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29 August 2008

Palin! McCain picked a woman! Sarah Palin!
Now I'm off to find out who the heck she is...
Governor of Alaska....
posted by bunnyfire 29 August | 07:29
Hmmm. This definitely makes things interesting.
posted by chillmost 29 August | 07:37
Source?
posted by Wolfdog 29 August | 07:41
We got a phone call from the local vice chair this morning.

If she got it wrong I will be upset-but I did swing by Drudge and he has Palin's pic up.
posted by bunnyfire 29 August | 07:49
Not so fast - the MSNBC talking heads are confirming that Gov. Palin is still in Alaska, scheduled to make an appearance at the AK State Fair to unveil the Alaska quarter. Unless she's going to do some kind of satellite feed - or unless they're performing some kind of political sleight-of-hand, it won't be her.

Personally, I have my fingers crossed for Joe Lieberman, but I'll admit that my motivation for that isn't exactly pure.
posted by syntax 29 August | 08:12
I've heard a lot of Mitt Romney blather lately.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 29 August | 08:51
YOU ALL OWE ME FIVE BUCKS!

Plus, I caught a spammer today.

Grace hereby calls election for McCain. :( Unless Biden can re-Dem the South. And that will be interesting, what with Obama and all.

Y'all hard working Dems come over here to Scotland, I've got plenty of work for you here.
posted by By the Grace of God 29 August | 09:06
This is going to be an exciting race.

It's kind of daunting to hear that a person only eight years my senior is the governor of Alaska when there are times I'm so lazy I don't want to get off the couch to pee.
posted by LoriFLA 29 August | 09:34
Palin is completely badass, people. She was something like 15 months pregnant before she let anyone, including her staff, know about it. And then she started having contractions early while in Texas, but needed to deliver in Alaska to be with Her People so she flew home. And if you've ever flown to Alaska you will know it's a 10 hour direct flight from anywhere, and you can never fly direct. Also, she's the nation's hottest governor.
posted by rhapsodie 29 August | 09:35
Man! This is gonna be a RACE!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 August | 09:46
She sounds like a class act.

posted by BoringPostcards 29 August | 09:53
Is it partisan of me to think that they picked Palin because she's an anti-choice conservative who is specifically a woman? (HA HA SUCK ON THAT DEMOCRATS! WE HAVE THE BALLS OVARIES TO PICK A WOMAN AND YOU DON'T!)

I don't really understand the function of the VP, anyway, so I can never tell if someone is a "good pick" or a "bad pick".

(Also, when I heard that a private jet had just landed in Cincinnati from Alaska, my first thought was, "Oh no, they DID NOT pick Sen. Ted Stevens!")
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 09:53
(OK, perhaps it's wrong of me to call her "conservative", as she identifies as a feminist.)
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 10:01
Is it partisan of me to think that they picked Palin because she's an anti-choice conservative who is specifically a woman?

Obama picked Biden to balance out his weaknesses, so I don't know why McCain wouldn't do the same. The conservative right is gonna go nuts over this choice. You might want to start getting out the vote now for whichever candidate you want to win, because it is gonna be CLOSE this year.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 August | 10:04
(OK, perhaps it's wrong of me to call her "conservative", as she identifies as a feminist.)

A pro-life feminist. Kinda like a pro-segregation civil rights activist.
posted by mullacc 29 August | 10:06
The Obama camp will be able to hammer the hell out of her due to her anti-environment record and her utter lack of experience (though, as a govenor, she does have executive experience). And this is a perfect choice to take all the spotlight away from Obama's speech last night.

Man. This is gonna be a fun fun race to watch.
posted by stynxno 29 August | 10:09
so I don't know why McCain wouldn't do the same.

McCain's weakness is that he's not a young, attractive woman? :)

I just learned that Texas hasn't voted Dem. in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter.
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 10:18
A pro-life feminist. Kinda like a pro-segregation civil rights activist.

I don't think being feminist and pro-life is necessarily a contradiction. For some people, abortion is a feminist issue, but for a lot of people it's just about the personhood (or otherwise) of the fetus.
posted by matthewr 29 August | 10:21
For some people, abortion is a feminist issue, but for a lot of people it's just about the personhood (or otherwise) of the fetus.

As long as all abortion legislation is specifically designed to punish women for having sex and no legislation is proposed to actually help any child have a good chance at a decent life, abortion is a feminist issue. It doesn't have to be but as it is currently framed and handled, it is.
posted by stynxno 29 August | 10:29
For some people, integration is necessary for the advancement of civil rights, but for a lot of people separate but equal is good enough!
posted by mullacc 29 August | 10:31
Quite a perplexing choice in my mind. Wonder what the thinking is behind it. And, I don't mean the guesses from the outside, but what was actually discussed when they made the choice. We'll see how all this goes...
posted by eekacat 29 August | 10:37
Michael Palin is a more viable option.
posted by KevinSKomsvold 29 August | 10:43
stynxno, you're conflating the issue of abortion itself with the current abortion laws in the US.

mullacc, that analogy doesn't make much sense.

Say, for instance, that you believe that life begins at conception. Therefore, you would believe that terminating the pregnancy is equivalent to murder. There's nothing stopping you from being feminist and also (say, for religious reasons) believing that life begins at conception. Therefore there's no contradiction in being feminist and anti-abortion. Being against abortion doesn't mean being in favour of all the awful anti-women abortion laws that stynxno mentions.

Personally, I'm pro-choice, but I think lumping everyone who objects to abortion together and labelling them anti-feminist is unhelpful.


Anyhoo, this discussion has nothing to do with Sarah Palin so let's not derail things much further.
posted by matthewr 29 August | 11:15
Wow, she's been governor for two years of a state that's smaller than Cleveland, that's some qualification to be VP. Before that she was mayor of a town smaller than my highschool and before that she was a sports caster.
posted by octothorpe 29 August | 11:16
OK, I exaggerated about my highschool, Wasilla is as least twice the size of Morristown High.
posted by octothorpe 29 August | 11:26
Of course life begins at conception, matthewr. I don't think anyone with more than 6 months of high school biology could argue against the fact that a zygote is, by technical definition, "alive". The question is, when does an fetus gain rights that supersede the mother's rights to bodily autonomy? Of course, it's possible to call oneself a feminist and also believe that a zygote ALWAYS has more rights than a human woman, but it's a difficult case to make, IMO.

And I don't think this is off-topic.
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 11:36
I think lumping everyone who objects to abortion together and labelling them anti-feminist is unhelpful.

Agreed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 August | 11:44
How does this tie into his "expierence" thing he pushes for?

I hope people see this for the pandering it is. And if I was a republican woman today I'd be PISSED. Passing over someone like KBH with years of expierence for... a former beauty queen with next to no expierence?
Might as well have named his own wife.

(oh and my high school actually WAS bigger than Wasilla)
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 11:44
heh BP.

pffffffffffft!
posted by chewatadistance 29 August | 11:45
Although I disagree with her politically on, well, everything, she does sound kind of bad-ass. The baby she just had in May has Down's Syndrome, and she knew through prenatal testing that the baby would have Down's, and she just dealt with it. I don't want her as a Vice President, but she sounds like she would be an interesting neighbor (in a solid blue state, of course).
posted by Claudia_SF 29 August | 11:48
Wow, she's been governor for two years of a state that's smaller than Cleveland, that's some qualification to be VP. Before that she was mayor of a town smaller than my highschool and before that she was a sports caster.

She is also head of the Alaska National Guard which demonstrates, Mr McCain's campaign said, that she "understands what it takes to lead our nation".

Uh, yeah.

Interesting profile on the BBC.
posted by essexjan 29 August | 12:04
My opinion of this choice is that it is purely performance art on the part of the Republicans. It's so transparent it's laughable.

of course I know nothing about politics, so my opinion is worth what you just paid for it.
posted by lonefrontranger 29 August | 12:08
Looks like her husband, Todd Palin, works for BP (not me! The oil company) and is a bit of a control-freak. This should be interesting.
posted by BoringPostcards 29 August | 12:20
She does seem interesting. The woman definitely has gumption. I know a lot of people that will love her.

I cannot lump myself into the category, even though I meet the criteria, she may appeal to ("middle-America, age 35-60, female, soccer mom, former Hillary Clinton supporter").

I agree with the pundits that say McCain chose Palin in a move to also make history. The McCain camp doesn't want to be viewed as the obstacle that prevented a historical event, they want to do the same.

I'm with Kellydamnit. I'm surprised with this choice (although I understand McCain's motives).
posted by LoriFLA 29 August | 12:21
The Vice-Presidential debates will probably be more interesting for the voters than the Presidential ones.

(Do they intend to have those? You know, the televised debates? I love watching those.)
posted by essexjan 29 August | 12:23
they will have them. I think there's one VP debate, and three presidential debates
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 12:33
I liked how Ralph Reed was blathering this morning on NPR about how Sarah Palin has more executive! experience than either Obama or Biden. Well then, for that matter, she's got more executive! experience than McCain. So why isn't she your presidential nominee, dumbass?

The GOP is going to have to play this one carefully regarding gender. The whole "we can still get a woman in the white house with a president who has voted against equal pay for women as recently as this spring, but LOOK! THE VICE PRESIDENT HAS A UTERUS!" may work on a portion of disgruntled Hillary supporters who just wanted a woman -- any woman -- to be in the white house (i.e., the people who saw Hillary more as a symbol and less as an individual politician). It seems less likely to work on the disgruntled Hillary supporters who specifically wanted HILLARY to be the one.

The question is, which camp outnumbers the other?
posted by scody 29 August | 12:39
I think lumping everyone who objects to abortion together and labelling them anti-feminist is unhelpful.

Well they are anti-feminist in my mind. Letting someone call themselves a feminist without calling them out on their anti-abortion stance seems to me as inconsistent as allowing a segregationist to claim to be a civil rights supporter. If you think that's unhelpful, then I probably don't agree with your vision of individual rights and/or the best way to achieve the necessary legislation.
posted by mullacc 29 August | 12:43
Heh, I do kinda think that Palin has more relevant experience than McCain, Obama or Biden. Damn worthless Senators.
posted by mullacc 29 August | 12:45
The women in my office are thrilled by this. They are upper middle class, and Republican anyway, and don't know a thing about her, but boy are they jazzed.

posted by rainbaby 29 August | 12:52
Have there been any VPs or Presidents in the last 50 years who haven't achieved a higher academic level than undergrad? I believe she stopped at a bachelor's degree.
posted by amro 29 August | 12:56
I think Regan had a bachelor's in economics, amro.
posted by rainbaby 29 August | 13:11
The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms.

Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night's televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

Anchorage Daily News

I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctorís determination that the motherís life would end if the pregnancy continued. I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocentís life.

Eagle Forum Alaska

Just so we're all on the same page, here.
posted by eamondaly 29 August | 13:13
Quite clearly, this was an act of desperation, but wow, what a stunning first act! Obama threw some decent punches last night, but McCain just delivered a near-knockout blow to lead into the weekend.

As for Act 2, read BP's link. That's the smoke, and I suspect the fire will be a dandy. Sounds to me like the best thing for Alaska is for McCain to win just to get rid of Ms Business-As-Usual. Can Biden resist the smear tactics that naming Palin so blatantly invites?
posted by Ardiril 29 August | 13:19
By the way, I'm really, really dreading some of the blatantly sexist things that will be said by both the left and the right during this campaign. It's already started at some of the less-moderated sites, like openleft.com. If certain brands of Democrat can treat one of their own so poorly, I imagine they won't spare anything for someone they see as an enemy.
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 13:42
It's already started at some of the less-moderated sites, like openleft.com.

Please, it's already started on Metafilter.com. Go on, Democrats, go right ahead. But don't get pissy in November when women feel more comfortable voting against you and with her.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 August | 14:13
I consider metafilter to be a "less moderated site", so yeah. :)
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 14:36
A family friend who's well connected in Alaska Republican politics said Palin "makes Dan Quayle look ready for Mount Rushmore." Yeesh.
This comment is worth what you paid for it, and I am in no way prepared or inclined to defend it.
posted by Joe Invisible 29 August | 14:41
"Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."


≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by gaspode 29 August | 14:54
But don't get pissy in November when women feel more comfortable voting against you and with her.

...and therefore for a candidate who voted against equal pay for women as recently as this spring, wants to outlaw abortion, doesn't support the minimum wage, and whose health care plan architect believes that that all Americans already have medical coverage.

That won't make me pissy, it will make me sad that so many women fell for empty symbolism over actual policy that is in direct contradiction to their own interests and welfare, and the interests and welfare of their own families.

Of course, that's sort of the story of how the party of the ultra-rich captured the votes of whole swaths of the working class over the past 40 years, so hey! The phenomenon is nothing new. But it won't make it any less of a shame.

Me, I've got a uterus, but I also have a brain, and I know which organ leads me in making my political choices. I am inclined to hope that most Hillary Clinton supporters, no matter our political disagreements, are the same.
posted by scody 29 August | 15:00
I am inclined to hope that most Hillary Clinton supporters, no matter our political disagreements, are the same.

I was thinking more of the undecided voters that aren't affiliated with any specific party. Anyone making sexist comments against Palin in an attempt to discredit her from the left is going to cast all Democrats in a bad light. Everybody in the Democratic party needs to be really careful and not afraid to stand up and say, hey you over there? Shut up. We're not going to do it this way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 August | 15:27
Go on, Democrats, go right ahead. But don't get pissy in November when women feel more comfortable voting against you and with her.

While I agree that some of the comments in the MetaFilter thread have been downright disgusting (e.g. OH NOES WHAT IF SHE HAZ BABBY IN OFFICE!!), one of the commenters brought up a good point: beware of false flags.

I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this kind of sleazy rhetoric being thrown around on the nets in the coming weeks, but be aware that much of it will be coming from the other side, and if the recent PUMA thing is any indication, the mainstream media will hype the story to the rafters, selling the controversy, while doing no actual investigative reporting about who might actually be behind it.
posted by Atom Eyes 29 August | 15:39
I was just called a hardcore liberal.

Sister: You know I lean to the left, but you are a hardcore liberal.

Me: No I am not! I am not a hardcore liberal! I'm a moderate.

Sister: HAHAHA, you are not a moderate. You are a HARDCORE liberal.

This distresses me slightly. I am a moderate. I really, really am.
posted by LoriFLA 29 August | 16:02
One other thing the Obama camp needs to keep an eye out for: push polling.

I expect to start hearing reports of female voters receiving calls from organizations with names like "Concerned Voters for Obama" posing questions along the lines of:

(to a registered Republican)
Did you know that when Sarah Palin was pregnant with her fourth child, she decided NOT to have an abortion, even though she knew full well that the child would be born with Down Syndrome? Is that the type of leader you want making decisions that will affect your family? Vote Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

(to a registered Democrat)
Did you know John McCain's running mate, ex-beauty queen and mother of four Sarah Palin, is the least qualified VP candidate since Geraldine Ferraro? Can we really afford to put our country's future in the hands of a soccer mom with delusions of grandeur? Vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden—the right MEN for the job.
posted by Atom Eyes 29 August | 16:03
Hopefully the Democrats will not fall for the trap and accuse her of being inexperienced. The Republicans could say the same about Obama. The Democrats shouldn't acknowledge her much.

Derail: in the Metafilter thread it was assumed by a commenter or two that only religious types don't abort and have large families. I am pro-choice, not religious, and I think there is nothing wrong with big families. Sometimes I wish I had more children. The more the merrier if that's what you want. I respect the opinion of environmental responsibility of not having loads of children as well. I'm pro-choice but would I abort my fifth child because it has Downs Syndrome? No. I don't hold it against Palin, as I'm sure the majority of people don't. I don't automatically think "religious zealot" when I hear about her family. Not at all. I don't know why I typed that out. Just wanted to share I guess.
posted by LoriFLA 29 August | 16:19
People - life begins at the moment you give Mathowie your 5 bucks, and we all know it.
posted by scarabic 29 August | 16:30
Hahah, scarabic. I got my life, and I got it for free.

(freaking newbies, get off my blue lawn)
posted by eekacat 29 August | 16:40
"Hopefully the Democrats will not fall for the trap and accuse her of being inexperienced."

As scody indicated upthread, Palin is the only one of the four with any executive experience at the state or federal level, yet a good many in the liberal blogosphere have already fallen into it.

Aside: I just learned a new term from Shakesville -- fauxgressive. Coupled with Outrage Machine (that I got from Cracked this morning) and VPILF, this has been a great day for vocabulary building.
posted by Ardiril 29 August | 16:50
People - life begins at the moment you give Mathowie your 5 bucks, and we all know it.

Hmm, does that make sock puppets born-agains?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 29 August | 16:50
The discourse on MeFi about this is pretty gross. It's always pretty telling when all the comments are vaguely (or outright) sexist until finally a woman shows up and says what I've (we've?) been thinking and then gets a bunch of favorites from other women.

Wynton Marsalis said this of Katrina, and it's how I've been feeling some degree of this whole election: It's a signature moment. It's like sometimes you walk past a mirror and you see yourself in a position you don't like. It's like, 'Damn, I thought I was 10 pounds overweight. I'm 50.' Well, this is like you stayed in front of the mirror. You couldn't turn away from it. You stayed in that pose. And everything from that pose shows us what's wrong with us.

The choice between a woman and a black guy seemed pretty great, and yet.
posted by birdie 29 August | 17:01
This is a very bizarre choice and I predict it will backfire badly on McCain, even if it brings a few PUMA Clinton voters into the tent.

Executive experience, no matter the size of the organization, doesn't count for you if you have to sidestep a conflict-of-interest personnel scandal. But she has nothing else to stand on.
posted by stilicho 29 August | 17:31
I've been reading up on this, and it's pretty interesting. There's a phenomenon I've seen in business that's somewhat related. Palin has had a meteoric rise from Mayor of a VERY small hamlet, to Vice Presidential candidate in a matter of a few years. People thought Barack Obama's rise was fast, but this is astounding especially considering what it was built on.

I work for a pretty large company, and I've seen rises like this. I've seen a few people who shot up through the ranks, and then fizzled out when it was seen there was no substance. There was a lot of rhetoric, but the actual workings were pretty tawdry once got past all the gloss. Indeed, these people rose to the level of their own incompetence, and then the floor dropped out from under their feet.

I don't know enough about Palin to know if this will apply to her, but from some of the things I've read, and adding to that what BP linked to, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a fizzle to her rocket too. She might make it to Vice President this election, but I give pretty good odds that she might be lucky to salvage her Governorship.

As I said, I don't know enough about her to make that call, but I see the chinks in the armor. I also don't understand enough about politics either. I think while she's Vice Presidential material she'll have all the support the party can muster, but once something fails, she's on her own. And, once that floor opens up under you, it can be a long fall to the bottom.

And to birdie's point: I never saw it as a choice between a black man and a white woman. They're just people, and I wish our society was at a point where those things didn't matter anymore. I was born in 1964, and there's been a lot of change regarding race and sex in my lifetime. I have hopes before I'm dead that it ends up that people just see people as people. Yeah, I'm a dreamer.
posted by eekacat 29 August | 17:44
"once something fails, she's on her own."

Pretty much. I haven't read all the details yet, but it appears she had already run afoul of the Alaska GOP before today for more than the state trooper events.
posted by Ardiril 29 August | 17:51
er, (in the absence of tragedy, I mean) just exactly what does a VP actually DO in this country?

swear to god I am not trolling, I honestly want to know what "influence" people actually think this will have.
posted by lonefrontranger 29 August | 17:52
they break ties in the senate and act as a primary advisor to the president.

but, um... at the risk of being a bitch, mccain's 72 with four past bouts against an occasionally-fatal variety of skin cancer. if he wins he'll be the oldest person ever elected to their first term.
It is not unreasonable to think there's a decent chance his VP will take the oath of office, just given the average lifespan of an American male.
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 17:55
lfr, it really depends on the president. There's been a trend in the real power that the Vice President's office holds since the Carter years. Cheney holds unprecedented power historically. I've read a lot about the current and previous administrations, and while Gore did have more power than what traditionally was considered, Cheney's office often gets consulted before the President's in this administration.

In real terms, the Vice President is the President of the Senate, and the rest of their power depends on what the President gives them. Quayle was a castrato compared to Mondale, Gore was given more responsibility, and behind the scenes it seems that Cheney runs the show. Dan Quayle has said that he was giving advice to Cheney regarding the job as VP, and he said to be ready for a lot of ribbon cutting etc., and Cheney said to him that he and President Bush had a different arrangement. I think to many people, being the one that steps in in case anything happens to the President is one of the most important issues with regard to McCain considering his age and melatoma. Make of that issue what you will. Obviously the Rebublican party doesn't think it much of an issue since they're going to make McCain their candidate...
posted by eekacat 29 August | 18:30
Does anyone have any insight on her ethics scandal or are we going to talk about her inexperience & vagina all day?
posted by scarabic 29 August | 18:30
Is anyone arguing about her vagina here?

I see her experience as a real issue, her vagina, not so much.
posted by eekacat 29 August | 19:06
It's total pandering. If you've watched McCain's presidential bids, you know there's nothing he won't do for votes. Did you notice the way Powell and Rice were paraded at the GOP convention in 2000? Did you see any other black folks in the crowd? (Ward Connerly?)

If Obama had picked Hilary, he would've had to put up with "The Clinton Show", if he'd picked another woman, everyone would ask "Why not Hilary?" when they know why.

If Barack does win -- and screws up, Ms. Clinton can run against him in four years and make her case. If McCain wins, what's the net gain for women other than Palin has had the job of VP? If she's presidential material, she could've run on her own merit.

I believe the tactic will be call any criticism of her 'sexism' while coupling the Democrats primary drama as a example of the Left's "hypocrisy"

Nothing new there. Just like Clarence Thomas...
posted by black8 29 August | 19:55
I think this will ultimately be good for democrats. It sets up a clearer choice, policy wise, that is.

And in an age where "abortion" can mean a packet of pills ordered over the internet, all arguments/laws become mute, IMHO. (And thank goodness for that, I say. What more private decision could there be, after all?)
posted by Pips 29 August | 20:10
While I agree that some of the comments in the MetaFilter thread have been downright disgusting

This is my surprised face.
posted by BoringPostcards 29 August | 20:18
Y
'all hard working Dems come over here to Scotland, I've got plenty of work for you here.


What about us lazy Democrats?

And the choice of Palin as VP is just baffling to me. If he's trying to siphon off Hillary supporters who would otherwise vote for Obama, then she's got to convince a bunch of skeptical feminists to vote for a woman who is not only anti-choice, but anti-choice even in cases of rape and incest. Epic fail. It's the worst sort of pandering, and it's transparent to boot.

What does she bring to the ticket, other than her gender? Two years running the state of Oil, Inc., a term as mayor of Upper Outer Podunk, and a runner-up in a beauty contest where third place went to a harp seal? I don't see it.

Here's an Alaskan blogger with some insight into her ethics scandal. (Link stolen from a MeFi comment)

I think it's a terrible choice.
posted by BitterOldPunk 29 August | 20:28
Does anyone have any insight on her ethics scandal or are we going to talk about her inexperience & vagina all day?
Her sister was married to a state trooper, and they had a bitter, messy divorce. She tried to get him fired in some bizarre "you did my sister wrong" 90210 move. When the head of the state troopers wouldn't do it she fired him instead.
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 20:44
I think it's a terrible choice.

I think it's a GREAT choice.


But then, I volunteer for Obama.
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 20:45
I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this kind of sleazy rhetoric being thrown around on the nets in the coming weeks, but be aware that much of it will be coming from the other side

Atom Eyes - I'm already seeing it from both sides. It's a weird time when the insults of the left are nearly the same as the compliments from the left. Unless you want to argue that the Huffington Post is some sort of conservative front...
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 20:50
BoP, thanks for that link.

But, before this investigation got underway, Palin sent the Alaska State Attorney General out to do some investigative work of his own so she could find out in advance what the real investigation was going to find. (No, Iím not making this up). The AG interviewed several people, unbeknownst to the actual appointed investigator or the Legislature!

If this is true this is far worse than abuse of power. This is obstruction of justice. Jail might be in her future.
posted by LoriFLA 29 August | 21:06
It's a weird time when the insults of the left are nearly the same as the compliments from the left.

That should be "...compliments from the right."
posted by muddgirl 29 August | 21:44
I love this... according to NPR, someone spent the day before the announcement tarting up Palin's Wikipedia entry. HOT: mention of her son going to Iraq. NOT: Mention of the state trooper scandal, her experience as a beauty queen, and the fact that someone using the name of one of her kids was editing her Wikipedia page 24 hours before the announcement.
posted by BoringPostcards 29 August | 22:07
To clarify: I meant it's a terrible choice for the future of the ticket. So I too think it's a great choice. ;)
posted by BitterOldPunk 29 August | 22:19
I thought so :)

ohh, and pop on over to msnbc.com...
The hurricane has pushed the GOP ticket to a sidebar. the sidebar headline is "ROE V WADE MAKES CAMPAIGN COMEBACK" with an article about that. and a sub-article about her ethics probe. And another highlighting her praise of Obama's energy plan.

Not even 24 hours and the skeletons are out of the closet.

cnn.com has a frontpage mention that mccain met her a grand total of once.
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 22:33
This depresses me. I was thinking earlier that this was a "Dan Quayle" choice - impeachment insurance, and a sop to the religious who think that just having someone in or near the White House will make everyone live happily ever after.

Now I'll cop to the hurf durf "inexperienced!" thought, and concede that she's got some executive experience. She's signed some bills. Great. What decisions has she made that have put people's lives on the line? How much bickering and dickering has she done with the legislators to get something done? Outsiders can foment change, but can they make it permanent?

This just gives me a bad feeling. Say she and McCain win - the message is that if you want to be in power, you've got to be subordinate to a daddy figure, you MUST be a traditional, feminine, non threatening female.

Yes, I know she kicked ass and took names, but that can be framed as Mother Cleaning House as well as Reformer Takes Charge.

Maybe there should be veep primaries too. Kinda like minor league baseball or something.
posted by lysdexic 29 August | 22:38
Oh, man, even worse thought. What if she turns out to be the Harriet Myers of the race? Just dropped and humiliated? Man, this is too depressing. I'm gonna go look at kitty cats and go to bed.
posted by lysdexic 29 August | 22:40
But don't get pissy in November when women feel more comfortable voting against you and with her.

well, if you're comfortable with a ticket that's against equal pay, against the violence against women act, against Roe v Wade, have fun. the logic behind it is a bit unclear to the more rational among us, but please be _comfortable_.

and by the way, don't get pissy when the McCain Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade and women start dying because of botched, unsafe illegal abortions -- just be comfortable! it's all that matters.
posted by matteo 29 August | 22:48
I think the media will latch onto the ethics probe and not let go. I don't think the mainstream media, as a whole, is set to one side or another. I think they're biased to money and ratings. Scandal is GREAT for both. A VP nom under investigation? That's pure gold!
I suspect she will be dropped. She'll step down and give the excuse of wanting to be with her children.
posted by kellydamnit 29 August | 22:51
I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's a painting of Sarah Palin with pancakes on her head:
≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by Doohickie 29 August | 23:21
See, that shit is not helping.
posted by BoringPostcards 29 August | 23:45
I must say, McCain wins the prize for timing. Obama announces at 3 a.m. on a Saturday, after the media leaked his pick and ruined his chance to announce it first to his supporters. McCain announces Friday at 10 a.m. the day after Obama's acceptance speech, so everybody can talk about it and nobody talks about anything else. I wish Obama's announcement had gotten that kind of start.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 30 August | 00:07
Not that ANYONE other than us obsessives care about stuff like "timing." Come November, nobody will have any idea who announced what when.
posted by BoringPostcards 30 August | 00:27
Oh, you're totally right. But still! I'm an artist, I like well-executed theatre :D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 30 August | 00:53
Me too, TPS, me too.
posted by bunnyfire 30 August | 09:38
So regarding something I've seen in the past day or so, I've seen a lot of anecdotes and quotes about how (mainly conservative?) women find her "like them", easy to relate to, etc. with the whole not having an abortion, being a working mom, 5 kids, hockey mom, all those little sound bites...

Now before I say anything, if anyone thinks I'm jumping on her and judging her, I'm not. She and her husband have 5 kids and she is a governer - I couldn't handle the 5 kids alone. She can do what she wants with her family and how she lives her life. Hell, I respect her for having that much energy. That said, I can't relate to anyone that would stand for VP with such young children at home. I don't feel connected with her, I think she's a bit of an alien. I don't even have a kid yet, and the thought of leaving her to go back to work is already tearing me up. So I for one don't connect to her on that level. (As well as most others, but this was something that just struck me. Of course, if you say something like this it's deemed as being anti-feminist or something, which I absolutely don't mean it to be, but OMG I can't believe how many disclaimers I'm using :) )
posted by gaspode 30 August | 10:14
The Husband is going to register to vote for the first time in 44 years as a result of this pick. To vote against this woman.

For the second time, I am going to volunteer for a political campaign. The first time I did, it was for the guy running against David Duke for State Representative. David Duke won that election.

I agree with TPS - if you feel strongly about this - either way - do something.
posted by rainbaby 30 August | 10:27
This pick screams opportunism and a scary, scary lack of understanding of why a woman like Hillary Clinton is so appealing to voters.

I understand why people who liked Hillary voted the way they did - she's a very solid candidate no matter how you slice it. And that has nothing to do with her being a woman, it has everything to do with her intelligence and skills as a brilliant politician.

Sarah Palin? Whose entire state could practically fit into Cleveland or Boston population-wise?

Given John McCain's propensity for marital infidelity, don't be surprised if Miss Runner-Up Alaska becomes Miss Runner-Up Wife before too long.

Obama and Biden are going to have these two for lunch in the debates - they should pack napkins and place settings. Maybe a hammock to recline in.

posted by Lipstick Thespian 30 August | 13:02
After giving this a whole news cycle and letting things settle a bit I think there are two angles to consider w/r/t vice-presidential nominations: the political and the strategic. Politically Palin is pretty much a right-wing ideologue. Sure she doesn't match up point by point to every plank in the platform, but who does? The very fact that she differs on points here and there just underlines the fact that she is a human being. For me the main thing is that her politics are diametrically opposed to mine and thus it changes nothing. Additionally when you consider that vice-presidential power is determined by the president, it remains far more important what the policies of the president are. McCain's policies weren't mine on thursday and this changes nothing. I highly suspect that a McCain VP, whether it was Romney, Lieberman or Palin will be a lot more in the Quayle defined ribbon-cutting, funeral attending mode then the Cheney, real power behind the throne model. The wildcard is that McCain has now reached the average male lifespan (in America) and while the rich seem to generally survive well beyond that (they can afford to) the odds still exist for incapacitation. So a real possibility exists that a McCain VP could become president. But disregarding that possibility I think that the VP in a McCain administration will have very little influence on policy. So that really leaves us the strategic element.

This is a bit more complex, it is a mistake to just say they were trying to scoop the PUMAs or whatever. I think there are three big strategic ideas behind this pick all adding up to a big enough perceived advantage.

1) Disruption - The dialogue has been dominated by Obama and virtually nothing has seriously challenged it. So I think that in a large measure they picked Palin in order to change the dialogue from being all about Obama. This does so in several different ways:
a) Media Attention - the announcement was timed for maximum impact, but in order for this to disrupt the media attention from a quite successful convention and a monumental closing speech they had to be incredibly dramatic. If it'd been say Romney, I think this would have made the headlines, but as everyone already knows his bio, his foibles, his pros and cons, they press would have stuck with the exciting story - the historic democratic nomination and his powerful speech. They had to throw an incredible curve ball to totally derail that. I'd say this worked.
b) Historicity - Over the course of the rest of the election Palin is disruptive in a number of ways, but primarily in undercutting the "historical" impact of the Obama election. The first woman VP is a historical moment worthy of note, if not as noteworthy as the first african-american president (not in a first woman v. first minority aspect, but in that the president just trumps the VP. A woman President would trump a minority VP in magnitude - the VP is often referenced as a first step, so to skip that is additionally noteworthy)
c) Image - The republicans are pretty much the white old rich man's party, they have only managed to get people outside of this demographic by pandering and effectively misleading people about issues that they don't really care about at all (for instance on abortion the Republicans actually used to be for it as they felt keeping the poor from breeding was in general a good thing. They'll never actually resolve this issue in the manner their duped base wants as they would lose this issue that gives them guaranteed votes from idiotic single-issue voters). For the republicans to actually not run two rich white men is contrary to this image and disrupts the standard expectations. Additionally it helps polish McCains maverick image which has been tarnished by his adoption of Bush-co.

2) Shore up the base - If a republican strategist was adding up all of the points that a potential VP would give this is the aspect where Palin would add the most. It is well known that the right wing, especially evangelicals, of the party doesn't like McCain, well observed in the primary where Huckabee was still getting 15-25% after he had dropped out. McCain was succeeding with right leaning independents, centrists and Rockefeller republicans. Their calculations now are clearly that they think McCain can shore up his support among the independents and let Palin take care of the rabid base. Expect to see him veer sharply to the center

3) Garner some votes - This is the aspect that has been well overplayed in the media and even more so amongst blog types. People really think that the PUMA vote was the primary calculation? Really? The number of PUMAs who really will cross party lines is minuscule and definitely not a factor in what is really one of three major events in a presidential run (the primaries, the VP pick and the convention are the huge events where each party is able to control the media, that is they aren't in conflict with the other party). No when it comes to getting votes there are only two considerations 1) the base and 2) swing voters. The base will never cross party lines, but they will stay home, not donate and not work for you. This is the primary concern and Palin was primarily picked for that. See point two above. 2) Swing voters on the other hand are basically people who pay little attention and then vote for one party or the other based on various aspects of self-interest. Normally its the economy, or fear or image. After 8 years there is often a dissatisfaction with the party in power for some reason or another. So the parties basically trade off control, as the people demand change. This year people definitely want change and if McCain can adopt a reformer mantle (which he is clearly positioning himself as) then he can make an argument that both he and Obama promise change and its up to you to pick the change you want. Palin has a reformers image as well and thus can help with this. Additionally in the swing voter camp she could help with soccer mom, security moms, or whatever they are this year. A demographic that supposedly helped first Clinton and then Bush. Polls have shown Obama dominating among women, and they definitely consider anything that can help in that area a major plus. So in the adding votes to the party it isn't the PUMAs, though they may get a few thousand votes there as well, no its the swing voters.

So that's how I see the calculations involved in this pick. Now there are plenty of negatives as well and you can be sure those were added into the calculation as well. Ultamtely it is pretty cynical, purely strategic, but I think McCain knew he was losing and as the VP isn't (necessarily) that important they knew this was one of few chances they have left.

Personally I hope the Obama camp mostly just ignores Palin. Let the debate show any perceived weakness, but don't let her be a lightning rod to draw more press which many attacks will. Her primary advantage to the Republicans is to garner media attention, without that they are doomed. I'd respond to attacks from her but let the press do what they will with the scandal, her lack of experience or whatever. Not to be passive, just to be on message that Obama's change is what we need, that right-wing ideologues have been the problem, and another round of them is not the solution.

(gee this is really long. apologies in advance)
posted by kodama 30 August | 13:22
Nicely analyzed, kodama, thanks for that.

I highly suspect that a McCain VP, whether it was Romney, Lieberman or Palin will be a lot more in the Quayle defined ribbon-cutting, funeral attending mode then the Cheney, real power behind the throne model.

Possibly. The bits and pieces I've read about her role in Troopergate certainly suggest she's got that nasty vindictive streak of Cheney's down pat, though!
posted by scody 30 August | 13:38
Does anyone have any insight on her ethics scandal or are we going to talk about her inexperience & vagina all day?

Look, you're the first one to bring up her Anchorage. That is, her Fairbanks. I mean, well, Juneau.

Gettin' 'em in while the gettin's good.
posted by stilicho 30 August | 14:17
If McCain had named Palin earlier, my decision to not vote for him would have been a lot easier.

Palin does have some experience, but it's the kind of experience I associate with behind-the-scenes power brokers. I think her knowledge of natural gas and petroleum issues will surprise more than a few people. Further, this woman is very comfortable in front of a TV camera; she was a sportscaster. That latter may sound trivial at first, but give a bit of thought on all that entails: copywriter, sometime producer, studio makeup, scripted and improvised speech, carriage, etc. This woman knows how to talk to men about their own games.

Also, Palin knows how to win. She knocked out a former governor in the primary and the incumbent governor in the election. Neither are minor feats.

Further, why the doubt of her knowledge of foreign policy? Granted, she may be clueless, but consider: she was born in the midst of the cold war and she grew up closer to the then USSR than most of us have ever traveled. For her as a young girl, the threat of invasion was real and imminent, and she knew how to use a rifle. I can easily imagine that her knowledge of foreign policy is far deeper than that of the average person outside the Beltway.

Finally, Palin is a realist and a reformer. She signed that domestic partners act after her attorney general advised that a court fight could go either way. Additionally, her popularity in Alaska stems from her exposing corruption within her own Republican party. She has no problem spitting in the faces of her supposed keepers and then grinding it in with her boot. She is quite comfortable standing in a public arena and shouting down the big boys, refuting their lies, and destroying careers.

Forget the beauty queen runner-up and focus instead on her other title: Miss Congeniality. Palin can smile to your face as she stabs you in the back. If that is how she treats her own party, I can't wait to see what she does campaigning against the Obama ticket.

Palin's religion and her pro-life stance put me off voting for McCain cuz the US does not need that in the White House. However, I will also be rooting for her to put on the strong showing that I believe she has in her.
posted by Ardiril 30 August | 15:29
From another perspective, she can carry on the grand tradition of VPs shooting their friends in the face.
posted by Ardiril 30 August | 16:00
From Obama's recent ad: "So, while this may be his running mate ..."

Nice way to dehumanize her, Barry. Would saying "she" hurt that much?
posted by Ardiril 30 August | 16:41
she was born in the midst of the cold war and she grew up closer to the then USSR than most of us have ever traveled. [...]I can easily imagine that her knowledge of foreign policy is far deeper than that of the average person outside the Beltway.

Oh come on. I was born in the midst of the cold war -- so were, literally, tens of millions of Americans. 600,000 Alaskans live closer to Russia than 300 million other folks in the U.S. Just because she's at the intersection of those two demographics and knows how to shoot a moose, there is not one reason to "assume" that this means she has some deeper understanding of foreign policy than folks inside the beltway.

I mean, I -- a child of the cold war! -- grew up in Wyoming with family who hunted, visited Hungary when it was still a Warsaw Pact country in the '80s, and just finished editing a 464-page book on East and West Germany during the cold war, but surely no one would pretend that this makes me an expert in the challenges faced by introducing former Eastern Bloc states into the EU or something, right?
posted by scody 30 August | 16:59
A friend of mine who works in a newspaper in Fairbanks said that Palin doesn't trip her "creepy conservative" vibe the way that the others do. The other thing she said was that she had brought up the chair of the Alaska Republican party on ethics violations, and as a result the leadership of the Alaska wing of the Republican party hates her.

However, she also said that the incumbent governor did such a piss-poor job that anyone would have been a better choice.
posted by TrishaLynn 30 August | 18:41
News is the McCain folks are headed to Alaska now to investigate this troopergate thing, since THEY DIDN'T IN ADVANCE.
I don't think her variety of pro-life will play well. My pro-life mom just emailed me to say "omg, she's against abortion for rape and incest, too!"
posted by kellydamnit 30 August | 19:42
since THEY DIDN'T IN ADVANCE.

Hmm, that's strange... you mean she didn't mention it the ONE AND ONLY TIME she and McCain ever met in person before he picked her? Huh.
posted by scody 30 August | 20:18
scody: To get to Wyoming, a soviet attack would have had to come through Alaska and Canada first. The Bering Strait is only 50 miles wide. Those Alaska oil fields and the ports at Juneau would have been prime targets for an early capture and would have given the Soviets a huge strategic advantage. Even in Pennsylvania, we were taught in 4th grade (1967) that Alaska was the state most likely to be attacked.

"since THEY DIDN'T IN ADVANCE" - I was wondering yesterday if anyone had known about that. When reading BP's link yesterday, I was thinking that one investigation sounded criminal in nature.
posted by Ardiril 30 August | 20:30
To get to Wyoming, a soviet attack would have had to come through Alaska and Canada first.

Wait, what? Oh, thanks! And here I'd grown up thinking we were bounded on the north by Russia, on the south by Argentina, on the west by China, and on the east by the cheese-eating surrender monkeys of France.

You missed my point, which was that closer proximity to the Soviet Union (which ceased to exist a couple of decades ago anyway) does not translate into a greater likelihood of insight regarding international relations. If this were the case, than all our foreign relations experts during the cold war would have come from Alaska. It's like assuming that anyone who lives in San Diego automatically has a deeper and more nuanced view of immigration policy than anyone who lives in San Francisco.

And you're the one who implied that her use of a rifle was somehow relevant to being a foreign policy expert. By that measure, all of my family and friends who hunt are potential foreign policy experts... but I assure you that you don't want any of them sitting down at the table with the Palestinians and the Israelis.
posted by scody 30 August | 21:02
And from an Alaskan blogger (courtesy of MonkeyButter in the other thread):

Wasilla has a population of about 5500 people, and 1979 occupied housing units. This is where your potential Vice President was two short years ago. Can you imagine her negotiating a nuclear non-proliferation treaty? Discussing foreign policy? Understanding non-Alaskan issues? Frankly, I donít even know if sheís ever been out of the country. She may Ďgetí Alaska, but there are only a half a million people here. Donít get me wrongÖ.I love Alaska with all my heart. Iím just saying.
posted by scody 30 August | 21:49
I said, "Granted, she may be clueless..." Sheesh! Why the hate for ruralites?

... and you're giving credit to some blogger for "Frankly, I donít even know if sheís ever been out of the country." Get real.
posted by Ardiril 30 August | 22:01
Why the hate for ruralites?

What can I say? We were brought up in the urban megalopolis of Laramie, Wyoming to distrust rural shitkickers.

and you're giving credit to some blogger for "Frankly, I donít even know if sheís ever been out of the country." Get real.

Someone from Alaska who's actually been watching her career (such as it is) since she was a mayor and then governor? Yeah, I give that a hell of a lot more credit than surmising that "proximity to Russia" + "born during the cold war" = "deep, natural aptitude for foreign policy." But what do I know? I'm from Wyoming. I don't even know what countries we border.
posted by scody 31 August | 02:42
Hey, LT, this is for you
posted by lysdexic 31 August | 16:11
Nice way to dehumanize her, Barry. Would saying "she" hurt that much?

What do you expect from That One?

(I'm not entirely sure how I ended up here, but it's weird that this was only a month and a half ago.)
posted by cortex 09 October | 10:46
Hrmm, not the Palin thread I expected to see a new comment in. But I can hang! Woo!
posted by SpiffyRob 09 October | 11:36
Photo Friday: "It's a sign (signs, billboards, etc)" || I am all gruelled out.

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