Patterico's Pontifications


JCG on Palin — McCain Camp Needs to Stop the Paternalism

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:56 pm

Jan Crawford Greenburg has a fascinating post about the Palin pick, that combines personal stories about Greenburg’s own history of overcoming sexism with new information about how Palin was picked.

Palin appears to have been selected, in no small part, precisely because she’s a woman. Yet instead of acknowledging that as a real strength, the McCain campaign is acting like gender had little or nothing to do with it. Campaign officials instead have been angrily portraying questions about her qualifications as nothing more than old-fashioned sexism, and then trying to put a protective shield around her.

They’re treating Gov. Sarah Palin—a ground-breaking woman by anyone’s account—like a girl.

As a result, for many, the campaign’s defense of Palin smacks of the tokenism and paternalism of a past generation, things women who’ve fought for equal footing want to believe we’ve moved beyond. At the same time, it seems devoid of the honesty that the first women of firsts—women like Sandra Day O’Connor—brought to the debate. Those women unapologetically said they knew why they were picked, and that it was a good thing for women and for society.

For more than a week now, we’ve heard how Palin’s treatment is sexist. How the questions she’s endured—about her experience, her qualifications and her life—would never have been asked of a man. We’ve seen the McCain campaign say this pit bull of a hockey mom would not talk to the press until she was shown “deference.”

There’s a lot there to react to, and I certainly don’t agree with all of it. I initially bristled when Greenburg cited Palin’s gender as a principal reason she was picked (but keep reading — she backs up that claim). After all, there are numerous reasons Palin would have been a fantastic pick regardless of gender — and a lot of them have to do with her being a younger version of John McCain, with more conservative credentials.

Liberal carping aside, Palin has been a reformer. The L.A. Times — not a paper that is friendly to conservatives — highlighted some of her major accomplishments recently. Those include taking on corrupt Republicans in her state, passing ethics legislation, slashing spending in times of budget surpluses, and forcing oil companies to pay their fair share for access to gas and oil reserves. The Washington Post concedes that she took on Big Oil in Alaska to deliver on a pipeline. And, while she has been criticized for giving a simplistic version of her opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, the Associated Press (on the pages of the New York Times) gave credit to Palin for killing the project, back before they realized it would help John McCain to admit it.

Palin is conservative, but like McCain, she has put conservative causes on the back burner to fight for the reform issues that animate her public service. She has a reputation for bipartisanship in Alaska, as numerous journalists from the state have repeatedly acknowledged; in fact, she has upset many Republicans more than Democrats.

It’s easy to see why John McCain would gravitate towards such an independent-minded reformer, regardless of gender. So even if McCain picked Palin in part because of her gender (and he apparently did; see below), there’s plenty there to like regardless of gender, and we should be clear about that.

In addition, many of the attacks on Palin have indeed been undeniably sexist. Greenburg cites one that is not: Biden’s claim that electing McCain/Palin would be a step backward for women. Hey, that’s the kind of shot you have to be able to take in the Big Leagues; Democrats always think they have the only policies that benefit women, and you can’t whine when they use that argument against a woman.

But plenty of the attacks on Palin have been sexist. Palin has been called a bad mother for trying to balance career and family — a challenge Greenburg herself has been faced with. She has been criticized for having too many children, for being a former beauty-queen airhead, and for being too fragile to face the press. And it goes on and on and on.

At the same time, I agree that the McCain camp runs a risk of appearing paternalistic if they hide Palin from the media for much of the campaign. I still suspect (or at least hope) that the strategy is a rope-a-dope tactic, lowering expectations for someone who will hold her own just fine. Such an expectations-dampening tactic could serve as valuable insurance against the dangers posed by unfair pop quizzes (“Who is the leader of Podunkstan?”) of the type that many pundits are actively seeking — and that the men in the race will never face (sorry to invoke sexism again, but if the shoe fits . . .). As such, the tactic may be politically wise.

On the other hand, it could reflect a genuine lack of confidence in Palin’s competence. And, as it turns out, McCain’s people may well be underestimating Palin, just like her political opponents are. There is support for that theory in Greenburg’s post, because she can back up her accusation that McCain picked Palin in no small part because she is a woman.

This isn’t some flippant remark tossed off by Greenburg; she’s done the reporting and she can back up what she says. Read Greenburg’s post; excerpting it doesn’t do it justice. Those of us who supported the Palin pick in the weeks preceding the announcement would like to think that McCain was smart enough to see it as obvious all along, but he wasn’t. He stumbled into the best decision he has made in this campaign.

Greenburg complains that the McCain folks “treat Palin like she’s a woman from the olden days who needs protecting—not the modern-day leader she is.” She says:

I know I’m not alone in saying I can’t wait to see her start speaking for herself and answering these questions on her own—beginning with ABC’s Charles Gibson. So far, she seems a far better advocate for herself than John McCain is, as many concluded from their respective convention speeches last week.

I agree on both counts. And I have some advice for the McCain camp — and please, listen up, guys. If you’ve never listened to me before, listen to me now.

Let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin. I’ve watched plenty of clips of Gov. Palin from the past in debate and interview situations, and she can hold her own. Don’t put her in a rhetorical straightjacket and force her to answer all questions with memorized soundbites from her speech. The only way she’s going to mess this up in any real sense is if you people try to prevent her from being genuine, and if she listens to you. So just trust her. Dispel Jan Crawford Greenburg’s sense that you’re being paternalistic to her, and let her shine — as we, her supporters, have every confidence she can.

Now that my rants are done, please go read Greenburg’s entire thoughtful post.

75 Responses to “JCG on Palin — McCain Camp Needs to Stop the Paternalism”

  1. Paternalism?
    But I though they weren’t hiding her?

    Please let Palin be Palin. And I have one question for her:
    “Are we in the End Times?”

    This is going to be fun

    whatever (6b0755)

  2. Clearly it’s hard to find a common understanding as to what sexism even is.

    For example: I’d have said (and have blogged) that Biden’s comment about “a step backwards for women” is sexist. I think it’s sexist because it presumes that women’s opinions, to be valid, must first pass certain litmus tests (particularly on abortion issues) before those women can be considered “real women.” But this obviously struck you another way, Patterico.

    That said, I agree with your overall point: Playing the victim is not natural for Sarah Palin, and by far the best rebuttal to attacks, whether sexist or otherwise in nature, is for her to rebut them herself.

    Beldar (8a23eb)

  3. Well, Pat, you know you’ve hit the big time when the Spamtrolls are attracted to your blog like moths to a flame. What a shame they haven’t yet invented cyber-Raid.

    L.N. Smithee (8dbd9a)

  4. Mmm-kay, I’ve read Greenburg’s post. She’s just wrong in comparing the Palin pick to Sandra Day O’Connor, for reasons you’ve pegged in your post already, Patterico. Based on accomplishments as a reformer and a governor, Palin was among the most qualified GOP state governors without any regard to her gender. I agree that it’s fine to acknowledge that her gender was perceived as a “plus factor,” to borrow that horrid phrase from Justice Powell’s Bakke opinion, but Greenburg short-changes Palin’s merits, whether from ignorance or otherwise.

    Beldar (8a23eb)

  5. whatever (#2): Glad to see you’ve put yourself firmly in the camp of those who support child abusers and law-breaking law enforcement officers, right along with Newsweek. I’ve just blogged about the article you linked, the gist of which is that a judge in Alaska cautioned Sarah Palin’s sister and family to avoid “disparaging” Trooper Mike Wooten on grounds that that can constitute “child abuse.” But Newsweek pretty much ignores the fact that Tasering 10-year-olds is much more obviously child abuse, as completely ignores such other abusive practices of Trooper Wooten as his driving with his child while intoxicated, picking bar fights, and generally abusing his badge.

    But please: Keep on defending this child abusing monster. Spend all your efforts between now and election day doing exactly that. Seriously. You’re doing your candidate a great favor, America is about to rise up in support of Mike “Tasered-My-Kid” Wooten!

    Beldar (8a23eb)

  6. More directly, she’s chosen as a woman in the same way they used to choose a New Yorker — to balance the ticket. She’s also chosen because she’s substantially younger than McCain. She’s also chosen because the social conservatives think she’s one of theirs (although I have not yet seen how her religious beliefs have affected public policy).

    If anyone’s judgment is called into question by this, it should be Obama’s. WTF was Biden supposed to do for him? Not that he can have a do=over…

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  7. whatever –

    Please let Palin be Palin. And I have one question for her:
    “Are we in the End Times?”

    — You don’t need Governor Palin to answer that; I can do it . . . ahem:

    YES. You autObamatons™ are in the End Times. In fifty-some days it will all be over.

    Icy Truth (33a0bd)

  8. Beldar–

    Even Mike Gravel thinks Tasergate is going to come out wildly in Sarah’s favor. It seems like all Alaska is behind her, barring a few cretins here and there.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  9. Palin already prevailed in a bitter election against a corrupt Republican establishment in Alaska, and did it within her own party. That’s a far, far tougher electoral battle than anything Obama ever faced. McCain, no stranger to nasty and dishonest election tactics within the Republican party, did not select her without understanding that she has the personal qualities to take it.

    I also don’t see where this paternalism fear is coming from–Palin is campaigning and giving interviews.

    As I commented earlier, Palin was a smart move simply because her combination of reformist credentials and relative inexperience makes her into a political honey trap for the Democrats–every assault on her record raises Obama’s own problems, and every nasty negative attack chips away at his claims of a new kind of politics. That she is a woman is just a terrific bonus.

    Funnily enough, that leaves only the issues as grounds for safe debate. You’d think that’s where Obama would want to fight this election anyway given the current Administration’s policy debacles, but other than his health care insurance proposal and Iraq withdrawal plans, what exactly is Obama enthusiastic about in his platform?

    Cyrus Sanai (4df861)

  10. I think you’re over-analyzing. After she sees her son off on Sep 11, Palin is scheduled to start campaigning solo. There’s a long 50+ days to go yet. Not to mention the debates. Personally, I think McCain is going to whale into Obama with more gusto than he might have, because of the pig comment.

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  11. That’s whale into Obama in the debates.

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  12. All Sarah Palin has to do is be herself…she’s no squeaky little mouse, or she never would have taken down the corrupt Alaskan old guard.

    I fully expect her to act in accordance with what she told Newsweek when they interviewed some months ago, when she was still pregnant with Trig.

    The Perceived Whine

    I doubt if that pig comment fazed her one bit. But I’ll also bet it got her some more votes.

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  13. Godzilla –

    — You had it right the first time.

    Icy Truth (33a0bd)

  14. Icy Truth

    “You had it right the first time.”

    Yep, that too, or both 😉

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  15. Okay, I’ve figured out something that had been bugging me.

    The “step backward for women” comment is sexist, but it’s not sexist insofar as it’s directed at Gov. Palin. It’s sexist insofar as it presumes that all women have identical views and values.

    Beldar (8a23eb)

  16. Beldar, I think a better word would be “myopic”, in that his view thinly focuses on only sector of a wide spectrum. As if he accepts NOW’s version of womanhood. Only a small mind could hold such a view. His quip about lipstick was definitely sexist, though.

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  17. That should be “his view thinly focuses on only ONE sector of a wide spectrum.”

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  18. Godzilla –

    Yep, that too, or both

    — You know what they say: You just can’t beat sense into some people . . . but you sure can have a hell of a time trying.

    Icy Truth (33a0bd)

  19. I have a strong feeling the McCain camp is holding Palin back from b!tch-slapping every one of those miserable media thugs propagating the slimes against her (the filthy lying gossip and obscene rumors; not the valid issues of her experience, principles, etc.). The Palins may have become so irate over the past 11 days that they are itching to meet their enemies head-on. That’s the Sarah Palin I suspect lurks beneath the mischievous twinkle. Personally I’d love to see her unleashed on these cretins. Libs have no idea what they’re dealing with.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  20. “hell of a good time trying”

    Icy Truth (33a0bd)

  21. I liked the term “myopic” so much to describe Biden’s remark about Palin being a setback for woman that I emailed Rush. Maybe he’ll run with it, who knows. During the commercial break today, just after he talked about Obama’s remark over the weekend that he had considered joining the military, I emailed Rush that the hostage crisis was going on in 1979. So we did in fact have a national crisis at the time (one that I bet spurred enlistments…but not Barry). Lo and behold, Rush comes back from the break and mentions the hostage crisis. So here’s what I just emailed him:

    In many blogs, Biden’s remark about Palin representing “a backward step for women” is being written up as sexist. A much better term, in my opinion, is “myopic”, in that he thinly focuses on only one sector of a wide spectrum. As if he accepts only NOW’s version of womanhood as definitive. Biden here illustrates his small-mindedness, and, by implication, his stupidity.

    Here’s a suggestion, if this sound accurate and you agree with, send him some emails, maybe we’ll get him to talk about this aspect of Biden’s remark. The sexism angle is not as powerful as pointing out Biden’s stupidity.

    Godzilla (5ba674)

  22. ok, i read greenberg’s piece and while i agree that palin being a woman was a factor in her selection, i disagree it was the ONLY factor (i.e. mc cain had to pick a fem for political reasons). He didnt.

    As for letting palin be palin, calm down Jan, the mc cain campaign is drawing huge crowds with them together and my guess is they will milk that as long as they can. The MSM made complete fools of themselves and continue to do so in regards to palin and the notion that palin cant handle a bunch of stiff, ideological media types (jan is excluded from this group) one-on-one is nonsense. She can & will on the campaigns timetable, not the media’s.

    james conrad (6bb6e6)

  23. If Palin is “all that and a bag of chips” I am quite sure she has voiced her opinion to McCain if she feels he is being paternalistic.

    McCain seems to have a good campaign strategy. Like Palin, he has been consistently underestimated.

    voiceofreason2 (4c64ff)

  24. I think that maybe both you and Greenburg are ignoring a very important political point: you keep doing what is working.

    Compare this situation to the pre-convention atmosphere. Palin had no contact with the press between the announcement of her candidacy and the acceptance speech. The press went absolutely ape-fecal-matter. Totally and completely. Old news, I know, but it created a tremendous groundswell of support and sympathy. The reaction, more than anything else, proved that the Democrats don’t give a rat about women. They will destroy a woman if if advances their cause. Just ask Hillary. No matter what the Dems or the press say, the reaction was the Hillary attack on steroids.

    It probably won’t stop. The innuendo, the lies, the intrusive investigations are still going on. So convince any of us that the McCain campaign is wrong to protect her. It is an issue of her gender, but only because the press continues to make it a matter of her gender.

    AND it is working for the McCain/Palin ticket. Is there a Republican, moderately conservative, or even a conscious, breathing woman that doesn’t know that? And it continues to generate sympathy and support.

    The bottom line: Before the acceptance speech, the press and the Dems created the environment for her success. Now, they are creating the environment for her CONTINUED success. And the McCain camp is playing it pretty darned well.

    Yes, they can hide her too long. Yes, they can create a backlash. But give the campaign some credit. They have done a pretty good job getting McCain to this point. I will be really surprised if they suddenly go stupid at this point.

    On the other hand, the MSM and the Obama campaign…..

    Scott (94805a)

  25. Beldar:

    The “step backward for women” comment is sexist, but it’s not sexist insofar as it’s directed at Gov. Palin. It’s sexist insofar as it presumes that all women have identical views and values.

    I agree with Godzilla, “myopic” is a better word. Feminists (aren’t they cute?) don’t necessarily believe all women do share their views and values, but they have convinced themselves that all women should, and that they’d all be better off if Gloria Steinem were dictator whether they want her to be or not. It’s the old Marxist “false consciousness” argument warmed over.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  26. The danger of lipstick, beyond it getting on your shirt collars and not coming off wine glasses in the dish washer:

    Barack Obama’s pal Bill Ayers said this yesterday via a bizzare cartoon:

    Now if you go back to Ayers September 11, 2001 New York Times interview about bombing Ayers actually said this:

    ”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.” Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. (and Bill Ayers wonders how we could have made the connection between bombing and not doing enough)

    Yet yesterday, Barack Obama was still claiming to Bill O’Reilly that Bill Ayers is just a guy from his neighborhood who is a teacher. Here’s News Hounds giving the spin from Team Obama’s perspective.

    The fact is Obama had a lot more connection to Ayers that is being let on, Ayers helped him get jobs, they served on a board together for several years and Ayers helped promote Barack Obama in the Chicago Democratic Machine (early on when Obama was an outsider in Chicago). Why is this not getting more attention?

    Joe (8102a5)

  27. Joe – don’t worry, those ads featuring Bambi’s favorite fundraiser are already in the can, replete with his recent noxious rants. Obama and his media enablers have been trying desperately to squelch this story (along with his Annenberg work), but it’s coming out, one way or the other.

    I disagree with a lot of this piece, save for one aspect – they should (and will) let her just be herself. All the great women politicos (and most men, for that matter) never left anyone doubting their authenticity – Thatcher, Golda Meir, etc. They gave as good as they got – just let ‘er rip when she feels like it, the studied contrasts between Palin and McCain vs. Obama/Biden will demonstrate fully what the voters long to witness in Presidential campaigns, but so rarely get the opportunity to do so.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  28. I’m just thinking that there may be some shepherding of Palin in the first days of her being on the campaign trail, due to her lack of exposure on the national stage – you’re taking an extremely popular governor out of her state and putting her in front of the MSM and blogsphere for their “analysis” of her. I’m sure that they are critiquing her performance at campaign stops (think of a NFL QB looking at game tape from last weeks game), and helping her get up to speed on campaigning on the national level.

    One other thing – there is something about her presence in front of the camera, and it’s probably due to her experiences as a beauty pageant contestant and a sports anchor, that impresses me. I’m sure she can go toe to toe with Biden, but she may be someone that is not afraid to tell someone to “take a long walk off a short pier”, if you know what I mean.

    I’m sure that we are seeing the real Sarah Palin, and she may be someone that reminds us of another person that was a great communicator – Ronald Reagan.

    fmfnavydoc (ba43d6)

  29. Gov. Palin is tough. I am looking forward to when she is let loose on the campaign trail. As an added bonus, I love that Baracky seems to be running against her, and not very well at that.

    JD (5f0e11)

  30. I think Palin is being prepped for foreign policy questions, not hidden. The Charlie Gibson interview is this week. The left, of course is already assuming that Gibson will provide only softballs.

    ABC is in the doghouse for asking tough questions of The One in the Dem debates so there are two reasons for their complaints. One- they won’t be satisfied until she is interviewed by Andrew Sullivan or Keith Olbermann; two- they may be trying to humiliate Gibson enough to get him to go after her. I think he is bigger than that. After all, he has tried to retire twice and ABC needs him more than he does them.

    One small media story that might get bigger if the McCain people are on the ball is this one. Obama has something else in common with Biden. They are both plagiarizers. That could be a bigger story, if handled well, than the lipstick story, which is a two day story anyway.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  31. As if we needed independent confirmation, now Clinton’s team admits that McCain’s people are “now in Obama’s head.” To paraphrase Mike, can you say “OODA?”:

    Now let’s wait until the Trolls show up with more nonsensical postings that somehow (in their fevered minds) indicate precisely that the opposite is happening.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  32. Sorry Pat – I too disagree. I think McCain and Palin both know exactly what they are doing. Do not forget that Obama has had a huge headstart, and tactics are a large reason why the M/P camp have capitalized on this momentous pick. It is masterful the way that they (with her playing it out beautifully) can lower expectations while at the same time raise the anticipation level. Of course she will deliver – she always does. I guess part of it is that are a fan of JCG, some of us, meh, not so much.

    rhodeymark (1aaf2a)

  33. that you are a fan…

    What I am anticipating is a good piece by the Gibson/GMA crew, some meat on the bones, but still a lot held back until after she field-dresses blowhard Joe.

    rhodeymark (1aaf2a)

  34. Stop the paternalism
    No questions, please; Palin sticks to her script

    More than 40 million people tuned in last week to listen to the speech from Palin, the 44-year-old, first-term governor whom McCain announced as his surprise vice presidential pick just days before. Since then, that basic script is all anyone has heard from her publicly, and her only interaction with the media was a brief conversation with a small group of reporters on her plane Monday — off the record at her handlers’ insistence.

    Associated Press reporters were not on the plane, but an aide told the journalists on board that all Palin flights would be off the record unless the media were told otherwise. At least one reporter objected. Two people on the flight said the Palins greeted the media and they chatted about who had been to Alaska, but little else was said.

    whatever (6b0755)

  35. One other comment I forgot was that there is an issue now with her campaigning alone. She is drawing the huge crowds and, if she goes off to campaign alone, McCain’s crowds may drop off sharply. That could become an issue and they will have to figure out how to deal with it. I think McCain is big enough to handle it but it could become a topic of more chatter. The question then is, what is the response ? He might go to the smaller town hall style that suits him so well and count on TV coverage and TV ads taken from the town halls.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  36. I think Gibson is going to try to make up for his woeful performance in the Philadelphia debate.

    JD (5f0e11)

  37. One- they won’t be satisfied until she is interviewed by Andrew Sullivan or Keith Olbermann

    Oh gosh, if only. Palin would eat them alive and leave them stamping their little feet in a self-righteous fit of hysterical tears.

    That Other Dana (084de8)

  38. “…but an aide told the journalists on board that all Palin flights would be off the record unless the media were told otherwise. At least one reporter objected.”

    Wow, that’s illuminating – the article says that “at least one reporter objected.” OMG! Stop the presses, someone in the press is not happy with not getting an exclusive story on the Governor! “Whyyyyyy won’t she talk to us, she has a sacred duty to obey our wishes! What? We called her a whore last week? We also speculated that she was possibly fabricating a pregnancy to disguise her daughter’s reprehensible behavior? What’s that got to do with it? Huh? Whaddya mean, that was none of our business? Ayers? Who’s he? What’s that got to do with anything? Annenberg? What the hell is that, some kind of German entree? Don’t you understand that IT’S THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO KNOW?!!!”

    I hereby nominate whatthehellami to be our new Troll of The Week – wear that tinfoil hat proudly, WTHAI.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  39. Palin was no more chosen because she is a woman than Slow-Joe Biden was chosen because he’s an old, white Catholic guy from a “slave” state.

    Chris (6b9f67)

  40. Whatever really hates women.

    JD (5f0e11)

  41. I think what has me looking at this differently is that Greenburg is reporting that McCain picked Palin in no small part because of her gender. I’ll be honest: I’m at the point where I don’t trust most newspapers to report the facts fairly, so I haven’t known what to make of a lot of the reporting about Palin’s selection. When Greenburg reports it, I believe she’s not spinning. I trust her.

    So I’m a little disappointed by the news that the McCain camp was more cynical in the selection process than I would have liked. That’s OK: she’s the VP candidate regardless of how she was picked. But it gives me concerns about how they will try to manage her going forward. I hope they trust her. I fear they don’t.

    Patterico (ab62b7)

  42. I hate women? No, I don’t cater to them any more than I cater to men. I treat people equally, with equal respect or equal contempt, depending on their manners, attitudes and preoccupations.
    I do not on principle alone give deference to anyone; except perhaps children and the elderly.

    whatever (6b0755)

  43. rhodeymark,

    You should reconsider your lack of enthusiasm for JCG. She’s a reporter you can trust to tell the story straight. That’s tremendously valuable.

    Patterico (ab62b7)

  44. I think the Times considers it cynical when a Republican is playing to win. Not addressing JCG specifically. Just the paper in general. Remember, they were telling us about McCain’s (non) affair with a lobbyist just a few short months ago.

    Chris (6b9f67)

  45. I hate women? No, I don’t cater to them any more than I cater to men.

    I do. I love them. “They make fun of me but I love them. How can I not love them? Poor weak creatures… and they take so little, a man’s hand on their breast, and they give you all they got.”

    nk (21731d)

  46. “I do not on principle alone give deference to anyone…”

    “I hate everyone who doesn’t agree with me according to my own narrow dogma, regardless of any other personal attributes, since those don’t interest me much anyway. Oh yeah, I also hate the womeyns, big – time.”

    Dmac (e639cc)

  47. I guess it is just conservative women that whatever hates.

    JD (5f0e11)

  48. “I hate everyone who doesn’t agree with me according to my own narrow dogma.”
    No. I used the word “deference” because deference is what McCain is demanding of the press and of us. I refuse.
    Palin is applying for a job. We the People are the employer and we do not defer to her. If you want it the other way around move to Russia

    whatever (6b0755)

  49. …or any women that scare him – which would entail quite a few, judging by his obsessive – compulsive links recently.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  50. #10, got it right. Plain’s son is going off to war tomorrow. It’s in no way odd or unusual he would want to spend the last few days before he deploys with his friends and family, and vice versa. The American people can see that, even if MSM can’t.

    Let’s understand the private dynamics of family life according to traditional values. Not everyone allows politics to dominate the things that really matter in life: home and family first isn’t some obscure frontier custom. City folks love their children too.

    There’s plenty of time for the give and take of VP political debate. Give Palin a little peace and quiet to see her son off, it may be a while before she sees him again. MSM can wait a few more days before Sarah Palin makes herself available for their inquisitions.

    Ropelight (921f6e)

  51. “whatever” lives by the liberal credo: Gleichheit über alles

    At least s/he finally responded to a criticism. Smacking trolls is a lot more fun when you know they’re paying attention.

    Icy Truth (225b9d)

  52. We the People

    We meaning in this instance “me, myself and I.”

    are the employer

    “Honey, would you please get me a cup of coffee, and be quick about it! My Gawd, you’re so beautiful when you’re angry.”

    If you want it the other way around move to Russia

    And if you don’t agree with me, why don’t you move to…to…Russia? Yeah, that’s it, you commie bastard!


    Dmac (e639cc)

  53. 49:

    and of us.


    EW1(SG) (da07da)

  54. Hmmm, wasn’t one of the regular leftards going on about “deference” the other day?

    Icy Truth (225b9d)

  55. Dmac, if this were Russia you’d be backing Putin to the hilt,
    as a strong leader.

    That’s what conservatives want: Daddy, with Mommy by his side.

    whatever (6b0755)

  56. With all due respect, whatever, horseshit. The “it’s because she’s a woman” is your meme, not ours. We like Palin because she’s less of a “girl” than all the Democratic Party (with the exception of Mayor Daley) put together.

    nk (21731d)

  57. Patrick, I think the gender thing made her attractive because Obama passed up Hillary. If Hillary had been chosen, I think they might have passed on Palin because it would have looked like an empty gesture. However, McCain had met Palin and knew about her record. I even knew about Palin and was hoping he would choose her. Bill Kristol wrote a piece about her a year ago. There was a lot more than the gender thing. How much more there was is a pleasant surprise to McCain. You may trust Greenberg but I think she is reflecting her bias, unintentional but real.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  58. “So I’m a little disappointed by the news that the McCain camp was more cynical in the selection process than I would have liked. That’s OK: she’s the VP candidate regardless of how she was picked.”

    I love this statement because it encapsulates the sort of fight between how the world SHOULD be and the compromises that people are willing to make with how they think the world IS.

    So many “cons” and “libs” seem to be frustrated idealists, the more frustrated because they are personally disciplined enough to live by their ideals and yet have deal with all those less disciplined people who compromise so much in the name of “practicality”. It’s their ability to live according to their ideals that makes them attractive, but it also seems to fuel their frustration and anger.

    What’s “cynical” about choosing a woman because she is a woman? McCain’s people decided they needed a person to counter Obama’s “potential to make history”, and other parts of his narrative, so they went out and picked the most generally appealing woman pol that they could find to do that, who they thought was competent enough to do the job.

    It might sort of go against the whole “conservatives believe meritocracy period” meme, but everyone already knows that that’s a (apolitical) crock and not just because of ol’ “heckuva job” Brownie either.

    Picking Palin because she is a woman is only “cynical” (and dangerous) if McCain’s people honestly don’t think that she is competent.
    Since they are probably going to win let’s all hope that they were just being smart “practical” politicians.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  59. “#

    “I think the Times considers it cynical when a Republican is playing to win.”…. Comment by Chris — 9/10/2008 @ 8:16 am

    Well put, I agree. As for JCG, I have always liked her work, especially on PBS, but I think that this time she may be projecting her own experience into a completely different context.

    C. Norris (37ee3c)

  60. Patterico,

    I think you’ve let your admiration for JCG – a sentiment with which I agree – and the fact that this is a “woman’s story” lead you to accept Greenburg’s theory too quickly. Greenburg is smart but I think she’s missed the boat here. Her theory is based on two prongs: First, that Palin was picked because she’s a woman. Second, that the McCain campaign is acting protective. These could be due to paternalistic motives but there is another explanation that I think is more likely.

    First, I agree Palin was picked in part because she is a woman but that’s only because identity politics has replaced geographic politics. Picking based on ideology and gender or race is no more offensive than picking someone based on where they live – a time-honored political practice. The goal has always been to bring different points of view to a ticket and to provide balance. In addition, even Greenburg’s article indicates the McCain campaign ultimately decided the VP needed to be a conservative. It wasn’t a matter of picking the first skirt through the door.

    Second, the real story isn’t that the McCain campaign is protecting Palin. The story is that the McCain campaign is protecting McCain. The campaign is afraid to let Palin campaign alone because it will reveal how much more popular she is than McCain.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  61. “The story is that the McCain campaign is protecting McCain. The campaign is afraid to let Palin campaign alone because it will reveal how much more popular she is than McCain.”

    DRJ! Bang! Ya said it right there!

    EdWood (c2268a)

  62. I had forgotten that Gov. Palin’s son was deploying soon. It makes sense that she would spend time at home prior to that. I suspect that if the campaign discussed that, the Left would go apeshit.

    JD (5f0e11)

  63. Sen. McCain didn’t have to let Sen Obama make the VP selection first, but it was smart of Sen. McCain to wait until the D ticket was determined. I believe Sen. McCain was smart rather than lucky in selecting Gov. Palin, but the timing of the announcement was genius. No VP option other than Gov. Palin had any chance to deflate the expected post convention bounce for Obama. Had Sen Lieberman (or Ridge etc) been selected the story instead would have been the revolt by the Republican base and the McCain campaign may never have gotten any traction. It may have been a last minute pick, but it was not a desperation pick.
    I think that Cov. Palin’s bona fides got her the nod and her sex was a minimal consideration.

    rfy (0f1c61)

  64. The McCain pig ad was a mistake. They would have done better ignoring it, or better yet good-naturedly joking about it thus treating it like the non-serious issue it is.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  65. Distractions, distractions. Racists.

    JD (5f0e11)

  66. Here JD, here’s some racism for you

    The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

    “We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

    As they say “More of the same.” WLS defended crap like this all year. Hans Spakovsky and Bradley Schlotzman
    And who was it on this site yesterday who called Obama a “negro.” I think it was SPQR or Icy. “Super negro?” “Saintly negro?”
    This isn’t your grandfather’s “Southern Strategy” it’s yours.

    JAR (08f6d2)

  67. Here is what desperation looks like. Note the “racist” theme coming out and even dopes like JAR are now marching in lockstep to its beat.

    I do think that Palin should ignore the lipstick gaffe from now on. The McCain seems to be doing the old Ali routine of float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. There are amazingly agile so far. Obama will be punching at shadows for another two weeks and giving the story legs.

    The emotional meltdown on the left will only get worse. I wonder if Obama can keep his cool. He has never faced adversity in his life before. That’s one of the weaknesses of affirmative action.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  68. here’s some racism for you…
    a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting … challenge some voters on Election Day.

    Are only some races foreclosed upon?
    I don’t understand the charge of racism, nor the problem with enforcing voting rules. (Other than the obvious, denied with froth and spittle flying, that the illegal voters are overwhelmingly of one party.)

    Unix-Jedi (651a1b)

  69. “I don’t understand the charge of racism, nor the problem with enforcing voting rules…”

    Don’t bother Jarhead with quibbling things like the rule of law – or facts. He’s going with his meme for the day, damnit.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  70. Clueless JAR- I often refer to obama as the magic negor. Try googling it. You’ll find that your comrade in figuratively hankering to be close to Obama, LA based David Ehrenstein, who writes about
    Hollywood and politics, called Obamalamadingdong the magic negro. So do you take issue with that? I personally believe Baracky is a more an “arab boy” or even quite the pussy who is flustered by Sarah Palin. One can only imagine how he would pee his diapers when confronted with a Putin or ImADamnNutJob.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  71. DRJ,

    I agree with what you said. I may not have been entirely clear in my post, but it was already so long, further clarification might have driven readers off. Still, if you read it carefully, it’s not a wholesale condemnation of the McCain camp by any means.

    Basically, my concern is (consistent with the K-Lo article linked here in the comments) that the McCain camp may be leaning a little heavily on the sexism argument. Gov. Palin hasn’t, personally, but her campaign’s statements reflect on her. There has been some sexism. But I’d rather see the McCain people underplay that card, rather than overplay it. Does that make sense?

    I think you, JCG, and I probably agree on 99 percent of this.

    Patterico (26a54a)

  72. #72 Patterico:

    long, further clarification might have driven readers off.

    Well, JAR and few of his lockstep cronies haven’t driven any readers off (that I can tell, anyway). So next time, trust your readership!


    EW1(SG) (da07da)

  73. P –

    Both sides risk overplaying issues but I’d be more worried if the McCain campaign had demonstrated an inability to change topics. It hasn’t. In fact, in the past weeks, the MccCain campaign seems remarkably agile as it touched on various themes: Obama the celebrity, McCain-Palin the reformers, and now Obama the gaffe-prone politician who has problems with female opponents. (I wonder if that’s on Obama’s list of things to talk about with Bill Clinton tomorrow?)

    Starting tomorrow, the theme switches to Palin’s interview. I think it will show her to be articulate and let her promote her reform agenda and energy experience. What a dramatic contrast between Obama talking about lipstick and Palin talking about how America reaches energy independence.

    If I were the McCain campaign, I would want to keep Obama’s comments on the radar one or two more days so that contrast will be especially noticeable.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  74. The bottom line: Before the acceptance speech, the press and the Dems created the environment for her success. Now, they are creating the environment for her CONTINUED success. And the McCain camp is playing it pretty darned well.

    Yes, they can hide her too long. Yes, they can create a backlash. But give the campaign some credit. They have done a pretty good job getting McCain to this point. I will be really surprised if they suddenly go stupid at this point.

    Another bonus of the so-called ‘protection’ (which I dont agree with anyway, she’s on the campaign trail, this is not ‘protection’ this is a well-managed campaign, and who is Charlie Gibson of ABC? Chopped liver?) …

    The Democrats fall in the trap of demanding she get ‘vetted’ by such interviews. The more the McCain makes them wait, the bigger deal the Dems make. Andie Sullivan is practically having a nervous breakdown over this.

    So when she finally does the rounds, the stakes are higher. As with the convention speech, interest will be superhigh, and if she does well, it makes a big impact.

    On the whole “palin is a pig” issue … maybe Palin should do the brush-off routine that Obama used in North Carolina. “They can try to throw some mud, but I’ve not been afraid to roll up my sleeves and get dirty, and I can just … brush it off.”

    Travis Monitor (9e3371)

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