Republican Convention 2008

Sarah, Palin and Tall

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Consider this an open thread for the first true news event of RNC2008, the second national speech by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as she accepts her party's nomination for Tom Eagleton vice president. Excerpts are being tossed out to hungry reporters, and if they're not exactly full of mooseburger, they're full of… something that comes out of mooses.

I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

Yes, that's the problem: It's not that Palin's record as a reformer has proven as durable as an oragami mountain bike. Just an excerpt, of course, but from talking to Republicans all day this looks like the hill they're going to die on: Any attack on St. Palin of Wasilla is a product of sexism, media elitism, or both, or more.

We've been promised some attacks on Obama, but what we have so far reads weak.

Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

I don't quite get that. Obama, if elected, will change things, just not in any way that we'd like. She punches a bit harder in her biography.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities.

Effective! But I'd bet Palin's town got more lucre from taxpayers.

UPDATE: Delegates are buzzing about that "community organizer" line, but the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. Obama wrapped up his community organizer days in 1988, when he went to Harvard Law. He was registering voters in 1992, the year he started teaching at the University of Chicago. So Palin's arguing that she had as much experience in 2006 as Obama did the year that Wayne's World came out.

9:38: I was worried that Palin's gender politics wouldn't do the trick, but the pandering to parents of children with special needs? That's the ticket.

9:42: The GOP-approved signs in the arena are far too samey, and all obviously drawn by the same people. PALIN POWER in bold, straight letters. HOCKEY MOMS FOR (or 4) PALIN in fun, slanty letters.

9:45: First Gov. Lingle attacks Delaware, then Republican delegates literally shake their fists at me (at all the media, actually) and yell "Shame on you!" I may not write that $2300 check to McCain after all.

9:50: "I told the Congress 'thanks, but no thanks,' for that Bridge to Nowhere." This is slightly off. She said "thanks," and then it became unpopular, so she said "no thanks."

9:52: Fast forward! Later in the speech, Palin will fire a series of attacks at Obama. It's sort of jarring on the page… I suppose she's being cast as the champion of humility, standing against the arrogance of St. Barack.

This is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform—not even in the state senate.

When the cloud of rhetoric has passed … when the roar of the crowd fades away … when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot—what exactly is our opponent's plan?

Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?

They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

A challenge: Name two McCain-written laws that have been enacted. McCain-Feingold is one.

NEXT: My Reflection, Dirty Mirror

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  1. It looks like Palin and Obama had the same responsibilities as mayor and community organizer, respectively: spend other people’s money into the ground with impunity.

  2. Can we just make Justice Kennedy king and forget the whole election nonsense?

  3. I would say ending the raids on CA pot clinics would be change we would like. At least I would like it. And appointing some judges that like civil rights — that might be good too.

    Obama’s not a libertarian dream, but he will do some stuff that’s good for liberty. It seems weird to suggest he won’t do anything at all libertarians would like.

  4. They’re running as Change Lite.

    Ask John Kerry how running as Commander Guy Lite worked out for him four years ago.

  5. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.

    That, and also: not what the candidate was doing in the summer of 06.

  6. Oh goody, another Palin thread! That’s what, 8000 now?

  7. Episiarch: Did you hear?? OMG OMG. HEr daughter is PREGNANT. She had SEX!!!!!! And shes only 17?? LOL. OMG.

  8. I, too, yearn for the days of tire gauges, greek columns, and Republican women referring to themselves as PUMAs.

  9. Here, let me take you back: do you think Barack Obama’s ability to draw large crowds dooms him as a candidate?

  10. How can she control america if she can’t control her own children??

  11. It gets worse: theres a National Enquirer story (remember, the same people who broke the Edwards story) saying she had an extramarital affair according to a member of her family True? Dunno, but I have a feeling we will no more in a couple days. Steve Schmidt is already bitching about it.

    Here:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/03/mccain_aide_rips_tabloid_repor.html

  12. Don’t you guys ever get bored of Obama, Palin, McCain etc.? They’re not going to change anything.

  13. AAARRGHHH! I got rickrolled!

  14. “How can she control america if she can’t control her own children??”

    True that.

    I think this is what ultimately killed HRC’s candidacy, too.

  15. DAMN YOU, BINGO! That’s the second time in two weeks I’ve been Rickrolled!

  16. Here, let me take you back: do you think Barack Obama’s ability to draw large crowds dooms him as a candidate?

    Whew, thanks joe. I needed semi-retard to shield me from the Full Retard.

  17. Yes, that’s the problem: It’s not that Palin’s record as a reformer has proven as durable as an oragami mountain bike.

    Actually, Damon, what she’s saying is true. It bothers us that she’s not truly a reformer. It bothers the media that she is outside of Washington.

    Unfortunately, libertarians do not dictate the discourse that goes on in America.

  18. Brian wrote, “Obama’s not a libertarian dream, but he will do some stuff that’s good for liberty. It seems weird to suggest he won’t do anything at all libertarians would like.”

    What are you smoking Brian, really.
    Obama is going to do absolutely nothing good for liberty and everything bad.
    You are either very stoned or very stupid, which is it.

  19. I like her. She seems like the kind of person who would check her own tire pressure.

  20. What are you smoking Brian, really.
    Obama is going to do absolutely nothing good for liberty and everything bad.
    You are either very stoned or very stupid, which is it.

    There are certainly issues, mainly having to do with the “WOT”, on which I expect Obama to be better “for liberty” than McCain. That’s the relevant comparison here. I’m frankly not sure on what basis you’d disagree, Terry, but I’m all ears.

  21. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

    Didn’t I read somewhere that Obama led a massively successful voter registration drive?

    And didn’t I also read somewhere that Palin left her town $20 million in debt?

  22. “Didn’t I read somewhere that Obama led a massively successful voter registration drive?”

    All Chicago politicians lead a successful voter drive. All they have to do is look in the obituaries and round up some illegals.

    Brian, what is stopping Obama from introducing legislation now on stopping fed raids? NOTHING.
    Obama is running on more taxes, more government less freedom.
    Can’t you read?

  23. Here’s the best political commentary of the season:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/02/jillette.presidency/index.html

    If only he were running for President.

  24. The community organizer bit is to hit back at Obama and minions, who constantly refer to her as a mayor, although she was a governor for longer than the ONE actually spent in the Senate, before he was more qualified than all of the other guys ( and girls) to be president, on his way to running for king of the world.

  25. Somebody sent me this:

    Bill Kristol was on Fox this morning. He described a meeting of McCain staffers with Sarah Palin: One young staffer asked the Governor anxiously about whether she’d be able to deal with the intrusiveness and glare of the national media.

    She asked the staffer if he knew how Alaskans define the difference between a hockey Mom and a pit bull.

    “No,” he replied.

    She answered, “Lipstick.”

    I don’t see that so far, but one can hope.

    Col Hogan asked me which one wore the lipstick.

  26. There are certainly issues, mainly having to do with the “WOT”, on which I expect Obama to be better “for liberty” than McCain.

    Brian, I understand, but I also recall that almost two years ago Pelosi’s Dems promised an end to the War in Iraq when they were swept into office. That has not happened. And that suggests that not much will change with respect to the WOT under President Obama neither.

    My own pet theory is because the WOT (like Rico and CTR-to stop drug lords) has given the government some awesome tools to collect even more taxes as well as to track the financial transactions of the populace so as to make it easier to find the cheaters.

  27. “Whew, thanks joe. I needed semi-retard to shield me from the Full Retard.”

    Don’t let Sarah Palin hear you say that, Episiarch.

    *ducks*

  28. “although she was a governor for longer than the ONE actually spent in the Senate”

    Huh? Obama was in the state legislature from 1997-2004 and then in the Senate from 2005-now. Palin was sworn in as Governor in Dec. 2006.

  29. “Brian, I understand, but I also recall that almost two years ago Pelosi’s Dems promised an end to the War in Iraq when they were swept into office. That has not happened.”

    Hmm, the vast majority of one party took steps to ratchet down the War in Iraq and the majority of the other took every step to block them, including filibuster after filibuster. Yeah, that would make one hate the former…

  30. Potts,

    What, exactly, DOES a Vice President do EVERY day?

    I mean, how often do you have tied votes in the Senate?

  31. God and Country, baby.

  32. The Winecommonsewer – Have you considered as well the (i like to say my) theory that things won’t go well for any President right now, so libertarians should want first McCain in his bid, then Obama in his first term, to fail miserably? Then maybe the Republican Party will return to some freedom principles in 2012, especially since the Iraq thing will be wrapped up one way or another (read: we get kicked out by their govt).

  33. Colin, thanks for that link, that really was great. If only more people thought that way.

  34. Dude, even Peggy Noonan doesn’t think she’s qualified.

  35. Grandpa woke up from his nap! Yeah!

  36. What, exactly, DOES a Vice President do EVERY day?

    Do you know how long it takes to plan a face shooting that doesn’t lead to prison time?

    I didn’t think so.

  37. Forgot the link.

    I would like to thank the National Review for making me aware of it.

  38. Bristol Palin now has massive massive jugs.

  39. Palin’s very well spoken and did great in front of the crowd and the cameras… quite a few salvos there. It was smart to can the anti-abortion talk.

    It was funny when her toddler daughter started wetting her hand and stroked the hair of the youngest.

    I hate it so when Repubs charge their Dem opponents with not having introduced any legislation. That’s something to thank them for – not introducing legislation.

  40. A challenge: Name two McCain-written laws that have been enacted. McCain-Feingold is one.

    The one that created the 9/11 commission?

  41. Wasn’t Obama instrumental in getting requirements into Illinois about having all police interrogations video-taped?

    Yeah, can see why Palin doesn’t think that much of something like that….

  42. The one that created the 9/11 commission?

    TAO,

    Nope, it was Joe Lieberman that sponsored it.

  43. Mo: what about this story?

  44. A challenge: Name two McCain-written laws that have been enacted. McCain-Feingold is one.

    How ’bout McCain’s introduction of the Detainee Treatment Act in 2005?

  45. Never authored a single piece of legislation? The woman is ignorant, or lying.

    The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act
    Introduced by Sen. John McCain in May 2005, and cosponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy. Barack Obama added three amendments to this bill.

    While the bill was never voted on in the Senate, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Acts of 2006 and 2007, respectively, drew heavily upon the wording of this bill.

    The Lugar-Obama Cooperative Threat Reduction.
    Introduced by Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Tom Coburn.

    First introduced in November 2005 and enacted in 2007, this bill expanded upon the successful Nunn-Lugar threat reduction, which helped secure weapons of mass destruction and related infrastructure in former Soviet Union states.

    Lugar-Obama expanded this nonproliferation program to conventional weapons — including shoulder-fired rockets and land mines.

    Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
    This act of Congress, introduced by Senators Obama and Coburn, required the full disclosure of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds in FY2007.

    Despite a “secret hold” on this bill by Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd, the act passed into law and was signed by President Bush. The act had 43 cosponsors, including John McCain.

    The act created a Web site, which provides citizens with valuable information about government-funded programs.

    Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act

    This law helped specify US policy toward the Congo, and states that the US should work with other donor nations to increase international contributions to the African nation.

    The bill marked the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor. Following this legislation’s passage, Obama toured Africa, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. He spoke forcefully against ethnic rivalries and political corruption in Kenya.

    Honest Leadership and Open Government Act
    In the first month of the 110th Congress, Obama worked with Sen. Russ Feingold to pass this law, which amends and strengthens the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

    Specificially, the changes made by Obama and Feingold requires public disclosure of lobbying activity and funding, places more restrictions on gifts for members of Congress and their staff, and provides for mandatory disclosure of earmarks in expenditure bills.

    Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act

    Following the Republican-sponsored voter intimidation tactics seen in mostly black counties in Maryland during the 2006 midterm elections, Obama worked with Sen. Chuck Schumer to introduce this bill.

    The bill has been referred to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Obama said of the bill, “This legislation would ensure that for the first time, these incidents are fully investigated and that those found guilty are punished.”

    The Obama-McCain Climate Change Reduction Bill

    The Obama-McCain bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., would cut emissions by two-thirds by 2050.

    Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

    Introduced by Obama, this binding act would stop the planned troop increase of 21,500 in Iraq, and would also begin a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq with the goal of removing all combat forces by March 31, 2008.

    Amendments to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill

    Obama worked with Sen. Kit Bond to limit, through this bill, the Pentagon’s use of personality disorder discharges in the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill.

    This provision would add additional safeguards to discharge procedures and require a thorough review by the Government Accountability Office. This followed news reports that the Pentagon inappropriately used these procedures to discharge service members with service-connected psychological injuries.

    The Comprehensive Nuclear Threat Reduction provision

    Working with Sen. Hagel and Rep. Adam Schiff, Obama authored this provision, which would require the president to develop a comprehensive plan for ensuring that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material at vulnerable sites around the world are secure by 2012 from the threats that terrorists have shown they can pose.

    That doesn’t even get into his accomplishments in the Illinois Senate, such as the bill requiring the videotaping of confessions and interrogations in homicide cases – remember the death row scandals in Illinois?

    I’m sure we’ll be seeing a similar list of accomplishments of Palin’s. Yup. Any minute now.

  46. Joe,

    I’m certainly not voting for either candidate, but I have to side with Palin here. She used the word “major”, which you left out, and I would wager that 99.9% of voters, including Obama’s supporters (and maybe even you when you first wanted to rebut this), couldn’t name any of that legislation or even have a clue what it was about without a google search. And the proper comparison would be to McCain (since they’re both running for the same office and all), and although I hate most of what McCain has introduced, his list of accomplishments (or whatever you want to call them) seems like a good reason for you to not start that discussion. I can’t imagine she was trying to compare her senate record, which she knows she doesn’t have, to Obama’s. I don’t understand why you’d try to spin it that way.

    That said, she spoke well, but she certainly doesn’t seem much different than any other politician in any meaningful way. Same old same old…

  47. Matthew,

    How does “need a google search” relate to “major?”

    seems like a good reason for you to not start that discussion I didn’t start the discussion. I rebutted someone else, who started the discussion.

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