Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Touché! | Reading Today »

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin in Comparison

posted by on August 30 at 8:49 AM

Karl Rove on picking a running mate:

“I think [Obama’s] going to make an intensely political choice, not a governing choice,” Rove said. “He’s going to view this through the prism of a candidate, not through the prism of president; that is to say, he’s going to pick somebody that he thinks will on the margin help him in a state like Indiana or Missouri or Virginia. He’s not going to be thinking big and broad about the responsibilities of president.” Rove singled out Virginia governor Tim Kaine, also a Face The Nation guest, as an example of such a pick.

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

I wonder if Rove still feels this way. Somehow, I think he probably has a different take on VP qualifications now. Let’s see…

[Palin’s] a populist, she’s an economic and a social conservative, she’s a reformer, she took on the incumbent governor of the state Frank Murkowski — Republican — beat him in the primary, won an upset in the general election. She’s a former mayor. She’s the mayor of, I think, the second largest city in Alaska before she ran for governor.

Actually, Karl, she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population 8,000. At the time, not even one of the 10 biggest “cities” in Alaska.

via TPM, via Gruber, with an assist from Think Progress

(Sorry about the already-everywhere post title, had to use while it’s still a little bit funny—for another 2 minutes or so.)

RSS icon Comments


Have you heard her voice? FUCK, she sounds like a cheer leader.......

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | August 30, 2008 9:14 AM

She's about as annoying as they come and that's way before you even get to her political views.

Posted by monkey | August 30, 2008 9:28 AM

steve benen, of cbs news reported yesterday that mccain has had approx. 1 hour of contact with her in his entire life prior to announcing her as his vp. "gut feeling" my ass. rove's political machinations, more like. this is a cynical, cynical bunch of evil creeps.

Posted by ellarosa | August 30, 2008 9:31 AM

How's about the theory that McCain doesn't really want to be president? It's becoming more plausible, right?

Posted by elenchos | August 30, 2008 9:31 AM

Dear Karl,

STOP TALKING. You're a creepy fucker and nobody wants to hear the pointless crap that drools out your mouth.

Posted by Jake | August 30, 2008 9:34 AM

Obama picks a veep who will help him in the election and will be a good vice president. McCain picks a veep who may help him in the election and will be a joke as vice president. Thanks for confirming that, like the Bush administration, you don't give a fuck about governance, John.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 30, 2008 9:43 AM

Anthony, I can't believe how naive you are. Accusing Karl Rove of hypocrisy?! What's next? Accusing Santa Claus of not existing?

Hypocrisy and delusion are the fuel this nation runs on, just as much as oil and coal are.

Anthony, you can go on living in your fact-based, reality-based world, but facts and reality don't win elections. Identity and emotional truths win elections.

The truth is that, however rich and dim-witted and out-of-touch John McCain is, John McCain is one of us, and John McCain won't raise your taxes.*

* Don't even think of mentioning that Obama said he will cut taxes for 95% of Americans.

Posted by cressona | August 30, 2008 9:48 AM

The more I read about Palin, the bits of video of her I've seen, and the more reactions I read, the more I'm thinking McSame really blew the call on this one.

Sure, she has some stances that will appeal to the GOP base (while at the same time appearing to have almost an equal number of stances on other issues that will turn them off); she has almost no executive experience (and NO, running a city of 8,000 people doesn't count; if that were the case, there are middle managers at Boeing who have an equivalent level of "experience" in that regard); she has ZERO national or foreign policy credentials; she's got a corruption scandal hanging over her head like the Sword of Damocles; she has four kids, one with a serious physical disability, which, while perhaps garnering her some sympathy points, will completely alienate the "women's place is in the home" contingent; and frankly, she makes McSame look like an ancient geezer with a yen for the "younger ladies".

In short, I think the GOP ticket earns a net loss with her on-board; for each disaffected Hilliarite or pro-life/pro-gun independent voter she brings in, they'll LOSE at least an equal number of moderates, traditionalists, and possibly even a significant number of chauvanistic males who simply won't be able to bring themselves to put a woman in the second-highest political office in the land.

And also, the more I think about it, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that Biden SHOULD eviscerate her in the debates; not in a mean or condescending way, but simply pummel her on her obvious foreign policy, national security, economic, and poliitcal weaknesses. This is the BIG LEAGUES, and if she can't stand the heat of something as fundamental as a debate on policy issues, then even those who might feel sympathy for her will be forced to admit that she simply doesn't have the knowledge, insight, skill, or intestinal fortitude to take on the considerable responsibilities of the position, ESPECIALLY when considering McSame's age and physical condition.

Posted by COMTE | August 30, 2008 9:50 AM

elenchos @4: How's about the theory that McCain doesn't really want to be president? It's becoming more plausible, right?

It's funny, but I remember thinking a month or two ago, "McCain subconsciously wants to lose this election." I don't remember what put that thought in my head, but it was there, and the Palin nomination just brought it back.

elenchos, I wonder if you could elaborate on what was inspiring that theory, pre-Palin pick.

Posted by cressona | August 30, 2008 9:53 AM

Strange thought perhaps, but...

Does anyone know Palin's stance on birth control? I know she's anti-abortion, but what about contraceptives? Is it safe to say that someone that would be taking on the position of VP (or very possibly of the next President) could become pregnant? This raises some questions...

Posted by caker | August 30, 2008 10:07 AM

Palin truly is "Ella Mae Clampett of the North" but she will energize the Republican base. The Obama organization in this state better become a visible presence pretty damn soon or Palin/Rossi are going to do some serious damage to Gregoire and Burner. Just taking command of the Democratic caucuses doesn't cut it. There needs to be an aggressive voter registration program combined with a get out the vote campaign.

Posted by ratcityreprobate | August 30, 2008 10:15 AM

Rove is such a tool.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | August 30, 2008 10:16 AM

In my lifetime:

Spiro Agnew, Vice President.
Ronald Reagan, President. Twice.
Dan Quayle, Vice President.
George W. Bush, President. Twice.

Dick Cheney, Satan in the flesh.

Scenario: Small town Alaska mayor, hockey mom, becomes Vice President.

What a country.

Posted by homage to me | August 30, 2008 10:17 AM

Comte, Palin has 5 kids: Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, Trig.

While I am not voting for the McCain/Palin ticket, I am happy about her selection because I have moved up a whole degree in that 6 degrees of separation thing.

Posted by PopTart | August 30, 2008 10:17 AM

from horses ass - interesting

A dissenting opinion on Palin
by Geov, 08/29/2008, 10:51 PM

I’ve spent the day in two odd, contrasting worlds. The first was the final leg of the drive back from Denver to Seattle, wherein (since virtually nothing else is available on the radio dial) I listened to red-meat conservatives like Rush, Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Laura Ingraham wax uber-enthusiastic over John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Then I got home, and I’ve been reading endless progressive blog posts and comments crowing over what a weak and disastrous pick Palin is.

On this one, I think the conservatives have it right. Palin is a brilliant pick, and instantly makes McCain more competitive in a way few VP picks could have done (or have ever done in the past). Here’s why.

Palin has two obvious weaknesses: her complete lack of experience and an ethics question about her (specifically) and anyone associated with the Republican Party in Alaska (more generally). Progressives are overrating both. Palin’s strong narrative as a reformer taking on Alaska’s corrupt old boy network will overwhelm her own love affair with Big Oil (the source of much of her state party’s ethics misery) and the relatively minor personnel matter she’s being investigated for. Moreover, it reinforces McCain’s own (inaccurate and manufactured) image as a reformer who’s battled against DC’s corrupt corporate culture.

Meanwhile, Palin’s thin resume does help the Democrats by contradicting that line of attack on Barack Obama. But it’s a non-issue for Palin. When was the last time someone declined to vote for a president because his running mate was inexperienced? The closest recent example was Bush Sr. picking Dan Quayle in 1988, and despite Quayle’s embarrassing lack of gravitas, Poppy won. Rather easily.

And Sarah Palin is no Dan Quayle. She’s a perfect fit for McCain’s campaign in several respects:

* She’s an extreme social conservative, someone the party base can enthusiastically mobilize around — which they weren’t doing for McCain. He just picked up a ton of volunteer energy.

* But Palin’s likeable and doesn’t come off as wingnut-crazy — meaning she can appeal to low-information independents in a way that, say, Tom Coburn never could.

* Her gender doesn’t just court (OK, pander to) disaffected Hillary supporters. It also negates some of the “historic” zeitgeist surrounding Obama’s campaign, because her election would be ground-breaking, too.

* Her personal story is compelling on any number of levels: blue collar, working mother, part-Eskimo husband, Downs Syndrome infant (that she refused to abort), son in Iraq. It helps counter the Obamas’ very appealing family narrative, which was on full display in Denver.

* And she’s physically attractive. Which matters. Ask (hetero) women if they think Obama is cute. (Hint: he is.)

As a bonus, Palin even helps lock up Alaska’s three electoral votes for McCain — believe it or not, polls had Alaska in play, between Obama’s appeal to independents and the troubles of Ted Stevens, Don Young, et al.

Note that all of these attributes are about McCain getting elected — not what Palin would actually bring to the job of Vice President of the United States. She is no Gore or Cheney; she is not being expected to play a significant role in a McCain White House, the way Biden surely would for Obama. But that doesn’t matter unless you win, and McCain just increased his chances of winning in a way that picking Mitt Romney or any of the other names that were bandied about never would have.

It’s easy to mock McCain for, essentially, picking a trophy VP. Except that Sarah Palin is only a means to the trophy McCain really wants. With her selection, he has served notice that Obamamania or no, McCain will continue to be a formidable candidate right through November.

Posted by Andrew | August 30, 2008 10:22 AM


Mostly I think taking experience off the table was so foolish as to be implausible. How can he not have known that was a mistake? It was Obama's big weakness and he threw it away, and for what? A right wing frother he can control.

Add that to McCain's weak, lazy campaign, showing little sense of timing, and you have to wonder. McCain is terribly erratic, but is he this unstable? Maybe. Or maybe the job doesn't seem so great now. Maybe he's tired.

Posted by elenchos | August 30, 2008 10:26 AM

How can anyone not like her? Check out the photo -- that alone will increase McCain's popularity by 20 percent:

Posted by John Bailo | August 30, 2008 10:33 AM

Wait...they seriously call her husband, "First Dude???"

Posted by cunei4m | August 30, 2008 10:43 AM

@18: Figures... conservatives can crow about national security on one hand, and elect a cheerleader to the Vice-Presidency on the other.

Do you all know that you're hypocrites, or are you firmly stuck in the unreality-based community?

Posted by demo kid | August 30, 2008 10:46 AM

@16 - Geov nailed it.

Palin is a risky pick, but McCain had to do it. Mitt Romney, Tom Ridge, Gov. Pawlenty ... none of them would've made anyone notice, and any of them would've alienated at least part of the base.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 30, 2008 11:03 AM

Geov Parrish has been calling elections the wrong way for how many years? You can talk about your Karl Roves or your Bill Kristols all you want, but then we have our very own local mini-pundit. No matter how many times he turns out to be wrong, he won't shut up.

Can anybody explain that one? I wish they kept batting averages for these guys.

Posted by elenchos | August 30, 2008 11:20 AM

@ 18

Good to see there's no shortage of tanning booths in Alaska. She looks like a flesh carrot in a white suit...uh sitting on a dead bear in front of a dead crab. Gross.

Oh, and everything she says goes against everything I believe in.

Did I miss anything? Fuuuuuck...

Posted by bearseatbeats | August 30, 2008 11:23 AM

@22 - Geov didn't exactly call it for McCain. He just said McCain would be a formidable candidate up until the election, and Palin shouldn't be taken lightly.

Without Palin, McCain was probably headed for a landslide loss.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 30, 2008 11:37 AM

So do the sloggers think there are any legs to the rumor about Trig not being her child?

Posted by stinkbug | August 30, 2008 11:39 AM

Do we agree:
1. This will be close
2. This pick is NOT for entrenched FDR Dems/Obama newbies
3. There is a giant wave of energy about getting a woman to the top layers - history is in the air in two ways ...
4. Mc Cain has just brought good news to his evangelical friends and old line neocon base
5 Took some, a lot of, Obama media
6. Maverick One meeets maverick Two - good messages
7. Gains in base support and Rs. who now feel better about his ticket and indy folks who will swing to Mc Cain - is this 3 million voters all over the place?

I think McCain is a canny old guy and just played the best hand he could at this point.

Beware all you so smart Seattle communists. You are NOT the target of this choice, not at all. Mc Cain type folks could give rats ass what you do or think, they wrote you off years ago.

You all need to quit talking about how special your vote and candidate is and go to work.

I have always seen Biden as a windbag.

Palin will not be viewed as a OLD beltway windbag.

( by the way, I am a lifelong leftist Dem., born in Seattle, so don't throw the troll crap)

Posted by Larry | August 30, 2008 11:49 AM


the pix make the case - how it will play is a question

this is the old system, very common years ago

at least one case in my family back a genertion - the missing 16 year old daughter ( spending time at far away Uncles house) and voila, Mom has a new baby which just seems to happen in her late years ...

Posted by Larkin | August 30, 2008 11:57 AM

What's up with her voice? It's like nails on a chalk board! Her hair is bad too, I can't believe someone didn't suggest a makeover before she was introduced as the VP candidate! Biden needs to kick her A$$! I am looking forward to the debates!

Posted by Miss Piggy | August 30, 2008 12:01 PM

I suppose hiding your daughter's pregnancy by pretending the kid is your gets the "Desperate Housewives" vote...Bree Olson for VP!

Posted by Mr. X | August 30, 2008 12:03 PM

Oh, it goes further than that. How many 15-year-old girls give birth to babies with Downs? Unless their dad knocked them up, I mean.

Posted by alan | August 30, 2008 12:55 PM


PC, you have never fooled anybody. Never. You suck at this. Give up, Susan. Why don't you just post what you really think under your real name? It's not that you and your ideas are unwelcome. It's your sock puppets and your lies that we don't want. Be yourself for once and quit these games.

Posted by elenchos | August 30, 2008 12:59 PM

I meant @26. Sorry, stinkbug (you bicycle kook).

Posted by elenchos | August 30, 2008 1:02 PM

Hey just because you want to fuck the trophy vp doesn't mean we should elect her.

Posted by Sad Comment | August 30, 2008 1:30 PM

Karl Rove also predicted the GOP would pick up seats in Congress in the 2006 elections. Did he ever get a surprise. (Of course Congress may as well be controlled by Republicans for the little they have accomplished, but that's another matter...)

Posted by RainMan | August 30, 2008 1:41 PM

Elenchos - you have become a bit of a dreary ranter.

I am not Susan. Geov. is a well respected progressive voice, sorry, your know it all be it all is getting stale.

And, just who the shit are you to tell other people off in an open forum blog posting series?

Take a nap, get laid, eat some nice food, get outside, relieve the stress, there is no pressure here, maybe smoke a pipe or two with friends?


Posted by Larry | August 30, 2008 2:48 PM

@25- Trying to cover up your 16-year old daughter's pregnancy, and then having her give birth to a Downs baby, which usually only occurs when the mother is over 40 would be an amazing stroke of ... uh ... luck?

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 30, 2008 3:12 PM

a Downs baby, which usually only occurs when the mother is over 40

That statement is not correct. Yes, the *likelihood* increases greatly if the mother is over 40, but a majority of the DS babies are from mothers under 40. I also saw a reference that the likelihood increases for mother's under 18, but I haven't looked up those stats yet.

Posted by stinkbug | August 30, 2008 3:44 PM

Per :

"At maternal age 20 to 24, the probability is one in 1562; at age 35 to 39 the probability is one in 214, and above age 45 the probability is one in 19. Although the probability increases with maternal age, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35, reflecting the overall fertility of that age group."

Posted by stinkbug | August 30, 2008 4:53 PM

My first thought, and that of a number of Republican commentators, on hearing the news was short, sweet, and too the point:

"Man, McCain must be desperate."

And that, to be frank, says it all.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 30, 2008 5:04 PM


Um, why not? I say what I think. I tell the truth, from the heart. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. It's an open forum, and I'm wide open.

You should try it some time, you lying sack of shit.

And who, exactly, "respects" Geov Parrish? Name names. They keep the guy around because he's such a character, not because anybody who is anybody respects him.

Posted by elenchos | August 30, 2008 9:08 PM

"And Sarah Palin is no Dan Quayle."

No, she certainly isn't. Dan Quayle defeated an eight-term Democratic incumbent to be elected to the US Congress in a district which currently exceeds the entire state of Alaska in population. At age 33, Quayle defeated Birch Bayh, a three term Democrat, to be elected to the US Senate. In 1980, a year that saw several incumbent Republican Senators lose their seats, Quayle was re-elected to the Senate by the greatest margin ever recorded in a a statewide race in Indiana.

Posted by Furcifer | August 31, 2008 12:09 AM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.