quit protesting so much about Gov. Palin. If she is the erudite, competent, intelligent, charismatic, leader Republicans keep telling everybody she is, then I am sure that will be revealed soon. The Republican party is obviously very comfortable with the notion that Gov. Palin may have to step in as leader of the free world. My impression of the governor is that she is a political lightweight who is in over her head.

    Donna Shelley (176a79)

  62. My impression of the governor is that she is a political lightweight who is in over her head.

    Comment by Donna Shelley — 9/27/2008 @ 3:14 pm

    My impression is similar. It is tempered by two things (1)the fact that Obama is essentially the same in terms of experience but is on the top of the ticket. (2) With the exception of Cheney VPs normally don’t get that involved with the Presidential decision making. So her selection is not a deal breaker for me.

    If McCain is elected I would imagine that her primary job will to be to learn and quickly. Six months of “training” and she will be formidable in any setting.
    And FWIW she is heads and shoulders above Dan Quayle imo.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  63. If I were a cynical person, I would say that describing politicians as lightweights is redundant.

    Good thing I’m not a cynic.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  64. Gov. Palin may have to step in as leader of the free world. My impression of the governor is that she is a political lightweight who is in over her head.”

    This is exactly what’s hard to understand, re BHO and your vote. Palin is not slick and prepped, like your candidate. She actually did what the Republicans said regarding government reform.

    Obama, as much as his ardent admirers defend his image, has not done what he claimed. In fact, he had a chance to clean up the Stroger family machine-politics in Chicago but he chose to stick with the dogs, turning down the reformers. That is wrong.

    How can liberals trust a dishonest neophyte at the top of the ticket?? It makes no sense to then mention Palin, who’s delivering what we expected: her record as it stands. The MSM is delivering bias in its reporting, something also expected. JMO.

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  65. Donna, given that the Democrats nominated a political lightweight for the top of their ticket, I am not sure what your point is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. DRJ


    EricPWJohnson (c00a5d)

  67. Its difficult to assess Palin. She’s just been so attacked and hammered by a biased media and so scripted by her handlers that it feels like both sides conspire to manipulate her into what *they* see will serve their purpose. Most of just want to see the real person, warts and all.

    Its good to keep in mind though if the state of Alaska voted her in as their governor, then she’s definitely not a bimbo. Cross that off the list.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  68. Both ABC and CBS have extensively cut their interviews in order to make a caricature of Palin. The critics of Palin want to believe what was portrayed, so they are completely uncritical of the coverage Palin receives.

    The one mistake she made was doing these interviews without her own recording equipment. That might have kept Gibson and Couric a little more honest.


    NewEnglandDevil (cd1b4a)

  69. The Obama trolls sure come out when Palin is the topic.n “Elizabeth Irwin” is a sock puppet that used to annoy us at Cathy’s World. I hadn’t seen him for a while. Yes, him.

    I agree that Palin is over coached for these events, Reagan attributed one of his bad debate performances to this, as well. I sure hope she is allowed to be natural in the VP debate.

    Fortunately, I don’t think Biden can do as good a job staying within his time as Obama last night. He will give her plenty of openings.

    Mike K (155601)

  70. Mike K & Dana,

    had been the Dem pick don’t you think that the right would have been similarly skeptical?
    Experience and qualifications are similar. If the skeptics (not the gotcha .. parse every statement types)are wrong about Palin, so be it — she will prove them wrong through performance and actions.
    One two term president in 40 years for the Democrats tells me voters are a little more savvy than the political junkies like us may want to give credit for.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  71. VoR, yes, perhaps. But the striking difference is, the playing field is not level. We have a very powerful media able to influence and compel voters by what they print, what they edit which is compelled by their own biases. And we know those biases do not work in favor of the right.

    Therefore, going into the ring as a conservative immediately puts one at a disadvantage. It is not the same for a Democrat. Again, an unlevel playing field.

    Secondly, I do not believe if Chet had been the Dem pick, his reproductive activity would have been examined and scrutinized by everyone other than a spouse or personal physician. I don’t believe demands for a DNA sample would be made, I don’t believe his looks would be examined, criticized, picked apart and mocked, over and over and over by that very same media who did with Palin. Again, this speaks to the power of the media and its preordained agenda.

    My point is that Chet, even if her were an absolute buffoon, would have an easier go of it than Palin. This is America at its worst: sexist, discriminatory, self-seeking and smug. And all it took to bring that to the surface was one nubile attractive woman with a bad ‘do and glasses.

    With all the din about Palin from the media, the Dems and her voice being controlled by her own camp, who knows what she has to say.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  72. Dana – who knows what she has to say.

    She does.

    The debates will be interesting.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  73. Dana,
    Do you agree that the same personal attacks about sexual preference, true father of chelsea, cankles and the like thrown at Hillary for over a decade now have been equally objectionable? Does the fact that the source of these was not the MSM make it less offensive? And who on the right said “Enough”? (hope there is no lightning storms — first time I’ve ever taken up for Hillary)

    I go back to my point on the citizens at large. They want responsible adults as our leaders and somehow have managed to cut through the media noise to come to those decisions.

    I don’t want to launch the VOR manifesto but in a paragraph I think this is what a McCain win accomplishes is the demise of the 60’s liberalism and an impetus for the left of center Dems to take control of their party. Primarily this will occur due to judicial appointments. The 60’s icons in the media are reaching retirement age and this is their last real shot. It also opens a transition for the GOP to catch its breath and decide where it wants to go in the future and how to effectively get there. Demographics have changed and they have yet to really address this.
    I would like nothing better than to see the sixties liberalism go away. But like all things that are important it is worth the struggle.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  74. The media has a tape running in all their heads that says “First African-American president.” Obama has gotten a pass that no Republican could ever have. If Colin Powell had run for president in 1996, he could have had the nomination for asking, I don’t think the same tape would be running but it would have been more level.

    Palin’s choice was equivalent to Obama choosing Tim Kaine. There was discussion of him as a possibility but it was finally decided that he was too inexperienced with Obama’s resume being so thin. Do you think Kaine would have been subjected to the same scrutiny ? I don’t think so.

    I do hope Palin has it in her to do well in the debate. If she doesn’t it will be devastating for her although it may not keep McCain from winning. She would be another Quayle.

    Mike K (155601)

  75. VoR, I don’t think anything thrown at Hillary came close to what Palin faced (and still faces). I grant you the media was unkind to Hillary but she had a pass to a greater degree because was on the left. And that’s the heart and soul of the issue. It matters not to the media if one in politics is articulate, brilliant, and an excellent communicator because if there is an R following their name its a liability and the scales are tipped against one from the start. Not so with those having a D following their name.

    The 60’s icons in the media are reaching retirement age and this is their last real shot.

    I think this is true. One hopes they just get too damn tired to keep on making a stink about their cause. I know I’m tired of hearing it.

    Dana (4d3ea0)

  76. As a lifelong Alaskan, I find this discussion very interesting as of course many of us are curious about how people view her elsewhere.

    I do want to respond to a point raised by Vermont Neighbor (#45): “…her foreign-policy is actually second to her remarkable accomplishments in the areas of reform and statewide corruption.” I would urge you do some real research into the notion that Gov. Palin is a reformer in Alaska.

    Yes, she was a whistleblower on the Republican chair of the Alaska party while they were both on the oil and gas commission. He was conducting party business on state time. Interestingly enough, an editor for the conservative Voice of the Times, Paul Jenkins, recently acknowledged in a news article that he discovered that as mayor Palin had used city resources for campaign business, and that she admitted it when he asked her about during her campaign for governor. He just never reported it.

    Furthermore, Palin’s role as a reformer and champion against corruption has been vastly overstated. It is the FBI, the IRS, and the Department of Justice that are responsible for “cleaning up” Alaska politics because they’ve been conducting a sting operation on political corruption since 2004.

    Thus far, it has resulted in the conviction of three Republican state legislators, the previous governor’s chief of staff, one municipal lobbyist, two executives of VECO oil services company, and one campaign contributor. Two other state legislators have been indicted and are awaiting trial. And of course our senior senator, Ted Stevens, is now on trial because of this federal sting.

    Judging from the information given by those who are now cooperating, there is plenty more to come. Many Alaskans expect Ted Stevens’ son, Ben, to join the ranks of those indicted.

    Sarah Palin was involved in exactly ZERO percent of this clean-up. She is very careful about making any statement, pro or con, about Ted Stevens (and considering she was a director for one of his 527 groups, she has every reason to stay mum). Yes, she did work with the Legislature to pass her ethics and reform bill tightening rules for disclosure, requiring ethics training for legislators, etc. That’s about it.

    Clearly many people here have made up their minds about Palin’s ability to govern nationally, and so be it. But there’s no benefit to claiming for her qualities or actions that are demonstrably not hers. Of course we all want leaders who are against corruption. That’s very different than solid evidence for acting against corruption.

    In conclusion, I would point out that a poll from a few days ago of Alaska voters showed that since Gov. Palin was nominated, her unfavorability ratings have DOUBLED.

    It’s worth wondering why.

    Bluedog Alaska (de8428)

  77. P.S. Sorry, but here’s a hint.

    Troopergate, Troopergate, Troopergate.

    Gov. Palin campaigned on transparency and accountability. In July, she said she was eager to cooperate with a legislative inquiry into whether she abused her office’s powers. A committee of 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats unanimously approved the inquiry. Her AG started his own private investigation on her behalf, found evidence that didn’t look good for her, and had to recuse himself.

    Literally the moment that McCain chose her, she stopped cooperating and allowed McCain lawyers to start the stonewalling. Her husband has defied a subpoena–as have several state employees–on the advice of the AG, who is now mysteriously part of the game again.

    McCain campaign spokesmen are literally doing all of the talking for her, even on state business. Our state is now snarled in a crisis between our Department of Law, the executive branch, and the Legislature that is not to be believed. A governorship that seemed promising in its honesty has now created serious talk of a recall effort should she return. We are embroiled in lawsuits, requests for restraining orders, etc.

    This is not about partisanship–well-known conservatives are very critical of her recent actions. (Google Dan Fagan and Andrew Halcro.)

    We, too, wish McCain would let Sarah speak for herself. We have a lot of questions for her.

    Bluedog Alaska (de8428)

  78. Interesting and thank you. We have had others from Alaska weigh in on other threads that were very positive on her.

    So if her negatives have doubled, does that mean from 15% to 30%??

    Concerning “Troopergate”, I heard the statement that the results of the inquiry would be released at the end of October- just in time to effect opinion without time for addressing any contested points.

    I would imagine the AG might easily need to recuse himself whether he found damaging evidence or not. If he said that “everything was OK” would her detractors simply say, “oh, ok”? No, they would want an outside investigation.

    I’d be happy to have specific references to damaging documents, testimony, etc., but so far pro-Palin Alaskans outnumber anti-Palin Alaskans by about 2:1 on this blog from what I can recall- maybe others can confirm or correct.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  79. 77- yeah, that’s the ticket, a “non-partisan” investigation into taser-gate. Like the various dems can be relied upon to be fair since only the people her opponents choose to allow a so-called independent investigator to subpoena are to be called. I don’t blame Palin for refusing to cooperate.

    Try some different talking points. We already know that she made enemies of the established GOP structure in Alaska. Why did the citizens vote her in to governorship and why is her approval rating so high? Why don’t you and the various head up their asses/in the sand media raise some questions about the long UNVETTED presidential nominee Obama???? Ayers and Rezko are two names that come to mind.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  80. ignored subpoenas . . .on the advice of the AG, who is now mysteriously part of the game again.

    Is his statement that this inquiry has no jurisdiction to issue subpoenas, the AG brought up a point that I have not seen rebutted. That might be a place to start.

    Also, your statement that well-known conservatives are very critical of her recent actions, I would expect that, since some of the people she took to task were Republicans.

    So, Palin resigns from her position on the Oil Commission to protest Republican corruption, runs for Governor on a platform of transparency, and I’m supposed to support the platform of Barack Obama, a man who intervened on behalf of a corrupt bureaucrat in a campaign against corruption in Chicago?

    You have some strange ideas of reality and relevance.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  81. Philly MD @9:48pm: “Concerning “Troopergate”, I heard the statement that the results of the inquiry would be released at the end of October- just in time to effect opinion without time for addressing any contested points.”

    The original date for the independent investigator’s report was at the end of October – that was set well before McCain chose Gov. Palin as his running mate. After she was named the Republican VP candidate, the date was then moved up to October 10 for the express reason of not coming out directly on top of the election. October 10th remains the date for the report.

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

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