Palin: " I think God's will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, . . ."
From Richard Mauer's Anchorage Daily News story, State paid for trip when Palin told students to pray for pipeline , a lovely quote from our favorite Pitbull-in-Hiding,
"What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys as you go out throughout Alaska -- I can do my part in doing things like working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline." Palin said. "Pray about that also. I think God's will has to be done, in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that. But I can do my job there, in developing our natural resources, and doing things like getting the roads paved, making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded.
McCain campaign rep says "who cares" and "I'm going back to bed" when asked when and if Sarah Palin will respond to media questions
A must-watch moment:
From Jay Carney at TIME:
According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace -- in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough's show -- the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads.Jay Carney is TIME's Washington bureau chief. Amazing, just amazing what these McCain people think the voters will swallow.
A commentor at YouTube responding to the video clip remarks, quite rightly:
She can't face the press, but if something happens to McCain, she'll be facing Putin.(Via Mark Nickolas & DailyKos.)
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
There is an investigative reporter who works for the Anchorage Daily News named Lisa Demer whom I have a lot of respect for because of her coverage of the very weird Robert Kane/Security Aviation story. She and several other ADN reporters have been doing a series on Sarah Palin which I just came across.
This is a series to watch very closely. The emerging narrative seems to be about Palin wrestling to keep the Monegan firing investigation details out of the legislature and press and have the investigation of her behavior as governor instead subject to personnel laws and government regulations about handling of personnel matters.
Here is a bibliography:
* Palin aide bails on talking to Legislature Thu Sep 4, 2008: JURISDICTION: Witness is key in inquiry into Walt Monegan's firing.
"I canceled that," Bailey's lawyer, Greg Grebe of Anchorage, said Wednesday. "I'd say about 6 o'clock last night I learned that the governor's office was contesting the jurisdiction of the Legislature to handle this matter. It's my understanding that they believe the jurisdiction is properly with the personnel department. I can't make a judgment or a call on that."
* Palin seeks review of Monegan firing case Wed Sep 3, 2008: BOARD: Governor makes ethics complaint against herself to force action.
Her lawyer sent an "ethics disclosure" Monday night to Attorney General Talis Colberg. The governor asked that it go to the three-person Personnel Board as a complaint. While ethics complaints are usually confidential, Palin wants the matter open.
The lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, also asked the state Legislature to drop its own investigation into the Monegan matter. He says the Personnel Board has jurisdiction over ethics.
A senator running the investigation immediately refused.
* Palin wants investigation yanked from Legislature Tue Sep 2, 2008 (seems to be an earlier version of the above piece)
* Attorney challenges Monegan firing inquiry Tue Sep 2, 2008
"Governor Palin has repeatedly stated that she has nothing to hide and that she and her administration will cooperate fully with this investigation. Is your client aware that you seem to be challenging the Legislature's jurisdiction?" French wrote.
* Questions surround Palin's background check Tue Sep 2, 2008: IN DEPTH? In Alaska, very few people were involved in the GOP vetting process.
Republican Gail Phillips, a former speaker of the Alaska House, said Friday that she was shocked by McCain's selection of Palin and told her husband, Walt, "This can't be happening because his advance team didn't come to Alaska to check her out." She said she would've heard had someone been poking around.
"We're not a very big state," Phillips said. "People I talk to would've heard something."
* Private lawyer hired to represent Palin in Monegan inquiry Monday Sep 1, 2008
Van Flein said he wants the investigation handled by the state's three-member personnel board, not the Legislature. He also asked for all witness statements, documents and other materials collected in the course of the investigation . . . French said he had instructed Branchflower not to provide the letters or witness statements.
"I think you will agree that it would be highly unusual for an investigator to share information with one of the targets of the investigation," French wrote. "I am unaware of any precedent for such an arrangement."
* 'Troopergate' inquiry hangs over campaign Saturday Aug 30, 2008
“The Governor did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide," the McCain/Palin campaign said in a statement, blaming the issue on the campaign of the Democratic nominee, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. "It’s outrageous that the Obama campaign is trying to attack her over a family issue. As a reformer and a leader on ethics reform, she has been happy to help out in the investigation of this matter, because she was never directly involved."
* Choice stuns state politicians Friday Aug 29, 2008
The early morning news of McCain's pick sent jaws dropping throughout Alaska, with friends waking up friends with "Oh my God, have you heard?" phone calls.
State House Speaker John Harris, a Republican from Valdez, was astonished at the news. He didn't want to get into the issue of her qualifications.
"She's old enough," Harris said. "She's a U.S. citizen."
* Is Wooten a good trooper? (7/27/08) Sunday Jul 27, 2008: PALIN'S EX-BROTHER-IN-LAW: Union says yes, but investigation found serious concerns.
All that aside, what kind of trooper is Mike Wooten?
The picture painted by the Palins is pretty bad. The trooper brass isn't saying one way or another, citing personnel rules that protect his files. Union leaders defend him as a dedicated trooper who was already punished for his mistakes.
One can track further stories by Demer et. al. HERE.
In addition to Lisa Demer's appetite the telling detail, she also has a real knack for wry characterization. I love her stuff.
A couple of favorite pieces:
First, there's the New York Times op-ed Running Against Themselves:
The difficulty for the Republican ticket in talking about change and reform and acting like insurgents is that they have been running Washington — the White House and Congress — for most of the last eight years.
Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News: Palin isn't making this easy
I don't think John McCain understood exactly what he was doing picking Palin. He was looking for a new face in a party dominated by old faces, a Republican who wasn't tied to the rest of the Republicans (read: George W. Bush). But what he also got was another battle in the culture wars.Indeed, I don't think the political strategist who have brought us to this point understand how complex and unpredictable the politics of mommyhood are. (And no, Sarah, your family doesn't have "the same ups and downs as any other.") To work full or part time or to stay home with ones kids are complex decisions about which American women pronounce judgement upon each other every day. Every school PTA is split between the stay-at-home and part-timer moms who do most of the PTA work, and the full-time working moms who (despite Palin's PTA credentials) mostly don't.
I leave it to Rudy Giuliani, of all people, to give us the lesson.
It's Giuliani - not your typical Republican on issues such as abortion and gay rights and wearing dresses at New York balls - who was Palin's warmup act. And in fact, he did about 20 minutes of standup, mostly mocking - and that's the right word - Barack Obama to the delight of the crowd, but in way that had to be cringe-making for much of the rest of America watching at home on TV.
Every employed mother has decisions to make about when to work and when to drop everything and take care of the needs of a child, and mothers pass judgement on each others' choices every day. New baby, special needs child, pregnant teenage daughter, five kids -- each of these individually might cause even a suburban upper-middle class mother in a left-leaning community to be subjected to peer pressure to surrender her ambitions in favor of taking care of her family. How can this fly?
Are questions about whether Sarah Palin should be spending more time taking care of her family fair? Perhaps not, but our culture isn't fair to mothers, and worse, mothers are not fair to other mothers.
Margaret Wente in The Globe and Mail has an interesting piece entitled The culture wars are baaack!:
For a while back there, I thought the culture wars would not be a big deal in this election. We had two serious men of substance who had vowed to grapple with the serious issues of the day - the staggering economy, America's shattered moral leadership in the world, the health-care mess, loose nukes, stuff like that. Silly me! It turns out the real issues are abortion, evolution v. creationism, the role of God in public life, why Sarah tried to get her no-good ex-brother-in-law fired, what's up with her mother-in-law, and whether she herself was pregnant when she got married.In it she quotes a McCain adviser:
"Frankly, I can't imagine that question being asked of a man," snapped John McCain's campaign manager, Steve Schmidt. "A lot of women will find it offensive."Oh, were Sisterhood that power! Wouldn't it be nice if women didn't say terrible things about other women's mothering choices all the time?
In his speech last night Rudy Guiliani asked, "How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her child and be vice president?" They dare, Rudy. They dare. They dare all the time.
She is apparently breastfeeding. Wouldn't it have been fascinating if Sarah Palin gave last night's speech while breastfeeding her infant? (I have nursed an infant from the podium, though out of necessity, not for fun; it's a good way to keep a baby quiet while mommy talks to the audience when the expected convention childcare does not materialize.) Having her pregnant daughter hold the baby doesn't deflect the scrutiny that a new mother out in the world is subject to. And Palin hasn't really explained who is taking care of the kids. The implication of what is left unsaid is partly that the kids will take care of themselves and each other, an impression I wouldn't dare give at the World Science Fiction Convention, let alone the national convention of a political party.
Jonathan Freeland, The Guardian also discusses the culture wars theme: Who knows if Palin will bring victory or defeat? But the culture wars are back
In his stirring speech last week, Obama urged America not to "make a big election about small things". Yet here we are, discussing not Sarah Palin's record or programme but Jesus, guns, and as one feminist blogger put it yesterday, "the uterine activity of her family". This is a setback for women, especially in a year that seemed to promise a breakthrough, but it is also a setback for America itself.For obvious reasons, conservatives would like to see this mess in a different light. Janice Shaw Crouse of the conservative think-tank Concerened Women for America writes,
The media’s frenzy over the Palin nomination contrasts negatively with the positive way that the Palin family is coping with their daughter’s pregnancy; it shows how out-of-touch the media is with the rest of America and how distorted their view is of pro-life Americans who put feet on their policy stances. . . . The media frenzy also demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of social conservatives and the importance of the social issues for most Americans.Is the fuss all about whether Palin is alienating the very conservative base she was supposed to lock in? I don't think so.
What Palin and her complications represent is a social conservative running against a broad personalized non-political type of social conservatism concerning childbearing and childrearing; she presents an entirely new model of conservative motherhood that bears a lot of explaining in order to seem like responsible behavior.
UPDATE: See also Nancyy Gibbs in TIME: Can Palin Escape the Parent Trap? and Teresa Nielsen Hayden on Making Light: Pay attention to the little man behind the curtain.
When I was in elementary school (in maybe 1970?), my mother ran for the Washington State Legislature and I door-belled for her campaign. She would take one side of the street and I would take another. I remember distinctly being told by one lady on a front porch that I was a smart and beautiful little girl and that she wasn't going to vote for my mommy because my mommy should be at home with me and that I should tell her so. And so despite the strong odor of Reality Show that Sarah Palin brings to the presidential election, I am deeply uncomfortable with what I see being said about her.
I was particularly uncomfortable about Maureen Dowd's breast pump remark, because there is a significant minority in our country who feel that lactating women should be completely invisible. Women are such easy targets for vicious Internet memes.
Who knew that the news coverage of the Republican National Convention would be all about how McCain's Veep choice is HOT and her daughters are easy? Culminating in the oh-so-tasteful comparison between Britney Spears's little sister Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin?
I wonder how the editors of the Christian Science Monitor can with a straight face publish the headline McCain pick of Palin helps win over party's conservative base; it begins:
Moments after Senator John McCain announced his running mate - Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, an outspoken abortion opponent - his campaign sprang into action to fan flames of enthusiasm among his party's demoralized conservative supporters.
At a lunch in Minneapolis, two of his top advisers - Charlie Black, a veteran political operative, and Dan Coates, a former senator from Indiana - were extolling Palin's virtues to about 150 influential evangelicals as evidence of McCain's ideological commitments.
Charlie Black, what were you thinking?
I have a really odd connection to Charlie Black, though we've never actually met or spoken: We were both conned by the professional con artist Joseph A. Cafasso during the same time period during the summer of 2005. There used to be more about this on my blog, but I took it down after legal threats seemingly made on his behalf by one of his close associates who is ironically a former CNN exec. On January 15, 2007, she wrote:
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NON-NEGOTIABLE WITH ME OR CHARLIE OR ANYONE ELSE WHO IS AFFECTED! TAKE THAT STUFF DOWN NOW! . . . Cramer -Take this shit off the Internet! No one wants to have a conversation with you. We would rather you vanish as fast as you invaded our lives! Either take this crap down or you will be sued!
So. All right then. (Quoting from private email? Absolutely. Fair use? Yup.)
In any case, what I wonder -- as I see the Palin PR disaster unfold -- is whether Black was fooled again as he was fooled by Cafasso. Or whether he's just fooling himself.
In February, Firedog Lake's Christy Hardin Smith wrote an interesting profile of Black which mentions his association with international con man Ahmed Chalabi. Yesterday, Firedog Lake posted a "Sarah Palin Goodbye Watch."
Put down your best guesses for when, why, and how Sarah Palin will bail from the GOP ticket.
So far the blog entry has 360 comments. (Their server seems to be having some problems, so be patient if the links don't work.)
Meanwhile, the Financial Times editors, presumably also with a straight face, publish the following headline: McCain counts on character to clinch it while at the same time running an image of McCain with Bristol Palin and her boyfriend, Levi Johnston.
Looks like the Republican Party is in full swing, and the party is getting wilder and wilder. What's next? These are not your daddy's Republicans!
Fortune reports that there is an online prediction market on "whether Palin will be dropped from the ticket": Betting on a Palin withdrawal.
Intrade, an online prediction market based in Dublin, created a contract Tuesday morning on the likelihood that John McCain will drop Palin as his running mate. After opening at a probability of just 3%, the odds on Palin being cut from the ticket hovered around 14% yesterday. Predictions plateaued today at 10%, perhaps in response to yesterday's speeches by Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman. Both praised the governor for her reformist qualities.
. . . Placing a Palin withdrawal at even 12% seems bullish; no presidential candidate has withdrawn his VP selection since Thomas Eagleton left Democratic candidate George McGovern's ticket in 1972.
I am not placing any bets. I am just rubbernecking at how fast Bristol Palin has become an instant Pop Tart and Sarah Palin the new Victoria Principal. One message for the rest of us is, Don't aim too high. Don't let this happen to you.
CNN's current at 7:52 PM 9/3/08: Palin to slam Obama in convention speech. What an awful political spectacle it will be to see if she can conceal her anger at what has happened to her over the past few days. Will she be saccharine or Janis Joplin? Or will she not be able to contain the anger? Can we look away? And don't you feel like a voyeur?
So. Sarah Palin: Victoria Principal, Harriet Miers, or Janis Joplin? What do you bet? Watching this shows just how tough Hillary is.