U.S. Presidential Campaign — Vice President (R) Sarah Palin

Written by  //  September 3, 2008  //  Politics  //  2 Comments


The Story
McCain names female Alaska governor as surprise VP pick
What a shocker and, in our opinion, a less than clever choice. Aside from the fact that Sarah Palin represents an ideology totally removed from ours, – gun-toting (check out the dead bear in photo below), pro-life snowmobiler, who would drill Alaska from one end to the other (while preaching energy-independence), with no national experience, no foreign affairs experience or knowledge [we cannot wait for the vice-presidential debate. Joe Biden will have to bite his tongue], and she would be a heartbeat away from the presidency? We cannot believe that the Republicans seriously think that she will attract disaffected Hillary voters – what an insult to their intelligence and principles. Of course, a week is a long time in politics, but at first look, this is a bizarre and possibly desperate choice.
Of everything that has sprung into electronic print since the announcement a few hours ago, the piece that best expresses our reaction is US election diary: Iron lady by Al Jazeera‘s Rob Reynolds.
Nor do we find this headline reassuring: Bush Praises McCain’s ‘Exciting Decision’
And just look what she sneaked past us all:
Alaska Governor Signs Natgas Pipeline License Bill
(Reuters/Planet Ark) ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday signed a bill giving the state authority to award TransCanada Corp a license to build and operate a multibillion-dollar pipeline to ship natural gas from the North Slope.

The Commentary
The woman from nowhere
John McCain’s choice of running-mate raises serious questions about his judgment

(The Economist) THE most audacious move of the race so far is also, potentially, the most self-destructive. John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running-mate has set the political atmosphere alight with both enthusiasm and dismay.
The Palin appointment is yet more proof of the way that abortion still distorts American politics. This is as true on the left as on the right. But the Republicans seem to have gone furthest in subordinating considerations of competence and merit to pro-life purity. One of the biggest problems with the Bush administration is that it appointed so many incompetents because they were sound on Roe v Wade. Mrs Palin’s elevation suggests that, far from breaking with Mr Bush, Mr McCain is repeating his mistakes.
Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual
Two years after Representative Newt Gingrich helped draft the Contract With America to advance Republican positions, Ms. Palin and her passion for Republican ideology and religious faith overtook a town known for a wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod sled dog race.
“Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. “But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I’m not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: ‘We will have our first Christian mayor.’ ”
The Culture War Option For The Palin Convention
(All too plausible. Read and weep.)
2 September
Sarah Palin controversy stokes Mommy War
News that Palin, a conservative Christian, is running for the country’s No. 2 office while parenting both an infant son with Down Syndrome and a 17-year-old pregnant daughter has sparked both condemnation and commendation.
What the Palin Pick Says
David Brooks is at his analytical best in this piece.
My worry about Palin is that she shares McCain’s primary weakness — that she has a tendency to substitute a moral philosophy for a political philosophy.
There are some issues where the most important job is to rally the armies of decency against the armies of corruption…. But most issues are not confrontations between virtue and vice. Most problems — the ones Barack Obama is sure to focus on like health care reform and economic anxiety — are the product of complex conditions. They require trade-offs and policy expertise. They are not solvable through the mere assertion of sterling character.
1 September
A New Twist in the Debate on Mothers

Finally (?) Arianna Huffington weighs in
Saving the GOP and The Unbearable Lightness of Being Sarah Palin
McCain doesn’t just need someone with a fresh face; he desperately needs someone with fresh ideas. That would have been the real maverick choice.
Instead, he’s got someone who, in perfect agreement with the Republican platform, believes abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.
He’s got someone who, in defiance of science, doesn’t believe global warming is man-made.
He’s got someone who, in defiance of science, wants creationism taught in schools.
He’s got someone who wants to further increase the health-care burden on the patient.
He’s got someone who wants to ban all stem-cell research.
We cannot resist publishing Bill Copp’s Comment of today.

On the eve of the 1988 U.S. election Hendrik Hertzberg, then editor of the New Republic, posed the following question, ” How long can a great nation afford to have silly leaders? ” At the time he was of course concerned that George the senior and his running mate , the certifiably fatuous Dan Quayle, would go on to win the election thereby creating the prospect of a future Quayle administration. It must be remembered that Ronald Reagan had not yet achieved his largely manufactured mythological status and was about to leave office with a 50% approval rating, up from the low 40’s number that he had garnered the year before as well as four years prior; and neither was it yet political heresy to criticize the “great communicator”, so he then too fit the depressing mold.
Hertzberg, prescient as he may have been, did not foresee that America’s good fortune in dodging the “Quayle bullet” would result in their being hit by a howitzer in 2000 with the George W. Bush appointment by the Supreme Court; nor could he or I or any other walking upright person have predicted that a 72 year old self proclaimed luddite would choose a skidooing hockey mom whose background consists of 6 years as mayor of a village and 20 months as Governor of state whose livelihood is derived from oil and whose entire population is just over 500,000 souls. That is not even a mid sized city in the U.S. of A. let alone a tiny one in China or India, places that don’t appear on her thin resume as being places of which she has any knowledge. Have we not already seen this movie, do we not know it scene by scene ?
This election is no longer just about change, it is about the lack of judgement shown by John McSurge in pandering to the religious right through his choice of Sarah Palin whom he met only once and of the Alaskan’s similar failure in accepting the role for which she must know she is unqualified. It now appears that the media will enjoy having to vet the candidate, something that was apparently skimmed over by McCain.
Republicans will now look silly in trying to make the inexperience case against Barack no matter how hard they try. There is no comparison between these two tickets on any scale imaginable. President of the Harvard Law Review trumps 795th in a class of 800 anytime ; and Biden versus Palin on any issue not crucial to the extreme right is a joke….right?
Friday’s downdraft in the U.S. markets reflected both the hurricane and the Wall Street Republicans’ realization that this political news was a gift to Democrats. Now that the former appears to be less critical than first assumed and the fact that markets generally do better under Democrats , particularly small caps and the DOLLAR, they will soon get over it.
And one final note. If Hillary had taken the high road during her campaign that she assumed in her convention speech she may well have been the victor and Sarah Palin would be back in Alaska preparing for the hockey/skidooing season.
Not being economists, but espousing their on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other-hand approach, here is
William Kristol’s take
Voters are unlikely to learn much that is new or surprising about Obama, McCain or Joe Biden over the next two months. Palin’s performance as the vice-presidential nominee, on the other hand, is the open and unresolved question of this campaign. She is, in a way, now the central figure in this fall’s electoral drama.
If Palin turns out not be up to the challenge for which McCain has selected her, McCain will pay a heavy price. His judgment about the most important choice he’s had to make this year will have been proved wanting. He won’t be able to plead that being right about the surge in Iraq should be judged as more important than being right about his vice-presidential pick.
McCain has gambled boldly on Palin. If she flops, McCain could lose by a landslide.
On the other hand, if Palin exceeds expectations, and her selection ends up looking both bold and wise, McCain could win.
August 31
Maureen Dowd makes Gail Collins’ piece on Sarah Palin look like sheer adulation.
Vice in Go-Go Boots?
The guilty pleasure I miss most when I’m out slogging on the campaign trail is the chance to sprawl on the chaise and watch a vacuously spunky and generically sassy chick flick.
So imagine my delight, my absolute astonishment, when the hokey chick flick came out on the trail, a Cinderella story so preposterous it’s hard to believe it’s not premiering on Lifetime. Instead of going home and watching “Miss Congeniality” with Sandra Bullock, I get to stay here and watch “Miss Congeniality” with Sarah Palin.
August 30
David Frum: Palin the irresponsible choice?

(National Post) So this is the future of the Republican party you are looking at: a future in which national security has bumped down the list of priorities behind abortion politics, gender politics, and energy politics. Ms. Palin is a bold pick, and probably a shrewd one. It’s not nearly so clear that she is a responsible pick, or a wise one.
Gail Collins: McCain’s Baked Alaska

(NYT)  It is conceivable that some people will think John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate because she is a woman. I know you find this shocking, but I swear I have heard it mentioned.
McCain does not believe in pandering to identity politics. He was looking for someone who was well prepared to fight against international Islamic extremism, the transcendent issue of our time. And in the end he decided that in good conscience, he was not going to settle for anyone who had not been commander of a state national guard for at least a year and a half. He put down his foot!
The obvious choice was Palin, the governor of Alaska, whose guard stands as our last best defense against possible attack by the resurgent Russian menace across the Bering Strait.
August 29

McCain Chooses Palin as Running Mate
DAYTON, Ohio — In a surprise move, Senator John McCain announced here Friday that he had chosen Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate, shaking up the political world at a time when his campaign has been trying to attract women, especially disaffected supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In choosing Ms. Palin — a 44-year-old mother of five [the eldest child, a son, is in the Army, and he is heading to Iraq on Sept. 11] who has been governor for less than two years — the McCain campaign reached far outside the Washington Beltway during an election in which the Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama, is running on a platform of change.
The selection of Ms. Palin, an evangelical Christian, was embraced by social conservative leaders, raising the possibility that Mr. McCain might have succeeded in reinvigorating a Republican base that was not enthusiastic about his candidacy. Democrats, however, dismissed the move as a bald attempt to attract women voters by reaching out to someone far too inexperienced to be a heartbeat from the presidency.
Ms. Palin opposes abortion rights, which could help pacify social conservatives … But she differs with Mr. McCain on a controversial environmental issue that centers on her home state: she has been pushing for a new pipeline that would pump trillions of cubic feet of natural gas from the North Slope to the lower 48 states in the hope of delivering Alaska another economic boom. Mr. McCain’s opposition to drilling — even after he changed positions and began advocating for off-shore oil drilling — has upset many Republicans.
(Reuters Factbox) She is also an avid hunter and angler and a member of the National Rifle Association, a powerful conservative lobby that is staunchly opposed to gun control.

McCain picks female running mate
(BBC) Some commentators are calling Mr McCain’s running mate decision the strangest since Dan Quayle, George Bush Senior’s young and untested pick in 1988.
Palin to significance
(The Economist) … the risks of choosing such an unknown quantity are enormous. An important aspect in selecting a vice-president is to reassure the electorate that should anything happen to the man in the Oval Office there is a competent and trustworthy stand-in ready to take over. John McCain’s age (he is 72) is an underlying factor with voters. Although Ms Palin’s youthfulness, she is 44, is an eye-catching contrast to the top of the ticket, questions will be raised about her ability to run the country if Mr McCain should ever be incapacitated.
And the tenures of both Al Gore and Dick Cheney as vice-president have raised the profile of the office. Vice-presidents were once expected to be solid and reliable but mostly boring. Messrs Gore and Cheney took on policy portfolios, such as government reform or preparing for war with Iraq. Barack Obama’s pick of Joe Biden for the role now seems all the more wise.
By choosing the governor of Alaska as his running mate, Mr McCain also turns the spotlight on the state’s politics, which is currently entangled in corruption scandals. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator ever, faces corruption charges in relation to building work on his home. Other state officials are under investigation in separate cases. And Alaskans are going through a period of introspection about politics and energy interests, on which the state has thrived.
Palin: You’re no Hillary Clinton

(HuffPost) None of my pro-Hillary female friends are falling for this obvious GOP pander. To the contrary, McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his VP is drawing hoots of derision.
Once they learn that Sarah Palin opposes rape and incest exceptions for women seeking abortion, they completely write her off.
One female friend said: “Sarah Palin is to the movement for women’s equality what Clarence Thomas is to civil rights. She’s an extremist and an enemy to the cause that has been fought on her behalf…. Someone should stand up and say: ‘I know Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton is a friend of mine. And Sarah Palin is no Hillary Rodham Clinton.'”
(Washington Post) JOHN PODESTA Chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund
A potential vice president with the ideology of Dick Cheney and fewer qualifications than Dan Quayle should send Arctic shivers up our spines.
Vice presidents matter. In our history, nine have become president when the sitting commander in chief unexpectedly died or resigned. McCain, a 72-year-old cancer survivor, may be rolling the dice to grab a chunk of Hillary’s voters, but he is asking all of us to gamble on Sarah Palin if she were to become president at a time of national crisis.
McCain himself said this spring: “In all due respect he does not understand…the fundamental elements of national security and warfare.” He could have been discussing his running mate. The former mayor of Wasilla, population 8,471, has no national security experience. She has been governor only two years. And her instincts on domestic and security policy are troubling.
While we sit on only 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves, Palin thinks we can drill our way out of our oil addiction by exploiting the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. When we should be protecting the climate, she is suing the United States to prevent protections for polar bears threatened by global warming. When we need to clean up Washington, she is vocally defending Sen. Ted Stevens.
(Bloomberg) One Democrat drew an analogy to another vice presidential pick. Palin is a “more astounding and puzzling choice than the selection of Dan Quayle in 1988,” Nick Allard, a Democratic strategist, said in a statement. Former Indiana Senator Quayle, then 41, came under attack for his lack of experience after being selected by then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.
“John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” Adrianne Marsh, a spokeswoman for Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama, said in a statement.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
(Amb. Marc Ginsberg in HuffPost) To think that McCain turned down far more nationally qualified individuals who have now been relegated to subordinate status in the pecking order GOP politics:
1. Mitt Romney
2. Tim Pawlenty
3. Tom Ridge
4. Lindsey Graham
5. Charlie Crist
6. Joe Lieberman
7. Carly Fiorina
How must they feel? Dwarfed at the altar by a total unknown. Each rejected candidate now having to gamely march out before the national media to defend this singular act of a political Hail Mary pass. To steal an old adage of former Secretary of State James Baker… putting Sarah Palin into a debate with Joe Biden is going to be like throwing Howdy Doody into a knife fight!
Not to denigrate Gov. Palin the person — she has a beguiling bio and has strong conservative, western credentials. She did not make any fatal error at her national political debut. After all she did get elected governor of a state. By definition she may be your typical “hockey mom.” She may be all McCain claims she is in his introduction of her, but this is the person McCain will entrust to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? To be a commander-in-chief when the nation is fighting two wars???

Now that Barack Obama has milked the selection of his running mate for all the publicity it was worth, and the secret is out of the bag, it’s time to turn to Senator McCain’s choice, which presumably will be announced in the final days before the Republican Convention.

GOP Veep Sheet: McCain’s turn
The day after the rumor mill buzzed that John McCain had settled on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate, Obama took center stage with reports that he’d selected Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate.
While the Democratic convention should be the big political story of the coming week, McCain now has the chance to steal a few column inches back by drawing out his out vice presidential deliberations.
The weekend’s biggest GOP veep audition looks to be Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s campaign swing through Pennsylvania.
August 20
McCain Mum on Veep Prospects

LAS CRUCES, N.M.—Senator John McCain was dogged by questions this morning about whether he would select a running mate who favors abortion rights, but he showed only a little dark-suited leg on the issue.
In response to Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio talk show host, and two participants at a town hall-style meeting at New Mexico State University, Mr. McCain, who opposes abortion, said that his administration would have “pro-life policies’’ and that his running mate would share “my principles, my values and my priorities.’’
June 30
Longshots in the veepstakes
(Politico) Among Republicans, two traits were esteemed above all others: business experience, which could help to offset McCain’s weakness on economic issues and tap into voter concern about the struggling economy, and youth, for the obvious reasons.
Bill Gates
Several Republicans and even some moderate Democrats called the Microsoft founder John McCain’s dream running mate. Gates could position McCain as a trusted voice on the economy and his multi-billion dollar commitment to charitable giving could soften up the campaign’s image.
Meg Whitman
… former eBay.com CEO Meg Whitman [and] Harvard Business School grad is already a player in the party. Last month she raised $2.5 million for the presumptive Republican nominee at an event at her Silicon Valley home … She built eBay from a small startup into a worldwide brand that provides income to 1.3 million small entrepreneurs, a number McCain often drops into his stump speeches.
The cloud in all that silver lining just might be Whitman’s estimated $1.4 billion net worth, which is not necessarily the kind of number a candidate wants floating around during an economic downturn.
Rep. Eric Cantor
The House’s chief deputy whip is well respected in the party for his conservative record on fiscal and military issues, according to several Republican lobbyists, and he’s from Virgina, a key battleground state. At 45, he’s a baby compared to McCain but is already serving in his fourth term in the House, giving him more legislative experience then Obama.
Before entering the House, Cantor worked for over a decade in his family’s real estate business, so he would fill in the private sector hole in McCain’s résumé. An ever-vocal low-tax warrior, he’d appeal to fiscal conservatives still wary of McCain’s tax-cutting credentials.
One of the few Jewish Republicans in Congress and a staunch supporter of the state of Israel, he could also be an electoral asset in potential swing states with sizable Jewish populations like Florida and New Jersey.
William Cohen
The former Republican senator from Maine and Clinton-era Secretary of Defense would double down the ticket’s national security bona fides while also burnishing its bipartisan image. But the 67-year-old Cohen would do little to insulate McCain from the charge that he’s too old to be president. That hit would pale, though, compared to those that would be aimed at a veep who founded and serves as chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group, which did almost $2 million worth of lobbying work last year, most of it for military contractors.
Finally, there’s one name notable for its complete omission by our kitchen Cabinet: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The registered independent and self-made billionaire with a reputation for big ideas, who was once the subject of presidential speculation of his own — and, some might add, of his own making — hinted he’d consider joining either ticket. Which just goes to prove that there is such a thing as being too bipartisan.
April 8
Vice President Condoleezza Rice? A coy non-denial
… Rice was asked to give a “Shermanesque” denial that she would accept an offer by McCain to become his running mate. She did not. But she did talk A LOT about all the important world leaders she knows and how she’s working to solve the world’s problems. Oh, and isn’t John McCain the greatest?
February 26
(RealClearPolitics)– “If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach — and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy — I’ll join others in helping that candidate win the White House,” writes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, offering a New York Times op-ed finally slamming the door on a potential White House bid. One thing that might challenge both parties’ orthodoxy: Selecting the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent businessman as their vice presidential nominee. Speculation runs rampant.
February 18
(Politico) Steadfast McCain ally sparks veep talk
Even through the McCain campaign’s darkest days in 2007, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty remained a steadfast ally to the Arizona senator in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Leave it to our media to find a Canadian connection. If not VP, than a good choice as Ambassador to Ottawa.
Ex-Rough Rider may share GOP ticket – J.C. Watts
Peter Goodspeed, National Post
With U.S. Senator John Mc-Cain having all but nailed down the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, the search for a possible vice-presidential running mate is in full swing.
One possible name … J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma lawmaker, was the last black Republican to serve in Congress and is good friends with Mr. McCain.
Canadians know him better as the former quarterback of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Rough Riders who won the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Player award in 1981.
In The Running? Possible vice-presidential choices
– Condoleezza Rice U.S. Secretary of State. Name floated by supporters who hope she would shore up McCain’s support among Bush conservatives, while adding racial and gender balance. Rice says she’s returning to academia.
– Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas governor with proven appeal to religious conservatives.
– Charlie Crist Popular Florida Governor. Remember Florida in 2000? Enough said.

2 Comments on "U.S. Presidential Campaign — Vice President (R) Sarah Palin"

  1. Sandra Sizer August 31, 2008 at 10:01 am ·

    I cannot believe McCain. Palin has got to be a joke. Let me present you with this syllogism: If Gustav is considered an act of God, and since Gustav is striking on the day the Republican Convention is slated to begin, then perhaps all the evangelists, creationists and the like should consider that God is trying to tell them something about McCain …. Sandra Sizer

  2. Caramoan December 27, 2009 at 4:45 am ·

    There are critics of Sarah Palin but in my opinion she is also a very good politician and she also did some good projects in Alaska.

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