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Putting Words in Palin's Mouth

There was a flutter of attention when McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told a group of Post reporters and editors yesterday that his team was having to rework the vice presidential acceptance speech because the original draft, prepared before Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen, was too "masculine." While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee's speech before knowing who the nominee would be.


Sarah Palin prepares for her speech tonight. (AP Photo/ABC News)

Never mind the prehistoric days when a politician might be expected to write his or her own words; speechwriters have been around since long before television. But traditionally their job was to channel their bosses' thoughts and ideas into poetry, or at least comprehensible English. Nowadays, apparently it's naive to expect a speech even to reveal something of the essential views or character of the speaker. Instead, campaigns -- not just the McCain campaign -- draft their speeches with an eye to which demographic groups need to receive which messages, and then we in the media rate the speeches based on how well we think they hit those targets.

So when you watch Sarah Palin tonight, expect to learn something about how well she handles a Teleprompter. Expect to learn something about the McCain campaign's assessment of its political standing with women, or working families, or social conservatives. Whether you're learning what Sarah Palin really thinks or feels is anybody's guess.

By Fred Hiatt  | September 3, 2008; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  Hiatt  | Tags:  Fred Hiatt  
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Comments

You forget this a Party meeting. The Party nominee runs the show. It is his party, his Party and his running mate.

I am sure no running mate would just say what they are told to say. (Did you ask Obama is his folks wrote Biden's speech?)

Posted by: Kris in AL | September 3, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

did you do any digging to find out if this was done with the speeches at the DNC? I'm honestly curious, because if everyone is doing it, it's depressing. If it's just the RNC, I'm not surprised.

Posted by: Jas | September 3, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The more we learn about Gov Palin, the more I'm reminded of Dan Quayle.

Posted by: bsimon | September 3, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Jas,

For the most part all convention speeches are prepared by the candidate's campaign. Barack Obama had to get special permission to write his own speech in 2004, and even that had to be vetted (and was edited) by Kerry's folks. Fred probably would do well to act less nostalgic for a time that really didn't ever exist -- political speeches have always been about presentation more than informing folks forever. As such, you find out what the candidate wants you to know about themselves -- not anything remotely interesting.

If you want some "inner look" into the candidates, why not examine the policy proposals they've made? That can tell you alot more about their worldview than trying to play armchair psychologist while watching a speech.

Posted by: James Hare | September 3, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

More lowering of expectations is what this looks like to me.

Posted by: Erik L | September 3, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I almost feel bad about all the critical things I've said about your editors before.

The truth about Palin is so painfully obvious to any sentient creature. She is nothing but a political stunt, meant to fire up the culture wars and distract from the dire issues we face.

The GOP would stop at nothing to keep power. Absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Becca | September 3, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

James@1:08
I guess it's just the eternal optimist in me that secretly hoped that at least the VP would be allowed to have his or her own speechwriters put together a speech that at least sounds like them, even if it was analyzed and vetted by the campaign before it was delivered.

As for the issues, well, I've done my reading up, and I'm a full-throated Obama supporter. I look to the speeches to simply show me how effective the presenter would be in making his or her case towards implementing those policies.

Posted by: Jas | September 3, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Barack wrote his won speech.
let me say that again; Barack wrote his own speech.

Posted by: peter warren | September 3, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ohhh, this poor girl can't even write her own speech...

Posted by: roger | September 3, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

So who decides what will be said? Who are the puppeteers behind the show? Why should anyone take any of these candidates seriously if they are incapable of speaking for themselves? Why have a person in office at all if all that this person does is read a script determined and written by someone else? Perhaps this explains why Republicans will say anything one day and the opposite thing the next, each time feigning conviction, since what they say is cynically intended only to make a sale to an audience, whereas what they ultimately do always follows an ideological doctrine. If Cheney pulls Bush's strings, who pulls McCain's and Palin's?

Posted by: Jeb, Texas | September 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I would expect the Palin's speech tonight to be an extension of the McCain campaign. What I have been looking for and haven't found is the record of Palin's foreign policy and international issues positions made before 8-29-08. We heard in debates what Guiliani, Romney, Huckabee, Paul and Thompson believed. I feel definitely shortchanged in that I can get no sense of what Palin thought before she became McCain's running mate. The closest I could come was her comments that she hadn't been paying attention to Iraq and she hoped they had a plan for it. Readers, please help me out. Where is Palin's international record to be found?

Posted by: Ceee | September 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"...Never mind the prehistoric days when a politician might be expected to write his or her own words...."
****************

As is well-known, of course, Obama still does for his big speeches. What a glorious luddite, eh?

Posted by: abqcleve | September 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she'll be a Potempkin candidate, and will be replaced later in the month.

Posted by: Bartolo | September 3, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

(Did you ask Obama is his folks wrote Biden's speech?)

Posted by: Kris in AL | September 3, 2008 1:03 PM
******************

What a dolt. Didn't you listen? Can you even imagine Biden letting anyone write something for him? Come on, get out more.

Posted by: abqcleve | September 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Several commenters are missing the key point; it isn't that McCain's people are writing Palin's speech. Of course they are. That's normal in modern times.

McCain's people wrote or at least okayed everyone else's speech at the convention as well.

There was a story out last week that Obama's people nixed a red meat line in Dennis Kucinich's speech; indicating that Kucinich (or his speechwriters) had wrtten the speech but needed Obama approval. Once again, perfectly normal.

Here, however, the speechwriters didn't even worry about who was delivering the speech; they wrote it before the nominee was even determined.

That may be the norm now as well, but it's the first I've heard of it.

Posted by: howie | September 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

No..Kris In Al

What it means is that the McCain folks wrote a speech for a man and then suddenly had to retool it in haste.

And if you've been remotely following this story, you'd know that McCain really, really, really wanted LIEberman, but the far right would have revolted.

That's where Palin steps in. McCain can't even stand up to his own party. So he panders to it by selecting someone as far, far too the right as he can find. That Palin was a woman is just an added bonus for him.

This selection has nothing to do with "Country First" and everything to do with "Party First".

Posted by: JM | September 3, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

She should be able to read the propter just find. She was a journalist remember?

Posted by: Journalist should be able to read | September 3, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

i believe kucinich wrote his own speech, based on his submitting it to review (and having one line removed) - there was also much made of the fact that neither clinton DID submit their drafts for review. i take that to mean that democratic speakers, or their personal speechwriters, wrote their speeches.

this may be true of some of the republican speakers as well, it probably is. but the v.p. candidate? that's pretty surprising. especially with the number of days b/t her acceptance and her convention speech.

Posted by: dirk gently | September 3, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wins, I bet within six months, the vice president will resign for the old "to spend more time with her family" reason and then Lieberman will be nominated to take her place.

Posted by: Michael | September 3, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's not overgeneralize or oversimplify. The Post did a lot of detailed reporting on speechwriting at the DNC and I'm sure it will re the RNC as well.

As I recall from the reporting, Obama did a lot of the writing on his acceptance speech. Other speakers submitted their speeches for approval or editing (with an edit of one line by Kucinich, for example). Montana governor Schweizer was told to make his speech stronger or get a lesser spot on the schedule, and that advice benefited him as well as the party. Hillary submitted hers quite late and I bet the Obama people stepped rather lightly on that one (!), and Bill Clinton shared his basically just before stepping on the stage. Joe Biden's speech was reported to be written with input by his own favored speechwriters, his family members, and Obama's most senior advisors.

All of that sounds right and like we are truly hearing from the people who are speaking. But handing a VP nominee--in other words, someone at a very senior level in the party--a speech to recite is just sad. And, as Fred Hiatt notes, it means we won't learn a thing about her own perspective. I guess we have to wait for her to respond to questions in actual interviews to get to know Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | September 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"So when you watch Sarah Palin tonight, expect to learn something about how well she handles a Teleprompter."

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Hiatt's choice of phrasing does provide me with the amusing image of Palin physically wrestling with the Teleprompter. So, thank you for that, Fred.

Posted by: shingles | September 3, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Comrades in the Red Bushie party always rework speeches by Party Leaders to make it sound like they're not in bed with Red China.

But we, the American Middle Class, can tell they are lying to us, after eight years of constant lying by the GOP.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"So when you watch Sarah Palin tonight, expect to learn something about how well she handles a Teleprompter. Expect to learn something about the McCain campaign's assessment of its political standing with women, or working families, or social conservatives. Whether you're learning what Sarah Palin really thinks or feels is anybody's guess."
----------------------------------

Absolutely. She's store-bought window dressing for a pandering politician. Packaging.

She's clearly NOT qualified in terms of education, experience and background. Simply unbelievable.

If this isn't one of the strongest indication of the contempt McLame holds the American people in and utter lack of judgement, I don't know what is.

Simply unbelievable. More of the same? Vote McCain.

Posted by: Jaxon | September 3, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

First off, speeches are never exclusively written by candidates themselves; although they may develop themes, formulate minor sections of prose, and tinker here and there with specific statements. But there is not one candidate for President in the modern era that has written their own speech from start to finish. The demands on their time are far greater than most could imagine.

Second, one might point out that Senator Biden has been known to leave his speechwriting to other third, and often unattributed, parties.

Posted by: surely | September 3, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Let the entire GOP machine pick and choose every word of the speech. At some point Palin will have to do a live, unscripted debate.

Posted by: OK by me | September 3, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back to the land of people who care about their country, Mr. Hiatt. We need you.

Posted by: Mary | September 3, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I recall reading that John Kerry wrote his own speech for the 2008 DNC as well.

Posted by: dbt | September 3, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

This article tells you more about the state of the press today than it does about the state of politics today.

No one is surprised that the McCain campaign is writing Palin's speech. What does surprise me is that a horde of journalists heard that there was an early draft of the VP speech that was "too masculine" for Palin to deliver and and none of them realized that American voters might want to know which lines in the speech we will hear tonight are, in the minds of McCain and his handlers, too tough to be uttered by a female candidate.

Instead of talking incessantly about a teenage pregnancy that is nobody's business, it would be nice if the press would do its job and find out which topics included in the first draft of the speech are taboo for a female candidate.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

It's real nice to know that McCain holds us in such high regard.

I heap scorn on him.

Posted by: K Ackermann | September 3, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"So when you watch Sarah Palin tonight, expect to learn something about how well she handles a Teleprompter."

Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Please don't repeat catch phrases without thinking about them first. The word "bigotry" only applies to groups, not individuals. You can't be bigoted towards just one person (Palin), and so the phrase plainly doesn't apply here unless you're accusing Hiatt of sexism or some broader bigotry, which would be completely unfounded.

Posted by: Chris S. | September 3, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to hear mom-in-laws speech. Now tell me what birth control is?

Posted by: Levi Johnston | September 3, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

abqcleve wrote "What a dolt. Didn't you listen? Can you even imagine Biden letting anyone write something for him? Come on, get out more."

So now it's Kinnock who plagiarized Biden? Come back to earth!

Posted by: Aeschuylus | September 3, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, if I were a couple decades younger, I would be so tempted to hack into that teleprompter and insert some revisions.

But that would be wrong.

Posted by: just john | September 3, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Hiatt. It is never too late for a person to find integrity.

Sarah Palin = sock puppet.

If she isn't ready by Day 5 to take a question from the press or give a speech, we're supposed to think she will be ready on Day 1.

Seems she has an awful lot of ground to cover. This is the brightest and best the GOP has to offer?

Vote Obama / Balin '08 and save the polar bears.

Posted by: Sara B. | September 3, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

$50 says Biden had an extensive hand in writing his VP acceptance speech. Another $50 says were he given a finished speech and instructed to mechanically repeat verbatim, no questions asked, he'd politely advise those involved to piss off, Obama included.

Posted by: steve duncan | September 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Let's all hope Sarah the Sock Puppet reads reel good!

Posted by: Bill B. | September 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This all goes to show superficial and cynical politics has become. We now have fill-in-the-blank candidates. It makes me wonder what the campaign whiz kids could do with a Fred J Muggs? No doubt this one time companion to Dave Garroway on the Today Show could be made to look experienced in foreign policy (after all he spent his childhood in African jungles) and is a real family man (what else could wearing diapers possibly mean?).

Posted by: An Amused Observer | September 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, this will be a nice change for the VP to be a sock puppet instead of the other way around.

In all seriousness, it doesnt seem to appear to be McCain's style to 'share' power. By picking someone fairly inexperienced, he doesnt have to worry about being outmaneuvered or having conflicting messages.

Posted by: Josh S | September 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I hope don't forget to rework the parts that are too "Jewishy" since Joe Lieberman was Choice #1.

Posted by: ThatGuy | September 3, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

They had to take out all the Yiddish words.

Posted by: Mary | September 3, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

i guess all of you who are making juvenile, sexist comments about Gov. Palin think its ok since you're voting for obama, right? i mean, after all, supporting him clearly means you're not a racist, too, right?

Posted by: scott | September 3, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Honestly it is sad if she didnt really write her own speech or did only a little work on it. Honestly though this lady is pro-life and voted for abstinence only in schools among other things; a real democrat would never vote for what she stands for...(that PUMA group is crazy). As for teenage girls getting pregnant maybe if we gave children a more comprehensive sex education so they know how to have sex responsible when the time comes or decide they no longer want to abstain. And this is isnt about her little girl being preganant but what her mothers views are on sex education among so other things....

Posted by: Free Spirit | September 3, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The one time Obama spoke without a prepared speech and a prompter, he got killed at Saddleback. Are we to belive Obama can talk without teleprompter?

Posted by: rljmsilver | September 3, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Mccain is bust. Palin supports Alaskan independence. Here she is addressing 2008 AIP convention.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvPNXYrIyI

Posted by: sandy | September 3, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If she isn't being trusted to write her acceptance speech, what exactly is she bringing to the campaign other than to serve as a symbol?

Posted by: ThatGuy | September 3, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

well, free spirit, maybe while Gov. Palin can think about having a frank discussion with her children on the issues of sex and responsibility, Sen. Obama can think about having a conversation with his kids on the dangers of cocaine.

Posted by: scott | September 3, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

If everything goes to Palin's plan, Joe Lieberman will eventually be watching from a burning lake of damnation.

Posted by: Jean | September 3, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Last night Fred Thompson said that John McCain racked up in excess of 300 demerits at the Naval Academy, even more than his father had. The crowd laughed.

Then Thompson told us that John McCain dated a stripper called "The Flame of Florida." The Conventioneers thought that was cute, too.

Barack Obama is too smart, too educated and too high class for 50% of American voters. He doesn't fit with them.

I despair.

Posted by: Jewel Mathias | September 3, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Scott, face it. McCain chose someone not qualified. Nothing new for you republicans.

Posted by: Mark | September 3, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama spent days negotiating -- very publicly -- over the content of Bill and Hillary's speeches, let alone Biden's.

Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

'Desperate times call for desperate measures', and Gov. Palin is no exception. Does the GOP really think that Democrats would stoop to 'switch vote' just because Hilary Clinton didn't get the nod?

If so, that is THE most 'sexist' stereotyping I have witnessed in US politics.

One should could care less if the candidate is of any colour, gender, or race.......who best can do the job and possess the values or beliefs that one has as a voter. THAT my friends is true equality....when we have reached the point in our history that we don't even NOTICE colour, race, or gender.

Just because Palin is a woman, or Obama has a black father should not matter one iota.

The media down there has become like the British Tabloids.


Posted by: Looking across the border | September 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Their original speech wouldn't do, because it was too masculine?!?! Talk about sexism...

Posted by: David | September 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, the good news is that she doesnt have to speak to the black people, hispanic people and the asians, for after all the camera shots of the crowd for the past two days, there was not one of those minorities represented in the crowd. Oh, except for MCCains adopted daughter. Seriously, and watch tonight, the same ol, same ol looking Republican Party.

Posted by: latinovoter | September 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,

I doubt you know anything about Dan Quayle that wasn't regurgitated for you by partisan hacks.

Posted by: KaziA | September 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt this is business as usual in this type of venue.

Posted by: Trig | September 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

and as for the puppet comment, assuming palin is a puppet, at least she's only the vp. obama is the puppet for the democratic party powers that be. why do you think none of them--Pelosi, Reid, etc--wanted Hillary to be the nominee (or even the VP)?

i think its funny that people are so threatened by a successful woman. i mean, she can't be smart, right? she's just a governor...anyone can do that. well, apparently not any of you fools with your witty teleprompter jokes. maybe attacking a woman who has accomplished more in her 44 years than any of you guys will accomplish in several lifetimes makes you feel just a little bit better about your manhood. of course, unfortunately you'll be jolted back to reality about your shortcomings the next time you go to the bathroom.

Posted by: joan | September 3, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The more we learn about Gov Palin, the more I'm reminded of John McCain.

Both of them stick to their principles, even in the face of enormous political pressure (not to mention torture, in McCain's case) to do otherwise. I don't agree with all of their positions, but I at least I know where both of them stand.

Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Do any of you people have jobs? Then why aren't you doing them?

Posted by: dan necci | September 3, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

You are seriously deluded if you think Obama or any other politician wants to get into an office or stay there once he/she is in, writes their own speeches.
They ALL employ armies of writers to make sense of the voices in their sick and twisted heads!

Posted by: Zaphod | September 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Another unbiased report by an unbiased reporter. Yea,right.

Posted by: herewegoagain | September 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It's ironic that this column is titled "Post Partisan" when the editor of the Opinion's Page, Mr Hiatt, is clearly anything but that. It's not what he wrote here that is so glaringly reflective of his neo-con slant, but it's what he left out:

From the Wall Street Journal referencing Obama's convention speech:

"The Illinois senator was still putting the finishing touches on his acceptance speech Wednesday, and had yet to take a planned walk-through of Invesco Stadium, where he’ll deliver his address Thursday. Obama wrote much of the speech himself and began working on a draft two weeks ago during his vacation in Hawaii."

LINK: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/08/27/obamas-convention-speech-inspired-by-kennedy-reagan-clinton/

An honest reporter, or even "Opinionator" like Hiatt would surely have mentioned this most salient fact: Obama wrote (most) of his own speech. Instead, Hiatt actually goes out of his way to imply the opposite:

HIATT: "Instead, campaigns -- not just the McCain campaign -- draft their speeches with an eye to which demographic groups need to receive which messages,"

Mr Hiatt, you are a shameless hack and GOP propandist. Shame on you and shame on the Washington Post for not showing you the door. Time for you to go.

Posted by: IndyInNH | September 3, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

She is writing her own speech, obviously it will be with a lot of help, but she's writing her own speech. Unless Fox News got this wrong? One of you have your facts wrong.

Posted by: Michele | September 3, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

people seem impressed that obama writes his own speeches. this is not surprising, since he is a speaker, not a leader. that's like being impressed that you hired a stuntman to headline the new MI:9 movie, and he did his own stunts! of course, his acting sucks, but he did his own stunts! would you rather elect some with a history of governing, or someone who writes great speeches? actions, as they say, speak louder than words. people seem to be rallying around obama solely for his words/promises, which is what troubles me.

Posted by: blinky | September 3, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

There will be a vice-presidential debate. That's when we'll find out how Palin does against Biden. No need to make predictions, let's just wait and see.

Posted by: Cerebral but dull | September 3, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

i guess all of you who are making juvenile, sexist comments about Gov. Palin think its ok since you're voting for obama, right? i mean, after all, supporting him clearly means you're not a racist, too, right?

----

It was McCain's campaign manager that called the speech too "masculine". Sounds like we'll be hearing nothing but veiled sexism tonite at the RNC.

Posted by: Hold up | September 3, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

We have all seen what happens when the telepromter goes down at a Barack Hussein Obama speech. He becomes disoriented.

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

I agree, McCain and Palin have similar traits. They both stuck to their principles until the political winds changed.

McCain was against the Bush tax cuts until he wasn't. Palin was for earmarks until she wasn't. Very similar.

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

More of nothing? Vote Obama! Joe Biden Qualified? Don't make me laugh.

At least Palin could be a breath of fresh air, and of course all you brilliant fascist liberals have decided *before* she has said squat what she is about.

Nothing more closed than the mind of a liberal...

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

These are the same posts on other WaPo articles cut and pasted. What is the difference between cut and paste comments and spam?

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

mark, whats to face? Gov. Palin has run a STATE and obama has only run campaigns. i mean, even when he wins he can't even vote as an elected official. he's nothing more than a professional politican and speechwriter. if you support him, discuss his results as a senator. discuss his bi-partisan efforts in the senate. post some of his real accomplishments that he's introduced about the economy, foreign relations, immigration, campaign finance...something. there's a reason that even his strongest supporters and fellow politicians can't answer that question even after all these months---because he doesn't have any.

of course, i do believe obama is all about the change he discusses. i mean, he changed his mind on off-shore drilling, changed his mind on how bad it was to vote for the war (he picked war voter biden), etc.

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

Chris S., it's called "humor".
Maybe you can look that word up in the dictionary since, clearly, you don't have a sense of it.

Posted by: shingles | September 3, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

actually, doesn't obama "borrow" his speeches from his governor friends? of course, the irony is he thinks governors do not really run anything.

Posted by: scott | September 3, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Dude, liberals and fascists are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Can you name one fascistic country that was liberal?
That was brilliantly dumb.

Posted by: Anne | September 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama has written some of his best speeches himself...

Posted by: Terry | September 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

blinky: The liberals would rather have a great speechwriter than someone who can govern. It's their idea of 'fast food' government.

"We don't want to actually have to think or work. Just gimme someone else's money!"

Jeez. Same old mantra from the left. Higher taxes, bigger government. Only difference this time is you got a pretty-boy, smooth-talkin' black man shilling your product.

Real Change my A$$.

Posted by: Obamination | September 3, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Once she accepts the VP nomination it’s going to be extremely clumsy when they actually jettison her. Jettison her? Bristol’s pregnancy? No, that’s not why. Trooper Gate? Nope, not even close…. It’s because she’s a separatist. A what??? Well you see Sarah Palin and her husband actively support the separation of Alaska from the United States. That’s a FACT and that FACT will result in her being jettisoned from the ticket. In America we kinda like our VP’s to be patriotic, you know pro American. Separatists are frowned upon for the VP position. Also, what does it say about John McCain’s leadership when he selects a separatist as his running mate?

Posted by: Marty | September 3, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The best phrase I heard so far today was: "Dan Quayle in a ponytail!"

The question is not whether a mother of five can be VP or president. According to the constitution, Palin could be VP or president because she was born here and older than 35. The question is whether she has the skills, wisdom and fortitude to be best VP or best president that this nation could offer. To put it very, very kindly, she is lacking on all fronts.

Posted by: Justin | September 3, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of ominous clues about Palin which are glossed over by the adoring, uncritical crowds in the GOP whom McCain has wooed with her selection. She is a blank slate, not because the media doesn't know about her, but because she herself has said she knows nothing about major issues like foreign policy. For instance, she has repeatedly said she doesn't know anything about Iraq other than 'there must be a plan' and 'there are some new deployments', etc.

How in God's name after 5 years of the most brutal debate over the defining foreign policy issue in America can she be 100% verifiably clueless about this topic?

Furthermore, any knowledge she gains between now and the election will not come because of in-depth analysis and critical thinking about the matter, but because of superficial tutoring by GOP hacks to figure out how to most effectively regurgitate the party talking points on the matter.

McCain has condescendingly chosen a self-admitted know-nothing for this foreign policy debate. McCain is effectively telling her to go play nicely with the social conservatives while
he and his buddies talk about the important stuff.

The McCain selection of Palin mirrors George W. Bush's selection of Harriet Miers for the dog-gone US Supreme Court...

except that GWB knew Miers for several years before he made his unwise pick; McCain shot from the hip with Palin in a highly dangerous way.

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

I have heard 2 speeches given by Palin...
&^*%(*&_)**&(%$%&$%)(*&)_(&_(*&(

EVERYONE: Listen for her to make a PITCH to HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTERS

I would be suprised if she diddnt take this opportunity in front of so many people NOT to go after Hillary Supporters

After all, Its the reason she was picked

DONT TAKE THE BAIT

www.sarahpalinisnthillaryclinton.com

Posted by: Oregon4Obama | September 3, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Hiatt:
If armchair psychology is your game, try this one for size:
Given your questioning of who's really who, what is your psychoanalytical assessment of everyone involved in this presidential race?
When you're done sifting through the many changing positions, all the empty words and the ever-present talking points presented by both parties, let me know.
Oh, and of course you can do without a biased perspective, right?

Posted by: Roberto | September 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I imagine they have to write her speech to make sure she's on the RNC's message. Biden could write his own because he and Barack are familiar with their shared goals for this country.

Didn't McCain have a two-month lead to pick his running mate? He chose to react carelessly rather than lead.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Fellas,

Gov. Palin is not a "girl"
\
She is not "that woman"

Here we go again with the mob of ugly haters, spineless losers terrified of powerful women, frothing at the mouth to rip her apart because you're tiny and lifeless between your legs.

Who do you think you are? What makes you so superior? You're probably fat, balding, ugly men with nothing going on in your life.

Gov. Palin has had a full, accomplished life, unlike Obama who smoked pot, played basketball, and was aimless until he hooked up with that lunatic Rev Wright and others.

Hate to burst your irrational bubble, but Obama does NOT write his speeches. Big duh. No candidate writes their speeches. God, you people are so excruciatingly dumb. There was even a media profile done on one of his speechwriters.

Posted by: Get a clue | September 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for her church to hit the main news. Comments she's made speaking at that church such as "Iraq is a task from god." Another one is "lets pray for that 30M pipeline. "I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that.''

Her pastor takes the cake:

On Bush Kerry:
"I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for that other guy I can't guarantee your salvation."

On Bush after Katrina:
"I hate criticisms towards the president, because it's like criticisms towards the pastor -- it's almost like, it's not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That's what it'll get you."

On 9/11:
Heaven, charged that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Iraq were part of a war "contending for your faith;" and that Jesus "operated from that position of war mode."

So, according to this wacko's church, if at any time you disagreed or found issue with Bush you are going to hell.

Posted by: fortheclueless | September 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it, the GOP doesn't want to be at the helm when the ship goes down, and our economy is in for some real rough seas ahead. Rove strategy is to let the Dems take command for 4 years, so the GOP can blame 20 years of bad Fed policy, and 8 years of overspending and complete lack of fiscal responsibility to the American people on Obama.

Posted by: Dave | September 3, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The more we learn about Palin and her handlers, the more I'm reminded of George W. Bush.

Posted by: kurt | September 3, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It's the same garbage - you can't argue against these candidates on what they stand for so you pick at silly little things, and your readers jump all over it. The truth, whether it be that Dan Quayle had a brain and a much more varied and accomplished record than Obama has, or that Sarah Palin actually has something to offer, is irrelevant to you all. And when the Republicans win the general election, you are amazed - shocked! - that they won because of course everyone thinks like you don't they?

Posted by: Creswell | September 3, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

There was a saying in England, "God Save the Queen." We need a revision of that, here and now, in America. No, not to save a queen, but to save our country.

Being an Independent (read: neither Democrat or Republican), and against the existence of a party system in our government (by the people, of the people, for the people... not a party), I am thoroughly amazed at the large quantity of one-sided posts.

There are a lot slanted posts here and elsewhere ridiculing Palin for no experience, so I'll vote for Obama (what has Barack done for Illinois?) One poster went so far as to state they did their research, and STILL stated Palin was inexperienced!

This is another classic case of voting for the lesser of two evils, just like we had four years ago. Deciding between Bush and Kerry was tough enough, now we have another tough call on our hands. Yes, both McCain and Obama are evil. The posts here clearly state this. Which one is not as evil? Another tough question.

I'm still waiting for a viable alternative candidate to appear, but that doesn't seem likely to happen. Please, don't mention Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, or any other career candidate. I did say 'viable.'

Obama can clearly deliver a magnificent speech. Does he write his own speeches? It doesn't matter. Does McCain write his own? Again, it doesn't matter. Speech writers have been employed, and will continue to be employed by our leaders. Get used to it. The media and a lot of voters put way too much weight on the quality of a speech, rather than actual "been there, done that" experience. A good or bad speech doesn't make a good or bad leader. Leadership makes a good or bad leader.

McCain has shown his leadership, and his willingness to go against his own party. Obama has shown he can deliver great speech after great speech after great speech (I used three on purpose, borrowing from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, as Barack does). McCain has shown his willingness to stand up and lead. Obama has delivered another great speech (don't worry, I'm not going to repeat it again). Again, what has Obama actually done for Illinois?

Biden has not shown any significant leadership in his long tenure in Congress. Palin has shown a lot in her relatively short tenure. Biden goes with the party, and Palin, like McCain, has gone against her own party for the good of her constituents. The experience nod, as well as the leadership nod must go to the McCain-Palin ticket.

Please, let a viable third choice appear before November.

God Bless America.

God Save America.

Posted by: BrianK299 | September 3, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party has become a party of double standard which wants to divide AND consqueror at any means necessary. People, I see the hand written on the wall. WAIT UP PEOPLE!!!

Posted by: bennita | September 3, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are touting that Palin is the most popular Governor in the U.S. after only 1 1/2 years? Wasn't Bush wildly popular the fist years of his Presidency?

LMAO, if this country votes Re-pugnant-can this year, we all will get we deserve, a has been country, tossed into the dustbin of history.

Posted by: OldManTalking | September 3, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

So the speech was already written for a generic VP, and now they (not "she") are rewording it for Sarah Palin, and all the concern trolls can harp on is that by mentioning the teleprompter, Hiatt is somehow implying that she can't read? Or that Biden sometimes quotes others in his speeches?

Wow, desperate much?

And quit lying about Biden. Do some research and see that that smear is bogus.

And slightly off-topic, I just keep wondering when Levi was told (and who told him) that he'd be getting married this fall...

Posted by: Dread Pirate Robert | September 3, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase the famous quip, if the GOP has lost Fred Hiatt it's lost America.

Posted by: Richardson | September 3, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Chris S.

You are wrong

The sexism here is palpable.

Posted by: wrong | September 3, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

let's see, all of the countless obama lovers, here and elsewhere, can only talk about his speeches. where is the action? as for skills, wisdom and fortitude to be VP, where exactly does giving a good speech qualify one to be president?

face it obama-philes, obama's only accomplishments are only personal, not political. tell me one major problem, as a senator, that he tackled? tell me when he forged a partnership with a republican to accomplish something that was controversial and that he pulled together a coalition to get something done?

the fact is, obama is all style but no substance. i mean, if this were a vote for prom king, he would have my vote hands down.

Posted by: obamatalkgood | September 3, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

As McSame's handlers said yesterday, they think people vote for personalities, not policy. Who she is or what she believes isn't nearly as important to them as creating an image that resonated with the focus groups. Voters who think they "know" these candidates are almost as gullible as Bush when he said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul. (I wonder if Bush still has a man-crush Mr.KGB?)

As long as politicians can count on people thinking they can see the candidate's soul, we'll keep electing drinking buddies instead of wise leaders.

Posted by: Peacedog | September 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I think letting Palin speak at all is a disaster in itself. I cringe every time see that "18 million cracks in the highest glass ceiling" clip when McCain announced her to be his VP buddy - her voice is just so whiny. I feel like I'm watching an episode of The Hills when I hear her.

I give her 2 more weeks before she gets booted (or, "resigns") from the ticket anyway.

Posted by: NS | September 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

i think bennita needs a speechwriter.

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

The more we learn about Gov Palin, the more I'm reminded of John McCain.

Both of them stick to their principles, even in the face of enormous political pressure ... Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 1:56 PM

Ask McCain about "until death do us part".

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

Unfortunately the Republicans will sell it as "see, she answered all your concerns quick picking on us"

Posted by: trying to stay positive | September 3, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama writes his own speeches!

Posted by: nick | September 3, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Obaama offers us a big step into the future, creating the "green collar worker". He has a natural talent for using simple logic to solve complex problems. The green collar worker will help solve a multitude of problems in our country.

What does his opponent offer beyond plundering our natural resources while our children die in foreign lands and we destroy our environment?

nothing, except criticism.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party has become a party of double standards which wants to divide and conqueror at any means nessary. People, I see the hand written on the wall. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

Posted by: bennita | September 3, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

YOU DUMMIES,WHO CARES WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY!!PUT HER IN A MINI SKIRT,WHY YOU THINK OLD JOHN PICKED HER!!!

Posted by: Raymond J Earley | September 3, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

please, no one has had an image crafted any more smoothly than obama. i mean, all he ever did in the primary was play that broken record of "change" and "hillary voted for the war". his image has been completely crafted and trotted out by the dems. why do you think biden himself said that wisecrack about obama being a "clean" and "articulate" black man?

Posted by: jesse | September 3, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

m whit---should we also ask obama about helping your own brother? if you can't even help your own family how can you help the country? insincerity at its best. i guess obama's actions may actually speak louder than his words.

Posted by: jesse | September 3, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama is famously known for writing his own speeches. This is apparently something Palin could NEVER be trusted to do by the McCain campaign.

SARAH PALIN IS UNQUALIFIED TO BE A HEARTBEAT AWAY FROM THE PRESIDENCY BECAUSE:

She is currently under investigation by the State of Alaska for abuse of power for firing a public official who REFUSED to ILEGALLY FIRE Palin's ex brother-in-law. Palin wanted him fired because he was in a custody dispute with her sister.

Palin tried to ban books at the Library when she was mayor of her 9000 population town and wanted to fire the librarian. Palin doesn't approve of the First Amendment's right of free speech in America.

Palin insists upon her hypocrisy of forcing abstinence only education on America even after it failed in her own family.

Palin is a former member, donor, and participant in the convention of an UNAMERICAN Alaska SECCESSIONIST political party

Palin is backed by big oil and denies that burning oil - or any human activity - is causing global warming and is against renewable energy

Palin backs the concept of ear marks in legislation to bring the pork home to Alaska. She sought them out - totally opposite of the McCain campaign's effort to end ear marks. She is against taxes on the oil industry that would offset the Federal pork spent in Alaska - the state with the highest amount of ear-mark pork legislation.

Palin has ZERO foreign policy experience and ZERO Federal experience.

Hides from the real press and will only speak to People Magazine...

Posted by: JBE | September 3, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

ok bennita, you're almost there. a few more tries and you may get it right.

Posted by: jesse | September 3, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Take it from a speechwriter:

I have never, ever met a politician on the federal or state level who writes his or her own speeches from scratch. (The same goes for corporate executives.) And, yes -- they ALL use teleprompters, some more effectively than others.

The politican often advises the speechwriter in advance about the points he or she wishes to make and suggests changes afterward. The speechwriter is also briefed by the party leaders about the general tone and direction that should be captured.

Then the speeches are reviewed by the legal team and the party leaders, with revisions made accordingly.

So, those brilliant zingers and empassioned statements that we've heard at the conventions? They are not the clever thoughts of the politians, but the creative work of the speechwriters.

Furthermore, it behooves a party to have a speech "in the can" (as was done for the unnamed GOP VP nominee) for the same reason that this very newspaper writes obituaries for the decidedly undead well in advance.

The odds favor men in this town, hence the masculine slant of the canned speech, I presume.

I agree with the reader who cautions everyone to wait for the debates before passing judgment. Yes, the candidates will be thoroughly prepped. But, it is there that you will get a peek at the tiniest glimmer of the true nature of these candidates... live and largely unscripted.

Posted by: speechwriter | September 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

This is pathetic. I was hoping that The Washington Post would not be drinking the Obama Kool-Aid as undiluted as The New York Times does. Give McCain and Palin a break for a change. Start exposing Obama's and Biden's past peccadilloes.

Media do your damn job and do it without bias. Stop acting like the media in the Third World.

Posted by: Aleklawyer | September 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I know Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle was my Vice President. Palin is no Dan Quayle.

Posted by: Gaston | September 3, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

does playing basketball at an overseas base for purposes of a photo op count as foreign policy experience? if so, i guess obama is the man after all.

Posted by: jesse | September 3, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"The more we learn about Gov Palin, the more I'm reminded of John McCain.

Both of them stick to their principles, even in the face of enormous political pressure ..." Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 1:56 PM

"Ask McCain about 'until death do us part'." Posted by: M Whit | September 3, 2008 2:17 PM

LOL, M Whit... and while your at it, John, ask Joe Lieberman how tenacious McSame is when his own party tells him he can;t have his first choice for VP...

I am thoroughly enjoying watching this train-wreck of a campaign by McSame and Bush's hacks. Karma can be a real *itch.

Posted by: Peacedog | September 3, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Everytime an Obama-bot excoriates Palin for not having experience, we laugh gleefully knowing we made the right decision to flee the Dem party and vote McCain. It is the party of deluded morons.

Barack Obama is the most unqualified, inexperienced pathetic excuse for a candidate. Take away a prepared speech and the guy is flummoxed.

The Dems just want to feel enlightened by nominating a black guy (as long as he doesn't look too black, which Obama doesn't.)

Even Biden commented at least Obama doesn't look too black.

The hypocrisy is disgusting. And you Obama people do NOT think logically. You will grip on to your fantasy despite the facts.

We do not want to be in a party of insecure sexists, of irrational dolts, or of losers who can't win an election for anything.

If you think for one minute Obama is going to get you healthcare, and swiftly/effectively end the war, and rebuild the economy, you need mental help.

Posted by: Obama supporters are cuckoo | September 3, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Gov. Palin has had a full, accomplished life, unlike Obama who smoked pot, played basketball, and was aimless until he hooked up with that lunatic Rev Wright and others."
Get a clue

Hey Get a Clue, you should get a clue.
Obama has had a full accomplished life as a graduate of Harvard, head the the Harvard Law Review and now ELECTED the first AA nominee by a major party for president. BTW: Sarah Palin also admitted to smoking pot so big deal. And Palin's Pastor is right in the same league as Rev. Wright, not to mention the words of her Alaska Independance Party founder who also "damns" America.

Turn on your brain before you open your mouth and get a clue.

Posted by: JR | September 3, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

the best things about Palin's daughter pregancy is that now the upstanding leader on the right will rethink their views on sex education in school and realize the parent are falling short of their duties to fully dicuss sex to teenagers. Hatnks Sara for bring this to the fort front for discussion. Finally, teen oregancy is no longer a problem in the black communities and the poor whites.

Posted by: Addie | September 3, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

WOW...some real truth from the hack Hiatt instead of his usual "truthiness"...the Republican ticket is really in trouble when they get on Fred's wrong side!

Goodnight and goodby McCain and Palin...it's all over but counting the ballots!

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

If I were a betting person, this long shot could bring good returns.
Just to really shake things up, let's take a look at what might happen because of all the media on her and her family.
In a few weeks Governor Palin will step up to the microphone and step back from the nomination. She will claim it is either because of her young child with Down's Syndrome, her young daughter's pending parenthood, or just the realization that her family is just too important for her to lose time with them for a minimum of four year while performing the job of V.P.
What will Senator McCain do? This fine upstanding woman has chosen to pass up a great honor as her family just has to come first. He will be put on the spot no longer having a running mate, but he will perform admirably in rapidly picking another choice to fill role of his running mate. And with so little time before the election, what else could he do? Who he chooses may not be a favoured choice of the party, but the vote must go on and the new choice must be accepted if the Republican party is going to keep doing what is right for this country.
As I said, if I was a betting person...

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

The personal Palin story is overshadowing a much more significant piece of news:
"We learned last week that John McCain really wanted to choose his very good friend, Joe Lieberman, for VP but caved into pressure from the religious right. McCain will save his Lieberman pick for the Supreme Court — sorry evangelicals but you’ll have no leverage on Maverick McCain by then. Your Vice President will have no power in the process and a Democratic majority will happily confirm pro-choice Lieberman to the Supreme Court!”
Please understand the debate about abortion is essentially over. Perhaps that became somewhat clearer during Lieberman's address to the convention last night. It takes some time for this profound reality to sink in.

Posted by: Thoren58 | September 3, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope Sarah Palin talks about some drilling, or maybe the virtues of creationism. Perhaps, after talking about how human activity doesn't affect global warming, Palin can talk about how, if elected, women in the US will have nothing left whine about as the glass ceiling will magically dissapear by the simple virtue of having a female VP regardless of a complete lack of policy changes.

Yes, I expect big change with this ticket, the kind of change we can believe in, a change for the worst.

As suggested by other posters, why don't you look up these people's actual stances on the issues, forget the media drivel, and forget playing "armchair psychologist" when watching speeches as the poster James Hare put it.

Posted by: Krux | September 3, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Get a clue wrote:

Fellas,

Gov. Palin is not a "girl"
\
She is not "that woman"

Here we go again with the mob of ugly haters, spineless losers terrified of powerful women, frothing at the mouth to rip her apart because you're tiny and lifeless between your legs.

Who do you think you are? What makes you so superior? You're probably fat, balding, ugly men with nothing going on in your life.

Gov. Palin has had a full, accomplished life, unlike Obama who smoked pot, played basketball, and was aimless until he hooked up with that lunatic Rev Wright and others.

Hate to burst your irrational bubble, but Obama does NOT write his speeches. Big duh. No candidate writes their speeches. God, you people are so excruciatingly dumb. There was even a media profile done on one of his speechwriters.

Posted by: Get a clue | September 3, 2008 2:09 PM
____________________________________

Ah, remember David Vitter, Tom Foley and Larry Criag and the family value republicans. Get a clue is obiviously clueless.

Posted by: the Monk | September 3, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

["Lets face it, the GOP doesn't want to be at the helm when the ship goes down...."--Dave]

They were at the helm when it WENT down.

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

I can read quite well and I've got one of those nice pearly white smiles, too. Perhaps I'll be VP someday.

Posted by: Typewriter | September 3, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

This morning about half the news links I hit about Palin lead to pages that are no longer there. There is heavy censorship going on by the republican party. They are calling all news media and asking them to take down articles relating to Palin or Bristol. You don't have to go to Beijing to feel the effects of censorship. It is happening right here in the United States thanks to the republican convention and the party's heavy weights.

Posted by: Greg Anderson | September 3, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

TO SURELY, who says:
"First off, speeches are never exclusively written by candidates themselves..."

Never? Perhaps you should do some homework before writing so "surely." You're yet another dolt who writes before knowing the already established facts, generally known by others who pay attention.

Posted by: Sam | September 3, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The Maverick can't even get his first choice for VP; when faced down by Karl Rove, he came back to daddy after all. If the far right ain't happy, ain't nobody happy at the RNC.

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

She'll be gone after the 1st post-convention polls roll in.

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

The media will run with any story they can sell advertising for, it goes both ways for Dem or Rebub or any other area of interest.

McCain thrust Sarah Palin into the spotlight, there is so much we don't know about her, she is intriguing to say the least because of the nature of her being picked.

Right now she is the "new" political candy for the media.

They will run stories about her until the cycle is finished and they can no longer sell advertising connected to her story.

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

Obama wrote his own speech. Biden wrote his own speech, longhand in fact, in the 72 hours before the Dem convention. Kerry wrote his own speech in '04. Gore wrote his own speech in '00.

Among Republicans, well, Lincoln wrote his own speeches, but those days are gone. Today's GOP presidents (and veeps) just read the words on the teleprompter. The writing is done by others (Safire, Noonan, Gerson, etc.). They're all just hired help, the ghostwriters and pols alike.

Posted by: JJF | September 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I am an independent. I follow politics closely and always vote, sometimes for the Democrat, sometimes for the Republican. I gave up listening to speeches at national conventions years ago because these are staged events, so closely managed that there is nothing spontaneous left. Much more is revealed at townhall meetings with voters asking questions. It is noteworthy that McCain offered just such a forum to Obama, but was turned down. It seems that Obama, like Bush, does well only in a scripted format, and bumbles and stumbles when asked impromptu questions. His glittering rhetoric which mesmerizes his acolytes and causes some to faint in the mosh pits at his rallies is not easily called forth in the extemporaneous setting.

Posted by: Paul Bloustein | September 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The latest Republican spin is that you can't criticize Palin without being labeled a "sexist" or "misogynist". This is their usual tactic.

Bottom line, shes incrediibly inexperienced and a far-right looney.

Posted by: Michael | September 3, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

TO JOHN who said
"Obama spent days negotiating -- very publicly -- over the content of Bill and Hillary's speeches, let alone Biden's."

You're wrong. They debated over position and procedure, NOT over the content. Obama told Bill - also publicly - to say whatever he wanted. You're spreading misinformation.

Posted by: Sam | September 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You forget this a Party meeting. The Party nominee runs the show. It is his party, his Party and his running mate.

I am sure no running mate would just say what they are told to say. (Did you ask Obama is his folks wrote Biden's speech?)

Posted by: Kris in AL | September 3, 2008 1:03 PM

--

Oh, come on. The woman is in the deep water now. She knows that even if she fails she's guaranteed a job on Fox, two ghosted books, and eight figures a year. Of course she's going to say what they tell her.

Posted by: DFC102 | September 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Even if McCain/Palin had none of the excellent qualifications for President they possess, it would be worth voting for them because THEY ARE NOT LAWYERS!!!

Posted by: Fred | September 3, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Look for a speech that reflects the coming McCain presidency. John McCain is the first name on the ticket and it is his campaign. Remember too, McCain, unlike Obama, had his pick of anyone he wanted to be his running mate. Palin reflects McCain's views on how to defend, administer and interpret an American democratic republic without revising the true meaning of the Constitution and without being a slave to a Euro-socialist agenda. I'm looking forward to Governor Palin's speech and her place in the next presidential administration. I'm curious to know who the rest of McCain’s cabinet will be; probably more mavericks ... much to the fear and anxiety of those liberals who survive November.

--McCAIN-PALIN '08--

Posted by: Back From Iraq | September 3, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Palin's convention speech with a grain of salt, and wait for her one on one interviews. They can't keep her sequestered forever. Has anyone noticed that she is never alone?

Just as McCain's feisty mom said the other day, as she was being yanked away from a reporter who asked her a question:

"They won't let me interview. They don't trust me!"

Her, I'd vote for.

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

The scenario below would be the first true "Unity Ticket" in the United States.

McCain is a thinly Republican veiled Independent at best.
More an Independent at heart and in practice. Bravo!!!

Copy from above:
"If McCain wins, I bet within six months, the vice president will resign for the old "to spend more time with her family" reason and then Lieberman will be nominated to take her place."

Down with party politics!

Posted by: my opinion | September 3, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

As an independent female who supported Hillary - I am part of the target audience that McCain is trying to reach with the nomination of Palin. Personally, I am insulted, yet sadly unsurprised by their choice. As a group, we supported Hillary because she was accomplished and highly qualified for the job. What Sarah Palin gives us is a paper tiger, whose qualifications for the job include runner-up beauty queen. Excuse me? The blatant admission that they had written the entire speech before a candidate was chosen further supports their contempt for the American public.

Posted by: jgr | September 3, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Good stenography there, Fred. My only question: If "everyone" present wondered what the GOP operative meant by "too masculine" content (flamingly obvious sexism), why didn't anybody ask him? You act like you have Stockholm Syndrome or Battered Wife Syndrome. Do you even realize that you have been so beaten down by the radical right media manipulation cycle of threats, abuse and courtship that you're no longer asking the simple, obvious questions that reporters used to ask?

So, has the way they've browbeaten reporters over their own mistakes with Palin's selection enlightened you at all? Or does this post just prove you're determined to be more cautious with your questioning in the future?

Posted by: Radio Head | September 3, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

TO OBAMANATION, who said...
"At least Palin could be a breath of fresh air, and of course all you brilliant fascist liberals have decided *before* she has said squat what she is about. Nothing more closed than the mind of a liberal..."

COULD be a breath of fresh air? First, you're not even sure and second, fresh air doesn't have the credentials to run for Vice President either - much less President, which she could very easily become.

What many have already decided is largely based on Palin's already established record AND her lack of a record. As for her speech tonight... you should have read the above article BEFORE writing your dumb comment. Palin's speech was written for her... before she was even chosen and is being tailored to fit her.

If that's a good sign to you... then by all means vote for her. Since you're so "open" minded you'd vote for fresh air.

Posted by: Sam | September 3, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least Sarah isn't getting her speech from Neil Kinnock like Joe Biden did.
Oops, Joe Bidens plagiarism incident comes back to mind.

Posted by: Melvin | September 3, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

McCain needs to keep the base 20% who only look for an Evangelical to vote for happy. He figures he can get the other 31% on his own, and so can then take the Whitehouse. At that point if Ms Palin leaves office it is up to the President to pick VP replacement - there is no line of succession for that position.

Posted by: Chime | September 3, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Wake Up America!

Bottom Line:

McCain selected Palin for what she can do for him on Nov. 2nd, 2008

Obama selected Biden for what he can do for him After January 20 2009.

Instead of selecting someone "green", Obama selected someone who would not be afraid to voice there opinions.

If you think for one minute McCain would ever solicit one opinion on any issue from Palin while in office, you are crazy and naive. She didn't contribute one thought to the speech she is preparing to deliver tonight. Why is this?

It is not uncommon for candidates to have speech writers to express their views however this was not even the case for Palin. When Hillary Clinton gave her speech you could clearly sense that this speech was either prepared by Hillary or prepared by someone who has worked a long time for her. We all know that Obama did not prepare that speech for her. The public will never know the real Sarah Palin because John McCain will keep a short leash on everything she says and does between now and Nov. 2nd. Which leads to another thought, if McCain is not confident with her speaking her own words on the campaign trail, how is it that he is confident that she is prepared to lead the country. She is going for VEEP, but McCain’s age and health concerns make his VEEP choice should face more scrutiny.

It's a shame how dumb the public has become. Bush was the result of this same type of ignorance.

All I saw last night was "country first" signs, when the truth is "ambition first".

Posted by: Rebecca | September 3, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I only hope that once Obama is elected and takes power that he passes a law increasing the daily bag limit on republicans.

Posted by: Jamie | September 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Palin is no Hillary.
As a staunch Hillary supporter under 40 I am here to say the Democratic Party has miserably failed women in my opinion.

When the rubber really met the road with sexism and experience versus the hot shot new guy who lies about every position, they stayed silent and acted like teenagers watching the next American Idol on FOX. As did NOW and the media.

RvWade they shout!
Surpreme Court they shout!

Wasn't it the Democrats who approved most of these conservative justices?

All bets are off this year.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey Fred, have you been able to get a sample of amniotic fluid yet?

Posted by: Jim Treacher | September 3, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The McCain camp is always trying to keep a handle on everyone inside- his mother, his wife (with good reason), McCain himself (also with good reason) and now his VP- as we've seen almost every off-the-script moment of theirs (Palin's Foreign policy credentials: 'Alaska is the closest part of our country to Russia, so its not like she doesnt understand whats at stake here...') I could go on and on with examples- has resulted in embarrassment. So who can blame them for writing the highly 'personal' straight talk script before even knowing who the VP pick is. The McCain camp doesnt deal in people, they deal in protoypes. And then try to fit people into them.

Posted by: azb | September 3, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Is Sarah Palin, Jessie Ventura in a dress? Pretty close.

Posted by: Amy | September 3, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse


Forgive me for learning from these posts:

But there is a poster above who probably has the track down right:

THAT IT'S VERY LIKELY that in a few months or whatever, Palin will either fail out, or we'll find somehting awful in her past, or that the Ak. legislate will indict her, as is vry possible.

And that McCain'll appoint that horrid Lieberman. Or Bloomberg, or whatever israel wants.

We know that the jewish neocons, the warmongers who captured Bush from day #1
are in disrepair...who will there be to do whatever the Israelis want? Like continue the war in Georgia? And bomb Iran?

God, it's frightening.

Posted by: furious | September 3, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Being governor of Alaska is about the equivalent of being mayor of Dallas.

Palin: B.A. degree in journalism, U of Idaho.;
Eight yrs. mayor, wasilla, AK, pop. 6500--debt-free when she took office, 23 million in debt when she left;
Governor of AK, 18 mos.;
Picked by McCain as running mate

Obama: Harvard law degee;
editor Harvard Law Review
professor of Constitutional Law;
State representative;
Senator--4 yrs
Won Democratic nomination for presidency

Posted by: muldoon | September 3, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Chime, you make it sound as if the 20% Evangelical crowd and the 30% who still support boosh have no overlap.

In reality, you've got the 20% who still believe the earth is flat and then maybe 10% on top of that who may not be die-hard Bible-thumpers but who still hate brown people. That's your GOP demographic.

Posted by: Jamie | September 3, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Now that the Rove-trained operative running McCain's campaign has attacked the media, there is one thing we can know for sure: The reviews of tonight's speech by Palin will be glowing.

She could get out there and read a cookbook backwards in Swahili, and the media would pronounce it a rip-roaring success. This is baked in the cake. There is almost no need to watch the speech.

It's the old trick in the book, and when the Republicans pull it, it works like a charm each and every time.

Posted by: Magic Dog | September 3, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to hearing her speak tonight. I enjoy both conventions very much. It's real Americana, and it's captivating.

As I've posted repeatedly to WAPO comments, I think Palin is a groundbreaking choice for VP. She didn't get handed any of her accomplishments. She works very hard, has a lovely family, is strong in her Christian faith and has a record of bipartisan cooperation. All that is very compelling. I'm not surprised that almost all Republicans like her. What's not to like?

I certainly won't vote for her or Senator McCain, but I expect that her speech will help fill in the gaps for a lot of people that don't know much about her.

From what I've seen, she could be just as strong a VP as Cheney.

P.S. -- I see so many of my dear friends on the right who like to call liberals names, or ridicule us, or infer that we're robots bound to the command of Barack Obama, or portray us as communists or idiots. It's so cute when you do that. I would never do the same to you, though, my dear friends.

Posted by: LiberalFromDenver | September 3, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

1st - no you haven't seen what happens when Mr Obama's teleprompter goes down, he is a seamless speaker, apparently in an age when George Bush the son is considered an orator. As such I am not surprised at all by the comments alluding that the ability to think on one's feet is some sort of failing.
2nd - yes, many politicians have speech writers simply because the first words that can come to mind are often not the best words. The speech writers usually just do some editing, NOT write the whole speech.
3rd - that some of you are scrambling so to find some way to make Sarah Palin and her lack of qualifications ok by attempting to repeat slanders used against Mr Obama only shows how truly desperate the RNC and it's supporters are at this moment in electoral history.
History will not be kind to you, but since the Republicans have chosen to adopt the tactics of George Orwell's '1984' as their playbook, they will simply go to NewSpeak, and re-write history in their favor.
The truth simply has nothing to do with the RNC anymore. Barry Goldberg is spinning in his grave.

Posted by: LaVerne Wheeler | September 3, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

One more lost opportunity for the republicans to take control of the process of introducing her to the voters. They're offering her in terms of broad political cliches, while the media is busy undercutting those cliches with facts and scandal.

A bad pick, and a horrible job handling the roll out.

Posted by: dan | September 3, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Just Pathetic.

Simply cancelled my subscription to the post. It's little wonder why you have such layoffs, and red ink on the books.


Posted by: Jack Moss | September 3, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

JJF:

Where are you getting your facts?

Check out the following link that blows your "Obama and Kerry write their own speeches" theory out of the water:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/84756/page/1

Newsweek reported that a member of Obama's communication team said, "If there were 48 hours in a day, we wouldn't need a speechwriter... but he needs to work with someone."

There's no shame in that -- in fact, there's wisdom in it. Please grow up and realize that speechwriters work for BOTH parties.

Posted by: speechwriter | September 3, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's Palin speech will cover the following:

1) disgruntled Hillary supporters and other women looking to see a woman in the White House (even as VP), vote for me

2) Religious right and ultra right wingers, I'm one of you so don't worry about McCain

3) McCain and I are the mavericks needed to bring change to Washington

4) McCain and I have the experience that Obama lacks

5) and maybe, Obama's pick shows that he's a true Washington insider not an agent of change like he says he is

6) Obama is inexperienced and not ready to protect the nation

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

Chime, you make it sound as if the 20% Evangelical crowd and the 30% who still support boosh have no overlap.

In reality, you've got the 20% who still believe the earth is flat and then maybe 10% on top of that who may not be die-hard Bible-thumpers but who still hate brown people. That's your GOP demographic. Acutually, you can add in 0.5% who are republicans for the right reason: they're rich. That's a very generous 30.5%.

Posted by: Jamie | September 3, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Anne79 wrote:
The Truth About Sarah Palin:

Dear friends,

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the
last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in
common: their gender and their good looks. :)

You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts
with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on
any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .

Thanks,
Anne

ABOUT SARAH PALIN

I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992.
Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a
first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her
father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a
first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more
City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the
residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular
girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and
won't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because
she is a "babe".

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She
kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents
for seven months.

She is "pro-life". She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby.
There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out
there" and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a
champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly
sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his
work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or
so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their
major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything
like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She's smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000
(at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about
670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running
this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been
pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had
gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had
given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative". During her 6
years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over
33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the
City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation
(1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a
regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she
promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they
benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration
weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed
money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage
the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said
she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a
new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a
multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece
of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was
still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers
involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the
community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it
would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that
could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office
redecorated more than once.

These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus
in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will
make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she
proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she
recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while
she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's
surplus, borrow for needs.

She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas
or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by
her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the
basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected
City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from
the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents
rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's
attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew
her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the
Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for
Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin
fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as
Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people,
creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally
grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power
to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the
case of pressuring the State's top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he "intimidated"
her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top
cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure
and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that
an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't
fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation
for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen
contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she
later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to
replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded
for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew
her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in
help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town
introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council
became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She
abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn't
like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything
publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got
the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one
of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no
background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great
job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the
high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the
structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this
Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party)
engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some
undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all
her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and
garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a
gutsy fighter against the "old boys' club" when she dramatically quit,
exposing this man's ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from
Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel
politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the "bridge to
nowhere" after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget
guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing
projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative
action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply
because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant
she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork".

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party
leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated
them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a
fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.
They call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and
predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly
stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made
point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's
mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and
experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package
of legislation known as "AGIA" that forced the oil companies to march
to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to
global warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state
initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from
pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the
state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State's
lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior's decision to list polar
bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a
heartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more
knowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there's a lot of people who have underestimated her and are
regretting it.

CLAIM VS FACT
*"Hockey mom": true for a few years
*"PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary
school, not since
*"NRA supporter": absolutely true
*social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill
that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships
(said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
*pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to
promote it.
*"Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby
BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life
legislation
*"Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has
residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.
No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on
supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city
administrator to run town of about 5,000.
*political maverick: not at all
*gutsy: absolutely!
*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at
explaining actions.
*has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
*"a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores
and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
*fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
*pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city
without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built
streets to early 20th century standards.
*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on
residents
*pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city
government in Wasilla's history.
*pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union
doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim
that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

WHY AM I WRITING THIS?

First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed
voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting
programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne, last name redacted

Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local
government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "Bad things happen
when good people stay silent". Few people know as much as I do because
few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out
of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no
fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will
cost me somehow in the future: that's life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100
or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's
attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to
say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

CAVEATS
I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in
spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor)
from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of
Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust
for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible
for a private person to get any info out of City Hall--they are
swamped. So I can't verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the
population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000", up to 9,000. The
day Palin's selection was announced a city official told me that the
current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was
5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to
2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90's.
9/3/2008 11:46:16 AM

Posted by: Anne79 | September 3, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@LaVerne Wheeler:

I think you meant Barry Goldwater. He wrote "The Conscience of a Conservative". It's a great book. Worth reading.

Posted by: LiberalFromDenver | September 3, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

jgr-

why are you insulted? because mccain picked a woman for political purposes? if obama had picked hillary, it would have been for political purposes. every move each of these candidates makes is for political purposes...thats why its called politics. the fact is, mccain picked someone who shares his ides--a reformer who hates wasted gov spending. obama picked someone who shared hillary's ideas--biden voted for the war.

its women like you who claim to be "independent" and "support" women but who really must be jealous for some strange reason. why would you be offended by a smart, intelligent woman who has accomplished so much in such a short time. men are not offended that obama has done this, why should you be? the fact is, she is a GOVERNOR. she is an the executive and leader of a state. she's makes daily decisions that affect people. i'm sorry that she doesn't fit your mold of what a successful woman should be--old, big city, cosmopolitan--but that does not change the fact that she is a smart, capable, strong-willed woman. your comments are what is insulting and naive. maybe she was picked because she was a woman, but that does not diminish her capabilities. do you think lieberman would have been insulted if he had been picked because he was an independent?

you, and other women, need to re-think what it means to be a feminist. not every woman needs to share all of your views. do you think every black that will vote for obama is pro-choice? of course not. but that does not stop them from being proud and supportive. its a shame that a woman cannot count on the same support from fellow women who should know better.

Posted by: alice | September 3, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a classic example of the ages old situation described as "being caught between a rock and a hard place". There is simply no way to explain away the reckless and irresponsible decision by McSame to have Mrs. Palin as his running mate. On the one hand, if McSame thoroughly investigated Mrs. Palin's background, then how can one explain the decision to place a 17-yr old pregnant teenager in the glare of a Presidential campaign. On the other hand, if McSame did not thoroughly investigate Palin before choosing her as his running mate, then how can that snap judgment be characterized as wise and prudent. No, the G.O.P. spin machine will never dig McSame out of this one. He's screwed either way he turns for no matter what he did, he proved himself to be a very poor and dangerous candidate for President of the United States. Obama/Biden 08!!!

Posted by: caliguy55 | September 3, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd's column today calls her a "Trophy Vice." If anyone harbors the fantasy that Sarah Palin is a self-made political success, they need to read a piece in the NYT titled "Palin’s Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual." Perhaps I'm guilty of seeing a Rovian/Gingrichian conspiracy behind every rising Republican star, but it sure looks to me like someone's been grooming her for this kind of a job for a long, long time. Here's some questions I hope an intrepid reporter (or debate moderator) asks:

What books did you want banned from the public library when you were the mayor? Why those particular books?

While you were mayor, who did you fire, or try to fire, and why? While you were governor, same question...

Why is there a flag of Israel on the wall of your office?

It has been suggested that you view the war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States should act out the will of the Lord. What exactly did you mean when you spoke of the war as a "task that is from God?"

Your pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God has suggested that critics of George Bush will go to hell, that supporters of John Kerry cannot come into heaven, that Sept. 11 and Iraq are part of a war contending for the Christian faith, and that Jesus is now in a "war mode." Do you agree or disagree with the comments of your pastor?

You moved your family to a nondenominational church in 2002 but continue to worship at an Assembly of God. Why?

Your old pastor claims to have "words of knowledge" from God that, among other things, reveal the marital infidelities of his golf partners. Has he had any "words of knowledge" about John McCain's adultery? Have you ever had "words of knowledge" yourself or spoken in tongues?

Mike Rose, one of your pastors, said this during a sermon about a year ago: "Do you believe we’re in the last days? After listening to Newt Gingrich and the prime minister of Israel and a number of others at our gathering, I became convinced, and I have been convinced for some time. We are living in the last days." Is that what you believe, and how do your religious beliefs impact foreign policy?

Just two weeks ago, you attended a service at which David Brickner, founder of Jews for Jesus, said that terrorist attacks against Israel were God's "judgment of unbelief" on Jews who had not converted to Christianity. Is that what you believe, and how do your religious beliefs impact foreign policy?

Is America a Christian nation? What does that mean to you and the role of a Vice President?

What foreign policy experience have you had with Russia? With Canada?

Posted by: JR | September 3, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

For someone who "hates waste spending", alice, she sure managed to rack up a lot of debt in her years as mayor, eh?

You rightards amaze me with your twisted logic, denial or reality, and craven hatred for progress.

If I had my druthers, you'd all be sterilized.

Posted by: Jamie | September 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse


the more i read and see the more she scares me!

It also emerged that in January the Alaskan Governor repeatedly laughed on air as a talk-radio host described one of her political opponents as a “cancer” and a “b__ch”. The opponent in question, Lyda Green, the Alaskan state senate president, is a cancer survivor. An audio recording of the interview with Bob Lester, the Alaskan “shock jock”, had received more than a quarter of a million hits on YouTube by yesterday morning.

Posted by: maybe they need to censure her for a reason | September 3, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

the more i read and see the more she scares me!

It also emerged that in January the Alaskan Governor repeatedly laughed on air as a talk-radio host described one of her political opponents as a “cancer” and a “b__ch”. The opponent in question, Lyda Green, the Alaskan state senate president, is a cancer survivor. An audio recording of the interview with Bob Lester, the Alaskan “shock jock”, had received more than a quarter of a million hits on YouTube by yesterday morning.

Posted by: probably for a reason - damage control | September 3, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Palin, Obama, McCain and Biden are all smart enough to read a teleprompter without struggling.

I wish I could say the same about our current president.

America deserves better.

Posted by: Matt L. | September 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

'There will be a vice-presidential debate. That's when we'll find out how Palin does against Biden. No need to make predictions, let's just wait and see.

Posted by: Cerebral but dull | September 3, 2008 2:00 PM'

Hopefully, it won't be a repeat of the Bush/Kerry debate in 2004. Look out for hidden bulges!

http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/10/29/bulge/

Posted by: DH | September 3, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

(Did you ask Obama is his folks wrote Biden's speech?)

Posted by: Kris in AL | September 3, 2008 1:03 PM
******************

What a dolt. Didn't you listen? Can you even imagine Biden letting anyone write something for him? Come on, get out more.

Posted by: abqcleve | September 3, 2008 1:17 PM

abqcleve may have a point; after all, a half-decent speech writer wouldn't have resorted to plagiarism like Joe Biden has done in his speeches.

Posted by: albruan | September 3, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Come on you men - are you telling me that Obama did not use a teleprompter? Gosh - no male ever used any notes of any kind - even Abe Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was done just off the top of his head.

Just another excuse to bash a woman candidate for a leadership position - showing again that the Washington Post is not only lame but wholeheartedly sexist.

Posted by: Working MOther | September 3, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has chosen a running mate from the same far-right base that brought us George Bush. This is pretty much proof positive that he plans to continue the Bush policies for four more years. All this foo-rah about picking a female does nothing to hide this fact. The far right controlled George Bush, the far right controls McCain. Elect McCain and get four more years of the same...far right Republican policies.

Posted by: Rick W | September 3, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I knew Dan Quayle.

Sarah Palin is no Dan Quayle.


Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 3, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Who's gonna hold her hand and feed her answers in the debate?

We can't expect her to do that on her own, can we?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Pallin and her disfunctional family have been a blessing for McCain as nobody mentions his 8 luxury homes or his participation in the Silverado Bank fraud he was part of along with Neil Bush who was fined {paid for by his fathers friends)..this fraud cost the taxpayers millions.

Posted by: Florence Roy | September 3, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Real Reason McCain chose Palin : Sexist and condescending

PROOF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apdFC-vh6Ng

Posted by: Sara | September 3, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

We democrats wouldnt even let a woman on our ticket, and wisely so. See the problems it causes. So it's perfectly understandable to not let her speak what she wants.

The democrats have again outsmarted the Republicans. who do you all think you are trying to let women influence our politics.

Vote Obama '08

Posted by: Bob | September 3, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/unsurprised.html

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Unsurprised

"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 described as "expected" 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."

Cite:
Head of State:
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/unsurprised.html


Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

to WorkingMother:

Obama may have used the teleprompter but he wrote his own speech. He wrote his own book.

McCain used a co-writer/ghostwriter for his book.

Posted by: Sparky | September 3, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I is Barack Obama. I is born of a mother who wasn't married when she got preggo, either. So, I guess I is ilegitimeate.

But, you should still vote for me.

Me '08!

Posted by: Barack Obama | September 3, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

So i should be prepared to hear lies about her record. Did she comanded the national gaurd and secretly opposed earmarks she was for.

Posted by: TexDem | September 3, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

To discuss Palin without using glowing terms and phrases is so sexist. I'm relieved that Fox News is not using any sexist language. To criticize Palin because her first son was born out of wedlock or that her first grandchild is being born out of wedlock is entirely irrelevant! This is a respectable woman who raises her children in a good christian home and makes dinner for them every night. She even helps them with the math homework and creationism lessons after long days drafting bills for the betterment of all Alaskans seeking secession.

Posted by: BH | September 3, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't have sex with that woman"

Bill Clinton (without a teleprompter)

"I did have an improper physical relationship with that woman"

Bill Clinton (WITH ateleprompter)

Posted by: berrymonster | September 3, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that all the unintelligent idiotic comments in here are signed with Obama '08, and the coherent rational comments are attributed to republicans?

I'm almost embarrased to be a democrat. Nonetheless, I'll still be voting for Barack because I think he is the best prepared to lead our country.

Posted by: Leonardo | September 3, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Some of us have forgotten that Barack wasn't married when he and Shantally had their daughter Sasqueuka....

Ooops.

Posted by: Eric | September 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Furthermore, it behooves a party to have a speech "in the can" (as was done for the unnamed GOP VP nominee) for the same reason that this very newspaper writes obituaries for the decidedly undead well in advance."

~~~
Generally, the undead don't read their pre-written obituary aloud to millions of listeners.

On second thought, perhaps this in an apt comparison.

Posted by: Julie - Dem in Arkansas | September 3, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"As suggested by other posters, why don't you look up these people's actual stances on the issues..."

~~~

I'd love to, but where might we find this information on Gov. Palin?

My own searches and link-clicks have found quite a few sites that might provide background on Gov. Palin have been taken down, and quite a few others that have one opinionated slant or another.

Could an independent party (a la factcheck.org) please create a website with the unbiased facts of her past positions?

Posted by: Julie - Dem in Arkansas | September 3, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Julie:

Millions of readers, millions of listeners -- what's the difference?

I was merely trying to illuminate the ignorant about the reality of writing for a campaign. LOTS of stuff is done way in advance and edited/re-written/personalized at a later date. Fred Hiatt, being in the publishing business, is well aware of this. That's what makes his post so puzzling to me.

I can find many valid arguments against the GOP and Palin, but accusing them of being -- GASP! -- PREPARED --- seems silly.

Posted by: speechwriter | September 3, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

A better headline would have been:

"Putting Bill's _________ in Levinsky's mouth"

Posted by: berrymonster | September 3, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Accepting the premise that it makes sense for McCain's team to begin drafting a speech for an unknown nominee, it is interesting to note that they didn't plan for the possibility that Palin would be the choice. This seems quite odd in light of the information elsewhere in today's Post that Palin was supposedly on the short list all along (she supposedly made a list of 20, and then 6, and then 2, before being selected). If that's true, then it would seem quite dumb for the campaign to assume the choice would be a man and not also prepare another draft speech for potential use by Palin. So either McCain's campaign is inept, or perhaps the story that Palin was a serious candidate all along isn't really true.

Posted by: AndyH | September 3, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The woman has a BS in Communications from Univ of Idaho so she'll have more than a passing sense of how to speak in public I think. Might still reveal her ditz side but we'll see...

Posted by: Bugeye | September 3, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What I think is the most interesting about all this writing is the consistent lack of spelling knowledge on the part of the writers. One might agree with so much of the content, but misspellings without proofing, as well as haphazard slurs, portray incompetence--and these factors make many of us political novices (who would love to learn more) simply discount your epistles.

Posted by: june bug | September 3, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope she doesn't slip up and give us the baseball scores or the PTA's bake sale results....

Posted by: Should be interesting... | September 3, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama can right a great speech. He also can write a couple of great books. Mmmm--wonder if Palin has that kind of talent. Seriously, I doubt it. As the saying goes...Let the Games Begin....

Posted by: rbsellers | September 3, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Q: Why are people so interested on Sarah Palin's positions?

A: Because she is now more likely than Bill Clinton to assume unthinkable positions inside the Oval Office.

Posted by: berrymonster | September 3, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Governor Sarah Palin owns three homes. One is a main residence and two are for recreation, according to the center for public integrity.
http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/08/29/palins_homes.html

Posted by: Jacko | September 3, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, there you go. First thing I did was use right instead of write. What's left??? LOL. Back to proof reading 101.

Posted by: rbsellers | September 3, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The more we learn about Sarah Palin, the more I'm reminded of Daffy Duck.

Posted by: actor212 | September 3, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Anne79. All your comments should give those in a position to investigate independently a jumping off point to dig further and corroborate, or debunk.

Posted by: Julie - Dem in Arkansas | September 3, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

She'll be fine--she was a TV newscaster. Speaking in front of others is should be a piece of cake for her. I'm waiting a live debate where she'll have to speak off the cuff. Although... she might be okay there, as long as she's been prepped. She had to do that as a beauty queen. Who says she has no experience? TV newscaster, beauty queen, she's all set. ;-p All she was chosen to do was win over the religious right and that wasn't too hard.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

have to agree with Bartolo, Palin is a Potempkin candidate.

It does seem true doesn't it, that McCain really wanted Lieberman. Those two seem to be real friends, not just opportunistic friends with a mutual self interest.

I doubt seriously if the Rove puppet masters would allow Lieberman at all ... a thing which would drive the evanglicals the rest of the way out of the party. They already hate McCain don't you know.

SO consider the idea: McCain picked one of their kind, a blatant evangelical true believer. She'll be blasted from all ends, eventually even from within her own party as they perceive the independents abandoning the idea of voting for republicans because of her.

Then McCain says to Rove and the evangelicals - see, I tried. It's not my fault she wasn't good enough. We're going to have to pick someone else or we won't have a chance in November.

And so the evangelicals, fearing the loss of power that would come with their stolen political party being run out of town, would bend over and let him pick who wants.

Could be that McCain is smarter than I thought.

OR, it could be that McCain is dumber than I though and Palin really was his best choice.

Posted by: orf | September 3, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone has a problem with a campaign writing a speech for someone. And I understand that a speech might be changed for a specific candidates strengths or weaknesses.

But I really do wonder, "What is too masculine?" Maybe less confrontational? That's a head scratcher.

Posted by: Jackson | September 3, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

three words: pa thet ick!

Posted by: kurt | September 3, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that all the unintelligent idiotic comments in here are signed with Obama '08, and the coherent rational comments are attributed to republicans?

I'm almost embarrased to be a democrat. Nonetheless, I'll still be voting for Barack because I think he is the best prepared to lead our country.

Posted by: Leonardo | September 3, 2008 4:07 PM

Some of us have forgotten that Barack wasn't married when he and Shantally had their daughter Sasqueuka....

Ooops.

Posted by: Eric | September 3, 2008 4:09 PM

************************
Are you kidding, leonardo?

Posted by: Eric's mom: sorry, my son was a mistake | September 3, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Why is the post about twenty up by "Barack Obama" starting "I is Obama"...still up?

It is racist and demeaning not only to Obama, but to this site and all of WaPo!

Please DELETE IT! Thanks, Carl

Posted by: wagonjak | September 3, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

There is NO way that Sarah Palin is in ANY way qualified to be a candidate for Vice President of the United States.

Who do you think you are fooling?

This is a lame stunt.

Posted by: RNC | September 3, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a bunch of pathetic little children.

This is a superpower, whose leaders are elected by these people?

What happened to America?

Posted by: theworld | September 3, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Jackson:

Fred Hiatt's blog post DOES indicate that he has a problem with a speech being written for an unnamed candidate, as do many of the posters here. I guess that's why I felt the need to respond.

As far as the masculine or feminine issue goes, speechwriters and fiction writers (who are often one and the same - LOL) write in a specific "voice" to convey their stories. Novelists capture the voice of their characters and speechwriters aim to capture the voice (inflections, speech patterns, pet phrases, etc.) of the speaker.

My guess is that the GOP party chiefs had a good idea of the points they wanted to drive home via the VP speech and wrote a generic one with a man in mind and with an eye toward personalizing it at a later date. There were not many women on the list of possibilities, nor in McCain's inner circle, after all.

Women and men do speak and gesticulate differently, and there is a craft to writing specifically for each.

As I mentioned before, we have so many issues to ponder in this election, and this shouldn't be one of them.

Posted by: speechwriter | September 3, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

If Sarah Palin doesn't deliver the speech of her life--in fact, of the political season--I'd say it's all over for the McCain/Palin ticket. The country needs real leadership, not political gimmicks.

Posted by: Mark F | September 3, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I suggest you all read what Anne79 wrote.

BY FAR THE MOST ILLUMINATING POST.

Posted by: Informer | September 3, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious there was pretty tight message control at the Democratic convention also; everybody kept saying "We can't afford more of the same."

Posted by: herzliebster | September 3, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

So much for John McCain "the maverick". If he was truly who he'd like everyone to believe, he would have chosen his buddy Joey Lieberman. But, the old maverick didn't have the guts - so he picked... what's her name?? And now everyone is surprised that he won't let her (she's not able to) write the speech of her life in 5 days. The GOP is very proficient at scripting - just not the truth!

Posted by: Sue | September 3, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Last night Fred Thompson said that John McCain racked up in excess of 300 demerits at the Naval Academy, even more than his father had. The crowd laughed.

Then Thompson told us that John McCain dated a stripper called "The Flame of Florida." The Conventioneers thought that was cute, too.

Barack Obama is too smart, too educated and too high class for 50% of American voters. He doesn't fit with them.

I despair.

Posted by: Jewel Mathias | September 3, 2008 1:52 PM


-------------------

Yeah Obama just admitted to doing hard drugs.. but McCain's indiscretions were SOOOO much worse

Posted by: Matteucs | September 3, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Acting as if it's some kind of revalation that Palin has speechwriters is ridiculous. All presidents and candidates have them. This is yet another example of the biased liberal media trying to undermine Palin's speech by making something of nothing.

Posted by: cuginip | September 3, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

What you are going to see tonight is not a speech but a shot gun weeding on stage(aka engagement to the girl by the boy offering her a ring).
If that comes true, is that the message we want to send to our young ones?. "It does not matter just get married soon"

Posted by: G | September 3, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I suggest you all read what Anne79 wrote.

BY FAR THE MOST ILLUMINATING POST.

Posted by: Informer | September 3, 2008 5:06 PM
-------------------------

Great, except its posted by someone named "Anne79" and does not give us a last name.

I am going to say right now that I lived in Wasilla my whole life, and Gov. Palin once lifted up a car, she has super human strength, an IQ of 230, once stopped four burglaries simultaneously.

Yes, thats the power of the internet folks, random people not producing their names, saying they know someone, or that they have THE FACTS... its B.S.

Not so illuminating

Posted by: Matteucs | September 3, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for the reports about Biden's plagarism and the fact that his brother and son are indicted. There is a lot of nonsense in the mainstream media about Palin, but Biden and Barack are beyond reproach. The media is so in the tank for Barack, it's disgusting.

Posted by: cuginip | September 3, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

EVERYONE who speaks during a campaign is coached and has speeches written for them. There is no way ANYONE can have the very busy schedule of campaigning and has time to write their own speech. The coaching involves not just what and how you say it, but how it will be received. Also how it plays in the polling data. Duh!

Obama is running for President against McCain, not Palin even though she has more hands on experience the past 13 years than the Democratic nominee. Joe Biden, John Kerry and Joe Liberman are three very experienced Democrats that know full well and have said that McCain will make an outstanding leader and President. Even Geralding Ferraro said that Obama is only the nominee and the media's darling because of his African ancestry.

It appears that progressive (radical left) and liberal Democrats are only for a woman in high office, if she does and believes what they tell her. Throw all the dirt you want, after tonight more and more persons will listen to the facts about the candidates and less about the attack dogs saying anything to win for the Democratic ticket.

Posted by: rljmsilver | September 3, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama writes his own speeches, but that is not how it's normally done. Usually, the candidates (Dems or Reps) have a speech writer who helps them with their speech.

It is a bit sad that Palin's speech is entirely written for her. I wonder if she had any input at all. I don't blame her for this. I blame the GOP for wanting her to be another rubber stamper before she's even accepted her nomination as VP.

Sad.

Posted by: Unaffiliated | September 3, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Obama got called for giving a Patrick Duval speech? Axelrod, campaign manager for them both, had written the speech. Biden gave a speech that had been given by Neil Kinnock in which he (Biden) even used Kinnock's life story, not his own.

Posted by: janinarlington | September 3, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Anne79's post is well worth the read. This sort of post is the whole point of blogs.

To answer Matteucs' disingenuous dismissal, there is enough information in that post to figure out Anne's surname and if she is a real person or not. And there's certainly enough detail in the claims that they can be verified independently. So get to it, MSM! There's gold in them thar hills.

Posted by: james | September 3, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is how Palin is meant to be appealing to female Clinton supporters - they are diametrically opposed on so many issues, the only thing they seem to have in common is both being female, so did McCain assume that would be enough for women? It is a bit insulting to me in that it implies he thinks women are simple minded in their political choices.

A big difference is that while both Hillary and Sarah are mothers, Hillary's daughter is now an adult - she can focus 100% on her career, but Sarah is making her run with a 4 month old special needs child and she returned to her job as Governor 3 days after giving birth, even traveling long distances to and from a speech when in labor. That speaks to me of a priority where the family fits around the career as opposed to the career fits around the family. I respect the latter priority, not the former.

This is not just a small difference between these two women - it is seismic and there is no equating the two. Now you hear them talking 'oh these liberal females - it is ok for women to be out of the home only if they are liberals'. You're having us on, really!

Whether you are a liberal female or a conservative female, if you are a mother, reflecting on your own life, ummmm, it's an eye brow raiser, it is an extreme, it is kinda difficult to reconcile with your own experiences. I'm a well educated woman, but I didn't leave the house for the first 6 weeks with my baby, as is recommended for both the babie's and the mother's health. It is an important time for bonding.

I didn't do any kind of work that could not be done at home until she was 11 months old (and then only part-time), primarily because I knew that the first 6 to 8 months was very important for a child in terms of forming a sense of attachment to their mother and YES, I emphasize mother. Now assuming that the father is spending the most time with the baby while the mother is working, the baby is likely to form a secure attachment to the father (depending on how he is with the baby) but is likely to have an insecure attachment with the mother (primarily because the mother is not reliably there when the child attempts to draw her attention for comforting).

In a study by Main & Weston (1981) they looked the social responsiveness and emotional conflict levels of babies in four conditions: 1/ securely attached to both parents, 2/ secure with mother/insecure with father, 3/ insecure with mother/secure with father, 4/ insecure with both.

Now so far as I would understand things I would figure Trig is on track to fall into the third group, potentially also the forth. So what does that mean for Trig? The 3rd and 4th groups have the lowest levels of social responsiveness and highest levels of emotional conflict – the 4th of course being worse.

So all of this considered, to me, the idea of someone taking up a demanding role like 2IC to the leader of the free world seems an astounding choice when you have a 4 month old. Now it is all well and fine to have a career, but if you chose to have a family, there are certain things that you just do for an infant. You know, it is noble and honorable to, when you unexpectedly fall pregnant and find out the child will have special needs, to decide to have the child – but that only comes to full fruition if you follow through adequately on your commitments to that child after they are born.

Now you might make a distinction between how working mothers and stay at home mothers might view Palin’s decisions with regards to returning to work, but I would wager that the vast majority of working mothers never returned to work so quickly and would never have countenanced doing so and would be in large part in consensus with stay at home mums on the decisions that Palin made. I wonder how many women, when they come to pull the lever in November, will be pulling it for Trig and his wellbeing?

Posted by: JayKay2 | September 3, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't think she should be a heartbeat from the Oval Office, no matter how well she delivers her speech.

Not because of her daughter or because she is a woman, but because she is a fanatic. No one has any idea about what goes on in her rigid mind, or how she will react in a real crisis.

Then, I don't want McCain in the Oval Office, either. What goes on in his mind changes all the time. He is too old and slow an unpredictable.

Posted by: x | September 3, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's see;

Democrats pick a half black man with weak creds to run for the highest office in this country and somehow that's genius.

Republicans choose a white middle class woman for VP with more experience then the democratic presidential choice and she's considered "window dressing for a pandering politician" ???!!!!

Are you people listening to what your saying?

Posted by: rich | September 3, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Unaffiliated:

Hype hurts. Facts are friends.

Newsweek wrote a great and positive article about the relationship between Obama and his SPEECHWRITER. (It's not a dirty word! Why cannonize/castigate anyone for not using/using a speechwriter?)

The speechwriter, Jon Favreau, is quoted as saying, "He talks and I type everything he says. I reshape it, I write. He writes, he reshapes it. That's how we get a finished product."

Here's the link:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/84756/page/1

Posted by: speechwriter | September 3, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

About the only talent Obama has is reading a telepronpter.

So, what do they do--accuse Sarah of getting ready to read a teleprompter.

Then they say Barak, who has no executive experience--is ready to lead--but Sarah who does have experience running a state that borders two foreign countries does not.

Do they really expect us to believe this stuff?

Posted by: Fergie | September 3, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wins, I'll think Palin will be gone within the first year. To spend more time with her family or something. No way Cindy McCain is going to socialize with that woman for the next 4 years. Plus, what are the odds the Palin family will like living in DC? By all reports, they haven't been out of Alaska much. Though for those of us who live here, it would certainly be entertaining watching them navigate Washington society.

Posted by: VA resident | September 3, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

She's perfect for the republican ticket. As a former sportscaster, I'm sure she's great with a telleprompter.

Grandpa can tell war stories, she will smile and look hot while reading her lines, and Karl Rove's people will take care of all that boring policy stuff!

Seriously, she is a non-stop walking distraction. Between the pregnant teen daughter, the messy divorce, the retarded kid (but the noble sticking to her principles) the dead carribous and the snowmobile races, she'll keep people gossiping about nonsense until Nov 3rd, at least.

If we fall for this crap, we deserve the ruin that 4 more years of Karl Rove policy decisions will bring!

Posted by: Rwolf01 | September 3, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we'll learn about her affair:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/03/mccain_aide_rips_tabloid_repor.html

Naah, we'll just have to wait until the day she withdraws from the ticket.

Posted by: lpdrjk | September 3, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, she's the pretty one, just as the "singing" Chinese young girl at the Olympics. Where's the girl who sang the song?

Posted by: sharkness | September 3, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"Why is it that all the unintelligent idiotic comments in here are signed with Obama '08"

trolls. they're not pro-Obama, they're Repubs in sheep's clothing.

Posted by: bajacalla | September 3, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I know about Obama and the teleprompter- When he's not in front of one he thinks that there are 57 states and he doesn't know an inhalator from a Breathalyzer.

Posted by: ej | September 3, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Dan Quayle

sarah palin

Posted by: farbermiller | September 3, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The republic party is like the McDonalds of politics....As long as the burger flipper can follow the script they they think its a successful endeavor.

Posted by: Becky | September 3, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I just thought Sarah was going to read scriptures from the Bible and defer to some intelligent design for answers and then pray for votes.

Posted by: haha | September 3, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is like a pro-corp CIA shadow government...Like the Shah of Iran...I think there needs to be term limits on cabinet members as well as the presidency because they circumvent the Constitution with these puppets who are run by past administrations.

Posted by: Tori | September 3, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Ring....

Hello?

Hello, yes...is Tim Pawlenty available?

Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Tori- hello??? Anybody home?? Term limits on the presidency? Ever hear of the 22nd Amendment?

Posted by: ej | September 3, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

What Sarah Palin highlights, to an intensely disturbing degree, is the great divide between ideology and philosophies (multiple) of the Republican Party from that of the Democratic Party-seen through this woman-Palin-the chasm appears as wide as the Grand Canyon-it truly does smack of a culture war.

Posted by: Spring Rain | September 3, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

McCain picked her so she will not say much he doesn't want her to say. Actually the worst thing that could happen is that the same people who have been in charge for the last eight years tell her what to say.

Posted by: Jim | September 3, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

P.S. And as for Hillary supporters, strangely, they WOULD have crossed by the millions to vote for McCain IF he had chosen Mitt Romney as VP! McCain/Romney REALLY COULD HAVE mopped the floor with Obama, but as usual, McCain shoots himself in the foot, every time. Very few of the Dem. supporters who cannot stomach Obama and fear his utter lack of experience would feel compelled to cross for THAT woman VP candidate, with her close to the proverbial white trailer trash family. McCain is McCain's worst enemy.

Posted by: Spring Rain | September 3, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Joan-Wow, I hope you're still reading, because you could really benefit from taking a step back. I am a professional woman who also has a family that means the world to me. I don't feel threatened by Gov. Palin's job or family-good for her on all those counts. I feel threatened by

1. her politics-as-usual cynicism (Bridge to Nowhere flip-flop),
2. inattention to foreign policy and keeping America safe (hasn't had much time to think about Iraq?), and
3. unbridled political ambition (using wedge issues to drive out former colleagues in local elections for managerial positions).

Also, I'm sorry - bathroom and anatomy jokes really do not encourage folks to consider your views seriously. You might want to re-evaluate your approach.

---------
think its funny that people are so threatened by a successful woman. i mean, she can't be smart, right? she's just a governor...anyone can do that. well, apparently not any of you fools with your witty teleprompter jokes. maybe attacking a woman who has accomplished more in her 44 years than any of you guys will accomplish in several lifetimes makes you feel just a little bit better about your manhood. of course, unfortunately you'll be jolted back to reality about your shortcomings the next time you go to the bathroom.

Posted by: woman for obama | September 3, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

there are only two types of people, thinkers and non-thinkers. The non-thinkers are mostly republicans at present.

Posted by: Jim | September 3, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

So what kind of trash are you?

Posted by: Jim | September 3, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I take it back about most non-thinkers being republicans. There are enough to go around.

Posted by: Jim | September 3, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat and am embarrassed at the nastiness of so-called Dems and Obama supporters. What the heck happened to th "change" message and vision? Get out of the gutter will you? This woman isn't qualified enough for all this nit picking and nastiness.

You are getting bent out of shape bc Palin didn't write her own original speech?!!! GROW UP!!! Policy makers don't write their own speeches. Plus, Palin is NOT the democratic nominee for anything. So who care is she wrote it or not? Its all about the election.

She is the Republican token for VP. Just like Obama is the token candidate for president who makes us feel good about how liberal we are, how non-racist we are and how much better we are than them.

On the issue of the speeches, I've worked in Congress for years and have written a ton. Many were delivered verbatim or darn near it. Does that bring you to tears? I thought not. So please ppl stop being the jack arses that we've hated the past 8 years. I'm beginning NOT to look forward to having a Dem in the WH.

Posted by: Gee Whiz | September 3, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Barack wrote his won speech.
let me say that again; Barack wrote his own speech.

Posted by: peter warren | September 3, 2008 1:13 PM
=========================================

Yep, sure did. He's a great community organizer too.

President though? Hardly.

Posted by: Patriots Against Obama | September 3, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Excellent article, especially this:

Never mind the prehistoric days when a politician might be expected to write his or her own words; speechwriters have been around since long before television. But traditionally their job was to channel their bosses' thoughts and ideas into poetry, or at least comprehensible English. Nowadays, apparently it's naive to expect a speech even to reveal something of the essential views or character of the speaker. Instead, campaigns -- not just the McCain campaign -- draft their speeches with an eye to which demographic groups need to receive which messages, and then we in the media rate the speeches based on how well we think they hit those targets.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"The more we learn about Gov Palin, the more I'm reminded of Dan Quayle. "

Dan Qualye was a two-term congressmen and a two-term Senator.

Palin was a PTA member, mayor of a town of 8,000 and for 18 months the Gov of Alaska Pop 600K.

She's cute and she hunts but the no-sex ed seems counterproductive and how can she be so proud of her daughter's choice, and want to take that choice from every women in America. Go bless John McCain.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is delighting in slamming another female candidate for national leadership. Obama and the DNC did not use any teleprompters? Prove it!

Clearly the Post reporters are in the crowd shouting to Hillary and Sarah to "get back into the kitchen!"

When will a Washington Post reporter write about how offensive the Post smear campaign and tabloid style reporting is to all women and all mothers.

ENOUGH! VOTE FOR CHANGE! VOTE SARAH PALIN 08!!

Posted by: Working Mother | September 3, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

So Palin is just a talking dummy on McCain's lap? So we will be evaluating her hairdo and pants suit. Or did McCain pick those out for her?

Posted by: Rich | September 3, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Peter Warren:

Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin ALL have speechwriting staff, to whom they provide varying degrees of input.

Please see the Newsweek article, "Obama's Speechwriter Speaks Up" :

http://www.newsweek.com/id/84756/page/1

Please be rational and not starry-eyed about your candidates, posters.

They're politicians, not superheroes.

Posted by: speechwriter | September 3, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention that Obama wrote his own speech for the Democratic Convention. And no, Obama did not use a teleprompter during his speech last week.

Posted by: Kelly in Louisville | September 3, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone mention the money Palin took from Veco?

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/03/america/NA-POL-US-Elections-Palin.php

Or that McCain sold his sole for Bush's 2008 endorsement. He'll say and do anything to get elected.

For those who actually pay attention to history, McCain hates George Bush.

During the 2000 campaign, Bush, Rove and Stampley searched for dirt on McCain. That's how the Manchurian Candidate moniker hit McCain. McCain now employs Rove.

Read Admiral Stockley's account.

November 26, 1999

John McCain in the Crucible

By JAMES B. STOCKDALE

CORONADO, Calif. -- I am not surprised by reports that Senator John McCain's political enemies have been spreading rumors that his famous temper is a sign of a broader "instability" caused by his imprisonment in Vietnam.

In fact, a few weeks ago I received a call from an old friend who is also close to the George W. Bush campaign soliciting comments on Mr. McCain's "weaknesses."

One US Senator, when he learned of the origin of the attacks on McCain, observed: "While McCain was getting tortured, Bush was flying jets defending Texas against Oklahoma.

http://www.miafacts.org/mccain_2.htm

I would have had more respect for McShame had he denounced Bush's endorsement.

Now Bush, Cheney. Rove et al are briefing the broad?


Posted by: Sue | September 3, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The GOP faithful were against McCain before they were for him. Now they back yet another mental midget - Palin - that needs to be sequestered for days in order to be scripted. No standards, no pride. That is the state of the GOP.

You like the 'ordinary Joe Six Pack', huh? How about as your Doctor or dentist? Or your kid's nanny or schoolbus driver?

They'd vote for Bin Laden sooner than they'd support a Dem. They are a joke.

Posted by: Mo | September 3, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

we've got lots of internet bloggers and crazies on here who have lots of "theories" and "ideas", but let's go over a few FACTS about obama:

-born out of wedlock
-used cocaine
-got a good deal on a house from a convicted felon
-served on a board and raised money with an unremorseful terrorist
-Harvard Law Review editor (i can't believe you people are still actually listing that as "experience"---how sad)
-state legislator who consistently voted 'present'
-has no idea (or even an opinion) as to when life begins
-4 year senator---accomplishments: zero
-career campaigner
-did not vote for the war---but picked a vp who did

the funny thing is, obama is a typical liberal elitist intellectual. he can't identify with working class people. he and his fellow lefty intellectuals just think they know best for them.

its funny that obama supporters and dems can only spend all of their time talking about inspiring speeches or attacking Gov. Palin. of course, i guess if you can't discuss actual accomplishments that your candidate has made while he has served as a US senator then you've got to talk about something. its sad really that you have nothing to say except "wow, he can deliver a speech" or "wow, he was editor of the Harvard Law Review". very sad.

Posted by: scott | September 3, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Why would the Dems be on a mission to destoy Palin? She is worth Virginia and New Hampshire to us.

Please keep her, she's awesome! Please please please do not drop her!

If Romney had run as the man hewas as Gov of Mass he'd have beaten McCain - a D+ candidate. But he missed the 'change" memo. Silly man.

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Scott - she rang up $22 millon in debt for a smallfrontier town.

Is that GOP values now?

Your party does not stand for anything anyore. That is its central problem. You have nothing to sell.

Now go talk up the man you said you would never vote for. You have zero pride.

Posted by: Mooche | September 3, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to Bunny-Hop’s speech tonite! Wonder if this lady will be a faster learner than Oliver North, semi-retired neocon militarist, in preparing for her all-networks debut. She's only apparently had a few days to master the noble art of television deception, though she's had prior experience in front of the cameras. And by accounts of those who know her, no trouble lying with a twinkle in her pretty eyes. I wonder if she'll be wired for prompting by her handlers, like other Red performers of late...

It took that "heroic" ape North something like 6 months with Republican handlers before they thought he was ready for prime time to "testify" like a Baptist preacher before Congressional committees investigating an earlier neocon geopolitical jerkery that came to be known as Irangate, or Iran-Contra, take your pick. "I don't recall," and "I was defending the nation as best I could," he said, yadayadayada. These folks are real pros at slowly hacking away at what remains of the Constitution. Ollie hid behind that word "honor," too -- and it got him a job at FOX! Oh well, at least he didn't escape military service by going AWOL or "having other priorities" or, my favorite in the case of Rush Limbaugh, having a painful pilonidal cyst. (He seems to have miraculously recovered long since, unless there's a donut pillow that we can't see, on that chair that has to bear the groaning weight of his body and his ego.)

And, said North, of the day he finalized the delivery of antiaircraft missiles to the Ayatollah's Iran in exchange for a variety of considerations (like the release of hostages),

"Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I gave the Iranian fundamentalists weapons that could shoot down US and Israeli aircraft, and a bunch of other stuff that I have been talking about more freely now that I have a pardon and the statute of limitations on treason has run.

"The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them. I mean the Commie Pinko Leftists bastards who dared to be democratically elected as the government of Nicaragua, via the weapons I purchased with money I got from Noriega and Columbian drug dealers and also maybe out of the Pentagon's Black Budget, I ain't saying."

Of course one might ask if the association between the Viral Ayers and Obama is any more substantial than the association between Cottontop and some guy named Charles Keating, who, with a few other kleptocrats inside and outside the government, brought about a fiscal meltdown and the destruction of the lives and savings of millions of Americans of about the same scale as the recent "sub-prime bomb." All Cottontop did, according to his pals in the Red-controlled Congress, was show "a little bad judgment" in showing up at meetings between the Keating Five and federal regulators. Natch, having a senior senator sitting down next to a greed-is-good self-promoter like Keating, at a meeting about the enforcement of regulations that would have maybe spared the taxpayers several hundred billions in bailout of all those savings and loan, junk-bond induced crashes and bankruptcies and foreclosures, has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON THE MINDSET OR BEHAVIOR OF THE REGULATORS, DOES IT? Did YOU make a bundle off the junk bond/S&L collapse/bailout? How 'bout the sub-prime bubble? If so, Cotton-Top and Bunny-Hop have a good likelihood of providing another such opportunity!

Posted by: Oh Wow! | September 3, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

But she lobbies for tons of earmarks to pay for her irresponsible spending spree.

Is that GOP values now?

The party of Larry Craig. Hahahaha.

And what a maverick, she took on the only party that there was in Alaska - the GOP. If you wanted a job, you had to run as a Republican against Republicans. Else you get stuck as a busybody in the PTA. So spare me the fake-ass "Maverick" story. She just wanted a paycheck.

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Wld anyone xpecther to write a speech? Sure she has a BA in journalsm from Iowa, and rad he sprts on the loal Alasa station, but her own material? Bsed o what exernce? Shean arace in a state ith the same population as Scranton agains th most revile governor in state istory, and her cmapaign was essentialy "I;m not him." o, hat exactly wold she base her speech on?

Of course what we will hear is "Obama is aweful, mccain i great, the "liberals" are all attacking me, (boo hoo) I had no idea Democrats coul be so aweful that they would bing my family into this (dos anyone remember what republicos did to Geraldine Ferarro when her son had a drug problem????? doesanone remember Monkey usiness??? Does anyone remeber Billy? Or Roger????)

Posted by: Brandon | September 3, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

And the Oliver North Republicans trashed Daniel Inouye, a Medal of Honor Winner...all because he dared to do his job at those hearings and question a career failure who never suceeded at anything in his life.

North should have been shot for treason, we are at perpetual confliect with Iran and he gave them AA missile systems (did he not think our #1 option would be to use air power!?!?).

Because they love the military.

Are those GOP values?

Face it, it is a regional religious party full of people who never read the Bible.

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Someoe wrote bout palin resigning if the American people are so incredibl stupid that they fall for exactly the sam lesold by exactly the same liars whosod bush to some of the country twice. Howeve, congshas to approe the new vp, and if you thin that the Democratic congresswoul everapprove of LIEbeslug as vp y are drinking the kool aid very deeply.

Posted by: Brandon | September 3, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Biden said one of the few conditions he needed from Obama was that he, Biden, is his own man, free to make independent decisions; that otherwise he would turn Obama down.

In the 60 Minutes interview with Steve Croft?, Obama indicated that Biden was right about that point.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

mooche--

at least my candidate has actually done things to talk up. again, your another in a loooooong string of posts who can't talk about any of your own candidates accomplishments. the streak continues...another pro obama post who can't discuss anything the man has done in the last 4 years. again, how sad. maybe you and other dems can identify with that because you haven't accomplished anything yourself. i guess some people will blindly follow anyone even when they don't know anything about them.

and by your logic, i guess all those 18 million hillary supporters should not vote for obama. he wasn't there choice. i mean, he was barely the choice of your own party. of course, you can always count on the 9 thousand or so people who voted for biden.

Posted by: scott | September 3, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The "SPEECH" tonight is only the first of many that will be fed to her by the Republican Party. I expect that she will be able to read the teleprompter a whole lot better than McCain tomorrow night.
It scares the hell out of me that she will be able to perform in such a way as to absolutely wipe out any questions about her abilities to actually serve this nation as Commander in Chief.
Of all the things the Republicans have done, this is one of the most frightening.

Posted by: cms1 | September 3, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

This is all silly, here are the results...

Palin did a good job - 42%
Palin did a bad job - 45%
I need more info - 13%

Country is too polarized, no more honest opnion out there.

But if Obama has picked someone as bad as Palin, whoa baby! The GOP now loves unwed moms, as long as they are white Republicans. How curagoues to make those kids get maried! What a great idea! Way to compound a misake!

Posted by: Bobby Bo | September 3, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

oh and moochie, don't discuss morals. you're the party of pro-obama edwards. oh, and the classic bill clinton. actually, obama himself was born out wedlock. thats morals? well, perhaps to someone named "moochie", but not to the rest us.

Posted by: scott | September 3, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"While we all wondered to ourselves what might make a speech masculine or feminine, no one batted an eye at the underlying revelation: that the campaign was writing the nominee's speech before knowing who the nominee would be."

So why didn't the McBushington Post investigate this? Isn't that YOUR job??

Posted by: ccatmoon | September 3, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

as far as 'white republicans' now liking unwed moms, i guess 'white dems' now like blacks. i mean, they would never have supported jesse jackson or al sharpton but now look at them...how progressive.

just because some of you have sort of 'white guilt', don't hate because the rest of us don't share your shortcomings.

Posted by: say no to obama | September 3, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Inspring the people is 95% of this job. Reagan did, CLinton did. JFK did. Truman did FDR did. Sell big ideas.

Who best do that? C'mon, be real.

I used to like McCain, but he is now the total opposite of what he was.

So either you did not pay attention before - or you are eaily fooled by his flip flops.

And Since W won in 2000 I suppose you were unaware at the time that he was a POW and war hero. SincethatmattrsSO MUCH I can only imagine that ignorance made you vote for W over mMcCain.

What is your party selling?

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

woman for obama--i'm still here. sorry you don't appreciate humor. i would think as an obama supporter, you must laugh a lot. i guess i was wrong. but as for your misgivings about Gov. Palin, why don't you tell everyone here some of the actual things that obama has accomplished as a senator that you believe in. not speeches, not ideas, actual things he has done. you can point to things that Gov. Palin has done that you might not like, but why don't you try something positive---here's your chance to say some things that obama has done in the last 4 years as a senator that made you support him. or are you just one of those typically blind individuals who follows the party, even when the party is being led by someone who has done absolutely nothing as a us senator.

Posted by: joan | September 3, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Scott -

Larry Craig
Larry Craig
Larry Craig

Dude who chased the intern too. Iwill see your Edards and raise you those two. And McCain bailing on his crippled wife.

So I guess you'll vote for Barr? You seem to have issued with kids born out of wedlock - includes your VP's kid. Your optionsjust got limited.

Oh, and I cannot idenify with success - as a small business ownrer who is self-made. Getting killed by health care costs. Go punch a clock, you have no idea wht he GOP has doe to small biz in AMerica. You have that luxury.

And if I voted for W twice I'd be qestioning my jugement on EVERYTHING.

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

So basically, tonight is a waste of time. We'll need to see her on the campaign trail, if the handlers ever let her go.

Posted by: Phloyd | September 3, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama wrote his own speech. Biden wrote his own speech. Both of the Clintons wrote their speeches. Yes, the speechwriters might have cleaned up a few lines for clarity, but they wrote their own speeches. It was the expression of their beliefs.

On the republican side, not only has Palin not written her own speech, but it is very probable that McCain didn't write his own speech.

The difference - the democrats want to convey their beliefs and the republicans want to convey whatever info to nail down the vote from every constituency it needs to pander to in order to get re-elected. "GET ME A POLLSTER AND A SPEECHWRITER - NOW!!!"

McCain is no longer a maverick. He is nothing more than a political cynic looking for the way to get the votes. And this is agreed to by the comments of long-time GOP operatives Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan.

What is really sad about all of this is that McCain has become a politician like Bush and has destroyed his reputation in the meantime.

There is no longer a "Straight Talk Express". In fact, McCain won't even talk to the press - especially if his aides face tough, but fair, questioning by reporters such as Campbell Brown. (McCain cancelled an interview with Larry King because of the questioning by Campbell Brown on CNN of McCain staffer Tucker Bounds)

No wonder the press is having a field day.

Posted by: IBM455 | September 3, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

It's Sarah Palin, the Political Zwinky!


FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRACY

Posted by: Marc Schlee | September 3, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Did you do any digging to find out if this was done with the speeches at the DNC? I'm honestly curious, because if everyone is doing it, it's depressing. If it's just the RNC, I'm not surprised.

Writing the speech before the candidate is even decided upon seems to be a new low, but the Obama campaign did vet every word of every speech at the Democratic convention in advance, and strike out anything that was "off-message." This is par for the course in modern campaigning.

Posted by: Jason Stokes | September 3, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Can you even image what a speech would sound like if Bush wrote it himself? Would you recognize it as English?

Posted by: Troyce Key | September 3, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I am sitting here, finishing her lines before she says them. Hilarious.

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please look up what it means that oil is a global commodity? And why it hurts when bad economic policies weaken your own currncy?

Because someone needs to tell Hockey Mom.

Posted by: Moochie | September 3, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm voting for Obama. But I can see that Palin's being treated unfairly and disrespectfully by the left and the media.

Palin did great tonight. She deserves credit for that.

Posted by: Palin Fan | September 3, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I am so upset she used all of her children as bait to get some of her points across for what she "stands for" Being a mother with a child who as special needs I am outraged that she pulled that card to voters! I am sick to my stomach! And how can she properly raise a special needs child being in office? How can she always be there for this child? She can't!

Posted by: Jenny | September 3, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

palin is a tolerable speech-reader, nothing special.

mccain chose well, she's the very personification of a deputy also-ran.

Posted by: anonymous | September 4, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

That's all you have. Someone else wrote the speech. Biden didn't write his speech. You guys are losers. As Hillary said, McCain fought while NObama gave a speech.

Posted by: Andrew | September 4, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Palin did a FANtastic job. I love her for it! She's got my vote! She hasn't been corrupted by WashDC, yet!

Posted by: Democrat | September 4, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh by the way Obama doesn't write his own speeches. Jon Favreau, chief speechwriter to Senator Barack Obama. You liberals and your media lap dogs are scum.

Posted by: Andrew | September 4, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

"how well she handles a Teleprompter." Have you seen Obama with out a teleprompter? He is the Wizard of AHs. AH AH AH umm umm err err. He is worse than Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: Andrew | September 4, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

"Can you even imagine Biden letting anyone write something for him? Come on, get out more."

Seriously? From a man who dropped his first presidential bid after plagiarizing a speech of a Welshman's life story?!?!?

Posted by: Hogan | September 4, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I think with or without a speech writer we got to see our Sarah tonight. Oh boy, do I already have a bad feeling about her. I am English born living in the US for 20 years and therefore immediately bias against the right wing, However, praise where it's due. She executed a fabulous performance with her poor family being paraded before the nation. This woman showed me that she stands for everything I find repugnant about politics and the hard right. How could any parent with a conscience think it OK to let your 17 year old daughter be front page fodder for the tabloids. I have a17 year old and I would be ashamed of my self if she didn't know about choice and condoms and consequences of action. What kind of parent would I be to make my child get married to her first fling.
This is the end of democracy and a new era of hypocrisy.
kurthans@twitter.com

Posted by: Kurt Hans | September 4, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Here's the best part. Sarah Palin is a the GOP's secret weapon of mass left wing destruction. Anyone who thinks McCain and the GOP stumbled upon her two weeks ago is nuts.

As Oakridge, TN was to the A-Bomb, Anchorage, AK is to the neutron bomb that the GOP has been working on now for several years in Sarah. Long before it was clear Obama was going to wind up beating Hillary, the GOP knew that they had to come up with a female that could appeal to the heartland of America and beyond. Sarah was the answer.

Like the GOP or not.......you have to give them credit for what they have done here. This is Asymmetric warfare at it's best.

They will now prepare to board the chartered jets, and Prevost coaches, and roll all over America, playing to audiences that don't watch all that much CNN, or MSNBC, or read the online version of the Post or Times. They will show up at the NFL, High School Football Games, NASCAR, Rod & Gun Clubs, and every VFW Hall they can physically get to.

Women, more specifically mom's.....especially the 40-60 age group that have or are still living thru the challenges of raising a family, will come out in droves, and they will bring their smiling husbands along with them, cause after all, she aint all that bad of a Gal now is she.

Still to early to call it game over....but mark my words, the Dems and most of all the press, come election day will all be standing there wonder what in the hell hit em.

In the end, she will speak her own words and she will speak her mind.......but for now, what in the heck is wrong with reading from a team prepared speech. After all, battles are won by teams of people, not individuals.

For now.......the better team looks like the GOP.

Posted by: Bo Farbo | September 4, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I am not overly impressed with the way you choose to report your news. Sara Palin's speach tonight was probably one of the best I have head from anyone nominated for the position of VP.

Why would Mr. Hiatt think for one second that the speeches of any of the political candidates would not be written by speech writers? This is what they do best. What the speech writers cannot do, regardless of how good their speech writing is, is tell the person giving the speech how to be convincing in their presentation.

Is it possible that a woman with a husband of many years, five children, one no less going to Iraq in less than a week and a new born baby with Down Syndrom (Sp.) be less convincing?

I would be the first to say that politics is no place for a woman but it is obvious to me after listening to her speech tonight, Sara is not your typical woman. She is able to distinguish good from evil and she can spar with the best of them.

Votes are free and anyone who promises to give me and each members of my family a $1,000 dollars is someone who is speaking my language. Particularly, if I am not an American and I couldn't care less where he will obtain this money.

But I do care and I have listened to politician after politician tell me he is going to do something for me and after he gets into office he fails to deliver. Sara appears to me to be the kind of woman who will keep her promise and I intend to vote for her.

sincerely, Glenn Legwen


Posted by: Glenn Legwen | September 4, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

"....And no, Obama did not use a teleprompter during his speech last week."

Kelly, you weren't watching closely enough. Teleprompter stands are visible on both sides of the stage in some wide shots(though they are clear glass or plexiglass on very narrow stands).

The monitors that reflect the words onto the reflective screens would be nestled flat into the floor.

For a speech of this importance you would be an idiot NOT to use a prompter, regardless of political party.

One difference here is that the networks didn't show the words on Obama's screen (which are only visible from the speaker's point of view), while CBS showed a shot over Palin's shoulder a couple times with words on her prompter.

Clinton went off-prompter on his speech...which is why he went a lot longer than his scheduled 10 minutes. I'm assuming he added additional stuff he thought of (or planned to talk about) that wasn't in the 'official' transcript. He's good at that. Obama is not.

Posted by: David Randal | September 4, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Who gives a "bleep' whether or not she wrote it or not. All candidates are assisted with writing there speeches. It wasn't as obvious as Obama's teleprompter speech. The media is trying to find everything and anything to discredit Palin cause she presented a damn good speech and now she's a threat to the Dems.

Posted by: 4real | September 4, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

Not bad for delivering a speech written by a handler (Matt Scully), after receiving a day's worth of intensive coaching by handlers. Not bad at all.

Posted by: JJ | September 4, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

4real: "All candidates are assisted with writing there speeches."

Not so. Obama wrote his own acceptance speech. The press even took photos of him writing it.

Posted by: Farrah C | September 4, 2008 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Jaxon wrote:

"She's clearly NOT qualified in terms of education, experience and background. Simply unbelievable

____________________

No offense, Jaxon, but I wasn't aware that a candidate needed to have a Master's degree or a degree from an Ivy League school in order to run for office. What about her education disqualifies her? She has a 4 year degree from the University of Idaho. It's not like she took a few semesters at a community college or something.

Comments like that are kind of insulting to those of us who couldn't afford or didn't quite work hard enough in high school to attend Yale, Harvard or Princeton.

Posted by: Jeremy | September 4, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

How nice and white? Almost spotlessly so.
I thought about bleach all the way through.

Now I definately know who I want as President and Vice President:

a man who is disorented on stage,

and a woman who pees in the words, then puts on lipstick and goes out to dinner.

I'm so impressed by the United States!

God bless America!

Posted by: sanity | September 4, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"Let the entire GOP machine pick and choose every word of the speech. At some point Palin will have to do a live, unscripted debate.
Posted by: OK by me"

Don't be too sure. Remember how ABC turned the last Dem debate into an opportunity to bash Obama for an hour about flag pins and Reverend Wright? Do not underestimate the degree to which the media (yes, including Broder's boys st this newspaper) and their corporate masters need a McCain victory, and will do everything they can to deliver one. Count on the media to soft-pedal Palin's gaffes and amplify her talking points.

Posted by: Dr. Wu | September 4, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sara Palin described herself the best "a pit bull with lipstick" and we all know the proper name for a female dog!!!
As usual the Republican Party would like nothing better than to turn this into a name calling election with no change in domestic policy, war around the world, tough gun (nuclear) toting western mavericks with a mission to bully the world. Yes the republican party are "DIVIDERS NOT UNITERS”. I wonder who will be the first one caught calling Obama the “N” word .
They could care less about middle class America and even less about lower class or poverty Americans "they just want a handout from government, they put themselves in poverty, foreclosure and bankruptcy because they are lazy".
America needs to wake up and smell the garbage of the last eight years and NOT vote for four more!! Lets show the party of BIG OIL, PHARMACUTICALS, WARMONGERS, LIARS, THIEFS, CEOs, BANKERS and FAKE HOCKEY MOMS (who by the way has had nannies taking care of her children starting with the first) that 98% can't relate to them just like they can't relate to us.
THEY JUST DON'T GET IT!

Posted by: Democrat Dan | September 4, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Sara Palin described herself the best "a pit bull with lipstick" and we all know the proper name for a female dog!!!
As usual the Republican Party would like nothing better than to turn this into a name calling election with no change in domestic policy, war around the world, tough gun (nuclear) toting western mavericks with a mission to bully the world. Yes the republican party are "DIVIDERS NOT UNITERS”. I wonder who will be the first one caught calling Obama the “N” word .
They could care less about middle class America and even less about lower class or poverty Americans "they just want a handout from government, they put themselves in poverty, foreclosure and bankruptcy because they are lazy".
America needs to wake up and smell the garbage of the last eight years and NOT vote for four more!! Lets show the party of BIG OIL, PHARMACUTICALS, WARMONGERS, LIARS, THIEFS, CEOs, BANKERS and FAKE HOCKEY MOMS (who by the way has had nannies taking care of her children starting with the first) that 98% can't relate to them just like they can't relate to us.
THEY JUST DON'T GET IT!

Posted by: Daniel Bowles | September 4, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow what a speech! I am so impressed with her! Mrs.Palin goes to Washington! I love how the media is scrabbling and how they are eatting their words for breakfast! How is it tasting!

Posted by: Stephanie | September 4, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Of course Obama writes his own speeches. That's what he does, writes and speaks. That's all he does, and the only experience he brings to the table. He's a lawyer for crying out loud. He's never owned or run a business. He doesn't understand the economy, as evidenced by his myriad socialist proposals. You don't create jobs by taxing to death the people that own the businesses that do. You don't create jobs by making it ever more expensive for those business owners to hire people. Mandating employers to provide health insurance means fewer jobs.

Posted by: Christopher McElree | September 4, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin outperformed all expectations last night, including handling the teleprompter flawlessly until it malfunctioned, at which point she went went from memory and personal conviction, and brought down the house! I enjoyed reading the paranoid ravings of left wing despair above. Can't imagine the liberal apoplexy after Palin impales Biden in their debates.

Posted by: Eddy K | September 4, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

What a shocking news story! A professional speech writer helped Palin! What has the Republican party come to???? I assume that the speech that Barack gave last week just flowed out of his mouth from up on high... Gimme a break - Gheez!

Posted by: Chip | September 4, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Did the vetting include a pregnancy test?

Posted by: Jason | September 4, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Fred, is there some reason you did not mention that Obama wrote his own speech? He did as was mentioned several times during the DNC convention even if the wingnuts can't accept the reality of that. He got a room and went off by himself and wrote it.

They of course didn't watch the DNC gathering because they were not allowed by their conditioned mindset. They just waited for Rush and the mind molders to tell them what they were to think. We have seen this so many times it is beyind rediculous.

Posted by: matt | September 4, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what any Republicans say, she is not qualified period. Now, suddenly just because they say she is, we are supposed to accept it "on faith" that she is qualified.

Americans were foolish enough to allow Bush/Cheney and if they are foolish enough to allow McCain/Palin, they will live to suffer the consequences.

Posted by: sanity | September 4, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

For the record, it's called a TelePrompTer, as the AP Stylebook emphasizes. Palin was TV sports reporter and journalism major, so she has used a TelePrompTer before. She reportedly also attended GOPAC training which included media training.

But we aren't hiring a TV personality to be the next Ann Coulter.

I'm more concerned by the lack of CONTENT in the speech than her ability to deliver some one liners.

Here's some content missing from the speech:

Last time I looked we have a $10 Trillion fed debt, a $482 billion annual deficit ($1,600 a year per woman, man and infant) that doesn't include off-balance sheet accounting for two wars, and everyday 10,000 more boomers are hitting 65 to qualify them for Social Security.

The economy in Alaska may be just peachy due to $140 a barrel oil. Palin increased $2,000 annual payout to each "native born Alaskan" with a $1,200 bonus. That's more largess than Chavez in Venezuela, hence 80% approval.

But the rest of the country isn't shipping $140 barrel oil to Japan, instead we're shipping 2 million jobs to China, Vietnam and Mexico.

I didn't hear her address any of those pressing issues with solutions that wouldn't fit on a bumper sticker.

Posted by: Nash_Insecurity | September 4, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that either McCain and Palin are capable of positive real change in this country. To begin with, and with all due respect for McCain's military background, neither of them represents Americans of today. Neither one of them are in touch with the realities of the problems this country truly faces. And they are incapable of intelligently discussing these issues.

The choice of Palin by McCain displays his ineptness. She has no meaningful experience worth a hoot regardless of the spin doctors. And I could deliver a speech just as well if Mr. Gerson or the actual speechwriter wrote one for me to deliver.
After all, she was well coached. She did a good job of it, there's no denying that, but delivering a speech does not qualify you to be Vice President or more likely President.

McCains health is a major issue also here.
After eight disastrous, wasteful years of Bush do we as patriotic Americans want not only more of the same, but additional devestating agendas from the Supreme Court and the religious right? I think not!

Posted by: sanity | September 5, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1837368,00.html

The above link is an article in Time about Obama and how he writes his speeches. He writes them and then has advisors review his speech.....sounds like a little bit more than what most politicians do...probably why his speeches are so compelling. They are from the heart.

Posted by: Angie Z. | September 6, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Neil Kinnock writes Joe Biden's speeches.

Posted by: bigmike | September 7, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Sarah Palin needs to stay home and take care of her 5 children (along with the grandchild because we all know this lady is going to be the sole provider for that child). And don't get me started on her publicizing off of her baby with Down Syndrome who is going to need the most attention and love from his mother. Don't get me starting on her children being used as political props and poor Trig being passed around on stage at the RNC or her teenage pregnant daughter that is going to face years of agony in the spotlight because of her mother's selfishness. Her family needs her more than the American people and hopefully she will be forced to step down and not be the republican nominee for VP. I also hope she won't get an offer to star in a reality television show, even though her family wars are very intriguing..

Posted by: Julia | September 9, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

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