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PostPartisan: August 31, 2008 - September 6, 2008

McCain's Snoozer

John McCain's speech last night was easily the worst of this year's four presidential and vice presidential nomination acceptances. Some of the trouble was not his fault: Hecklers in the audience, and the crowd's efforts to shout them down,...

By Charles Lane  | September 5, 2008; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (233)
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When Less Is Less

I praised Sarah Palin's speech as a Republican revelation. I have written admiringly about John McCain's political independence and shockingly courageous life story. But McCain's speech tonight began slow and got slower (before its genuinely moving end). He set...

By Michael Gerson  | September 5, 2008; 2:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (446)
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All About Sarah

The more I read about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the more I keep thinking of Eve Harrington. And after Palin's bravura performance in her vice presidential nomination speech here at the Xcel Center, I can't shake the Eve Harrington...

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 4, 2008; 9:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (359)
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Racism in Plain English

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it finally happened: A Republican congressman has come right out and called Barack Obama “uppity.” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), often described as one of the most conservative members of Congress (which is saying something),...

By Eugene Robinson  | September 4, 2008; 7:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (798)
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Judging Palin by an Eighth-Grade Standard

There is only one way to understand the rave reviews that some are giving Sarah Palin’s speech: People expected her to be a blithering fool and were shocked that she could read a decent speech prepared for her by...

By E.J. Dionne  | September 4, 2008; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (626)
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Cribbing From John Edwards

Remember when John Edwards was campaigning for president by proclaiming that America was two nations, one of and for the rich, the other of and for everybody else? Republicans hated it. Accused him of class warfare. Yowled that he...

By Harold Meyerson  | September 4, 2008; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (182)
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Sandra Day O'Palin?

Still absorbing her speech last night, I'm trying to understand how Sarah Palin could be so apparently unfazed by her current situation: She's in charge of a state government, just gave birth to a Down syndrome baby, has a...

By Charles Lane  | September 4, 2008; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
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Palin Stock on the Rise

Might as well admit it: I misunderestimated Sarah Palin. Her performance last night was terrific. After three days of absorbing more national media scrutiny -- fair and unfair -- than she'd ever faced before, Palin came out and delivered...

By Charles Lane  | September 4, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (459)
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Memo to Palin

“Our son Track is 19. And one week from tomorrow…he’ll deploy to Iraq…. My nephew Kasey also enslisted…. My family is proud of both of them…. In our family, it’s two boys and three girls…. From the inside, no...

By Michael Kinsley  | September 3, 2008; 11:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (778)
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Really, Rudy?

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani knows something about running a city, taking on entrenched interests, taming an unwieldy bureaucracy and cutting taxes. So I was struck by a particular paragraph in his rah-rah for Alaska Gov....

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 3, 2008; 10:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (344)
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Waiting for Palin

Another of this convention’s oddities: The third day is more anticipated than the fourth day. It’s possible that Sarah Palin’s speech tonight will get higher ratings than John McCain’s speech tomorrow. To understand how curious the country is about...

By E.J. Dionne  | September 3, 2008; 9:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
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Tarnished Oldies

This is Republican Chestnut Night. The speakers’ attacks on the Democratic Party thus far are the very same that Ronald Reagan made 28 years ago, or Richard Nixon 40 years ago. “It’s time to stop the spread of government...

By Harold Meyerson  | September 3, 2008; 9:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
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A Made-for-TV Event

The most surprising event of the Republican National Convention thus far would be if Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech tonight turns out to be a dud. I can assure you, it won’t. I fully expect that she will look good...

By Colbert King  | September 3, 2008; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
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The Struggle to Explain Sarah Palin

Culture Wars, Mommy Wars, Partisan Wars: Americans have been debating the phenomenon of Sarah Palin through a wide variety of prisms. Foreigners, however, are apt to see our politics through their own prisms. And naturally, the British see Class...

By Anne Applebaum  | September 3, 2008; 5:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
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RNC, Night One, Impressions

The Republican Party, which has held the White House for eight years and controlled both houses of Congress for six, is running on change. Now, that's audacity. Of course, they lucked out with John McCain, the accidental nominee, because...

By Charles Krauthammer  | September 3, 2008; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
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Have You Hugged a Republican Today?

When did the Republican Party become the Pity Party? What has surprised me this week in St. Paul is the sense of grievance that Republicans feel, or pretend to feel, at the cruel forces that are treating them in...

By Eugene Robinson  | September 3, 2008; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (485)
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Putting Words in Palin's Mouth

There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before...

By Fred Hiatt  | September 3, 2008; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (310)
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Dual Loyalties?

The highlight of this afternoon’s reception of the Republican Jewish Coalition at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, other than the spread from Wolfgang Puck, was the revelation that in an interview filmed in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s office well before...

By Harold Meyerson  | September 2, 2008; 9:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
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Showing George H.W. Bush the Love

A nice moment: When former president George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush arrived at the Convention Hall, the ensuing roar was the loudest and most authentic cheering I have heard all night. The elder Bush is Republican Classic. A...

By E.J. Dionne  | September 2, 2008; 9:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
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Respect Is a Two-Way Street

A few more thoughts about Sarah Palin and her daughter’s pregnancy. “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby,” Todd and Sarah Palin said in their statement Monday. But of course, in the world according to Palin, Bristol...

By Ruth Marcus  | September 2, 2008; 7:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (156)
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Chum for Liberal Sharks

News that Gov. Sarah Palin's 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant is like chum to liberal sharks. They love nothing more than holding up the mirror to the Republican Party that cornered the market on "family values" and reveling in...

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 2, 2008; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (156)
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Bristol Palin Is Not the Issue

It was inevitable that when the Republicans’ designated vice presidential candidate put out a statement announcing that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, it would be news. But Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is not and should not be a public issue....

By E.J. Dionne  | September 2, 2008; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (447)
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A Private Matter

On the MSNBC program “Morning Joe,” one of the Andrea Mitchell triplets -- one works the morning shift, one the afternoon and the other the night -- sternly cautioned me and other media types that the pregnancy of 17-year-old...

By Richard Cohen  | September 2, 2008; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
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Would You Do That to Your Daughter?

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...

By Eugene Robinson  | September 1, 2008; 8:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1297)
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An Unconventional Convention

The feeling at this convention is quite different from that of any other Republican convention I have been to over the past 20 years. Most obviously, the fact that tonight’s main event was canceled gave what is usually an...

By E.J. Dionne  | September 1, 2008; 7:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (144)
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Nothing to Spit At

John Nance Garner, the No. 2 to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once derided the vice presidency as not being worth "a warm bucket of spit." Not anymore. The pendulum has swung from a sit-in-the-corner-and-don't-make-trouble vice president like Dan Quayle...

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 1, 2008; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
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Elephants and Rockers

With the Republicans all but taking the day off (I’m in the convention hall now, where the head of the platform committee is pledging that “the American way of life is worth defending,” to perfunctory applause), I scooted across...

By Harold Meyerson  | September 1, 2008; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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A Story Palin Should Tell

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the problem of teen pregnancy and the tragic impact it has had on so many aspects of life in the nation's capital. Reader response was heavy and, in some ways,...

By Colbert King  | September 1, 2008; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (896)
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A Typical Middle-Class Struggle

On the Palin situation: It immediately struck me that Sarah Palin was chosen as a candidate who understands middle-class family struggles, and this is a pretty typical one. On the scale of family secrets, a pregnant teen marrying her...

By Michael Gerson  | September 1, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (744)
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The Palin Pregnancy and the Party Platform

After Reuters published its story confirming the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter, within seconds no less than five people -- in different geographical locations and with different political intent -- e-mailed me the story. Though I'm currently sitting...

By Anne Applebaum  | September 1, 2008; 2:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (150)
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Gustav's Politics

You might imagine that the worst thing that could happen before this year’s Republican National Convention was a hurricane that threatened New Orleans. After all, President Bush’s popularity never recovered after the way his administration handled Katrina. Republicans want...

By E.J. Dionne  | September 1, 2008; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
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Questions for Sarah Palin

If I could ask Sarah Palin one question, it would be: “What is the capital of South Ossetia?” This would be a highly unfair question, as I don’t know the answer myself. In fact, like practically everyone else, including...

By Michael Kinsley  | September 1, 2008; 12:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (132)
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John and Sarah's Uninvited Guest

John McCain, the presumptive Republican Party nominee for president, was supposed to be sharing the limelight with his new running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Instead, the senator from Arizona has some unwanted company on the ticket: Hurricane Gustav....

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 31, 2008; 5:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (145)
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Team McCain Takes the Lead

Two extraordinary things have happened since Thursday afternoon in a presidential election that had been largely stuck in a narrow trading range for the past few weeks. First, Barack Obama's convention speech -- amazingly, shockingly -- set out to...

By Michael Gerson  | August 31, 2008; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1699)
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Gustav ex Machina

If Katrina was a Democratic hurricane, is Gustav a Republican? The White House announced today that President Bush and Vice President Cheney will not be attending the Republican National Convention, presumably so they can furrow their brows more effectively...

By Harold Meyerson  | August 31, 2008; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
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The Only Certainty? McCain Pandered.

Here's a presidential politics story: Six years ago, 44-year-old Sam Jones, former high school basketball star, winner of a college he-man contest and runner up in the Mr. Wyoming contest, was the mayor of a Wyoming town of 9,000...

By Colbert King  | August 31, 2008; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
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