Patterico's Pontifications


Palin: She’s Not a Senator

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The initial negatives on Sarah Palin focus on Troopergate, her teen daughter’s pregnancy, and her experience level and gender. Positives are that Palin appeals to the conservative base and could solve McCain’s “sizzle problem.”

For now, Palin’s experience is on the front-burner and that’s probably why McCain and Palin are focusing on their efforts to reform government. Each side claims they will be agents of change but I think American voters have doubts about all 3 candidates who are Senators. Congressional job approval is now 10 points lower than it was a year ago when it was at its lowest point in 10 years. The Senate is one of the most elite and insulated institutions in American politics so voters may be especially interested in a candidate who isn’t a Senator.

A message of change helped Obama gain the Democratic nomination but Senators like Obama, Biden, and even McCain are seen by many voters as the problem, not the solution. Choosing Palin could help McCain show he understands voters expect something more than Senators doing business-as-usual.


Beldar’s Thoughts on the Palin Family

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old single daughter is pregnant and it’s one of the hottest topics in the media, on the internet, and perhaps even in homes and offices.

I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t think it reflects poorly on Palin, primarily because I haven’t seen anything that suggests Palin and her husband encouraged or condoned teen sex. But getting pregnant at 17 is not something I consider a good choice. Our kids know we love them but they also know that any pregnancy means the parents – no matter how old – have to take responsibility for the life they created. This seems to be the same rule the Palins follow based on this statement:

“We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”

Senator Obama promptly said that the children of politicians are off-limits and noted that his mother was 18 when he was born.

I’m impressed by both these statements. I’m also impressed by these thoughts from Beldar:

“I obviously don’t know for sure what conversations Gov. Palin had with her family, and in particular with her daughter Bristol, before giving Sen. McCain her decision. But given this history from 2004 — when a veto from Track stopped her from running for a U.S. Senate seat she might very well have won, in which case she would have become Barack Obama’s Senate classmate — I would wager a very, very large sum of money that Bristol Palin was given a veto right again. I would wager that she was warned, in detail, about the certainty that her privacy would be invaded in a sickening, vicious manner.

And I would wager that Bristol Palin must have said: “Go ahead, mom. Tell Senator McCain ‘Yes.’ I know what’s coming, but my baby and I will be okay.”

We know that Track decided to put his life and limb at risk for his country by enlisting in the Army and volunteering for service in Iraq. But Bristol Palin’s decision may be one of the most fearless, selfless acts any seventeen year old young woman has ever made. Even thinking of her being confronted with it brings tears to my eyes.”

As with all Beldar’s posts, read the whole thing.


Republican National Convention, Day 1

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Lynn Sweet reports the abbreviated Day 1 of the Republican National Convention included speeches by Laura Bush and Cindy McCain on hurricane relief:

“First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain just addressed the opening of an abbreviated first GOP convention session, cut short as Hurricane Gustav and associated storms hits the gulf states. McCain wore a gorgeous outfit.

The session was focused on getting procedural work done–and raising money for hurricane victims. Websites of relief agencies for Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama were featured in the hall.

Though the session was supposed to be striped [sic] of politics — Bush slipped once when praising the work of governors of the impacted gulf states — noting they were all Republican.”

Good for Laura. It is a GOP Convention, after all.

There’s also a photo at the link, including Cindy’s “gorgeous” outfit. The media reported what Michelle Obama and her children wore to the Democratic Convention, right? But it still seems strange.


Quote of the Day

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:44 pm

“I am a gullible dork.”

It’s incredible that Sully didn’t fall for this ridiculous unsubstantiated rumor as well.

(H/t Ace.)

Meanwhile, the New York Times and L.A. Times are busy reporting the “It’s Bristol’s child!!1!” rumor. They’re not reporting that it’s true, mind you. Apparently, it’s news that the rumor was circulated on liberal blogs.

Interesting how this untrue rumor is news, but the true Edwards rumor was not. I’m sure the reason has something to do with Serious News Judgment.

Both papers make sure to include pictures of Bristol holding her brother in a motherly fashion. I can still hear the bicoastal snickering from both newsrooms.

Andrew Sullivan’s Hypocrisy on Privacy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:15 pm

Andrew Sullivan, May 31, 2001:

I think a fair assessment of these tactics would be blackmail and intimidation. I ignored them as I have learned to ignore most such threats over the years. To answer them is to give legitimacy to the very premises of their argument: that the most intensely personal details of someone’s private life can and should be used for political purposes. The truth is: no-one’s legal, consensual, adult private life should be plundered and exposed for political purposes.

I ignored the requests for comment because there was nothing to comment on. . . . I was asked to confirm a story presented anonymously, the only salient details of which I believed to be untrue. Why should I answer?

The controversy, of course, was his posting of personal ads seeking risky, unprotected gay sex — despite a public position against such sex.

Andrew Sullivan, September 1, 2008:

Why not kill this rumor with Palin’s medical records? A 43 year old woman’s pregnancy with a Downs Syndrome child would have been intensely monitored, and the records must be a mile long. Just release them, ok? If necessary in a closed room for reporters, just as with McCain. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

Privacy for me, but not for thee.

Sally Quinn: Palin Got the Job Because She’s a Woman

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:53 pm

It’s dripping with sexism, but it’s OK because the author is a woman:

Is she prepared for the all-consuming nature of the job? She is the mother of five children, one of them a four-month-old with Down Syndrome. Her first priority has to be her children. When the phone rings at three in the morning and one of her children is really sick what choice will she make? . . .. A mother’s role is different from a father’s.

There’s lots more like that.

I find myself, oddly, agreeing with lefty blogger Hilzoy:

I think that arguing about whether Sarah Palin is a good mother is out of line: we have no idea at all what arrangements she and her husband have made for child care, how their relationship works, and so forth. Assuming that Sarah Palin would have to be her children’s primary caregiver is just sexist.

Putting aside Hilzoy’s nutroots-pleasing pap about how it “may be” true that “the Republicans would not hesitate to use Democrats’ teenage children to score political points,” she’s mostly on target — even rejecting the “Sarah Palin opposes sex education — isn’t it ironic?!?!1!” argument.

As for Andrew Sullivan, Ace is all over him. Keep scrolling.

Sarah Palin’s Daughter Bristol Is Five Months Pregnant; Andrew Sullivan Still Wants Proof Sarah Palin’s Four-Month Old Child Is Hers

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:53 am

Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, is five months pregnant. She will keep the baby and marry the father. Allahpundit says:

It shouldn’t hurt Palin but it will, because like I said in my pessimism post on Friday, any sort of embarrassment that she brings to the campaign will be used by the media to push the Dan Quayle/disastrous gamble meme, whether or not the embarrassment’s her own fault or not. (They’ll spin it as a comment on McCain’s “judgment” in picking her.) The left, normally all for teen sex, will naturally use it as an excuse to call her daughter a whore in the guise of criticizing Palin herself for her position on abstinence-only education, which is why I’m thinking maybe McCain really did know about it: Per KP’s analysis, the nastier and more personal the left gets, the greater the risk of a backlash that benefits Palin.

Read all of Allah’s post. Updates indicate that evangelicals are backing her.

You might think this, together with pictures of Sarah Palin clearly pregnant several months ago, would cause Andrew Sullivan to give up the ghost on the idiot rumors that Sarah Palin’s four-month-old is really Bristol’s. You would, of course, be wrong:

Now all we need is confirmation from the obstetrician who delivered Sarah’s baby, Trig.

Why the f[vowel deleted]ck do we need that?!?! She’s five months pregnant, and the baby is four months old.

Someone explain to Andrew how this stuff works, will you?

I don’t read this guy regularly; I only kept up with his site over the last few days. Is he always this big of a jackass?

Keep pushing this, Andrew. You’re only helping us.

Meanwhile, a reader writes:

Since you are in correspondence with [Sullivan], can you ask him why this request had to be made publicly, airing this theory as plausible and putting it out to tens of thousands of people, rather than him simply writing the McCain people privately?

Does he not know any emails of anyone at the McCain camp? Couldn’t get one from someone?

Does he believe that this is the sort of scurrilous rumor that can and should be peddled to the greatest audience possible in advance of finding any actual facts that might support it?

The reader adds, in a follow-up e-mail:

Also ask: that if he thinks his handling of this rumor should set the standard for how we on the right deal with what we might hear about Obama’s older daughter.

Speaking of which, how would Obama handle his daughter getting pregnant? Michelle Malkin reminds us: he would have his daughter abort the child, not wanting her to be “punished.” Michelle says: “Bristol Palin chooses life. Now leave her alone.” Perfectly said.

Meanwhile, this Kirsten Powers piece on Palin is brilliant from start to finish. It perfectly encapsulates my feelings — every word of it:

She has energized a gloomy Republican Party in a way that none of the other picks – Tom Ridge, Joe Lieberman, Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney – would have. The McCain ticket desperately needed energy. The excitement for Palin is palpable.

Negatives? Well, there’s a scandal involving the firing of her brother-in-law from the state troopers. The national news media has found this far more fascinating than it ever did Obama’s dealings with the slumlord Tony Rezko. Rezko was a blip for Obama; Palin’s scandal will become a test of her integrity.

What of the claim that McCain’s pick undermines his assertion that experience is what matters in a president?

Hmm: Palin isn’t running for president; she’s running for vice president. Last time I checked, John McCain isn’t dying. And if experience is your worry, there’s plenty to worry about on the opposing ticket if, God forbid, something happens to Joe Biden.

Dems have been comparing Palin to Joe Biden and laughing derisively at the contrast. But for some reason, the comparison between Obama and McCain – who are light years apart in terms of experience – doesn’t incite the same level of concern or condescension.

Weird, that.

The Sarah Palin Celebrity Look-Alike Contest

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Justin Levine @ 4:13 am

Tina Fey and Megan Mullay are in the running. [h/t: Instapundit]

I’d like to respectfully add a co-worker of mine who I think takes the gold here.

– Justin Levine

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