Patterico's Pontifications


Another Thought on Palin and the Issue of Experience Relative to Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 8:25 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I find myself getting more and more irritated reading the Dem. talking points which claim to see only crass election politics in McCain’s selection of Palin.

Those talking points are epitomized in one Andy Sully post titled “Three Words” — “Putting Country Last”.

Basically the argument is that by selecting a little known governor of a small state, only two years removed from being mayor of a small city/town, has demonstrated an unseriousness about the office by McCain which reflects his ego and selfishness.

Well, if that were true, it would also be true that 18 million democrat primary voters demonstrated an equal unseriousness about the Presidency. Those 18 million voters have given the 300 million citizens of this country the option of a Chicago machine pol with NO RESUME of accomplishment beyond winning their primary.

Palin, on the other hand, served 8 years as a mayor and 2 years as a governor. Big or small, both jobs required her to make choices, tell people want to do, and then live with the consequences of her decisions.

She faced down the corrupt elements of her own party when doing so could have led her into the political wilderness. Ted Stevens is the Godfather of Alaska statehood, and Palin called out his good friend Frank Murkowski, the sitting governor, for his corruption. She then ran against him and beat him in an open primary. She had less than glowing things to say about Stevens and Young.

These guys ARE Alaska politics. And she faced them head-on.

Yeah — lets have an honest comparison of her time in Alaska machine politics, and Obama’s time in Chicago machine politics.

Lets hear some more about Obama’s great strides at ethics reform — the kind of reform that next year will allow his political mentor in Springfield, Emil Jones, to retire and at that moment transfer about $550,000 from his campaign fund into his personal bank account just as if he had earned it through hard work.

Is THAT a debate Obama is ready to have? How about in a town hall?

Palin = $

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

McCain-Palin raised $3 million by 6 PM.


More Gender Politics (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Just when the Democrats thought they had tamed the shrew that is gender politics, the Politico has words of caution for Barack Obama and Joe Biden:

“How do you go after a 44-year-old mother of five without once alienating the female voters you’ve just spent the last week trying to win back?

The answer so far: Not very well.”

I’m sure they will find a way but, for now, I’m enjoying the irony.

UPDATE: More people under the bus! An amusing take on Obama’s failure to pick Hillary from CNBC guest columnist Jerry Bowyer of Kudlow & Co.:

“All in all, what we learned about Barack is that when he has a lead, he plays it safe, not bold. That he won’t choose a genuine rival (like Clinton) for Veep because he’s no Abraham Lincoln. That centrism for which he is often extolled, seems to be illusory. That women are still in the back of bus.”

Bowyer’s column was written before Palin’s pick was announced but he also lists several reasons why she would be a good pick for McCain, including the “deep race/gender division in the Democratic party which has been brewing for 40 years, but bubbled over this year.”


Olbermann to Political Reporter Charles Babington — “Find a new line of work.”

Filed under: General — WLS @ 4:46 pm

[Posted by WLS]

Who looks like the complete moron in this situation? Watch the video of Olbermann taking issue with the non-sycophantic ANALYSIS of AP reporter Charles Babington’s first wire report on Obama’s speech:

“Find a new line of work”???

I guess “ANALYSIS” must reflect Olbermann’s metro-man love of all things Obama. Otherwise, the offending press organ should be silenced.

For years Babington was a political reporter for the Washington Post — yep, he covered politics for the main newspaper in the Capitol of the United States. And Olbermann never heard of him before.

Now we have 3 stunning examples of the outright hostility of the Obama camp to any dissent — though you can hardly call Babington’s analysis dissent.

1. Soliciting the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation of an advocacy group that dares to link Obama in an ad to a guy he worked with in doling out about $100 million in foundation grand money.

2. Executing the equivalent of a “denial of service” attack on WGN radio in Chicago by sending out an email asking Obamatrons to flood WGN’s phone lines during the scheduled 2 hour interview of Stanley Kurtz about Obama’s connections to Ayers — after first having failed to convince the station’s management to not allow the interview to go forward.

3. Obama’s head cheerleader at BONBC calling for a Washington veteran and respected political reporter to find new work after failing to sufficiently praise the genius of the Obamessiah.

I wonder what the reaction will be by the Washington press corps on one of their own by the nit-witless wonder Keith O.

Pellicano Convicted — Again

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 3:33 pm

The A.P. reports:

A federal jury convicted former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and entertainment lawyer Terry Christensen on Friday of charges linked to the wiretapping of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian’s former wife in a child support battle.

No word yet on whether Chuck Philips attended the verdict without a pen or notebook — as he did the last time Pellicano was convicted of federal felonies.

Obama Campaign Reaction to Palin

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama campaign was critical of McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin — she’s too inexperienced and not ready to be a “heartbeat away” from the Presidency — followed quickly by Obama’s statement that his staff was too critical. This clearly isn’t what the Obama campaign thought they would be talking about the day after his acceptance speech.

And now the New York Times’ Caucus blog has this amazing information on why the Obama campaign had a mixed message:

“11:40 a.m. | Obama Reaction: The Times’s Jeff Zeleny has the following dispatch:

The Obama campaign had no immediate response to reports that Senator John McCain has selected the little-known Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, as his running-mate. Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Biden talked to reporters, but Mr. Biden could be seen wearing a wide smile in the front cabin of the plane.

Ms. Palin came as a surprise not only to many Republicans and journalists, but also to the Obama team. The campaign has been busily preparing TV commercials to run against Mitt Romney — with aides gleefully watching hours of footage of Romney-McCain exchanges from the primary — but far little opposition research had been prepared about the Alaska governor. And aides said no commercials were ready to be immediately released, which the McCain campaign did when Mr. Biden was chosen.”

There’s more at the link, including that the Obama campaign had to delay its campaign flight for more Palin prep and, as a result, McCain-Palin got a half-day of uninterrupted media time.

The Obama campaign was not prepared for the Palin announcement, a choice that was unexpected but not totally off the radar. That’s not good in politics but it’s very discouraging in governing. In fact, it makes the Obama campaign sound as clueless as it often describes the Bush Administration.


I Want My Own Post On Palin — Why The Left-Wing Punditocracy Is Wrong In Comparing Each Candidates’ Choices

Filed under: General — WLS @ 12:52 pm

[Posted by WLS]

Some of the conventional wisdom coming from the dominant media punditocracy is that McCain has really stretched to select a small state governor in office only two years — a state with only 600,000 people –who before that was the mayor of a town of 9000.

The fact is that neither candidate picked a VP on the test that Bush established for himself — is my selection ready to step in as President on our first day in office together if the need arose? 

I’m not suggesting this is the primary test that a candidate must apply — merely that it was clearly the test Bush applied since Cheney came from a state with only 3 electoral votes, while his dominant qualification for the position was 3 decades of executive branch leadership experience.   

Bloviating Joe doesn’t satisfy that test — he’s been overwhelmingly rejected by the voters on the subject.  36 years of speechifying in the Senate is not a substitute for Executive authority — the Senate is the best place to hide from the responsibility of making decisions and then being held accountable.  Its the best place there is for second guessing the leadership shown by people who really lead.

And I think its fair to say that Palin doesn’t satisfy the test.

Then what was the basis for their selection?  Both candidates are guilty of trying to game the electorate — and I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that.  The election is about who controls the gears and levers of the federal executive branch.  Before you can get control of those gears and levers, you’ve got to win the election.  So the candidate’s decision-making should always be guided by that goal.  Otherwise a candidate will become simply another principled first runner-up.

So, from that perspective, which is the better choice?  Here’s where I think the dominant media is simply being boneheaded.

Why did Obama chose Biden?  Because for 7 months Obama has been unable to close the deal with blue-collar working class voters – the kind that gave Hillary Clinton huge margins over him in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio.  These are swing voters, not generally considered to be in the “base” of either party since Reagan wrestled them away from Carter in 1980.

The Obama campaign knew as well as anyone that the only reason he won the nomination was that he out-organized Hillary at the micro-level of electioneering in caucus states — where simply having a few dozen or couple hundred more attendees at a caucus site can dictate the election outcome.   They also know he got annihilated in most of the mass voterr primary states where a good ground game is usually outweighed by candidate stumping and paid media.  And I suspect their polling showed that he lost by huge margins to Clinton among the blue-collar working-class voters in those primary states. 

So he picks Biden on the belief that among all the VP choices — with the exception of Hillary who was DQ’d from the start — he could reach out to those voters on Obama’s behalf.    So, the basis for the Biden pick was a fundamental weakness in Obama’s campaign appeal, one that Obama could not correct himself.

What about Palin?  To whom does she appeal that warranted her pick?

She’s a social conservative so she appeals to the GOP base more than most of the rest of the VP candidates.  She’s also a reform conservative — she challenged the corrupt GOP machine in Alaska and took out the sitting GOP governor in a primary.  In that fashion she fits the McCain mold as a reformer, thereby appealing to independents. 

But, more than anything, she’s an arrow aimed at women voters who to one degree or another still feel marginalized by the Obama campaign’s handling of the Hillary-factor.  Not the feminist voters on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, or the salons of Santa Monica and San Francisco — but soccer moms.  Working or stay at home mothers who saw Hillary Clinton as a trailblazer for women — not as a champion of left/liberal politics.

Can Biden attack Palin without alienating working class moms and suburban soccer moms? 

Are they going to attack a mother of five, including a newborn with Down Syndrome, on the basis that she’s pro-life?  Ardent Pro-Choicers might applaud — the vast middle of the country who are not in either hardcore camp will be mortified.

Biden — meant to shore up a clear Obama weakness which Obama couldn’t address on his own.

Palin — meant to attack Obama savagely on a weakness he made worse by not choosing Hillary.

Again, the GOP knows how to win elections, and the Dems know how to lose.

As Andy Sully would say, “Right out of the Rovian workbook”.


McCain’s VP: Sarah Palin (Updated x5)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:52 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Justin Levine already posted on the possibility that McCain may pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his VP. I’m starting this thread so you will have a place to comment.

I like this. I hope it’s true.

UPDATE 1: It’s true. Fox News confirms it’s Palin.

UPDATE 2 BY PATTERICO: I think this is a home run. Palin is everything that Biden is not: down-to-earth (non-smarmy), honest, intelligent, principled, and a Washington outsider. (Yes, I know: Biden isn’t a Washington guy because he rides the train home to Delaware! Still.)

And she’s truly conservative.

For the first time, I’m excited about McCain’s candidacy.

For more on Palin, you can’t do any better than to read this post by Beldar. I linked it some time back, but it obviously has new relevance now.
[Note from DRJ: Beldar has consolidated his Palin posts into this easy-to-read post.]

UPDATE 3 by DRJ: Ann Althouse live-blogged McCain’s introduction of Palin as his VP and her first speech on the national ticket. Althouse thinks the comparisons will be McCain vs Biden (2 senior Senators) and Obama vs Palin (2 younger politicians with less experience). She also seems as impressed as I am with Palin.

UPDATE 4 by DRJ – The Boston Globe reports Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“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.”

UPDATE 5: Jennifer Rubin at Commentary Magazine adds this postscript that Hillary wanted to add but didn’t:

“Her staff no doubt advised cutting a final sentence which likely went something like this: ” And if the Just Words guy had put me on the ticket, this never would have happened.”

H/T Instapundit.


Doubling Down On My Sarah Palin Prediction For McCain V.P….

Filed under: General — Justin Levine @ 5:34 am

[by Justin Levine]

More confident than ever in my earlier prediction (made before the conventional wisdom just shifted).  I don’t mind bragging that this would give me a perfect track record in V.P. predictions. But nothing definite yet…Anything could happen.

After two mistaken picks, RedState is coming to the same conclusion.

[Update 5:45AM – Drudge now pointing that direction as well.]

[2nd Update  6:01AM] – also seems to concur.

– Justin Levine

Al Gore: Bloviator-In-Chief

Filed under: Buffoons,Environment — Justin Levine @ 4:25 am

[by Justin levine]

Did Al Gore really sign on to the prediction that the North Pole would completely melt away during the next four years??

That is certainly how I interpreted the comments from his speech at the Democratic National Convention yesterday –

Many scientists predict that the entire north polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months in the first term of the next president. Sea levels are rising, fires are raging, storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions.

We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.

The best way to debunk Global Warming hysteria is to continue to let this man speak.

– Justin Levine

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