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November 06, 2008 04:24 PM UTC

The Palin Fallout

  • 78 Comments
  • by: Aristotle

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

This Fox News video was already posted elsewhere by Go Blue, but I think it deserves its own diary.

Among the highlights:

Palin’s worldly ignorance must be very great; she allegedly did not know that Africa was a continent and not a country, or what nations comprise NAFTA;

She had refused preparation for the Katie Couric interview, even though McCain staffers had anticipated many of the questions that were asked;

The pick of Sarah Palin was, in fact, a Hail Mary move by McCain; she was not on the shortlist of Veep candidates at the convention;

They claimed that McCain’s polling numbers stayed high through 9/15 when Lehman Brothers collapsed and McCain said the economy’s fundamentals were strong; but in fact Obama’s numbers began rising four days earlier, after the Couric interview.

My own take: From the very start I have been unable to understand Sarah Palin’s appeal to the GOP base (or anyone else) – it’s apparent that she does not know her stuff. Okay, so she took on the Old Boys of Alaska and won – good for her. But what has she actually accomplished in her two years as Governor? A lot of scandals, sure, but has any real reform taken place?

Maybe some of the Palin fans at this site can take some time to explain it to me – and to tell me if any of these reports (with an “avalanche” of unreported stories being promised by unmuzzled McCain staffers over the next few days) is making you reconsider her.

Comments

78 thoughts on “The Palin Fallout

  1. Just don’t you worry your pretty little head about Sarah.  You’ll find out why we like her in a few years.

    Are you concerned that you might have contracted PDS by going on and on about her after she was on a losing ticket, and has been nothing but gracious in defeat?

    BTW, I do owe you a beer (or whatever) from last year.  Hopefully we can get everyone together.

    1. I look forward to the beer.

      But I’m serious. I’m glad she was gracious in defeat, but come on – How can any smart person want her for any high office?

      I know you can do it.

      1. “unnamed sources” don’t hold too much water for me after an ass kicking.  The same garbage went on with Kerry and Edwards.

        Look at the Broncos and what’s happening in their locker room.

        Check this out from the NYT:

        The Democrats came out of the political wilderness on Tuesday. The Republicans entered it.

        The Democrats set aside all the self-doubts, the years of feeling on the wrong side of history, the election nights when the proud party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy seemed consigned to a painful irrelevance.

        Ahead is the challenge of governing, and the clear accountability that comes with controlling both Congress and the White House. No more political cover for the Democrats, no more room for fingerpointing between Capitol Hill and the White House, no more excuses.

        But the Republicans face the hard, brutal struggle of deciding who they are, resolving the tensions between moderates, conservatives, evangelical Christians, country-clubbers, supply-siders, suburbanites — all the disparate elements held together…

        It’s from 1992.  Think about it, and enjoy the pendulum ride while we get our shit together.  PDS is Palin Derangement Syndrome, in which the heretofore mentioned felcher seems to have been ground zero.

        Do you want an essay on why I think Palin is so appealing to so many seemingly intelligent people?

        1. I want an essay, or a paragraph, or a screed – anything to explain her appeal. Because outside of her looks and charm (the latter being skin deep IMO) I can’t see it.

          1. such as Kathleen Parker or George Will. And neither could voters, including soft Republicans, Independents and soft Democrats, according to former McCain campaign manager Jerry Weaver, who spoke about Palin’s disastrous run on NPR this am.

            Good diary, Ari.  

                1. but neither am I.  Buckley and I are both R’s that voted for Obama.  Will’s a little soft lately – kind of like a token conservative that gets invited to you guys’ patГ© parties.

                  🙂

        2. Now, there’s the rub.

          I know you are very intelligent. How you could possibly think SP is a qualified political leader beyond MILFness is a great puzzle.  I can think of NO person appearing on our political stage in my lifetime who is dumber, less informed, and barely qualified to be dog catcher outside of Alaska.

          There’s a reason Tina Fey had so much material…..

          1. Here you go…

            I call it the “Drill Sargeant Syndrome”.

            Some of the most backward, unschooled folks I’ve ever met in my life were drill instructors.

            But…

            They were also very obviously capable of making strong, creative, tough decisions that dripped with common sense and the path of least resistance in a way that I couldn’t have conceived of.

            Being simple doesn’t mean one can’t be given information on both sides of an issue and make a great decision without having to consult polls or focus groups.  I’d much prefer a politician that does the right thing instead of the popular thing.  

            Palin’s not ‘smart’ enough to not run against her own party and the long-entrenched Governor (a giant douchebag) of her State.  I like that.  She’s a hunter, has worked on a fishing boat.  I know that doesn’t appeal to most of you manicured, tea-sipping, Faulner-reading, Prius-driving PhDs out there, but to most of us R’s, it’s gold.

            (_._)

            If they’d won, which they would have save the financial meltdown in Sept., Matt Lauer would be saying what an incredibly shrewd move it was to go shopping and how generous it is that the clothes are being donated.

            1. Drill Sergeant school is the most brutal in the Armed Services (save the Air Force.) You go thinking you’re the hot shit of your battalion, and within a week you’re reduced to a sniveling idiot that can’t seem remember the simplest common task correctly.

              When they hit “the Trail”, a Drill SGT can teach any and every common task of their service, are experts at the tasks for their specific MOS (job) in the military,  understand the most nuanced of human traits and behaviors, and can quote and implement even the most obscure of regulations to any and everyone who asks.

              it doesn’t matter what leadership or communication style you choose – if a drill sergeant cannot properly teach who to load and clear a weapon properly, he has not done his job.

              If a candidate cannot implement or understand her parties platform and priorities, it doesn’t matter how you choose to communicate with the nation.

              “I WILL MODIVATE YOU CONGRESS, IF IT SHORT-DICKS EVERY CANNIBAL IN THE CONGO!”

            2. But when she was mayor of a town of 5000, they had to hire a city manager! I would hazard that most mayors of small towns work full time and still manage it.

              I think this falls under irrational exuberance.

            3. for answering. Now, here’s where I’m still puzzled.

              First, and I suspect this was just a little jousting on your part, but do you really believe that having worked blue collar makes that big of a difference? I mean, your party’s last two POTUS candidates were as blue a blood as they come, and everyone in the base just the one that was elected. Meanwhile they refuse to even acknowledge the hard road taken by a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama (or even, for that matter, a Dick Cheney). Are they simply fooled by someone who acts like “just folks” when they’re anything but?

              Second, and this somewhat echos SSG_Dan’s comment, but would you really entrust something as powerful, as complex, and as symbolic as the government of the United States to someone who is “making strong, creative, tough decisions that dripped [ew] with common sense and the path of least resistance?” That sounds like the way the war in Iraq was run. Very simple, but not cognizant of the long-term consequences.

          2. Really?  I’ll give you that the SP that the McCain machine let us see didn’t come across as brilliant, but she really is a great speaker and presents herself well.  Honestly, I have no idea how smart or dumb this lady is.  Tina Fey made her a stereotype, just like every other skit on SNL – doesn’t mean she’s dumb.

            This ‘breaking news’ is just yet another classless act by the republican party – I think we may finally get a chance to see what the real SP is like.  If she comes out now and addresses these issues without the umbrella of John McCain, we will see how smart she really is.  If she’s a moron that doesn’t know Africa is a continent, we will all send her packing back to the Great White North.

            1. She’ll address the issues all right, the same way anyone does–she’s going to write a book.

              Mark my words, that book would be on the bestseller list for months.

            2. Speaking for at least myself, when I say Palin is dumb, it’s the same use as GW being dumb.

              I have no doubts about reasonably high IQ’s for either.  My guesses would be in the range of 115 for Palin, add another 10-20 for George.

              It’s dumb in the lack of knowledge stored in the brain, and hence little or incorrect data to draw from to make decisions.  Neither have any interest in the world beyond their politics, neither were good students, neither possess intellectual substance.

              For the proof of bad government that Sarah would bring us, just look at George.  One fucking disaster after another.  

              1. is a lack of intellectual curiosity. Learning about something does not mean you’ll always make the right decision, but your batting average will be a lot better.

                Plus, if you want to learn, then you don’t have the arrogant certainity you see in Bush & Palin.

              2. 115 is edge of one standard deviation. She is of average intelligence at 115. GWB is not 135. He is a strong 117.

                Malkin has a petition site on Care2 to thank her for her… something. I don’t know what to thank her for. I would thank her for helping Barack Obama, but thats me.

                If you support her, go sign the petition and join the flock of CAPS AND MS.SPELLINGS COMMEE BAYBYKILLERZ  

                1. One fifteen is not the same as 100, which is what I hear you saying.  

                  GW is not stupid.  He just prefers to not be bothered to use his brain.  

                  My figures were estimates, just as yours are.  Not sure what Malkin’s site has to do with this discussion.

        3. that YOU believe what you are saying about Palin.  Heck, even FOX can’t keep it up anymore. You are WAY too smart to, in your heart of hearts, NOT be appalled by the prospect of this woman being a heart beat away from the presidency.  

          And we Dems aren’t a BIT worried about her alleged return in a few years.   The wing of the party that loves her will be long out of power by then unless the GOP wants to spend more time than they need to in the  wilderness. Her only national scene future will be as a celeb to the aging far social conservative right and punchline to the rest of us, not as a national level politician.

            1. We worry about every idiot the right puts up.

              What do you call someone who claims working with Canada is foreign experience, but doesn’t know who their PM is?  That’s an idiot.

            2. Hardly.  We’re just having fun.  Believe me we appreciate her contribution to our big win and couldn’t be less worried about her future.   Forgive us.  The new dirt is just too delicious to ignore.  

              I also love it that Alaskans apparently told pollsters they wouldn’t vote for Stevens after he was convicted. He dropped like a stone in polls. But then it looks like a  majority (though just barely) voted for him after all.  The difference must have been  voters too embarrassed to tell pollsters they were really planning to voting for a convicted felon?

              Sarah Palin and Alaska: made for each other. Kind of makes me want to contribute to the AIP and wish them luck with that secession stuff. Their oil is really just a drop in the bucket in the long term scheme of things, after all.  And when it’s gone, good luck to them.

  2. You have the staffers on a losing campaign wanting to blame anyone but themselves for the loss.  And since everyone in the media and on the left has been piling on Palin since she was picked for VP, they will try to use her as the scapegoat for their loss.

    1. LB above says he doesn’t credit unnamed sources. But that doesn’t make it untrue, especially at a time when it’s too hot for anyone in that position to come out. Their allegations fit with what we do know – that she couldn’t handle an interview with Katie Couric, that she went off the reservation, etc.

      Simply saying that she’s a scapegoat doesn’t mean that she does not bear a large part of the responsibility for the loss.

      1. but leave McCain with responsibility for the loss.  Palin is obviously the most unqualified person to seek anything beyond a statewide office in a generation.  But I’m certain McCain knew that.  He knew that a few weeks before the pick, she’d been on TV proclaiming that she had no idea what a VP does.  He may not have know the sordid details, but he knew that he was betraying any notion of doing what was best for the country, in favor of giving his campaign some electroshock therapy.  And it worked, for a limited time.  It’s hard to blame Palin for the loss, when people were writing off McCain before he picked Palin, too.

        But yes, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would have predicted that Couric interview… or the lack of understanding that Africa is a continent.

      2. Her incredibly ignorant answers aren’t just second hand rumor. We have them on tape.  The woman could never have passed the civics test I had to take to graduate from Jr. high back in the 60s. She couldn’t pass a geography class.  

        Now I know adults often forget much of what they learned in their youth but she apparently saw no need to bone up on any of it to join the ticket.  If that’s a lie and she DID study up, she was unable to learn even the basics. That’s even worse!  We don’t need unnamed sources to know this. We have seen it and heard it ourselves.  It’s in print and on video. Her level of under-qualification is stunning and proof that it was politics first (though it turned out to be stupid politics) NOT country first.  Another reason to rejoice in the results of this election.

  3. I don’t know if you guys do podcasts, but KCRW’s To The Point is the best, most thoughtful and most balanced interview and discussion show on the web.

    They recently did a podcast called  “Should the GOP Find a New Look or Reinforce the Old One?” It was interesting because in the process of discussion, it forced all the Repubs to re-evaluate their view of the Republican Brand (NOT their platform or ideology.)

    And it all comes down to Reagan, and the image he still projects to this day on their Party. Regardless of your position in the Party (moderate, NeoCon, etc) the GOP is still looking for someone that projects that common-sense, small-town, Americana, comfortable view of Politics.

    It doesn’t matter who much or (in Sarah’s case) how little brains or policy that’s behind that face, it just has to fit into that Brand. Reagan was able to transform American Politics into his own image because he was a skilled actor and had a iron grip on the policies and ideologies he wanted to implement.

    After all, he had America convinced he was just some simple western rancher who ran the country with Folksy Wisdom, when the reality was he was the original Hollywood elitist, with deep connections to the Conservative Intellectual Movement.

    Nothing wrong with that – but that’s why I fear Sarah Palin. She makes the current smirking chimp in the White House look like James Burke. She doesn’t have Reagan’s intellectual prowess or his deep grasp of Conservative Politics.

    The only thing she shares with Reagan is his sharklike ability to snatch the limelight when available, and not let it go. And she lacks Reagan’s ability as an orator, since she tries to imitate her “smalltown roots” with a cartoonish accent that is NOT present in any of her Alaskan Politican Appearances.

    She just comes across as a Wasilla Hillbilly, with limited appeal past the bottom of the Republican Base.

    1. But I wonder if it will work. The last person to “project that common-sense, small-town, Americana, comfortable view of Politics” was George W Bush. The guy everybody wanted to have a beer with. Obviously, that didn’t turn out so well.

      So far, I see cologeek and LB defending Palin, but without any substance to their defense. So it may be that they just regard her as marketable to a gullible American public (think Palin as Lucy and American voter as Charlie Brown). I think that if they had a higher opinion of voters, they would be seeking a party standard bearer of greater gravitas.  

      1. If you’re talking about electoral success (rather than policy success) I’d say getting elected to two terms in the White House is successful.

        1. The destroying the party’s dream of a permanent majority in such short order, not so much.  More than anything else we have Bush’s absolute incompetence and the venality of his administration to thank for the fact that just being folksy doesn’t cut it anymore.  The voting public now seems to think that having a leader of our nation and the free world who actually, umm, knows stuff is pretty important.

      2. …mainly his skills as an orator and actor, and his grasp of Conservative Politics.

        Dubya needed Lord Cheney to guide him thru the Conservative Wilderness, and sometime he got lost wandering around on his own.

        If Palin ever makes it to the White House, she’ll need a friggin’ ARMY of Conservative Handlers and Advisors to keep her from screwing herself whenever she opens her mouth.  

    2. I was an adult during the Reagan years, but many here were not even born when he was elected in 1980.  In fact, 70% of the U.S. population is under the age of 45. Reagan is ANCIENT HISTORY to most folks.

      And we’re a much different nation than we were in 1980.  Reagan’s message doesn’t even make sense anymore. Trickle-down economics has proven to be a bust for most of the middle class, and jobs are being outsourced to countries that were never on our radar screen before. Our enemy is no longer a devil we know (USSR), but a disparate bunch of fundamentalist terrorists. We are a younger, more diverse people who look around and imagine we’re in a time warp when we keep hearing the outdated mantras of the Reagan cult.

      Having said that, at least Reagan knew that Africa is a continent, even if he was no rocket scientist.  Palin is really a lot more like George W. Bush in that she appears to have no intellectual curiosity and substitutes dogma for problem-solving.

      Nevertheless, you are so right to examine the image and messaging strategies that were so successful for Reagan.  He did construct a winning folksy image–and Palin “gets” the importance of that, too. While she is capable of repeating sound bites, she doesn’t have a clue about the big picture.  Reagan was skilled at framing issues and providing large context–morning in America, anyone?–which is actually one of Obama’s greatest strengths.

      But Palin will never go anywhere without a grasp on the issues and the connectedness of the world.  And the Republican party will go anywhere either if they keep fixating on the ghost of Reagan.

      1. And the first candidate I voted against. In 1980, I was a teenage political junkie who read Hunter S. Thompson and Thomas Hobbes. I bought into Reagan’s act in 80, and voted against it in ’84.

        Reagan was either smart enough to know the strategic implications of an Anti-Ballistic Missile system, or was smart enough to have someone around him to explain it to him.

        Palin isn’t even fucking smart enough to understand that the VP is NOT the Ruler of the Senate. Or that she never did command the Alaska National Guard when it deployed to Kuwait/Iraq. Or that..never mind. It could go away.

      1. ..it was actually in reference to a Newsweek story about the inside of both campaigns, where the reporters were given pretty tight info inside both campaigns with the rule being that they wouldn’t release the story until after the election.  They’ve done it similarly before.

            1. They were very loose with their state-calling on election night. When Brit Hume was like “We’re calling Ohio… oh wait, no we’re not” I was laughing pretty hard.

              Another funny thing was when one of the reporters from another network was at the Grant Park rally, she estimated the crowd to be anywhere from 70,000 to… A MILLION! Best estimate ever.

              I actually enjoyed FOX’s coverage on election night. I thought that they did the best job out of all the Nets.

              1. Closer to the middle than Fox?

                BTW, Fox is pretty unwatchable.  I like Hume, but he’s leaving.  I like the panel on his show.  It’s pretty good discourse.

                1. There is a bit of a war between the news division and the commentary division.

                  NBC–fairly centerist

                  MSNBC–Very left, but not more so than Fox is right.  MSNBC at least has Scarborough with his own show–there is no equivalent on Fox.

                  CNN is the worst lately–not because they have a lean, but because they engage in false equivelance.

                  1. That’s why I watch CNN.

                    Holograms… Walter Cronkite must be spinning in his grave.

                    Meanwhile, MSNBC’s set looked like something a newbie built for Second Life. Or a backdrop for a straight-to-video sequel for “300.”

                    1. …but the rivers of chocolate and wine, the sun shining brighter and all the world’s flowers blooming all at the same time since Tuesday quickly resurrected him.

                2. But is not nearly as extreme as Fox. Remember, Murdoch says straight out the purpose of Fox is to promote the conservative agenda.

                  MSNBC was just as active in giving Kerry’s  swift boaters air time as anyone else.  Ditto the Rev. Wright. Matthews actually supported Bush in 2000.  Only Olbermann on the left on MSNBC can be compared to the entire Fox operation. Even he has much better fact checkers.  

                  And easy to watch?  Hume?  Now there’s a really hard to watch human being.  I find Eugene Robinson and Rachel Maddow supremely easy to watch.  

                  Rachel doesn’t present herself as anything but a lefty and, even so, is always  calm, logical and  well prepared with accurate facts.  Hume presents himself as a legit news anchor but is nothing of the kind.

                  I get my info from many sources but enjoy MSNBC because for years there was no liberal alternative to righty radio and Fox. Sue me.

        1. That some (many)? in the Republican Party will be the most fierce critics of SP to ensure she doesn’t assume some prominent role in down the road?

          1. is not done with its self-analysis.

            I believe the Republicans will be back stronger than ever.

            However, the party still has some shit to go through.  It will go through that shit, decide what it wants to present to the American people, then live or die by it.

            There will be casualties, just as there are when you plant a garden then thin your seedlings to where you leave only the healthy ones.

            Palin might be a problem.  And she might not, depending on what the Republicans want to present as their brand.

            It’s too early to speculate which of the Republican factions will win the internal struggle.  Whoever wins will then be tested by the voters.  That’s the ultimate calibration.

            It might take several iterations.

            1. She’s got a lot of raw talent, has been very successful, and has a great back story. If she puts in effort over the next 4 years learning – she could be formidible.

              With that said, I don’t think she is willing to put in the time and effort to help craft the philosophy of the Republican party. We all make fun of Reagan but he actually did put in that effort and was a leader in putting together the basic philosophy of the GOP.

              I don’t think Palin is another Reagan.

  4. What seems strange is why this comes from O’Reilly and Fox on day just after the election.  The normal Palin detractors were coming from the left.

    Instead this seems pretty vicious with anonymous sources coming from within the right and playing to a larger audience that the left is eating up. Seems strange to me.

    [Don’t misunderstand me, I am among those who cringed at the Couric interview and didn’t think Palin met my standards for world knowledge or ability to think on her feet… However at this point the election is over, Palin is more of a bygone and I see little point of throwing dirt at her…and hence am skeptical whose purposes are being worked here.]

    1. I think Murdoch likes Romney and doesn’t want Palin to emerge as a leader.

      The GOP has been using religion for a genration to get people to vote against their interests, but the GOP elite doesn’t care about religion, their God is Mammon.

      1. relying so heavily on the religious right  has come back to bite them.    Murdoch is showing them who is really in charge, who  has been using who.  

        The corporate right and the neocon right got everything they wanted for years while the religious right got lip service.  

        Do they see Roe vs Wade any closer to being overturned than when they elected that nice Christian Bush?   Strict anti-gay marriage amendment?  Prayer in school?  And how long  do they think abstinence only is going to last now?  How much do they think they’ll like Obama’s Supreme Court picks? How are they doing financially?  They’ve been punked.  

  5. What an interesting dynamic there…

    As some of you may recall, sometime before McCain had announced Palin as his choice for V.P., I was one of the ones who touted her as a good pick.  At that time, she had a lot going for her-she was a reform-minded Republican-the maverick like McCain, but with a more conservative views.  She was a reformer with tangible results.  She seemed to focus more on how to make the government work better, keep taxes low, and shake things up.  What kind of better person could McCain ask for other then someone who could reinforce his maverick image while shoring up the Republican base?

    Now the election is over and we have the advantage of hind-sight to view how her choice panned out.

    If there is blame to be assigned for how the Republican ticket did, there is blame to go around.  McCain’s campaign seemed to lack focus, evidenced by the rapid and constant change in campaign messages and themes.  There was a considerable difference in spending and resources between the two candidates.  Etc, etc, etc.

    But really, would Tuesday’s outcome been that much different if Palin had done better in one interview?

    Probably not.

    Don’t forget that Palin was successful at what she was supposed to do: she shored up the Republican base and attacked the Democratic nominee.

    Having said that…

    If she were to run for President, she would not be my first choice.  I was completely comfortable having her in the number two spot, but she has a little work to do before she runs for the number one spot in her own right.

    1. The diehards who have been constantly using the term “maverick” to describe Palin for the past 8 weeks just kill me.  I see it as none-too-ironic that the primary definition for a “maverick” is a calf that is separated from its mother; the secondary definition is someone who is “one that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group” who is “independent in thought and action.”  

      Someone, somewhere, once taught me that a rebel is not truly free, because they are not able to truly think for themselves and merely resist the establishment without a critical analysis of the establishment’s rules.

      But she (and McCain) are not truly “mavericks.”  Taking on cronyism in government, and trying to return to Republican roots, is not being a “maverick” – it is actually, by definition, reinforcing the normal rules of the game.

  6. From Anchorage Daily News:

    I never asked for anything more than maybe a diet Dr Pepper every once in a while,” she said.

    “It’s just very, very disappointing because this is Barack Obama’s time right now. And this is an historic moment in our nation and this can be a shining moment for America in our history. And look what we’re talking about again — we’re talking about my shoes and belts and skirts. This is ridiculous. Let’s talk about progressing this nation.”

    Talk about change…changing her tune, that is.

  7. From Anchorage Daily News:

    I never asked for anything more than maybe a diet Dr Pepper every once in a while,” she said.

    “It’s just very, very disappointing because this is Barack Obama’s time right now. And this is an historic moment in our nation and this can be a shining moment for America in our history. And look what we’re talking about again — we’re talking about my shoes and belts and skirts. This is ridiculous. Let’s talk about progressing this nation.”

    Talk about change…changing her tune, that is.

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