August 29, 2008

Sarah Who?

A bit more info on Sarah Palin, the woman who would stand a 73 year old hearbeat away from the presidency were McCain, a guy with a history of cancer, elected:

Palin won the governor's office in Alaska with 115,000 votes. She served two terms on the Wasila city council in the 1990s and was elected mayor in 1999. She is a native of Idaho, and her family moved to Alaska when she was an infant.

She is a hunter, lifelong NRA member, snowmobiler and staunch conservative. She is said to favor mooseburgers.

Like Obama, Palin played high school basketball - captain of the Wasilla Warriors. Unlike Obama, she has been a beauty queen -- she placed second in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant in 1984.

Unlike McCain, who says he's never won any awards for "Mr. Congeniality'' in the Senate, she was "Miss Congeniality.''

Unlike Obama, her college education ended at the University of Idaho, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Her husband Todd, is a native Eskimo and works in commercial fishing and oil drilling on the North Slope of Alaska -- a Steelworkers' Union member and snowmobile racer. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary today.

Their firstborn son, Track, joined the Army last year and is bound for Iraq in the infantry this fall -- "He'll be following the presidential camapign from afar,'' Sarah Palin said in her appearance with McCain in Ohio today, with Palin citing her pride in him and "all of the men and women serving.''

They have three daughters, seven through 17, and earlier this year, Sarah Palin gave birth to their second son, born with Down syndrome.

Her youngest child's plight underscores Palin's commitment to the "pro-life'' cause which McCain has pledged to make a central concern of his administration. She was not dissuaded by prenatal testing of the child and has said of him: "I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection.... Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?''

In the world of politics, what's a perfect vice presidential pick? Is it the pick that Obama made: Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and decades of experience in Congress? Or is it Palin, ex-mayor of Wasilla?

And in the debate that McCain will wage with Obama this fall, the question of Obama's "preparedness'' for the presidency will have to be addressed with a certain recognition that McCain has tapped someone who might have to stand in as president who carries a lack of national credentials unseen in a long time.

When Obama was looking at Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia as a possible running mate, Karl Rove, the "architect" of President Bush's election campaigns, dismissed his experience - a governor for three years and ex-mayor of 103rd largest Richmond.

We're not sure where Wasilla (Pop. 5,550) ranks.

But Palin runs the Alaska National Guard.

For comparison, according to the 2007 census, the town of SILVIS has 2,272 more residents than Wasilla, Alaska. A better idea of the size of the town Palin served as Mayor only two years ago would be the village of Colona, which has only a couple hundred fewer residents than Wasilla.

Well, you know what they say, "If you can run Wasilla, AK, within a couple years you can run the United States." Well, actually, I guess they don't say that. Because it would be absolutely insane.

Personally, I think she should be disqualified for no other reason than she actually named her son "Track". (Well, she has admitted smoking dope up there when it was legal.) Does she have a daughter named "Field"? Or maybe another named "Stream"?
They could be Track and Field, or Field and Stream. Just sayin'.


At 8/29/2008 9:21 PM, Blogger tiz said...

I read somewhere today re: her kids' names that she out-Romneyed the Romneys. :) I know the weird kid names like that are normal in her native Idaho though (I have in-laws with even more bizarre names).

I think we have to be very, very careful about how we attack her. She has some of the same teflon qualities that Barack has. For instance I'm already seeing "pro-Hillary" GOP plants explaining away troppergate by saying the brother-in-law was abusive to her sister. I say stay away from her unless McCain wants to bring up experience. We've gotten better during the convention at taking it to McCain. It's too bad John Kerry couldn't fight back like that 4 years ago.

At 44 I thought Palin would rank among the youngest VPs if elected. Turns out there would be six younger and she would be tied with Al Gore for 7th youngest. Biden would be tied for 4th oldest (he'll be 66 in Nov).

If we handle it the right way this pick is a gift to Democrats. McCain can't talk about experience anymore and Hillary's going to work even harder to make sure it's her in 2016 (note Biden's age) who breaks the "glass ceiling", not Sarah Palin.

At 8/29/2008 10:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Interesting points, as usual Tiz.

But I don't see cause for being overly cautious. This woman brings enough baggage with her to last a good long time. I keep hearing more every hour.

And of course mocking her kid's name is only juvenile humor. But seriously, do you think the Republicans would hesitate a split second to make that a laughing stock were the situation reversed?

I don't have a problem with her age. Just her crazy extreme right views and her stunning lack of qualifications to be someone who may be thrust into the role of President of the United States.

Hell, it was only yesterday that the highest office she held was PTA president!

In experience, she makes Obama look like Robert Byrd by comparison.

The biggest point of it all is the breathtaking cynicism that's behind it, treating women as if they're all just plain stupid, and can be swindled by simply appointing a woman as VP candidate.

It's insulting and destined to fail.

I doubt the ethical investigation will go far. So what? She clearly is guilty of misusing the powers of her office, and I don't care if the guy abused his wife or not. That doesn't justify firing someone and ending their career because they refused to illegally fire of one of your enemies.

And wait until some of her positions as Governor come out. She is NOT going to be popular with anyone to the left of Attila the Hun, trust me.

She's clueless on the evironment, doesn't give a damn about it and supports everything mining and oil interests want.

Wait until you hear more about her. And I don't mean smears, I'm talking about facts.

At 8/29/2008 10:56 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

What do you expect? Did you think McCain, the Republican nominee, was going to choose a liberal Democrat or something? Maybe a gay communist abortion advocate? Again, I pose the question: Who could McCain have chosen that you would NOT be ripping down right now?

Personally, I would have liked Sen. Olympia Snowe but I get the feeling that even she would be too moderate for conservative Republicans. But Democrats would have said that she was "too right wing".

But I am well pleased with Sarah Palin. As you Obamatrons have proven time and again, experience might not be the highest priority for voters. "Character!" "Judgement!" "UNITY!!" "Hope!" We're going to break a glass ceiling here, so step aside.

At 8/29/2008 11:14 PM, Blogger tiz said...

The only things I really knew about her (other than her being cute - and that's only in comparison with some pretty slim pickings) was that she sold the governor's jet and she didn't get along with Ted Stevens or Don Young. Those alone score some brownie points with me.

But yeah, her views on evolution, the environment, and social issues are way to the right of McCain or some of the folks around him. That and the fact that he's met her like twice make me wonder if this is more the GOP's pick than McCain's. His "buddies" (Pawlenty and Lieberman) who were potential VPs seem to be much closer to him at least with respect to energy and the environment.

McCain takes what his party shoves down his throat. Kerry's whole Candidate vs. Senator McCain argument shows this as does this pick. I believe Obama was being pressured by his party to take Bayh, btw, and we know how that ended. So who is the maverick?

I think jabbing her about the kid's names is fine. She does seem to have a sense of humor about her quirkiness (or she did at least). The big thing I'm worried about is how to handle the baby with down's. You know they're going to make a big deal of it. I'm inclined to think/say "who the hell has a kid like that and then takes a job that will require being away all the time?" (I think you echoed something similar in the earlier post). Seriously - I'm lucky to have a 6 month-old with no problems like that and I can't fathom being away for even a day. Nor could I fathom using him for political gain. I can't help but think less of her (and I would her husband too) for putting political ambition ahead of family like that. When you and I say/think that it's one thing. If any Obama surrogates say it (this is the sort of foot-in-mouth thing I could see Biden saying) it's going to backfire hard.

I can't remember where I read this today (I get way too many RSS feeds for this stuff) but someone pointed out that Palin has been governor one month longer than Obama has been running for president. Nuff said.

At 8/30/2008 6:18 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Nico, I love ya, but you've become a joke.

NOW you think McCain is suddenly going to morph into the "change" candidate? By picking the most unqualified VP candidate in history?

What are you smoking my friend?

Mr. Votes with Bush 90% of the time is now Mr. Change?

Snap out of it. Don't try to peddle such obvious baloney around here.

And why the hangup on whether I'd criticize any McCain pick?

When, Nico, did you get it lodged in your head that I'd have to LIKE or APPROVE of a vice presidential pick of a party that stands against nearly everything I firmly believe in? That puts corporations and the wealthy first every single time?

WHY, I ask you, do you somehow think it makes me less credible that I would oppose McCain's VP pick?

The idea is kind of ridiculous from my standpoint.

And I can tell you right here and now that I would have been objective about his pick, and if he'd picked Snow, I sure the hell wouldn't be saying she was too far right. Snow's a moderate and resists falling into the insanity of far right ideology. She's weathered the last 8 years with her integrity intact.

Why can't you accept that the points I make against Palin are all entirely true and valid? (except the jab at her kid's goofy name.)

Look at the points I've made Nico, and then come back here with something other than accusing me of knocking Palin for no good reason other than she's Republican.

That's simply untrue, unfair, and I resent it.

There's PLENTY of reasons to question McCain's sanity and integrity in choosing Palin, first among them that he clearly has completely abandoned the solemn obligation to pick someone who would be qualified and capable of assuming the duties of commander in chief and President.

THAT ALONE is reason to condem the pick.

Just stop right there, and it's enough.

But there's tons of reasons beyond that, mostly due to her being way, way, WAY farther to the right than the majority of Americans, not to mention that she represents more of the same failed and destructive ideology of the past 8 years.

You want to try to defend her? Go on ahead.

So far you haven't even begun.

At 8/30/2008 6:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


Good points all.

As to the issue of her Downs syndrome infant, I think that goes DIRECTLY to revealing how grossly hypocritical and CYNICAL the Republicans have become.


The Republicans have traded on the notion of "family values" for years, trashing single-parent families, etc.

They've whined and bitched and complained about how the liberals are destroying the family and have tried to pretend that they represent the traditional mom/dad/kids type of white-bread family. (as if Dems don't.)

They've brayed long and loudly about stay at home Moms, defending them. (rightly) while often berating, smearing, and condemning as "liberal" women who choose to follow a career path rather than stay at home and raise a family.

They've spent DECADES condemning career women, often by making the point that they're not giving their children the time and devotion needed to provide them with a solid upbringing.

They've spend DECADES condenming women who have careers which take them away from their children.

No one can deny this. It's fact.

Now, in the blink of an eye, all that history is expected to vanish down the memory hole, apparently, and these gross hypocrites are actually able to argue, "WHY, it's perfectly FINE for whats-her-name to become vice-president, a job which demands 24 hour attention. It's perfectly FINE for her to live a few thousand miles away from her home. It's perfectly FINE for her to STILL BE BREAST FEEDING HER DOWNS SYNDROME INFANT while spending 18 hour days on the campaign trail, much of it in airliners and limos. It's perfectly FINE that obviously, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that she can provide even a fraction of the care that her new born child requires.

That's not good, in my estimation. That's a BIG problem for them. And they'll only sound absoultely ridiculous in trying to defend it, which they already are.

This falls under the same catagory of the dozens of gay Republicans and Republican adulterers or sexual devients.

It's not really an issue, until the Republicans MAKE IT AN ISSUE, which they obviously have.

They can't use their phony baloney family values crap for political gain and as a bedrock of their entire con, and then turn around and utterly violate it themselves and EXPECT PEOPLE TO IGNORE IT.

Can Palin at least spend a few hours a week with this handicapped infant? Probably yes. Will it get as much attention as it needs and deserves? Certainly not. It's simply impossible.

She either runs for vice president, or she cares for her handicapped infant.

She's made the choice, and it's entirely legitimate, especially as I've said in light of their bludgeoning of career women as being "liberal" and evil, to bring up this issue and do so forcefully.

At 8/31/2008 5:40 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

All I know is that when Obama picked Joe Biden, (whom I have met and am very familiar with, going back over 20 years) I had the civility to say "That is a great choice. Joe is top notch." Not that I would vote for Obama...I am not. But I had enough class to say that Biden was a good pick. and for Obama, Biden was the strongest shoice. If you had, say a BIDEN-OBAMA ticket instead, you would be ahead by 20 points now instead of 7 or 8.

Not all women are pro-abortion liberals. Women do not all vote as a "bloc", the way that Blacks do, for example. This may surprise you, but many women can think independently and they look at the person over the party dogma. Yes, can you believe it that women think about things such as taxes, national security, immigration, etc. And yes, some women will be more drawn to the McCain ticket because of Sarah Palin. Who are these women? They are professional women, women in the suburbs, women who are the mothers of children with special needs, etc. etc. And yes, there will be some "closet supporters" among Hillary voters who felt robbed.

Not all women are simpletons who only care about the issue of legal abortion. Not all women are going to just walk in the booth and vote for Obama like it was an involuntary reflex. That is naive or else it is "wishful thinking" on your part.

At 8/31/2008 10:20 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

For someone with such long political experience, you're showing that you've lost touch with reality.

First of all, you state flat out that all black vote in lockstep with each other.

No one serious would ever suggest that. Just right wingers pissed that they're voting overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidate this time around. (Big surprise. They really SHOULD vote for the party that's consistently worked against the policies they favor, you're right.)

Your commending the Biden choice has nothing to do with class, even though you may like to flatter yourself. It was simply honest.

Just as my pointing out the recklessness of chosing Palin is completely honest.

I'm not making this stuff up.

And I'm not fixating on minor little things. This isn't nit-picking Nico. And you know it.

Do you think David Frum and all the other conservative icons who have reacted essentially the same way I did are all bashing Palin for no good reason too?

Are they being unfair?

Get over it, please.

To even suggest that there's some sort of similarity between Palin and Biden is absolutely silly. (and again, you know it.)

As is the idea that because you and others met the Biden choice appropriately, by realizing that even if you disagreed with Biden's positions, you couldn't say he wasn't mainstream and completely qualified. (without having to really scrape the bottom of the barrel.)

But to expect me or anyone else to hear that McCain picked a virtual unknown woman, who has essentially no experience beyond running a town the size of Colona and one of the most sparsely populated states in the country for less than one term, and somehow feel obligated to pretend that it was a great choice ..... what can I say?

And that's not even getting to her views on teaching creationism, her view that we aren't contributing to global warming, and that women should be forced to have a child, even in cases of rape and incest.

It baffles me that you're so annoyed at the negative reaction when it would be more bizarre to imagine that this woman would be considered "mainstream" in any way, shape, or form.


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