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Palin:

Here's some of the most informative stuff I've read on Palin's background so far:

Fred Barnes had an informative Weekly Standard article last year about her rise.

Her Wikipedia page was very thorough (assuming it hasn't been vandalized since I read it).

And here's an amusing article on Frank Murkowski's state jet, which Palin had the state of Alaska sell on eBay. Murkowski bought it with state money after the Department of Homeland Security turned down his request for money.

I love that Palin has been willing to take on all those pork-barrelling corrupt Alaska Republicans like Murkowski, Don Young, and Ted Stevens. According to Barnes she line-item vetoed 13% of Alaska's capital budget in her first year in office.

LM (mail):

Her Wikipedia page was very thorough (assuming it hasn't been vandalized since I read it).

I assume you say that because you know someone tried to beef up her page before her selection was announced.
8.30.2008 9:33am
donaldk2 (mail):
Prediction: If she orates well, she will be enormously popular.
8.30.2008 9:35am
byomtov (mail):
Odd.

In discussing her political history Barnes seems to omit her ardent support for Pat Buchanan in the late 90's. Could it be that his article is not wholly objective?
8.30.2008 9:48am
Angus:
She also, it seems, kept at least some of the federal money for the bridge to nowhere despite it being officially cancelled.
8.30.2008 9:56am
Paul Milligan (mail) (www):
It'll be interesting seeing her go up against Biden. Too bad there's only one VP debate. Biden's main debating skills consist of bombast and condescension, and I suspect this little ex-beauty queen will kick him square in the nuts if he tries that on her.
8.30.2008 9:57am
M (mail):
I think she's actually supported Stevens. He's certainly been supporting her. And as noted, she was all for the "bridge to nowhere" when it was other people's money paying for it, and she kept most of the money (maybe all- it's hard to say) when the ear-mark was taken out, so it's hard to call her "pork-busting" with a straight face, I'd think.
8.30.2008 10:06am
Ted Frank (mail):
8.30.2008 10:09am
James Downing (mail):
What an amazing pick by McCain!! Gov. Palin brings in a distinguished record of executive experience, running a successful and popular Government in Alaska. An ideal ticket is one where 1 person brings in the Washington experience/foreign policy/national security experience and the other brings in executive/administrative experience. This can be seen from all winning tickets in the past few decades. The republican ticket is the perfect ticket now. She has a record of clean governance, bipartisanship and reducing wasteful spending and is an ideal choice for McCain's VP.

For all those who wish to raise the 'experience' question - do you honestly believe that Gov. Palin is too inexperienced to be President (a post for which, btw, she is NOT running for) despite being the Governor of Alaska for nearly 2 years and a mayor for many years before that, while Sen Obama is experienced enough to be President (a post he is running for)? If you honestly believe Palin is inexperienced, there is now way you could support Obama. Palin brings in executive experience, McCain and Biden bring Washington, foreign policy experience - what exactly does Obama bring in? Neither of the 2.

Also, it is incorrect to see the choice of Gov Palin as a gimmick to pander to the women voters. While that is a bonus, the most important point is that she would be an excellent person for the role of VP in McCain's administration, with the executive experience, to help him run the country effectively. None of us know too much about her, but whatever little Ive heard so far is immensely impressive. I request all voters to give her a fair chance, do some research and find out about her, and you will see that her candidacy is no gimmick.
8.30.2008 10:18am
Bill Kilgore (mail):
I love the smell of fuming partisans in the morning.

Smells like... victory.
8.30.2008 10:23am
Shertaugh:
Todd:

Since there's no line-item veto in the US Constitution, what then? How the anti-porker advise McCain on appropriations? Do you think McCain will even give hoot what she says?

I'd love to hear your take on Palin's decision to keep some of my money for the canceled bridge to oblivion.

Also, what's your take on Lincoln? Good, bad? He had way more experience as an executive than Obama . . . Lincoln ran his own 2-man law firm. Oh, boy.
8.30.2008 10:43am
loki13 (mail):
Bill,

Great comment! I love the ambiguity . . .

As for James Downing. Wow. Drink the Kool-Aid (Flavor-Aid) much? Is there any pick that wouldn't have been absolutely perfect? I think what makes America great is our ability to think critically.

Oh yeah. Baaaah!
8.30.2008 10:46am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Frederick the Great of Prussia is reputed to have had a mule which he rode in forty campaigns. People have said, unkindly, that the mule didn't know much more after the fortieth than he did when he started.
Point is, there's a point of diminishing returns when considering experience. That's why up&comers are groomed by being bounced from one job to another relatively frequently.
So it's more fair, IMO, to look at the various jobs folks have held, rather than the length of time they've held them.
In this light, McCain beats the hell out of Obama in terms of types of jobs (and also in length of time some were held).
Palin vs. Biden beats the hell out of Delaware's mule with his forty years of same-o.
8.30.2008 10:54am
MarkField (mail):
The double edged sword post of the day goes to Richard Aubrey.
8.30.2008 11:05am
DiverDan (mail):
The more I read about Palin, the more I think that the whole "experience" issue can work in her favor - It strikes me that there is a direct correlation between a Politician's level of experience and his or her sense of entitlement to suck at the government teat. Frank Murkowski had a lot of experience, three terms as U.S. Senator and a full term as Governor of Alaska. What did this "experience" do for him? It convinced him that he could do what he wanted with taxpayer funds, to the extent that he bought a $2.7 Million Jet for his personal use with Alaska state funds without going through the legislative budget process. It convinced him that it was a good idea to use his appointment power in his last days of office to give his political cronies state-funded sinecures, even if they were crooks. And Ted Stevens - he's VERY experienced as a U.S. Senator, and what that experience tought him was to use his power and influence for personal gain, to the extent that he now has been indicted and faces trial for public corruption. I almost hope that Joe Biden questions Sarah Palin about her lack of experience. Her answer ought to be that she is glad that she doesn't have the type of experience which leads many politicians, after years of experience, to have a sense of entitlement. For example, Joe Biden, in his many years on the Senate, the Senator from MNBA, has developed a sense of entitlement to represent the interests of his primary campaign contributor, the credit card industry in shepherding through the Senate a bankruptcy bill that was harshly anti-consumer. Also, while serving as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Biden used his power and influence to organize a most unseemly character attack upon Clarence Thomas, an honorable and well qualified candidate for the Supreme Court. He also used the authority granted him as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to frustrate the appointment by a Republican President of many other qualified appoint appointees to the courts of the United States. Frankly, the United States could use leaders without the kind of experience that leads far too many politicians to develop a sense of entitlement.
8.30.2008 11:21am
a knight (mail) (www):
Somebody forget to mention Palin's 'conservative' use of eminent domain as mayor, leaving the small town on the tab for over $1.5 million:

Chris Gillow, "Wasilla shuffles budget", Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, January 31, 2008
Rindi White, "End in sight on lawsuit over sports center land", Anchorage Daily News, Jult 25, 2008
8.30.2008 11:22am
Angus:

For all those who wish to raise the 'experience' question - do you honestly believe that Gov. Palin is too inexperienced to be President (a post for which, btw, she is NOT running for) despite being the Governor of Alaska for nearly 2 years and a mayor for many years before that, while Sen Obama is experienced enough to be President (a post he is running for)?
Yes, absolutely.

8 years in the state legistlature + 3 1/2 years in the Sentate beats 6 years as a mayor of a 5,000 person town and 1 1/2 years as governor of the 3rd smallest state in population -- hands down.
8.30.2008 11:23am
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
For those interested, Barry Lynn and Jay Sekulow at their BeliefNet blog have been debating Palin's endorsement of Christian Heritage/Christian Nationalism. At least she didn't put forth a resolution with David Barton's phony "unconfirmed" quotations.

Here is the resolution:


WHEREAS, the celebration of Christian Heritage Week, October 21-27, 2007, reminds Alaskans of the role Christianity has played in our rich heritage. Many truly great men and women of America, giants in the structuring of American history, were Christians of caliber and integrity who did not hesitate to express their faith. Some of their legacies are evidenced as follows:

WHEREAS, the Preamble to the Constitution of the State of Alaska begins with, "We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land"

WHEREAS, Benjamin Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention stated, "It is impossible to build an empire without our Father's aid. I believe the sacred writings which say that, Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psalm 127:1)."

WHEREAS, George Washington enunciated, "animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and conducting ourselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, we may enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity."

WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"

WHEREAS, James Madison, father of the United States Constitution advocated "the diffusion of the light of Christianity in our nation" in his Memorial and Remonstrance.

WHEREAS, Patrick Henry quoted Proverbs 14:34 for our nation, "Righteousness alone can exalt a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."

WHEREAS, George Mason, in his Virginia Declaration of Rights, forerunner to our United States Bill of Rights, affirmed, "That it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forebearance, love and charity towards each other."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim October 21-27, 2007, as Alaska's 9th Annual Christian Heritage Week in Alaska, and encourage all citizens to celebrate this week.


My research (you can see it at Positive Liberty also my new group blog American Creation, dedicated solely to exploring issues of religion &the Founding) shows Henry and Mason were indeed traditional orthodox Christians. All of the others were theological unitarians (not deists!) who believed the Bible partially inspired. So Franklin et al. could quote the Bible one minute (the parts of it in which he/they believed) and the next minute talk about how "corrupted" the original text was.

Is that dynamic (their rejection of the Trinity and infallibility of the Bible's text) to be included in our celebration of "Christian Heritage"? That's what I would ask her.
8.30.2008 11:28am
byomtov (mail):
Ted Frank,

Buchanan didn't say Palin was one of his top organizers, just that she attended a fund-raiser and supported him.
8.30.2008 11:46am
quixoticneophyte:
A knight,

If I remember correctly, Palin actually submitted the construction of the sports complex to the voters. She refused to go to Stevens and/or Don Young and ask for federal funding of the project, and instead had the voters decide whether to make a long term investment in the sports center.

As someone who lived in the Mat-Su Valley, I can assure you that the sports center was undoubtedly a good investment: it's used for all types of social functions, especially when there is no sunlight in the -40 degree weather outside.
8.30.2008 12:05pm
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
8 years in the state legistlature + 3 1/2 years in the Sentate beats 6 years as a mayor of a 5,000 person town and 1 1/2 years as governor of the 3rd smallest state in population -- hands down.

I love how people are claiming that Palin had no experience prior to the governor's office other than her time as mayor. Her far more relevant experience during her pre-gubernatorial days was on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where she developed valuable expertise on energy issues and demonstrated her character by standing up to a Republican party insider who was leaking information to the oil industry.

I also don't see how Alaska's population is so damning. Alaska faces many different challenges than, say, Vermont, yet Howard Dean was considered qualified to run for the presidency, nevermind appear at the bottom of a ticket. Alaska faces logistical and administrative challenges far more complicated than those facing other states. It shares a huge border with a foreign country and sits just across a strait from another foreign country, one that casts a decidedly large shadow on the international stage. Alaskan government also has a unique focus on energy policy, perhaps the most prominent issue this election cycle. Snark at Alaska's population in no way denigrates from Palin's qualifications or accomplishments.

Sarah Palin runs a state, where she is tremendously popular across party lines and has amassed a record of accomplishment and competence. Obama runs for president (not, incidentally, vice president, so the comparison of their experience is somewhat inapt) and, on the rare occasions when he is not doing that, runs a Senate office where women make less than men. If he wants to make this a head-to-head discussion of their relative political careers and the accomplishments associated with each, Obama's doing so to his detriment.
8.30.2008 12:09pm
Oren:

She has a record of clean governance, bipartisanship and reducing wasteful spending and is an ideal choice for McCain's VP.

She was also governor of Alaska during a time of booming oil receipts (a major source of State funds).

WHEREAS, George Washington enunciated, "animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and conducting ourselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, we may enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity."

Was that before or after he said

The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.
8.30.2008 12:20pm
huskerfan:
Definitely against all of those pork barrel projects huh?

http://mediamatters.org/items/200808290024
8.30.2008 12:27pm
Paul Milligan (mail) (www):
It always amazes me when people suggest 'Blobama has 3 years Senate experience'. He has NO SUCH THING ! It is a LIE !

He has < one year in the Senate ( where his first move was to sponsor a bill that resulted in his wife getting a $ 150,000 year raise ) before he effectively abdicated that job and started his Presidential campaign, the very key thing that he had SWORN during his SENATE campaign he WOULD NOT DO, BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT BE QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT WITH THAT LITTLE EXPERIENCE !!!

His experience ever since his first year in the Senate consists of asking people to give him money, and hiring people with it ( David Axelrod etc ) that are very good at asking people to give him MORE money.
8.30.2008 12:31pm
Joe Kowalski (mail):

If I remember correctly, Palin actually submitted the construction of the sports complex to the voters. She refused to go to Stevens and/or Don Young and ask for federal funding of the project, and instead had the voters decide whether to make a long term investment in the sports center.

As someone who lived in the Mat-Su Valley, I can assure you that the sports center was undoubtedly a good investment: it's used for all types of social functions, especially when there is no sunlight in the -40 degree weather outside.


From what I got out of those articles is that while she did go through the process of submitting it to the voters to get the funds, there was the issue of actually getting the land purchased. Apparently, the Nature Conservatory had made offers to both the City and the land developer who ended up buying it for relatively trifling amounts. The city waffled on the purchase, and the developer then made the buy. Then when the time came to build after the sales tax passed, the city built up the land into the sports complex, without owning title to the land, and then proceeded into an eminent domain taking to get the title. This easily increased the cost of the land ten times, and made the project cost far more than the taxpayers approved. This has had enourmous costs on the city and have left it financially bouncing around funds, robbing peter to pay paul, all because the City (while Palin was mayor) didn't close the deal on the land before building center. How much of a role Palin herself had in this situation is unclear. I'm not sure how strong of a position the Mayor of Wasilla is, as often times the "Mayor" is just an extra special figurehead member of the city council.

Also, on the "Bridges to nowhere", there are some pretty clear quotes that Palin was quite supportive of the projects (there were two of them) before they got axed in congress and then ended up keeping the money in the state's general fund.

As for the state's budgetary finances? Palin raised taxes on the oil companies to get the extra cash needed to clean up the books.

While the governor certianly is a compelling figure who has done a lot to clean up the corruption in Alaska politics, she isn't quite the perfect Republican that she's made out to be.
8.30.2008 12:40pm
Dave N (mail):
As for the state's budgetary finances? Palin raised taxes on the oil companies to get the extra cash needed to clean up the books.
I thought the talking point was that Alaska is different because of the Permanent Fund--so it doesn't have budget issues like other states do.
8.30.2008 12:54pm
Dave N (mail):
Oh and I thought another talking point was that Palin was Big Oil's pawn, you know, like Bush and Cheney.
8.30.2008 12:56pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

Careful there, that's from the Treaty of Tripoli that didn't get ratified until the Adams administration.

Washington's quotation was accurate -- it was from a letter, I do believe to Roman Catholics. However, the quotations are taken out of context. Washington's appreciation for "Christianity" was exactly like Franklin's and Jefferson's -- it was a unitarian appreciation that valued "Christianity" because it valued just about all "religions" (including Islam) in general.
8.30.2008 12:59pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
When it comes to experience - there are negative types of experience.

For example - Joe Biden has lots of experience plagiarizing others - he did it in law school and in 1987 during his Presidential campaign.

"Experience" is an argument where the Dems have nothing but bad news: a one-term Senator from Illinois and a serial plagiarist. Great experience.
8.30.2008 12:59pm
Joe Kowalski (mail):

Oh and I thought another talking point was that Palin was Big Oil's pawn, you know, like Bush and Cheney.

That's never been a talking point that I've believed in or argued. See here.
8.30.2008 1:05pm
yetanotherguest:
As a sometime Alaskan I wanted to mention that the slight accent and unusual cadence you hear when Gov. Palin speaks is not a Minnesota accent or trouble reading the teleprompter but a result of being married to a man who is half Eskimo. The full accent sounded funny when I first started working in villages, but when you get used to hearing it it has a beautiful rhythm. Gov. Palin has just a touch, about the same I would have after a month or two in the bush.
Also I am thrilled with this pick. Alaskan politics is full of dirty backroom dealing, and not the easiest place to pull of reform, as the rest of the country is finding out with several well publicized scandals. I admire her charge hell with a bucket of water approach, as I think does Sen. McCain. I only hope she is smart enough (raw IQ), but neither McCain nor Biden (nor Bush) are particulary bright, so I'm trying not to hold her to a higher standard.
8.30.2008 1:12pm
Dave N (mail):
Joe Kowalski,

I apologize if I inferred it was YOUR talking point. It is, however, a talking point I have heard from others.
8.30.2008 1:22pm
Angus:

Her far more relevant experience during her pre-gubernatorial days was on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission?? Now that's really setting the experience bar low.
8.30.2008 1:32pm
LM (mail):
metro1, please stop going from thread to thread posting identical comments. Thank you.
8.30.2008 1:37pm
David Warner:
"WHEREAS, George Washington enunciated, "animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and conducting ourselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, we may enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity."


Was that before or after he said


The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

The first refers to the citizen, the second to the government. There is no contradiction. A Christian Heritage Week is along the lines of Black Heritage Month or Veteran's Day. Except the first is useful to monger fear against the ever-threatening Christers.
8.30.2008 1:39pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

[pork-barrelling corrupt Alaska Republican] Frank Murkowski's state jet, which Palin had the state of Alaska sell on eBay. Murkowski bought it with state money after the Department of Homeland Security turned down his request for money.


But a state-owned jet for the head man is more than fully justified by the Cindy McCain rule:

"in Arizona, the only way to get around the state is by small private plane" -- Cindy McCain, speaking of the Cessna corporate jet her beer-company owns and uses to shuttle her campaigning husband around.

Alaska is five times as big as Arizona, and doesn't have nearly the highway network that Arizona has.
8.30.2008 2:06pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
David,

I have no problem with celebrating Christian or any religious heritage in that respect. The problem, I have found, is that many of the Christian heritage types do indeed try to conflate Christian government with individual private belief. I.e., the notion of a "Christian Commonwealth," which America's Federal Founding repudiated.
8.30.2008 2:07pm
VincentPaul (mail):
Jon Rowe,
Having read various articles by Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Pipes, and Andrew G. Bostom about the concerns the founding fathers had with Islam, I highly doubt that the founding fathers valued Islam as they did Christianity.
8.30.2008 2:18pm
quixoticneophyte:
Angus,

You might not realize it, but Palin's position on the AOGCC (Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) is a HUGE deal in Alaska. The entire state operates around oil.
8.30.2008 2:34pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
VP,

They may be smarter than I am and more learned in the intricies of the dangers of present day Islamo-fascism. But re the American Founding &Religion I appeal to myself as an authority and assert that I know more on the matter than they do.
8.30.2008 2:36pm
Dave N (mail):
Tony Tutins,

Two quick points: 1) the jet is owned by the company. It was not bought, paid for, or operated by the government. If a private company believes that a jet is the best way to ferry people around. that is that company's business.

2) Murkowski's jet escapade rankled people in Alaska because a) it cost a lot more than a propeller driven aircraft to fly; and b) Murkowski purchased it behind the Legislature's back using a "lease/buy" contract.

3) Palin does apparently fly around Alaska, but either flies commercial or uses a turboprop owned by the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
8.30.2008 2:37pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
The Founding Fathers, by the way, had bad experiences in practice with the Islamic barbary pirates. In principle, they thought of Islam nearly exactly as they thought of Christianity, a religion that taught TRUTH at heart, but was corrupted by dogma. I've shown my research to a number of very learned traditional conservatives (for instance my friend and co-blogger Tom Van Dyke who once won Ben Stein's money and like Stein has written for the American Spectator) and he was quite surprised, shocked even, that with all of the bad experiences that Jefferson and Adams had as Presidents with Islam, they still didn't "get it."
8.30.2008 2:40pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

If a private company believes that a jet is the best way to ferry people around.

In context, Cindy was referring to her husband's Senatorial campaign stops, not Hensley company business.
8.30.2008 2:44pm
PC:
You might not realize it, but Palin's position on the AOGCC (Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) is a HUGE deal in Alaska. The entire state operates around oil.


Which makes me wonder why Governor Palin would implement windfall profit taxes on the oil companies.
8.30.2008 3:03pm
a knight (mail) (www):
@ quixoticneophyte - The second link I provided did indeed state that the residents agreed "narrowly" in a referendum, but the issue was use of eminent domain. How does the community feel about paying $1.7 million as settlement in a lawsuit for land they could have had initially for $125,000?

...it's a lot more than the roughly $125,000 the city would have paid in 1998 if it had closed a deal to buy the property outright...

Lundgren was declared the rightful owner in 2002 and the city immediately sued to take the land by eminent domain. By that time city residents had already approved, narrowly, a half-percent increase in the city sales tax to pay for the $14.7 million facility. Construction on the sports complex was already under way.

While the eminent domain case nears its seventh year of litigation, the complex has been up and running since 2004. The city owes about $7.6 million on the sports complex construction debt and plans to make an extra payment on it this year.

Rindi White, "End in sight on lawsuit over sports center land", Anchorage Daily News, July 25, 2008
8.30.2008 3:07pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Let me also note Lincoln's notion of calling the tail of a dog a 5th leg; but in reality it's still a tail. The Founding Fathers did a lot of that. They were more likely to present their heterodox ideas under the auspices of "Christianity," but a strong argument can be made that it wasn't "Christianity" but something else. It was "unitarianism" or as one scholar termed it "theistic rationalism." And this goes for Franklin as well. In only one quote have I seen him refer to himself as a "Deist." In far more quotes, he thought himself a "Christian" (a "unitarian Christian" or a "rational Christian"). Yet, they had a bad habit (characteristic of the Whigs) of "reading in" their unitarianism or theistic rationalism to all world religions, including both Christianity and Islam. That's why they thought Islam in principle wasn't so bad. As Franklin put it:


I believe in one God, creator of the universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.


This was the Truth taught by MOST or ALL world religions, including Islam. This was the connection they drew between Christianity AND Islam. Those doctrines which make Islam and Christianity exclusive claims of Truth, the key FFs rejected.

Some could argue they rejected both real Christianity AND real Islam under the guise of accepting both as valid ways to God.

And Franklin btw, was not an outlier. Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, G. Morris, and others all thought alike on these matters.
8.30.2008 3:13pm
Dave N (mail):
Tony Tutins,

In a former life, I worked on political campaigns in, among other states, Utah. The then Chairman of the Huntsman Corporation (Jon Huntsman, Sr., father of the current governor) lent his corporate jet (quite legally) to the campaign I worked on so that the candidate could attend functions in far-flung places in rural Utah and then return to Salt Lake City without having to burn 2 days in the process for a campaign event.

I would add that I traveled with the candidate only one time that way and it was nice. I would also add that in my current state job I have to periodically travel 300-350 miles each way by automobile for court appearances--and those trips easily burn up two full working days.

So yes, I can see the efficacy of Cindy McCain's position.
8.30.2008 3:14pm
RPT (mail):
"In this light, McCain beats the hell out of Obama in terms of types of jobs (and also in length of time some were held)."

For all of the private enterprise supporters, I'm not aware that McCain has ever held a non-governmental job or operated in a for-profit context. Naval Academy to Navy, to post-POW time to Congress then Senate. Please clarify if I am wrong. In contrast, the Obama campaign seems to be a complete private-funded start up enterprise which raised hundreds of millions of dollars from private investors, hired staff and met payroll, complied with various laws and regulations, and achieved a pretty good result. Raising funds in a high risk venture like a campaign is a pretty good accomplishment. Is there a snark-free rebuttal?

Re Palin, it's too early to make any reasonable evaluation one way or the other. Those who like McCain will spin everything in her/their favor, and, following the trial metaphor for the campaign, we haven't heard the R convention opening statement yet, much less any evidence. Let's check back in a week after the real Palin vetters have done their work. If anyone thinks that they have all the relevant information now, they are wrong.

Finally, Terry Christensen, well known Los Angeles lawyer, was convicted along with Anthony Pellicano yesterday. Like Jeffrey Skilling, he chose to be represented by a civil trial lawyer with no prior criminal jury trial experience , who is also his long time friend and partner. Probably not a good idea when there are many real criminal trial lawyers around.
8.30.2008 3:16pm
Dave N (mail):
RPT,

This is not meant as snark, but the same could be said for John McCain and his campaign, except he has not raised as much money.
8.30.2008 3:21pm
PC:
This is not meant as snark, but the same could be said for John McCain and his campaign, except he has not raised as much money.


The same should be said for McCain's campaign. Getting the nod from either of the major parties to be a choice for the most powerful person in the world is a major accomplishment. The ability to put together a political machine to secure the nomination is an incredibly difficult task. Not to mention managing $40 million per month of income (donations).

The people discounting the enormity of the task either don't understand just how difficult it is, or they are being disingenuous.
8.30.2008 3:27pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
My son just said that Palin selling Murkowski's jet on EBay is not as crazy as it sounds, because EBay is Alaska's biggest retailer.
8.30.2008 3:51pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Obama has lots of experience hob-nobbing in Chicago high society with admitted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

"Experience" is an argument where the Dems have nothing but bad news: a partial-term Senator from Illinois and a serial plagiarist. Great experience.

As usual, Mark Steyn has it right:

Mark Steyn's take on Governor Sarah Palin:

* * *

What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.

* * *

Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain't run nothin' but his mouth. She's done the stuff he's merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party's corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol (see his campaign's thuggish attempt to throttle Stanley Kurtz and Milt Rosenberg on WGN the other night).

* * *

Exactly right.

See, also, Rachel Lucas' take on Governor Sarah Palin
8.30.2008 4:01pm
Dave N (mail):
Thomas Holsinger.

According to the linked article from the New York Times, there was a serious offer from the EBay listing but it fell through in the negotiation stage. The plane was ultimately sold to a Valdez businessman for $2.1 million.
8.30.2008 4:02pm
EPluribusMoney (mail):
"Magna, not summa"

And while today only the top 10% get that, we don't know how many got it back in his day. Some schools give it to anyone with a B+ average, so 90% of the graduates could have it.
8.30.2008 4:08pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Some schools give it to anyone with a B+ average, so 90% of the graduates could have it.

Name three law schools that have ever named more than 10% of their graduates magna cum laude.
8.30.2008 4:15pm
DeezRightWingNutz:
I keep hearing people give Obama credit for running a campaign. He is due that credit; however, EVERY candidate that secures his party's nomination has run a successful campaign, by definition. So this distinguishes Obama from exactly zero candidates who have ever run as a major party nominee. Now, sometimes it's easier (Gerald Ford) and sometimes it may be harder (BO), but running a successful campaign qualifies someone to be president like landing a job interview qualifies someone for the job.
8.30.2008 4:23pm
U.S. Constitution Supporter (mail):
Look... McCain picked Julia Louise Dreyfus from Seinfeld!
8.30.2008 5:15pm
MarkField (mail):

And while today only the top 10% get that, we don't know how many got it back in his day. Some schools give it to anyone with a B+ average, so 90% of the graduates could have it.


Obama finished in the top 10% of his class.

And btw: "back in his day"?! How old are you, anyway? "His day" happens to be about 17 years ago. When did "17 years ago" become so distant in memory as to be "back in his day"? This ain't the 50s we're talking about here.
8.30.2008 6:18pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Which makes me wonder why Governor Palin would implement windfall profit taxes on the oil companies.
Who said she did? Where did you get the idea that she implemented anything as silly as a "windfall profits" tax?
8.30.2008 6:22pm
Trudy90210 (mail):
Wake Up America,

Bush was Governor of Texas for 6 years prior to his presidency -- Texas' population is 23,904,380 today. Palin has been Governor of Alaska for 20 months -- Alaska's population is 626,932 today. During an August 1, 2008, interview, Palin told a CNBC reporter that someone needs to explain to her exactly what are the duties of a Vice President"! She is a Governor who doesn't have a clue about the duties of the Vice President of the United State but says she is ready for the job. "OH, PLEASE"!!!!

Both Bush and Palin were described by the Republicans as being tough and "Well Qualified" Executives. Bush's excellent "Executive" experienced enabled him to deplete a $559 billion surplus (built by President Clinton) within his first 6 months of presidency. Palin's credentials remind me of an even less qualified Bush in a dress.

The Democrats' candidates have concrete knowledge and experience in Public Service, Law, Foreign Affairs, International Business, a strong rapport with many other foreign leaders and most importantly, fresh, new and innovative ideas to "Improve" the economy and move the country forward again.

Obama's credentials have been dissected and scrutinized over the past 2 years. There is only 2 months before the election and no one, other than a few Alaskans, knows anything her. Are the American people supposed to take McCain's words about her "so-called" great executive experience from his 1-time meeting with her. McCain himself is not fully aware of her leadership skills.

This is a strategy for risky gamblers when trying to win a "game", but completely a foolish administrative decision.

Truthfully speaking, do we really need another glorified "Governor" running our country? We've already have one who has ran our country backwards for the past 8 years. "Eight Is Enough"!

The Republicans are spreading manure over Palin's credentials while trying to persuade the American people and Themselves that her nomination was rational. The Republicans are trying to serve us another plate of their favorite cuisine: Sugar-Coated Horse and Bull Feces A-la-mode.
8.30.2008 10:55pm
Hoosier:
Trudy90210

Word to the wise: None of us ever read past the sentence "Wake Up America".
8.30.2008 11:29pm
GaryC (mail):

Trudy90210:
Bush was Governor of Texas for 6 years prior to his presidency -- Texas' population is 23,904,380 today. Palin has been Governor of Alaska for 20 months -- Alaska's population is 626,932 today. During an August 1, 2008, interview, Palin told a CNBC reporter that someone needs to explain to her exactly what are the duties of a Vice President"! She is a Governor who doesn't have a clue about the duties of the Vice President of the United State but says she is ready for the job. "OH, PLEASE"!!!!


The only official duty of the Vice President is to preside over the Senate and vote to break tie votes. Most VPs, even former Senators, delegate this function most of the time.

The Constitution also describes the circumstances under which the VP becomes the President, but waiting around for somebody to either die or become disabled is not exactly an ideal job for an achiever.

If you think of the actual responsibilities of the VP, they are defined by what the President delegates. Cheney, Goe, Quayle, Bush, and Mondale all had very different duties, and it makes perfect sense for Sarah Palin to want some definition of what John McCain would want his VP to do.

Of course, that delegation depends very strongly on the background and experience of the VP. In Gov. Palin's case, she would be a very strong energy czar and government reform leader. Other potential running mates would have offered different capabilities, but energy and reform are major issues in this election, and ones on which neither Obama nor Biden is credible.
8.30.2008 11:51pm
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Trudy90210:
Wake Up America,


Yawn.

She is a Governor who doesn't have a clue about the duties of the Vice President of the United State but says she is ready for the job. "OH, PLEASE"!!!!


Beyond presiding over the Senate and breaking a tie there, nobody actually knows what the Veep does. One could say Palin is eminently justified in not knowing what McCain would have her do as VP beyond those two roles.

The Democrats' candidates have concrete knowledge and experience in Public Service, Law, Foreign Affairs, International Business, a strong rapport with many other foreign leaders and most importantly, fresh, new and innovative ideas to "Improve" the economy and move the country forward again.


Yes, Biden has strong rapport with leaders in Iraq who united in disgust over his partition plan. And I'm sure Obama's plan to go into Pakistan over the objections of its government endeared him to Pakistanis. I suppose it'd be too much for you to provide specific backing for your other points, but I'll go ahead and ask anyway.

Truthfully speaking, do we really need another glorified "Governor" running our country? We've already have one who has ran our country backwards for the past 8 years. "Eight Is Enough"!


Anyone who disparages the prospect of a Governor becoming President hasn't been paying attention to Presidential politics for the last century or so. But that's irrelevant, since Palin is running for VP, not President.
8.31.2008 2:49am
CRW:
Shertaugh wrote:

Also, what's your take on Lincoln? Good, bad? He had way more experience as an executive than Obama . . . Lincoln ran his own 2-man law firm. Oh, boy.


While Lincoln didn't have much executive experience, he was already nationally known when he first ran for president because of his prominent position as one of the founders of the new Republican party and from the Lincoln-Douglas debates. He also wrote his own superb speeches, a skill among politicians which seems to have died with Churchill. Sen. Obama, while also a politician from Illinois, not surprisingly doesn't approach Lincoln in any substantial respect.
8.31.2008 4:25am
a knight (mail) (www):
But Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere-before she was against it...

Tom Kizzia, "Palin touts stance on 'Bridge to Nowhere,' doesn't note flip-flop", Anchorage Daily News, August 31st, 2008

Flip...
...Flop
8.31.2008 6:25am
Douglas Thornton (mail):
Geez, You should get your fact straight...
Bush's excellent "Executive" experienced enabled him to deplete a $559 billion surplus (built by President Clinton) within his first 6 months of presidency.

YOu must believe in FAIRY TALES TOO!

Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government's fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton's budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here's the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets:


Fiscal
Year Year
Ending National Debt Deficit
FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion


I don't seem to find a surplus, much less anything that even looks like it isn't so deep in the red that we should be fiing BANKRUPTCY!
9.2.2008 4:34pm