Still Not Ready for Prime Time

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Via the indispensable Jake Tapper, a wonderfully incoherent distillation of what's ailing the GOP from the winkin' maverick, Gov. Sarah Palin. From an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer:

"Sitting here in these chairs that I'm going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it's our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don't get away with that. We have to balance budgets and we're dealing with multibillion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations."

But you simply must meet her. Only then will you coastal elites understand her deep intelligence and political acumen.

NEXT: Obamania Nightmare (Sure to Be One in a Series)

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  1. There are waaaay too many “g’s” in that quote.

  2. Beneath the words “THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.”, CNN’s original transcript apparently already has…

    BLITZER: Is there anything new that you want to come up with — a new Sarah Palin initiative that you want to release right now?

    PALIN: Nothing specific right now, sitting here in these chairs, that I’m going to be proposing. But in working with these governors, who, again, on the front lines, are forced to — and it’s our privileged and obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day; being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in awhile.

    We don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets. And we’re dealing with multi-billion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organization;…

    Now that doesn’t prove she’s competent. But poorly punctuated transcripts taken out of context are not the speaker’s fault.

  3. Seen beneath the words “THIS IS A RUSH DECLARATION. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.”…

    All men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

  4. Snark away, scribbler. She’s still the fucking governor of fucking Alaska.

  5. I’m not sure that means what you think it means.

  6. I can dispense with Jack Tapper.

  7. MikeP | November 14, 2008, 12:49am | #
    Beneath the words “THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.”, CNN’s original transcript apparently already has…
    BLITZER: Is there anything new that you want to come up with — a new Sarah Palin initiative that you want to release right now?

    PALIN: Nothing specific right now, sitting here in these chairs, that I’m going to be proposing. But in working with these governors, who, again, on the front lines, are forced to — and it’s our privileged and obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day; being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in awhile.

    We don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets. And we’re dealing with multi-billion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organization;…
    Now that doesn’t prove she’s competent. But poorly punctuated transcripts taken out of context are not the speaker’s fault.

    Stop destroying our fun.

  8. I simply must meet you, elite bullshit-regurgitating guy.

  9. Sarah Palin: Sharp as a light bulb. Bright as a tack. Winks like a Hooters waitress.

  10. Somebody get the memo to Brian.

  11. John in Nashville | November 14, 2008, 1:32am | #
    Sarah Palin: Sharp as a light bulb. Bright as a tack. Winks like a Hooters waitress.

    What can I get’cha, hon.

    That fits Palin to a T!

  12. Actually, she’s much better here at delivering basically the same message:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va4hnpu7JKs

    What happened to the folksy twang?

  13. MikeP says it all in the second comment of this thread. The casual, spoken words of virtually *anyone* will look ridiculous if rendered poorly into print.

    Haven’t you ever had your brain outrace your tongue? I know it happens to me, and I’m no fool. I don’t know that Palin is a genius or anything, but this particular attack on her just looks like a hackishly done hatchet job.

    I’m not one of the people swooning over Palin. I just don’t like hatchet jobs, and will readily defend even the scum of the earth against them. There’s no need to waste your credibility through crappy arguments, not when there are so many legitimate arguments you could use instead. 😉

  14. J. Tapper = just another narc reporter.

  15. As far as public speaking goes, your current president set the bar pretty low.

    CB

  16. Question to Wolf Blitzer: Did Gov. Palin ever mislead the Public?

    Blitzer: Yes.

    Question 2: Wolf, what full name is written on your birth certificate?

    A: Irrelevant detail, trivia, unimportant, technical…this interview is over!

  17. wolf is cool though. We burned one.

  18. How did we ever elect that woman President?
    We must have been mad, mad!

  19. Michael, please provide a tripe avoidance alert when linking to any piece by Fred Barnes.

    Palin is just a symptom of what the Republican party has devolved to: intellectual laziness and fiscal irresponsibility pressed in the pages of an unopened Gideon Bible and wrapped in the flag.

  20. Given your reliance on a preliminary and unpunctuated version of her remarks, you should be more concerned about your own lack of acumen than about any alleged shortcomings in Sarah Palin.

  21. Palin is just a symptom of what the Republican party has devolved to: intellectual laziness and fiscal irresponsibility pressed in the pages of an unopened Gideon Bible and wrapped in the flag.

    [steps back and admires (awesome!)]

    (although “intellectual laziness” is giving the creationists* a bit way, way, way too much credit. “intellectual void” is more like it!)

    * recalling the “evolution question” at the GOP debate

  22. To all Palin defenders:

    Reason is obligated to continue to attack Palin. You may not be aware of this, but before Palin became the GOP’s VP nominee, she was one of those Republican politicians that Reason periodically anoints as a potential “savior” for the libertarian-Republican caucus. Her relative obscurity made this easy to do, because in the absence of any real information about her Reason staff projected on to her all sorts of positive libertarianish characteristics.

    To make up for that “Era of Good Palin Feelings”, they have to be twice as abusive as anyone else now. Their Great Libertarian Hope was exposed during the campaign as a governor whose popularity is mainly rooted in her ability to collectivize and distribute to the masses more oil wealth than previous governors, and as a happy apologist for the most unlibertarian aspects of the Bush era. She was only exposed as a Chauncey Gardineresque figure for whom politics is just something she’s doing instead of reading a teleprompter as a weathergirl somewhere instead. If I was in Reason‘s shoes I’d be doing everything I could to distance myself from my previous embrace of Palin too.

  23. Governor Palin still looks more like a “libertarian-leaning” small government politician compared to %98 + of elected Republicans and %100 of elected Democrats.
    You can’t judge her on the issues from her stint on the McCain ticket as she wasn’t running on her own.Let’s see what develops over the next few years.

  24. Why are people still fucking obsessing over Palin? She lost, you chumps. If she has any political future, it will shake out over the next few years. But I guess a little bit of moderately attractive political pussy can’t be resisted by a lot of you, whether it’s to love or hate.

    Really, who the fuck gives a shit about Palin any more, and why?

  25. Governor Palin still looks more like a “libertarian-leaning” small government politician compared to %98 + of elected Republicans and %100 of elected Democrats.

    Yeah that’s why she thinks the oil industry in Alaska is collectively owned by the people of the state so it’s OK to tax the corporations to distribute their profits to the citizens.

  26. Epi,

    Really, who the fuck gives a shit about Palin any more, and why?

    You said it: “moderately attractive political pussy”.

    Probably some Freudian thing about “screwing” a politician rather than the other way around.

  27. Commie,

    She renegotiated mineral rights given away for a song by a corrupt, former governor. FYI, the mineral rights are collectively owned by the state of Alaska.

  28. Epi,

    Because she’s the only moderately interesting politician on the national stage right now? I mean really, who else in the “mainstream” of politics should we be talking about right now? We’ve got a played out lame duck in the White House that most people don’t even want to think about let alone talk about. We’ve got a pompous blow hard on deck who promises more of the same. And we’ve got the decrepit, uncharismatic gimp who just lost.

    In terms of Palin’s speaking style, I have a theory on whether or not you view that as a negative correlates pretty strongly with whether or not you enjoyed Deadwood. I loved Deadwood and I love listening to Palin speak because it reminds of the show. People get so caught up in the style they overlook the fact that she’s an incredibly coherent public speaker. Far more so than McCain and even better than Obama when you factor in extemporaneous remarks (which frequently reduces Obama to a series of “uh’s” and stammers).

  29. Yeah that’s why she thinks the oil industry resource in Alaska is collectively owned by the people of the state…

    fixed

    actually what they own collectively is the pipeline corridor IIRC.

  30. Why are the costal elite’s condescending to Palin ? They were thrilled with William Burroughs’ cut-up BS in the “Naked Lunch”. Maybe Palin supporters should defend her as a literary maverick.

  31. Go, Sarah, GO!

    I can’t think of a better spokesmodel for the vast innanity of the fundie/conservative “movement”. But please lie low for the time being before you use your political hourglass up. We need you to emerge fresh and perky toward the end of primary season in order to “rescue” some soggy pragmatist the GOP is tempted by.

    Then you can swoop in and save the GOP’s “real American” movement – thereby insuring another humiliating defeat and maybe – no – for SURE — some rational party will emerge from the ashes of the GOP’s dead carcass.

  32. “MikeP says it all in the second comment of this thread. The casual, spoken words of virtually *anyone* will look ridiculous if rendered poorly into print.”

    I read the correctly punctuated transcript and she stills sounds like she’s all over the place, throwing in random thoughts, trying to hit points she thinks might go with what she already said. Worst of all, it sounds like she says things that don’t mean anything in order to give her a time to think of the next point.

  33. MikeP,

    Try listening to the interview. The properly punctuated transcript gives her way to much credit.

    I still don’t understand why people are so eager to defend her from her own words. Calling transcripts and interviews “hatchet jobs” (bramblyspam) is kind of like me complaining to my boss about being judged by my work product. Lame.

  34. Lamar,

    I read the correctly punctuated transcript and she stills sounds like she’s all over the place, throwing in random thoughts, trying to hit points she thinks might go with what she already said.

    So, she speaks like Neil Stephenson writes?

    I would consider that a good thing.

    I think the question around Palin is – Do we want a president with an IQ around 100?

    I think we have had a number of very, very smart presidents – and many of them have sucked.

    Palin isnt dumb, she’s just not a 140+ IQ type.

  35. “People get so caught up in the style they overlook the fact that she’s an incredibly coherent public speaker. Far more so than McCain and even better than Obama when you factor in extemporaneous remarks (which frequently reduces Obama to a series of “uh’s” and stammers).”

    Instead of saying “uh” Palin has the bad habit (I did the same thing when I started law school) of saying throwaway phrases instead of “uh”.

  36. There’s no convincing the Palin-bots who probably also keep laminated photos of her in their desk drawer.

  37. Yah, she shore does talk funny.

    Because an east coast accent always makes banalities seem profound.

    I expect that level of shallowness from, oh, Kurt Andersen, but one likes to think that a libertarian publication might be a little less provincial….

  38. Chris S,

    Calling transcripts and interviews “hatchet jobs” (bramblyspam) is kind of like me complaining to my boss about being judged by my work product. Lame.

    This is one of my biggest problems with current politics. People like you think that interviews are the “work product” of politicians. I dont give a fuck what they say, I only care about what they do. The “work product” of a governor or president is something completely different.

    Stupid Kennedy/Nixon debate.

  39. “Mike G | November 14, 2008, 9:38am | #
    Yah, she shore does talk funny.

    Because an east coast accent always makes banalities seem profound.”

    Again, The Idiot’s Guide to Defending Palin

    1) Accuse your opponent of elitism (add in something about being “coastal” for extra effect)

    2) Accuse your opponent of sexim

    3) Evade the relevant issue, and talk about Obama or Biden

    4) Throw in something about “the MSM”

  40. I guess you really can’t make this stuff up.
    (unlike BHO)

  41. robc,

    Oh, silly people like me. Do I think a person’s ability to coherenty discuss national issues reflects their grasp of these issues and general intellect? For some strange reason, yes.

    As for what “she’s done,” the answer is: not much. Same for Obama. But we somehow have to find a way to judge these people. At the end of the day, most people who sound like imbeciles are imbeciles.

  42. Do we want a president with an IQ around 100?

    No.

  43. “Do we want a president with an IQ around 100? ”

    If we still had a late 19th Century Presidency, sure, but given that we’re stuck with an Imperial Presidency, hell no.

  44. If Palin is such an idiot, I would think Reason could do better than some off hand quote taken out of context in a poorly transcribed interview. Really? This is all you have got? Reason really seems to be obsessed with the woman. I wonder how long before she has to get a restraining order.

  45. Chris,

    As I pointed out above somewhere, she doesnt sound like an imbecile. She sounds like a 100 IQ person. Average. There may be very good reasons we wouldnt want an average intelligence person in the White House (they may not be able to grasp all of the foreign dynamics and stuff) but lets not call them imbeciles.

    However, I think that is the problem. If the anti-Palin people called her average instead of an imbecile, it wouldnt resonate as a problem. Which may mean it isnt a problem.

  46. Oh for crying out loud. Does anybody really give a rats ass what the Governor of Alaska has to say? I know we are all waiting on pins an needles for the final results of the Stevens race. But after that, can we PLEASE go back to ignoring Alaska. If Palin crawls back out of the woodwork in four years we can pick it up then.

  47. And didn’t we just have the “average intelligence” president? Who here still thinks that worked out?

    No, not every genius has been a good president. But every idiot have been a bad president.

  48. matt2,

    Care to share your reasoning? I probably agree.

    BDB,

    Maybe the best way to get back to a 19th century executive is to have someone who cant handle a 21st century executive. 🙂

  49. “Warren | November 14, 2008, 9:51am | #
    Oh for crying out loud. Does anybody really give a rats ass what the Governor of Alaska has to say? ”

    She’s the biggest celebrity in the world…but is she READY TO LEAD?

  50. Chris,

    Have we had any “idiot” presidents?

    I mean, Bush may be average, but I doubt he is an idiot.

  51. “Maybe the best way to get back to a 19th century executive is to have someone who cant handle a 21st century executive. :)”

    We tried that the last eight years. How’d that work out for ya?

  52. BDB,

    No, Bush seemed perfectly able to handle a 21st century executive position, unfortunately.

  53. Hell, Bush managed to convince congress to fund TWO land wars in Asia, despite the popularity of The Princess Bride.

    He was far too capable in the position.

  54. “robc | November 14, 2008, 9:56am | #
    Hell, Bush managed to convince congress to fund TWO land wars in Asia, despite the popularity of The Princess Bride.”

    That is more of a commentary on the spinelessness of Congress than the cunning of Bush.

  55. That is more of a commentary on the spinelessness of Congress than the cunning of Bush.

    We just elected 2 members of that congress to the executive. Sigh.

  56. robc,

    I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings by calling “average” stupid. In fact, if you can’t name a single news paper, you’re an imbecile. Period. I’m not going to adopt a relativistic view of intelligence and promote this woman because she’s just as smart (dumb) as my ignorant neighbor.

  57. Just for those of us who find the continuing Palin pile-on a little weird, could we have an unedited transcript of an Obama or Biden interview.

    You know, “fair and balanced” and all that. Practically nobody is immune to fishtailing all over the road when speaking ex tempore.

  58. Both of whom, I should point out, probably have IQs well in excess of 100.

  59. “R C Dean | November 14, 2008, 9:59am | #
    Just for those of us who find the continuing Palin pile-on a little weird, could we have an unedited transcript of an Obama or Biden interview.”

    I see RC Dean likes option # 3.

    “robc | November 14, 2008, 9:58am | #
    That is more of a commentary on the spinelessness of Congress than the cunning of Bush.

    We just elected 2 members of that congress to the executive. Sigh.”

    Yeah well. I didn’t say the opposition was that great, either.

  60. This is one of my biggest problems with current politics. People like you think that interviews are the “work product” of politicians.

    Interviews are predictors of the work product of politicians. If we can decipher them, they’re one of our only tools to know what a politician will do.

    When Mitt Romney was asked during an early primary debate to name a specific area of federal spending he would cut, he said, “I will cut waste, fraud and abuse.” Anyone who speaks Interview knows that this answer means, “I won’t cut anything, and I am afraid to name anything I would cut lest someone say something mean about me.”

    When Sarah Palin is interviewed, her most common answer is “Insert arbitrary jumble of clauses remotely related to the topic at hand, but poorly related to each other.” I’m not 100% sure how to translate this particular bit of Interview, but I don’t think it will be anything good.

  61. Chris,

    What is a “newspaper”?

    I vaguely think I remember something called that back from the 1980s. Oh yeah, I use to pick up The Onion when I lived in Madison in the 90s. Is that one?

  62. “Hell, Bush managed to convince congress to fund TWO land wars in Asia, despite the popularity of The Princess Bride.”

    That was excellent.

  63. I’m not 100% sure how to translate this particular bit of Interview, but I don’t think it will be anything good.

    Maybe it means “I wont do a damn thing”. Which would be a good thing. It could also mean “I will do whatever Karl Rove tells me”, which would be a bad thing.

    I think her mayor/governship would be the best indicator – a mix of good and bad. Probably better than the records of Obama, Biden and McCain combined. A hell of a lot more executive experience than they have had combined.

  64. robc:

    It’s pretty self-explanatory – the presidency is an extremely complex job and requires real-time interactions with party leaders, heads of state, etc. I wouldn’t want someone in office whose ability to comprehend and meet challenges in those situations was approaching its limit.

    I understand that someone who isn’t particularly bright could surround themselves with quality people (and might possess superior political skills of some sort). That’s fine for slow-developing situations where the president is surrounded by good counsel. I’d rather cut out the middle man, however, and have someone with superior decision-making skills in charge to begin with. I don’t think that someone in the 50th percentile fits the bill.

  65. Also, 100 IQ is not a college-educated (for lack of a better marker) average – it’s a population average and probably falls well below Palin’s, and definitely Bush’s, actual IQ.

    I doubt that any who comment here (with a few notable exceptions) fall at or below 100.

  66. We elected Obama and Biden to the presidency! Inconceivable!

  67. matt2,

    I somewhat agree, but it is balanced out, in my mind, by the experience of guys like Wilson, Hoover and Nixon, who were all very intelligent.

    Seems to be a damned if you do/damned if you dont situation.

    One seems to be a short-term risk, the other a long-term risk. FDR did more permanent damage to the country than anything a Palin could do, IMO.

  68. Why are people still fucking obsessing over Palin?

    Because it’s easy, and Obama is in hiding?

  69. “I doubt that any who comment here (with a few notable exceptions)”

    Yeah. LoneWacko and Lefiti.

  70. The hilarious part is, “voting present” is an anti-Obama campaign talking point. Did anyone tell her the election is over?

  71. “Jim Henley | November 14, 2008, 10:11am | #
    The hilarious part is, “voting present” is an anti-Obama campaign talking point. Did anyone tell her the election is over?”

    It gets better. She actually talked about Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder. More than once. It is like she is a bot that was programmed with a script, and can’t cut it off.

  72. matt2,

    Considering the people now going to college, and her college experience, its quite possible that Palin is pushing that 100 line. She very easily could be below 110.

    From a quick google search (and I know this varies, as IQ isnt a good measure of anything anyway) it appears that 50% of the population is between 90-110 and 70% between 85-115. That would mean that 1/2 of the above 100 crowd is still below 110. I would guess Palin is in that range.

  73. “Tito the Builder?” Who the fuck was “Tito the Builder?” Are you just making shit up, BDB?

    😉

    But for realz: “Tito the Builder?” I know about *Bob*. Who the hell is “Tito?”

  74. robc:

    I agree that a brilliant President with an odious agenda can do more long-term damage. I don’t think that justifies voting in underqualified placeholders to fill the Presidency, who could easily be manipulated by quicker-thinking advisors anyway.

    From a pure “maximize the gridlock” perspective, I understand what you’re saying. That’s a clock-killing strategy at best, and I think that the enormous short-term downsides are too large to ignore.

  75. Jim–

    He was the Hispanic version of Joe the Plumber.

    I don’t know what the Jewish, Asian, and black versions were yet.

  76. Chris,
    And are you honestly that stupid that you don’t think Palin can name a single newspaper? I mean, get real. On the one hand the left argues she has a nasty temper and holds grudges, but then they act like they believe Palin doesn’t read or isn’t even aware of the very hostile newspaper in her own state that criticizes her all the time. The pure absurdity of the Palin criticisms (NOBODY who uses the newspaper smear can possibly believe it) is what tells you there is something else going on here. McCain has spent a lifetime proving himself to be a complete an utter moron. Obama carefully constructed his life to an almost unbelievably absurd degree to avoid ever leaving a paper trail that might shed some light on his actual IQ (or lack there of). But Palin talks with a stilted speaking style and freezes up in an interview once and a certain crowd acts as if that’s proof she’s a bumbling hillbilly. Is Palin a genius? No. Is she smarter than me? No. But neither is McCain or Obama.

  77. matt2,

    Well, I did vote for Barr. Its not like I voted for her. Mainly because she was behind McCain anyway. Of the “Big 4”, I preferred her. She is Wake Forest to the trio of senators Duke/UNC/NCSU.

    How’s that for an analogy. 🙂

  78. If I could prove* via IQ tests or some such that I was smarter than any other candidates, despite the fact that my speaking style would probably** be worse than Palin’s, I wonder if I could get elected President?

    *and I think I can

    **saying probably is unfair to Palin

  79. I believe the newspaper “smear”.

    The question wasn’t “Name any newspaper”. The question was a request to name a newspaper she regularly reads.

    I know lots of people who have heard of the New York Times who don’t read it. So while Palin may have an antagonistic political relationship with a local newspaper, that doesn’t mean she reads it.

    And remember, her answer was “All of them.” Her answer was that she reads ALL newspapers and magazines regularly.

    I find it very, very easy to believe that Palin is not someone who reads for pleasure, and most newspaper reading is usually “reading for pleasure”, even if we tell ourselves we’re doing it to stay informed. Something tells me that if we went to the Palin household we wouldn’t find a lot of books, magazines or newspapers in it – maybe there’d be snowmobile manuals and Moose cookbooks, but that’s about it. It would not surprise me in the least to discover that Palin does not read a newspaper even once a week, and that she has never done so at any time in her life. She seems like “that girl” who has never read the newspaper, and impressions are all we have to go on here.

  80. He was the Hispanic version of Joe the Plumber.

    I don’t know what the Jewish, Asian, and black versions were yet.

    There is this one Jewish carpenter who always gets chout outs from presidential candidates.

  81. D’oh.

    chout = shout

  82. Why are people obsessing about Palin gotchas when even the New York Times has now admitted that many of the best-known ones were fabricated by pranksters?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/arts/television/13hoax.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=palin%20pranksters&st=cse&oref=slogin

    I don’t care if Palin is never heard from outside of Alaska again, with any luck the GOP will produce better governors to run for president in 4 years, but I can’t believe you’re all basically saying “Okay, half of the line the mainstream media fed me about Palin was invented by some jokers, but I have complete faith that the other half represents absolute reality!” I wouldn’t go calling anybody else dumb from THAT position….

  83. There is this one Jewish carpenter who always gets chout outs from presidential candidates.

    Technically, he is asian too.

  84. “Again, The Idiot’s Guide to Defending Palin

    1) Accuse your opponent of elitism (add in something about being “coastal” for extra effect)

    2) Accuse your opponent of sexim

    3) Evade the relevant issue, and talk about Obama or Biden

    4) Throw in something about “the MSM””

    The Idiot’s Guide to Attacking Palin:

    1) Be a condescending jerk who takes his conclusion as self-evident and in no need of proof

    2) There is no need of Step 2

  85. “Why are people obsessing about Palin gotchas when even the New York Times has now admitted that many of the best-known ones were fabricated by pranksters?”

    I haven’t any mention of the “gotchas” in this thread.

  86. seen any mention

  87. Why are people obsessing about Palin gotchas when even the New York Times has now admitted that many of the best-known ones were fabricated by pranksters?

    Mike, your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired.

    The reporting about Palin done by Carl Cameron was not revealed to be the result of pranksters. Only the outing of a particular McCain aide as the source of Cameron’s report was revealed to be the result of a hoax report.

    But I imagine most of the people pushing this “Palin exoneration” already know this, and are perfectly willing to try to lie about what the Times report says anyway.

  88. Chris S.,

    Try listening to the interview. The properly punctuated transcript gives her way to much credit.

    If only there were some way that you could let me know where I could listen to it so I wouldn’t have to spend 30 minutes calling everyone I know to see if anyone had Betamaxed Tuesday’s Situation Room.

    Oh, wait… There is.

    You can hear — and see! What technology! — Sarah Palin answering this question at 4:10.

    Actually, even the revised transcript doesn’t do her justice. Everything she says makes sense as you hear it. The only complaint that could be made is that she doesn’t pause her speaking where one might want to put in periods, semi-colons, commas, or dashes.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to see a President Palin four years from now because she looks to be an unprincipled shell that is filled in by whatever conservative has her ear — and we’ve just gone through eight years of that. But critiquing her interview responses because they are hard to punctuate is really unhelpful.

  89. Here’s how I would transcribe what she said…

    Nothing specific right now, sitting here in these chairs, that I’m going to be proposing. But in working with these governors, who, again, on the front lines, are forced to — and it’s our privileged obligation to — find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day — being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while.

    We don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets. And we’re dealing with multi-billion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.

    Oh noes. She put in a pronoun whose antecedent was a parenthetical from the prior sentence rather than the subject of the prior sentence. She is stupid.

  90. Fluffy,

    If you honestly believe that, then I believe you are dumber than all four of the nitwits that were on the ticket this year. Palin is extremely ambitious and a political animal. You honestly don’t think she reads the articles that are written about her and her pet projects and policies on a weekly basis? You think she isn’t combing over every “troopergate” article to see which reporters are fair and which are “big time assholes”? Get real. Of course she reads newspapers. Every politician does. I’m not arguing she is an intellectual. Whether she reads for pleasure is an open question. We do know that she requested historical commentary relating to jury nullification once, which suggests an intellectual curiosity greater than anything ever displayed by McCain or Obama, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of her pleasure reading is romance novels. Just like most of McCain’s is probably war histories and most of Obama’s is probably books about himself.

  91. My guess is that she didn’t want to say ADN as they were doing a fairly good job of covering (ugh) “Troopergate” and didn’t want to point them in that direction; NY Times and Washington Post are “too liberal” for the base. I assumed she reads some newspapers but was afraid of getting called out on a follow-up question.

    FDaS, maybe she reads papers and maybe she doesn’t, maybe she knows that 2+2=4 and maybe she doesn’t. All we know is that when she was asked she left the answer blank.

  92. I don’t think she would pass the Turing test.

    Maybe Sokol is attempting a larger scale hoax.

  93. BDB wrote: “It gets better. She actually talked about Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder. More than once. It is like she is a bot that was programmed with a script, and can’t cut it off”

    You know she’ll be talking about Joe and Tito for the rest of her life, like Al Bundy reminiscing about high school.

  94. ” I assumed she reads some newspapers but was afraid of getting called out on a follow-up question.”

    It’s always safe to say “The Economist” or “The Wall Street Journal”.

  95. Mike P wrote: “Oh noes. She put in a pronoun whose antecedent was a parenthetical from the prior sentence rather than the subject of the prior sentence. She is stupid.”

    You might have a point if this were the only instance of garbled vocalization we’d seen from Palin, and every other time she opened her mouth she sounds like a BBC newsreader.

    Unfortunately, it’s only her latest incident of verbal nonsense.

  96. But it isn’t verbal nonsense. So calling it her latest incident of verbal nonsense is incorrect.

    And taking as the best example of her verbal nonsense a badly bookended excerpt from an incoherent transcript typed by some intern who couldn’t be bothered to use punctuation says more about the commentator than it says about her.

  97. “badly bookended excerpt from an incoherent transcript typed by some intern who couldn’t be bothered to use punctuation ”

    Jesus H. Christ. Watch on video. It sounds just as stupid if you’re not the kind of person that is too busy getting hit by the “little starburst” I hear she sends out.

  98. The reporting about Palin done by Carl Cameron was not revealed to be the result of pranksters. Only the outing of a particular McCain aide as the source of Cameron’s report was revealed to be the result of a hoax report.

    Not sure I follow, fluffy. As I understand it, the state of play is:

    Fox ran a report, apparently based on a single anonymous source.

    A known hoaxster stepped forward and claimed to be the source.

    Fox said, no, it wasn’t him, but refused to divulge the identity or otherwise corroborate the original report.

    Assign credibility where you like, but frankly, I think the more likely explanation is that Cameron got punk’d by “Eisenstadt”.

    Delightfully, many who stick to the original Palin-is-an-idiot story are now relying on Fox news and disregarding the NYT story that the whole thing was a hoax.

  99. It sounds just as stupid if you’re not the kind of person that is too busy getting hit by the “little starburst” I hear she sends out.

    It sounds like she is trying to move the question to one of the half-dozen talking points she was trained to recite during the campaign. Does it sound stupid? Yes, if you don’t agree with that talking point or if you don’t appreciate people running to talking points. Is it unparsably incoherent? No.

  100. “It sounds like she is trying to move the question to one of the half-dozen talking points she was trained to recite during the campaign.”

    If that was her intent, she failed hard at it.

  101. And why the hell try to steer a question back to a campaign talking point from a campaign that is over?

    I mean, Joe the Plumber? STILL?

  102. Assign credibility where you like, but frankly, I think the more likely explanation is that Cameron got punk’d by “Eisenstadt”.

    Again, you apparently don’t understand the story.

    There’s no reason to put Eisenstadt in quotes. There is a guy named Eisenstadt and he was in fact a senior McCain campaign operative.

    The hoax was that someone claimed to have been told that Eisenstadt was the source of Cameron’s report. That hoax was perpetrated by some asshole in his basement, not Eisenstadt.

    We don’t know who Cameron got the story from, but Cameron covered the McCain campaign directly, and presented the story as if he had received it verbally from a McCain aide or aides. We have no indication that Cameron’s source was some asshole writing a blog in his basement. Especially since Cameron specified that he had been directly asked by a McCain aide or aides to embargo the story until after the election.

  103. Question: Do you have a Sarah Palin initiative you want to introduce.

    Answer/Talking point: We governors have lots of ideas learned from executive experience, unlike some legislators I could name.

    How did it fail?

  104. Most people look like idiots in interview transcripts, because most people don’t speak in well-thought prose. This is no different than when conservative snipers leave all the “uh”s in Obama transcripts.

  105. The idea, Fluffy, was to fabricate a hoax source and then have the echo chamber use this as “proof” that not only does this discredit this particular source, but any and all stories about Sarah Palin’s lack of knowledge.

  106. Using campaign talking points when the campaign is over=fail, especially if by this point you can’t do it in a concise way.

  107. BDB,

    Yeah, that’s probably it.

    The funny thing is that other McCain people already tried to discredit the story by coming forward and claiming it was all a big misunderstanding – that she was confused by CAFTA and not NAFTA, and that the source “misheard” her Africa remark.

    Since that spin attempt didn’t take, apparently the new talking point is that it was all a hoax. “That thing we admitted happened, but tried to explain away? Yeah, we changed our minds and now we say it never happened and it was all a hoax. Thank you!”

  108. The thing is, Fluffy, I can understand a partisan carrying water for a candidate in the middle of a campaign. That is what good partisans do.

    But why do it after the campaign when you have a very solid group of people for 2012 that would make much better candidates? What is the point?

  109. Okay, you’ve sold me. Her use of repetitive talking points has convinced me that she’s an idiot, and not at all up to the challenge of two Americas, one of which is full of little girls without coats.

    Seriously, there are two issues here. There’s a woman who seems to be a middling politician, arguably as robotic and shallow as many another who has run for such offices (maybe even the guy who just won one, we shall see).

    Then there’s the glee with which a lot of guys (and some women) tear into her, as they have not torn into others– except, that is, the other woman who ran this year. I don’t have to think she’s the one and the change we’ve been waiting for to find something pretty nasty about the way people, the media included, have gone after her.

    But keep right on confirming my suspicions.

  110. Then there’s the glee with which a lot of guys (and some women) tear into her, as they have not torn into others– except, that is, the other woman who ran this year.

    Who ever said Hillary wasn’t smart? Bill was a Rhodes Scholar, but Hillary still manages to seem more sharp than him.

    I don’t like Hillary, and would accuse her of a lot of failings, but I never found her dim.

  111. I don’t know. I had a lot of fun tearing into Mitt Romney, too.

  112. I’m guessing the author has never seen the eminent B.Obama’s raw transcripts, sans the hacksawing of the countless pauses and ‘uhh… uhh’ stuttering. Yet, his intelligence is never challenged.

    As [Josh S.] stated, this is a ridiculous sniping piece. Without removing anything, how bad is this — including the initial fumbling:

    “Sitting here in these chairs that… I’m going to be proposing… but… in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to… and it’s our privileged obligation to… find solutions to the challenges facing our own states. Every day being held accountable, not being just one of many, just casting votes, or voting present every once in a while… we don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets, and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets, and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.”

  113. I think I had the most fun tearing into McCain. I got to do it for such a long time, you see.

    For the limited amount of time he was in the limelight, I had a lot of fun tearing into Huckabee too.

  114. Without removing anything, how bad is this — including the initial fumbling:

    Ooh! Ooh! Teacher! Call on me!

    It’s really really bad.

  115. I have to agree that Vince’s transcription attempt was not so good. Ellipses are not the balm that cures all transcript ailments. In fact ellipses are terribly out of place in this excerpt because they look like pauses, and she didn’t pause at all.

    As I noted above, here is what Palin said and the context in which she said it:

    BLITZER: Is there anything new that you want to come up with — a new Sarah Palin initiative that you want to release right now?

    PALIN: Nothing specific right now, sitting here in these chairs, that I’m going to be proposing. But in working with these governors, who, again, on the front lines, are forced to — and it’s our privileged obligation to — find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day — being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while.

    We don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets. And we’re dealing with multi-billion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.

    Fault it for being off topic. Fault it for showing the speaker to be capable only of parroting campaign positions even after the election.

    Don’t fault it for being incomprehensible.

  116. @Mike G | November 14, 2008, 2:33pm |

    “Little girls without coats” sounds like a good name for a band.

  117. But, seriously, her answer to the question didn’t have any perceivable relationship to the question. Maybe it isn’t incomprehensible, but it is rambling and difficult to follow.

  118. Correct, save for a few, minor edits

    The Idiot’s Guide to Attacking Palin:

    1) Be a condescending jerk who takes his conclusion as self-evident and in no need of proof Break out her verbatims.

    2) There is no need of Step 2

  119. I don’t actually think Hillary’s smarter than Bill, but in any case, since you apparently were in a coma during the primary season, Hillary was attacked for OTHER things male politicians weren’t attacked for.

  120. VM,

    You would have a good point if the same standard was applied to

    Joe, “we drove hezbollah out of Lebanon” and “get on the TV like Roosevelt” Biden.

    I notice that this standard never was applied to Joe “drug war” Biden. He said things on a regular basis that would have gotten palin flayed.

    Watching the amount of effort spent slagging Palin while ignoring the walking gaffe machine and civil liberties disaster that is joe biden was an interesting spectacle.

  121. Uh, yeah, nobody ever criticized Joe Biden.

    Huh?

  122. Joe,

    Pass whatever your smoking if you think Biden’s massive gaffes have gotten a fraction of the attention they would have gotten if Palin had made the same mistake.

    Biden has 35 years of experience on the national stage, palin had all of two months.

    Yet he still managed to make so many stupid mistakes that obama had to quarantine biden to keep him from causing more damage to obama.

    Somehow the media did not see fit to talk about that.

  123. I just got pulled over by the clarity police and they demanded a repost.

    Joe,

    Pass whatever your smoking if you think Biden’s massive gaffes got the same attention they would have if palin had made them.

    Biden has 35 years of experience on the national stage, palin had all of two months.

    Yet he still managed to make so many stupid statements that obama had to quarantine biden to keep him from causing more damage to obama’s campaign.

    The media did not pay much attention to that.

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