The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



In the Convention Halls, an Energized Base

By Ed O'Keefe

ST. PAUL -- Delegates on the convention floor tonight were supportive of the president and confident the new McCain-Palin ticket will rally enough votes for victory in November.

Take Traci Saliba of Powell, Ohio, for example. She's a lifelong GOP volunteer, attending her first convention.

"I believe President Bush has a message that still resonates with Republicans and with conservatives," she said.

Then there's Nina Martinez of Santa Fe, N.M., seated in the Land of Enchantment delegation's only front-row seat.

"Everyone tries to hang everything on the president. He's not a fairy godfather," she says. "I think history will be much kinder to him, like Harry Truman: not of his time."

But should McCain campaign with the president this fall?

"I don't think a president with low campaign numbers will work," says Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. "I don't expect him to be engaged, but I don't think he'd be disinvited" from campaigning McCollum thinks.

"This is a good time to be a Republican, because there are several issues we will face in the next few years of utmost importance," Saliba says of McCain. "National security, the economy, energy. I want someone who has the experience with those issues."

"Sometimes you get lucky to have a candidate who lives the message. John McCain lives his," she adds.

Make mention of Sarah Palin, and delegates' faces light up.

"I think it was the best thing that could happen to the ticket. I think it was the best choice," says Donna Solze of Jacksonville, Fla.

"To me, that says John McCain believes in what the women of this party believe in. He'll take the party farther with this pick," Saliba says.

"The base is energized. I don't see anything that will deflate that. Palin is a big plus right now," McCollum thinks.

After the first full night of conventioneering, the party already seemed enthused.

"I really want to go home and start talking to people, because I'm excited," Saliba says. "It's the beginning of our success."

Posted at 11:51 PM ET on Sep 2, 2008  | Category:  Conventions
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Just like Bush, McCain can only blame others for his short comings.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 4:45 PM

Palin's church says Jews deserve to be victims of terrorism!

Brickner, [Palin's church leader] also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. Palin was in church that day and did nothing.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 4:40 PM

Henry Williford: you focus on Sarah Palin's gender as a cause for rejecting her. That may be true for others but then neither you nor I know that for sure. So I assume your are clumsily trying to suck up to a former Clinton supporter which is your right. For me the issue is as follows:

Sarah Palin and her husband Todd are poor parents. She has depicted herself as a hockey mom. He has supported her in her career but neither one of them have devoted themselves to their special needs child. In this case it is Todd's duty to devote himself to the child, but if he fails it is hers. To all appearances the children are substituting for the parents which may work for ordinary kids but not special needs kids.

The idea that a mother would allow the media to shine a light on her pregnant daughter at a time when she needs privacy and support seems callous. She should have warned the media in the beginning that her daughter was an unwed mother and hands off. Obama did that and she or McCain should have done that. Hiding that information led to this awful frenzy that is so characteristic of MSM which lacks any sense of propriety. The problem was anticipatable and it was not handled the way it should have been.

Mr McCain's tactic which on paper looked tactically smart may not even be that since Gov Palin may allienate and remind Clinton supporters of McCain's anti-abortion position.

I come from the position that in this election cycle it is the policy of the candidates that are most important and not the character. Both men seem acceptable on character issue. To me
Mr Obama's race and Mrs Palin's gender are unimportant. If her gender were important Gov Palin has it wrong on woman's issues. McCain/Palin have it wrong on the economy and on energy as it relates to the economy. They are wrong on health care.

I think Mrs Palin's hypocrisy is no different than the vast majority of those in the anti-abortion movement (it's only pro-life when it is against capital punishment also) at least those who wear it on their sleeve. In that way Mr McCain has been different in the past. So I find Mrs Palin unappealing for reasons other than gender and I do not respect her husband's lack of leadership in child rearing as well.

Posted by: Ronnn | September 3, 2008 3:11 PM

An energized base? They must have put something extra in the kool-aid because it's only the koo-aid drinkers that believe a word of what Bush/Cheney/McCain or any of the few remaining Republicans say.

Interesting to watch a scared collection of mostly old white people hiding behind National Guard troops in Minn/St.Paul. Where there any police attacks on protesters in Denver?

If the Obama can run the country as well as he ran his campaign and the convention, we may be able to work our way out of this mess. Of course, inside the R-convention, Thompson insists everything, the economy, the war, and the federal government is just fine. If it weren't for those 'angry' liberals. I've got news for them, it ain't just liberals. They're about to find out just how out of touch they really are.

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 3, 2008 2:59 PM

You misunderstood me, JakeD. I believe that John McCain does not believe that children belong in a campaign. His handlers in his campaign I suspect want to show case the family to compete with Biden-Obama. (The order of the men is deliberate) I do not think that comparison will be in the Republicans favor but it is necessary to hall out the kids.

Posted by: Ronnn | September 3, 2008 2:06 PM

nancy sabet:

To be fair, Obama has undergone severe personal attacks -- not the least of which include his being Muslim not Christian -- does that mean everyone pointing that out is "scared"?

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 1:44 PM

NoVA Dem:

There are, in fact, less official GOP delegates than Democratic -- are you complaining that the GOP Convention is costing far less too -- what's the big deal again?

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 1:43 PM

I think attacks on Palin it's a measure of how worried Obamamedia and other Democrats are. Sarah Palin's nomination must scare them- and scare them enough to sink into "say or do anything to win". The problem is that as they sink lower and lower in their attacks against her, they solidify her support from the right, energize the Republican base into caring enough to vote, and p!ss off more and more women who were planning to leave the top of the ticket blank, but not anymore. I clearly see that the misogyny directed against Hillary was sitting there just waiting for any female candidate to come along. The only way to fight it is to elect a woman, and at this point the only choice we have is Palin. I don't agree with her policies on anything, but d@mn it, she has my vote. It's the only way I have to fight back since media have crossed the line.

Posted by: nancy sabet | September 3, 2008 1:42 PM

Anonymous and Ronnn:

I am not the McCain's official photographer -- I did know about Bridget back in 2000 -- but, you are going to have to get someone else to track down "proof" that he is not ashamed of her.

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 1:36 PM

Glad to see that Oscar noticed all the empty seats at XCel Engergy Center too.

If the GOP's so energized, why are there so many Republicans dressed as green seats?

Posted by: NoVA Dem | September 3, 2008 1:32 PM


WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain arrived late at his Senate office on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. “This is war,” he murmured to his aides. The sound of scrambling fighter planes rattled the windows, sending a tremor of panic through the room.

Erik Jacobs for The New York Times
John McCain said he had consulted Henry A. Kissinger on foreign policy before and after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Within hours, Mr. McCain, the Vietnam War hero and famed straight talker of the 2000 Republican primary, had taken on a new role: the leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan. In a marathon of television and radio appearances, Mr. McCain recited a short list of other countries said to support terrorism, invariably including Iraq, Iran and Syria.

“There is a system out there or network, and that network is going to have to be attacked,” Mr. McCain said the next morning on ABC News. “It isn’t just Afghanistan,” he added, on MSNBC. “I don’t think if you got bin Laden tomorrow that the threat has disappeared,” he said on CBS, pointing toward other countries in the Middle East.

Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is the first country,” he declared on CNN. By Jan. 2, Mr. McCain was on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, yelling to a crowd of sailors and airmen: “Next up, Baghdad!”

Now, as Mr. McCain prepares to accept the Republican presidential nomination, his response to the attacks of Sept. 11 opens a window onto how he might approach the gravest responsibilities of a potential commander in chief. Like many, he immediately recalibrated his assessment of the unseen risks to America’s security. But he also began to suggest that he saw a new “opportunity” to deter other potential foes by punishing not only Al Qaeda but also Iraq.

“Just as Sept. 11 revolutionized our resolve to defeat our enemies, so has it brought into focus the opportunities we now have to secure and expand our freedom,” Mr. McCain told a NATO conference in Munich in early 2002, urging the Europeans to join what he portrayed as an all but certain assault on Saddam Hussein. “A better world is already emerging from the rubble.”

To his admirers, Mr. McCain’s tough response to Sept. 11 is at the heart of his appeal. They argue that he displayed the same decisiveness again last week in his swift calls to penalize Russia for its incursion into Georgia, in part by sending peacekeepers to police its border.

His critics charge that the emotion of Sept. 11 overwhelmed his former cool-eyed caution about deploying American troops without a clear national interest and a well-defined exit, turning him into a tool of the Bush administration in its push for a war to transform the region.

“He has the personality of a fighter pilot: when somebody stings you, you want to strike out,” said retired Gen. John H. Johns, a former friend and supporter of Mr. McCain who turned against him over the Iraq war. “Just like the American people, his reaction was: show me somebody to hit.”

Whether through ideology or instinct, though, Mr. McCain began making his case for invading Iraq to the public more than six months before the White House began to do the same. He drew on principles he learned growing up in a military family and on conclusions he formed as a prisoner in North Vietnam. He also returned to a conviction about “the common identity” of dangerous autocracies as far-flung as Serbia and North Korea that he had developed consulting with hawkish foreign policy thinkers to help sharpen the themes of his 2000 presidential campaign.

While pushing to take on Saddam Hussein, Mr. McCain also made arguments and statements that he may no longer wish to recall. He lauded the war planners he would later criticize, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney. (Mr. McCain even volunteered that he would have given the same job to Mr. Cheney.) He urged support for the later-discredited Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi’s opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, and echoed some of its suspect accusations in the national media. And he advanced misleading assertions not only about Mr. Hussein’s supposed weapons programs but also about his possible ties to international terrorists, Al Qaeda and the Sept. 11 attacks.

Five years after the invasion of Iraq, Mr. McCain’s supporters note that he became an early critic of the administration’s execution of the occupation, and they credit him with pushing the troop “surge” that helped bring stability. Mr. McCain, though, stands by his support for the war and expresses no regrets about his advocacy.

In written answers to questions, he blamed “Iraq’s opacity under Saddam” for any misleading remarks he made about the peril it posed.

The Sept. 11 attacks “demonstrated the grave threat posed by a hostile regime, possessing weapons of mass destruction, and with reported ties to terrorists,” Mr. McCain wrote in an e-mail message on Friday. Given Mr. Hussein’s history of pursuing illegal weapons and his avowed hostility to the United States, “his regime posed a threat we had to take seriously.” The attacks were still a reminder, Mr. McCain added, of the importance of international action “to prevent outlaw states — like Iran today — from developing weapons of mass destruction.”

Formative Years

Mr. McCain has been debating questions about the use of military force far longer than most. He grew up in a family that had sent a son to every American war since 1776, and international relations were a staple of the McCain family dinner table. Mr. McCain grew up listening to his father, Adm. John S. McCain Jr., deliver lectures on “The Four Ocean Navy and the Soviet Threat,” closing with a slide of an image he considered the ultimate factor in the balance of power: a soldier marching through a rice paddy with a rifle at his shoulder.

“To quote Sherman, war is all hell and we need to fight it out and get it over with and that is when the killing stops,” recalled Joe McCain, Senator McCain’s younger brother.

Vietnam, for Senator McCain, reinforced those lessons. He has often said he blamed the Johnson administration’s pause in bombing for prolonging the war, and he credited President Richard M. Nixon’s renewed attacks with securing his release from a North Vietnamese prison. He has made the principle that the exercise of military power sets the bargaining table for international relations a consistent theme of his career ever since, and in his 2002 memoir he wrote that one of his lifelong convictions was “the imperative that American power never retreat in response to an inferior adversary’s provocation.”

But Mr. McCain also took away from Vietnam a second, restraining lesson: the necessity for broad domestic support for any military action. For years he opposed a string of interventions — in Lebanon, Haiti, Somalia, and, for a time, the Balkans — on the grounds that the public would balk at the loss of life without clear national interests. “The Vietnam thing,” he recently said.

In the late 1990s, however, while he was beginning to consider his 2000 presidential race, he started rebalancing his view of the needs to project American strength and to sustain public support. The 1995 massacre of 5,000 unarmed Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica under NATO’s watch struck at his conscience, he has said, and in addition to America’s strategic national interests — in that case, the future and credibility of NATO — Mr. McCain began to speak more expansively about America’s moral obligations as the only remaining superpower.

His aides say he later described the American air strikes in Bosnia in 1996 and in Kosovo in 1999 as a parable of political leadership: Mr. McCain, Senator Bob Dole and others had rallied Congressional support for the strikes despite widespread public opposition, then watched approval soar after the intervention helped to bring peace.

“Americans elect their leaders to make these kinds of judgments,” Mr. McCain said in the e-mail message.

It was during the Balkan wars that Mr. McCain and his advisers read a 1997 article on the Wall Street Journal editorial page by William Kristol and David Brooks of The Weekly Standard — both now Op-Ed page columnists at The New York Times — promoting the idea of “national greatness” conservatism, defined by a more activist agenda at home and a more muscular role in the world.

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘eureka’ moment, but there was a sense that this is where we are headed and this is what we are trying to articulate and they have already done a lot of the work,” said John Weaver, a former McCain political adviser. “And, quite frankly, from a crass political point of view, we were in the making-friends business. The Weekly Standard represented a part of the primary electorate that we could get.”

Soon Mr. McCain and his aides were consulting regularly with the circle of hawkish foreign policy thinkers sometimes referred to as neoconservatives — including Mr. Kristol, Robert Kagan and Randy Scheunemann, a former aide to Mr. Dole who became a McCain campaign adviser — to develop the senator’s foreign policy ideas and instincts into the broad themes of a presidential campaign. (In his e-mail message, Mr. McCain noted that he had also consulted with friends like Henry A. Kissinger, known for a narrower view of American interests.)

One result was a series of speeches in which Mr. McCain called for “rogue state rollback.” He argued that disparate regional troublemakers, including Iraq, North Korea and Serbia, bore a common stamp: they were all autocracies. And as such, he contended, they were more likely to export terrorism, spread dangerous weapons, or start ethnic conflicts. In an early outline of what would become his initial response to the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. McCain argued that “swift and sure” retribution against any one of the rogue states was an essential deterrent to any of the others. But Mr. McCain’s advisers and aides say his “rogue state” speeches stopped short of the most sweeping international agenda put forth by Mr. Kristol, Mr. Kagan and their allies. Mr. McCain explicitly disavowed direct military action merely to advance American values, foreswearing any “global crusade” of interventions in favor of relying on covert and financial support for internal opposition groups.

As an example, he could point to his 1998 sponsorship of the Iraqi Liberation Act, which sought to direct nearly $100 million to Iraqis who hoped to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The bill, signed by President Bill Clinton, also endorsed the ouster of Mr. Hussein.

Mr. McCain said then that he doubted the United States could muster the political will to use ground troops to remove the Iraqi dictator any time soon. “It was much easier when Saddam Hussein was occupying Kuwait and threatening Saudi Arabia,” the senator told Fox News in November 1998. “We’d have to convince the American people that it’s worth again the sacrifice of American lives, because that would also be part of the price.”

Hard Calls

Mr. McCain spent the afternoon of Sept. 11 in a young aide’s studio apartment near the Capitol. There was no cable television, nothing but water in the kitchen, and the hallway reminded him of an old boxing gym. Evacuated from his office but stranded by traffic, he could not resist imagining himself at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. “There are not enough Secret Service agents in the world to keep me away from Washington and New York at a time like this,” Mr. McCain told an adviser.

Over the next days and weeks, however, Mr. McCain became almost as visible as he would have been as president. Broadcasters rushed to him as a patriotic icon and reassuring voice, and for weeks he was ubiquitous on the morning news programs, Sunday talk shows, cable news networks, and even late-night comedy shows.

In the spotlight, he pushed rogue state rollback one step further, arguing that the United States should go on the offensive as a warning to any other country that might condone such an attack. “These networks are well-embedded in some of these countries,” Mr. McCain said on Sept. 12, listing Iraq, Iran and Syria as potential targets of United States pressure. “We’re going to have to prove to them that we are very serious, and the price that they will pay will not only be for punishment but also deterrence.”

Although he had campaigned for President Bush during the 2000 general election, he was still largely frozen out of the White House because of animosities left over from the Republican primary. But after Mr. Bush declared he would hold responsible any country condoning terrorism, Mr. McCain called his leadership “magnificent” and his national security team the strongest “that has ever been assembled.” A few weeks later, Larry King of CNN asked whether he would have named Mr. Rumsfeld and Colin L. Powell to a McCain cabinet. “Oh, yes, and Cheney,” Mr. McCain answered, saying he, too, would have offered Mr. Cheney the vice presidency.

Even during the heat of the war in Afghanistan, Mr. McCain kept an eye on Iraq. To Jay Leno in mid-September, Mr. McCain said he believed “some other countries” had assisted Osama bin Laden, going on to suggest Iraq, Syria and Iran as potential suspects. In October 2001, when an Op-Ed page column in The New York Times speculated that Iraq, Russia or some other country might bear responsibility for that month’s anthrax mailings, Mr. McCain interrupted a question about Afghanistan from David Letterman on that night’s “Late Show.” “The second phase is Iraq,” Mr. McCain said, adding, “Some of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq.” (The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it came from a federal government laboratory in Maryland.) By October, United States and foreign intelligence agencies had said publicly that they doubted any cooperation between Mr. Hussein and Al Qaeda, noting Al Qaeda’s opposition to such secular nationalists. American intelligence officials soon declared that Mr. Hussein had not supported international terrorism for nearly a decade.

But when the Czech government said that before the attacks, one of the 9/11 hijackers had met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence official, Mr. McCain seized the report as something close to a smoking gun. “The evidence is very clear,” he said three days later, in an Oct. 29 television interview. (Intelligence agencies quickly cast doubt on the meeting.)

Frustrated by the dearth of American intelligence about Iraq, Mr. McCain’s aides say, he had long sought to learn as much as he could from Iraqi opposition figures in exile, including Mr. Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress. Over the years, Mr. McCain often urged support for the group, saying it had “significant support, in my view, inside Iraq.”

After Sept. 11, Mr. Chalabi’s group said an Iraqi emissary had once met with Osama bin Laden, and brought forward two Iraqi defectors who described terrorist training camps and biological weapons efforts. At times, Mr. McCain seemed to echo their accusations, citing the “two defectors” in a television interview and attesting to “credible reports of involvement between Iraqi administration officials, Iraqi officials and the terrorists.”

Growing Impatient

But United States intelligence officials had doubts about Mr. Chalabi at the time and have since discredited his group. In 2006, Mr. McCain acknowledged to The New Republic that he had been “too enamored with the I.N.C.” In his e-mail message, though, he said he never relied on the group for information about Iraq’s weapons program.

At a European security conference in February 2002, when the Bush administration still publicly maintained that it had made no decision about moving against Iraq, Mr. McCain described an invasion as all but certain. “A terrorist resides in Baghdad,” he said, adding, “A day of reckoning is approaching.”

Regime change in Iraq in addition to Afghanistan, he argued, would compel other sponsors of terrorism to mend their ways, “accomplishing by example what we would otherwise have to pursue through force of arms.”

Finally, as American troops massed in the Persian Gulf in early 2003, Mr. McCain grew impatient, his aides say, concerned that the White House was failing to act as the hot desert summer neared. Waiting, he warned in a speech in Washington, risked squandering the public and international support aroused by Sept. 11. “Does anyone really believe that the world’s will to contain Saddam won’t eventually collapse as utterly as it did in the 1990s?” Mr. McCain asked.

In retrospect, some of Mr. McCain’s critics now accuse him of looking for a pretext to justify the war. “McCain was hell-bent for leather: ‘Saddam Hussein is a bad guy, we have got to teach him, let’s send a message to the other people in the Middle East,’ ” said Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts.

But Mr. McCain, in his e-mail message, said the reason he had supported the war was the evolving threat from Mr. Hussein.

“I believe voters elect their leaders based on their experience and judgment — their ability to make hard calls, for instance, on matters of war and peace,” he wrote. “It’s important to get them right.”

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:29 PM


I have worked with the Obama campaign on a local level since December and have met and spoken with Obama numerous times. Anyone who thinks Obama is not prepared for the office of president does not know Barack Obama. I don't think the campaign has spoken about it, although there have been articles written, maybe because it may have seemed kind of presumptive doing all this so many months before he even had the nomination, but that is not how Obama works.
Little is left to chance. So here is what the deal is:

Does Obama have the experience to be president, is he ready? It would be hard to say anyone is ready to be president, but what prepares one for the job?

Obama has been getting ready when his nomination was still no more then a dream. Obama has an advisory staff of over a 300. Most all are the top people in their fields. 4 of his staff are the top people on middle east politics in the world. He has numerous people on pretty much everything you could think of from global warming to world economics to energy and foreign policy to the military. Generals to scholars you name it, he has been working with these people for more then a year. Obama is a brilliant man, who easily knows more right now then any candidate who ever ran for the office of president. He is so up to speed it is astounding. John Mccain does not know or grasp a fraction of what Obama does. Mccain is in effect, a dinosaur, compared to Obama now. Mccain has no real practical experience or understanding in many of these areas at all. Just being in Washington for many years does not necessarily make you an expert nor knowledgeable in "Anything".
Bill Clinton said it best when he said,
"No one is really prepared to be president".
He was right and Obama understood that better then anyone long before he even began his journey for the presidency. So for over a year he has been quietly preparing. Like anything such as being a doctor or lawyer or any profession, your first introduction is academic, you go to school. Obama will by no means be learning on the job, he has been in school for more then a year. When enters office, Obama will be the most well prepared and ready president to ever walk into the white house.
He will also be surrounded by the finest staff ever assembled by any president in history.

If you do not want to vote for Barack Obama I can respect that, but by no means think he is not ready to be president. He will be the most ready man to ever win the office.

Thanks for listening
A Florida Obama worker========
Fellas... here's another Hussein obama foolish blunder!

He is comparing his "25 months campaign" as an "Executive" experience lol!.. he claims more experience any other politician in US... jeez

How about McCain's service to this nation his entire life? How about Sarah Palin's Executive experience as a Governer of a state for 2 years? beyond she being a Mayor of the city?

I think he is still smoking pot?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:06 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:28 PM

Apparently JakeD has just discovered that McCain has a family, Palin's family has turned out to be dysfunctional so the Republicans are now displaying McCain's.

No one but no one will will match Biden for being a family man. And for a mama hen, Michelle will get that title.

Posted by: Ronnn | September 3, 2008 1:12 PM

Fellas... here's another Hussein obama foolish blunder!

He is comparing his "25 months campaign" as an "Executive" experience lol!.. he claims more experience any other politician in US... jeez

How about McCain's service to this nation his entire life? How about Sarah Palin's Executive experience as a Governer of a state for 2 years? beyond she being a Mayor of the city?

I think he is still smoking pot?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:06 PM

That is an old picture and it is a family picture. Find one that was made for public consumption. You won't. He stays far away from her in public.

Are you kidding me?! There are TWO photos of John McCain satnding behind Bridget on the web site I already provided. Here's another one:

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 12:31 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:59 PM

My sister is a delegate at the convention and she is not happy at all. She thinks they just threw away the election. She said they were told to not say anything negative and were given a sheet of points they are to say is any one asks. She also said she is not alone in her opinion. She said pay no attention to what you see on TV. It is like an Amway meeting with them getting everyone to yell and shout on que. Most there are really pissed.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:55 PM

Sarah Palin, the governor who came over the bridge from nowhere. Now she is against the bridge to nowhere because she does not want to go back. Sorry Sarah!

Posted by: Ronnn | September 3, 2008 12:53 PM

Head of State

Monday, September 01, 2008

"Intrusive Personal Questions" from the Palin Vetting Questionnaire

"Mr. McCain�s advisers said repeatedly on Monday that Ms. Palin was 'thoroughly vetted'"- The New York Times

Palin "responded to a 70-question form that included 'intrusive personal questions' a senior campaign aide said today."- The Washington Post

"Intrusive Personal Questions" from the Palin Vetting Questionnaire:

1) Did we forget anything?

2) Secession from your own country is

a) Patriotic
b) A qualification to be the potential leader of that country
c) Maverick-y!
d) None of the above

3) John McCain has said that he has followed your record for "many, many years." Divide those "many" years by the number of years of your actual record. The result is

a) Three days
b) Two years as mayor of a town of 9000, and 20 months at the helm of the vaunted Alaska National Guard
c) 0: experience, as we know, is not relevant to one's record
d) Czechoslovakia

4) Moose Burger : Abstinence as Moose Hunting :

a) Brother-in-law
b) 50 state flag
c) Bridge to Nowhere (after it was made impossible)
d) All of the above

5) Did we forget anything?

6) Three Vice Presidential candidates are moving from three equidistant fixed points towards a podium. One, in his slightly glazed stare and awkwardly quasi-combative speech bears a faint resemblance to Dan Quayle; the next can only assist the ticket as we near closer to Rapture; the third seems to have stumbled out of one of Christopher Buckley's sharper efforts. Which one arrives at the podium first?

7) "Nothing that has come out did not come out in the vet." This sentence actually means:

a) Everything has come out and everything has been vetted
b) Everything that was vetted has come out
c) Everything that has come out was vetted
d) The vet came out and vetted the vets vetter than anything has ever been vetted. Really.

8) You are a right-wing, red-state conservative. During the Clinton Administration, you believed that President Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky disqualified him from the Presidency on moral grounds; you fervently raised the terms "Lincoln Bedroom" and "Johnny Chung" to invoke notions of utter corruption, and regarded the "Travelgate" firings as an abuse of power. In the face of the recent revelations regarding Palin's directorship of Ted Stevens' 527, support of the Bridge to Nowhere, "Troopergate" imbroglio, and illegitimate pregnancy of her 16-year old daughter, you:

a) Blame George Soros
b) Talk about Bill Clinton instead of Palin
c) Hold your hands over your ears and loudly shout "La la la"
d) Try to change the subject

9) "Foreign policy experience" includes:

a) Being near another large nation
b) Seceding from your own country and then taking up residence in the new nation
c) Being close to "Nowhere" in your support for the Bridge to Nowhere, which is different than being "Somewhere"
d) Blame George Soros

10) If you were seeking to choose as your running mate someone who would please Evangelical Conservatives with very traditional values, who would be without taint of corruption or misuse of government power, and someone who, in line with your campaign's own slogan, would put "Country First", after thorough vetting and "intrusive personal questions", you would choose someone who:

a) Supported the Bridge to Nowhere
b) Supported the secession of Alaska from the U.S. (Slogan: "Alaska First!")
c) Was the subject of a state ethics investigation due to allegations that she had tried to have her brother-in-law fired and that she fired the state public safety commissioner due to his unwillingness to fire the brother-in-law
d) Would suffer from allegations that her 16 year old child had become pregnant illegitimately, despite her fervent support for abstinence only sex education
e) None of the above

Head of State:

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:46 PM

Are you kidding me?! There are TWO photos of John McCain satnding behind Bridget on the web site I already provided. Here's another one:

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 12:31 PM

Poll reported on Cnn about the 82% didn't like the pick her.
and those are just some old pictures of when she was a little girl. The other was at one rally and she has never appeared at any others or at least was photographed. Someone may have decided they didn't test well.
I would defy you to find a picture of her with her father next to her and certainly not with his arm around her. Not even when she was little . They are only with her mother. Just google bridget mccain and images


Which "poll" is that? One from the future? Are you aware that Palin's speech is TONIGHT? As for Bridget McCain, she was standing next to her mother yesterday at the Convention:

Here are some with both McCains and Bridget:

Seriously, I thought that WaPo readers knew SOMETHING about politics at least.

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 11:45 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:17 PM


Which "poll" is that? One from the future? Are you aware that Palin's speech is TONIGHT? As for Bridget McCain, she was standing next to her mother yesterday at the Convention:

Here are some with both McCains and Bridget:

Seriously, I thought that WaPo readers knew SOMETHING about politics at least.

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 11:45 AM

Well the public has weighed in and todays poll have 82% disapprover of Palin's selection.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 11:37 AM

Google Bridget Mccain, see if you can find a picture of her with he standing with her father. He won't even be photographer with his own daughter because she is black.

yeah, the McCains's don't want to make their young daughter suffer the nasty vile remarks from the obama fans.

Posted by: Anonymous
Yeah, since he got that in spades from the nasty Bush campaign and the inbred moron base in South Carolina who fell for that in 2000.

Posted by: Anonymous is soooooooo brave! | September 3, 2008 10:06 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 11:36 AM

yeah, the McCains's don't want to make their young daughter suffer the nasty vile remarks from the obama fans.

Posted by: Anonymous
Yeah, since he got that in spades from the nasty Bush campaign and the inbred moron base in South Carolina who fell for that in 2000.

Posted by: Anonymous is soooooooo brave! | September 3, 2008 10:06 AM

Oh Henry, yawwwwwn...the fact of the matter is that bizarre showcase passing for the GOP convention is trying to talk out of both sides of its collective mouth - a skill set I admit it is best at. And the GOP does not have the market on patriotism. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY REAL AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY- ENOUGH!!!!
You can trot out as many war heroes for McCain as you want, but it does not cover up for McCain's lousy track record with them once they are home. Or his stubborn refusal to see the Iraq war for what is was - a colassal mistake that cost lives. We as citizens owed our troops better then putting them in harm's way for a fool's errand. We owe our country better than putting another Bush acolyte in the White House.

Posted by: Obama-Biden 08 | September 3, 2008 10:05 AM

Meanwhile, outside the convention bubble, questions are being raised about McCain's judgment and management skills.

Posted by: European_Elitist | September 3, 2008 10:01 AM

Watching last nights convention I was stunned to that not only were they embracing our current chimp in chief but they were actually wrapping themselves up in it. John McCain has now truly decided that his best chance to win is with the religous right and neocons. The convention was full of the same old fear mongering, war mongering and military macho-ism that drives these sorts of folk to tears but makes the undecided and independent voter move closer to the Obama camp. Republicans should spend a little more time telling me how they are going to make my life better rather then telling me how I should be proud to be an American regardless of the fact that this country is in shambles due to 8 years of the above mentioned mentality.

Posted by: AverageJoe | September 3, 2008 9:56 AM

"Can someone tell me why you rarely if ever see or hear about John McCain or CIndy McCain's children of darker hue they adopted from Bangladesh. Even in his picture of Sarah Palin and her entire clan, the only McCain child pictured is his older daughter. Makes you wonder? "

yeah, the McCains's don't want to make their young daughter suffer the nasty vile remarks from the obama fans.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 9:52 AM


2-4 years as Governor = 20-40 years as Senator. McCain and Palin are equally qualified : )

Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 9:44 AM


Perhaps you missed last night's Convention -- you know, the subject of the very article you are commenting -- both girls adopted from Mother Teresa's orphanage were there. Also, if you never hear about them, how did you know to ask the question?

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 9:40 AM

The Republicans emphasize that Palin has "executive" experience. If that's a criteria, how can they support McCain who has none?

Any one else had it up the Wasilla with the patronizing Republican tone?

Posted by: Matt | September 3, 2008 9:37 AM

McCain shouldn't campaign with Dubya, he should campaign with ME! I'm a f--kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes. But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s--t and just f--kin' chillin' I guess. Ya f--k with me I'll kick ass.

Also, I'm f--kin' the governor's daughter and I don't want kids.

Posted by: Levi Johnston-Palin | September 3, 2008 4:13 AM

I am energized too! Palin has made it easier for Obama to cruise to a win in November.

Posted by: Gilbert Davila | September 3, 2008 1:41 AM

Can someone tell me why you rarely if ever see or hear about John McCain or CIndy McCain's children of darker hue they adopted from Bangladesh. Even in his picture of Sarah Palin and her entire clan, the only McCain child pictured is his older daughter. Makes you wonder?

Posted by: Denise | September 3, 2008 1:35 AM

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

That was said by Hermann Goering .

With all the country first signs, I thought I was watching a gathering of the Nazi party. You are either with us or you are not patriotic.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:13 AM

Well said, Henry.

Posted by: JakeD | September 3, 2008 1:02 AM

The convention hall was one-third empty. The majority in attendance were people in the 60's. Sort of reminicent of meetings at old folks homes.

Posted by: Oscar | September 3, 2008 1:01 AM

Does Palin like spanking? Enquiring minds want to know... lol!

Posted by: dude | September 3, 2008 1:01 AM

When women for B.O. are fighting tooth and nail to put down someone like Palin, it does show a fear of having a Woman in office.

What I interpret from the news articles today, is that people everywhere are crying out that Sarah Palin is not at home "baking cookies" and "working on laundry".

I've heard women whine and cry about how Hillary was mistreated, only to stand by and let the same thing happen to a very courageous and lion-hearted woman.

Like I said, if people are trying to break this whole thing down to how Palin should have been "at home taking care of the household chores" than I say yes, they are afraid of that which would be gained by putting this awesome candidate in office.

Do you know what I noticed today? There is a common denominator here... the bloggers and news makers(likely mostly men, but not all) are rallying once again to flush out a WOMAN that has pledged to be a leader in our society... JUST LIKE HILLARY!! If there's anything you should be pissed off about, it's that. WOMEN should PUT THEIR FOOT DOWN AND STOP THE NONSENSE!!!

Oh and did you happen to catch the RNC today? If you did, you would have heard all about how the McCain's, particularly Cindy, brought back from Bangladesh, some clef-palate kids and had them adopted here, thus saving their lives. You would have heard edal of Honor winners personally vouching for McCain's character and time they spent in prison camp with him. You would have heard from Democrats turned Independents, such as Joe Lieberman, rallying for John McCain. And what you would have seen and heard were heroes of our nation speaking out about how they put their own lives on the line like John McCain to give us all freedom and posterity.

You know there weren't 82,000 people there, and I'm quite sure the meeting didn't cost 500 MILLION dollars to arrive at this moment, but there were men, women, and children pouring out their hearts to tell us how much John McCain was different. And after watching BOTH conventions myself, the RNC without a doubt, show the TRUE spirit of America. Not only the say-gooders and representatives of change but the people that have paid with their own blood, sweat, and tears to get this country to where it is today.

Something became painfully clear to me as I heard, not saw, these people speaking.... Barack Obama is a MEDIA CAMPAIGN, and NOTHING ELSE. Not only has he shammed his way through life without truly serving our country, he is INSULTING THOSE WHO HAVE PAID SO MUCH FOR THIS COUNTRY!!! It is so shameful, and I am NOT PROUD to have someone like Barack Hussein Obama acting as self-nominated leader of our nation and our world.

So there. Are you ready to wait another 50 years for WOMEN to break through the glass ceiling? I'M NOT!

Thank goodness for all of those who have served and those who have fallen so that we may be Americans.

Posted by: Henry Williford | September 3, 2008 12:48 AM

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