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Charles Fried Votes For Obama:
Many VC readers are familiar with Charles Fried, former Solicitor General under Reagan (and my own con law professor). In light of that, this news from Cass Sunstein is interesting: "This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot." More at the link. Hat tip: Yzaguirre.
Observer:
This is completely incomprehensible to me. Did McCain get even one endorsement from someone who would have been expected to endorse his opponent (other than Joe Lieberman's)? Obama got Chris Buckley, Colin Powell, Doug Kmiec, now Charles Fried, and quite a few others it seems.
10.24.2008 3:31pm
Cityduck (mail):
Freid's decision, and especially his citation of the Palin selection as the cause, is relevant to the discussion that occurred over the past week on whether Palin is anti-intellectual. Whether she is or isn't (and I think she is as evidenced by the educational history of herself and, most importantly, her kids), clearly a fair number of intellectual Republicans view her as sufficiently suspect to abandon McCain.
10.24.2008 3:32pm
henryporter:
It should be noted that the McCain Campaign has issued at least two press releases, as late as Sept 15th, listing Mr. Fried as an advisor.
10.24.2008 3:39pm
Jane (mail):
Hold On Venezuela! We're working on catching up!
10.24.2008 3:40pm
cboldt (mail):
O/T: Will there be a post on the interesting 4th amendment case, Pearson v. Callahan? (link to Oct 23 SCOTUSblog post)
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Reading it on SCOTUSblog was the first I became aware of it - obviously I don't follow the 4th amendment with great interest, and may have missed recent posts at Volokh Conspiracy on the same case.
10.24.2008 3:45pm
OrinKerr:
cboldt:

Wow, that really *is* off topic. Fortunately, you can go to google and try this:
"pearson v. callahan" site:volokh.com
10.24.2008 3:49pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Observer:

This is completely incomprehensible to me.


Would you mind explaining why.
10.24.2008 3:51pm
Randy R. (mail):
Umm, Jane, you might have noticed that Bush has been more of a socialist than any other US president.
10.24.2008 3:56pm
transfer student (mail):
Apparently a pro-life VP nominee was a bridge too far for Fried. He's a good man and a good lawyer, but he's never been comfortable with social conservatives.
10.24.2008 3:56pm
Anderson (mail):
First thing I thought when I saw the Fried news at TPM: "First Kmiec, now Charles Fried for Obama -- damn!!!"

Second thing: "Man, there is going to be a meltdown thread at the VC over this!"

Let me go get some popcorn and come back. Maybe Ken Starr will have endorsed Obama by then.
10.24.2008 3:58pm
Hans Bader (mail):
I like Charles Fried -- he was my advisor at Harvard Law School -- but he hasn't been conservative for years.

For example, he recommended Ted Kennedy as a Supreme Court justice! (he was quoted in the Boston Globe to that effect).

So it doesn't mean that much.
10.24.2008 3:59pm
josh:
I'm just waiting for the news that eminent bloggers Orin Kerr and Eugene Volokh have decided to vote for Obama ...
10.24.2008 3:59pm
OrinKerr:
Randy R,

I hadn't noticed that. Care to actually make the argument?

Transfer Student,

If that were true, how could Fried support Bush/Cheney?
10.24.2008 3:59pm
Thales (mail) (www):
I believe I read some anecdote about Obama having also had Fried for a class at Harvard.
10.24.2008 4:00pm
OrinKerr:
I'm just waiting for the news that eminent bloggers Orin Kerr and Eugene Volokh have decided to vote for Obama ...

Is Obama running for the Presidency of the Harvard Law Review again? If so, I may vote "Obama for President" after all.
10.24.2008 4:04pm
Cityduck (mail):
McCain's largely pro-life, so I think you're wrong in your analysis transfer student. I suspect it is that Fried views Palin as unsuited to be President, and McCain's choice of her to show him as a flawed and untrustworthy candidate.

This goes to the discussion on Palin's alleged anti-intellectualism. Do you really expect a Harvar Professor to have respect for the selection of a woman who apparently has such a low regard for education that she (1) attended five undistinguished undergraduate institutions before getting a degree in Journalism and trying to be a sports caster, (2) married a guy who didn't go to college, (3) allowed her oldest son to drop out of High School and forego college, and (4) has not required her oldest daughter to attend high school in months (looks like she'll drop out too, and her new husband already has)?

Call Fried an "elitist" if you want, but I think he just doesn't view Palin as close to an appropriate choice for VP, and that has nothing to do with the abortion issue.
10.24.2008 4:05pm
dr:

"Obama for President!" --Orin Kerr


About time! I'll call the button people, get a couple thousand stamped out before nightfall. Good to have you aboard, Professor!
10.24.2008 4:06pm
josh:
Prof. Kerr

Weak.
10.24.2008 4:08pm
Steve:
Did McCain get even one endorsement from someone who would have been expected to endorse his opponent (other than Joe Lieberman's)? Obama got Chris Buckley, Colin Powell, Doug Kmiec, now Charles Fried, and quite a few others it seems.

There was that one rich lady who was a Clinton fundraiser, so that should about even up the count.
10.24.2008 4:08pm
Steagles:
Orin Kerr:
Is Obama running for the Presidency of the Harvard Law Review again? If so, I may vote "Obama for President" after all.


1. Strong hint. Want to tell us now for whom you will vote? Or will discretion be the better part course?

2. Orin, I seem to recall that Charles Fried argued a case as SG in which the govt's brief advocated the over-ruling of Roe v. Wade? His tenure was so long ago it's hard to remember. Perhaps you can help on this point.
10.24.2008 4:09pm
josh:
dr

I concurr. Based on the David Bernstein's Proximate Theory of Relative Quotation and Analog Maximization Association, I now believe we can say that Orin Kerr has endorsed Barack Obama for president.
10.24.2008 4:10pm
josh:
[Steagles

I seem to recall that either Prof Kerr or Volokh, or both, serve on McCain's judiciary advisory committee, so I think the cat's out of the bag. I'm just waitiing for them to do what Fried did, but not holding my breath].
10.24.2008 4:12pm
cboldt (mail):
OrinKerr: -- Wow, that really *is* off topic. Fortunately, you can go to google and try this: "pearson v. callahan" site:volokh.com --
.
Hehehe. Thanks. Now I understand that there's no discussion of the case here. Sorry for the distraction, and thanks again for the quick and useful pointer.
10.24.2008 4:14pm
OrinKerr:
Steagles,

It wasn't intended as a "strong hint," it was just a joke. I'm a McCain supporter.
10.24.2008 4:18pm
dr:
"I'm a McCain supporter. Just a joke!" --Orin Kerr
10.24.2008 4:20pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Isn't it more likely to be the naive gullibility factor rather than anti-intellectualism (although one would have thought that after 8 years of Bush that attribute should be a fatal disqualifying attribute)?

Remember being able to see Russia as constituting foreign policy experience? Palin had previously said it. Either this was some clever campaign advisor who suggested it, and she wasn't smart enough to say this is idiotic, or her very own idea. I don't understand how anyone could listen to that interview and not conclude she was unqualified, and if she was unqualified, McCain's decision-making process and judgment was so inferior, that Obama becomes default choice for President.
Just to refresh your memory here it is:


You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It's funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don't know, you know … reporters.

Couric: Mocked?

Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there…

Couric: Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.
10.24.2008 4:28pm
Jane (mail):
Joe Biden says: JOBS is a three letter word.
10.24.2008 4:41pm
josh:
I'm giving dr the "Sacrasto Award" for the thread.
10.24.2008 4:42pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

This goes to the discussion on Palin's alleged anti-intellectualism. Do you really expect a Harvar Professor to have respect for the selection of a woman who apparently has such a low regard for education that she (1) attended five undistinguished undergraduate institutions before getting a degree in Journalism and trying to be a sports caster, (2) married a guy who didn't go to college, (3) allowed her oldest son to drop out of High School and forego college, and (4) has not required her oldest daughter to attend high school in months (looks like she'll drop out too, and her new husband already has)?


Only 1 is even remotely relevant to Gov Palin's personal qualifications. The other involve her family.

As for 1, are you saying that multiple colleges are bad or that holders of Journalism degrees are always stupid? Or both?

I am glad to know that college graduates can only marry college graduates. So much for love.

Maybe liberals just don't really like blue collar people.

I also thought liberals "supported the troops". I guess "support" = "thinks are stupid losers" in liberal talk.

As for Palin and Levi, such liberal tolerance on display here. I guess if she killed the baby and stayed in school, she'd be a better person.

I actually doubt that Fried shares any of the narrow minded and pitiful "ideas" that Cityduck believes.
10.24.2008 4:47pm
adh (mail):
Johnny Canuck - Palin's foreign policy experience is roughly the same as Bill Clinton's in 1992, and he wasn't running for VP. At least she didn't reference Hezbollah being driven out of Lebanon by the U.S., as that foreign policy expert Joe Biden did recently.
10.24.2008 4:47pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
adh: The problem is Palin didn't recognize she didn't have any foreign policy "experience". Of course no one who hasn't served in the State dept. probably has foreign policy "experience". I think what one is actually looking for is having studied or thought about foreign policy issues. Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar (he spent 2 years at Oxford, although I have no idea what if anything he studied). Presumably in the primaries and election campaign he was asked and answered questions reflecting a satisfactory knowledge of foreign affairs issues.
10.24.2008 4:59pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
As to Biden, I assume he was referring to the pressure applied to Hezbollah's benefactor, Syria. He does have a worrying habit of mispeaking, eg. transferring FDR's fireside radio chats 4 years earlier and onto TV.
I wouldn't select him as a partner for trivial pursuit, but is there evidence his judgment is faulty? (as opposed to him having come to different conclusions than you would have).
10.24.2008 5:04pm
armchairpunter:
Let's see (A) Joe Lieberman OR (B) Chris Buckley, Colin Powell, Doug Kmiec, Charles Fried...

Is that really even a contest? I don't see any recent VP candidates for the Republican Party lined up for Obama. I suppose Dan Quayle may still be in play.
10.24.2008 5:08pm
Sarcastro (www):
armchairpunter

1. Don't you be puttin' down the Leib!

2. Also, Krauthammer.

3. Dan Quayle is always in play. I hear he's the power behind Dick Cheney's throne.
10.24.2008 5:13pm
armchairpunter:
SARCASTRO

Sorry. I was indicating that Lieberman outweighed the others combined. Are you trying to suggest it's a contest?
10.24.2008 5:27pm
CJColucci:
The problem is Palin didn't recognize she didn't have any foreign policy "experience". Of course no one who hasn't served in the State dept. probably has foreign policy "experience". I think what one is actually looking for is having studied or thought about foreign policy issues.

Johnny Canuck, I think you put your finger on it. The problem with Palin isn't what she doesn't know, it's that she doesn't know what she doesn't know. Few candidates have actual foreign policy experience, and all candidates have holes in their resumes. If Palin hadn't claimed foreign policy expertise, and on such a self-evidently flimsy basis, she wouldn't be getting horselaughs about her lack of it. Like Bush the Lesser, she may have adequate intellectual horsepower (Am I showing my age here? Do the youngsters refer to RAM and chip speed?) if she chooses to use it, but there's no evidence that she applies her intellect to issues she doesn't happen to know about, and doesn't recognize the need to.
10.24.2008 5:34pm
Derrick (mail):
Let's see (A) Joe Lieberman OR (B) Chris Buckley, Colin Powell, Doug Kmiec, Charles Fried...


The problem is that everyone knows that Joe is a pretty bitter bosom buddy of McCain, so most people discount his endorsement to a large extent. You may not like it but deep personal relationships and bitterness are expected to trump silly things like politics.
10.24.2008 5:52pm
Anderson (mail):
The problem with Palin isn't what she doesn't know, it's that she doesn't know what she doesn't know.

Good point. What would've been so hard about, "Well, John McCain has the foreign-policy side of the ticket nailed down, and what I think I bring is my common sense, good judgment, and record of addressing people's real concerns and reforming their government."

But no, the amateurs running McCain's campaign had to act like she was TEH MOST at *everything*.
10.24.2008 5:53pm
Eli:
Would anybody be even talking (CARE AT ALL) about C. Buckley, Kmiec!!!, et al. if they didn't endorse Obama? I don't think so.

Who knows what their motivation is? Although based on their shoddy/ incoherent reasoning in their respective endorsements of Obama, I am guessing it's hardly admirable.

The only other explanation is that Obama is a Harrrvard man - and well Palin went to U. of Idaho. One must presume that most of these endorsers, by their tone, think that they themselves are more worthy/ qualified than Palin to be VP. And McCain should have known better than to choose someone like Palin..eeeww they say she didn't even go to an Ivy League School and wasn't a public servant of Washington, DC (and she actually goes to Church where they care about what the Bible says and she hunts).
10.24.2008 5:55pm
c.gray (mail):

clearly a fair number of intellectual Republicans view her [Palin] as sufficiently suspect to abandon McCain.


Color me skeptical that Palin is the primary reason for so many conservative defections, let alone the only reason.

A fair number of conservatives (including essentially all the ones I know) have long been deeply dissatisfied with both the Bush administration and the congressional Republican party. McCain himself has been a polarizing figure among Republicans for years. And the current financial industry crisis, and the uneven reaction to it by both the White House and the McCain campaign, has given McCain and the national Republican Party an even more sour odor.

Add to that the reality that many of the issues that united a fairly heterogenous conservative coalition back in the 60s and 70s have either been resolved or become politically inert. Deregulation of commerce, transportation, and trade is a reality. Marginal tax rates have been slashed about as far as they can realistically go. Welfare programs have seen major reform. The USSR is dead and anti-communism is almost irrelevant.

On the other hand, conservatives have pretty good reason to be dissillusioned with the Republican party. Comparing the records of Clinton and Bush has to give fiscal conservatives pause, even before they consider McCain's kooky mortgage writedown scheme. Religious conservatives are realizing that pro-life legal changes and prayer in the public schools simply are not going to happen, and are increasingly turning their energies to home-schooling and missionary activity. Small government conservatives are horrified by the prescription drug program and No-Child-Left-Behind, often skeptical of the war in Iraq and Bush's near-constant invocations of national security, and have a lot of reasons to believe McCain will be worse on all these issues than Bush. The financial industry crisis must also make many suspect that finance deregulation may have gone a bit too far, and that entitlement reform is now a dead issue in any event.

Suffice it to say, many "conservatives" are unhappy with their candidate to begin with, and suspicious of other "conservative" factions. They have plenty of reason to waver. The Palin selection may be the nudge that pushes some unexpected Obama endorsements. But she's hardly the root cause, and is probably responsible for nudging other waverers back into McCain's camp.
10.24.2008 5:58pm
matt b (mail):
so what? we all realize that elitism knows no partisan or ideological bounds. we all know that identity politics (even among the uppercrust of boston, dc and nyc) is thriving in american politics. this should surprise us that an elitist elite should identify with and support a fellow "intellectual" heavyweight. the elite class in this country is permanently creating a rift between those educated at regular public schools and those educated at elite private schools. you truly look down upon those you deemed having lesser educations, lesser pedigrees...
10.24.2008 6:00pm
armchairpunter:
In the end, a Palin-type pick, though not favored by "thinking" Republicans, should prove less critical to Republicans (who tend to see politics as a matter of choosing the lesser evil) than it would to Democrats (who tend to seek cosmic redemption through politics).

Any puffery concerning her qualifications is dwarfed by the hooplah concerning The One.
10.24.2008 6:18pm
cboldt (mail):
-- In the end, a Palin-type pick, though not favored by "thinking" Republicans, should prove less critical to Republicans (who tend to see politics as a matter of choosing the lesser evil) than it would to Democrats (who tend to seek cosmic redemption through politics). --
.
Aside from (or in addition to, if you prefer) the immediate situation of the Palin pick, I think you make a profound observation about a difference between the sort of people who identify with the GOP, compared with the sort of people who identify with the Democratic Party.
.
The Democrats will win the political war in the end (maybe not this race, but eventually) because politics is like a religion of the left. For some, it is equivalent of religion, it is their bottom. The people who tend to identify with Republicans see political ends on a spectrum of unimportant to important, but never the most important. Ultimately, the side that has the deeper conviction will prevail. Cosmic redemption through politics.
10.24.2008 6:29pm
Bama 1L:
the elite class in this country is permanently creating a rift between those educated at regular public schools and those educated at elite private schools.

As a graduate of elite public schools, I look down on both.
10.24.2008 6:36pm
Education:
2 law degrees vs. 0 years of post-graduate education. The idea that some Republicans(specifically Sarah Palin) are anti-intellectual wasn't plucked from thin air.
10.24.2008 6:38pm
OrinKerr:
Bama1L,

Nicely done.
10.24.2008 7:04pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

2 law degrees vs. 0 years of post-graduate education.


Not having a lawyer on the GOP ticket is a feature, not a bug.

So, now its post-graduate education that qualifies you for the presidency? You are eliminating an awful lot of people.

BTW, its not that the GOP is "anti-intellectual",its more accurate to say that it is "anti-intellectualS".
10.24.2008 7:08pm
PC:
Perhaps Prof. Fried's endorsement was racially motivated. Sec. Powell was endorsing the black half of Obama, Prof. Fried is endorsing the white half.
10.24.2008 7:25pm
Patrick216:
I am profoundly disappointed in Fried. He should immediately resign as advisor to the Harvard Federalist Society, resign from any positions he holds in the Federalist Society nationally, and goes off to join his new liberal friends.

It is absolutely astounding to me how many Republicans have abandoned McCain. While there may be good reasons to do so (chiefly among them, the fact that McCain has spent the past eight years bashing Republicans and flat out refused to criticize Obama), blaming Palin is outrageous.

Look, Palin ran into trouble out there for two reasons.

(1) She didn't know many people in Washington or in national GOP circles prior to her selection. That meant that when she started to come under fire, she had no defenders who could (a) go on the record to defend her or (b) defend her on background. The media is predisposed to dislike Republicans, so when they get a ton of negative publicity regarding Palin and get NOBODY they respect to vouch for her, it makes it all too easy to savage her. In short, she had no "cover".

(2) McCain totally botched her roll-out. The way the daughter's pregnancy was handled was terrible. They should never have allowed her to go on Gibson and do an edited interview -- they were INVITING Gibson to "gotcha" her, and he obliged. Then, they responded to that by cloistering Palin for 10 days and cramming her with so much media training and messaging points, that when she did her second edited interview with Couric, she looked like a complete goofball.

Responsible Republicans should not be blaming Palin and buying the liberal talking points about how she's a dumb hick who is "anti-intellectual" and some religious kook. It simply is not true. It's a media perception with no FACTUAL basis. So for everyone to abandon ship on McCain and to blame Palin is just sad, unfortunate, and harmful to the long term health of the party.
10.24.2008 7:32pm
Freer:
"Blaming Palin" gets your Federalist Society card invalidated? It's going to be an even smaller group, I see.
10.24.2008 8:03pm
MarkField (mail):

Suffice it to say, many "conservatives" are unhappy with their candidate to begin with, and suspicious of other "conservative" factions. They have plenty of reason to waver. The Palin selection may be the nudge that pushes some unexpected Obama endorsements.


If that were the case, I'd expect them to mention those other issues. Instead, there seems to be a fairly consistent pattern of focusing the comments on Sarah Palin.
10.24.2008 8:15pm
Lily (mail):
Conservatives voting for Obama: Cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
10.24.2008 8:25pm
Cityduck (mail):
Judging from the posts on this board, to be "conservative" today you have to believe that (1) George W. Bush and the Project for a New American Century aren't "conservative"; and (2) you must walk in lockstep and vote for McCain even if you think he has shown bad judgment and won't make a good President.

As for Bob's comments, Palin's personal history is very relevant to whether she is anti-intellectual. I agree that no one factor I list is dispositive, but taken together they paint a portrait of a woman who does not value intellectual pursuits. I tend to think the children of people who value education graduate from High School. I tend to think that people who value education want their children to attend High School. I tend to think that people with intellectual curiousity devote themselves to their own education. I see no evidence of that Palin particularly values intellectual pursuits, either in her own interests (what does she read?), actions (has she written anything?), choice of companions, parenting choices, or the values she has instilled in her kids.
10.24.2008 9:02pm
Apodaca:
Palin ran into trouble out there for two reasons. (1) She didn't know many people in Washington or in national GOP circles prior to her selection.
Oh, so very true:
While Brickley and others were spreading the word about Palin on the Internet, Palin was wooing a number of well-connected Washington conservative thinkers. In a stroke of luck, Palin did not have to go to the capital to meet these members of "the permanent political establishment"; they came to Alaska. Shortly after taking office, Palin received two memos from Paulette Simpson, the Alaska Federation of Republican Women leader, noting that two prominent conservative magazines—The Weekly Standard, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and National Review, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.—were planning luxury cruises to Alaska in the summer of 2007, which would make stops in Juneau. [...]

On June 18, 2007, the first group disembarked in Juneau from the Holland America Line's M.S. Oosterdam, and went to the governor's mansion, a white wooden Colonial house with six two-story columns, for lunch. The contingent featured three of The Weekly Standard 's top writers: William Kristol, the magazine's Washington-based editor, who is also an Op-Ed columnist for the Times and a regular commentator on "Fox News Sunday"; Fred Barnes, the magazine's executive editor and the co-host of "The Beltway Boys," a political talk show on Fox News; and Michael Gerson, the former chief speechwriter for President Bush and a Washington Post columnist.

[...]

By the time the Weekly Standard pundits returned to the cruise ship, Paulette Simpson said, "they were very enamored of her." In July, 2007, Barnes wrote the first major national article spotlighting Palin, titled "The Most Popular Governor," for The Weekly Standard. Simpson said, "That first article was the result of having lunch." Bitney agreed: "I don't think she realized the significance until after it was all over. It got the ball rolling."

The other journalists who met Palin offered similarly effusive praise: Michael Gerson called her "a mix between Annie Oakley and Joan of Arc." The most ardent promoter, however, was Kristol, and his enthusiasm became the talk of Alaska's political circles. According to Simpson, Senator Stevens told her that "Kristol was really pushing Palin" in Washington before McCain picked her. Indeed, as early as June 29th, two months before McCain chose her, Kristol predicted on "Fox News Sunday" that "McCain's going to put Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, on the ticket." He described her as "fantastic," saying that she could go one-on-one against Obama in basketball, and possibly siphon off Hillary Clinton's supporters. He pointed out that she was a "mother of five" and a reformer. "Go for the gold here with Sarah Palin," he said. The moderator, Chris Wallace, finally had to ask Kristol, "Can we please get off Sarah Palin?"

The next day, however, Kristol was still talking about Palin on Fox. "She could be both an effective Vice-Presidential candidate and an effective President," he said. "She's young, energetic." On a subsequent "Fox News Sunday," Kristol again pushed Palin when asked whom McCain should pick: "Sarah Palin, whom I've only met once but I was awfully impressed by—a genuine reformer, defeated the establishment up there. It would be pretty wild to pick a young female Alaska governor, and I think, you know, McCain might as well go for it." On July 22nd, again on Fox, Kristol referred to Palin as "my heartthrob." He declared, "I don't know if I can make it through the next three months without her on the ticket." Reached last week, Kristol pointed out that just before McCain picked Palin he had ratcheted back his campaign a little; though he continued to tout her, he also wrote a Times column promoting Senator Joe Lieberman, of Connecticut.

On October 6th, in another Times column, Kristol cryptically acknowledged having been entertained by the Governor. He mentioned meeting Palin "in far more relaxed circumstances, in Alaska over a year ago." The column featured one of the few interviews that Palin has granted to the national media since becoming McCain's running mate. Kristol quoted Palin saying that the debate had been a "liberating" experience, then wrote, "Shouldn't the public get the benefit of another Biden-Palin debate, or even two? If there's difficulty finding a moderator, I'll be glad to volunteer."

On August 1, 2007, a few weeks after the Weekly Standard cruise departed from Juneau, Palin hosted a second boatload of pundits, this time from a cruise featuring associates of National Review. Her guests, arriving on the M.S. Noordam, included Rich Lowry, the magazine's editor and a syndicated columnist; Robert Bork, the conservative legal scholar and former federal judge; John Bolton, who served as the Bush Administration's Ambassador to the United Nations from 2004 to 2006; Victor Davis Hanson, a conservative historian who is reportedly a favorite of Vice-President Dick Cheney; and Dick Morris, the ideologically ambidextrous political consultant, who writes a column for The Hill and appears regularly on Fox News.
10.24.2008 9:56pm
Obvious (mail):
Just to go on record, against this Palin bashing, I would never vote for McCain; I see him as the antithesis of a limited government free-market politician. But, for a brief moment, I considered voting for the ticket when he put Palin on. No, she's not brilliant. I fear "brilliant" people in Washington, people who think they're so smart they can run other peoples' lives. No, she's not connected. I saw that as a feature, not a bug. The more connected you are in Washington, the less interest you have in changing it.

In the end, I have decided to not vote for McCain anyway. His chicken-with-his-head-cut-off routine on the bailout, his absolute lack of principle, the fact he's much more a Beltway candidate than even Obama (HE WAS RAISED THERE), all lead me to that conclusion.

I'm not voting for Obama either. Please! I'm sitting this one out. This is a noble and principled option, and it's a shame people of the quality of Fried don't appreciate that. It leads them to feel forced to choose between two candidates when they know no good can come of either choice.
10.24.2008 9:59pm
Asher (mail):
It is absolutely astounding to me how many Republicans have abandoned McCain. While there may be good reasons to do so (chiefly among them, the fact that McCain has spent the past eight years bashing Republicans and flat out refused to criticize Obama), blaming Palin is outrageous.

McCain flat out refused to criticize Obama? When did he do that? His whole campaign is a criticism of Obama. Obama is not ready. Obama is naive. Obama pals around with terrorists. We don't know who Obama "really" is. Obama's not a veteran; McCain is. Obama isn't The American President Americans Have Been Waiting For. Obama's a socialist. Obama will destroy the economy by taking $900.00 from Joe The Plumber. Obama will force you into government healthcare.
10.25.2008 12:23am
byomtov (mail):
Patrick216,

Don't forget that Palin shot herself in the foot at the very beginning. Her claims about the bridge, and that being near Russia provided foreign policy expertise, were not the best way to convince people she was a serious, intelligent, person.
10.25.2008 10:40am
AlanDownunder (mail):
I guess the strategy was for Palin to round up the base while John the Maverick captured the centre for whom Obama the inexperienced socialist elitist muslim tied by Hilary to a racist Christian pastor would be a left turn too far, one way or another.

The problem with that was that the pick of a Palin by a septuagenarian with apparent but undisclosed health issues scared the centre. As was noted up-thread, she's too dumb to know how dumb she is - something that very few centrists are dumb enough not to notice. They don't see much milk of human kindness there, either.

Then there's the ethics violations that should have caused her to fail a due diligence check by the McCain campaign, had there been one - another reflection on McCain.

But Palin aside, McCain has responded anything but reassuringly to the market turmoil. That alone is giving sane republicans the heebie-jeebies. They have their priorities.
10.27.2008 7:11am