Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Saturday, September 27, 2008


NOTE: Last night's debate showed Sen. Obama to have a depth of knowledge not only on foreign policy issues but on economic issues as well. The foreign policy part of the debates was supposed to be McCain's strongest point. Sen. Obama was as good as the old timer, and in a few instances, showed he knew more. (The point on strategic vs. tactical policy in Iraq. The Surge was a TACTICAL move, not a strategic move, as McCain claimed.) Obama faced his opponent, McCain never looked at Obama, and what is more, did not look as relaxed and as assured of himself as Obama. Obama did a smash-up job. Good for him.


Now we await the VP debate. And as a preview, here are some of the reviews of Palin's recent interview with Katie Couric:

Palin Couric media reviews are in, and are DEVASTATINGLY BAD

Palin talks to Couric -- and if she's lucky, few are listening James Rainey - LATimes

Her third nationally televised interview, with CBS anchor Katie Couric, found Palin rambling, marginally responsive and even more adrift than during her network debut with ABC’s Charles Gibson....

Katie Couric carves up Sarah Palin Kansas City Star
Palin looks unprepared to be vice president (and certainly president)...

Couric shines, Palin doesn't in CBS interview The Oregonian

Ouch. Only one of the two women showed poise, focus and a good grasp of the facts, and it wasn't the one who's running for vice president....

I’m sorry — Sarah Palin is a bad joke Jay Bookman - Atlanta Journal and Constitution

Palin is living, breathing proof that John McCain lies when he claims to put this country first over politics. She makes Dan Quayle look like Albert Einstein with a better haircut.

Shameless and clueless Sarah Palin David Horsey - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

How would Republicans be reacting if Gov. Christine Gregoire were the Democratic candidate for vice president and she claimed that, because Washington borders Canada and sends trade missions to Japan and China and Russia, she is, therefore, experienced in foreign policy? And what if Gregoire also claimed to be a seasoned commander-in-chief because she is titular head of the Washington National Guard? We all know how Republicans would react: they would roar with mocking laughter. And they would be absolutely right to mock such idiotic pretense.

and no help from Palin's side of the aisle either:

Jake Tapper quotes conservative columnist Kathleen Parker:

Watching the CBS interview of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did not exactly fill Parker with confidence.
"Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

and my favorite, from a compilation on the British "firstpost"

Babbling Palin ‘makes George Bush sound like Cicero’ Rod Dreher

a religious-conservative blogger who frequently appears on Fox News and was as recently as last week a Palin supporter, says the Alaskan Governor "was mediocre". Dreher says he felt "embarrassed" listening to Palin "regurgitating talking points mechanically, not thinking. just babbling. She makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero."


Why Voters Thought Obama Won

TPM has the internals of the CNN poll of debate-watchers, which had Obama winning overall by a margin of 51-38. The poll suggests that Obama is opening up a gap on connectedness, while closing a gap on readiness.

Specifically, by a 62-32 margin, voters thought that Obama was "more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you". This is a gap that has no doubt grown because of the financial crisis of recent days. But it also grew because Obama was actually speaking to middle class voters. Per the transcript, McCain never once mentioned the phrase "middle class" (Obama did so three times). And Obama’s eye contact was directly with the camera, i.e. the voters at home. McCain seemed to be speaking literally to the people in the room in Mississippi, but figuratively to the punditry. It is no surprise that a small majority of pundits seemed to have thought that McCain won, even when the polls indicated otherwise; the pundits were his target audience.

George Harris:

I suspect that women voters especially would be turned off by McCain's sarcastic tone because women do tend to be the conciliators in our society and saw Obama display those conciliatory qualities very well in the debate. Obama looked at McCain, and McCain wouldn't return the eye contact but rather glared or displayed a tight and angry expression.

I also suspect (but don't have the data to support) that older voters were also turned off by Senator McNasty. I believe older voters will also be reassured that, though McCain has been around longer, Obama has a good grasp of foreign affairs and can learn quickly. He impressed as a statesmen, in marked contrast to McCain's warrior demeanor.

McCain referred to Obama as naive or as not understanding on many issues when the listener probably saw a mere difference of opinion. McCain's condescenion felt annoying; to the listener who might agree or disagree with Obama, Obama nevertheless was making good points, not naive ones.

David Ignatius:

Both styles were adequate; neither was entirely compelling. If you were adding up debating points, you’d give the contest to Obama. If you were counting only the emotional highs, you’d give it to McCain. The debate reinforced each man’s strengths and weaknesses. Obama had the most to lose, and he didn’t, so in that sense, by not losing he probably came out ahead.

What was troubling was that neither man rose to the challenge of the catastrophe that has seized the financial markets. On this issue, the two were bland, non-committal, uninspiring.


Jonathan Alter on MSNBC: The biggest loser? Sarah Palin. The debates set a standard she cannot live up to.

h/t dailykos


Eric Dondero said...

The elitist wing of the conservative movement has always been wary of us libertarians coming into the GOP. Sarah Palin is one of the top elected libertarian Republicans in the country, (along with Idaho's Gov. Butch Otter, and Cong. Jeff Flake of AZ).

Of course, she's going to make some conservatives nervous.

They are wary of her libertarian cultural views. This is the woman, after all, who famously fought back against social conservatives in Wasilla who wanted to run all of the bars and taverns out of town.

They even started a whisper campaign in Alaska during the 2006 primaries that Sarah wasn't really a Republican, but rather a "closet libertarian." She had attended a couple local Libertarian Party meetings seeking their support.

But what she loses from the social conservatives, she gains 10 times over in libertarian votes.

Figure, Libertarian Bob Barr was polling 6% nationwide in mid-summer. As high as 10% in New Hampshire. And post-Palin he's now down to 1%.

Ever since Goldwater the eastern establishment Republicans have distrusted Western cowboy individualists in the GOP.

With Sarah Palin, the libertarian wing of the GOP has finally arrived. Of course, that's going to make some other Republicans nervous.

Get over it Conservatives, THE LIBERTARIANS HAVE ARRIVED!!

Anonymous said...

Of course, she's going to make some conservatives nervous.

Well I know she's made one conservative, John McCain, very nervous. So nervous that he chose to have Rudy Giuliani and his wife, not Sarah Palin and "Dude" accompany him on the flight out of Oxford, MS, after the debate.

In fact, Sarah was no where to be seen on any network news program after the debate. Why?

Why has the McCain campaign kept her away from the media (except in scripted interviews) and taking questions from the press?

You say she fought back AGAINST social conservtives?


She's against a woman's right to an abortion, even in instances of rape and incest, and is against any form of sex education except abstinence (the results of which we have witnessed in her own daughter).

She is now, as a result of her disasterous interview with Katie Couric, a national joke.

John McCain was wildly irresponsible in choosing her for his running mate.

But I'll let Mike Taibbi of "Rolling Stone" magazine explain it, he says it so much better than I.

"Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power.

Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV -and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.

The Palin speech was a political masterpiece, one of the most ingenious pieces of electoral theater this country has ever seen. Never before has a single televised image turned a party's fortunes around faster.

Until the Alaska governor actually ascended to the podium that night, I was convinced that John McCain had made one of the all-time campaign season blunders, that he had acted impulsively and out of utter desperation in choosing a cross-eyed political neophyte just two years removed from running a town smaller than the bleacher section at Fenway Park. It even crossed my mind that there was an element of weirdly self-destructive pique in McCain's decision to cave in to his party's right-wing base in this fashion, that perhaps he was responding to being ordered by party elders away from a tepid, ideologically promiscuous hack like Joe Lieberman -- reportedly his real preference -- by picking the most obviously unqualified, doomed-to-fail joke of a Bible-thumping buffoon. As in: You want me to rally the base? Fine, I'll rally the base. Here, I'll choose this rifle-toting, serially pregnant moose killer who thinks God lobbies for oil pipelines. Happy now?"

And those are the nice things he has to say about her.

The rest is here: