The Pregger Palin and How She Got Famous

Let me say at the outset of this article that attacks on one’s family are a manifestly unfair tactic unfit for a campaign for President of the United States.  Whomsoever would use such attacks – assuming such attacks ever occur – rightly deserves our scorn.  In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say that undue media attention to such matters is also out of line.  Barack Obama has been quite clear in his objection to personal, familial attacks in this campaign, having suffered his share thus far.  No legitimate news agencies have yet run with the rumors that Sarah Palin is not the mother of her 4-month-old though the season is, in truth, still young.

And I really think it is an unfortunate, unfair and awful thing that a girl going through a (as rumors have it, second) pregnancy should also have to deal with an entire nation’s worth of scrutiny at the same time.  Life is more than hard enough as a teenager; life is hard enough as a pregnant woman, the extra media attention is not necessary at all.

Ok, happy?  Now let’s drop the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” talk and discuss the hard realities of campaigning.

When Thomas Jefferson ran for president, his dalliances with his slaves and rumors of illegitimate children – all later proven to be true, but entirely unproven during the campaign – all became fodder for both the press and his opponents over the course of the campaign.  Such fascinations predate even his race for the President’s job, and thus cannot be blamed on Phil Donohue, Inside Edition, Jerry Springer or any of the other modern scapegoats for the “coursening” of our culture.  However unfortunate it may be, it is hardly an unanticipated consequence of running for one of the highest offices in the land.  In fact, it’s like gravity: however unfair it may seem, it just happens.

So, when the McCain Campaign screams like they’ve had bamboo stuck under their fingernails over the “unfair” investigation of their here-to-fore unvetted Vice Presidential candidate, let’s keep in mind who brought this on themselves and the poor girl in this case.  After all, vetting of a candidate is all about avoiding exactly this kind of scrutiny.  Sarah Palin accepted the nomination to the Vice Presidential slot knowing her daughter was pregnant, along with a goodly number of other issues she must have known might present a problem.  Her ambition outwieghed her maternal duty to protect her kid, it seems.


The Honeymoon

Things are likely to go downhill from here, and even the reception of Sarah Palin at the RNC as it stands now is not overly warm.

But this article definitely shows signs of hopefulness for Republican operatives.  Clearly the Mike Murphys of the Republican Party are not happy.  But the moderate Republican woman who speaks in the article certainly is.

The question is: do these women represent enough of a positive upswing to get the Republican ticket though?  How much does the fact that she’s a woman outweigh her strongly Conservative views with moderates, for how long and with how many people?

Time will tell.


God Bless Alaska!

Political Animal is picking up the story of Sarah Palin’s connection to the Alaska Independence Party, which is dedicated to the establishment of an independant Alaskan nation, if you can believe it.  This is the kind of thing you might have expected a vetting process to have eliminated.  If there was one, which there clearly was not.


Command Experience

TPM has the video of a feisty Campbell Brown nailing McCain spokesman Tucker Brown to the wall on the “Experience Question” as it relates to the remarkable selection of Governor Sarah Palin as Vice Presidential nominee.  In an effort to defend the selection, Brown (Tuck, not Campbell) says that being in command of the National Guard serves as military command experience.  Certainly, this is true.  But when Campbell presses him on what decisions Palin has ever had to make, pointing out that equipping the troops is not the governor’s job, Tucker responds with this:

Actually, Campbell they do.  On a factual basis, they certainly do.  In Alaska, if you have any sort of emergency as things are happening in your state, the National Guard is under the command of the governor.

Fair enough.  In Alaska and elsewhere, if there are state emergencies (read: not national emergencies, in which case, the Army takes over), the governor is responsible for deploying the National Guard to respond.  So, how many times has this been necessary in the two years Sarah Palin has been governor?

According to Google News, not once.


Update: whoops!  Messed up that video link.  It’s been corrected, now.


TPM: Executive Experience

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Executive Experience in brick-and-mortar relief.

Headline in Today’s D&C?

“Historic Choice, Either Way.” It’s not online, but it is the headline for the print edition.

And Tim Polenty is on Meet the Press saying, “it’s not just because she’s a woman.”

Who are they talking about, of course? Sarah Palin. And they’re both full of shit.


Michael Palin for Vice President

I was thrilled to hear that John McCain has chosen a bold, out-of-the-box pick for his Vice Presidential running mate in Michael Palin.  Michael has brought years of experience to the screen, both large and small, as one of a cast of comedians in Monty Python and the Flying Circus, but also taking the helm and proving his readiness to lead with many wonderful, worldly documentaries for the BBC. . .

. . . Oh, wait.  Sarah Palin?  Who the fuck is that?

Oh, I see.  Does it strike anyone as just slightly sexist that McCain chose as enticement to the disaffected Clinton voting block a scandal-plagued beauty queen with no experience and a strong pro-life agenda?  I mean, is the fact that she’s got tits supposed to be the only thing that matters to the flighty chick crowd?  I guess this was McCain’s way of saying, “keep up the good work, Toots.”

It has been many times said over this election season that vice presidential picks rarely bring much to the ticket.  But with Geraldine Ferraro and George McGovern’s Thomas Eagleton, history’s dustbin is filled with those whose veep picks have ruined their chances.  The next three months will judge whether history will be adding another footnote to its lengthy list.


Well, it’s Biden

Just woke up to find the email from Barack Obama in my inbox, and don’t I feel special: he’s chosen Joe Biden as his running mate.

I’d say ever since Joe gave the reporters staking out his house bagels and coffee, it was pretty obvious to me that Joe was the dude.  And he’s probably the best choice, too.  If ever there was a guy who would relish the prospect of being the attack dog, it’s Joe Biden, and he’ll be good at it, too.  Yes, there is the distinct possibility that he’ll go off half-cocked as he’s done in the past, but there has to be a bad cop to Obama’s cool surface in this election.

Because the more I think about it, the more I think one of the keys to this election is straight up: piss off John McCain.  Piss him right off, preferably in a way that makes him explode in a debate.

The walls of the media stronghold McCain has built up over all these years are cracking noticeably.  Joe Klien, a long time cheerleader, calls McCain’s “Obama would lose a war to win the presidency,” attack “scurrilous,” which is more than Obama said.  The “How Many Houses” gaff – which if the Dems play it right, will be the candidacy-killer quote – was started by by a reporter asking, “how many houses do you own?”  That’s not the kind of question you ask a Senator without already knowing the answer and without some indication that he doesn’t know.

So an explosion from John McCain could begin the flood of “McHothead” naratives that would doubtless carry though to the election.  This is exactly what Obama needs, because right now, his professorial coolness strikes many as a liability.  But when McHothead erupts and we combine it with the Georgia incident and his support for Iraq literally days after 911 and calling his wife a cunt and . . .  you get the picture.

So, here’s to hoping Biden can turn the screws without looking like a dick.


The Must Read of the Day

Especially for those of you who appreciate history and the roots and moorings of culture, this exploration in TNR of Senator Jim Webb’s background and his route to his current political position is a must-read. Seems like the author, Eve Fairbanks, is quite the proponent of Jim Webb as Veep choice for the Obama presidency. The more I think about it, the more I’m liking the idea as well:

Mad Skills || The New Republic Online

Webb is supposed to be Obama’s opposite: the angry white politician to Obama’s mild-mannered black one. But, oddly, Webb has something fundamental in common with Obama. Both men felt ill at ease at elite schools, leading them to embark on quests to rediscover their ethnic identities in their twenties. Both deepened these discoveries through writing. And both came to their identities as outsiders–as admiring anthropologists of the identity rather than people for whom the identity was organic from birth. This explains why Webb can celebrate anger without succumbing to it. It also helps explain his appeal to Democrats. Like Obama, he is not simply a member of a group historically important to the party; he is someone who embodies that group, someone who has turned that group’s narrative into his own. Webb–who, in our interview, defended Obama against charges of cultural elitism made by people “trying to cut Barack down”–has shown appreciation for the similarity between their projects. “If [the Scots-Irish] could get at the same table as black America, you could change populist American politics,” he told Joe Scarborough last month, “because they have so much in common in terms of what they need out of government.”