Sunday, August 31, 2008


Naming Gov. Sarah Palin as the V.P. pick was a masterstroke by McCain. It has energized his base and opened up a multi-level trap for the left that they are powerless to avoid. Her resume is sufficiently thin that the left cannot resist attacking her on grounds of experience – drawing a very unfavorable comparison to Obama who has based his candidacy on the propositoin that experience doesn't matter. Two, character assassination and misogynistic attacks just are not going to work against this woman. In fact, it will very likely backfire. But precisely because of who she is and what she represents, the left is just powerless to stop themselves from going down that road.

A panic choice for VP? That is the first knock on Gov. Palin from the left in an effort to delegitimize her. But all indications are that Gov. Palin was anything but a panic pick. For one, at this point in the game, McCain is far ahead in the polls of where he could expect to be in historical terms. There was no reason to panic. But beyond that, it is coming out now that McCain had Gov. Palin at the top of his list for months because of her character and background. As the LA Times said today

It is easy to see why McCain was drawn to her; their political resumes have much in common. The 44-year-old Republican has sold herself as a political maverick willing to buck her party over principle, an ethics reformer who quit a lucrative job rather than play ball with the old boys' network and a pragmatist who will reach across the aisle to get her agenda enacted. Like McCain, she has at times been a black sheep in her own party. . . .

According to WaPo, McCain was taken by Palin from the first time he heard her speak in February at a Governor's Association meeting. He saw her as a "kindered spirit" from the start. As Newsweek calls her in a surprisingly flattering article, she is McCain's Mrs. Right.

And given her conservative credentials, she has energized the base like no other pick could have. Gov. Palin hits all the social conservative hot buttons, including that she is herself an evangelical. Add to that her strengths on the Second Amendment, her fiscal conservativism and her incredible political bravery in standing on ethics issues, and Evangelicals along with the rest of the base couldn't be more excited. Even Hillbilly Whitetrash, as committed against McCain as any conservative could be, is now going to be pulling the lever for the PALIN-McCain ticket. Donations to the McCain campaign have skyrocketed. McCain and Palin just drew record crowds – Obama numbers – to their campaign stop in Missouri.

The meme that Governor Palin was a panic pick – or even that she was an affirmative action pick – just cannot survive on the above facts. Clearly, her plumbing is secondary to her appeal to the base, regardless that said plumbing happens to likely be an asset in the current race.

And that, really, is why the far left just will not be able to help themselves in going after Gov. Palin with all sorts of ad hominem attacks doomed to backfire. Gov. Palin is a woman. As such, she is a victim and is expected to embrace her victimhood. But Gov. Palin doesn’t fit that bill. I dare say you are not likely to see tears coming from her during a campaign stop. You’ve seen the left attack others like her who have refused to embrace their victimhood. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Bill Cosby, Colin Powell, Thomas Sowell – all are classed as victims by the left but all failed to embrace their victimhood. Thus all have regularly been savaged by the far left. The far left can’t help themselves on this. (Update: The Daily Standard perfectly captures this is in the NOW reaction to Gov. Palin. She may be a woman, but she is not acting the victim and thus is to be fought against and denigrated)

Outside of an election, it does not matter so much. But in this case, the nation is watching and waiting to pull the levers in a referendum in November.

Thus you have most on the left doing all they can to denigrate Palin. Andrea Mitchell, appearing on NBC the other day, called Palin "Annie Oakley" and said that she would only appeal to the undeducated among Hillary voters. Then there are the attacks on Palin for her competence as a mother. This bizarre argument is predicated on her decision to fly back to Alaska to give birth after her water broke.

The Kos kids have been pushing the rather incredible rumor that Gov. Palin's son Trig, her four month old child with Downs Syndrome, is actually her grandson. That one goes beyond bizarre. Rightwing Nuthouse addresses this one in some detail, and Ann Althouse comments today

Stop prying into other people's vaginas, even if you happen to oppose them politically. What is wrong with you people?" The insane obsession with Sarah Palin's pregnancy rages on. This will all go down in the annals of feminism, people. So think before you write. Andrew? [AND.]

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Protein Wisdom has an entire round-up of all the ad hominem attacks on Palin. They run the gambit from incredible snobbery to charges of witchcraft and labels of trailer trash. And there is the half true but completely false rumor that Palin is a convicted felon. Ben Smith has the whole story on that one. At any rate, the floodgates have been opened. The far left are powerless. And if the other 90% of America – those not in the MSM, not members of Kos, or not drawing Soros paychecks – end up liking this incredible woman, then the blowback will be severe.

But that is just one level of the trap posed by Gov. Palin. While I would argue her experience is sufficient to be named Vice President, there is room there for argument. But there is a rule of thumb – you don’t attack an enemy - even a potentially weak one - when you’re weaker than they are. That just has not dawned on the left yet. They see weakness and they are going to go for the kill – not realizing that crossing that field is as suicidal as Pickett’s charge.

But charge they will – and thus the argument that Gov. Palin is too inexperienced to be VP is now front and center. You have to love all the irony in this question put to Obama in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday:

Does the fact that he chose as his Vice President someone who has less experience than you take that weapon out of his arsenal?

Wow. Think of just how that question is going to play when it is asked everyday between now and November. Pushing the inexperience meme against Palin in relation to Obama is a minefield of titanic proportions for the left. As McCain has noted, Palin has more executive experience than Obama and Biden together, and she was serving in elected office when Obama was "still a community organizer." But far more importantly, that is an apples to oranges comparison. The real comparison is McCain to Obama. Obama has gotten this far on the argument that experience does not matter. If all of a sudden it does matter, Obama’s huge problems just grew exponentially.

The one thing I’ve been moderately concerned about is the ethics complaint made against Gov. Palin by a man she fired for cause, former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. I could not see McCain tapping Palin for V.P. without thoroughly investigating this and satisfying himself that this a charge with no validity. That said, I've been waiting for someone to explain the whole story. Joshuapundit has performed that service for us. You can read about it as his site, but it appears that, while there are a lot of moving parts to the story, none of them splash mud onto Gov. Palin.

All of this said, Gov. Palin is going to sink or swim over the next two months. She has her work cut out for her because, given that few really know her and given the short decision time, she has precious little room for mistakes. She needs to live up to her resume and she needs to show enough grasp of the issues to make people comfortable with her. That is very much borne out by a Frank Lunze focus group you can find at Hot Air. Probably never before has so much ridden on two months of campaigning and one VP debate.

But it does now. For the next two months, its going to be pure Palindemonium.


A Vacancy On The Watcher's Council, An Announcement, & This Week's Results

First up, we have a vacancy on the Watcher's Council. If you would like to join, please visit the Watcher's site. You will find a link to instructions on how to apply on the right sidebar of the site.

Two, we officially have a new home. The new site for the Watcher of Weasels is Do note the .org. And as I mentioned last week, the new Watcher is Terry Trippany. We are honored to have him assume the duties.

Lastly, this weeks nominees have been reviewed and the votes for this week's best posts have been tallied by the Watcher. And the winners are:


As often happens, a majority of people who posted last week did so on the same topic while the winner went off on their own unique tangent. This week, the majority of posts were on the candidacy of Joe Biden. The winner, however, was the The Razor who put up an exceptional post on the situation in with Russia, Russia - The New Cold War. Coming in second was my post, What Does Joe Biden Offer To Obama? Coming in third was Soccer Dad's Charm city charm offensive, a fascinating post on the effort of local Jewish pundits to sway the vote towards Obama.

In the Non-Council category, the winner also dealt with Russia - Michael Totten/Middle East Journal - The Truth About Russia In Georgia. Coming in a close second was an exceptional post from Robert at Seraphic Secret, The Terrorist is Still Dead.

You can find the full results of the voting at the Watcher's site.


Carnival of the Insanities

Dr. Sanity has examined the weeks insanities and put them together for our theraputic viewing. Do pay her a visit.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin In Comparison

This is Sarah Palin

. . . America’s hottest governor and the Republican nominee for Vice President.

She is the governor of Alaska

. . . the northernmost of our fifty some odd states.

She has an approval rating over 80%. That is . . .

. . . almost better than God's.

She likes fishing . . .

. . . for salmon

She likes hunting . . .

. . . for moose.

And Mooseburgers . . .

. . . are whats for dinner at the Alaska Governor's mansion.

What she doesn't eat . . .

. . . makes for comfortable office decor.

She started out her adult life as a working woman, a hockey mom, . . .

. . . and a runner up for Miss Alaska.

Obama started out as . . .

. . . a follower of the Marxist organizer Saul Alinsky.

Palin won her first election for executive office to become . . .

. . . the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska in 1996.

She did so by beating a three term incumbent . . .

. . . in a hotly contested election.

Obama won his first election to the Illinois State Senate . . .

. . . by having his competition, Alice Palmer, a civil rights icon, decertified from the ballot by his attorneys. Likewise, none of his subsequent elections to office were models of democracy.

Palin is famous for blowing the whistle on massive corruption

. . . at the very top of Alaska's Republican Party.

Obama is famous for meeting corrupt people . . .

. . . befriending them and doing business deals.

Palin has a twenty year old son . . .

. . . in the U.S. Army Infantry, a job that requires he put his life on the line in order to serve our country.

Obama attended Trinity United Church for 20 years . . .

. . . exposing his children to the deeply racist, seperatist and anti-American Black Liberation Theology and a preacher who damns America.

Palin has run businesses, including. . . .

. . . a commercial fishing business with her husband

That gives her more business experience than . . .

. . . these two combined.

Palin has been a mayor and is now a governor. That gives her more executive experience than . . .

. . . these two combined.

Palin went to Germany. She gave no speeches while there, but . . .

. . . she did visit wounded soldiers in Landstuhl

Obama went to Germany. He gave a speech to Germans . . .

. . . then exercised near Landstuhl

Palin has fought against . . .

. . . tax increases and earmarks

Obama has . . .

. . . sought millions in earmarks for special interests.

Obama voted against a bill that would have killed the funding for the most infamous pork project of the last decade, the $200+ million earmark for the Bridge to Nowhere . . .

When she became Governor of Alaska . . .

. . . Palin killed the Bridge to Nowhere project.

Palin is a huge proponent of . . .

. . . drilling in ANWR and off the coast to bring down gas prices.

Obama is a huge proponent of

. . . inflating your tires.

And Obama is fine with . . .

. . . $4 a gallon for gas

Palin is a lifetime member . . .

. . . of the NRA

Obama voted . . .

. . . against a bill to allow people threatened with domestic violence to carry a firearm for self protection and against a bill to protect a man from prosecution who had used a hand gun unlawful in Chicago to defend his family inside his own home.

The McCains adopted . . .

. . . an infant with heart ailments from an orphanage in Bangladesh and raised her to health and as one of their own children.

Obama adopted . . .

. . . the symbols of the presidency.

Palin is a working mom with five children . . .

Her fifth child was born four months ago. His name is Trig and they knew five months before he was born that he had Down's Syndrome . . .

They chose not to abort the child because she is pro-life.

That puts her at odds with Obama . . .

. . . who voted against an Illinois bill designed to stop infanticide of children born alive from botched abortions.

The Left says that Gov. Palin . . .

. . . is inexperienced and not ready to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Who would have guessed . . .

. . . that lack of experience is now a disqualifier - for the position Vice President.

Indeed, putting aside foreign policy, Gov. Palin has more and varied experience than

. . . these two combined

Some on the left are questioning her intelligence and trying to label her the second coming of . . .

. . . Mr. "potato-e," former Vice President Dan Quayle.

The MSM of the day magnified Qualye's gaffes, while it seems that the MSM of today is ignoring . . .

. . . the serial gaffes of at least one of the candidates who makes Dan Quayle seem erudite by comparison.

McCain wants the Left and the MSM to speak up about this stuff so that he and . . .

. . . his new BFF's can hear also.

Of one thing there is no question. Of all the four candidates for President and Vice President from the two parties . . .

. . . Gov. Palin is the only one I would want to see both in the White House and on the cover of Vogue showing a bit of cleavage.
(Update 2: I included the above photo in the belief that it was the actual cover of the edition of Vogue for which Gov. Palin posed in February, 2008. Yes, she posed for Vogue, no, the above is not one of the photos. It is a photoshop. I thank one of the commentors, Mare, for pointing this out.)

(Update: Jim at Bright & Early has an additional comparison worth a view)


Palin On Drilling, Energy, Alternative Energy & A Biden Vote To Kill The Alaska Pipeline

I am not sure when this CNBC interview occurred - from the sounds of it a few weeks ago. In it, Gov. Palin discusses our nation's energy needs, the need for drilling, and the attempt by Congress 30 years ago to kill the Alaskan oil pipeline - and she specifically mentions Biden on this. She also talks about how dangerously unrealistic are those who believe we can forego the exploitation of our own resources for a green utopia today.

We've gotten billions of barrels of oil from Alaska and this pipeline over the years - and it has occurred with no adverse effects to the environment - well, discounting a drunk Captian on the Exon Valdez. Thanfully, Sen. Biden's vote did not carry the day thirty years ago or we would be in even more dire trouble today.

(H/T Stop the ACLU)


Palin, Obama & The Bridge To Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere was, in 2006, proof positive that the Republican Party had come undone and was adrift from its conservative moorings. The Bridge to Nowhere probably did more to harm the Republican Party and more to explain the victory of Democrats in 2006 than any other single thing or event.

Some fiscally responsible Senators moved to remove this boondogle from the appropriations bill and redirect funding. They failed. As reported in the Hill:

Obama and 81 other senators opposed an amendment in 2005 to strike the infamous $231 million “Bridge to Nowhere” earmark for Alaska and redirect that funding to help with rebuilding New Orleans.

When the funds arrived in Alaska, Gov. Palin killed the bridge project. Instead, she "directed state transportation officials to find the most "fiscally responsible" alternative . . ." Wow. With this ticket, and on these facts, we can actually kick the bridge across the aisle - and perhaps bring about . . . dare I say it . . . change to politics as usual.

Dr. Sanity has the whole story.


Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Palin

This is the first You Tube short I have seen and it is a good one. There is just something about a woman aiming an M-16 . . .

(H/T Four Rightwing Whackos)


The Lyin' King

Jon Stewart at Comedy Central continues to be the bravest and / or most secure in his job comedian around. He was the first to tell an Obama joke and then instruct the audience that it was okay to laugh. Now this . . .

(H/T Hot Air)


Er . . . .

As I look around the net at the reaction to Gov. Sarah Palin as the VP pick and dig more into her background, one of the things I see repeatedly popping up on the left is that Alaska's Governor has too little experience to be vice president, one 72 year old heartbeat away from the presidency.

I am confused. As I look at Gov. Palin, . . .

- She has years of experience in the private sector. She has run a business. Between them, Biden and Obama have less private sector experience and no comprable experience running a business.

- She has years of executive experience, including two years as governor. Obama and Biden between them have no executive experience.

- She bucked her party, and brought down much of the old boy Republican network in Alaska through ethics investigations. Obama and Biden are doctranaire progresives who have never bucked their party.

- When she met people like Rezo in Alaska, she got them tossed from office. When Obama met Rezko, he made friends and became involved in deals.

- She has never been in the military. Neither Obama nor Biden have any military experience.

- She has no foreign policy experience. Obama has no foreign policy experience. Leaving questons of judgment out of the calculus for the moment, Biden has years of foreign policy experience.

Adding all of this up, it would appear that the bottom of the Republican party ticket now has more relevant experience than the top of the Democratic one. I just do not see why anyone on the left would want to make a charge of lack of experience - or invite the above comparison.


Gov. Palin and Reactions

Part I: John McCain's Introduction of Gov. Palin in Ohio

Part II - McCain introduction (Cont'd.)

Part III - Gov. Sarah Palin's Speech

Part IV - Gov. Sarah Palin's Speech (Cont'd.)

Rush is a happy camper:

- It’s an inspired choice… this is absolutely fabulous.”

- “We’re the ones with the babe on the ticket.”

- “And this is a real Republican woman. This woman hunts moose. She is a total maverick.”

The Volokh Conspiracy visited a pro-Hillary web-site and found them ecstatic in page after page of comments reacting to the news of Sarah Palin being nominated.

Jonah Goldberg gives his reaction.

From Vinny in the comments:

- Its Sarah and John against the Obaminator

The editors at NRO are quite pleased with this pick.

And Mark Levin has also jumped wholly on the McCain ship on the basis of the Palin selection.

From Soccer Dad, on Palin's blue collar husband.

A bevy of links at Instapundit.

And several posts and comments at Ann Althouse. I thought this comment was particularly interesting:

10:21: More from the comments. This is from Peter V. Bella:

Man, the leftist whackos and nutroots are going to come out of the woodwork like cockroaches. Pallin wears fur, she hunts and eats moose burgers, she is a life long member of the NRA, and the worst, the absolute worst crime -- her husband is a fisherman who works in the oil fields in the off-season. Yep, a regular working stiff. The kind of guy they hate and are jealous of. Not a lawyer or a fuzzy headed policy wonk; not a professor of basket weaving or Mayan Mysticism, not someone who lives off the teat of government grants; but a real, solid, hard core, working man. A guy who gets his hands dirty every day. The average Joe American.

What makes her even more odious is she actually worked with her husband on the fishing boats. She really, actually worked for a living. The Gospel chorus is lining up to rage and rant; “my God, how can he pick someone like that? Working people, why, they, they, they, know too much about real life!”

PETA, the anti-gun nuts, ELF, KOS, MYDD, Huffingglue and probably a host of others will be gnashing their teeth, pounding their drums, shaking their chubby little fists and green tamborines, and going into full, foaming at the mouth, rabid attack mode. They are going to have heartastrokes over this.

On The Left:

At Time - already raising the spectre of Dan Quayle.

Susan Estrich launches a viscious attack on Palin as the anti-Hillary. I like her more already. One obvious differnce. Palin is self-made. She made it to governor on her own, not by riding the coattails of the man she married.

Via HotAir, from CNN - Hey, won't Palin be neglecting her Downs Syndrome baby?

Not all on the left are frothing. Talkleft has some sound advice for the left. I wonder what the odds are it will be heeded?


Standing At The Crossroads - Identity Politics, Multiculturalism & The Melting Pot (Updated)

Republicans ended slavery. The party of Jim Crow and the KKK was the Democratic Party. The 13th (slavery), 14th (privileges and immunities) and 15th (voting rights) Amendments to the Constitution were enacted by Republicans. The NAACP was founded in 1909 by three white Republicans who opposed the racist practices of the Democratic Party and the lynching of blacks by Democrats. In fairness, it was the Democrat Harry Truman who signed an executive order integrating the military - and that was a truly major development. (My own belief is that the military has been the single greatest driving force of integration in this land for over half a century.) It was a Supreme Court Chief Justice appointed by the Republican President Eisenhower who managed to get all nine justices to agree to the seminal decision on the illegality of separate schools in Brown v. Board of Education. After that came the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act was championed by JFK - but it was strenthened in committee and passed by a Republican controlled Congress over fierce opposition from Democrats and their repeated attempts at filibuster. Women were added to the Act as a protected class by a Democrat who thought it would be a poison pill, killing the legislation. To the contrary, the Republican Congress passed the Act without any attempt to remove the provision. Martin Luther King, Jr., our nation's most recognizable and laudable civil rights proponent, was a Republican. Bull Connors was not.

Nothing that I say here is to suggest that racism and sexism could not be found in the Republican party or among conservatives in American history. But if you take any period in history and draw a line at the midpoint of racist and sexist attitudes, you would find far more Republicans than Democrats on the lesser side of that line. And you would find a much greater willingness on the part of Republicans, relative to the time, in favor of effectuating equality. That was as true in 1865 as in 1965.

Sometime about 1968, the far left wing took control of the Democratic Party and hijacked the civil rights movement. They made civil rights the very foundation of their politics.

While Republicans sought equality, what the far left sought when they hijacked the civil rights movement was something different entirely. The far left fundamentally altered the nature of the movement. They imprinted the movement with identity politics, grossly distorting its goals - a level playing field for all Americans - and creating a Marxian world of victimized classes entitled to special treatment. The far left has been the driver of reverse racism and sexism for the past half century. And as an aside, that is why it is no surprise that, with the emergence of a far left candidate for the highest office in the nation, Rev. Jeremiah Wright should also arise at his side and into the public eye preaching a vile racism and separatism most Americans outside the far left thought long dead in this country. Nor is it any surprise that the MSM, many of whom are of the far left, should collectively yawn at Obama's twenty year association with Wright. Wright is anything but an anamoly; rather, he is simply an outgrowth of far left politics.

The far left did not merely hijack the civil rights movement, they also wrote over a century of American history, turning it on its head. They managed to paint the conservative movement and the Republican Party as the prime repositories of racism and sexism. The far left has for decades played the race and gender cards to counter any criticism of their policies and to forestall any reasoned debate. It is their central narrative. It has done incalculable harm to our nation.

We are either a melting pot wherein "all men are created equal" - the ideal of our Founders for which we have long strived and are ever closer to succeeding - or we are to become a multicultural nation of pigeon holed special interests. We are to become a nation where groups are encouraged to remain apart, defining themselves by their victim class before defining themselves as Americans. Multiculturalism is unworkable - we can see it destroying Europe and Britain - but that has not stopped the far left in America from their embrace of the concept. Nor has it slowed their efforts to weave multiculturalism irrevocably into the fabric of our society.

The far left has been highly effective in painting the modern Republican Party as not merely an enemy of civil rights for women and minorities, but as an old white man's club with room for women, minorities, gays, etc. only in the back of the tent as tokens. The far left has long held themselves out as the true party of equality. They have done so falsely as, by its very nature, identity politics cements inequality.

The far left has long pushed forward minorities and women to prove that they are the party of inclusiveness. On the right, the process has been slower. You had the percolation of minorities and women to major positions through the natural process of time and selection of the fittest. Only the most jaded would ever argue that Colin Powell and Condi Rice did not earn their positions solely on merit. And love her or hate her, Kristi Todd Whitman was both well qualified and a very good governor.

I have long been waiting for a qualified woman or minority to rise to the very top in Republican politics. It is something that would expose the incredibly damaging canard that the far left has shrilly pushed for near half a century. I had hoped Colin Powell would be that man a decade ago. As to Condi Rice, had things worked out differently for the Bush administration and had she not selected the Sec. of State slot (a killer for anyone with Pres. aspirations) I thought that perhaps she would have a good shot at running in 2008. I've been waiting for Thomas Sowell to run for any elected office for decades - and yes, I would consider him for beatification. These are people for whom neither their skin color nor plumbing makes them a victim. These are people for whom neither their skin color nor plumbing sets them apart substantively from all other Americans. And these are people who earned their success by virtue of their excellence rather than the extent of their connections or the distortions of identity politics.

It is inevitable that one of the two concepts I earlier described - a melting pot of equals or a multicultural morass of victim groups - will gain ascendance in America. I have long felt that we are at a crossroads in our nation for precisely this reason, and that the ramifications of how we decide this issue will be existential.

You will note in a post below, I congratulated Obama for achieving the status of the first African American nominee for President. I meant that sincerely, though I have also said before that he is the product of identity politics. He is anything but the post racial candidate he held himself out to be at first. I believe that the policies he would institute in America would represent the victory of multiculturalism. It would alter our nation fundamentally to create not simply a house divided, but a house with many divides.

Will Sarah Palin represent the opposite choice? I think clearly she does. As Victor Davis Hanson said of her:

Sarah Palin is the emblem of what feminism was supposed to be all about: an unafraid, independent, audacious woman, who soared on her own merits without the aid of a patriarchal jumpstart, high-brow matrimonial tutelage and capital, and old-boy liaisons and networking.

And that really is all feminism should be about. Equality. What we have seen in shrill reaction from the far left to Ms. Palin shines a giant spotlight on their canard. Their goal is not equality for women, else the rise of Sarah Palin would be welcomed on its merits, irrespective of other political disagreements. There would be no need or attempt to delegitimize her. But the frothing and vitriolic reaction of the far left shows their goal not to be equaltiy, but to be a remake of Western society into a vision Karl Marx would recognize. By exposing the canard and threatening the true goal, Sarah Palin is by her very being an existential danger to the far left.

Thus Sarah Palin's ascendance is meaningful indeed. The rise of Obama and Hillary on the left have pushed us to the center of that crossroads, with the only option being of a turn in one direction or another. McCain's utterly brilliant selection of Gov. Palin as his running mate clarifies the issues completely and makes the choices stark. Because of that, my personal belief is that this election will have ramifications long beyond the next four years. This election holds the potential to be a referendum on the future foundation of our nation. I fear if the choice is Obama and his far left positions, we will never be able to unring the bell. The alternative of McCain and Palin will not bring total victory in this contest for the future of America, but it would be a big step in the right direction and a giant step back from the abyss.

Photo at the top taken from Gateway Pundit.


Dem Attacks Start

The left is rolling out the smears already. According to the Page, the Democrats are denigrating the expeience of Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Clyburn - a man who I doubt knows anything at all about Gov. Palin - has equated her to Dan Quayle. I am watching her speech - and this woman looks impressive.

This from the Page:

Obama Spokesman Bill Burton:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same,” said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman.

Rep. Emanuel: “Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency? Given Sarah Palin’s lack of experience on every front and on nearly every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn’t show judgement: it shows political panic.”

Obama team telling reporters they are “thrilled” with the choice.

Also: Rep. Clyburn calls the Palin choice “very risky,” and equates the choice to Dan Quayle.

“I just think that it is very risky for McCain to do this, but it may be all he has left.”

McCain Palin has just captured the news cycle. It sounds like the left is on its heels at the moment. And well they should be. I listend to Palin just congratulate Geraldine Ferrarro and . . . Hillary Clinton.

The McCain spokesman is on the air saying that she does not understand why Obama and the Democrats are attempting to belittle a woman. Heh. The Obama camp has a problem.


The Maverick Strikes - Its Sarah Palin

Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin is the Republican VP Pick. This is a brilliant pick. She is a strong conservative and a true Washington outside. She has had private sector business experience, she has executive experience, she is pro-life, she is a mother of five, including a soldier and Down's Syndrome child, she is a strong proponent of drilling in ANWR, and she is a maverick herself by all accounts, having taken on the corrupt Republican Party in Alaska and won. This just threw a wild card into the race.

This from the Washington Post:

Republican presumptive presidential nominee John McCain has chosen first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, according to a senior McCain adviser.

Palin, 44, will be the first woman nominated to the ticket by the Republican Party, and is a surprise choice after McCain considered more experienced politicians, including several of his former rivals for the GOP nomination. Palin was elected in 2006, and before that was mayor of tiny Wasilla, population 6,715.

She is a favorite of conservatives, who say she brings a reform-minded agenda and is what one called a "feminist for life.'' She is the mother of five; her youngest child, born in April, has Down's syndrome.

Palin had been before mentioned as a dark-horse candidate for the pick, but speculation in recent days had focused on McCain's primary rival Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and on Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The choice--to be announced at a noon rally here--was kept secret by the McCain campaign despite a frenzy of speculation from the 24/7 world of cable news and political blogs.

. . . McCain's communications director, Jill Hazelbaker, playfully declined to provide any confirmation Friday morning. Speaking on CBS' "Early Show," she provided only a vague sense of the motivation that has driven McCain's decision. "John McCain is going to make the choice from his heart," she said.

"He's going to choose someone who can be a partner in governing. He's going to choose someone who brings character and principle to the table and who shares his priorities. And I'm confident that he's going to make a great pick."

. . . Karl Rove, President Bush's former top political advisers, said on Fox News that picking Palin would "shake up" the traditional coalitions in both parties. He called Palin a "breath of fresh air," and said picking her would be an indication that McCain is hoping to make a direct appeal to women voters, especially those who voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton, not Sen. Barack Obama, during the Democratic primary.

"It would be a clear sign by the McCain campaign that they would be making a bid" for women voters, Rove said. "In the last 24 hours, we've seen both campaigns refocus themselves in a powerful way on the Hillary Clinton supporters."

One GOP source who said McCain had chosen Palin call it a "stunning pick" and said he was still trying to get his arms around it. The source, who did not want to be named since McCain has not commented publicly, said conservatives will be pleased since she is an anti-abortion Republican.

But he acknowledged that Palin is "not really that well known."

Aides to Obama said they are salivating at the prospect of a Palin pick, readying talking points to question McCain's choice. With 18 months in office, little foreign policy experience -- or experience of any kind -- Palin would be, in the words of one senior Obama adviser, "a gift."

Democratic officials expressed surprise about Palin but predicted that she will make it more difficult for McCain to use one of his central attacks on Obama: that the first-term senator lacks the experience the White House requires.

"He cannot say any more that Barack Obama doesn't have the experience to be commander in chief when he chooses a woman whose signature achievement two years ago was that they won an award from the National Arbor Day Foundation," a Democratic operative said.

Democrats began quickly scouring Palin's past. They pointed out that she had once raised the sales tax to support construction of a recreation center in her city. And they noted that Palin has been accused of improperly using her office to have her ex-brother-in-law fired from his state trooper's job.

"She's under investigation right now," the Democrat said.

Read the entire article. I am amazed that the Obama camp is denigrating her already.

Geraldine Ferrarro was the only other woman ever chosen to run on a major ticket. She is on Fox News at the moment saying that this is a big reach across the aisle to the PUMA folks that Obama just spent the last week trying to bring back into the fold.

And there is this bio from Fox:

Sarah Palin, John McCain’s vice presidential pick and the first female governor of Alaska, is seen as a rising star within the Republican Party.

She became the youngest person to assume the top office of the 49th State in 2006. Her anti-abortion stance is certain to appeal to evangelicals, while her views on the threats of climate change mirror those of Senator McCain.

“Palin is becoming a star in the conservative movement, a fiscal conservative in a state that is looking like a boondoggle for pork barrel spending,” Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway has said. “She’s young, vibrant, fresh and now, and a new mother of five. She should be in the top tier. If the Republican Party wants to wrestle itself free from the perception that it is royalist and not open to putting new talent on the bench, this would be the real opportunity.”

Palin’s presence adds youth to a McCain ticket, but it is her gender that could help sway women, especially the “security moms” who helped President Bush win re-election in 2004, to vote GOP.

Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Feb. 11, 1964, Palin moved with her family at the age of three months to Wasilla, Alaska, though she returned to her birth state to attend the University of Idaho, where she studied journalism and graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree.

Palin is the mother of five children — Bristol, Willow, Piper, Track and Trig, who was born in April with Down syndrome.

She grew up in Wasilla, just outside of Anchorage, played on Wasilla’s state champion girls’ basketball team in 1982, wore the crown of Miss Wasilla in 1984 and competed in the Miss Alaska contest.

She began her professional career as a television sports reporter, but after she married her husband, Todd, she helped run his family’s commercial fishing business. Other professional endeavors included the ownership of a snow machine, watercraft and all-terrain-vehicle business.

She ran for Wasilla City Council in 1992, winning her seat by opposing tax increases. Four years later, she was elected mayor of Wasilla at age 32 by knocking off a three-term incumbent.

At the end of her second term, party leaders encouraged her to enter the 2002 race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Against veteran legislators with far more experience, Palin finished second by fewer than 2,000 votes, making a name for herself in statewide politics.

Palin had exceptionally high approval ratings through mid-2007 and received high marks for her accessibility, a change from Frank Murkowski’s administration.

My hats off to McCain. I was hoping he would make a bold pick. This certainly foots the bill. I was going to write an analysis of this, but I think Ed Morissey has done a better job than I can do on this one. This is his take on it all at Hot Air:

. . . Palin has served less than two years as Governor of Alaska, which tends to eat into the experience message on which McCain has relied thus far. At 44, she’s younger than Barack Obama by three years. She has served as a mayor and as the Ethics Commissioner on the state board regulating oil and natural gas, for a total of eight years political experience before her election as governor. That’s also less than Obama has, with seven years in the Illinois legislature and three in the US Senate.

However, the nature of the experience couldn’t be more different. Palin spent her entire political career crusading against the political machine that rules Alaska — which exists in her own Republican party. She blew the whistle on the state GOP chair, who had abused his power on the same commission to conduct party business. Obama, in contrast, talked a great deal about reform in Chicago but never challenged the party machine, preferring to take an easy ride as a protegĂ© of Richard Daley instead.

Palin has no formal foreign-policy experience, which puts her at a disadvantage to Joe Biden. However, in nineteen months as governor, she certainly has had more practical experience in diplomacy than Biden or Obama have ever seen. She runs the only American state bordered only by two foreign countries, one of which has increasingly grown hostile to the US again, Russia.

And let’s face it — Team Obama can hardly attack Palin for a lack of foreign-policy experience. Obama has none at all, and neither Obama or Biden have any executive experience. Palin has almost over seven years of executive experience.

Politically, this puts Obama in a very tough position. The Democrats had prepared to launch a full assault on McCain’s running mate, but having Palin as a target creates one large headache. If they go after her like they went after Hillary Clinton, Obama risks alienating women all over again. If they don’t go after her like they went after Hillary, he risks alienating Hillary supporters, who will see this as a sign of disrespect for Hillary.

For McCain, this gives him a boost like no other in several different ways. First, the media will eat this up. That effectively buries Obama’s acceptance speech and steals the oxygen he needs for a long-term convention bump. A Romney or Pawlenty pick would not have accomplished that.

Second, Palin will re-energize the base. She’s not just a pro-life advocate, she’s lived the issue herself. That will attract the elements of the GOP that had held McCain at a distance since the primaries and provide positive motivation for Republicans, rather than just rely on anti-Democrat sentiment to get them to the polls.

Third, and I think maybe most importantly, Palin addresses the energy issue better and more attuned to the American electorate than maybe any of the other three principals in this election. Even beyond her efforts to reform the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, she has demonstrated her independence from so-called “Big Oil” while promoting domestic production. She brings instant credibility to the ticket on energy policy, and reminds independents and centrists that the Obama-Biden ticket offers nothing but the same excuses we’ve heard for 30 years.

Finally, based on all of the above, McCain can remind voters who has the real record of reform. Obama talks a lot about it but has no actual record of reform, and for a running mate, he chose a 35-year Washington insider with all sorts of connections to lobbyists and pork. McCain has fought pork, taken real political risks to fight undue influence of lobbyists, and he picked an outsider who took on her own party — and won.

This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk. McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him. Obama provided that opening by picking Biden as his running mate, and McCain was smart enough to take advantage of the opening.


Change To What?

Change is a neutral word. All things change. It is a constant. The question is whether the change is positive or negative.

Obama tosses out the vague word "change" and accuses McCain of being a clone of Bush. Of course, there is also a question what "change" Obama has in mind. takes a look at both.

In terms of their records, McCain is a conservative willing to break from his party and President on occasion. Obama is a doctrinaire liberal who votes the straight party line. This from

. . . According to Congressional Quarterly's Voting Studies, in 2007 McCain voted in line with the president's position 95 percent of the time – the highest percentage rate for McCain since Bush took office – and voted in line with his party 90 percent of the time. However, McCain's support of President Bush's position has been as low as 77 percent (in 2005), and his support for his party's position has been as low as 67 percent (2001).

. . . Obama voted in line with fellow Senate Democrats 97 percent of the time in 2007 and 2005, and 96 percent of the time in 2006, according to CQ.

. . . To sum up, McCain has indeed voted to support the unpopular Bush 95 percent of the time most recently, but less so in earlier years. And Obama has voted pretty close to 100 percent in line with fellow Democrats during his brief Senate career.

Read the entire article. The change Obama promises is not a bi-partisan one. It is a hard turn to the left.