Appearing on a friendlier news outlet, Gov. Sarah Palin said she was "annoyed" with the way Katie Couric handled their interview and complained that the CBS Evening News host failed to give her the opportunity to take a proverbial axe to Barack Obama.
In a portion of her sit-down with Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron, Palin claimed that Couric's questions -- which produced a series of staggeringly embarrassing responses -- put her in a lose-lose position.
"The Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed," she said. "It's like, man, no matter what you say, you are going to get clobbered. If you choose to answer a question, you are going to get clobbered on the answer. If you choose to try to pivot and go to another subject that you believe that Americans want to hear about, you get clobbered for that too."
For the record, Couric asked her, among other things, what type of news sources she turns to for information, which Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, why Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience, her opinion of the bailout package for Wall Street, and where she thought Vice President Dick Cheney erred. Which one of those questions was designed to trip her up (as opposed to, say, give viewers a better sense of her character and views) is tough to ascertain.
Later in her interview with Cameron, Palin offered a sense of what she thinks would have been a fairer set of questions. Unsurprisingly, they all would have provided her the opportunity to rail against Obama.
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. lost the most jobs in five years in September and earnings rose less than forecast as the credit crisis deepened the economic slowdown.
Payrolls fell by 159,000, more than anticipated, after a 73,000 decline in August, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate, the last one reported before the presidential election, remained at 6.1 percent. Hours worked reached the lowest level since records began in 1964.
The world's largest economy may be headed for bigger job losses as the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression causes consumers and companies to retrench. A sinking labor market and rising borrowing costs raise the odds Federal Reserve policy makers will cut interest rates by their Oct. 29 meeting.
``The financial panic is a body blow to business confidence, and companies are now battening down the hatches,'' Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. ``We're in store for very sizable job losses across many industries. A rate cut by the Fed could come before the next meeting.''
Revisions added 4,000 to payroll figures previously reported for August and July. The Labor Department said it was ``unlikely'' that Hurricane Ike, which struck the Gulf Coast last month, ``had substantial effects'' on payrolls figures.
After today, the total decline in payrolls so far this year has reached 760,000. The economy created 1.1 million jobs in 2007. [...]
The jobless rate is up 1.4 percentage points from September 2007. Since World War II, the rate has risen only twice during similar periods before presidential elections. In both cases -- when Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush in 1992 and when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980 -- the incumbent party lost the election.
Americans will go to the polls on Nov. 4 and the October jobs report is due Nov. 7.
``Voters are extremely angry, and they want someone to blame,'' said Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Minneapolis.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has opened up a lead over Republican rival John McCain in the aftermath of their first debate and amid growing concerns about the economy, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken Sept. 27 to Sept. 29. A mid-September poll from Washington-based Pew had shown the candidates were in a statistical dead heat.
Earlier in September, a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll showed more respondents said Obama would do a better job handling the financial crisis than McCain, and almost half of the voters believed he had better ideas to strengthen the economy than his rival.
The fact that John McCain plans to the tax the insurance payment contributions that you get from your employers - fits right in with what one of his advisers on healthcare said - when he commented that if they had their way government would cease and desist from saying that anyone is not insured - but rather note where that person got their healthcare from - if a person receives their healthcare from a doctor - than this would be seen as one provider - whereas if a person got their healthcare from the emergency room (ER) - then this could also be seen as a healthcare provider - but the one of last resort. It would simply be noted.
Obama plans to work with employers to help lower insurance costs - not put a tax on it.
Under Obama's plan it appears there is going to be some sort of insurance shake up - in order to get people insured at a reasonable rate - with a policy that looks similar to what John McCain and members of Congress already enjoy.
Here's Obama's new ad off the debate, touching, as we wrote last night, on the push the campaign had already begun on McCain's healthcare plan.
This one's airing on national cable. Obama has another ad -- which I haven't seen on line -- also directly attacking McCain's plan.
As Jonathan and I wrote:
Obama's aides said the campaign would key in not on something Palin said, but rather on what she didn't: Her failure to offer a detailed defense of McCain's plan to finance a $5,000 healthcare tax credit by
treating employers’ healthcare payments as taxable – something Democrats relish hitting both as a "radical" healthcare scheme and a tax hike.
The campaign had already decided to attack McCain's healthcare plan, and the debate exchange will help drive that focus, they said.
"We're on a big offensive on John McCain's healthcare plan," said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. "I think Sen. Biden did a terrific job today of describing why middle class families should fear
John McCain's health care plan. She didn't answer the attack."
Palin's silence – she attacked Obama's plan as "government run," but didn't return to McCain's – was "a huge missed opportunity," Plouffe said, "because I will assure you this: Every voter in every
battleground state is going to know that John McCain is taxing healthcare for the very first time. Twenty-one million people lose their healthcare because small businesses will drop it."
Obama has already begun airing one ad that casts his plan as a commonsense alternative to McCain's "extreme," and aides said he would begin to push the issue much more intensely across battleground states.
In Missouri, for example, it will be part of a broad push to raise voters' doubts about McCain's healthcare plan, Obama's Missouri State Director Buffy Wicks said. Along with the ad, expected to begin airing here soon, the campaign has planned four pieces of direct mail attacking McCain's plan.
First of all we have to congratulate the moderator Gwen Ifill – for running a fluid VP debate – that encouraged more natural to and fro – almost seamlessly without the restrains of time.
Sportscaster Sarah Palin, who I suspected – would emerge today did – filled to the brim with all the notes that her minders could commit to the paper – pulled as many punches as she could - Joe Biden never missed one in return.
Hungry energy markets – as in hunger babies – getting fed at the pumps?
While Sarah Palin's minders had it set up for her to smear Joe Biden and Obama's records - Joe Biden was out to present the facts - any smears were easily put down - with a grace and a forcefulness that brought both men and women audience members in (if you were watching it from CNN - there was a line on screen that rated how viewers saw it. When Palin got nasty - with her winking and forced beauty queen - her ratings actually went down - it was clear both men and women were turned off by it.)
The VP in training - also tried her folksy tales to nowhere - but Biden instantly picked up on this with - what are you saying - I haven't heard anything.
The part I liked was when Palin - compared the Obama Biden tax cut to 95% of Americans - to wealth redistribution (who told her to say that) - then follows that up with an example which counters this - of how she 'fought' the oil companies in the state of Alaska to see that some of the oil wealth was shared out among the people there. On the one hand McCain wants to specifically - set aside a part of his budget to give the oil companies - already making record profits – billions more - while on the other hand Palin is telling the American people - in Alaska I worked against this measure and saw to it that – the oil profits were shared out. Joe Biden seized the moment – nicely – by pointing out how Palin actually agrees with himself and Barack Obama's plan.
Joe Biden's ability to pick up detail was masterful. Very little gets by this guy. If he couldn’t be President – than he should be sitting next to the President – wise choice Obama!
When Palin spoke of going to war – one of the areas that is worrying a lot of people is her talk of Russia – Palin seemed to move into extreme when she needed to make her point – her voice became strange – which indicates – this lady’s eagerness to go to war – and perhaps there would be something a little too irrational and unmeasured about her consideration. And she was somewhat flippant on the trigger for the use of a nuclear weapon question. Palin frightening!
And in closing when asked if something should happen - God forbid - to John McCain - I thought can this woman contain her pleasure – she started smiling – through each of the statements that followed.
When asked Joe Biden role once he gets into the White House would be to sit in all meetings and to be an integral part of the Presidency – whereas under a McCain administration Palin would be given a souped-up title and moved to deal with energy issues – something perhaps we should be worried about – with her Drill Baby Drill ethos – it is unlikely that much of the energy budget will be devoted to new energy sources – in her debut statement at the GOP Convention Palin said we can drill our way out of our energy difficulties. Maybe this is another area her and John McCain disagree on (or do they) – besides drilling in ANWR. She also mentioned dealing with the needs of special needs children or families – strangely I thought I heard women’s issues - which would be so haram – but then she did not say women’s issues – and those issues on charging for rape kits - slashing funding for teen pregnancy and the women’s right to choose are still there. Also that John McCain voted against equal pay for equal work and the protection of women from spousal abuse.
Joe Biden came across as smooth as silk – where on listening to Palin debate a second time – begins to have a hacksaw quality about her voice or persona - I sure wish we don’t have to see this for the next four years.
Biden is gracefully intelligent – and seems to have a nothing to prove bottom line – he works from another place – which could have something to do with his own personal tragedy which he touched upon in this debate – but he has a wonderful way about him – that I am sure will serve the country well.
If this was Fox News' Sean Hannity - he would have long been fired - he drools in the form of Bush - and now Palin!
My sympathies go out to this reporter - who obviously tried to show her solidarity with the crowd at the Obama rally by wearing a t-shirt - but was shut down for it by her job. It’s not like very many Palin supporters were going to be there.
Detroit news radio station WWJ-AM (950) has fired radio personality Karen Dinkins after she wore a Barack Obama T-shirt while covering a presidential rally on Sunday.
Dinkins, contacted at her home today, said she is surprised about the reaction to her firing after Sunday’s rally at the Detroit Public Library. She said a number of news outlets contacted her after the station let her go on Monday. She said she had worked there for 13 years.
“I was really kind of surprised this is a news story,” she said, adding that she wouldn’t comment further. “I didn’t anticipate it.”
Jane Briggs-Bunting, director of the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, believes sending any type of political message — on air or off — is a no-no for journalists.
“Reporters, we’re on duty 24-7,” Briggs-Bunting said shortly before Obama took the stage this afternoon at MSU. She’s worked for Life and People magazines as well as the Free Press. “I can have an opinion, and my opinion will be heard in the privacy of a voting booth. You can’t publicize your political views on a T-shirt you wear, a button you wear, or a campaign sign in your front lawn. You represent your news organization 24-7.”
A call to WWJ-AM (950) management offices wasn’t immediately returned. But a woman who answered the phone in the newsroom said the station had received a number of calls from upset listeners.
Lorain Obomanu, Dinkins’ union representative at the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists’ Southfield office had no comment, a spokesman said today.
Down to the wire now. Sarah and Dina are up early cramming and jamming for tonight's big face-off. They're finding Sarah's weak spots and plugging holes. If Mr. Joe Biden tries to slap Sarah's face with her own rape kit, she'll be ready.
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.
McCain's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republicans had been bullish on Michigan, hopeful that McCain's past success in the state in the 2000 primary combined with voter dissatisfaction with Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and skepticism among blue-collar voters about Barack Obama could make it competitive.
McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin spent the night after the GOP convention at a large rally in Macomb County, just outside Detroit. The two returned later last month for another sizable event in Grand Rapids.
But recent polls there have shown Obama extending what had been a small lead, with the economic crisis damaging an already sagging GOP brand in a state whose economy is in tatters.
A McCain event planned for next week in Plymouth, Michiigan, has been canceled.
In “Outside Groups Air Ad on Abortion Issue,” The Wall Street Journal focuses on our central message that if John McCain and Sarah Palin have their way and abortion is banned, women will be treated like criminals.
Responding directly to the How Much Time message, McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds said, “the suggestion that John McCain and Sarah Palin want to put women behind bars is absurd.”
But it's anything but absurd. It's the harsh reality if McCain and Palin have their way.
We need to get more people thinking about this question and the real life consequences of a McCain/Palin administration.
McCain is stuck between a rock and a hard place - his judgment is on the line with Palin - I suppose all he can hope for is that old Palin magic to come through for him - but she can't always talk out of a teleprompter. McCain at 72 has a job to convince everyone to vote in a fool - and we have already voted in one - and the fireworks of his administration are all around us!
McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, that is simply not true.
Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, "to spend more time with her family"? Having stayed in purdah for weeks, she finally agreed to a third interview. CBS's Katie Couric questioned her in her trademark sympathetic style. It didn't help. When asked how living in the state closest to Russia gave her foreign-policy experience, Palin responded thus:
"It's very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America. Where—where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to—to our state."
There is, of course, the sheer absurdity of the premise. Two weeks ago I flew to Tokyo, crossing over the North Pole. Does that make me an expert on Santa Claus? (Thanks, Jon Stewart.) But even beyond that, read the rest of her response. "It is from Alaska that we send out those …" What does this mean? This is not an isolated example. Palin has been given a set of talking points by campaign advisers, simple ideological mantras that she repeats and repeats as long as she can. ("We mustn't blink.") But if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly, gibberish.
Couric asked her a smart question about the proposed $700 billion bailout of the American financial sector. It was designed to see if Palin understood that the problem in this crisis is that credit and liquidity in the financial system has dried up, and that that's why, in the estimation of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, the government needs to step in to buy up Wall Street's most toxic liabilities. Here's the entire exchange:
COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?
PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the—it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.
This is nonsense—a vapid emptying out of every catchphrase about economics that came into her head. Some commentators, like CNN's Campbell Brown, have argued that it's sexist to keep Sarah Palin under wraps, as if she were a delicate flower who might wilt under the bright lights of the modern media. But the more Palin talks, the more we see that it may not be sexism but common sense that's causing the McCain campaign to treat her like a time bomb.
Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start. The next administration is going to face a set of challenges unlike any in recent memory. There is an ongoing military operation in Iraq that still costs $10 billion a month, a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is not going well and is not easily fixed. Iran, Russia and Venezuela present tough strategic challenges.
Domestically, the bailout and reform of the financial industry will take years and hundreds of billions of dollars. Health-care costs, unless curtailed, will bankrupt the federal government. Social Security, immigration, collapsing infrastructure and education are all going to get much worse if they are not handled soon.
And the American government is stretched to the limit. Between the Bush tax cuts, homeland-security needs, Iraq, Afghanistan and the bailout, the budget is looking bleak. Plus, within a few years, the retirement of the baby boomers begins with its massive and rising costs (in the trillions).
Obviously these are very serious challenges and constraints. In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos reports: Stakes are high for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin going into tonight's vice presidential debate with Sen. Joe Biden, D-Dela., with the latest poll finding she has become a drag on the Republican ticket.
Any mistake or gaffe by Palin could be fatal with a new poll finding voters are now questioning their commitment to Republican presidential candidate John McCain because of her.
About one third of likely voters, 32 percent of likely voters now say Palin makes it less likely they'll vote for McCain, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released today.
Palin is beginning to have a big credibility problem: 60 percent of Americans are now doubting her qualifications for office, up 15 points from an ABC/Post poll last month.
The poll found a minority of likely voters, 35 percent, believe she is experience enough to be president.
The ABC poll also suggests that questions about Palin are reinforcing concerns about McCain's age. Almost half of voters, 48 percent, now say the senator's age is a worry -- a new high -- and 85 percent of that group say that Palin is not qualified to serve as President.
It hasn't been an easy month for the Alaska governor. Palin initially boosted McCain's poll numbers, but after refusing to speak to the media she gave a few select interviews where she gave muddled responses.
Contributing to her perception problem: more voters have likely seen the Saturday Night Live sketches making fun of her rather than hearing her speak on the campaign trail.
It's all cementing in the minds of voters a preconceived notion that Palin is ill-prepared for the job.
Biden's poll numbers contrast starkly with Palin's with 75 percent of Americans saying he understands complex issues, 70 percent saying he has suitable experience to take over as president if necessary, and just 13 percent saying the Delaware senator makes them less apt to support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In his debate against Palin tonight, Biden will try to show gracious restraint, and focus his attacks against McCain, Obama campaign aides tell ABC News.
Meanwhile McCain campaign aides say Palin will attempt to aggressively take the fight to Obama.
[/IMG]This photo provided by the Palin Campaign shows Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, preparing for her first and only debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Sedona, Ariz., ranch of her running-mate, Sen. John McCain, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. On the left is McCain-Palin campaign senior policy advisor Randall Scheunemann. The debate will take place Thursday in St. Louis, Mo. (AP Photo/Palin Campaign) (AP)
NEW YORK -- Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin enters her debate Thursday with Joe Biden needing to make a strong positive impression on voters, many of whom are expressing serious doubts about her readiness.
A new AP-Gfk poll released Wednesday found that just 25 percent of likely voters believe Palin has the right experience to be president. That's down from 41 percent just after the GOP convention, when the Alaska governor made her well-received debut on the national stage.
Thursday night's debate in St. Louis gives her a chance to overcome the doubts in a 90-minute showcase, the first time most Americans outside Alaska will see her in a lengthy give-and-take session.
On the other hand, a poor performance against Biden, the Delaware senator, could cement a negative image for the rest of the campaign.
Palin has been preparing at Republican presidential candidate John McCain's retreat in Sedona, Ariz
[/IMG] First Charlie Gibson was a problem, then came the interview with Katie Couric and it was she who was a problem - now it’s the moderator of the VP debate - who posses a problem - when are they going to admit Sarah Palin is the problem!
Palin’s philosophy is that the facts and figures don’t matter – and when pressed for them she looks like a fish out of water – and that she does - is no one else’s fault besides Sarah Palin’s and John McCain for picking an unvetted VP candidate as his running mate.
Gwen Ifill's book is about black politicians.
Several conservative bloggers are accusing Gwen Ifill, the moderator of tonight's vice presidential debate, of being biased because she is working on a book about up-and-coming African-American politicians that features Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained in an online column that "there is nothing 'moderate' about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She's so far in the tank for the Democrat presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out."
Ifill, a veteran journalist who is senior correspondent for "The NewsHour" on PBS and moderator/managing editor of "Washington Week," dismissed the criticism. She said that she started the book when it looked unlikely that Obama would win the Democratic nomination and hasn't written the Obama chapter yet. She said the book will be published whether Obama wins or loses.
"I've got a pretty long track record . . . so I'm not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation," Ifill said yesterday. "The proof is in the pudding. They can watch the debate . . . and make their own decisions about whether or not I've done my job."
Republican John McCain's campaign has not publicly criticized Ifill's role. "I think she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional," McCain said yesterday on Fox News Channel. "Does this help . . . if she has written a book that's favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not. But I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job."
Ifill, a 1977 graduate of Simmons College in Boston who moderated the 2004 vice presidential debate between John Edwards and Dick Cheney, was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates. She said she did not tell the panel about the book, but noted it had been publicized in Time magazine and The Washington Post. The commission, the bipartisan panel organizing the debates, had no immediate comment.
The promotional blurb on Random House's website says the book is to be published Jan. 20, the day of the inauguration. "In 'The Breakthrough,' veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama's stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African-American politicians forging a bold new path to political power," the blurb says.
Back to Palin's folksy tales - if Sarah Palin is good at telling a story so is Joe Biden - the only difference is he actually thinks the facts matter. He would not tell a story to conceal the fact that he knows nothing about the issues - and besides oil - that's all Palin has been doing.
For all the speculation over how Sarah Palin will fare in the vice-presidential debate Thursday night, her Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, faces a challenge of his own: taking on the Alaska governor without coming across as sexist or a bully.
Barack Obama's campaign has assembled a team of top advisers, including several prominent female debaters, to help prepare the Delaware senator, known for his tough attacks and candor, to debate the Republicans' first female vice-presidential nominee. Since Sunday, the team has been hunkered down at the Sheraton Suites hotel in Wilmington, Del.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been playing the role of Gov. Palin. "I want to beat him up a little, so he does well," Gov. Granholm told reporters. One Biden aide said Gov. Granholm was chosen to portray Gov. Palin in the preparations because she ran as an outsider and reformer in Michigan in 2002 and 2006. Like Gov. Palin, Gov. Granholm is a former beauty queen and sports mom.
Sen. Biden also has received advice from Democratic primary opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and a number of top campaign aides.
Aides say Sen. Biden will emphasize issues rather than attacks, and debate preparations have centered on making the case for Sen. Obama rather than tearing down Gov. Palin. "I think this will come down to bigger questions than who can throw a sharp elbow. This is a much bigger election" than that, says Patti Solis Doyle, Sen. Biden's campaign chief of staff.
Sen. Biden recently said reporters are in a "time warp" if they think he will prepare any differently to debate a woman than a man. He cited debating Sens. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Olympia Snowe of Maine and other women in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Biden debated Sen. Clinton 12 times during the Democratic primaries.
"It seems like the only people in the room that think that debating a woman is going to be fundamentally different are people who don't hang around with smart women," Sen. Biden said aboard his campaign plane.
Sen. Biden's 30-plus years in the Senate could open a line of attack from Gov. Palin, who left the campaign trail Monday to prepare for the debate at Sen. McCain's ranch in Sedona, Ariz., McCain aides said. She could also use Sen. Biden's experience to portray him as the Washington status quo.
While Biden aides insist gender isn't an issue, it is rare for a woman to be on the ticket. The last time -- and the first time -- a woman was on a major-party ticket was in 1984, when Democrat Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate.
Ms. Ferraro debated then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in an encounter that was widely interpreted as having sexist overtones. "Let me just say, first of all, that I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy," Ms. Ferraro replied to one attack. At the same time, strategists say Sen. Biden can't soften his approach or appear to be changing his tactics because he is debating a woman; that, too, could be perceived as sexist.
Aides say Sen. Biden can counter some of the Alaska governor's down-home appeal by playing up his working-class roots in Scranton, Pa. Sen. Biden, consistently ranked as one of the least-wealthy senators, still lives in Wilmington and takes the train to work in Washington. "I think Biden should use his sense of humor and really turn this into a debate about who's folksier," says Democratic strategist Donna Brazile.
Palin doesn't take kindly to being criticized - she has gone out her way to ruin people who she feels have crossed her ....
Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster, but since she didn't, I should "off" myself.
Those are a few nuggets randomly selected from thousands of e-mails written in response to my column suggesting that Sarah Palin is out of her league and should step down.
Who says public discourse hasn't deteriorated?
The fierce reaction to my column has been both bracing and enlightening. After 20 years of column writing, I'm familiar with angry mail. But the past few days have produced responses of a different order. Not just angry, but vicious and threatening.
Some of my usual readers feel betrayed because I previously have written favorably of Palin. By changing my mind and saying so, I am viewed as a traitor to the Republican Party -- not a "true" conservative.
Obviously, I'm not employed by the GOP. If I were, the party is seriously in arrears. But what is a true conservative? One who doesn't think or question and who marches in lock step with The Party?
The emotional pitch of many comments suggests an overinvestment in Palin as "one of us."
Palin's fans say they like her specifically because she's an outsider, not part of the Washington club. When she flubs during interviews, they identify with that, too. "You see the lack of polish, we applaud it," one reader wrote.
Of course, there's a difference between a lack of polish and a lack of coherence. Some of Palin's interview responses can't even be critiqued on their merits because they're so nonsensical. But even that is someone else's fault, say Palin supporters. The media make her uncomfortable.
Or, it's the fault of those slick politicos who are overmanaging her. "Let Sarah be Sarah" has become the latest rallying cry among my colleagues on the right. She'll be fine if we just leave her alone, they say. Between prayers, I might add.
Not all my mail has been mean-spirited. A fair number of the writers politely expressed disappointment; others, relief and gratitude. Still others offered reasonable arguments aimed at changing my mind. I may yet.
In the meantime, though, I would note that this assault and my decision to write about it aren't really about me -- or even Sarah Palin. The mailbag is about us, our country, and what we really believe.
That we have become a partisan nation is no secret. This week has provided a vivid example of where rabid partisanship leads with the failure of Congress to pass a bailout bill vitally needed to keep our economy from unraveling.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a partisan speech, blaming the credit crisis on the Bush administration (omitting the Clinton administration's role in launching the subprime lending debacle). Republicans responded by voting against the bill.
Everyone's to blame, by the way.
But when you have been in power for eight years - it's your hands on the wheel - sorry - i.e. that’s the Republicans.
And subprime mortgages will continue - but need to be better regulated - against such things as the lying on the application form - by unscrupulous mortgage brokers - in addition people should be given all the facts about their mortgages - up front - especially where the low interests starters or incentives are concerned.
Such extreme partisanship has a crippling effect on government, which may be desirable at times, but not now. More important in the long term is the less tangible effect of stifling free speech. My mail paints an ugly picture and a bleak future if we do not soon correct ourselves.
The picture is this: Anyone who dares express an opinion that runs counter to the party line will be silenced. That doesn't sound American to me, but Stalin would approve.
Readers have every right to reject my opinion. But when we decide that a person is a traitor and should die for having an opinion different from one's own, we cross into territory that puts all freedoms at risk. (I hear you, Dixie Chicks.)
I'm sure it is coincidence that, upon the Palin column's publication, a conservative organization canceled a speech I was scheduled to deliver in a few days. If I were as paranoid as the conspiracy theorists are, I might wonder whether I was being punished for speaking incorrectly.
Unfortunately, that's the way one begins to think when party loyalty is given a higher value than loyalty to bedrock principles.
Our day of reckoning may indeed be upon us. Between war and economic collapse, we have enormous challenges. It will take the best of everyone to solve them. That process begins minimally with a commitment to engage in civil discourse and a cease-fire in the war against unwelcome ideas.
In that spirit, may Sarah Palin be fearless in tomorrow's debate and speak her true mind
Spilling the beans - Palin is quoted as saying - facts and figures don't matter!
Monitor opinion editor Josh Burek talks with former Alaska state representative and gubenatorial candidate Andrew Halcro about Gov. Sarah Palin's debating abilities.
Anchorage, Alaska - When he faces off against Sarah Palin Thursday night, Joe Biden will have his hands full.
I should know. I've debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do.
On paper, of course, the debate appears to be a mismatch.
In 2000, Palin was the mayor of an Alaskan town of 5,500 people, while Biden was serving his 28th year as a United States senator. Her major public policy concern was building a local ice rink and sports center. His major public policy concern was the State Department's decision to grant an export license to allow sales of heavy-lift helicopters to Turkey, during tense UN-sponsored Cyprus peace talks.
On paper, the difference in experience on both domestic and foreign policy is like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing a bullet. Unfortunately for Biden, if recent history is an indicator, experience or a grasp of the issues won't matter when it comes to debating Palin.
On April 17, 2006, Palin and I participated in a debate at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks on agriculture issues. The next day, the Fairbanks Daily News Miner published this excerpt:
"Andrew Halcro, a declared independent candidate from Anchorage, came armed with statistics on agricultural productivity. Sarah Palin, a Republican from Wasilla, said the Matanuska Valley provides a positive example for other communities interested in agriculture to study."
On April 18, 2006, Palin and I sat together in a hotel coffee shop comparing campaign trail notes. As we talked about the debates, Palin made a comment that highlights the phenomenon that Biden is up against.
"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.
While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin's knowledge on public policy issues never matured – because it didn't have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.
Palin is a master of the nonanswer. She can turn a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she's met people on the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.
In one debate, a moderator asked the candidates to name a bill the legislature had recently passed that we didn't like. I named one. Democratic candidate Tony Knowles named one. But Sarah Palin instead used her allotted time to criticize the incumbent governor, Frank Murkowski. Asked to name a bill we did like, the same pattern emerged: Palin didn't name a bill.
And when she does answer the actual question asked, she has a canny ability to connect with the audience on a personal level. For example, asked to name a major issue that had been ignored during the campaign, I discussed the health of local communities, Mr. Knowles talked about affordable healthcare, and Palin talked about ... the need to protect hunting and fishing rights.
So what does that mean for Biden? With shorter question-and-answer times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in the role of the bully.
On the other side of the stage, if Palin is to be successful, she needs to do what she does best: fill the room with her presence and stick to the scripted sound bites.
• Andrew Halcro served two terms as a Republican member of the Alaska State House of Representatives. He ran for governor as an Independent in 2006, debating Sarah Palin more than two dozen times. He blogs at www.andrewhalcro.com .
Planned Parenthood tells First Read it will begin running a new ad on Thursday that brings up the fact that Wasilla, while Palin was mayor there, charged rape victims or their insurers for emergency-room rape kits.
The ad -- which Planned Parenthood says will run in the markets of St. Louis (MO), Madison (WI), and DC/Northern Virginia (VA) -- begins with a testimonial from a rape victim. "I just didn't think it would happen to me," she says. "I was drugged and raped." Then an announcer states, "Under Mayor Sarah Palin, women like Gretchen were forced to pay up to $1,200 for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers," adding: "In the Senate, John McCain voted against legislation to protect women from these same heartless policies."
This is the type of thinking we need to get rid of - Palin is not satisfied with hunting wolves herself in a way that could be compared to shooting fish in a barrel - she wants to offer a bounty for anyone who can bring in the foreleg of a wolf! This goes back to the bounty for the tongue of a buffalo!
Of all the ads to have aired this presidential campaign, one of the most successful may have been one of the least remarked-upon.
Weeks ago, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund released a 60-second spot titled "Brutal," denouncing Gov. Sarah Palin's support for an aerial wolf killing program as well as a policy that places bounties on the forelegs of killed wolves. It was, according to trackers of voter responses, one of the most effective ads of the cycle.
It also earned the organization $600,000 in donations in the six hours after it was released, and more than $1 million overall. With the extra funds, the organization is now plowing money back into its advertisement.
On Wednesday, the wildlife group will announce that they are expanding the airing of its ad to additional swing states - a measure meant to correspond with Thursday's vice presidential debate. The ad is currently airing in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Northern Virginia; voters in Colorado and Missouri will soon see it also.
"Defenders of Wildlife has found a more effective critique of Palin than the Obama campaign or Democratic Party," said a source with the organization. "The ad damages Palin with exactly the voters McCain put her on the ticket to attract -- suburban women, moderate Independents."
The group's initial spot scored incredibly well among focus groups. A study of 312 Democrats, Republicans and Independents showed that the ad produced "moderate movement among all parties" in Obama's favor. The spot earned a Political Communications Impact Score of 23.5, making it, according to the site Media Curves, the second most effective ad to have aired this cycle.
And unlike many presidential campaign ads this cycle, the claims made in the Defenders spot are virtually all true, albeit with some caveats, according to FactCheck.org.
"Aerial killing of wolves may not be your standard national election issue, but it is one that helps illuminate an important part of Sarah Palin's character," President of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Rodger Schlickeisen said in a statement. "We believe voters deserve to know about her support for this brutal practice, and we are confident the issue can move votes as we head into the home stretch of this campaign."
[/IMG] Sarah Palin clearly was in her comfort zone when she chatted on-air Tuesday with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. As The Ticket noted , she presented a persona and offered some lines that could serve her well in her Thursday debate with Joe Biden.
Tuesday also saw the broadcast of the last of her several interviews with Katie Couric of CBS (we will miss them; they were fast becoming a staple of our daily routine).
The final segment may not spark more calls from conservative commentators that Palin give up her spot on the Republican national ticket. But in front of the television cameras -- and in the face of more pointed questioning -- the self-assurance that marked her conversation with Hewitt continued to elude her.
One answer by Palin will do little to quell concerns about her position on global warming. As she did with ABC's Charlie Gibson a few weeks back, she did her best to skirt a direct answer on its causes.
From the transcript:
Palin's idea for the polar bears is to shoot them ~ literally - Palin and her husband Todd are challenging the Federal Gov. to have polar bears removed from the threatened species list - as their habitat - which is already being eroded by the loss of ice - gets in the way of their and Big Oil's proposed oil drilling plans, if they succeed it also lifts the ban on hunting these animals.
Couric: What’s your position on global warming? Do you believe it’s man-made or not?
Palin: Well, we’re the only Arctic state, of course, Alaska. So we feel the impacts more than any other state, up there with the changes in climates. And certainly, it is apparent. We have erosion issues. And we have melting sea ice, of course. So, what I’ve done up there is form a sub-cabinet to focus solely on climate change. Understanding that it is real. And …
Couric: Is it man-made, though in your view?
Palin: You know there are - there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate. Because the world’s weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn’t matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it’s real; we need to do something about it.
Pardon us for asking, but would it not be difficult to devise an effective policy to mitigate the effects of global warming without a firm grasp on what caused it?
Palin also was not about to be pinned down ...
... by Couric on the subject of her reading habits. Here's the exchange:
Couric: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
Couric: What, specifically?
Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.
Couric: Can you name a few?
Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.
Palin may well ace her final on Thursday (especially if much of the public decides to grade on the curve). But following the debate, we think it far more likely her future bookings will tilt heavily toward tete-a-tetes with friendly radio types than sit-downs with the likes of Gibson and Couric.
Will looking good be enough!! Without a teleprompter how will Palin communicate the facts?
She's clearly good at making up a story or two - perhaps this might be one of her solutions.
But we should all look to getting behind Joe Biden - so far every reporter that Palin has had an interview with has been accused of beating her up - it's the workman who blames his tools for the Republican spin artists.
Joe Biden when asked how would he deal with Palin - he said "respectful" - what more can she hope for - but this in no way should mean he should give her an easy ride.
The only easy ride she should get is from McCain!!
Not since Dan Quayle took the stage in 1988 have debate expectations for a major party candidate been as low as they will be on Thursday for Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
A newcomer to the national scene, Ms. Palin has given little indication that she has been engaged in a serious way in the pressing national and international issues of the day.
But a review of a handful of her debate performances in the race for governor in 2006 shows a somewhat different persona from the one that has emerged since Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, named Ms. Palin as the vice-presidential nominee a month ago.
Ms. Palin, a former mayor who had become a whistle-blower about ethical misconduct in state government, held her own in those debates. (There were almost two dozen in the general election alone; she skipped some, and not all were recorded.)
She staked out a populist stance against oil companies and projected a fresh, down-to-earth face at a time when voters wanted change. That helped her soundly defeat Frank H. Murkowski, the unpopular Republican governor, in the primary and former Gov. Tony Knowles in the general election.
Her debating style was rarely confrontational, and she appeared confident. In contrast to today, when she seems unversed on several important issues, she demonstrated fluency on certain subjects, particularly oil and gas development.
But just as she does now, Ms. Palin often spoke in generalities and showed scant aptitude for developing arguments beyond a talking point or two. Her sentences were distinguished by their repetition of words, by the use of the phrase “here in Alaska” and for gaps. On paper, her sentences would have been difficult to diagram.
John Bitney, the policy director for her campaign for governor and the main person who helped prepare her for debates, said her repetition of words was “her way of running down the clock as her mind searches for where she wants to go.”
These tendencies could fuzz her meaning and lead her into linguistic cul-de-sacs. She often used less than her allotted time and ended her answers abruptly.
When questioned about the nuts and bolts of governing, Ms. Palin tended to avoid specifics and instead fell back on her core values: a broadly conservative philosophy and a can-do spirit.
“My attitude and my approaches towards dealing with the complexities of health care issues,” she said in an AARP debate in October 2006, “is a respectful and responsible approach, and it’s a positive approach. I don’t believe that the sky is falling here in Alaska.”
These patterns could help explain why the McCain campaign negotiated for less time for discussion in her debate Thursday with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware than the presidential candidates had in their debate last week.
Ms. Palin was not always at her best when questioned by her opponents in the governor’s race.
In the AARP debate, Mr. Knowles and Andrew Halcro, an independent, double-teamed her to press her about how she would pay for health care.
In response to Mr. Knowles, she mentioned “certificates of need” and said they had been inflexible, “creating an environment where a lot of folks are lacking the receiving of their health care that is needed in some of the areas, especially in some of our larger markets.” She added, “The State of Alaska needs to be looking specifically at that inflexibility that exists today in order to fill some of the market needs that are out there in Alaska in our larger markets.”
She then added, “I can’t tell you how much that will reduce monetarily our health care costs, but competition makes everyone better, it makes us work harder, it does allow reduction in costs, so addressing that is going to be a priority.”
Mr. Knowles was nonplussed, saying that he did not understand her answer and that Ms. Palin had missed the point.
Mr. Halcro asked how she would pay for critical health care programs.
“Well, the point there, Andrew,” she said, “is that these are critical, and again it’s a matter of prioritizing and it’s a matter of government understanding its proper role in public safety, is health care, so it’s a matter of priorities.”
Mr. Halcro called her answer “political gibberish.”
But other times, she gave direct answers that appealed directly to her audience. The candidates were asked in a debate on Aug. 17, 2006, by a rural resident via video whether they would restore a longevity bonus for senior citizens, a payment intended to keep them from leaving the state.
“No,” Mr. Murkowski said gruffly. John Binkley, a third candidate, said yes. Ms. Palin’s response was filled with emotion.
“Yes, our precious, precious elders,” she said, looking into the camera. “For those who were prematurely lopped off, I am so sorry that that has happened to you.”
But generally, her voice carried surprisingly little affect.
“In tone, manner and sometimes even language, she treated every issue exactly the same,” Michael Carey, the former editorial page editor of The Anchorage Daily News, wrote in an essay about Ms. Palin. “She gave no suggestion that some issues are of higher priority than others. Her voice was cheerful, up-tempo, optimistic, never off key but always in the same key.”
Perhaps her strength in debating was coming across like an average person who understood the average person’s needs and would not be expected to have detailed policy prescriptions.
She also neutralized some of her conservative social views. She said intelligent design should be taught in schools — along with evolution. She said she favored the teaching of abstinence — along with the teaching of sex education. “Let the kids debate both sides,” she said.
She was not a particularly aggressive debater, and she rarely took an opportunity to challenge her opponents. But when pressed, she could be tough. In a roundtable discussion in October on the “Bob and Mark Show,” Mr. Halcro suggested that Ms. Palin had not attended enough debates.
“It’s been a year today that I’ve been on the campaign trail,” Ms. Palin responded, “attending many, many more forums, more debates, than either one of you, Tony and Andrew, because I had a primary opponent. You know, you got to have the balls to take it on in the early part of a campaign, and not just go right to the big show.”
At the moment just expect everything Sarah Palin says to be either a bold face lie or a half truth. Including all things to do with her finances - actual accounts will be released on Oct 6 '08.
This defines being out of touch. On Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Sarah Palin calls herself "an everyday working class American" -- but the truth is that her family income is $250K and she owns five properties, two watercraft, and an airplane.
Todd and I, heck, we’re going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don’t like the idea of just an everyday working class American running for such an office.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has introduced her family to the nation as small-town common folk since she burst onto the scene as the surprise pick for the Republican vice-presidential nominee last month. A check of financial records, though, shows the Palins live anything but a common life when compared with their fellow residents of their hometown of Wasilla.
Their combined income of nearly a quarter-million dollars last year was five times the median household income for Wasilla's 7,000 residents. They own a single-engine plane, two boats, two personal watercraft and a half-million-dollar, custom-built home on a lake that is worth three times the average of other homes in town.
For the future, they also have a 401(k) retirement account compliments of Todd Palin's years as an engineer with oil giant BP.
"Gov. Palin's story is emblematic of the American dream," McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt said.
The Palins have been hugely successful by most standards in both their public and their private lives, according to the records.
"As a person, she's consistent, honest and warm," said Cheryl Metiva, executive director of the chamber of commerce in the Palins' hometown of Wasilla. "As a politician, she's focused, direct and clear. And she's done a tremendous job of balancing her family life and with her public duties.
"You underestimate her at your peril," she said.
The couple's house was appraised this year at $552,100, which, according to Alaska magazine, was designed and built by Mr. Palin.
Mr. Palin, known in Alaska as the "First Dude," is a longtime commercial fisherman who maintains a highly sought-after commercial-fishing permit that has been handed down in his family from generation to generation. A native of Dillingham, Alaska, his mother is one-quarter Yup'ik Eskimo and his maternal grandmother is a member of the Curyung tribe, which is the source of the permit.
"Hard work and principled convictions have allowed her to catapult to being the most popular governor in America," Mr. Porritt said of the Republican candidate.
Mudflats: I’ve been waiting for this one. One of the witnesses called by Stephen Branchflower (independent investigator of the legitimate Troopergate investigation) put herself in a tricky spot.
Murlene Wilkes, owner of Harbor Adjusting Services, and holder of a $1.2 million/yr. contract with the State of Alaska to handle workers compensation claims, apparently told a big fat fib. When Branchflower asked her if the governor’s office had ever asked her to deny a workers compensation claim for Palin’s ex-brother-in-law Trooper Mike Wooten (the trooper in “Troopergate”), she said no. Never. Really.
Mike Wooten, of course, is involved in a bitter custody dispute with Palin’s sister Molly. The Palins do not like him. Some say they have made a vengeful and personal sport out of ruining his career.
Problem is, that there are actually honest people in the world….and one of them works for Murlene Wilkes at Harbor Investments. This unnamed worker made a little phone call to the tip line that Branchflower set up at the beginning of the investigation. According to the tipster, yes indeed, the governor’s office DID put pressure to deny the claim.
Hard evidence contradicting sworn testimony has a certain effect on people. Murlene Wilkes, faced with this situation, decided to change her testimony according to a report in The Public Record. Now, with the little extra incentive of avoiding perjury charges, she has admitted that she was asked to deny the claim - at the direct request of Sarah and Todd Palin.
*chin hitting desk* (a moment of stunned silence)
Wilkes has a $1.2 million contract with the state to handle workers compensation claims. Her contract with the state was up but her firm was recently given a new contract despite the fact that there were others who provided the state with a lower bid than Wilkes’s firm. One of the other applicants who submitted a lower bid has appealed the decision. Wilkes told Branchflower she believed it was impressed upon her from Palin’s office that she would lose the contract if she did not deny the claim, state officials knowledgeable about her testimony said.
Although Wooten did receive worker’s compensation benefits for about three months, his claim was suddenly denied and he was forced to hire a lawyer and appeal the issue, which dragged on for more than six months. It’s unknown if Wilkes played any role in denying Wooten worker’s compensation benefits.
According to John Cyr, the executive director of the Public Safety Employees Association, the union that represents Wooten and other state troopers, Wooten was approved for workers compensation benefits in January 2007. He filed for benefits due to a back injury he suffered when he pulled a dead body from a wrecked automobile and slipped on icy pavement.
The same month Wooten started receiving workers compensation benefits, Todd Palin began following Wooten around “snapping pictures of him,” Cyr said.
“Frank Bailey was getting people to say that [Wooten] was lying on his worker’s comp form,” Cyr said. “The governor’s family was following Mike around everywhere. They forwarded that information to the worker’s comp division.”
All this information about Todd stalking Wooten came out when Troopergate first broke, well before Palin’s nomination. But, the press here didn’t follow up much. They preferred to focus on the “Is Wooten a Bad Cop?” angle of the story. That was a lot more exciting…you know…tasers, infidelity, drunk driving, illegal moose hunting… Troopergate, much to the dismay of the Palins, refuses to go away, and only gets worse, the longer it goes on. Worker’s compensation claims may not be ’sexy’, but some say this may end up being the final nail in the coffin of Palin’s political career.
Branchflower’s report is due to be released on October 10th. Let the countdown to truth begin.
Those waiting for a peek at Governor Sarah Palin’s personal finances are going to have to wait just a bit longer, under an agreement between the Federal Election Commission and the McCain campaign.
Federal election law requires the vice presidential candidate to file a personal financial disclosure statement within 30 days of their nomination. But, there seemed to be some confusion between the F.E.C. and the McCain campaign over the exact date of her nomination.
The McCain campaign has said that it believes the 30-day deadline ends on Oct. 3, 30 days after her Sept. 4th nomination at the Republican National Convention. The F.E.C. had said that the 30-day period began on August 29th, when Senator John McCain named her as his running mate and changed the name of his campaign fund to the McCain-Palin Compliance Fund. By the F.E.C.’s calculations, the filing was due on Monday, Sept. 29.
So, letters between the campaign and the F.E.C. ensued. Trevor Potter, the McCain campaign’s general counsel, also said that Mrs. Palin needed extra time to prepare since she had never done this before.
“Because Governor Palin has not previously run for federal office, it is clear to us that additional time is required to compile and prepare Govenor Palin’s financial information. As you are well aware, the Executive Branch financial disclosure form is vastly more complex than most state disclosure forms, and requires the assemblage of a quantity and a level of detail far beyond that reported previously by the Governor in Alaska and therefore readily available,’’ said Mr. Potter in his letter.
The F.E.C, in a letter to Mr. Potter, granted an extension until 30-days prior to the general election, or Oct. 5. Since that is a Sunday, the F.E.C. said the campaign would have until Oct. 6 to comply – but that no extension would be granted beyond that date.
Republicans blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the defeated $700 billion economic rescue plan. They accused her of delivering a partisan speech just as they were attempting to round up votes in favor of the bailout. Video courtesy of Fox News. (Sept. 30)
[/IMG]Elizabeth Holmes reports from Columbus, Ohio, on the presidential race.
John McCain celebrated his own role in the final federal government bailout package Monday on stage in front of several hundred Ohioans gathered for a campaign rally.
“I believe that inaction was not an option,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “I put my campaign on hold for a couple of days last week.” To applause, he continued: “I know that many of you have noticed it’s not my style to simply phone it in.”
That sentiment — not “phoning it in” was the campaign line throughout the weekend. On Friday at the first presidential debate, close McCain confidante Sen. Lindsey Graham praised McCain’s return to Washington. “This is one you just can’t phone in,” he said.
A McCain spokeswoman on the plane ride to Mississippi expressed the same. “Meeting face-to-face with people is always more effective than phoning it in,” she said.
And yet, the Arizona senator spent a lot of time on the phone. At the end of last week and over the entire weekend in Washington, he made lots of phone calls, many from his Northern Virginia condo, across the Potomac River from Capitol Hill.
Let’s rewind the clock and start at the beginning. Last Thursday, McCain returned to Washington and headed straight for Capitol Hill. After a few meetings there, he went to one at the White House and then retired to his condo by 6:30 p.m. to make phone calls.
Friday morning, McCain traveled to Capitol Hill for less than two hours then flew to Mississippi for the first presidential debate. He rushed back to Northern Virginia after the debate, getting in well after midnight, but never went to Capitol Hill once during the weekend. Instead, he made phone calls from both his residence and his Arlington, Va., campaign headquarters.
On Saturday, McCain called a slew of top players, including President George W. Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He also called three senators (Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Jon Kyl or Arizona) and 10 Republican House members including Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.
McCain was spotted several times making the less-than-one-minute drive between his headquarters and his residence — on his cellphone.
Asked why he wasn’t making the trek to the Hill, McCain senior adviser Mark Salter responded: “Because he can effectively do what he needs to do by phone,” and added, “He’s calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can.”
On Sunday, during an appearance on ABC-TV’s “This Week,” McCain again said he wasn’t just “phoning” it in. “I did the best that I could,” he said of his work on the package. “I came back because I wasn’t going to phone it in.”
On Monday, he went so far as to slam his opponent, Democratic contender Barack Obama, for not doing enough. “That’s not leadership, that’s watching from the sidelines,” he said of Obama. “And watching from the sidelines is exactly what got us into this mess.”
McCain also defended the criticism coming at him. “You know remarkably some people have criticized my decision to put my country first,” he said. “But I’ll never be a president who sits on the sidelines when this country faces a crisis. I’ll never do that.”
What can we say? At the moment Obama maintains an 8 point lead over McCain and he wants to suspend his campaign again - well` that's entirely up to him!! It is clear that those friends on Fox and Friends are hinting that he should do just that - looks like the rabbit up their sleeve is showing - if they are planning a trick. McCain suspends his campaign again for little or no good reason and they - and other right-wing press pounce and promote McCain as the responsible leader type - but then they will not be able to spend so much time on their coverage of Palin. I can see the flies surrounding whatever is in that paper bag already!
David Kurtz at TPM writes, "John McCain made the morning show rounds today. On Fox they were virtually begging him to 'suspend' his campaign again in the wake of the bailout failure yesterday on the Hill. You know, since it worked out so well the first time. McCain's answer: He just might suspend again."
McCain's comments follow a blog post by William Kristol yesterday arguing, "if this is really 'a national economic crisis,' and others have failed to lead, then McCain should lead--by re-suspending his campaign (fine, let observers mock him when he announces this), and leading his party and the Congress towards a solution. They won't mock if he can pull this off."
Watch the video of McCain on Fox News this morning:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's painful performance in interviews with CBS's Katie Couric last week rattled some backers of Sen. John McCain.
One conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker, even called on her to quit as McCain’s running mate.
"It was fun while it lasted," Parker wrote last week in the National Review. "But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick."
But it's highly unlikely Palin will be leaving the ticket. Here are eight reasons why:
1. It would raise fatal questions about McCain's judgment, which he trumpets as an advantage over Barack Obama. [Choosing a VP that doesn't believe in the separation of church and state is questionable - though letting Palin go - would expose McCain to a wide open assault and rightly]
2. It would put McCain on the defensive for the final five weeks, when he needs to put Obama on the defensive. [Bring it on!]
3. The party's social conservative base has given Palin its unconditional love. [Did she really shoot a moose - as everything else she has claimed has come under some scrutiny. The plight of polar bears in the Alaska don't concern this lot.]
4. Who else is going to have a shot with Hillary Clinton voters? [The really question is how many Hillary voters - with her backward looking platform? - Equal pay for equal work - not with McCain - pro-choice - only if Palin's own life is in danger.]
5. Mid-course corrections have a sorry history: Democrat McGovern, who dumped Tom Eagleton in 1972 after learning he’d had electroshock treatment, lost in a landslide to Richard Nixon.
6. She's a fundraising dynamo. [Give her a script she'd be a great actor.]
7. She's a crowd magnet, and without her, McCain rallies could go back to their old sleepy ways. [McCain celebrity problem - to the point where they can't campaign separately- no one turns up to see him.]
8. The Democrats' veep, Joe Biden, is a gaffe machine too. One whopper and he’s under the microscope, not her. [Don't count on it!][/COLOR]
An unusual video showing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, being blessed by a Kenyan bishop against witchcraft has rattled liberal bloggers and fueled scorn among her detractors, but religious experts say the matter has been blown out of proportion by ignorance and intolerance.
The 2004 video, which began airing on the Internet last week, shows Kenyan Bishop Thomas Muthee calling Palin to the front of a church to lay hands on her and pray to keep her safe from “every form of witchcraft.”
“Make her way, my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus...Use her to turn this nation the other way around,” Muthee said while placing his hands upon Palin. “Talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan.”
The “witchcraft” line in particular caught the attention of liberal pundits and bloggers. Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s “Countdown,” called the video “terrifying” and said it made the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the much-criticized ex-pastor of Barack Obama, look “pretty mainstream” in comparison.
But religious experts said there was nothing untoward in the video, which they said shows a fairly routine religious ceremony. Misunderstanding over it has grown because of the McCain campaign’s refusal to comment on the video, suggesting that the campaign was on uncomfortable footing with Palin’s religion, the experts said.
Jacob K. Olupana, a religion professor at Harvard, said the campaign appears to have been caught flat- footed when trying to answer questions on Palin’s faith. “I’m not sure they understand it,” he said.
“What you saw was something very basic that happens in a Pentecostal church,” said Anthea Butler, a religion professor at the University of Rochester. “You would see this in any Pentecostal church on any given Sunday.”
But while the practice may not have been unusual for Palin’s faith, the McCain campaign did not push back very hard against media’s coverage of the video, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube and got prime placement on top liberal blogs, including The Huffington Post, Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo. Instead, the campaign has highlighted Palin’s “nondenominational evangelical” beliefs, while rarely mentioning her many years in a Pentecostal church.
“Why can’t the campaign articulate what she is about?” Butler asked. “I don’t think they knew,” she said, or else they were “trying to mask” Palin’s true views.
The McCain campaign has not addressed Muthee or his blessing of Palin and declined to comment on the video for this story.
To see more videos on Palin's church click here. If you’re in the deciphering mode that is!
When asked about the Alaska governor’s religious background, the McCain campaign said in an e-mail that Palin was baptized in a Catholic church as an infant, was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in High School, and has been a member of the Wasilla Bible Church — “a nondenominational, evangelical church” — for the last seven years.
The Alaska governor’s religion gets no mention in her biography on the campaign’s website; campaign officials say that she does not consider herself to be a Pentecostal.
As a teenager, Palin joined the Wasilla Assembly of God, a Pentecostal church in Wasilla. She was baptized in the church and, along with her husband and children, attended the church until 2002. Since then, the Palins have attended the Wasilla Bible Church, an Evangelical church.
Butler said that at the Pentecostal baptism, Palin likely would have been expected to speak in tongues. Some members of the Wasilla Assembly of God reportedly do speak in tongues as part of their practice, though officials from Palin’s campaign and the church both say she did not.
In a statement on its website, Pain’s former church notes that she “has maintained a friendship with Wasilla Assembly of God and has attended various conferences and special meetings here.”
It was during one of those appearances in June that Palin called the Iraq war “a task that is from God.”
During that same appearance, Palin credited Bishop Muthee’s prayers for her becoming governor.
“As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me,” Palin said. “He said, 'Lord, make a way and let her do this next step.' And that's exactly what happened.”
Some of Muthee’s beliefs come from his experiences in Kenya, where he and wife, Margaret, founded a church in a violent area on the outskirts of Nairobi in 1988.
According to a 1999 Christian Science Monitor article, Muthee decided that witchcraft, specifically a spirit inhabiting a local woman named “Mama Jane,” was responsible for much of the turmoil in the area. To rid the community of the “demonic influence” of “Mama Jane,” Muthee set up a church in the basement of a grocery store where 200 people prayed in round-the-clock shifts. Under growing pressure from the Bishop, the woman eventually left town.
“Witchcraft is a sad reality in many parts of Africa, resulting in scores of deaths in Kenya over the past two decades,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement that chastised the media for its coverage of the video.
“Bishop Muthee’s blessing, then, was simply a reflection of his cultural understanding of evil. While others are not obliged to accept his interpretation, all can be expected to respect it. More than that, Muthee should be hailed for asking God to shield Palin from harmful forces, however they may be manifested,” Donohue’s statement said. “And for this he is mocked and Palin ridiculed?”
“I don’t know why they are making a big thing out of it,” Olupana said of the media reaction to the video. “Witchcraft as part of a belief system is real to the people who live there,” he said, noting that there was “nothing unusual about what happened.”
The religion professor noted that when Obama came under fire for his ties to Wright, several black religious leaders stepped out from behind the pew to explain their faith and put the reverend’s remarks in context.
But with Palin’s tie to Muthee, he said, “no one has stepped up to explain this.”