Patterico's Pontifications


For the Sake of Argument: Is a Certain Lightweight Better Than a Possible Lightweight?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 11:49 pm

A commenter says:

For me, an independent,arguing over the respective “experience” of Obama or Palin is like arguing over which set of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” are better.

In my long experience as a voter, they have to be the two most inexperienced people ever nominated by a major party for the highest offices in the land.

One party gives me a complete lightweight and the other gives me a 72 year old man with a history of cancer who could have a stroke tomorrow but whose understudy is a complete lightweight. With these as my choices, I really am at a loss.

I don’t accept the characterization of Palin as a lightweight. But, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Palin is much of a lightweight as Obama.

This is still an incredibly easy question to answer.


An Alaskan on Sarah Palin

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 10:47 pm

An anonymous writer who claims to be an Alaskan writes of Sarah Palin:

She reminds me personally of our Alaska wolverine which will fight anything in its path if it sees fit to do so. No respect at all for size or position.

In closing I must tell you that she is the best, most moral and most focused leader I’ve seen since President Reagan. I feel, really strongly that like Alaska, the rest of our country will love her within a few weeks. Put simply, she represents Middle America like no leader we’ve ever had.

I think McCain made a totally brilliant move in choosing her. She’s a maverick who is probably tougher and more focused than McCain himself… and she won’t be a total yes man, or more appropriately, yes woman.

McCain will love her.

In 2012 she will be President.

Well, that might be a bit hasty, but I like the enthusiasm. The handwringers need to remember that Ms. Palin is enormously popular in a state where politicians usually aren’t.

Will that translate to middle America? I think the jury is still out. But it’s my best sense that she will come across as more down to earth than any candidate in recent memory.

And she certainly has stirred up the race, hasn’t she?

Thanks to Eric Blair.

UPDATE: Read this too:

Listening to the Democratic leadership respond to John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, one hears echoes of the Alaska Republican leadership from just a few years ago. Barack Obama’s spokesman, Bill Burton, put it this way: “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Former mayor? If you’re going to skip over her job as governor and, before that, her job heading the commission that oversees production of the largest petroleum reserves in America, why not “former high school student”? Bah, what does it matter: She’s just a small town mayor, just a hockey mom, just a beauty pageant queen. Palin has never shunned these belittling monikers, in part, I imagine, because the camouflage has served her so well. Soothed by the litany, her opponents tend to sleep too late, sneer too much, and forget who it is that hires them.

. . . .

Sarah Palin is a living reminder that the ultimate source of political power in this country is not the Kennedy School or the Davos Summit or an Ariana Huffington salon; even now, power emanates from the electorate itself. More precisely, power in 2008 emanates from the working class electorates of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Sooner or later, the Obama camp will realize that the beauty pageant queen is an enormously talented populist in a year that is ripe for populism. For their own sake, it had better be sooner.

Finally, Ace reminds us that Thursday is the cutoff for donations to McCain-Palin.

You can contribute here.

Fee Fi Fo Frum, The Copy Editor’s a Bum

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:58 pm

The other day I mocked David Frum for saying:

If anything were to happen to a President McCain, the destiny of the free world would be placed in the hands of a woman who until the day before Friday was a small-town mayor

As I said: “Well, he didn’t say which Friday.”

Frum is now blaming a copy editor:

In my National Post piece, linked below, I described Sarah Palin as a person who “until the day before yesterday,” was serving as a small-town mayor. Some helpful copy-editor decided it would be more exact to change “the day before yesterday” to “the day before Friday.” That alteration transformed my deliberate hyperbole into a flat-out error. Of course I am aware that Sarah Palin was the governor of Alaska the day before yesterday – and indeed that she remains the governor of Alaska today, and my apologies that the final copy said otherwise.

That’s what I like about blogging: all the mistakes are mine!

Sorry to have to tell you this, Dave, but so is this one — at least in part. Obviously the copy editor was fooled by the “hyperbole.” Chances are a not-insignificant number of less informed readers would have been fooled by the original language as well.

Frum could have avoided this by being less cute and dismissive and more, well, honest.

In other words: maybe next time lay off the hyperbole and you won’t end up looking like such a jackass.

Sarah Palin Bikini Photo: Fake

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:05 pm

Brian Ledbetter tips us that this photo:

is a fake. It’s Sarah Palin’s face photoshopped onto this picture:

[Channeling a heterosexual but otherwise equally moronic version of Andy Sullivan:] This seems persuasive to me. But it’s based entirely on a vague comparison of photos. Why not kill this rumor with a genuine photo of Sarah Palin in a bikini? Just so we can be sure?

Just release it, ok? If necessary in a closed room for conservative bloggers. And we can all breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

P.S. A clumsy photoshop of a conservative woman in a bikini, eh? Paging Eric Muller! Paging Ken Layne!

How Stupid Does Barack Obama Think You Are?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

This stupid:

“Well, my understanding is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the last couple of years,” Obama said.

Funny, that. Over the “last couple of years” is actually about how long Sarah Palin has been Governor of Alaska, not Mayor of Wasilla.

When I first saw that story linked on Drudge today, my immediate thought was: I bet Alaska has a larger budget and greater number of employees, by leaps and bounds. Luckily, the McCain camp was on the ball and had the same thought, and their retort is included in the version of the story above:

“It is a testament to Barack Obama’s inexperience and failing qualifications that he would stoop to passing off his candidacy as comparable to Governor Sarah Palin’s executive experience managing a budget of over $10 billion and more than 24,000 employees,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.

What she’s too kind to say is that it is also a testament to Barack Obama’s honesty.

He knew exactly what he was doing when he gave that misleading little quote.

I don’t like Barack Obama, but I actually thought that, just maybe, he was a little better than that.

P.S. Speaking of executive experience, here’s our new favorite whipping boy Andy Sullivan:

People keep forgetting. McCain has little to no executive experience. He’s been a Congressman and Senator his whole career. He got the nomination by default.

First of all, that’s just a lie. The Republican nomination was a hard-fought battle, and as unbelievably stupid as Andrew Sullivan has been over the past few days, he surely knows this.

Second, it is really a good idea to scream hysterically about McCain lacking executive experience when you’re trying to belittle the one person in this race who does have executive experience — and that person is on McCain’s ticket?

Criticizing “Vetting” Through the Posting of Embarrassing Material — An Excellent Strategy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 pm

Andrew Sullivan continues to publish anything embarrassing he can find about Sarah Palin, or anyone associated with her, under the guise of criticizing “vetting.” Now he’s linking news stories with private details about the father of Bristol Palin’s child.

Here’s the synopsis: the father is a teenager, and quotes from his MySpace page show that he’s immature. Ergo, the McCain campaign did not vet Sarah Palin!

Well, there’s a whole collection of embarrassing stuff about Andrew Sullivan. I would never post it just to embarrass him. But it might be worthy of publication in the interest of asking: Did they properly vet Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic?

Here’s one of the tamer examples. Thanks to one of Ace’s commenters.

Those are “power glutes.” The reason for that term is on deck. We have more questions about the “vetting” of Sullivan to come over the next few days.

P.S. “Mickey’s got my back.” Looks like he’s got his own back . . .

UPDATE: God bless YouTube. Funny: that’s just what I was thinking while writing this post!

In the next post I will say: God bless the Internet Archive.

How Low Can They Go?

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 6:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

First they said Palin is an inexperienced woman and I thought: Identity politics is a part of the landscape. Deal with it.

Then they said Palin is a lousy mother to abandon a Down Syndrome baby and a pregnant teen and I thought: GOP children are fair game these days. Look at the way the media lampooned the Bush twins.

But the Miami Herald has published an email from Obama campaign spokesman Mark Bubriski that is too much even for me. Palin the Nazi sympathizer:

“Palin was a supporter of [MSNBC analyst] Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer,” Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski wrote in an email.

The campaign also alerted reporters to the fact that Palin supporters, when she ran for mayor of the little Alaska city of Wasilla, was hailed by a supporter as “the first Christian mayor,” something that irked predecessor John Stein because he, too, is Christian.

Now comes this piece in Talking Points Memo connecting the Palin-Buchanan dots. It says Obama’s pick of Joe Biden to be his vp “pretty much eliminated Obama’s ‘Jewish problem.'” Does that mean Obama had a problem in the first place?”

That’s disgusting and there’s no excuse for a campaign spokesman tarring Palin as someone who supports or is a Nazi-sympathizer.

NOTE: A McCain-Palin spokesman said Palin, as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, attended a Buchanan for President rally in her town and wore one of his buttons as a courtesy. At that time, she immediately sent a letter to the town newspaper stating she did not endorse Buchanan.


California Serial Killers In The News

Filed under: Crime — Justin Levine @ 5:22 pm

[by Justin Levine]

Interesting new allegations and evidence in the infamous Zodiac killer case now surfacing.

While I’d love for the case to finally be solved, I would feel a tinge of regret in one sense if it genuinely turns out to be this new suspect. The regret would be this:  I still think that Zodiac was easily the best fim of 2007 (lack of Academy Award nominations notwithstanding). It was based on Robert Graysmith’s book which argued that Arthur Lee Allen was most likely the real killer. If these new allegations pan out, it would effectively destroy Graysmith’s theory. While Zodiac the film would remain a great police procedural thriller, it would obviously be hard to look at the film again without the constant nagging thought that it too is wrong and ignores key suspects in the case. [Like the case itself, the film ends on an inconclusive note – but it still reflects Graysmith’s own biases and theories regarding the investigation.]

But obviously I’m not about to allow my love for a film cloud objective judgments over the facts of a case. I just follow the evidence whereevr it may lead, and trust that professional investigators will do the same.

More on comparing Zodiac film and facts here.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Weekly this week has a fascinating article on one of the most prolific serial killers in recent years who has remained unidenitified and has recently begun operating again in Southern California.

– Justin Levine

Another Example of Why Democrats Lose National Elections: Obama goes to the Abortion Card. Updated

Filed under: 2008 Election,Abortion — WLS @ 5:05 pm

Posted by WLS:

Ben Smith’s blog over at the Politico has this entry from earlier today:

A Virginia reader reports that Obama’s on the radio there with an ad hitting McCain on abortion rights.

That would be the first paid media on an issue Democrats have used in the past as a trump card but that Obama has generally placed behind economic issues in his outreach to women.

UPDATE: Another reader hears the same spot on a country station in Milwaukee, Wis. The campaign hasn’t responded to questions about it, but if you’ve got audio, send it over.

ALSO: Colorado and Iowa.

So, McCain announces a pro-life running mate who last April at the age of 44 decided to have a child who she knew in advance would be born with Down Syndrome — thereby “walking the walk” of her pro-life stance.

Now the news is filled with stories about her 17-year-old daughter being pregnant, and having the complete support and love of her family to have the child and marry the father. Again, another example of leadership on this very difficult and personal subject — and I’m guessing representing a struggle that tens of thousands of American families go through in their family lives every year.

And this is a week that Obama’s campaign decides to start airing abortion commercials??????

And this is supposed to bring him votes how?????


In giving the strategy angle of this a little more thought, I couldn’t get away from the idea that on the eve of Palin’s speech, this is an incredibly bad idea on the part of the Obama campaign.  Unless…..

Unless their polling over the past 48 hours shows significant movement by female Clinton supporters towards the McCain/Palin ticket. 

Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa.

Battlegrounds all (Virginia not so much). 

It wouldn’t take much movement by women in these states to put Obama in serious trouble.  And he can’t win if he loses Wisconsin, Colorado and Iowa. 

Now I think the ad rollout is a sign of trouble for Obama — its meant to remind women that votes on the Supreme Court are at stake. 

Its to keep the Clinton females supporters on the team.

I smell smoke.  Something is on fire.

Browser Wars Reloaded: Google Chrome

Filed under: Gadgets,Miscellaneous — Justin Levine @ 3:18 pm

[by Justin Levine]

I’ve been playing with the new Google Chrome today.  Very impressive so far. I’d still give the current edge to Mozilla’s Firefox 3 because of all the great customizable add-ons it has. But if Google Chrome catches up to it in this department, I could see it becoming a choice browser.

Its hard to see how Microsoft’s Internet Explorer can recover from both of these superior competitors, but who knows. In the end, we computer users benefit.

– Justin Levine

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