Election 2008

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  Palin ProblemSeptember 26, 2008 15:43

If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream — away from Sarah Palin.
To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman.
Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.
Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick — what a difference a financial crisis makes — and a more complicated picture has emerged.
As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.
Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

  Palin fails 3rd InterviewSeptember 25, 2008 20:16 Before this, I thought Palin was smart but isolated. Now I just think she's blatantly an IDIOT!

Her first interview, with the ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, was too hard. The second, with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, was too soft. The third, however, did not turn out to be just right for Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

On the “CBS Evening News” on Thursday, Katie Couric asked Ms. Palin, Senator John McCain’s running mate, what she meant when she cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as foreign affairs experience. Ms. Palin could have anticipated the question — the topic of their interview, pegged to her visit to the United Nations, was foreign affairs. Yet Ms. Palin’s answer was surprisingly wobbly: her words tumbled out fast and choppily, like an outboard motor loosened from the stern.

“That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada,” she replied. She mentioned the jokes made at her expense and seemed for a moment at a loss for the word “caricature.” “It — it’s funny that a comment like that was — kind of made to — cari — I don’t know, you know? Reporters —”

Ms. Couric stepped in. “Mocked?” Ms. Palin looked relieved and even grateful for the help. “Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.”

Ms. Couric pressed her again to explain the geographic point. “Well, it certainly does,” Ms. Palin said, “because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of.”
  Palin Meeting With World Leaders Ahead Of VP DebateSeptember 23, 2008 12:48

Gov. Sarah Palin met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday, the first of nine major international leaders she will meet with in the span of just 30 hours.
The appearances with world leaders, taking place on the sidelines of the United Nation's General Assembly meetings in New York, come as the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain tries to convince voters that Palin is ready for the world stage.
Palin is holding photo-ops with the leaders, but she is not taking questions from any reporters.
The Alaska governor initially said no reporters would be allowed to sit in on her meeting with Karzai. She planned to allow in only photographers and one television crew, but she changed her position after at least five U.S. news networks protested.
CNN does not send cameras into candidate events where editorial presence is not allowed.
Palin's schedule was to include talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and U2 frontman Bono, who is known for his global humanitarian work.

  Palin Media Blackout ContinuesSeptember 23, 2008 11:47 It has been widely reported that Sarah Palin has yet to give a news conference or even answer a few questions from the traveling press that follow her from city to city on her plane. But, today the Palin camp went to new lengths to control the media, which is covering the GOP Vice-Presidential nominee.

It was decided by the campaign that today’s meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, and Former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger would be pooled. This means only one television network with their camera and producer, plus a print reporter, and wire reporters would be let in at the beginning of the meeting and then be ushered out before the leaders and Palin began talking. This is common practice in presidential campaigns, but this morning a little over one hour before the meetings would begin the pool network television producer and print poolers were told they were not allowed to enter the meetings.

This means that the Palin camp has the benefit of pictures of her shaking hands with world leaders and have that video broadcast all over the world, but there would be no risk of her having to answer even one question from a reporter at the beginning of the meetings. It is many television network’s policy, including Fox News Channel to not provide a camera if an editorial presence is not allowed in. Once the campaign realized that these pictures would not be seen they relented, but the print pool is still not allowed to enter the Karzai event, which is about to begin.

  Palin, Mccain Disagree On Causes Of Global WarmingSeptember 22, 2008 22:24 No one, including Gov. Sarah Palin, questions that Alaska's climate is changing more rapidly than any other state's. But her skepticism about the causes and what needs to be done to address the consequences stands in sharp contrast to the views of her running mate, Sen. John McCain, and place her to the right of the Bush administration and several other Republican governors.
  Mccain Campaign Strategist Lambasts New York TimesSeptember 22, 2008 17:47 John McCain's campaign stepped up its assault on the media today as its chief strategist denounced the New York Times.

The broadside was prompted by a Times report saying that campaign manager Rick Davis had been paid nearly $2 million by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to protect them against stricter regulations. Davis is no longer a lobbyist.

In a conference call with reporters, chief strategist Steve Schmidt said: "Whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization. It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization. This is an organization that is completely, totally, 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate."

Schmidt also charged that the Times is not giving similar scrutiny to former lobbyists working for Barack Obama's campaign.

Hitting back at news organizations has been part of the McCain strategy. In May, Schmidt said that MSNBC is "an organ of the Democratic National Committee" that "exists for the purpose of attacking John McCain." Earlier this month, Schmidt told The Washington Post that the news media are on "a mission to destroy" Sarah Palin, calling a Times story on the vetting of the Alaska governor "an absolute work of fiction." And in February, when the Times published a widely criticized story linking the Arizona senator to a female lobbyist, McCain senior adviser Charles Black responded that "it's a shame that the New York Times has chosen to smear John McCain like this."
  Sarah Palin'S Florida Speech Draws Tens Of ThousandsSeptember 21, 2008 23:24

In the biggest event of the 2008 campaign in Florida so far, Sarah Palin drew tens of thousands of people Sunday to a Central Florida town square decked out like the Fourth of July for a speech aimed at pumping up the state's Republican heartland.
Palin focused her speech on her track record as governor of Alaska, John McCain's experience in wartime, and did not delve into the nitty-gritty of the ailing economy. That suited several people in the crowd who said they didn't come to hear bullet points but the governor who rejuvenated the ticket.
''She's the sunrise, not the sunset,'' said Linda Cusumano, 57, of Orlando. ``She makes me feel there's nothing we can't do.''
The crowd endured hours in the sweltering heat for the sight of the dynamic newcomer to national politics. A new Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll showed that 40 percent of voters who back McCain said Palin made them feel stronger about their choice.
Juxtaposed with feel-good appeals to patriotism, Palin delivered some tough blows to Obama, accusing him of sitting on the sideline during the current economic crisis. The governor of Alaska also said he was blocking the nation's path to energy independence.
''Maybe if he'd been the governor of an energy-rich state, he'd get it,'' said Palin, an advocate of offshore oil drilling. ``Maybe if he'd been on the front lines of securing our nation's energy independence, he'd understand.''
Obama has suggested he might be willing to support limited offshore drilling but only as part of comprehensive legislation that focuses more on investing in alternative energy sources.
Campaigning in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, Obama repeated the message he brought last week to Miami, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville: the Bush administration is to blame for the economic turmoil, and McCain promises more of the same.

  Adviser Calls Blackberry 'Miracle' Mccain 'Helped Create'September 16, 2008 17:06 Sen. John McCain's senior domestic policy adviser said Tuesday that the BlackBerry mobile e-mail device was a "miracle that John McCain helped create."

The adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, discussing the nation's economic woes with reporters, said that McCain -- who has struggled to stress his economic credentials -- did have experience dealing with the economy, pointing to his time on the Senate Commerce Committee.

Pressed to provide an example of what McCain had accomplished on that committee, Holtz-Eakin said the senator did not have jurisdiction over financial markets, then he held up his Blackberry, telling reporters: "He did this."

"Telecommunications of the United States, the premiere innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create," Holtz-Eakin said. "And that's what he did. He both regulated and deregulated the industry."

  Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends And Lashed FoesSeptember 13, 2008 23:10

Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal.
So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.
Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.
When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.
And four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an assistant to the governor on the line, she said.
“You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”

  Palin'S Record QuestionableSeptember 13, 2008 19:41

As the mayor of Wasilla, she hired a Washington lobbyist who secured $27 million in federal funding through 14 different earmarks. That brought an income of $4,000 per resident of Wasilla. When John McCain states he will expose pork barrel spending and special earmarks and he will call them by name, I would expect him to indict Governor Palin first.
Lastly, as a woman candidate, she needs to quit whining about the media scrutiny. She needs to reflect her own words about Hilary Clinton (made in March 2008) and apply them to herself. She said, "When I hear a statement like that, coming from a woman candidate, with any kind of perceived whine about the excess criticism, or maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think, that doesn't do us any good. Work harder. Prove yourself to an even greater degree, that you're capable, that you're going to be the best candidate."
I am doubtful that Sarah Palin can even rise to her own expectations, much less those of the female voters across the country.

  Expert: Palin Didn'T Look ConfidentSeptember 12, 2008 12:07 Almost two weeks after John McCain announced she was his choice for a running mate, portions of Sarah Palin's first network television interview aired Thursday night.

How did she do in her talk with ABC News anchor Charles Gibson?

Democratic critics have assailed Republicans for keeping her from being questioned by the press, charging it's because the Alaska governor isn't ready to be vice president and GOP operatives don't want that to become known to voters. The McCain campaign denies it, saying Palin has just been biding her time, and certainly is ready.

On The Early Show Friday, body language expert Jo-Ellan Dimitrius said Palin rated about a five on a scale of ten during the interview. As Dimitirius put it, "There were some aspects that could have been better and some that could have been worse."
  Palin'S Climate Remarks Conflict With Past ViewsSeptember 12, 2008 12:02 Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's assertion that she believes humans play a role in climate change — made in her first major interview since joining the Republican ticket — is at odds with her previous statements. Palin said she didn't disagree with scientists that the problem can be attributed to "man's activities."

"Show me where I have ever said that there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change. I have not said that," Palin told ABC News in an interview broadcast Thursday and Friday.

However, in the past Palin has said she does not believe global warming is caused by human activity. She has told the Internet news site Newsmax, "A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. ... I'm not one, though, who would attribute it to being man-made."

In an interview with a Fairbanks newspaper within the last year, Palin said: "I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity." ABC cited the interview as being at odds with her statement.

  Palin Clueless in the SpotlightSeptember 12, 2008 11:55 The question of experience came up again last night: Was the man of the moment prepared for the difficult task at hand? Did he have the chops?

ABC News anchor Charles Gibson got the get, the first mano- a-womano sit down with the Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. He had the chops.

Palin may not have blinked when John McCain asked her to be his running mate. Last night, however, found her frozen in the Klieg lights as the dogged interlocutor set his sights on his visitor.

Peering down at Palin through reading glasses set at the tip of his nose, foot circling over knee ever more impatiently, Gibson, 65, wouldn't let her coast. Yes, she had mastered the pronunciation of Georgia president Mikhail Saakashvili's name, not to mention that of Iran's Mahmud Ahmadinejad. And maybe that would have been good enough on ``Good Morning America.''

But no-one had coached her in something called the Bush Doctrine. Doctrine? What doctrine would that be, Charlie?

Palin, 44, apparently never heard of the Bush Doctrine until yesterday. She flashed a smile nearly as frozen as her running- mate's and did that tenth-grader thing of tap-dancing around the question, skittishly ad libbing her way with gibberish about Bush's ``global vision.''

Gibson was having none of it, pressing her for specifics she didn't have at her command and finally -- his glare set to iceberg blue, foot circling like a lasso -- he impatiently explained what the doctrine is, when it was introduced, and gave her another chance to answer.
  Palin Links Iraq To Sept. 11 In Talk To Troops In AlaskaSeptember 11, 2008 21:58 Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.

"America can never go back to that false sense of security that came before September 11, 2001," she said at the deployment ceremony, which drew hundreds of military families who walked from their homes on the sprawling post to the airstrip where the service was held.

Palin's return to Alaska coincided with her first extensive interview since she became the Republican vice presidential nominee. In the interview, with ABC News correspondent Charles Gibson, she was confronted with questions about the U.S. relationship with Russia and her fitness for office, and she appeared to struggle when asked to define the "Bush doctrine" on foreign policy. Palin drew repeated follow-up questions from Gibson about whether she believed in the right to "anticipatory self-defense" and crossing other nations' borders to take action against threats.

"I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hellbent on destroying America and our allies," she said after several questions on the topic. "We have got to have all options out there on the table."
  Sarah Palin: Russian Offense Augurs WarSeptember 11, 2008 17:12

ABC News offers this headline for its exclusive interview with Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's nominee for vice president:
And the interview tonight supports the headline: "Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help,'' Palin says in the interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson (in which she acknowledges that Georgia is not yet a NATO member, but says that, like Ukraine, it should be.)
ABC News billed the interview, Palin's first with the national media since the Republican Party nominated her for vice president last week, as a far-reaching talk about many corners of the world. This is new territory for the governor of Alaska.

  Judge Warned Palin In 2005 To Back Off Brother-In-Law'S JobSeptember 10, 2008 20:55 An Alaska judge warned Gov. Sarah Palin's family against trying to get her then-brother-in-law fired, according to court records.

That warning came long before the controversy over her dismissal of the brother-in-law's boss, the state's public safety commissioner, records show.

Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, is battling allegations she and her advisers pressured Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire her sister's husband, State Trooper Mike Wooten.

Palin's sister, Molly McCann, and Wooten were in the process of getting a divorce when the judge hearing the couple's case said McCann's family appeared to be putting Wooten's job at risk at a time when he would be required to pay child support.

"It appears for the world that Ms. McCann and her family have decided to take after the guy's livelihood, that whatever who did what to whom has overridden good judgment," Superior Court Judge John Suddock said during an October 2005 hearing. "Aesop told us not to slay the goose that lays the golden egg. For whatever reason, people are trying to slay the goose here, and it tends to diminish his earning capacity."

  Why All Of This Obama-Mccain 'Lipstick On A Pig' Noise Is Hogwash | The Dish Rag | Los Angeles TimesSeptember 10, 2008 15:10 When is it OK to talk about lipstick on pigs? It depends.

Sen. Barack Obama is being lambasted for his statement about Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's policies not being about change but "just calling the same thing something different."

"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," Obama said during a town-hall style event in Virginia on Tuesday night.

As you probably recall, Palin got applause at the Republican National Convention when she said that the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom (meaning herself) is that the latter wears lipstick. I think there are a few other differences, but I won't go into that here.

Now McCain's camp is acting outraged, outraged! It is accusing Obama of talking about Palin, calling Barack's comment "offensive and disgraceful" and saying Obama owes Palin an apology. This war hero and his self-described pit bull are so sensitive!

Meanwhile, McCain may have conveniently forgotten (hey, the dude's, like, really old) that he once used the same analogy in a 2007 Chicago Tribune article about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's healthcare plan. And I didn't hear anything about Hillary demanding an apology.

"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," McCain is quoted as saying about Clinton's proposal.

If I were a pig or a pit bull, I might be offended. But right now I'm a little more worried about my mortgage, the price of gas and the economy, stupid.

Oh, and gorgeous actresses with waves in their hair.

  Palin Backed 'Bridge To Nowhere,' Then Opposed It, But Kept the MoneySeptember 10, 2008 10:46 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's boast to have opposed the infamous "bridge to nowhere" is a staple of the Alaska governor's stump speech, but her record is more complicated than the one-liner.

She repeated the line Tuesday in Lebanon, Ohio, telling supporters, "I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks' for that bridge to nowhere up in Alaska. If our state wanted a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves."

But Palin originally supported construction of the bridge, which would have linked the city of Ketchikan with its airport on sparsely populated Gravina Island.

"I'm not going to stand in the way of progress that our congressional delegation -- in the position of strength that they have right now -- they're making those efforts for the state of Alaska to build up our infrastructure," Palin said during a debate shortly before her 2006 election as governor. "I would not get in the way of progress of this project or other projects they're working so hard on."

Her office canceled work on the span in 2007 after it became a symbol of congressional "pork-barrel" excess, but kept money that Congress had appropriated for the project, using the funds instead for state transportation projects.
  Palin Switched Colleges 6 Times In 6 YearsSeptember 05, 2008 20:45

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to have switched colleges at least six times in six years, including two stints at the University of Idaho before graduating from there in 1987.
Federal privacy laws prohibit the schools from disclosing her grades, and none of the schools contacted by The Associated Press could say why she transferred. There was no indication any were contacted as part of the background investigation of Palin by presidential candidate John McCain's campaign.
"Our office was not contacted by anyone," said Tania Thompson, spokeswoman for the University of Idaho in Moscow.
Palin, the governor of Alaska, was born in Idaho. Her family moved when she was only a few months old to Alaska, where she was raised.

  Cindy Mccain Wears $300,000 OutfitSeptember 04, 2008 23:11 I'd say they're definitely in touch with the traditional Republican 'base'...

Apparently, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling. Vanity Fair is reporting that the potential First Lady Cindy McCain — known for her rhinestone lapel pins — wore three-carat diamond earrings estimated at $280,000 and a $4,500 Chanel watch on Tuesday night. Tally that with her $3,000 Oscar de la Renta dress.
Here are VF's estimates:

Laura Bush
Oscar de la Renta suit: $2,500
Stuart Weitzman heels: $325
Pearl stud earrings: $600–$1,500
Total: Between $3,425 and $4,325

Cindy McCain
Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000–$25,000
Shoes, designer unknown: $600
Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100
  Palin Aides Peeked Into Trooper'S Files, Union Says - Cnn.ComSeptember 04, 2008 23:06 Aides to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin improperly obtained her former brother-in-law's state police personnel files and cited information from those records to raise complaints about the officer, the head of Alaska's state police union said Thursday.

"It's apparent to us that the governor or someone on her staff had direct access to his personnel file, as well as his workers' comp file, and those are protected," said John Cyr, executive director of the Alaska Public Safety Employees Association.

Palin, now the Republican nominee for vice president, is battling allegations that she sacked her public safety commissioner in July because he refused to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, her sister's ex-husband. But a spokesman for GOP presidential candidate John McCain's campaign released documents late Thursday indicating Wooten signed a waiver during his divorce that allowed his entire personnel file to be released.

"When you're a real reformer like Sarah Palin, who isn't afraid to take on entrenched political interests, scurrilous attacks and empty allegations come with the territory," campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said.
  Is Palin Confronting A Sexist Double Standard?September 04, 2008 14:26 INTERESTING COMMENT ABOUT PALIN in the comments on this article. Some of the highlights...
• “Hockey mom”: True for a few years
• “PTA mom”: True years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
• “NRA supporter”: Absolutely true
• Social conservative: Mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconstitutional).
• pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
• “Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
• “Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on
supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
• Political maverick: Not at all
• Gutsy: Absolutely!
• Open and transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
• Has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
• A "Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling offshore and in ANWR.
• Fiscal conservative: Not by my definition!
• Pro infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
• Pro tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
• Pro small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
• Pro labor/pro union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro labor/pro union.
  Palin: Iraq War 'A Task That Is From God'September 03, 2008 22:26 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."

Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."

A video of the speech was posted at the Wasilla Assembly of God's Web site before finding its way on to other sites on the Internet.

Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.
  Republican Party Contradicts Self On Palin FamilySeptember 03, 2008 22:19 Sadly, this isn't self contradiction, but tactics...

People: Make up your minds.

For two days, the chorus from Republicans on TV news and in the halls of the convention has been resounding: Back off and let the Palin family be. "That's out of bounds," said Minnesota's Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty. "There's no need to be intrusive and pry into that."

Yet Wednesday found the following scenes unfolding:

_Sarah Palin's pregnant, unmarried 17-year-old daughter and probable future son-in-law stood in a nationally televised, politically packaged airport receiving line to meet and greet the Republican candidate for president.

_The extremely cute and bubbly Piper Palin, 7, made her debut on her mother's behalf, appearing in a video on John McCain's daughter's blog. "Vote for my mommy and John McCain," she said, giggling as Meghan McCain grinned.

_Bristol Palin and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Levi Johnston, sat and held hands as they watched the Alaska governor deliver an acceptance speech that, in its opening minutes, focused heavily on her family and children. Later, the family — including Johnston — ascended the stage, basked in an extended ovation and waved.

Huh? The Republican message about the Palin offspring comes across as contradictory: Hey, media, leave those kids alone — so we can use them as we see fit.

If you doubt this scenario, consider this: On Wednesday morning, a teenage boy from Alaska stood in a receiving line on an airport tarmac, being glad-handed by the potential next president of the United States — because he got his girlfriend pregnant. TV cameras were lined up in advance. The mind boggles.

"Either the children are out of bounds, and you don't put them in the photo ops, or you don't complain when somebody wants to talk about them. You can't have it both ways," said John Matviko, a professor at West Liberty State College in West Virginia and editor of "The American President in Popular Culture."

"Right now, it looks like they're being used by the campaign more than the media are using them," he said.
  Some Gop Moderates Feel Left OutSeptember 03, 2008 21:19 When John McCain locked up the Republican nomination months ago, conservatives took a look at his deviation from Republican orthodoxy and began to wring their hands.

Since then, though, McCain has moved to the right on several key issues and allowed a staunchly conservative party platform to develop. And in the latest blow to middle-of-the-road Republicans, on the eve of the convention he selected an unyieldingly conservative running mate in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Now it's moderates wondering if there's a place for them in the era of McCain. And throughout the convention hall and meeting rooms of the Republican National Convention, gleeful conservatives are much easier to find than moderates feeling completely at ease.

"We are discouraged by the platform, which was such a lost opportunity to reach out to moderates," said Kellie Ferguson, executive director of the Republican Majority for Choice, a group that promotes GOP candidates who are moderate and support abortion rights.
  Republicans Bashing PalinSeptember 03, 2008 17:58 Prominent Republican analysts Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy became the latest victims of an open microphone Wednesday, caught after a segment on MSNBC trashing John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, and Murphy, a campaign strategist and onetime aide to John McCain, can both be heard expressing disbelief with the pick of Palin after they apparently thought they were in a commercial break.
“I come out of the blue swing-state governor world, Engler, Whitman, Thompson, Mitt Romney,” Murphy said during the mishap which has since been posted on YouTube. Murphy later flatly says of the pick, "It's not going to work."
Noonan is heard going even further, saying of the presidential race, "It's over."

  McCain Camp Plays Sexism Card For PalinSeptember 03, 2008 14:43 The full frontal assault on investigative media and valid discourse about McCain's inexperienced VP selection is shocking in it's near slander of the capabilities and intent of our independent media. The complete irony is that the McCain campaign follows up an ad comparing Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to Barak Obama with a refusal to allow discussion of Sarah Palin's questionable family values and leadership history.
John McCain's campaign could be panicking or politicking with its claim that sexism lies beneath any questions about Sarah Palin's past.
They say they're not panicked — that the Alaska governor's spot on the GOP ticket is secure — so that leaves room for just one conclusion for now: McCain's political team is playing the gender card to appeal to women, and bashing the media to solidify support among conservatives.
Hours before Palin's high-stakes address to the nation, McCain was trying to inoculate his untested and embattled running mate against criticism.
"This is part of a very clever strategy to lead the Democrats into a trap that will end up with them dumping on Gov. Palin and paying a heavy price," said GOP consultant Rich Galen.
The chorus began at dawn Wednesday when senior adviser Steve Schmidt released a statement declaring that the campaign would no longer answer questions about its background check of Palin, a little-known governor whose every blemish is being paraded before Americans.
  Betting On A Palin WithdrawalSeptember 03, 2008 10:59 Now the Democrats aren't the only ones who can try to capitalize on the negative buzz growing around Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the prospective Republican VP candidate.

Intrade, an online prediction market based in Dublin, created a contract Tuesday morning on the likelihood that John McCain will drop Palin as his running mate. After opening at a probability of just 3%, the odds on Palin being cut from the ticket hovered around 14% yesterday. Predictions plateaued today at 10%, perhaps in response to yesterday's speeches by Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman. Both praised the governor for her reformist qualities.

Intrade is a place for betting enthusiasts to turn a small profit on everything from the latest auction of works by controversial British artist Damien Hirst to Britney Spears' chances of landing in rehab. Contracts on a possible future event are bought and sold by users of the site, like a stock on the NYSE.
  Gay Republicans: Gop On 'Wrong Side Of History'September 02, 2008 23:17 A group of gay and lesbian Republicans has traveled to the site of the GOP convention this week to help convince its party that it is time to stop being on the "wrong side" of the same-sex marriage issue.

"Clearly, the tide is turning," said Scott Tucker, communications director for the Log Cabin Republicans. "It's important for the Republican Party to be inclusive on this issue, because we are risk of being on the wrong side of history."

Although the group's president, Patrick Sammon, acknowledges that few politicians in either party support "marriage equality," as the group dubs the same-sex marriage issue, "it's clear momentum is on our side."
  Anti-Abortion Group Says Palin 'Walks Her Talk'September 02, 2008 15:59 I love it... two entries in the Right Wing dictionary in one day. "Walks his/her talk" is the same thing as "Says and does whatever he/she wants." Example, I'm a religious conservative and I preach abstinence, but I can't keep my teenage children from having sex.

The question has long been posed to conservative male candidates during presidential campaigns: What would you do if your teen daughter became pregnant? Most dodge the question, saying their family lives are off-limits.

But Sarah Palin's announcement Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant -- and she supports her daughter -- shows that the Alaska governor is steadfast in her support of family values, GOP loyalists and anti-abortion groups say.

"She walks her talk. She has principles that she espouses, and she does not set herself apart from those principles," said Serrin Foster, the president of Feminists for Life of America.
  Bush: Mccain 'Ready To Lead This Nation'September 02, 2008 15:51 In Republican doublespeak lingo, "ready to lead" translates as "you should just vote for him because I say so."

John McCain's lifetime of service has prepared him to lead the country, President Bush will say Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, according to excerpts released to the media.

"He is ready to lead this nation," Bush will say via video link from the White House to the convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, according to the excerpts.

McCain also is right for the presidency because he "understands the lessons" of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Bush will say.
  Mccain Campaign: 'This Election Is Not About Issues'September 02, 2008 15:39 Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain's presidential bid, insisted that the presidential race will be decided more over personalities than issues during an interview with Post editors this morning.

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Davis added that issues will no doubt play a major role in the decisions undecided voters will make but that they won't ultimately be conclusive. He added that the campaign has "ultimate faith" in the idea that the more voters get to know McCain and Barack Obama, the better the Republican nominee will do.

Davis generally dismissed the controversies surrounding McCain's vice presidential pick -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- as a media creation but did acknowledge that her acceptance speech, which seems likely to come tomorrow, is critically important to defining who she is to the American public.

  Palin Daughter Baby Daddy -- "Don'T Want Kids"September 02, 2008 10:53 This is why Obama wants his team to stay away from Palin's family... they're doing enough damage on their own.

Who knew there were rednecks in Alaska?

Apparently there are, according to Levi Johnston, the guy who impregnated the daughter of GOP veep nominee Sarah Palin. He says so himself, on his MySpace page (which is now offline): "I'm a f***in' redneck," he wrote. "I live to play hockey ... I'll kick ass." Somewhat more troubling for 17-year-old Bristol Palin is the following: "I don't want kids." (Of course, what 18 year old really does?)

Gov. Palin and her family announced yesterday that Bristol is pregnant, dispelling rumors Sarah's four-month old was in fact Bristol's.
  John Didn'T Get What He Wanted, By HilzoySeptember 02, 2008 10:29 As far as I'm concerned, the story about Sarah Palin is what John McCain's decision to make her his running mate says about his judgment. And what this tells us is stunning. It is basic, basic politics that before you ask someone to become your running mate, you vet them thoroughly. You want to know what you're getting into, and you don't want any unfortunate surprises. Apparently, McCain didn't bother to do this. That's astonishing. It's like starting surgery before you do an initial medical workup and diagnosis, or handing all your money over to a financial advisor before you find out whether she's legitimate. In this particular case, there are two huge problems with what McCain did.
  As Throngs Of Protesters Hit Streets, Dozens Are Arrested After ClashesSeptember 02, 2008 10:21 Thousands of protesters, many of them demonstrating against the war in Iraq, marched on Monday through the streets outside the arena where the Republican National Convention is being held, with some smashing windows and battling with the police in clashes that led to more than 250 arrests.

Although most of the protesters were peaceful, the police used pepper spray and long wooden sticks to subdue some; several demonstrators also said police officers fired projectiles at them.

In one confrontation downtown, as several dozen demonstrators milled around and danced in the streets, police officers wearing helmets, padded vests and shin guards converged on the group. As the two sides faced off and tensions rose, the police squirted pepper spray into the crowd.

“I saw the cops shooting,” said a man who gave his name as Jude Ortiz. Orange foam lay on the pavement, along with a red cloth object the size of a finger that contained beads.

A commander in the St. Paul Police Department, Doug Holtz, said he knew nothing about projectiles being used near Jackson Street, where one of the most intense confrontations took place.

Commander Holtz said officers had fired “less lethal” 40-millimeter projectiles in a park near the Mississippi River, where he said demonstrators had thrown bottles and other objects at officers. He said 75 people or more had been arrested there.

These scenes from the first day of the Republican convention contrasted sharply with the more muted demonstrations at the Democratic convention in Denver last week. The protests Monday in St. Paul were much more pitched, and the number of protesters and police officers here was far greater.

  Surprise Pregnancy Has Republicans Off BalanceSeptember 02, 2008 10:09 It was not, in Weather Channel terms, a Category 5. But the Republican National Convention made landfall in the Twin Cities on Monday, its attention split between a hurricane smashing the Gulf Coast and a political storm over the vice presidential nominee's grandchild-to-be.

Concerns over Hurricane Gustav cut the convention program short, even as television screens throughout the Xcel Energy Center showed the storm's damage did not appear as severe as Hurricane Katrina three years before. Meanwhile, word spread quickly through the hall that the 17-year-old daughter of Sen. John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is pregnant and plans to marry the father.

Convention delegates and conservative religious leaders praised Bristol Palin for keeping her child and her parents for supporting her. McCain aides acted quickly to contain any political damage, warning that reporters would face a backlash if they pried too deeply into the Palins' personal lives.

"It's a private family matter. Life happens in families," Steve Schmidt, McCain's top strategist, told reporters. "If people try to politicize this, the American people will be appalled by it."
  Is Mccain Another George W. Bush?September 01, 2008 23:17 Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.
  Would You Do That To Your Daughter? - Postpartisan - Quick Takes By The Post&Apos;S Opinion WritersSeptember 01, 2008 21:46 As I tried to make my way through St. Paul today – protesters managed to make driving, or even walking, anywhere pretty much impossible – people I ran into were asking one question: Is Sarah Palin doing what’s best for her daughter?

This isn’t a sexist question. It would also be asked of a male politician in her position. Is it fair for any parent to put his or her pregnant, unmarried, 17-year-old daughter through the klieg-light scrutiny of a presidential campaign? Actually, there’s a better way to put the question: Would you do that to your daughter?
  Evangelicals Rally Behind Palin After Pregnancy NewsSeptember 01, 2008 21:33 If these people win the Presidency again, I'm going to have to stop voting. It's outrageous that Evangelicals will rally behind Palin, yet not rebuke her for her obviously poor parenting skills.

Key evangelical leaders rallied to Sarah Palin's support Monday amid news that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was having a child.

"Before, they were excited about her, with the Down syndrome baby," conservative, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said. "But now with this, they are over the moon. It reinforces the fact that this family lives its pro-life values."

Palin and John McCain oppose abortion and have supported promoting abstinence in schools, which would seem to make Bristol Palin's pregnancy an inconveniently timed development.
  Palin'S Teen Daughter Is PregnantSeptember 01, 2008 21:31

<em>No wonder why John McCain ran that ad comparing Barak Obama to Britney Spears. He was jealous! So he went out and got himself a Vice President with a daughter who can be compared to Jamie Lynn Spears!!! How cool! He should really rake in the teeny bopper votes now!</em>

John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, dealt with two startling disclosures Monday. She announced that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant and plans to keep the baby. And Palin has hired a lawyer as Alaska investigates the firing of her public safety commissioner.
Palin hired a lawyer three weeks ago to act on her behalf as state legislators investigate whether she may have abused her power in firing the state public safety commisioner for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper, CNN confirmed.
A report of findings of a legislative inquiry that began several weeks ago is expected to be released just days before Election Day.
Palin also revealed that her daughter Bristol is pregnant and will marry the baby's father.
John McCain was aware of Bristol Palin's pregnancy before he chose her mother for his running mate, a top adviser to the Republican presidential candidate said.
The adviser, Doug Holtz-Eakin, said Monday that Palin "was completely vetted by the campaign" before she was chosen.
"Sen. McCain knew this and felt in no way did it disqualify her from being vice president," said an aide who asked not to be named. "Families have difficulties sometimes and lucky for her she has a supportive family."