Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin is not ready

On Thursday and Friday I saw much of Charlie Gibson's interview of Sarah Palin, the GOP VP nominee who just two years ago was mayor of West Nowhere, Alaska. She seemed uncomfortable, uninformed and unwilling to deviate from the script that her handlers clearly had her memorize. It's seriously frightening to think that in a few months this person could be within a few feet, and a few breaths, of the American presidency and all that entails, including international diplomacy, military leadership, economic stewardship and the nuclear launch codes.

Take a look at this exchange:
Gibson: “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of [Alaska] give you?”

Palin: “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. From an island in Alaska.”

Is she serious? This isn't a skit on Saturday Night Live? I wasn't alone in my assessment, as several people I spoke with yesterday -- and the editorial page of The New York Times -- were all in agreement: this may have been a smart political choice, but it could be catastrophic for the nation, and it reflects quite badly as to the judgment of Republican nominee John McCain.

Still, as many have been saying, it's the top of the ticket that counts most. The Nov. 4 election is between McCain and Barack Obama. Of course, I believe that the Democratic nominee is a better choice when it comes to all the issues, and the GOP knows that voters would see the same thing if they were to look at the facts. Therefore, the right is doing what it always does best: obscuring the truth (or just telling straight-up lies) and repositioning the focus. An example of the former is McCain's current ad that says Obama supported a law while a member of the Illinois state legislature that taught comprehensive sex education to kindergarten students when the law really helped those children to defend themselves against sexual predators. An example of the later is the faux anger displayed at Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark.

While Republicans are gold-medalists when it comes to smearing people, the last seven plus years have shown that they aren't much for governing. The choice for the country should be clear, but recent national polls show that McCain has caught or surpassed Obama. More importantly, as I look this morning at the newest polls in a half-dozen swing states, the margin is less than 3% in each (four for Obama; two for McCain). We're in for a bloody seven weeks.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

You conviniently forget that is not Sarah that is running for president. Even so, to say that she is not ready and then to turn and support Obama doesn't make any sense. The truth is that demokrats( you included) are in panik. While it is true that some battlegroung states are within margin of error, many of those were leanning towards Obama 2-3 weeks ago. It's not looking good for you.... .

Mary said...

Jim: Please post for readers some excerpts from yesterday's New York Times article regarding Sarah Palin's management and governing styles that would appear right out of the loyalty first and secrecy mantras of Bush and Cheney.

Jimbo said...

The New York Times article that Mary refers to is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin

I haven't read the whole piece yet, but take a look at this:

"Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials."

And also this:

"Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records."

Jenafah said...

I am an independent... and I am panicking.

Jimbo said...

I echo jenafah's comment about panicking, and I think all rational Americans -- and even people in other countries -- should be concerned about a McCain/Palin ticket winning the White House.

Mary said...

Jim: can you just imagine a Palin/Putin face-to-face, if ever she was to ascend to the Presidency? She may be prepared to be President of her local Youth Hockey League, Chairman of the local NRA, or a Life Member of the Don't Do As I Do, Do As I Say Grand Lodge, but those accomplishments hardly qualify her to handle a summit meeting of world leaders.

Jimbo said...

Mary, I say this in all honesty: I would much rather see you as vice president than Sarah "I didn't blink" Palin. If the citizenry bothers to look a mere inch below the surface they will see that she is clearly unqualified and potentially quite dangerous.

Mary said...

Do you mean on the Republican ticket or the Democratic ticket? Thanks for the endorsement!

John R. said...

Agreed, she's unqualified for the Presidency. Thankfully she's not running for the Presidency. I hope you still have your blankie, Jimbo. It's going to be a long, scary night of 4, 8, 12 or 16 years.
Funny thing is, Senator Obama is equally unqualified and has refused to take a stand in > 45% of the Senate votes. He has failed to represent the people of Illinois. What makes you think he's going to treat you any differently?
At least Mrs. Palin has a record to be judged; more than can be said of the top of your ticket.

Jimbo said...

Well, John, after this nation twice selected the dumbest guy in the room to run the show, I wouldn't be surprised if you and they fell for McCain (he of the Keating Five) and his claims of being an outsider after 28 years in DC.

His campaign has succeeded in moving the focus off actual issues and back to the culture wars, and I never doubt the Republican Party's willingness to do absolutely anything to win.

One might hope that after the unjust and bungled war in Iraq, the financial meltdown, the incompetence of situations like the Katrina response, the refusal to watch the store while big business raids the coffers, the politicization of the government civil service, the lack of transparency and rewriting of the Constitution, etc., that most rational citizens would be looking for a new start -- "change," if you will -- with a different political party.

So John, what is behind your loyalty to the GOP? Are you a cultural conservative or a very rich man?

Mary said...

Those are fair questions to ask of John, Eastie's poster boy, I guess, for the GOP. Here's another: John, are YOU better off now than you were eight years ago? I would venture to guess that most, if not all the rest, of your fellow East Bostonians are not. Our buying power is down, if not non-existent. Our children's future in terms of employment opportunities and retirement benefits are also greatly compromised. Our military is stretched so thinly that I fear for our nation's ability to sustain another drain on those resources. But, please John, feel free to color the oval for John McCain and his (ahem) ordained running mate. Your brand of blind loyalty is what they are counting on in November.

John R. said...

The Washington doctrine (excuse the long link - just happens to be where I found the quote today).:
'In his Fifth Annual Address to Congress in 1793, Washington gave us the most succinct two-part formula for peace ever devised: (a) be ready for war and (b) let it be known that we are ready. "There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure the peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."'
Democrats are sheep.
Security is the sine qua non of a democratic and productive society.
Am I better off than I was 8 years ago? Certainly; 8 years ago terrorists were preparing East Boston as a staging ground to launch the attacks of 9/11/01. Do you think that all of them were on those planes? Do you think that after 9/11, they decided to just hang it up? Or could it possibly be that the actions of the current administration, including the war in Iraq, had anything to do with the failure of Al Quaeda to mount another attack. That couldn't possibly be, right? Because that would really ruin your day...

Jimbo said...

John, are you really pointing me to an essay by Phyllis Schlafly? She's a lunatic, no? She writes of praise for the Constitution, which in practice her beliefs trample.

John R. said...

I know... it was the most succinct version of the attributed quote I could find and I figured you'd enjoy the opportunity to rib me....