The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


John McCain

On the Tube: Palin Discusses Her Future and McCain Expresses 'Total' Confidence in Her

Updated 8:34 p.m.
By Juliet Eilperin
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. -- In an interview today with ABC News' "20/20" anchor Elizabeth Vargas, GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said she would continue to seek a leadership role within the GOP even if she and John McCain did not win the White House next week.

"I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we've taken, that would ... bring this whole.... I'm not doing this for naught," Palin said in the interview. Palin added that she had confidence that she and McCain could win over a majority of American voters and that she is "thinking that it's going to go our way on Tuesday, Nov. 4. I truly believe that the wisdom of the people will be revealed on that day."

While some reporters initially speculated that the Alaska governor was hinting at a future electoral bid in her conversation with Vargas, a Palin aide who asked not to be identified said the vice presidential nominee instead "was talking about being focused and committed to winning on November 4th, and is not going to quit despite what the critics have said."

At the same time Palin was alluding to her political future, McCain voiced his unqualified support for his running mate during a taping of CNN's "Larry King Live." King asked McCain how much confidence he would have in Palin if he had been elected president but was incommunicado over the Pacific during an attack on the United States.

"Total," the GOP presidential nominee replied.

"Total?" King asked.

"She has the instincts, she shares my world view," McCain explained. "She has -- look, I would remind you that there was a obscure governor from Arkansas, that not too many years ago -- that gained the presidency. And he had no national security experience. He would never match up, as much as I love Bush I, with him on national security. We had just won the Gulf War. Sarah Palin understands these issues. She understands them very well. And frankly, with a lot of conversations that I've had with her, she's incredibly quick study."

"So, there would be no question in your mind that she could take over?" King pressed.

"She not only would take over. She would inspire Americans. That's what I think she would do. She would unite the country in a time crisis," McCain said, and then interjected, "By the way, I don't like this comment about me being dying. You don't want to -- "

"I didn't say dying, I said you're over Pacific," King replied.

While McCain acknowledged Palin has been a controversial pick, he added, "I got to tell you, every time I'm around her, I'm uplifted. This is a solid, dedicated, reformer. A fine governor. The most popular governor in America. She ignites crowds in a way that -- I got to be honest with you -- and I'm not a immodest person. But, I haven't seen a candidate ignite people the way that Sarah Palin has."

Posted at 7:34 PM ET on Oct 29, 2008  | Category:  John McCain
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Although I don't support him, I believe him in what he say's about Palin. I can't imagine another repug that would have stirred their base as much.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 30, 2008 6:59 PM

"She has the instincts, she shares my world view," McCain explained. "She has -- look, I would remind you that there was a obscure governor from Arkansas, that not too many years ago -- that gained the presidency. And he had no national security experience. He would never match up, as much as I love Bush I, with him on national security. We had just won the Gulf War. Sarah Palin understands these issues. She understands them very well. And frankly, with a lot of conversations that I've had with her, she's incredibly quick study."
yes, that obscure governer from arkansas had a gtown/yale education and was a rhodes scholar. he was an attorney and was governer for more than 2 years before running for pres. good comparison mccain. i guess that both alaska and arkansas start with an A so they have that in common too.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 30, 2008 9:28 AM

Sarah Palin is a Freeloader

$150,000 shopping sprees (at all the best "elitist" shops, no less), on the Republican National Committee tab.

$21,012 worth of free flights for her daughters, charged to the state of Alaska.

All this, when she already makes $125,000 a year as governor and pockets an extra $22,883 in energy extraction royalties.

Palin is a chisler supreme.

All of which makes the fact that she charged $16,951 in expenses charged to the state, including 312 per diem allowances for staying in her own home just that much more amazing.

A dual income family, with Sarah earning $125K. Free travel (even for the family), and now free clothes, hair and makeup. They can actually go out in her backyard and shoot a moose, keeping her family in free mooseburger for a year. And still she feels the need to cheat. Shoot that moose for free and still charge the state $60 per burger. And she claims she deserves every bit of it.

Now that's what I call a perverse sense of entitlement.

"Sounds like socialism to me," to borrow a phrase.

Just another fake "bootstrapper" Republican. What a shocker.

Meanwhile, we all have to endure the indignity of Palin turning the campaign for the Vice Presidency into some kind of FOX reality TV makeover show, where they take some ridiculously not-ready-for-prime-time pol and dress her up, push her out on the stage, and see if they can turn her into a VP in 10 weeks.

What the f^ck, right? It's just being second in line to the nuclear launch codes. No big thing. We could even do a whole co-promotional deal with moose sandwiches at Subway.

Thanks, Republicans. You sure do love our country n' stuff and goodluck to you in your newly minted 4th party gadfly status starting in 2009.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 30, 2008 1:51 AM

The Wingnuts are seeing their 90's power grap being yanked away from them because of their own incompetence and they're throwing a tantrum. After controlling the white house for the last eight years and controlling congress for ten of the last twelve years they've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that conservatism is a failed ideology and now they're panicking because they're getting their arses kicked.

Here's some straight-talk, my friends:

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 11:05 PM

In a twisted sort of way I almost want McCain to win this election because four more years worth of failed Bush/McCain policies would for all intents and purposes be the end of the Republican party as we know it today. They would become the 4th party gadflies that they deserve to be.

The only question is, would this country survive it?

You people out there who live in economic downtrodden states like Ohio, West Virgina and Pa etc, if you are stupid enough to vote for McCain you will deserve every single bit of economic hardship that a McCain presidency will give you.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 10:44 PM

Despite all predictions, this election is not, in fact, about Bush. He's a non-entity in it all.

That's fairly remarkable. And against the odds, the McCain/Palin campaign has managed to suck entirely on its own. Sure, the Democrats wanted to paint McCain (accurately, when it comes to nearly all actual policy positions) as the second coming of Bush. But McCain resisted the label, and instead found ways to suck that were completely independent of his ties to Bush.

McCain: He's terrible at giving speeches, yes. His policies are dismal, and more to the point are badly elucidated -- when he's willing to talk about them at all. We know he's for the Iraq War: we don't know anything he intends to do differently, except do more of it and presume it'll all work out this time around. His choice of Palin for the number two spot was, from the standpoint of anyone not a hardcore conservative, bizarre, and smacked of the erratic, shoot-from-the-hip nature of decision making that his past detractors had warned of. His campaign managers have been vitriolic towards the press, and dismissive of the public, and as erratic as their own candidate. His vaunted surrogates have played a round-robin game of publicly humiliating themselves and their candidate (attaching himself to Phil Gramm, noted hellspawn of all that is economically manipulative and devastating, was an inspired touch.) And his behavior during this economic crisis -- making a show of tooling down to Washington to "solve" things, and having his party dissolve into chaos around him, and then rejoining his campaign with nothing "solved" at all, and things in fact much, much worse, and looking for all the world like a man who has just been pied in the face by circumstance -- has been a complete and very public fiasco. He has done his very best to manage to convince everyone that he is, in fact, not anything like presidential material. He's never looked less presidential.

Oh -- and his more impromptu surrogates, people like "Joe the Plumber" and "Tape #254 Of Sarah Palin Saying Something Crazy" and "Campaign Supporter Not Really Attacked At ATM" have added a burnt-popcorn, sideshow quality to the campaign. That hasn't helped.

So... congratulations to McCain, I guess. He managed to do the seemingly impossible -- be trailing in the election not because people were deathly tired of George W. Bush and didn't want anything to do with his party, but because people are deathly tired of John McCain, as well. And I think the award needs to be shared communally, because at all levels of the Republican Party, candidates seem to be going out of their way to make themselves similarly dislikable, out of touch, or (and this is the favorite approach) be ranting with such gusto about the incipient socialism if any of you poor cretins out there dare get better healthcare or a more stable economy that they seem, to be blunt, f---ing nuts.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 10:36 PM

OMG McCain Is A Socialist!

Down in the polls, John McCain's new Divide & Flail™ strategy is to call Barack Obama's tax cut for 95% of Americans "socialism."

Well, McCain must have once been a socialist, because it turns out that for years he supported higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for lower taxes on the middle-class.

The YouTube don't lie:

OMG! Oh No, Palin Is A Socialist Too!

It's not just McCain -- Sarah Palin is a socialist too! Hendrik Hertzberg notes (emphasis added):

"A few weeks before Palin was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that "we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs."

Here's the mavericky straight-talk, my friends:

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 10:25 PM

Is Palin a Whack Job?


Whack Job: noun - A crazy, possibly dangerous, person.

Politico brings word that McCain advisors are upping the verbal leak campaign against Sarah Palin, who must long for the days when members of her campaign were calling her a hockey mom and Joe Six-Pack.

A top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless "diva" description, calling Palin "a whack job."

Whack job. It's a good charge, cause it's true! This is one of my favorite leaks from the anti-Palin forces working for McCain, right up with the claim that she's "going rogue." Like Iran?

I've never seen a breakdown in discipline like this on a presidential campaign. It testifies to McCain's lack of leadership and to the state of his campaign. Knowing they're going to lose, Mittens' kittens are angling for advantage against Palin going into the 2012 primary.

Ah, yes, the coming GOP primary. Fantasize, my friends, with me. It's 2011, Obama and the Democrats in Congress have passed good progressive legislation to help bring us out of recession, institute universal health care, and end our dependence on foreign oil. Our troops are home from Iraq. Then we will all get to sit back and watch Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and whoever else fight for the right to lose to Obama.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 10:10 PM

MCCAIN IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA'S ECONOMIC TROUBLES! McCain in April 08 declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and economic adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, is back with the McCain campaign full time again.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay. McCain doesn't understand our tanking economy because it doesn't affect him.

The $100 Million Man
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

The Anheuser-Busch Windfall
While John McCain played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 9:59 PM


Then why didn't she run for president?

Makes you wonder what the Republican Primary would have looked like? ...

"I've been Governor for TWO WHOLE MONTHS and I'm READY to be President"


18 Million people voted for Obama in the primaries because of his vision for America not his experience.

Palin got one vote and the only VISION know of from her is her view of Russia.

Save our Country and Constitution

Vote OBAMA Nov 4

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 29, 2008 9:50 PM

Ladies and Germs!

I give you your 2008 Republican Party!


"This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman (PALIN) who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity."

Here's the rest of the mavericky straight-talk, my friends:

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 9:44 PM

Back to Alaska, Bible Spice.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 29, 2008 9:36 PM

Our economy is structurally sound for the long term"
-George W Bush - Feb 11, 2008

"The American people can remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system"
-Henry Paulson - Sept 15, 2008

"The economy is fundamentally sound"
-Herbert Hoover - October, 1931

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong"
-John McCain - Sept 15, 2008

McCain does not have the ability to fix this economic crisis. After declaring the fundamentals of the economy strong, he created a political circus in Washington by mucking up bailout negotiations; a deplorable campaign stunt, considering he and his political cronies helped cause the current meltdown.

It was McCain and his economic adviser Phil Gramm who pushed for the deregulation that helped lead to the banking crisis, and it was McCain's crony Rick Davis who had deep lobbyist ties to Freddie Mac. Don't let others be fooled by McCain's economic grandstanding because the reality is his policies and principles will only exacerbate our financial hardships.

McCain is being deceitful with his sudden populist message and support for regulation; his economic policies still favor our nation's wealthy elite.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 9:34 PM


We could have had a Mitt Romney!

He would have even worked for FREE!

McCain is going to the newest, and lowest level of Hell with Bushie, for what they have done to the former Capitalist Republic of the United States of America!

The End game of such a Liberal/Socialist takeover, and the subsequent Bills that are going to get passed over the next Two Years, along with the number of Liberal Judges who will Legislate from their Benches till their none too soon Deaths, will FOREVER Destroy this great Nation!

I hear Peru is like the US(Was), Politically!
Good Surf! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 29, 2008 9:33 PM

Socialism? Is that all McCain's got left? Can someone PLEASE shout out to him at his next rally:

"Hey old man, it's 2008 - nobody under 45 even knows what that means"!

What's going on with his campaign? I mean it just reeks of obvious desperation.

Why is McCain STILL, 7 days before the election, trying to rally his base? Isn't that what Blunder Woman Palin is for?

Imagine how close this race could have been if the old, moderate, John McCain had popped up after the convention? Imagine the breaking of the tire swing rope as every journalist in sight would have jumped on in sheer exultory delight that the Mac-2000 was back. I want McCain to lose as bad as anyone, but it's almost getting painful, it's like watching a punch drunk fighter get mauled and the ref won't call it.

I wonder what the next McCain campaign stunt will be?

So far we've had:

- Ashley the Fraud

- Joe the pretend Plumber

- OMG! Bill Ayers!

- Drill, baby, drill

- Sarah the Crazy VP pick

- Socialism!!!


Here's the straight-talk, my friends:

Posted by: DrainYou | October 29, 2008 9:26 PM

Now we see the true Frau Palin. The election is still a week away and she's already thrown McCain under the bus. She'll take her place at the head of the new party of the illiterati and lead them into obscurity. She still can't construct a simple english sentence for heaven's sake. It's really simple Sarah. Repeat after me - subject-verb-noun. Oh my God. Please, no more Palin.

Posted by: caebling | October 29, 2008 8:51 PM

We owe Senator Obama a big thank you for giving us the option of hope. ................

Posted by: glclark4750 | October 29, 2008 8:22 PM

Posted by: caraprado1 | October 29, 2008 7:58 PM

Posted by: caraprado1 | October 29, 2008 7:57 PM

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