Palin and Pat Buchanan:

The left blogosphere, and Jewish Democrats, are promoting the idea that Sarah Palin supported Pat Buchanan for President in 2000. Their sole evidence is that Lexis reveals that when Buchanan came to visit her small town in late 1999, she was seen wearing a Buchanan button. When I first read this, it sounded to me more likely that it meant "civic booster mayor of nothing town will wear the campaign button of anyone who is willing to waste their time coming to said nothing town, while that person is speaking in town." And indeed, Lexis also reveals--as I'm sure was readily apparent to the blogger who started the Buchanan meme--that Palin was on Steve Forbes's Alaska leadership committee, and was announced as such only about three weeks after the button incident was reported. [timeline and Palin's position corrected.] How about some basic decency, people?

UPDATE: I guess wearing a Buchanan button, once, when he visited Palin's town is supposed to tell us a lot about Palin's character, and perhaps her feelings about Israel and Jews, but Obama's 20-year intimate history with Rev. Jeremiah Wright is supposed to tell us nothing about Obama. [See Florida Rep. Robert Wexler: "John McCain's decision to select a vice presidential running mate that [sic] endorsed [sic] Pat Buchanan for president in 2000 is a direct affront to all Jewish Americans.]

FURTHER UPDATE: It gets better. Wexler, in February: "It is unfair to attribute Pastor Wright's views to Barack Obama." And Ben Smith reports that Palin wrote a letter to the editor when the button story appeared, making it clear that she wasn't endorsing Buchanan, but just welcoming him to town, like any other candidate.

ONE MORE UPDATE: Pat Buchanan apparently (and self-servingly) claims that Palin and her husband strongly supported him in 1996, and that he met them at a fundraiser. Putting aside the unlikelihood that Buchanan would have such a vivid memory of meeting the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, federal campaign records, accessible online, show that Palin never cut a check to Buchanan (or for that matter, any other politician before 2004), at least not one big enough to be reportable. And it's hard to believe Buchanan would specifically remember a supporter in Alaska who gav e him fifty bucks. Color me skeptical. UPDATE WITHIN AN UPDATE: Ben Smith reports: "I also spoke to Bay Buchanan, Pat's sister, this morning. She also said her only knowledge of Palin's contact with Buchanan was at the event in the '90s, which she described as a fundraiser for Alaska Republican Jerry Ward."

Palin and Buchanan, II ("Timeline"):

July 17, 1999: AP reports on Pat Buchanan visit to Wasilla, AK. The reporter notes that "among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage."

July 26, 1999, letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News by Sarah Palin:

As mayor of Wasilla, I am proud to welcome all presidential candidates to our city. This is true regardless of their party, or the latest odds of their winning. When presidential candidates visit our community, I am always happy to meet them. I'll even put on their button when handed one as a polite gesture of respect.

Though no reporter interviewed me for the Associated Press article on the recent visit by a presidential candidate (Metro, July 17), the article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla. As mayor, I will welcome all the candidates in Wasilla.

August 7, 1999: AP reports on Steve Forbes' campaign in Alaska. "Joining the Fairbanks Republican on the leadership committee will be Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin, and former state GOP chairman Pete Hallgren, who will serve as co-chairs."

This information is all available on Lexis. Anyone who continues to push the "Sarah Palin supported Pat Buchanan in 2000" line is either willfully ignorant or lying. And there is no evidence thus far except a recollection from Pat Buchanan, contradicted by his sister and campaign manager (see previous post), that she supported him in 1995.

Obama Campaign Spokesman Repeats Lie About Palin and Buchanan:

Miami Herald:

"Palin was a supporter of [MSNBC analyst] Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer," Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski wrote in an email.

To recapitulate previous posts, Palin publicly supported Steve Forbes, not Pat Buchanan in 2000. Pat Buchanan has claimed that Palin attended a fundraiser for him during the 1996 campaign, but his sister and campaign manager Bay says they actually met at a fundraiser for another candidate, not for Buchanan. (And as much as I dislike Buchanan, calling him a "Nazi sympathizer" is a bit much.)

Oh well, it's all just politics, I guess, and it's not like Obama has had contact with anyone who might scare off Jewish voters.

(For the context of Obama's embrace of Sharpton, see this story.)

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Obama Campaign Spokesman Repeats Lie About Palin and Buchanan:
  2. Palin and Buchanan, II ("Timeline"):
  3. Palin and Pat Buchanan: