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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 exciting day of anticipation a peculiar lack of focus. At political conventions, people are accustomed to being late to events that might conflict with each other; they are not used to waiting around to see what happens. (I assume some of this feeling will dissipate when normal order is restored.)

Then there is the impact of the choice of Sarah Palin for the vice presidential nominee and today’s news about Palin's 17-year-old daughter’s pregnancy. That is not the sort of story one expects to cover at a political convention.

The reaction to Palin among Republicans is very complicated.

Social and religious conservatives are ecstatic. At a University of Minnesota event that I moderated today, conservative writer Ross Douthat made the interesting point that Republicans are more accustomed to seeing their most important female politicians hold pro-choice positions on abortion and that it’s unusual to see a strongly pro-life female politician rise to the top. John McCain has definitely helped himself with the religious and social conservatives, as Mike Gerson noted in an earlier post. Nonetheless, I find it odd that at this late date, McCain still thinks he needs to concentrate on exciting them and is not thinking more about middle-of-the-road swing voters.

There are also doubters. To paraphrase former Bush White House speechwriter David Frum: If someone walked into a casino, put all his money on black and black came up, you would consider that person lucky; you would not think the decision to risk everything on black was wise. Many Republicans are uncertain about whether the choice of Palin will prove wise a week from now, and the story about her daughter’s pregnancy has made people wonder what might be discovered next.

A third camp consists of Republicans who are trying very hard to sound pro-Palin, but I sense that their hearts aren't always in it (though maybe that’s as much about me as about them). They make arguments for how she will appeal to working-class voters, particularly women, and how her background and personality will appeal in swing states of the West (this was noted by former Oklahoma congressman Mickey Edwards).

I covered the 1988 convention at which Dan Quayle was named the first President Bush’s running mate, and there were certainly doubts expressed about Quayle. But this is different. Party people (and certainly Washington Republicans) knew Quayle rather well and could make a case for him based on their own knowledge, independent of the media. Palin is much more of a mystery.

I keep running into Republicans who insist that their daughters are excited about Palin. It is starting to sound like a talking point.

Lastly, at all of the conventions since 1988, the establishment candidate was the nominee: Bush and Bush ('88 and '92), Dole ('96), Bush and Bush ('00 and '04). The old Republican establishment is here, and for McCain -- but it doesn’t seem in full control. Indeed, one Republican told me last night that there has been more than the usual pulling and tugging between the Republican Party apparatus and the McCain campaign. An example he gave me: The Michigan and Florida delegations had been stuck at a hotel far from the center of things and were put at the back of the Convention Hall because they chose their delegates in violation of party rules. The McCain folks couldn’t do anything about the hotels, but they insisted on moving these two swing-state delegations up toward the front of the hall. It’s the election, stupid.

By E.J. Dionne  | September 1, 2008; 7:58 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Next: Would You Do That to Your Daughter?


How about this example of the tug of war between McCain and the Establishent: McCain wanted to pick Lieberman as his VP and the Establishment said NO.

Posted by: Deep Blue | September 1, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

This is just another stunt from the McCain campaign. This embarrassment of a candidate to become the next President is so "in your face" it's offensive!! This fool has just been trying to have "fun"....please tell this idiot he is auditioning for President of the United States' not a contestant on America's next Comdian!!

Fed up with the pundits who pose as newscasters and journalists.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious

Obama/Biden 08 ^ 12

Posted by: Sue - Ohio | September 1, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

It is the hypocrisy that is most offensive to me and others. There is no clear principle. If a Republican does it, it's defendable and admirable. If a Democrat does the same thing, it's deplorable and despicable.

If Larry Craig were on the ticket, that Minneapolis bathroom incident would be spun as a heroic gesture.

Posted by: somerseten | September 2, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

“Alaska First - Alaska Always”

It has been learned that Sarah Palin and her husband were members of an Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) as recently as 1994. The goal of the Alaskan Party is for Alaska to secede and become an Independent nation or join Canada. The AIP challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law. The Party seeks the complete repatriation of the public lands that are held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska in conformance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, of the federal constitution ... To prohibit all bureaucratic regulations and judicial rulings purporting to have the effect of law, except that which shall be approved by the elected State legislature ... To support the privatization of government services and resources...”

The party also calls for increased Alaskan control of its lands and resources, gun rights, maximize exploitation of its natural resources and increased sale of gas and oil to mainland US. The richer Alaska can become the more the power and influence it shall attain and the greater the chances of the AIP goals being achieved. Other agendas are a mixture of fiscal-social conservative with libertarian ideas. Most of Palin’s political ideology is borrowed or based on the AIP political plank. Her Mentor was Mr. Hickel, a former AIP member, Alaska Governor and U.S. Secretary of Interior under the Nixon administration.

The AIP party has been pushing its members to "infiltrate" the Republican and Democratic parties and influence the Alaska secession issue from within. Their party motto is "Alaska First -- Alaska Always. The current AIP Chairman Lynette Clark says that "Palin switched to the Republican Party in 1996 when she decided to run for Mayor of Wasilla. It is unknown whether that decision was part of the plan to infiltrate a US major party and seize an opportunity to launch her career to spearhead the AIP Agenda. If Palin becomes the VP and potentially a US President, that would be a remarkable infiltration by a small political party in Alaska. Consult Youtube for more information the subject.

Posted by: jane | September 2, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Living in St. Paul, it's been a strange start to the convention- in fact it is starting to feel like the convention that wasn't. The choice of Palin and her various challenges (her daughter's pregnancy, her apparent lack of knowledge about what a vice president actually does, her thin political resume, the potential state trooper scandal, the earmarks history... good grief, she's been on the national stage for something like 12 minutes and already has about a half-dozen controversies) has overshadowed the convention. Hurricane Gustav put the GOP in a very unenviable position but they made, I think, a pretty graceful choice in dealing with that. The question is whether the convention can recover, build a head of steam, and give McCain/Palin a much-needed bounce. Palin has not had the best of all possible introductions, and the choice seems forced and unnatural. Time will tell how her public persona will develop.

Posted by: Cunamara | September 2, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse


What have you heard about the news that Palin is part of the Alaska Independence Party, which seems to advocate secession from the Union?

Would love to read more about that when you guys get more details.

Posted by: melsisson | September 2, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

As Obama rightly says. family matters like this ought to be kept out of the campaign.

What should be looked at is things like Palin's appearance on an Alaska talk show last January, when the DJ who interviewed her made vicious comments about Lyda Green, the president of the Alaska state senate, and Palin instead of reprimanding him for his foulness laughed at what he said.

Posted by: Safirka | September 2, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

McCain could have done much better by choosing to run with Brittany Spears! Wow just imagine the name recall and popularity. He'd get the votes. Brittany Spears for Republican VP!

Posted by: Doubtfire | September 2, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

This convention was already different from other conventions, as Republicans have been acknowledging for days while one after the other they sent their regrets. By selecting Palin, McCain did the only thing he could do to juice some life into the thing. But the VP has no power worth mentioning unless the President gives it to her. The scandals surrounding Palin will fade from view just as her reform credentials will. McCain will have to stand on his own record, and his latest maneuver differs from Bush only in its boldness, not its cynicism. In short, this is not the change we need!

Posted by: Gail | September 2, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

This VP nomination is the most shocking lapse of competence by the Republicans since the invasion of Iraq. It should be the worst in electoral history, but of course, the Republicans have been so incompetent these things happen a couple of times a decade.

Night after night the parade of GOP victims appears on television, smiles glued on their faces, eyes glazing in fear as the tissues of pretense are ripped from their private thoughts.

They all wish they were ANYWHERE else, and you know what? They should be.

Posted by: Sandra | September 2, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I dont understand why this whole episode is a story altogether. This is about her daughter. How does that reflect on the candidate herself? Shes not the one pregnant. I dont recall Roger clinton being an issue. What really bothers me, is the democrats trying to make a story of a non story when they have what to hide. When bill Clinton ran for President and the whole Genifer Flowers story came out, that was a story about him personally that reflects on his own morals. Yet the democrats had no problem electing him, despite all the financial and sex scandals, he was still elected to a second term. I find it hypoctrical to the extreme, when a candidate has to defend herself for what her daughter of 17 years of age has done. Or for that sake to have to defend herself for a dui conviction that her husband got over 20 years ago. By the way both clinton and obama have admitted to drugs in their youth, (last i checked that was and is a crime) and both of them have dismissed those facts, as merely youthful indiscretions. They have some nerve of raising her husbands dui, or her 17 year old's pregnancy as an issue at all. Shame on them. I can only conclude, that Palins candidacy as VP has them all running scared. They never dreamt that the Republicans would beat them to the punch and nominate a decent women to serve as VP, with no baggage, unlike Hillary, therefore , they resort to creating some type of fantasy baggage of their own.

Posted by: neutral and objective | September 2, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Another feather in the cap for "Abstinence Only Sex Education"!


Posted by: Bob Smith | September 2, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Some Republicans not really pro-Palin? Yes, E.J. that must just be in your head. And I hope you weren't seriously suggesting that the Republicans were just reciting talking points. We know they would never do that. They just have exactly the same thoughts.

Still, it's a shame we won't get to hear the dummy-in-chief sing the praises of Sarah Palin. He picked the head of his VP selection committee as his running mate. Who headed McCain's committee, Bozo the Clown?

Posted by: Ernie | September 2, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

First of All neutral and objective this is a story because the republicans repeatedly preach morals and family values and then we see reality. From the Bush girls drunken episodes to Palins daughter we are reminded of the truth. Can you even imagine if Obama had a pregnant daughter at 17. What do you think the good ol boy republicans would do with that info. The funny thing is the truth always comes out!!!

Posted by: Critic 4U | September 2, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ flaming libs who know nothing about this world. Liberalism trully is a mental disorder.

Posted by: kirmy | September 2, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I humbly posit that Gov. Palin's family crisis was known all along to the McCain campaign -- yes, for the entire two or three days they've embraced her! -- then "leaked" in response to nasty, liberal rumors as a sort of "inoculation" against legitimate criticism.

Just as Sen. McCain is inoculated from criticism due to his undisputed heroism, so is Gov. Palin inoculated because any criticism of her, however warranted, is obviously an underhanded, un-American attack upon her family.

Brilliant. Then again, if the McCain lot were that savvy they'd hardly have chosen her in the first place. Nevermind.

Posted by: cynicinga | September 2, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I know that some of you don't like to read long drawn out missives... So here's the executive summary.........

John McCain

Congress: 26 Years Military: 22 Years

Barrack Obama

Congress: 143 Days Military: 0 Days

Just think how great a professional of any kind you could be with only 143 days of experience!!!

People want change so badly? . . . . Maybe we should lower the experience requirement for doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, etc. This would cause some change!

Obama's 143 Days of Senate Experience: Just how much Senate experience does Barack Obama have in terms of actual work days? Not much.

From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United States Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory Committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and working.

The one single Senate committee that he headed never even met -- once.

After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World, and fill the shoes of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan.

Think about it......143 days -- 20.4 weeks -- 4.7 months. Our children spend more time in pre-school getting ready for kindergarten.

Posted by: mortgagemantn | September 2, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

As an Alaskan I find the reaction of the lower 48 toward Sarah Palin intriguing. Your paranoia is disconcerting to say the least. It appears you see monsters everywhere. In Alaska Sarah Palin is not that different from the rest of us. We live life so differently from you. In the summer most of us carry handguns for protection. Not from people, but from animals. Moose weigh 1200 lbs. and Brown Bears (grizzles) average 800. It's possible to walk out your front door and find one in your front yard. In the winter here in Fairbanks the average temp is -20 and can be -40 to -50 for weeks. We learn to accept people as they are because we all need each other to survive. We are a very opinionated people and extremely independent in order to survive. That seems to be scary for you in the lower 48. Stop looking for monsters under your bed and get to know people for who they are and how they can help you survive in this world. When you learn to drop your defenses, agendas, and prejudice you'll be surprised at what you will find. Alaskans, like Sara Palin, are Americans who want to help our country live and survive in this crazy world.

Posted by: Will | September 2, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Liberalism rules, red-neck.
Anyhow, treu, its not about the daughter, it's about the lack of parenting and ability to be there for your children that seems to be the problem to me.How,or rather WHO, with herself running a city and then a statewide campaign, working full time, her husband included,raised her children????
I work a full time job as well as my wife, sleep 6 to 8 hours a day, and only get 4 to 5 hours a day with our kids(X4)
How can you teach values and all the "good" the right leaners preach about when your not even there.I guess its not about actually getting the message across, or if anyone actually hears you, its just the attention you get for preaching Morals and Values, and claiming you uphold to the holiest Blah, Blah , Blah. You're all brainwashed zealots, like sheep who need a shepard to lead them.Everytime I hear you all preaching this moral crap, i think of the preachers and nuns abusing the minds and bodys of so many children.I think of the preacher's speaking out one side of their mouth while their pockets and bellys get fat from the poor they force donations out of, not to mention the two-faced lifestyles they live.If liberalism is a sickness, conservatism is a disease.

Posted by: Gosh | September 2, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Will, none of your comments about "tough Alaskans" has anything to do with the problem of Palin. What on earth do the realities of carying a handgun in Alaska have to do with violence in urban areas? Palin, of course, will overgeneralize the issue and not realize that there ARE NOT MOOSE IN THE STREETS OF THE LOWER 49 (you don;t think Hawaii is a state)?. Hence, we do NOT need handguns.

What do freezing temps have to do with teaching evolution vs. creationism? There is no basis for creationism whatsoever. If people want it taught, then teach it in church and keep it out of schools. This is true for all 50 states, plus the territories.

Teaching abstinence versus sex ed? HELLOOOO! You'd think with all your cold temps in the wintertime, that you'd WANT good sex ed taught since that's what most kids are going to be doing anyway.

No one is scared of Alaska or Alaskans. Humored by you, yes. But certainly not scared. The rest of us in the lower 49 states (and territories) actually have to depend on each other fur survival, and that is precisely why we need universal healthcare, raise the min wage, increase funding for public schools across the nation, etc.

And I say this as an urban gun owner (yes, I am a woman, I own a Glock, a rifle and a shotgun, we shoot our own meat), and I am fairly wealthy as compared the the average person in this country/world.

Obama is not a hypocrite, as are most GOP defenders.

Posted by: AP | September 2, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

As a citizen of the "lower 48", I wish to point out that, while it may be true that those of you in Alaska are different from those of us in other parts of the US, this does not mean that the unique characteristics which you describe are particularly useful or relevant to executing the tasks associated with the office of Vice President of the United States. Personally, I would rather elect a candidate who understands the issues and lifestyles faced by the other 299,300,000 Americans who make up the country!

Posted by: Neps | September 2, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Why do journalists and bloggers talk like Palin is some great unknown. Tried Google and Youtube lately? This lady has been all over Washington in their face, televised interviews out the wazoo and all over the world in politics. And OH! Her 17 year old daughter is pregnant? WOW, what a novelty! Bill Clinton is Still in litigation over his Monica Lewinski affair? May the Power of God crash the phoney journalist media worldwide and bring them to their voice recorder knees. Good Day:)

Posted by: Fred | September 2, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Senator John McCain has been using Gustav to shirk his responsibility to hold a convention. It is a shameful cheating the American people and the democratic process. McCain is shucking and jiving, hiding behind the hurricane. His hollow show of concern has been more political theatre than a contribution to deal with the hurricane. McCain knows he does not have the skill to compete head to head with Obama, on other the issues or campaign organization. For the last eighteen months, Obama has put together and run a highly professional, well organized campaign, culminating with the stadium speech. In contrast, in the same period, McCain’s has flown by the seat of his pants. His main skill is that of manipulating the media to change the subject, and hide his weaknesses.

For the survival of our nation, political conventions are more important than hurricanes. We have a Federal Government in place, which supposedly has the machinery to handle an immediate crisis like Gustav. McCain’s grand standing with Haley Barbour did nothing. Fortunately, after Katrina, there was enough outcry so that the government had prepared a better organized evacuation and the levees were shorn up to withstand the level 2 hurricane that hit (although barely). McCain’s speeches did nothing to help with that. What if Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, et al had decided not to hold a Continental Congress because of a bad storm? Or the presence of British troops? The democratic process is too important to be waylaid by the weather. Did Franklin Roosevelt shut down Congress during WWII? In order to have a well informed electorate, the American people need to know what the political parties stand for. The conventions are part of that. Shame on John McCain for cutting back even one day of the Republican convention. It is a terrible loss to us all.

Posted by: ed | September 2, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

The real issue here is John McCain's judgement. Poor is my opinion. Not what we need in a President.

Posted by: Millennium | September 2, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

To mortgagemantn:

Here's my executive summary of your summary:

1.) Your comments have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. As such, they are a red herring--intended to divert attention from the real issue, about which apparently you have nothing new to offer.

2.) Your commit a double-standard not once, not twice, but three times (a triple standard?). A. You list McCain's time spent in the Senate in years, Obama's in days. To make your point fairly and accurately, you would need either to list the actual number of days that McCain spent in senate--or else the number of years (4, by the way) that Obama has. B. Your failure to include Palin on the list for comparison is conspicuous, given that SHE (not Obama) is the topic of the blog. But obviously, the fact that she's had less than 2 years of experience in government in a town larger than 8 K would inconvenience your ability to attack Obama's experience, which puts hers to shame. C. More convenient to your rant was deliberately leaving out Obama's 8 years of experience in the IL senate (a state who's largest city is 3x the entire population of the state of Alaska, btw)--as well as his years as both a civil rights lawyer, Constitutional Law professor for one of the most respected universities in the world, community organizer for a city larger than the population of Palin's entire state, and Presidency of Harvard Law Review.

3.) There was REPUBLICAN President many years ago that had the EXACT same experience as Obama (lawyer, 2 terms as IL senator and 1 as U.S. senator). But, unlike Sarah Palin, I guess his resume should have disqualified him for office. He was just some hack named Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: Lori | September 2, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

"Mahmoud, Vladimir, you boys stop that rough housin' back there this very instant! No moose jerky for you and I mean it! (Hockey mom at the wheel of the diplomacy van.)

Posted by: John Spray | September 2, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

There are so many fair questions now about Gov. Palin--particularly about the truthfulness of what she said in Dayton--that it is time for John McCain to come out and make a full, clear statement about why he picked her, and why she is truly his first choice for the job. What we heard from him in Dayton was a very brief endorsement of her 'maverick' 'reformer' qualities. Considering the evidence of her position on the bridge, on earmarks, her relationship with Stevens and his 527, those qualities are now in great doubt. What is left to justify her candidacy? McCain must also explain something about his decision process. Having met her only a time or two, how did he become satisfied that she could handle this job? Ultimately, the buck stops with him. Either he can make people comfortable with his choice or he can't.

Posted by: HarrisCo | September 2, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

If the McCain--Palin ticket captures the votes of all the unwed mothers and their bastard offspring in the country, they'll win in a landslide.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

When will critics look at themselves and see that they don't listen to everything their parents teach them?

Bristol's pregnancy is not something new, it's reality-- and nobody's fault. She, like everybody on this planet, will rebel in some shape or form against their parents' morals and teachings. It's not a testament to Palin's parenting skills, very much less her VP and possibly executive skills.

I now hear that Palin's nonbelievers are combing through her life and past, digging up ridiculous nonissues such as her husband's DUI twenty-two years ago among others. Go ahead and criticize her for what she stands for politically and what she believes is best and not the best for the country, but for the love of God leave her personal life and her family out of this.

Posted by: jennyd | September 2, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Ed, thanks for eloquence and perspective.

Folks, let's all work/pray (if you do the latter) to get the campaigns back to the real issues, cause this country has serious work to do - like breaking the shackles of US addiction to mid-east oil, and the present danger of Taliban and Al Quaeda extremists on the doorstep of Pakistani nuclear facilities.

McCain has made his choice, decide for yourself as an individual what it signifies and reveals, then focus on what matters for the future and survival of the American experiment. (221 proud years of constitutional political science, delivered a body blow by Bush-Cheney funduhmentalism)

Posted by: ragin' moderate | September 2, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

mortgagemantn -- It's ironic you bring up lincoln in comparison to obama. That's because obama's political experience exactly matches lincoln's when lincoln was elected president. (Lincoln had one term in congress as a representative and serves in the illinois statehouse.)

Posted by: steve | September 2, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Why is this pregnancy issue about Mrs. Palin? Her daughter is a minor, and she is responsible.

I don't know what the rape law is in AK, but in some states, her boyfriend committed statutory rape.

And the parents are also responsible for the acts of their children.

That's why all of this matters, plue all the Evangelist preaching about sexuality morality and abstinence, exspecially among teeenagers.

It all matters,

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Now that the sides are chosen, I think I need to add another name to that list of Obama "associates":


Please Google it, it's yet ANOTHER questionable Obama association that few seem to have picked up on yet.

I think that the comparisons for McCain's veep pick should be "McCain to Biden", "Palin to Obama." I think the Repubs win on both comparisons, and also the fact that the least qualified, most questionable candidate (Obama) is the TOP of the ticket on the Dems side is troubling to say the least.

I'll be voting Republican for the first time since Reagan II this November.

Posted by: Indy4Palin | September 2, 2008 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Why is this pregnancy issue about Mrs. Palin? Her daughter is a minor, and the mother is responsible.

I don't know what the rape law is in AK, but in some states, her boyfriend committed statutory rape because Bristol is only 17

The parents are also responsible for the acts of their children.

That's why all of this matters, plus all the Evangelist preaching about sexuality morality and abstinence, exspecially among teeenagers.

If the mother wasn't so ambitious, she would have been home to oversee better her daughter. Maybe Bristol was looking for attention from her mother, and why she was rebellious, and boy did she get attention, in spades.
It all matters,

Posted by: mgrfin | September 2, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

The old Republican establishment is in transition. They are learning to tolerate moderation, and yet, at the same time, acknowledge and respect the Christian right for their core values. They are dead set on winning the White House this year, and that should strike fear in the heart of Obamaland.

McCain is no pander-bear, and Palin is no Quayle. Bush is persona non grata at the Republican Convention this year. McCain is his own person and is not beholding to the past or the old establishment.

By picking Palin, McCain is showing tactical superiority and showing no hesitation to go for the jugular in this election. Until McCain picked Palin, his support from the Christian right was lukewarm and tepid. Now it is energized and ready for battle.

Posted by: alance | September 2, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

The old Republican establishment is in transition. They are learning to tolerate moderation, and yet, at the same time, acknowledge and respect the Christian right for their core values. They are dead set on winning the White House this year, and that should strike fear in the heart of Obamaland.

McCain is no pander-bear, and Palin is no Quayle. Bush is persona non grata at the Republican Convention this year. McCain is his own person and is not beholding to the past or the old establishment.

By picking Palin, McCain is showing tactical superiority and showing no hesitation to go for the jugular in this election. Until McCain picked Palin, his support from the Christian right was lukewarm and tepid. Now it is energized and ready for battle.

Posted by: alance | September 2, 2008 3:20 AM | Report abuse

There is an irony to this story. Not only is Sarah Palin anti-abortion (quite understandable to me, even though I'm not), she's also anti-contraceptive. She believes that nobody should have access to or use any form of contraception in any circumstances. Clearly her daughter was following her mother's belief in this matter. The irony is the sh*tstorm that ensued because those beliefs were followed.

Sarah Palin's attitude about contraception needs to be carefully examined, especially by women, because she would stand just a heartbeat away from the presidency behind an elderly man, and we have seen just how a Democratic Congress stands up to a Republican administration, which is to say, not at all.

Already the Department of Health and Human Services, under George Bush, has quietly defined contraception as abortion. With the next Supreme Court choice by a Republican president, abortion, therefore contraception, will be made illegal. Take a few minutes and think about THAT.

And incidentally, Barack Obama has showed a lot more class in the handling of this matter than the McCain campaign.

Posted by: Nicekid | September 2, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

The old Republican establishment is in transition. They are learning to tolerate moderation, and yet, at the same time, acknowledge and respect the Christian right for their core values. They are dead set on winning the White House this year, and that should strike fear in the heart of Obamaland.

McCain is no pander-bear, and Palin is no Quayle. Bush is persona non grata at the Republican Convention this year. McCain is his own person and is not beholding to the past or the old establishment.

By picking Palin, McCain is showing tactical superiority and showing no hesitation to go for the jugular in this election. Until McCain picked Palin, his support from the Christian right was lukewarm and tepid. Now it is energized and ready for battle.

Posted by: alance | September 2, 2008 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Democrats vote Obama Hussein even he has only 143 days congress experience? What a bunch of losers! Palin has even more executive expereince than Obama Hussein.

Posted by: Mazhar | September 2, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

A cheerleader?
C'mon, John.

Posted by: Art Aceto | September 2, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

If this were Iran, Sarah Palin's daughter would have been knocked-off by her fathers and her brothers for disgracing the family. This is a fact. And Sarah Palin herself believes that getting an abortion should be a crime. Does anyone see the problem here? Take off your frickin' Republican-colored glasses long enough to see how Taliban all of this is. Someone save America from these seriously screwed-up people!

Posted by: Dan Rains | September 2, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Three days and we already have like, three scandals surrounding Sarah Palin? I think McCain's pick reeks of hubris. This does not look like a guy who listens and digests information. He waits until he hears what fits his self-righteous non-philosophy, and then he runs with it. And he refuses to say he's wrong. This pick truly reveals how foolhardy and desperate to be loved John McCain can be. And Republicans have to stand by this guy and all of Sarah Palin's rumors and scandals. It's not like John McCain has a lot of intelligent things to say to compensate for his otherwise disqualifying temperament. This guy screams "f*ck!" at his own Republican colleagues on the floor. He's a hothead. Do we really want John McCain in the Oval Office while Vladimir Putin is in power in Russia? McCain looks more eager than Bush to fight Putin. This guy is not only too hawkish, he's just a soldier. I like soldiers. But sometimes that approach is reckless, particularly in McCain's case. And Sarah Palin is going to go chin to chin with Vladimir Putin or Hu Jintao? You can't be serious. I said back in January, Republicans were making a huge mistake not getting behind Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney would be doing ten times better than McCain. That's not an endorsement of Mitt Romney, that's just recognition of the fact that Romney is inarguably more intelligent and sober than McCain. Weak pick from a weak nominee.

New York, NY

Posted by: Luke | September 2, 2008 4:04 AM | Report abuse

Amidst all the silly white noise, we need to remember the salient facts: after 8 years of Republican rule, the country is massively in debt, family earnings are down, several thousand American soldiers are dead, and a major U.S. city is still half destroyed.

Our dependence on expensive oil has worstened, our currency has wilted, our health care system is a national embarassment.

It ain't complicated. The Republicans enacted their policies, and they were a disaster.

Some kid gets pregnant? I could care less.

Posted by: Dave | September 2, 2008 4:39 AM | Report abuse

I should add, however, if some kid getting pregnant prevents Repblicans from inflicting their monstrously destructive policies upon the American people, I'll send the kid a shower gift when the baby's born.

Posted by: Dave | September 2, 2008 4:41 AM | Report abuse

I am inclined to loathe a guy like McCain and a woman like Palin who knowingly put a 17-year old thru searing public humiliation so they can look like family-values champions to their electorate.

Of course, it will be framed as though young Bristol were a willing participant in carrying the child to term, marrying the father, and mouthing all the right words.

Indeed, if she did anything else, she'd be crucified by the same constituency Palin was picked to appease. She'd be saddled with the blame not only for her own actions, but for ruining her mother's political career and the GOP's shot at the presidency.

This compliance will all be carefully and proudly portrayed as Bristol's "CHOICE'--even as her mother and John McCain campaign for a world in which such choices are preempted by legislative fiat.

Someone above spoke of mental diseases...

Posted by: Adam | September 2, 2008 4:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey Luke - are you seriously bringing up scandals (since you seem to be an Obama fan)? Really? After scandal after scandal that Obama has been involved or implicated with (just google Rezko, Wright, Odinga, Ayers, Farrakhan, have I left anybody out)? Your man Obama is dirty, up to his armpits. Look to your own house before talking of someone else's.

Posted by: Indy4Palin | September 2, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

"Social and religious conservatives are extatic.

What you mean John? That the folks are celebrating the good news of Bristol's pregnancy, like Ted Haggard, with hot sessions with escort males, complete with S.M. , meths and crack and waht have you?!

Posted by: Bekakbo | September 2, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Hard to know how this will affect the election. Gustav has made this convention something of an afterthought. I think it is interesting that the VP pick has stood in for the convention in terms of mitigating the Democratic post-convention bump. I also think it is VERY interesting that Karl Rove has weighed in on this. One thing you can be sure of, when Karl Rove offers his "professional" opinion about a political issue, you can BET that the opinion is simply part of his political calculus, not what Rove thinks will ACTUALLY happen. So when he opines that Sarah Palin will give McCain a 2-3 point bump, it is likely that he believes nothing of the kind.

They are up against it right now. Their convention is late and off schedule (Is Brooks right that this will be the last 4-day convention?) Regardless of what you think of Palin, they have a short time to get her name and story out there and a complicated story it is turning out to be.

I'd be astonished if the majority of republicans feel better about this ticket with Palin. There are all kinds of reasons why one might choose to vote for John McCain: I can't think of a single reason to vote for a woman who has never thought about the job, never sought it and doesn't know anything about it. That, my friends, in the 21st century is not evidence of "refreshingly unconventional perspective" it is simple political expediency.

Posted by: dch | September 2, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

For people who think they know so much....I haven't read many intelligent comments on this page. It appears that many writers are looking for the worst in everyone running for office. Some of the very statements made about Sarah Palin and her daughter's pregnacy are just out right crazy. If you are so smart and righteous and your family is so perfect, how come you were not picked to be a VP candidate?

Posted by: KC | September 2, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Palin's daughter's pregnancy is a family matter and they will have to deal with it. There is no issue here. What is an issue is the handling of its announcement. This reflects on the McCain campaign and, potentially, on Palin herself, but not on her daughter. As always, it is not the "crime", but the coverup that brings them down. If McCain knew, why didn't he reveal it at the time of Palin's VP announcement? If he revealed it now, as they say, in response to liberal bloggers, would he have waited until after the election if the bloggers hadn't spoken up? If McCain didn't know, why didn't Palin tell him? The McCain campaign knew this was something to be covered up and chose to announce it in the middle of a hurricane, where, hopefully, it wouldn't be noticed.

Posted by: qaxbami | September 2, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Palin's involvement with the Alaskan Independence Party should help her in those parts of the South where secession is still a family value.

Posted by: billinvirginia | September 2, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

People in Alaska knew that Governor Palin's daughter is pregnant so it wasn't a great cover up, if that was the intent. What even suggests that it was a cover up? Seems like a lot of speculation.

Posted by: KC | September 2, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Lincoln. Such a wonderful president -- over 600,000 dead because he was incapable of preventing secession. Is that the standard you hold for Obama?

Posted by: Jack the Ripper | September 2, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

And he suspended habeas corpus, too.

Posted by: Jack the Ripper | September 2, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

It might help her with those that don't understand the AIP.

Posted by: KC | September 2, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Neutral and objective wrote; "They have some nerve of raising her husbands dui, or her 17 year old's pregnancy as an issue at all"
-------------------------------------------Why do you blame the Dems for this scandal? It's not Obama who is on the attack, it's the news media. And not just for the Dems, ALL the news media is reporting this.

In fact Obama stated the daughter, and all families, should be kept out of the election.

Also, remeber how Michelle Obama was attacked for an article she wrote in college. Did you defend HER right to privacy?

What I don't understand is why Palin isn't home taking care of her downs symdrome infant, and her pregnant 17 year old.
Seems to me with her family situation she cares only about her ambitions and not her family and the fact that they need her at home more than on a canpaign trail running behind McCain. She looks like his grand daughter.

Posted by: Muppet | September 2, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

You can't have it both ways. If Sarah Palin and the Republicans want her children left out of the media's narrative, they have to get the children out of the picture. You can't use them as a photo prop to prove your pro-life position and then wail because they're talked about. It simply doesn't work that way.

Posted by: BJA | September 2, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Generally speaking, the VP pick is not a deciding factor in mine or most people's choice for president. This year has been a lot different for me. As an independent, I've leaned republican but after 8 years of this sh*t, I was taking a close look at Obama, who admittedly makes me nervous with his level of experience. So, for me, the VP choices would be pretty significant.

Obama put a great deal of time and effort into choosing someone that can fill in his weak points: experience and foreign policy. He chose someone that would help him govern, not someone that was going to bring him obvious electoral votes or a specific segment of the voters. His pick showed maturity and judgement, and a reality that he recognized his own weaknesses and picked accordingly.

McCain appears to have picked his VP with haphazard vetting, and a somewhat knee-jerk reaction. He seems to have done the exact opposite of Obama in choosing someone far less talented than he, thereby exposing his own insecurities. In my experience, good leaders (or managers) try to hire people more talented than themselves. Or people who complement their weaknesses. McCain did neither here. He chose a person that he feels will help him get elected by pandering to his base, not someone who can help him with domestic issues if he is elected. What a terribly cynical choice for McCain. It has indeed told me a lot about his judgement, his view of himself and his view of the American voters.

Posted by: msmith | September 2, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Fred - Palin has been all over the world in politics? How did she do that since she got her first passport only last year.

Posted by: C. Reaves | September 2, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Who's on First

McCain's campaign motto is "Country First", Palin's Alaska Independence Party's motto is "Alaska First". It's clear that McCain put "Election First" when he chose a running mate who has advocated the break-up of the United States by the ceding of Alaska from the union. Incredible.

McCain and Palin are the Abbot and Costello of American politics.

I guess Palin was just for the break-up of the country before she was against it?

Posted by: C. Reaves | September 2, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Ignorance is a horribly destructive thing, Dionne. In the not so distant future you will be embarrassed by your words and you will be given the option of learning from your mistakes or making even more abysmal and destructive comments to make it sound like you knew what you were talking about.
I hope you chose to shut up and think about what you're saying. Our nation is suffering and the last thing we need is self-righteousness smeared on top of it.
Please, shut up. Please? You're digging yourself in so much deeper with every word you say.

Posted by: Karma Choirboy | September 2, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Reminds me of Ted mack's original Amateur Hour

Posted by: ron | September 2, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Quayle also had a younger, healthier running mate. And he didn't have two infants in his immediate family.

Posted by: Julie | September 2, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Are we to understand that the McCain campaign uses google to do its vetting well i guess that is one way of doing it
its said over and over that McCain wanted
Liberman does this mean that already he is
being told what to do and could not make
this important decision on his own
haven't we had enough to a president not making any decisions on his own

Posted by: csvand | September 2, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Proves yet again that John McCain "the maverick" is now a total fiction. He is now a puppet of the Karl Rove right.

If Johnny boy had his way, the bumper stickers would read "McCain/Lieberman" or "McCain/Ridge". Respectable choices.

But no, says Karl Rove. No, no, say the neocons. No, no!, no!!, says the religious right.

"Ok", says John McCain. "Who should I pick?"

"Who we tell you to pick, that's who."

Even an unvetted, unprepared, scandal-plagued, 20-mos in office governor of a state with a population smaller than Austin, TX?

"Just do as we say, Johnny boy."

Posted by: Ricardo Malocchio | September 2, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: alance

By picking Palin, McCain is showing tactical superiority and showing no hesitation to go for the jugular in this election.


He showed he's willing to put winning an election over the best interests of the country. Gov. Palin may share moral convictions with a sizable portion of the Republican base, but absolutely no one can argue that she would be able to effectively take over the presidency were Sen. McCain to become incapacitated. Such incapacitation may never happen, or it could happen on his first day in office. Sen. McCain showed that he was willing to gamble this country's future to win an election. Sorry, this does not amount to good judgment.

Posted by: Dan | September 2, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

McCains vp choice revealed the true sexist nature of liberal democrats once and for all. The double standards and slime tactics they used on Hillary are in play again. Except now they are much more rabid about it. CNN especially was repugnant.

The vile sexism of democrats and the liberal media has no place in american politics.

Posted by: reason | September 2, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Palin is an excellent choice. She is a self-made woman, a mother of five who has been given the chance to take the nation by storm. I'm a Ron Paulite but I must say that I'm giving MacCain my vote because of his choice of running mate. The Obama movement reminds me of a Hitler. All his talk is in metaphors. No substance. The guy is an abortion madman. Just Google "Born-alive Infants Protection Act". He voteed against it. Considering 50% of abortions are carried out on African American and Hispanic girls ya would think he'd care!!!! Wolf in sheep's clothing. Rock on McCain!

Posted by: NYC_Man | September 2, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, if nothign else she can probably shoot straighter than our current VP. That will come in handy if the White House come uner attack by "varmints".

Posted by: Steve | September 2, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse


The question is why are they so happy? For a party that opposes sex education, with their acceptance of Palin's daughter's pregnancy are they now going to support sex education in school? Second, when they say their daughters are excited about Palin is it because they too want a mother who supports teen sex?

I do think that this acceptance of teen pregnancy must be explored and questions asked as it relates to the Republicans social and cultural agenda. Because, this is a radical departure from their usual platform.

Posted by: Barrett's view | September 2, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Of course this is not really about Palin, but about McCain's impetuosity, his tendency to shoot from the hip, and his poor judgement. His overly bellicose statements in support of Georgia--essentially in support of Bush's short-sighted policy of isolating Russia by pushing missiles and Nato up to their borders--show that he has too slender a grasp on reality to be President.

Posted by: scientist1 | September 2, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I guess McCain thinks that ANY woman will do and that the Hillary supporters don't care about Hillary's experience, knowledge, record or values. I guess Obama could have picked Hillary Duff, or maybe Paris Hilton for that matter and the Hillary crowd would have been satisfied. It may work for those that really only cared about having a woman on the ticket, but I doubt that there are that many of them.

Posted by: Steve | September 2, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm just amazed at how fast this pick seems to be blowing up in their faces. Personally I could care less that her daughter is pregnant. It's a private matter and I agree with Obama that it should be off limits.

The numerous other revelations that have come out about Palin though, raise red flags about Palin and McCain's judgement. It seems as though McCain didn't find it necessary to do a proper vetting process and just decided to push forward anyway eyeing the short-term gain.

You have to wonder how the McCain campaign, in a country that has been living through the Iraq war, would find that sort of decision making process wise.

Posted by: Jason | September 2, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

McCain made a stupid, terrible choice. The mayor of moosetown should give it up and return to the Gov's trailer, er, I mean mansion in Alaska. I, my wife, and all family & friends voted Republican for the last couple decades. Few people talk about repubs unless it's a joke. This is Georgia, US. I have a strong feeling Obama will win here 9 weeks from today.

Posted by: monoped | September 2, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Amazing. Now the Repubs are to be criticized for choosing someone
outside the beltway. And she has problems similar to many other folks
outside the beltway! Sounds like "sour grapes" to me. The Dems want
change so they choose an opportunistic newcomer with few real
credentials and an old party hack with lots of experience - all of it inside the beltway. Here's my take: some of us who resisted the likes of Hillary, Pelosi, and Ferraro actually like a feminist like Palin, I also liked Sandra Day O'Connor. I would like to characterize Palin as a
"frontier" mentality who does not need a "mother may I" to do something and is not riding on some male's coattails. And she faces life's real problems directly, sincerely, and with courage. No alibis there! Too many of the current crop of "feminists" are of the "closet" variety who only became active when it was OK to denigrate men and that made them "feminists". And all their problems can be "blamed" on men, the "glass
ceiling", fill in the blank with the latest reason for their failures.
"Frontier mentality" women work side by side with their husbands and are
on an equal basis. And they are willing to tackle problems believing they can solve them. I happened to marry into this culture and it is totally different than what I see from Hillary, Pelosi, and Ferraro. And it is a culture these "feminists" do not understand. I can easily
vote for a Palin but could never vote for the others. As for her
"experience". How much more is Obama's since he has moved quickly from
one high profile job to another apparently to gain political support.
Yet the democrats think that "experience" is OK. I also happened to remember that H. S. Truman's experience was criticized
but in my opinion he was surpassed only by FDR and that can be debated.

Posted by: Frank | September 2, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Unconventional a kind word for Pathetic.You can put all the lipstick you want,this is not a Disney flying pig.The hyenas now own the GOP.The fat cats have moved on to enjoy plunder. Than the VP pick glutton for pushisment,this McCain.

Posted by: barry barry | September 2, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Bad habits. Republicans have been foisting the worst possible nominees for positions in government for years:Dan Quayle, Clarence Thomas,Alberto Gonzalez,Harriet Miers,Brown of FEMA fame, George W. Bush, and now Sarah Palin, touted to be the best possible person to lead the free world if anything happens to John McCain, another questionable choice to lead us into hell.

Posted by: C. Price | September 2, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse


All you managed to do in your comment was to be critical of Governor Palin and Alaska in general by referring to her hometown as "moosetown" and referring to the Governor's mansion as the "trailer." You didn't include one meaningful sentence or statement in your comment. Take this opportunity to contribute something positive.

Posted by: KC | September 2, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"(just google Rezko, Wright, Odinga, Ayers, Farrakhan, have I left anybody out)? "

and what you'll find is a bunch of wing nuts chattering about non-issues. Boomer, you guys do this every four years. It starts with the freepers who just make things up out of thin air, then talk radio jumps in, claiming that "they have reports" (what they don't mention is the reports are coming from the freepers) Then Fox noise comes on stage talking about "growing evidence" (they mean the freepers and the talking heads who quoted them), all in attempt to get the mainstream media to pass the story along to the 72% of the country that doesn't drink the cool-aide.
The problem is, nobody pays any attention to these news sources, they've been demonstrated to be partisan and unreliable over and over, beginning with reports Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in 1992. You can't just keep crying wolf and have the world take you seriously.
The Pubs are done, spunky, I doubt that once the records of the last 8 years come out in Congressional investigations the Repubs will return to power in our lifetimes. The Pub attack machine is just plaintive wailing on the edge of political oblivion.

Posted by: dijetlo | September 2, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

1 - The real scandal is : Why did Sarah Palin didn't gave some contraception advises, pills or method to her daughter?

2 - Levi Jonhson should make a bold carrier move and mary the girl. If he is smart he will have to do nothing for the rest of his life. Or flee to Russia !

Posted by: Zorglub | September 2, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

It saddens me to witness the decline of the old John McCain from a tough politician to a weak elderly tool of the lunatic fringe of the extreme Right which he used to oppose. If the Republicans still want to rescue what is left of their party, now would be the last chance. I am still waiting for just ONE intelligent senior Republican to stand up against this frightening development.

Posted by: Bodo | September 2, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The Republican Convention will now resume and someone should remind John McCain to inform his party to remove their American hats and put on their un-American hats.

The cone shaped hats with the point on top.

Posted by: motiv8ed | September 2, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Real scandal? It is a scandal that Sarah Palin "allegedly" failed to provide her daughter with birth control?

So, how about the key issues in this election?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The mainstream media is avoiding what may be the real issue: that in fact Bristol Palin is not pregnant now but delivered a child in April of this year, the child named Trig claimed to be Sarah Palin's.

Research by alternative media is revealing that:
1) In March of this year, Sarah Palin first announced her "pregnancy" one month before the child was born. Friends and coworkers had been unaware of it, and she did not look pregnant.
2) Bristol Palin was out of school for five months (allegedly due to mononucleosis) at the time Trig was born.
3) Sarah Palin was at a Texas conference in April when she claims her "water broke". She delivered a speech to the conference, then traveled to a backwoods hospital in Wasilla Alaska (where she was mayor and has great influence) to "deliver".
4) Photos of Bristol Palin in late 2007 show that she, not her mother, appeared to be pregnant.

I agree that 17-year-old Bristol Palin should be off-limits, but Sarah Palin, as vice-presidential candidate, gets no such free pass.

If she has deceived the American people by claiming her daughter's child is her own, covering up that falsehood by saying that her daughter is now pregnant, we deserve to know.

Why is the McCain camp sending a large group of "vetters" to Alaska now - to get more information about Palin or to dispose of the evidence against her?????

Posted by: bam | September 2, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Ha...ha....where did you get your information which you appear to believe is fact? This is crazy.

Posted by: Kathy | September 2, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Bristol Palin's pregnancy is an issue because it is proof that abstinence-only education doesn't work, and that is precisely what Sarah Palin would like to use all of our tax dollars for. She would prohibit use of our tax dollars to teach about contraception and prevention of STDs. THIS IS WHY IT IS INDEED AN ISSUE.

Posted by: voice of reason | September 2, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Head of State

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"No Surprises From Palin, McCain Team Says"-Washington Post

Senior McCain officials described themselves as "unsurprised" today as huge storms of locusts flew from Wasilla, Alaska and descended upon McCain campaign headquarters. "Locusts were vetted. Locusts were vetted in the vet" said one campaign official, who spoke without attribution out of concern that he would be devoured by a verminous flying cloud. The campaign also said that they were nonplussed by reports that the rivers were running black with ashes, that family pets were begin to speak in human voices, declaiming "Release Sarah!", and that a huge spreading stain was beginning to blot out the Northern sun. "Vetted", said the campaign.

"There are exciting new studies that show that locusts can be used as a source of biodegradable fuel" said Newt Gingrich, as he hunkered down to avoid the black marble obelisks falling from the sky around him. "Palin, if she can be said to have played a role in bringing about these new biofuel resources, should be praised for her innovative role in the solution to our future energy demands".

"These events firmly demonstrate Palin's deep connection to traditional modes of traditional expression, in traditional forms, traditionally." said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. "Experience, in the face of these more traditional events, is overrated..." continued Kristol, before ending the interview to wrap himself head-to-toe in mosquito netting and swallowing a bitter tasting anti-malarial drug, the taste of which, as his lips contorted, he noted to be "surprisingly refreshing."

Palin's schedule in the upcoming days of the Republican National Convention has been cut short due to, as one McCain communications aide reported, a desire not to "let the magic out of the bottle too quickly." "Sarah is a precious resource, who each moment brings a new vitality and energy to every worker on the campaign" said the aide, while fighting to remove the nest of serpents which had suddenly materialized on the floor beneath him, and were now slowly ascending his legs. "Do these bite, or just slink?" asked the aide, who spoke on conditions of anonymity so as not to provoke or otherwise alienate the reptiles.

Meanwhile, as the heavens darkened, the seas began to boil, and a deep voice tore through the clouds shouting, in stentorian tones to one and all: "It was a Mistake!", campaign offices described themselves as "unperturbed". "Serpents materializing, house pets suddenly called to vocal advocacy, Celestial callings to revise and repent...Vetted" said the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was turning into a pillar of salt. "Everything that was vetted was vetted in the vet."

Head of State:

Posted by: Robert Hewson | September 2, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Face The Nation, August 10, 2008
Rove: Obama Will Make Political Veep Pick

Republican strategist Karl Rove said on Face The Nation Sunday that he expects presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama to choose a running mate based on political calculations, not the person's readiness for the job.

"I think he's going to make an intensely political choice, not a governing choice," Rove said. "He's going to view this through the prism of a candidate, not through the prism of president; that is to say, he's going to pick somebody that he thinks will on the margin help him in a state like Indiana or Missouri or Virginia. He's not going to be thinking big and broad about the responsibilities of president."

Rove singled out Virginia governor Tim Kaine, also a Face The Nation guest, as an example of such a pick.

"With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he's been a governor for three years, he's been able but undistinguished," Rove said. "I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America."

Rove continued: "So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, `You know what? I'm really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States? What I'm concerned about is, can he bring me the electoral votes of the state of Virginia, the 13 electoral votes in Virginia?'"
So Rove the genius got it mostly right about making a cynical political choice. He just had the wrong presidential candidate. And they only get 3 electoral votes from Alaska.

Posted by: Mark | September 2, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

McCain recklessly failed to vet this not-for-prime-time candidate. We as a country are now expected to similarly take this novice -- whom none of us knew prior to last Friday -- on an historic blind date, putting her within a metastasized melanoma cell from the presidency.

She can't even get her own family's business in order. This is not a game show folks, this is the Big Show.

Say what you will about Barack Obama's experience; WE, as a nation, are experienced with him!

(He's been in the nation's consciousness since his highly received keynote address to the 2004 DNC; has two best-selling autobiographical books; and has spent the past 16 months criss-crossing the nation and the globe, campaigning, debating, and speaking, under INTENSE public scrutiny. HE HAS BEEN VETTED!)

Now it is up to us -- the public, the blogosphere, the Democratic Party, and the journalistic community -- to vet this woman and all her entanglements and contradictions in a rapid and vigorous -- aggressive and compressed -- manner. Get ready for lots of interesting news!

Posted by: TerryOakland | September 2, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Voice of Reason:

Sarah Palin is the Governor of Alaska has funded sex education (not abstinence based education) in Alaska's school districts. If she hasn't moved towards implementing abstidence based education in Alaska, why would she do this on a national level?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

While Sara Palin's family life is something to chatter about at home, serious attention should be given to investigating her membership in the Alaskan Independence Party. This is far more relevant to understanding her political history, beliefs, and motivations. Please follow up on this subject.

Posted by: Celia Newman | September 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

John McCain is unlikely to survive his 4 year presidency given his health problems and the stresses of the job. Heaven forbid that this evangelical fascist should become president of the USA and leader of the free world.

Posted by: robfield | September 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Although I agree that Democrats shouldn't try to exploit the pregnancy of Palin's daughter--see Bob Herbert's excellent column in the NYT today--I think the fact the Palin accepted the VP offer when she knew her daughter would lose all privacy for the next several months reflects badly on her. By putting politics over family, she reveals how ambitious she is. Maybe the barricuda image is appropriate.

Posted by: Dave | September 2, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The GOP VP nomination whether you like or dislike Sarah Palin has turned into a Soap Opera - How ironic that GWB was going to bring back dignity to the White House - instead we see the most powerful nation in the world choosing its leaders on what appears to be sheer whim.
Obama was a great speaker but lost all the debates to Mrs. Clinton. McCain a war hero but lacking in judgment and anger management. Palin a very attractive local politican but no more than that. Biden is the only one of the four fit for the oval office. How incredibly bizarre.

Posted by: Jack | September 2, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey, what can you say, John McCain
has a thing for beauty queens.

Posted by: zgirl | September 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse


You are going to be very disappointed. There really isn't any other gossip about Sarah Palin. In the years that she has been involved in politics in Alaska, there have only been a couple of "situations" ever even discussed. The biggest was the situation involving her brother in-law who is a State Trooper. Look it up on-line (Anchorage Daily News or KTUU Channel 2 news). Review the letter of reprimand that Governor Palin's brother received. He admitted to using his department issued taser on his 11 year old stepson. He also was consuming beer while operating his Trooper vehicle and shot an animal illegally. As a result of his conduct, he was placed on suspension for 10 days. That was the crazy part of that deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

As far as the Alaska Independence Party affiliation goes.....Many Alaskans believe that the state has ownership of oil, etc., and that the federal government should have limited involvement in this and other aspects of statehood. I actually don't think that Sarah Palin is still involved with AIP.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

How on earth is picking Sarah Palin for VP "Country First"?

Posted by: Alex | September 2, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't THIS being investigated? It should be easy enough to confirm as true or false with names and emails to see. If true, why on earth was Todd Palin allowed into the Governors inner circle and privy to state business and emails as no other private citizen was?

Posted by: Linda | September 2, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

We, the American people, having been lectured to and hectored by the religious right for two decade about how we are all damned to Hell by their theocracy, are now supposed to not question the novice they're foisting on us as a possible president. (Time for McCane to release a full medical report as to his multiple bouts with melanoma.)

These so-called "Christians" are the least likely to forgive anybody but their own, while the secular liberal set has been notoriously prone to turning the other cheek, getting thumped for two decades by the American Taliban.

And we are now asked, tsk-tsk, to not question this crazy nominee and her hypocritical fellow travelers.

Posted by: TerryOakland | September 2, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I dont understand why this whole episode is a story altogether. This is about her daughter. How does that reflect on the candidate herself?
Posted by: neutral and objective | September 2, 2008 12:38 AM


Posted by: Harried | September 2, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Palin does what Obama said was the main goal of the republicon campaign. This election is about BIG issues. the republicons have created or ignored some REALLY big problems. Their record is obvious. Their ideology is failed. So they are trying to distract. Palin does exactly that. Instead of ripping mclame's policies to shreds everyone is focused on this nit wit from Alaska. Score one for rove.

Posted by: Brandon | September 2, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The moral issue is: what parents in their right mind would have a 23 year old date their 14 year old daughter so now 26 and 17 and after 5 months of pregnancy had no desire to marry until the veep nod. Where is the "critical thinking" a heart beat away from the presidency?

Posted by: Vlad (Edmonds) | September 2, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Let's contrast Sarah's de-facto accomplishments to the documented record of Joe Biden. In spite of the fact that Obama's 3:00am VP announcement was a direct, and not-so-subtle, slap at Hillary and her supporters for her Primary criticism of his notorious and painfully evident inexperience, the Clintons are ecstatic over Obama's pick of "Jawbone" Biden as his VP. A man who can speak eloquently ad-nauseam while saying absolutely nothing of substance. Biden, advertised as the brain-trust for the Obama ticket, is the same foreign policy "expert" who told the Israelis that they would have to passively accept a nuclear armed Iran, which of course would eventually guarantee the destruction of their Nation. The same individual who stated that the "Surge" was doomed to failure; and, who promoted the partitioning of Iraq into three separate nations, which would have precipitated a violent Iraqi civil war; and, assured the eventual incorporation of Shia Iraq into Iran. Sounds more like a single digit IQ than an expert! The McCain camp will certainly exploit Biden's former prolific praise of McCain; his multiple assertions that Obama was not sufficiently experienced to assume the Presidency; and, who correctly noted that the White House was not the proper venue for Obama's: "On-The-Job-Training". Obviously Obama was smart enough to recognize that he needed a "Handler" close-by 24/7; and, no-doubt has scheduled Biden for remedial training in diaper changing. It's a good time to invest in "Pampers". It's become apparent that Obama has some insidious need to constantly poke the Clintons in the eyes. One has to wonder if an "angry" Michelle Obama is prompting such responses! However, the Clinton's, astute in the way of politics, will simply re-enforce their base of supporters in preparation for a now certain 2012 bid. Greg Neubeck

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"McCain could have done much better by choosing to run with Brittany Spears! Wow just imagine the name recall and popularity. He'd get the votes. Brittany Spears for Republican VP!"

Too bad. Democrats already beat him to it by nominating her on the top of their ticket.

Posted by: Barack Uh-bama | September 2, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Since the Washington Post has apparently chosen to ignore it, I urge any readers to who care about democracy and freedom to drop into Glenn Greenwald's website and check out what is happening right now at the RNC.

Mr. Greenwald is documenting- step by step- a massive series of false arrests (several hundred of them) conducted by the Minnesota police in conjunction with the FBI and National Guard. These arrests- which began with a series of preemptive raids the day before the convention- appear to be primarily targeting watchdog organizations like I-Witness Video, which played a key role in revealing illegal police conduct and false charges filed against protesters at the 2004 RNC. Their presence exhonerated about 300 innocent people who would now be in jail if not for them- and the consequence of that now appears to be that they are being singled out for searches involving the confiscation of their computer equipment and data, and the arrest of their leadership.

Reporters attempting to film these events have been arrested on the spot, including several members of the Democracy Now media website- one of whom was apparently assaulted by police officers. As documented by Greenwald's site, when Democracy Now broadcaster Amy Goodman asked for the name of the officer in charge, she was arrested on the spot along with her associate and charged with "conspiracy to riot" (which has now been downgraded to "interfering with a police officer").

This corresponds with my own treatment at the 2004 RNC, when I was attacked by a police officer myself for the first and only time in my life.

Mr. Greenwald's column seems to indicate that the Washington Post has reported on at least the bare facts of Amy Goodman's arrest, but I cannot find any reference to it so far.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

How can we expect John McCain to stand up to Putin when he can't even stand up to Pat Robertson and James Dobson? So, this is the kind of person you get for vice president when you empower the religious right.

Posted by: Ted Frier | September 2, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans need to focus this convention on the real issues and their real differences with the Dem ticket. Barack wants to create new jobs by funding infrastructure projects and energy. The only way this can be done is to raise taxes significantly- not just a little bit. We are paying off a deficit currently and to say that he will cut taxes for 95% of the population is impossible. This is going to channel funds away from private industry and towards government-controlled industry. This is going to move the country closer to communism, and I don't think most Americans want that.

Posted by: dcp | September 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

by neutral and objective: "I dont understand why this whole episode is a story altogether. This is about her daughter. How does that reflect on the candidate herself? Shes not the one pregnant. I dont recall Roger clinton being an issue."

You are an idiot. She is TOTALLY responsible for the actions of her children! Roger Clinton was NOT Bill Clinton's child... he was an adult sibling. Clinton is not responsible for what his adult brother said or did. This woman is wholly responsible for the irresponsible actions of her daughter. She is also complicent in this child's pregnancy since she advocated for NO sex education in Alaskan schools, abstinence only programs, and NO birth control allowed. So YES this woman is responsible for this huge and vulgar debacle.

Posted by: Clint | September 2, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

At least this blog has been descent all the way around, thank you all Americanos!
This second amendment thing is perhaps the best tool we have in this country, that we are able put on the table what we think like Dionne does! I have seen pro's & con's of everyone and it is really refreshing to see people have vivid memories of past years! Regardless of race, color, gender and political denomination we need to have a set of candidates, who can manage our country with morals. Intelligence is as important as consultation with others before we launch into war's and stuff. Ego by itself is not going to make it! Ofcourse we need to have a healthy ego, to have a good relationship balanced with brains to carry it out (and a body to act)!! Which ticket gives us that!!! Just like balancing your check book at home, please do the math! I think you will find the answer. 2+2=4, and it shall remain as such for ever to come!
We will be forgiven for our math errors of past, as a nation!!!

Posted by: You_See | September 2, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

If Sarah were covering up for her daughter's pregnancy, why would she announce it at 8 months and not earlier like that chic on Desperate Housewives to make it more believable. And if we want to have a discussion on character, let's look at how Obama rose to power in Illinois. So much for the character argument. I think it's funny how the lefties who are trashing Palin's values are the very ones promoting sexual freedom with no consequences and bedroom privacy for everyone and marriage rights for everyone. So who's being hypocritical here? You weren't voting for the GOP ticket anyway, so shut up or discuss the issues.

Posted by: dcp | September 2, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid we may be missing the larger point of the McCain campaign naming Sharon Palin as their VP candidate.

It is a huge distraction from the issues!

The Republicans know that on almost every issue the Democrats beat them. So they put up a smoke screen in the name of a novice Governor with virtually no foreign policy knowledge or experience and watch the "tabloid-like" media frenzy that ensues.

Other than continuing demonstrably failed Bush economic and international policies, what does John McCain plan to do? Now that the media space is filled with tripe about Palin's lack of qualifications and her family issues, McCain/Palin won't be forced to answer the tough questions, This is a masterful move that has Rove's fingerprints all over it.

Stop taking the bait! Demand the tough answers to the tough questions.

Posted by: B. Casero | September 2, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't help thinking that this was John McCain's "screw you" answer to the conservative wing's negative views on his wanting to name Lieberman as his running mate.

Posted by: a wry comment | September 2, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

God's sending a message - and it's that he wants the RNC and their neocon comrades to go off into the wilderness for forty years.

Time to learn some humility, apostate Republicants.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | September 2, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I too am studying the Republican Convention. I look at the people on stage I look at the small groups coming and going I am studying. I see the Republicans talking and defending and telling half-hearted statements. But what I finally understand is they are anemic what I observe is anemia and poor health, lack of vitality and makeup doesn't make a person more beautiful, bleach AND hairdye does not make a star or a great first lady.

Posted by: Robson | September 2, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh darn No Dick Cheney. I just heard on MSNBC.

Posted by: DR | September 2, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Who is John McCain , a 73 year old frat boy whatever that is.

Posted by: Bd | September 2, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

That McCain could not find a suitable running mate among the men he outlived in the primary says volumes about the quality of that field. Notwithstanding Republican apologists telling us that McCain's team had fully vetted Palin and that there are absolutely no surprises among the dismaying news so far revealed, why do I suspect that the Christian right's preference for someone like Huckabee--who would be a better campaigner than Palin--forced McCain's decision. That McCain's camp felt they needed to lock up that part of their base reveals how desperately unsure they are about their prospects. Yes, the natives are no longer restless, but the rest of us? Palin, once you remove the puffery, will turn out to be a liability for McCain. If he doesn't have an intemperate or plain stupid moment (Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran/100 years in Iraq/Chelsea Clinton-Janet Reno) or two during the debates and campaign, Palin undoubtedly will. If she is in the campaign at all....

Posted by: Steve H | September 2, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

There maybe colateral damage that all the insurance bought by the Republican Party won't fix.Have Fun at the party, saved by Gustav.

Posted by: Dr | September 2, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It think the fact that Bush and Cheney, the present POTUS and his VEEP, will not make an appearance at their own party's convention because Karl Rove thinks it best says it all! Can anyone remember this happening in the past?

Posted by: Harried | September 2, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

One storm past another storm coming. Instead of family values we have "Sex and the City." Think that the next president could be a beauty qeen. Still the race for president is a beauty contest. If only the recession would go away maybe we could have some laughs.

Posted by: Arthur Gittleman | September 2, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a rare woman if she excites both Republicans and Democrats in equal measure. As an Obama supporter, I will be both surprised and gratified if she survives the week and gets the VP nomination.

In the unlikely event that she does survive, gets elected and something happens to John McCain, God save the United States of America.

Posted by: Ken in Tenn | September 2, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Just face it, John McCain is a bully > read the body language when his faithful wife comes near she backs away from him, he swings his arms unconsciously like a helicopter not able to catch the wind lift.

Posted by: me | September 2, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The answer to the last post, Harried: Hubert Horatio Humphrey's convention after the assasination of Robert Francis Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson did not attend the convention!! I read it before in some newspaper article!!

Posted by: You_See | September 2, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

When the party favors are all picked up off the floor all the Republicans the Republican Pudits will all walk here and there and everywhere with their tails tucked under unless you lost your tails. Wonder if any Republican Politicians will contract HIV at the convention in Minneapolis. Gamling with their life and on and on and on they throw the manure.

Posted by: DR After the confetti | September 2, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McCain made a calculated political decision; it is apparent his decision was made for the crassest of political motives.
The good of the nation had nothing to do with it.
The saddest element of this entire charade was Sarah Palin's decision to accept his offer.
What does it say about her integrity that she allowed her family secret to be plastered across headlines all over the world?
As I see it, her daughter is labeled for life, a sacrificial lamb on the altar of her mother's incredible political ambition.
That Mrs. Palin is so cavalier about the reputation of her family members speaks volumes about her lack of good judgment.
She should have had the good sense to decline Mr. McCain's offer, but her political ambition got in the way.
It also speaks volumes about Mr. McCain's lack of good judgment.
He's stuck with the consequences.
It speaks of the same naked ambition that drove Mr. McCain to condone torture, which does not reflect well upon his constant reliance upon his experience as a P.O.W.; the same ambition which allowed him to place himself in league with the same swift-boaters who attempted to destroy his reputation eight years earlier.
It's truly distressing to see to what lengths someone will go for the sake of pandering to Christian conservatives for a few votes.
It's apparent they have a lot in common and understand each other very well.
However, neither should claim the descriptive word, "maverick."
"Fanatic" suits both much better.
They are not fanatic about religion; rather, they are fanatical in their pursuit of their political careers.
A desire so consuming reflects very poorly on each of them and their party.
They can wrap themselves in a thousand flags, but it is apparent the only patriotism each has is to his/her own vanity, not the welfare and future of our nation.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | September 2, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Lyndon Baines Johnson did not attend the convention!! I read it before in some newspaper article!!
Posted by: You_See | September 2, 2008 2:03 PM

Yeah, he had said he would not seek or accept his party's nomination about six weeks into the primaries. But his veep showed his face, did you read what his name was in the paper? I was there in Chicago. Joanne Malazzo, four months pregnant, got thrown into the side of a Daly Gestapo police wagon!

Posted by: harried | September 2, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

When did the office of the Vice-President become one individual's gambling chip to use for his personal gain? If this is not the RED FLAG of all RED FLAGS for corruption, I don't know what is.

There is only one reason for having a Vice-President and that reason is ... should the need arise, the Vice-President can take over as Commander and Chief. How dare John McCain forget this! How dare he misuse and abuse his power as the presidential nominee ... EVEN BEFORE he is elected to office ... for his personal gain and ambition. People should be outraged. The risk is not just John McCain's, its the country's!

In his choice of VP it is obvious just how much John McCain puts winning elections before the good of the country. Wasn't it John McCain who attacked Obama on this point? Country first. Where did the country ever figure into John McCain's pick for VP?

Posted by: Audrey | September 2, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

When did the office of the Vice-President become one individual's gambling chip to use for his personal gain? If this is not the RED FLAG of all RED FLAGS for corruption, I don't know what is.

There is only one reason for having a Vice-President and that reason is ... should the need arise, the Vice-President can take over as Commander and Chief. How dare John McCain forget this! How dare he misuse and abuse his power as the presidential nominee ... EVEN BEFORE he is elected to office ... for his personal gain and ambition. People should be outraged. The risk is not just John McCain's, its the country's!

In his choice of VP it is obvious just how much John McCain puts winning elections before the good of the country. Wasn't it John McCain who attacked Obama on this point? Country first. Where did the country ever figure into John McCain's pick for VP?
Posted by: Audrey | September 2, 2008 2:45 PM

YOU HAVE IT AUDREY! He's running with the crowd that trashed his child!

Posted by: Harried | September 2, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My husband, a Republican, voted Democratic in the last two presidential elections but retained his party affiliation out of hope that the GOP would eventually regain its senses. But the Palin selection was the last straw for him. On Friday, he faxed his change of party affiliation to the county clerk. He's done with the GOP.

Posted by: Liz | September 2, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

MacCain is running with the crowd that trashed his child. The crowd found him a running mate that is willing to trash her child. So much for "FAMILY VALUES", huh?

Posted by: harried | September 2, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

In response to:
"I dont understand why this whole episode is a story altogether. This is about her daughter. How does that reflect on the candidate herself? Shes not the one pregnant. I dont recall Roger clinton being an issue."

Really? Please tell me you're making a joke.
This is her daughter. The child she raised. I'm sure she is a wonderful parent, but her child is a direct reflection on her. She's not even 18. She's not an adult yet. Henceforth, Palin needs to take responsibility for her daughters actions.

Completely fair? No. But that's the way it's always been.

Man, we knew McCain needed publicity, but this...?

My question is, would McCain still have picked Palin if it was Hiliary in Obama's place?

Posted by: Ashley | September 2, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

This convention will go down in history, along with 1968 and 1972 Democratic conventions, for having sunk their party's chances in November. McCain's shockingly bad judgment in selecting Palin exposed him as a fraud when he claims to "put America first." Stick a fork in McCain. He's done.

Posted by: Chuck | September 2, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

A Republican friend of mine tells me he imagines there would be a backstage preliminary agreement with Palin that should McCain become incapacitated during the first year or so of his presidency he would resign and she, as the new president, would name her own VP, choosing from a short list of individuals provided by GOP. After which she, too, would resign, and her VP would become our president. Sounds devious but might be constitutional.

Posted by: svato | September 2, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

All of this criticism over Governor Palin exists simply because Senator McCain picked her as his VP candidate. All those attacking this woman today knew nothing about her last week - and yet her "sins" seem to them so abominable. However, I suggest that such criticism would be applied to ___________ been McCain's pick instead. It's funny; you who support Obama has an agent of change are the ones who continue to carry on the vileness of Washington politics. Perhaps, an Alaskan woman who hunts and snowmobiles is the true agent of change, but you'r just too ignorant to notice? Hmmm?

Posted by: Jobo | September 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Every 17 year old is a complex individual. It strikes me as cruel that a mother would knowingly expose her pregnant 17 year old to the press scrutiny of a national campaign.

Posted by: balloulog | September 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse


Rather good points. But a minor correction: Lincoln served one term as a representative from downstate Illinois, not a senator. he ran against Stephen Douglas for Senate in 1858 and lost (this in the days when senators were elected not by the populace but the state legislature), although the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates in that campaign put him on the national map. (BTW, the dignity and intellectual heft of these debates absolutely puts to shame anything called a political debate in our day.) He opposed the Mexican War, and was duly turned out of office.

His military experience consisted of a few months in the militia during the BLack Hawk War, a minor frontier dustup, in which he saw no combat. yet he became the greatest war leader in out history, and IMHO one of the greatest in history.

What made him a national candidate was a single the Cooper Union in NYC. Like the lawyer he was, he analyzed the problem of Douglas' "popular sovereignty" over the expansion of slavery. Which was not an academic exercise; this was the time of "Bleeding Kansas". To anyone who thinks words don't matter in a leader should read the Gettysburg Address again, and try putting it in context, or the Second Inaugural, or Churchill, or FDR.

Posted by: jprfrog | September 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday I heard the following question: "Is John McCain saying that of all of the potential Vice Presidential candidates, Mrs. Palin represents his best option?"

It's not a matter of intelligence, stedfast beliefs or interpersonal skills, its a matter of demonstrated competence and knowledge. It will take her years just to understand the legislative process in DC. In other words, the learning curve will be too steep for her to be at all effecive for much of her first four years.

If this were a private company I would say "fine, John, you hire her, train her and watch over her until she figures out what is going on." But this is OUR company, not his, and I don't want someone as Vice President who doesn't have any idea what is really going on.

Posted by: sbrooks | September 2, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

It would be a shame if all this talk about Gov Palin would Harriet her selection as Senator McCains soulmate.

Posted by: thinkagain | September 2, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Has Karl Rove gone too far?

Posted by: harried | September 2, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks a women could serve in the White House and then picks one as a running-mate shows he's to stupid to serve as President. You didn't see Obama making this stupid mistake.

Posted by: Lodie | September 2, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

No Ernie, this is a story because as Democrats, the right to judge anothers actions is earned through superior intelligence, better education, better jobs and moral integeraty. Plus they have more money.

Posted by: MarxBro | September 2, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I see Bob Smith has the compassion of a true Republican, laughing at the plight of pregnant un-wed teenagers, and the religious zealots on the left talking about how God is punishing someone again, just like aids? Why don't the religious bigots stay in their basements. And to the people who say womens rights means equality for all women? No, it means equality for Democratic Women.

Posted by: Lodie | September 2, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

There was an excellent article in the New York Times today by conservative writer David Brooks. He pointed out that the real weakness in the McCain/Palin ticket was in how the two are far too alike as political animals: impulsive with a tendency to get caught up in Good vs. Evil scenarios rather than possessing the ability to handle the rather humdrum business of constructing a sound approach to governing.

I don't like Sarah Palin as a mother. My gut tells me she's a sorry choice for VP, too. But his article actually articulated WHY I've got that sinking feeling. Check it out. It ran today, Sept. 2nd.

Posted by: RobinL | September 3, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

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