Patterico's Pontifications


Have You Heard the One About the Community Organizer?

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Marc Ambinder wrote this about Sarah Palin’s “community organizer” jokes last night:

The four mocking mentions last night of Barack Obama’s service as a “community organizer” have ignited a metapshereic debate about whether the term has racial connotations.

The McCain campaign says no: they insist that no one knows what a community organizer is, and whatever they think it is, it doesn’t compare to being a mayor. They say that because Obama cites his organizing work as a key point on his resume, it’s fair for them to tickle it. Their point is: he’s a governing dilettante.

Indeed, the Obama campaign knows that many Americans don’t know what a community organizer does, and they’ve changed the way they refers to Obama’s experience too. When he talks about community organizing now, he references his organizing work for churches. That embeds the work in a more familiar context. Inner city Catholics know what community organizers do, certainly.

But community organizers tend to work with poorer folks, and there’s some chatter among Democrats that it’s a subtle way to highlight Obama’s urbanity. Some Obama aides see it as a knock against the poor and their material needs.

I think it’s a cultural trope, like when Rudy Giuliani (lacking, I might add, any sense of irony or awareness of his own life), referred last night to Obama’s “cosmopolitan” background. It stirs up resentments. It makes elite Republicans feel comfortable with themselves. The audience repeatedly laughed; they got the joke. The question is: what was the joke?

I thought I got the joke — that liberals think “organizing” a community is the same as “governing” a community.

If these Obama supporters are right that Palin was making a racist, urban, we-hate-the-poor point, those jokes went way over my head.

So does that make me an elitist or trailer trash?


Male Presidential Candidate Uses Female Gender for Cynical Partisan Benefit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:26 pm

Folks, I hate to say this, but I value honesty above partisan credentials.

I’ve reluctantly concluded that we’ve come to a point in time when a Presidential candidate is simply using the female gender to nakedly appeal to voters. It’s transparent and, I have to be honest, it’s pathetic.

Maybe I’ll at least get an Yglesias Award.

Read the ugly story of why I’ve come to this conclusion in the extended entry.


Republican Convention, Day 3 (or 4)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

John McCain has just begun his acceptance speech.

Anyone see Obama on Bill O’Reilly?


Let’s Play “Name That Democrat” — A Party Game Based On Daniel Henninger’s Column Today

Filed under: General — WLS @ 5:40 pm

Posted by WLS:

Henniger has a great column up today, especially this passage:

[Palin] got into politics in Wasilla with zero connections — no famous father, no financing husband, no mentor, nothing. She got elected mayor. She got into politics to improve her community, not to launch herself on some career path she had figured out while in college.

So, name those Democrats.

My guesses:

No Famous Father — Nancy Pelosi, daughter of Baltimore mayor and Dem power broker Thomas D’Alesandro

Financier Husband — Diane Feinstein, married to billionaire investment banker Richard Blum.

Another great line from Henniger about Palin:

Many younger women [Palin is 44] didn’t learn what it means to be an achieving woman from dormitory feminism.

Teleprompter Stories

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

[Guest post by DRJ]

There can be little doubt about Sarah Palin’s poise under pressure after last night’s speech but, if you have any last doubts, this Fox News report should put them to rest:

“The Alaska governor overcame several glitches and technical problems to deliver her speech without getting flustered, impressing McCain and his staff and allowing them to breathe a sigh of relief.

Foremost of the obstacles, Palin’s teleprompter was not working properly. When she took the podium, the machine rolled so quickly, it often skipped the first line or two of every paragraph on screen. The operator said he had new equipment and wasn’t sure how it would work.

However, Palin also went on stage with a slightly outdated hard copy of her speech. For various unexplained reasons, she and her closest advisers had an old draft on hand, and even had a hard time furnishing one of those for her to use. Several of the drafts were scribbled on, so one aide gave Palin a wrinkled, folded copy out of his pocket.

Officials said Palin responded in mom-like fashion, concluding, “Well, I suppose I could put a book on it and smooth it out a little.”

During one part of her speech, she couldn’t see the teleprompter because signs were blocking it. That was when she ad-libbed a line about the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull — “lipstick.”

Compare Palin’s speech with Barack Obama’s “uh” count and his rhetoric and delivery when he speaks without a teleprompter.


The Numbers Are In And They Are Stunning — Read’em And Weep Dems

Filed under: General — WLS @ 12:58 pm

Posted by WLS:

One question that crossed my mind repeatedly last night was “Well, how many people are really watching this?”

Obama’s convention speech — with weeks of build-up in the media which has gone on and on about Obama bringing new voters into the system — drew an amazing 38 million viewers.  Biden’s speech was seen by 24 million. 

To put that in perspective, here are some numbers from past elections:

Bush 2004 — 27.5 million

Kerry 2004 — 24.4 million

Hillary 2008 — 26 million

Fred Thompson — 21 million

So, what about Palin last night?

Drudge says 37 MILLION!!!!!

McCain’s pick certainly caught the nation’s attention, and the media drove the interest in her speech with their relentless attacks no her.  So America tuned in last night to see what she’s all about, and she absolutely crushed it. 

I can’t wait to see the polls tomorrow morning which will reflect polling from today.

h/t powerlineblog

JCG on Palin

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 8:25 am

Jan Crawford Greenburg:

McCain, inexplicably in this campaign, has never stirringly delivered a Reagan-esque defense of America as a shining city upon the hill, with lights blazing as brightly as ever. That may be because McCain, after all those years in Washington, doesn’t get it. He wasnt raised a common man, but an officer’s son, and hes been a US Senator for 20 years now.

But he’s got a running mate, we saw last night, who can say hell yeah and yee haw with the best of them. (Id love to ask McCain if hed ever heard Redneck Woman, made wildly popular by the singer, Gretchen Wilson, who was on the stage after Palin last night.) He’s got a running mate who proudly clings to her guns and her religion—and can disparage Barack Obama for talking about us one way in Scranton and another in way San Francisco.

Read it all.

In some ways, Palin reminds me of Greenburg: a bright, capable “country girl” who has no doubt been underestimated many times in her career. I’m glad Greenburg is starting to see why, well before McCain made his decision, some of us were telling friends and colleagues that Sarah Palin was John McCain’s best hope to get elected.

Sully Continues the Vetting

Filed under: 2008 Election,Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

Andrew “Glutes” Sullivan (Motto: “To see what is up one’s ass needs a constant struggle”) continues to highlight the slipshod vetting of Sarah Palin with this critical piece of information: Wasilla has a meth problem. [UPDATE: Actually, that’s another lie by Sullivan. The truth is that the region where Wasilla is located has one. I considered the allegation to be so trivial that I didn’t even click Sullivan’s link to check his facts. That’ll learn me.]

How could the McCain campaign have missed this?

Also, I hope everyone caught Sully’s insightful live-blogging of the Sarah Palin speech last night. Some actual excerpts, which I swear I am not making up:

11.00 pm Styrofoam pillars; and self-designed seals. And her lip curls.

. . . .

10.49 pm. Piper is poking Trig in the eye!

. . . .

10.47 pm. She has this weird tick of scrunching up her face to make a forceful point. Kinda Tracy Flicky.

It is simply beyond me how the McCain camp could have picked this face-scrunching, lip-curling mother of spawn who poke special needs children in the eye, and former mayor of a town where people use drugs. Where’s the vetting? Thank God for Andrew Sullivan and his unwavering honesty!

P.S. Sullivan has really been on Palin’s case for seeking money for the Bridge to Nowhere and then spending it on something else. Indeed: how dare someone seek money for one purpose, and then suddenly decide not to use it for that purpose. Why, it would be almost like . . . holding a pledge drive for your blog, raking in six figures, and then going on a blog hiatus!

P.P.S. Sarah Palin can give a great speech, but how is she without a teleprompter? Here’s a recent interview. Judge for yourself.

CBS News: Palin Aced It

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 2:20 am

A analysis:

[F]or the rest of the voters and interested Americans tuning in, Palin succeeded in giving the kind of speech that will be remembered for its dramatic circumstances – at the very least. Wednesday night, Sarah Palin lived up to all the accolades used to describe her by those who know her best back home, even some counted as adversaries – likable, smart and confident. The campaign could hardly have asked for more.

It was a test for Palin, this introduction to the national stage, one that was set up for her to pass – a well-prepared speech in front of a celebratory crowd guaranteed to respond to all the applause lines. Tougher challenges await, such as press conferences, hard-hitting interviews and that upcoming debate with her Democratic counterpart, Biden. But if this was the first exam, she easily aced it.

Great analysis, except that the Biden debate will hardly be a tougher challenge, given what a smarmy phony he is.

The New Name for “Troopergate”: “Tasergate”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:30 am

My eyes glaze over every time someone talks about this alleged “scandal” with Sarah Palin and the trooper who was her brother-in-law. I already linked a detail-rich Flopping Aces post about it, and I don’t intend to talk much more about it.

But I think we need to make the heart of the matter perfectly clear:

Sarah Palin’s alleged offense is trying to seek the ouster of a peace officer who tasered an 11-year-old child. [UPDATE: Make that a 10-year-old child.]

As set forth in this e-mail sent by Sarah Palin — sent before she was Governor of Alaska, with full disclosure of her relationship — the trooper committed numerous other alleged acts, witnessed by many, many people not connected with the Palin family, including threatening people’s lives; driving drunk while on the job; badging a bartender to get a bar patron ejected from the bar; interfering with a DUI investigation involving his girlfriend; and so on and so forth.

But to me, the most salient fact of all is that he tasered an 11-year-old child. [A 10-year-old child!]

For the fun of it. So that the child would know what it felt like.

This is not a peace officer that belonged on the streets.

So if Sarah Palin’s biggest offense was trying to get him removed from his position, despite a conflict of interest involving her sister, I say: good for her.

Teflon Don’s dad (aka “Teflon Dad”) wrote me to suggest that I not call this “scandal” Troopergate, but rather “Tasergate.”

And so I shall, from now on, with a link to this post to explain what I’m talking about.

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