September 4, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

You know where I stand politically so it should come as no surprise that I'm critical of McCain and that I'm equally critical of his running mate. Prepare not to be surprised. You see, I've been watching the Republican National Convention and I'm appalled. I'm tired of hearing the word maverick bandied about applied to a guy who has lived inside the Washington Beltway since 1951 and has sided with the current administration somewhere around 95% of the time. I'm tired of the speeches condemning the media for their bias. I'm tired of assertions that basic human rights are a symptom of a liberal agenda. I'm tired of McCain's wartime heroism being used as some sort of validation that he should be elected president. I'm tired of women's bodies and rights to choose being used as a political hot button. And I'm tired of the word liberal being thrown around as if it's a four letter word. I'm tired of the intolerance being displayed and the multitude of falsities the Republican speakers are throwing out at the public. Last night, Mike Huckabee actually said that he was concerned about Obama bringing back "European ideas" after he spoke in Germany. What is this, 1950's Kansas?

Central to the discussion of the Republican ticket this week has been the choice of Sarah Palin, John McCain's first major decision as a leader. I've been doing a little research this week to try and evaluate the quality of that decision. Let me share a few facts that I've picked up:

  • Before becoming Alaska's Governor - a title she's held for only a year and a half - the extent of Palin's political experience was as the mayor of Wasillia, a town of approximately 6,700 people.
  • In her early days as mayor she sought to dismiss many of her supports who began to publicly object to her policies. She issued gag orders barring any of her direct reports from speaking to the press. Then she attempted to ban books from the public library.
  • Contrary to reports and popular opinion, Palin does not command the Alaska National Guard. That duty instead falls to Major General Craig Campbell who recently revealed that Palin plays no part in national defense.
  • In stark contrast to McCain's stance against big money, Palin employed a lobbying firm and managed to secure $27 million in earmarks for a town of only 6,700 residents.
  • Despite the fact that Alaska National Guard troops are on the ground in Iraq several of whom have been casualties as well as the fact that her own son is set to enter the Army in a matter of weeks, Palin doesn't seem to care much about the war. In 2007 she stated, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." While in Iraq to visit the troops, she voiced virtually no opinion of the war itself. "I'm not here to judge the idea of withdrawing, or the timeline. I'm not going to judge even the surge."
  • Palin opposes stronger taxes levied against the country's richest oil companies. She's even backed plans to drill for oil in Alaska as well as offshore drilling throughout the coastal states.
  • Palin sued the Bush administration in an effort to have polar bears removed from the list of threatened species. Why? To pave the way for increased oil drilling in her state.
  • Palin is pro-life even in cases of rape or incest.
  • She refuses to see the viability of alternative energy solutions. She recently stated that "alternative energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years to develop." Nor does she believe in global warming.
  • According to Palin, creationism should be taught in schools. Sure, teaching creationism has been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court but what does that matter?
  • Between 2003 and 2005, Palin was one of three directors of "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service," a group designed to serve as a "boot camp" for Republican women in Alaska. Unfortunately, in 2005, Stevens was indicted by a grand jury, specifically for violations against the Ethics in Government Act.
  • Palin has direct ties to the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP). She attended the party conferences in 1994 and 2000 and addressed the convention via video in 2008. Her husband has been a registered member for 10 years. Joe Vogler, the party's founder, is quoted as stating, "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government and I won't be buried under their damn flag."

I know Palin has some great qualities. She's a strong woman who has accomplished a great deal at a relatively young age. She's a mother of five, a former mayor and a governor and now a vice presidential candidate. These are marvelous accomplishments. But she's not qualified to be the president of the United States. If elected, John McCain will be the oldest first term president in our nation's history and has undergone multiple treatments for cancer. And Palin is who he wants the proverbial heartbeat away from the Oval Office?

Obviously, I'm a little worked up. Because I want to send a message this time around with my vote. A message that speaks to the basic human rights I expect everyone to receive if they're within our borders. A message that demands unjust wars be responsibly ended. A message which states that if two men or women love each other they should be afforded the same rights as traditional couples. A message that signals the end to political dominance by old white guys. A message that says that liberal isn't a bad word - it's a good one. A message that energy self-sufficiency is something to embrace as is our environment. A message that stresses a woman's right to choose. A message which clearly states that ethics matter and the media doesn't decide elections. And I fear for this country if that message isn't echoed loud and clear.

But maybe that's just me being idealistic again.

I ask you, was McCain's choice a brilliantly calculated Hail Mary or was it just insane? How much of a factor will Palin be in the election? And how much does she deserve to be? What are your thoughts?

Posted by Chris at September 4, 2008 7:37 AM

After watching her speech last night I write a huge check to the the Obama campaign. I am terrified of that woman. If McCain kicked the bucket in office out country would resemble Attwood's The Handmaid's Tale. She is one scary, crazy lady.

Posted by: jodifur at September 4, 2008 8:00 AM

It's alright Chris, I still like you, even if your wrong! ;)

Posted by: Jeff A at September 4, 2008 8:04 AM

Y'know, I wasn't voting for McCain regardless of who he chose to join him on his ticket but think he had to have been able to do better.

I honestly cannot get past the fact that she either a) knew her daughter was pregnant and chose to accept and have her kid trotted out there like some carnival freak or b) she didn't know her daughter was pregnant and hey, isn't that fantastic that she has such an awesome relatoinship with her kids that they don't even tell mommy when they get knocked up. (NOTE: I realize that none of that paragraph has nothing to do with her ability to do "the job" - but I still can't respect it because no way on earth would I drag my kid out for a dog-and-pony show knowing that the world would ridicule them for MY CHOICE and MY CAREER. Sorry. Nope. No go).

And, I can't get past the anti-choice, anti-birth control, abstinence only hoohaa. ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME!?

Obama '08.

Posted by: Sarah at September 4, 2008 8:13 AM

I found her smug and self-righteous last night in her speech. She loves to throw around that Obama doesn't have any experience - and being governor of a state that has more caribou than people makes her more qualified??

Here is what I find a little disconcerting is that this woman is okay with sacrificing her family at this time. When her 17 year old daughter is pregnant and she herself just had a baby who has Down's Syndrome. She can't be unaware of the media and how it will rip apart her privacy and family life. I am not saying she should be a stay at home mom (although she DOES HAVE 5 children so obviously wanted a family) she is still making a statement about herself and her own ambitions.

Posted by: Debbie at September 4, 2008 8:16 AM

I'm with you on this. After Palin was announced as McCain's pick for VP I started researching as well. I think it's laughable that they've actually come out and said she's more qualified to be VP than Obama is to be President - based on being mayor of a small town in Alaska and governor for 18 months. Please. Also find her abuse of power (to thwart anyone who dares to disagree with her) VERY disturbing and VERY, VERY reminiscent of the current administration. Good luck to the average, middle-class citizens in this country if McCain/Palin get elected in November - we're going to need it.

Palin's AIP connections should be shouted from the rooftops - that is some disturbingly un-American sentiment, and yet last night she had the nerve to throw a dig at Michelle Obama's "proud of my country" comment (a comment the Republicans have attempted to twist into more than it was).

BTW - What do you think the odds are that the Republicans already have things rigged up to ensure they win in states like Ohio and Florida? I'm more nervous about that than just about anything else with this election, as I think it's pretty clear there was plenty of suspicious goings-on in those states in 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: erin at September 4, 2008 8:28 AM

Awesome, Chris. This is like a one stop shop of all the reasons Sarah Palin is NOT the woman we want for the job! Vice President or especially, President. You didn't even touch on the fact of her scary, scary church and what they preach - I'm a Christian and it frightens the heck out of ME.

(And can I just say that Joe Lieberman is chapping my ass, what with his wishy wash self? WTF, Joe? Total Benedict Arnold, dude.)

Yeah, at least Obama has BEEN to Washington. You know, for his JOB.

Posted by: Sam at September 4, 2008 8:29 AM

Ha, ha. You said "brilliant" and "McCain" in the same sentence!! It is INSANITY!!! As you have so eloquently pointed out, she is NOT qualified for the job. I had to go on SEVERAL interviews to get my current job and believe me, it's not as fancy as VP of the USA. Moreover, as a woman, I'm insulted that McCain thinks I will vote with my vagina instead of my brain.

And if Palin or the GOPs don't stop calling every single criticism, comment or question "sexist" just because it is asked of a woman, I'm going to lose my mind!

I'm fired up, too.

Posted by: Robyn at September 4, 2008 8:31 AM

OMG... David Ross played a speech she made in her church... you know, like Obama's preacher thang? well... she said "let us pray that God gives the people of this state the right frame of mind to enable us to drill for oil on our shores, because God would want us to be able to do this"... "God wants us to use our lands"...
and after reading the part about her last child, it is a fact if you don't STOP having babies past a certain point, the percentages of them suffering down's syndrome rises... and they want to stop a woman's right to choose? (and you know they WILL)...holy crap batman! Between McCain (and I was afraid he would choose Romney for heaven's sake!) I think he chose Palin because someone (maybe God spoke for Palin and said "choose me"?)said in order to beat Obama you better choose a woman, and a young one at that! I think if they get elected, I'm gonna have to take my lesbian wife and move to Canada! Good thing she qualifies for dual citizenship!

Posted by: the unicorn at September 4, 2008 8:34 AM

I completely agree Chris. And I have to say, even though it's only been a week, I am SICK AND TIRED of anyone who voices any negative opinions about Palin being labelled as sexist. Saying she isn't qualified for the job is not sexist. Saying she isn't qualified because she has boobs is. Know the difference!

Honestly, it's times like this where I take some comfort from the fact that I moved out of the country. I mean, I love the US a lot, and I miss it so much, but not getting yelled at for being a "damn liberal" is...well...liberating. But maybe that's just my "European ideas" talking.

Posted by: Kerry at September 4, 2008 8:39 AM

Thanks for the neat summarization! I am so worried about this election. I's obvious McCain ONLY picked her because she is a woman. Even though I never intended to vote for him in the first place, that does make me question his judgement even more. I think the state of Alaska is so far removed from "typical" America, the whole family will suffer from culture shock if they had to move to D.C.
Palin is utterly unqualified to be VP. And although this is not a just reason to not vote for her- her voice is like nails on a chalkboard!
As a full time working mom, I know how hard it is to commit to my paltry little job when my children are sick. Sure i have a husband too, but it's so different being a mom, and I only have two kids, who are much older and neither are developmentally challenged. Call me sexist but it will affect her ability to do the job.

And the pregnant daughter....why compound one mistake by forcing these KIDS to get married! I feel sorry for that boy, his life is ruined because of this. Sure he needs to be responsible for that baby, but making these two kids get married is totally irresponsible. I speak from experience. Married at 19, divorced at 20.

How come Jamie Lynn Spears was crucified for her teen daughter getting pregnant but Sarah Palin is mother of the year?

Obama '08!

Posted by: Lisa at September 4, 2008 8:49 AM

I told my very Republican friend, right after the VP choice was announced, that McCain must have sold his soul to the devil because I think on the surface she is a perfect choice...if you don't dig too deep (which so many won't do). She told me, "let's hope it is a gift from God".

My jaw fell to the floor and I asked her how she can support someone who is so prolife since she had had an abortion in her 20's. Funny how one can forget what rights they were able to use when they needed it. She thinks that is a basic right that will never be taken away. Unfortunately I can't agree with her.

The McCain/Palin ticket scares me greatly. Our basic freedoms have been eroded away the last 8 years and with these two I worry that they will all be gone soon.

Posted by: daisy at September 4, 2008 8:50 AM

Obama has Rev. Wright, Ayres the domestic terrorist, has very little experience as well..Im just saying...

What his ticket lacks if a VP MILF.

Posted by: William at September 4, 2008 9:07 AM

Well written. You brought to light several points of which I was not aware, serving to further cement my repulsion for Palin.
I think my favorite is how she said last night that she told the gov't "Thanks but no thanks" on the earmarked money for the bridge to no where - that "if we want to build a bridge, we'll do it ourselves".
Sure, they didn't build a bridge. But she DID keep the 200+ million dollars that was supposed to be for the bridge. Same old garbage, same old self-righteous, holier-than-thou Republican deception.

Truthfully, I wasn't sure who I was going to vote for because I agree with Mccain on about half the issues, and Obama on about half. But his choice of Palin - and she herself - have helped me decide. I'm so disgusted with the Republican Robots. Um, yeah I'm a bit fired up too. And don't even get me started on the abortion, gay marriage, and teaching freakin' creationism in schools.

thanks for lettin gme get this out!

Posted by: Caitlin at September 4, 2008 9:14 AM

I think the choice of Palin was brilliant. The way I see it anyone that was going to vote for McCain won't change their vote on account of Palin because by not voting they will be, essentially, voting for Obama. He was trying to appeal to the largest possible demographic...women. It won't work on the smart ones but, believe it or not, there are actually some dumb women out there that just became McCain Democrats. I guess he was counting on us to put "Gender First". Silly McCain, trick are for kids.

Posted by: mymilabean at September 4, 2008 9:16 AM

BTW, did you know she only recently left the country for the first time? And she criticizes Obama for not having International experience.

And also don't get me started on the whole topic of her daughter. it IS a private matter, but I can't help but wonder what kind of relationship Bristol will have with her mother in 20 years: all this pressure -at such a young age - to have that baby, to get married to the guy, to get trotted out onto the world stage as a puppet of her mother's politics and beliefs. Yeesh. I could go on, but I'll stop now.

Posted by: Caitlin at September 4, 2008 9:18 AM

Palin has some fight in her and I like that. While she may not be the most experienced candidate, you have to admit that Obama is not either. Lets face it, once again we don't have a lot to choose from. Yes, I agree that if voting for McCain you have to look at her and wonder if she could lead the country given his age. I still don't know who I am going to vote for but I'm not really agreeing with your post. You brought up all the bad about the repubs and paint Obama in such a bright light which you shouldn't have because he doesn't deserve it either.

Posted by: Darren at September 4, 2008 9:25 AM

Well said, Chris. I couldn't agree more. Sarah Palin is both ludicrous and terrifying. I've been in the Obama camp all along, but Sarah Palin has renewed my drive to spread the word.

I've been watching the RNC, as I watch the DNC last week. I know I'm not exactly an unbiased observer, but it really strikes me that the RNC is all about mean-spirited one liners. The speakers are as nasty and misleading as can be, and the crowd just eats it up. Sickening.

Posted by: Kelly at September 4, 2008 9:30 AM

May I be blunt? My first thought when I heard his selection was that it was an attempt to collect the disenchanted Hillary supporters by those who thought that those supporters were just vaginas following a vagina. There were/are some Hillary fans who follow her because she is a woman, but not all supporters fall in that category.

Posted by: Maria at September 4, 2008 9:33 AM

May I be blunt? My first thought when I heard his selection was that it was an attempt to collect the disenchanted Hillary supporters by those who thought that those supporters were just vaginas following a vagina. There were/are some Hillary fans who follow her because she is a woman, but not all supporters fall in that category.

Posted by: Maria at September 4, 2008 9:33 AM

McCain is an idiot ....enough said.
Go OBAMA!!!!!!

Posted by: Julie Andel at September 4, 2008 9:35 AM

I'm with you Chris. I'm actually sickened by the fact that this is who the Republicans feel should stand up for them. It's bad enough that they're conservatives who think women have no right to choose what happens to their own bodies, but to choose a woman who has so few qualifications, so many problems at home, and is more interested in the nomination than protecting her 17-year old daughter from this kind of public media hoopla. Just because she has a vagina doesn't make me respect her more. I can only hope more of the American public feels that way, then votes for her.

Posted by: Laura at September 4, 2008 9:35 AM

I largely agree with what you and the above commenters have written. What amazed me about the convention last night were the many derogatory comments about Obama having worked as a community organizer. The tone with which the term was said made it sounds like he was dealing crack on a street corner. Since when is it a bad thing to try and build up people and neighborhoods ravaged by economic changes?

Don't get me wrong, I am very disillusioned with both parties and out entire political system. I find it so unfortunate that the American people continue to allow politicians to play these ludicrous games with our lives.

Posted by: Allison at September 4, 2008 9:44 AM

You missed shooting wolves from airplanes. She's a true sportsperson.

I haven't watched much of the convention - been busy with the great-grandkids (long story - I'll email you at some point) but I've been hitting the high spots. Since there is no way in hell I was going to vote Republican (and even less now), why waste the electricity on them.

I did some research when her name first surfaced and the more I read the more horrified I am. Does Senator McCain think women are so stupid we'll suddenly forget all our ideals and vote for him because he put a woman on the ticket? That's insulting. There were so many others he could have chosen. Either of the two Senators from Maine, even Hutchison of TX who drives me nuts but at least I respect her intelligence, several other Governors, etc.

By the way, if you haven't seen the Peggy Noonan clip on YouTube and elsewhere, check it out before it "disappears".

Posted by: Ann Adams at September 4, 2008 9:45 AM

Chris, great recap of why she is so unbelievably the wrong choice! I'm not an American but as a Canadian the choice in presidency is one that would affect all of us here.
This should be interesting!

Posted by: Gabriella at September 4, 2008 9:46 AM

i cannot for the life of me understand why anyone could listen to those speeches last night and still vote for the other guy. the other guy being the one you support, Chris. it's too bad, you're such a nice guy, but you're way off base on this one.

the issues people are bringing against her aren't even relevant... while people are slamming her beliefs they're ignoring the fact that she has executive experience and is for states rights. she knows where to draw the line between federal and state responsibilities and she will stand up for that. she stands with a party that has plans... not just an idea.

Posted by: monique at September 4, 2008 9:56 AM

Here's the Peggy Noonan clip I was talking about. I was afraid I'd lose my whole comment if I went searching. She's been busily "revising and extending" her remarks ever since.

Posted by: Ann Adams at September 4, 2008 9:57 AM

I'm truly horrified at the choice. In my past, I've been more on the republican side of the fence, but you could not convince me to vote for McCain now at all. Palin is the most frightening woman. If our country is in their leadership, we're in big trouble.

Go Obama!

Posted by: Jean at September 4, 2008 10:01 AM

i think what he thought was a very strategic decision (ooh! let's get the Hilary voters!) is actually a really dumb-ass decision. bottom line? she's not qualified for this position. and Mccain is bloody ancient. dumb. ass.

not that choosing a good VP would have swayed my vote...but still, now he just looks like a total douche.

Posted by: ali at September 4, 2008 10:09 AM

I was 17 and pregnant. I married my baby's father and I chose to have my child. (Let's face it, they will not be able to overturn Roe V Wade no matter how they try to scare you by telling you the Republicans will do that)Was it the best choice in my life? You bet your ass! My daughter is now 31, and working in cancer research. Who knows, perhaps she will help discover a cure for this horrible illness.
I believe ALL politicians lie. ALL. I believe most of them go into politics for the power. Just look at Nancy Pelosi. She is one of the worst!
Would Obama have served his country the way John McCain did? I don't think so. It's all about character and as far as I can tell Obama is in it for himself and has very little concern for me. After all, his politics says that I am too wealthy and so are you. Not sure I can survive higher gas prices after I get done paying Obama more taxes on my fixed income.

Posted by: Maribeth at September 4, 2008 10:11 AM

The new republican demographic is largely made up of closed-minded insanity, so making such an insane pick played right into the hands of the party faithful.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at September 4, 2008 10:16 AM

thank you for doing the research. And thank you for voicing my every fear.

I couldn't sleep last night for the giant ball of fury in my belly wouldn't allow me to. I agree with you that her accomplishments are admirable and if she didn't believe what she believed and think what she thinks... I'd be on board.

Unfortunately - she DOES think what she thinks and believe what she believes.


I'm not going to make it to November without an ulcer.

Posted by: liz at September 4, 2008 10:36 AM

I'm all for strong women in leadership roles. I think Palin is a strong and tough woman and does practice what she preaches. The problem is that I cannot agree with any of the things she [or her political party] believes in. What she preaches is abhorrent to me [anti-choice, pro-gun etc.]

Some of the posts above shock me. I know there are ignorant people in your country of course, but to hear intelligent people choosing not to vote for Obama because of some imaginary fear of taxes going up, or sense he has no experience with what he is doing worries me. After 8 years of eroding rights, worsening poverty, a freakin' war with no end, a tanking economy... how can people so readily dismiss what America has become at home and abroad under a Republican administration?

I thank my stars daily I live in Canada, because I would find it so difficult to live amongst such ignorance.

Posted by: Jacqueline at September 4, 2008 10:55 AM

Hi Chris,

I'm an American living in Canada - where Obama is preferred by a 5 to 1 margin - and the RNC makes me physically ill. I can't even describe the anger and frustration I feel when watching these people speak. This post is fantastic. It's level headed and concise and says it all. Thanks for sharing.

A couple of things that REALLY bother in particular are a)the GOP keeps talking about change and shaking up D.C, conveniently not mentioning that they're the ones who have been in power for 8 years and got the country there in the first place. Nice. b)I feel for Bristol's baby daddy. 6 months ago he was a horny kid trying to get laid and now he HAS to marry his pregnant GF and is thrust into the spotlight as an example of a good teen match? Why was he up on stage again? Oh yes, because them getting married makes it all ok. c)who is Cindy McCain? The First Lade plays a pretty important roll and the country needs more than a beer selling trophy wife. Michelle Obama would rip this woman apart if there were a First Lady debate. Which would be AWESOME, BTW.

Posted by: Joscelyn at September 4, 2008 11:09 AM

I agree with you, Chris, 100%.

McCain picked her as a cheap political stunt to quickly throw a young woman on the ticket and pick up disgruntled Hillary voters. That's shy McCain waited to make sure Obama didn't pick Hillary as a VP.

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at September 4, 2008 11:24 AM

well said, just added this as a posted item on facebook.

Posted by: Shannan at September 4, 2008 11:40 AM

McCain has lost his mind. There is no other way to explain this debacle.

Posted by: janet at September 4, 2008 11:41 AM

Most everyone I've talked to, excepting my conservative aunt, is appalled at this choice. Just glad to see Obama is still ahead in a new Gallup poll.

PS - Not ALL of Kansas was bad in the 1950s! Lawrence has been a bastion of blue for quite a while - those damn liberal professors.

Posted by: Heather at September 4, 2008 12:02 PM

Boy, if liberal is a bad word then my blog name sure is naughty!

What a great post - as always. Thank you for compiling all of those facts about Palin. I've wanted to find out more information about her and this post gave me a lot of it! The fact that she's against gays and against abortion even in cases of incest or rape is enough for me to know that I would never in a million years vote for her. The important thing is that these kinds of facts become common knowledge so that there's no such thing as an uniformed voter next November.

Posted by: Liberal Banana at September 4, 2008 12:10 PM

Soooooooo, I come from a long line of staunch Republicans (with one very dear Sister who is a HUGE Obama Supporter. HUGE.). I don't need to tell you what I thought of Sarah Palin's speech, and what I think about her politics.

But I will say that I have found to be an insanely useful tool as I listen to all of these wonderful speeches on BOTH sides of the aisle. AND as I watch all of the political ads, mind you.

Posted by: chatty cricket at September 4, 2008 12:15 PM

I read an interesting article(?)op-ed piece(?) in the nytimes that suggested mccain really wanted either lieberman or tom ridge but because both aren't staunchly anti-abortion, mccain's campaign got hammered by the pro-life (anti-choice?) folks and he had to find someone else quickly. that's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for why he made this choice. I'm still thinking that palin may "withdraw to spend more time with my family" and leave mccain with an opening for vp....

Posted by: paul at September 4, 2008 12:16 PM


As a person who is trying to decide who to vote for, I appreciate your listing. But let's remember to keep a little perspective -- neither one is perfect or is even telling the truth. Both are politicians trying to get what they want.
And I'm tired of people commenting on the fact that Bristol is pregnant and getting married with hateful comments -- no one knows that if she had been on birth control or some other method that she still wouldn't be pregnant, and no one knows if her fiance really wants to marry her or not. I know quite a few guys that said they didn't want kids but when faced with the possibility did a complete 180 and were thrilled. Maybe he's not being forced -- maybe it was his desire to give his child his name and full support and see what he and Bristol could make of this. It's not for everyone but people get married young everyday and have very happy lives. No one really knows - and it shouldn't be used as ammunition. And for those who say, well, that's just part of public life, that's like saying, well, you're just expected to make hurtful comments -- don't know about you, but that's not how I am raising my child.

Posted by: shakin'myhead at September 4, 2008 12:18 PM

Wonderful summary. I completely agree. Her speech last night was horrid. She was smug and hateful. To answer your question, I think it's no doubt that it's a poorly planned attempt at a Hail Mary. I think Samantha Bee's 'report' on the Daily Show a few days ago pretty much summed up where McCain's campaign teams head was at in regards to adding her to the ticket. I have to say that as a (hopefully) well spoken, intelligent (no doubt liberal) woman, I'm actually somewhat insulted by their choice. As if Hillary supports are that stupid.

I'm so baffled by her stance on so many objects but more than anything I can not wrap my mind around her stance on abortion - not even rape or incest? REALLY??? Coming from a woman vp candidate I that makes me extremely concerned.

Posted by: Jen at September 4, 2008 12:22 PM

McCain/Palin can't win on the issues and in an honest debate about where our country should be heading. But, they can win if they can shift the focus and keep Obama/Biden off their game plan.

Governor Palin scares the crap out of me. Her views are so extreme/when she even has a viewpoint. I managed to see about half of her speech last night and I'm worried. She has the ability to connect with a certain segment of voters. She could draw in voters that connect with her and don't do their homework.

I find it insulting that Senator McCain picked her. We face more serious issues every year and this isn't the time for a stunt. Most women won't vote for other women simply because they are women.

I feel McCain shot himself in the foot by choosing her. But, the media loved her last night.

I feel the media smells blood and this is far from over. I feel the media is going to be crawling under rocks to catch Sarah in a major blunder. She has too many red flags in her background to have gotten this far and if she self destructs--I feel it's lights out.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at September 4, 2008 12:28 PM

I had a gut feeling before that McCain would win. Since his section of Palin, that fear has increased.

The right wing loves her. The conservative leaning independents will come to love her. We are about to get 4 years of more of the same, and then some.

Oh well, according to Bush I'm nothing but an angry leftist.

Posted by: Mindy at September 4, 2008 12:55 PM

Long time reader, first time commenter.

Bravo, Chris!

You were able to so eloquently put into words my feelings on this entire spectacle.

(I'm Canadian and so will not be voting but I still feel invested in the process.)

I wish you all a government you can be proud of in 2009.

Posted by: Kelly at September 4, 2008 1:03 PM

You can't hear it but I'm applauding you Chris. You very eloquently put all of the same fears I have of that woman ever becoming VP. She is so the opposite of everything I believe in it actually makes me sick to my stomach to think about what would happen if McCain won and how it would effect my two young daughters futures. Also, the previous commenter (the other Sarah) who made mention of the fact that she supposedly knew about her daughter's pregnancy and knew the poor girl was going to be put on display for the world, ITA. Any person who would put their job before the care, emotional health and privacy of their own children I have absolutely no respect for.

Posted by: Sarah at September 4, 2008 1:44 PM

I will not agree or disagree as I don't have enough information on Palin yet. However, I will comment that McCain's biggest argument is that Obama is too inexperienced to be President...yet he picks a running mate with less than 2 years experience and doesn't expect any backlash? Hmmm, something to think about in terms of logical skills.

Posted by: Krush at September 4, 2008 1:50 PM

I'm with you 100%. To me the only thing worse than McCain in the oval office would be Palin there when he's kicked the bucket. SHUDDER!

Posted by: Shelly at September 4, 2008 1:58 PM

OMG! I detest this woman! I detest her trotting her pregnant 17-yr old daughter out like a show pony to exhibit her RTL stance.

I refuse to back a candidate just because he is/was a war hero who experienced a POW camp with interrogations. That doesn't make him a good presidential candidate, that makes him a war hero.

I watched part of Palin's speech last night and am disgusted by her. Her vitriol and rhetoric are troublesome at best. I won't even get into the things you brought up, Chris, as it scares me that this person was even considered a good candidate (and it has nothing to do with her being a woman.)

The fact that she was a Hail-Mary effort to pull in the vagina voters pisses me off!

As a moderate, I have been weighing my options as to whom I should vote for. I was leaning toward Obama. I am leaning no longer. I'm biding my time, waiting for my mail-in ballot to arrive. I will then get out my biggest black marker and vote OBAMA/BIDEN!

Posted by: zanie at September 4, 2008 2:00 PM

Good post Chris.

I have a dumb question, totally to do with McCain's age. If he passes away during the campaign, what happens?

Posted by: Nat at September 4, 2008 2:26 PM

Here, here, Rude Cactus for president...oh wait never mind. ;)

I am completely with you. The woman terrifies does McCain, he looks like he's ready to croke and he would leave her in charge. The crap going around with her kids and what have you is wrong....but I worry it's taking away from her scary ass politics and I don't want that to get over looked.

Posted by: Issa at September 4, 2008 2:37 PM

Really good post! I applaud the last few things you wrote at the end.

What I'm tired of is hearing how everyone here is going to vote for her *just because she is our governor*. They all have this "whats in it for me" kind of mentality, instead of really looking at the big picture.

I didn't like her before (even before she was our governor) and I like her even less now.

Posted by: Mary at September 4, 2008 2:47 PM

Where were all these commenters when you asked about the election before!? ;)

My little lady brain is too confused with all this information so I guess I'll be voting with my vagina for the VP with a vagina!

Ugh. I think it's the fact that they think we are THAT stupid is the most insulting. I'm with liz on the ulcer until November track.
And Maribeth? The fact that you had a CHOICE is the part you should be focusing on in your statement. Both Palin and McCain have said that they would appoint Supreme Court justices who would work to overturn Roe v. Wade. Argh. This kind of comment is what keeps that ulcer going.

Posted by: tulip at September 4, 2008 3:23 PM

Great summary, Chris. You've given me a head start on some additional googling I need to do!

Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of misleading folks during their conventions. Any perusal of fact-checking articles will spell that out quite nicely.

For the commenters here, I find it concerning that much of the language used by those of us on the liberal side is laced with sexist comments such as multiple usage of the phrase "this woman" (when "this man" is not used for men) and "voice like nails on a chaulkboard". Comments such as these do not advance our cause.

And all political candidates trot out their families. She shouldn't be singled out for that. Nor should she be singled out for having small children that need their mother. As a father, I have chosen a job that allows me the flexibility to take care of my family first. I wouldn't leave my children with my mother in law for 19 months while I ran for President as Obama has done.

His kids are 10 and 7. They were 6 and 3 when he became a Senator. Chelsea Clinton was 12 when she went to the White House after living nearly her entire life in the Arkansas governor's mansion. Amy Carter was 3 when she moved to the governor's mansion and 9 when she moved to the White House. John F. Kennedy Jr was born after his father was elected President!

So I think we need to stop the pot-calling-kettle-black stuff, get our priorities straight, and get off the personal and on to the many, many true policy issues which are worthy of debate.

Posted by: James Proffitt at September 4, 2008 3:24 PM

Is it bad that I've completely given up on our political system? I have no faith whatsoever that either party will represent ME. Sure, I'm a staunch democrat and an Obama supporter, but he doesn't really represent me either. I'm sad that the politics in the United States have deteriorated so badly.

Posted by: k8 at September 4, 2008 3:56 PM

In theory, it's great that a woman is on a presidential ticket for a major party in this election. Heck, it's even great that it's for the *Republican* party, which I'll bet no one ever saw as the party to be in a position to put the first woman in the White House. But, dude, her politics scare the crap out of me. And I think having a woman who is THAT pro-life and generally right-wing in national office will only lead to bad things.

Posted by: Dawn at September 4, 2008 4:00 PM

A woman that is a consultant for the company I work at said in a meeting the other day that she thought McCain picked Palin as a snub to the Republican party because he they refused to let him pick who he wanted to choose for VP (Lieberman or uh whatshisface) so he was all "Fine, I'll show you!!" and picked her with the knowledge that she would be chewed up and spit out at the convention and he'd be able to get who he really wanted.

Interesting concept, would be asinine if that's why he picked her though.

Posted by: Teenuh at September 4, 2008 4:20 PM

I would like to take your facts and email them to all I know , I am so tired of all the republican emails bashing Obama , this would be tasteful , just the facts , I beleive they speak for themselves , no other words are needed

Posted by: Michelle at September 4, 2008 4:35 PM

I am quite sure I would pick up and leave the US if she was ever President. Yesterday, on another person's blog, I commented on the reasons why I don't think she is a good candidate for VP. I was called a "faux feminist" and "prejudiced towards moms" since I am a women and don't blindly want to vote for her since she is a women.

You missed the bit about how she tried to have her ex-brother-in-law fired from his state trooper job when her sister and he were in the middle of their custody battle. Niiiiccceee. That's classy.

Some of her "beliefs" are so ridiculous they make me laugh. I really don't want the VP of the US to be someone that makes me point and laugh at them.

Posted by: Jen at September 4, 2008 4:40 PM

You know, I actually wanted to like her, but the more I learn about her, and the more I hear her speak, the less I can.

Posted by: Heather at September 4, 2008 5:34 PM

Well articulated. I think the choice of Palin was a bit contrived and condescending. I don't know if she will be a huge factor in the election, but I think she should be. McCain is old.

I can't wait for the Biden/Palin VP debate. He's going to wipe the floor with her and it's going to be amazing.

Posted by: NGS at September 4, 2008 6:38 PM

She may be a dynamic speaker but the only part of that speech written by Palin, were a few well chosen a's and the's. The rest was written by the speech writers. This woman frightens me and I am almost ashamed to say it, because it would be nice to have a strong woman in the White House but not this woman.

My first reaction was that John McCain decided he didn't want to be president and his vp choice was a way of solidifying it. Now, it occurs to me that McCain believes this was a great choice. What an even more frightening thought... The VP debate will be an entertaining show. They can prep her for some of the questions but surely not all. Palin adlibbing might be the final nail in McCain's coffin.

God help this country if the rednecks swing the vote...

Posted by: Amanda at September 4, 2008 7:06 PM

She may be a dynamic speaker but the only part of that speech written by Palin, were a few well chosen a's and the's. The rest was written by the speech writers. This woman frightens me and I am almost ashamed to say it, because it would be nice to have a strong woman in the White House but not this woman.

My first reaction was that John McCain decided he didn't want to be president and his vp choice was a way of solidifying it. Now, it occurs to me that McCain believes this was a great choice. What an even more frightening thought... The VP debate will be an entertaining show. They can prep her for some of the questions but surely not all. Palin adlibbing might be the final nail in McCain's coffin.

God help this country if the rednecks swing the vote...

Posted by: Amanda at September 4, 2008 7:06 PM

This is even more than I already knew about her, which makes me like her even less than I already did, if that's even possible...

Posted by: Zandria at September 4, 2008 9:30 PM

I think Obama's selection of Biden was well thought out and an intelligent decision.
I think McCain's selection of Palin was - yes, I'll say it - a grab for the "vagina vote". I would love to see a female President or VP, but I'll wait for a qualified one thank you very much.
She frightens me. If she was a male, (s)he would frighten me. I feel an extreme radicalness from her and that's what frightens me.

Posted by: NancyJak at September 4, 2008 9:49 PM

I'm also very put off by Palin. Not that she could have swayed me, though. Either way. I've been yelled at twice this week for saying that I'm going to vote for Obama. And worse than that? The arguments these people are throwing out are just crazy! I may just print out your post here and carry copies in my purse to hand out when I get yelled at again. And bonus, while they're reading I can run away.

Posted by: OS at September 4, 2008 9:59 PM

Sarah was fantastic!

The best part is coming to blogs like this and seeing everyone getting so uptight. It's great!

Somehow I feel that if Sarah had delivered Obama's speech verbatum. You would still pick her apart with the same vile vitriol.

I don't think you hate her though for what she believes. I think it's because of what she is about to do. Derail the Obama presidential campain.

BTW: The voting with Bush 95% of the time is getting O...L...D. The Obama campaign is going to fall into a steaming pile of it's own rhetoric if it does not come up with something new soon.

Not everyone hates Bush for the same reasons as you. Some hate him because he was not conservative enough as a Republican, or a President. so the 95% thing is not as good a tool as the Democrats think it is. But it does froth up the faithful Liberal Obama fan base.

Posted by: Wade at September 4, 2008 10:02 PM

thank you. I am in complete agreement with you.

Posted by: iheartnewyork at September 4, 2008 10:04 PM

Did you pull that info off's website? You might to research them and their agenda before you wholesale buy what they are selling.

McCain wasn't my first choice, but I'm backing him now, and I think the choice of Palin was priceless.

And I find it ironic that every night during the GOP convention, violence has been an issue outside the convention center. I thought liberals were supposed to be pacifists and all about peace.

Posted by: coolchick at September 4, 2008 11:01 PM

Wow, as an outside observer (Singaporean living in Australia), I am a little scared of who the USA is going to eventually vote as their president and vice-president. As they say in your country, the pickings are slim. Yeesh!

Although if i did have a vote, I would go for Obama, only cos I wouldn't want my country to revert back to 1800 ideals

Posted by: Aurelia at September 4, 2008 11:14 PM

Wow- lots of hate for Palin, yet she is more qualified than Obama himself. Normally, the VP candidates are compared to each other. The sheer fact that Palin is compared directly to the Democratic presidential nominee and not to Biden speaks volumes about the weakness of the Democratic ticket.

Posted by: brian at September 5, 2008 12:29 AM

On a lighter good is that song? One of the best all time rock screams (was it this one or Baba O'Reily? I always get them mixed up) and one of my all time favs. And yes, she scares me.

Posted by: Beth at September 5, 2008 12:47 AM

*sits quietly* :)

politics really know how to get people riled up.

therefore i'll keep my mccain-palin-supporting-mouth quiet ;D

Posted by: tiffanie at September 5, 2008 1:02 AM

I think you proved your point...both Palin and Obama are unqualified as far as expierence goes...I personally don't know who I will vote for yet, but if McCain took on Liberman as a running mate, I think that would have gotten my vote.

Posted by: harrylips at September 5, 2008 9:17 AM

She HAS to be a huge issue, because she'll be sitting in the second most powerful seat in our nation. I cannot for the life of me fathom why McCain, who is honestly pretty moderate, chose HER. I have no beef with McCain; I disagree with him, to be sure, but I think he's a reasonable man open to opinions. That woman is a menace. She will do nothing to improve our standing around the world. She will do nothing for Americans who don't share her very telescoped views on "morals" and "values". Funny, I don't find intolerance very moral. I don't think that imposing your narrow views that you base off a book on an entire country is an admirable value to have.

Grrr. Just grrr.

Posted by: Mr Lady at September 5, 2008 12:45 PM