Come on trolls… defend her. And while you’re at it, defend John McCain for cynically making such an unqualified choice for Veep.
Archives for September 2008
Anybody else notice that the RNC is spending money buying Google Ads on my liberal political blog, urging people to register to vote before the deadline? That’s some targeted GOTV effort they have going there.
FYI, the deadline to change your registration, or to register to vote online or by mail is October 4. If you are a new voter and miss this deadline, you can register in person at our county auditor’s office until October 20.
Watching last night’s presidential debate at the jam-packed Montlake Ale House (a horde of DFAer’s pushing us DL regulars into the nooks and crannies), there was little question about who won the contest. Both the boisterous crowd and the CNN dial test audience agreed: it was no ass whooping, but Barack Obama came off as knowledgable, likeable and more in touch with average Americans than the often angry and ornery John McCain. And with this being the debate that focused on McCain’s alleged strong suit, foreign policy, that constitutes a win for Obama.
But afterwards, I stopped off at house filled with angry Irishmen, and the reaction was quite different. Strong Democrats all, they were drowning their sorrow in whiskey at what they saw as a pathetically weak performance by Obama, who failed to fight back against McCain’s frequent attacks. Almost as a chorus they complained that if Obama had said “I agree with Sen. McCain” one more time, they would have thrown a bottle at the TV set (and the Irish don’t waste the contents of bottle lightly).
They went into the debate smelling blood after McCain/Palin’s week of disastrous missteps, and they expected Obama to go in for the kill. He didn’t. And their initial and unanimous post-debate reaction was that this was big win for McCain.
Huh. Had we watched the same debate? So I went online to catch the spin and was fascinated to watch the consensus evolve over the next few hours. The early threads on the liberal blogs more closely matched the angry Irishmen than the cheerful DFAers, with many commenters lamenting the same lack of backbone and aggression, a sentiment echoed by a handful of CW pundits who quickly jumped to set the frame by calling the debate for McCain. But it wasn’t long before this spin got spun around, with McCain’s ornery demeanor, his refusal to even look at Obama, let alone make eye contact, and his failure to mention “the middle class” even once beginning to dominate the conversation.
Then the instant polls and focus group results came in, and the notion of an Obama win quickly took hold amongst a majority of the media commentators. By pretty convincing margins both independent and undecided voters consistently gave the edge to Obama, both in his performance and in his positives. Obama talked about issues and connected with voters, whereas McCain appeared “antagonistic”, even “contemptuous,” and while the latter may play well with McCain’s antagonistic and contemptuous Republican base, the folks in the middle… um… not so much.
I don’t know if Obama’s cool and collected debate demeanor is a strategy or simply who he is, but as much as I would personally like to see our candidate punch back as good as he gets—and better—I think last night’s approach ultimately serves him well. Not because voters don’t want to see their presidents appear strong—they most emphatically do—but Obama, perhaps uniquely, must carefully avoid appearing too strong. If you know what I mean….
Ahem… um… as McCain might phrase it, “the point is“… while we may have come a long way toward fulfulling Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, white America doesn’t much like its big, black men to appear aggressive or threatening… and in case you hadn’t noticed, Barack Obama is a big, black man.
Oh sure, on the football field or the basketball court such aggression is accepted and even celebrated, but in the political arena the standards are quite different. Yes, in politics, we still like our big, black men to be orderly and loyal, like Colin Powell, or quiet like Justice Thomas… or even a sweet, dumb, gentle giant like that character in The Long Green Mile.
But threatening? No, Obama can’t afford to come off as threatening, let alone contemptuous of an elderly white man like McCain. So as much as I’m with the brawling Irishmen on what I’d personally like to see from our candidate, I understand I’m not the typical swing voter, and nowhere near the mindset of an undecided independent. No, as much as it may pain me, Obama needs to show McCain respect, even when it is totally unreciprocated, if he is to win the hearts, minds and votes of the uncommitted.
He may not have stirred any passions in his base, but I’m guessing more voters than not came away from the debate with a greater sense of comfort in the notion of Obama as commander in chief, and that’s all he needed to achieve last night.
So I’ve scored this one for Obama. And now I’m going sit back and watch to see if my post-debate analysis is supported by the daily tracking polls.
John Cole at Balloon Juice aptly sums up the dilemma facing McCain over the emerging too contemptuous to make eye contact narrative:
SNL will probably drive the point home in a skit that will become the dominant narrative tonight, and McCain will become boxed in regarding his behavior in the second debate, much as Gore was unable to be as aggressive as he wanted in the second debate (I remember the running joke was that Gore had been medicated for the second debate). And if McCain does not tone down the contempt, it will simply feed the narrative. Or, if we are really lucky, as someone suggested in another thread, McCain will overcompensate and spend the entire time comically and creepily attempting to make eye contact with Obama (think Al Gore walking across the stage to stand next to Bush, and Bush looking at him as if to think “WTF are you doing?”).
This should be terrifying for the McCain campaign for two reasons. First, the base will not understand it. To them, a sneering, contemptuous jerk is a feature, not a bug. When they try to tone down McCain, it will turn off the diehards. Look at the reaction of the base to Palin’s RNC speech- they LOVED that she was, for all intents and purposes, nothing but an asshole the entire speech. They loved the “zingers” that were written for her. The rest of the country recoiled in horror, and Obama raised ten million the next 48 hours.
I feel like I’m in pretty good company when James Fallows posts a pretty similar analysis:
Obama would have pleased his base better if he had fought back more harshly in those 90 minutes — cutting McCain off, delivering a similarly harsh closing judgment, using comparably hostile body language, and in general acting more like a combative House of Commons debater. Those would have been effective tactics minute by minute.
But Obama either figured out, or instinctively understood, that the real battle was to make himself seem comfortable, reasonable, responsible, well-versed, and in all ways “safe” and non-outsiderish to the audience just making up its mind about him. (And yes, of course, his being a young black man challenging an older white man complicated everything he did and said, which is why his most wittily aggressive debate performance was against another black man, Alan Keyes, in his 2004 Senate race.) The evidence of the polls suggests that he achieved exactly this strategic goal. He was the more “likeable,” the more knowledgeable, the more temperate, etc. Update: though he doesn’t have to say “John is right…” ever again during this campaign.
So speaking of debates, the Dino Rossi gubernatorial campaign (Prefers People Not Know He’s a Republican Party) has apparently ditched a scheduled Oct. 13 debate in Vancouver because of a measly half-hour scheduling conflict. Reporter Kathie Durbin writes at The Columbian’s succinctly named Politics Blog:
Gregoire’s campaign said the governor adjusted her schedule twice to accommodate Rossi, finally agreeing to an 11 a.m. -to-noon televised debate on the 13th. The Rossi campaign initially agreed, but then changed its mind, notifying organizers that Rossi had to be finished by 11:30 a.m. so he could make it to a noon fundraising lunch.
Rossi accused the governor of trying to back out of debating at the last minute.
Of course, since Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, says she will be ready to debate anyway, Rossi is rather bizarrely “pulling a McCain” on this one by being a drama queen about a half hour difference.
Nothing like emulating the erratic and ridiculous behavior of a fellow Republican to ensure Republican loyalty among the Republican faithful. It’s a sure way to get nominated for Miss Congeniality of The Republican Party. Because Republicans are nothing if not congenial.
As usual, a Republican is playing dumb games trying to squeeze any tiny competitive advantage out of a situation. According to a news release sent yesterday by the Gregoire campaign, the time period Rossi (the Republican) seems to be trying to avoid is the noon news cycle.
You know, the noon news, when regular people might be watching during a child’s nap or a quick lunch break from work. Otherwise the only people who will see the debate in real time will be those folks who can go downtown or work downtown during the workday. For instance, this would include developers and firms that cater to them, which apart from the thriving criminal justice system seems to be the main type of business in downtown Vancouver. (Note to nitpicky types in the Comments Cesspool: even if the debate is at a hotel over by the mall, the same principle applies. Most regular folks can’t go hang out at the Heathman at 10:30 AM on a Monday.)
And let’s face it, most normal people just don’t watch government access channels, so while replays could certainly be made available, that’s kind of like sitting down to watch Oregon State manhandle USC when you already know it’s over.
Despite Gregoire agreeing to an 11 AM time, the Rossi campaign has seemingly concluded things could potentially spill over into the noon hour, carrying the risk a reporter might say the dreaded words, “Dino Rossi, Republican.”
Things are so bad for them that even in Clark County, which the Republican Party has steadfastly claimed as a bastion despite real-world evidence (such as election results) to the contrary, they can’t risk people turning on the tee-vee only to hear and see Dino Rossi described for what he is, a Republican. The unique media blackout we live in down here, in this instance, works in favor of Republican Dino Rossi.
I happened to be in Seattle during last weekend’s debate up there, and while I only caught the tail end of it on television from a hotel room, I can’t say I really blame the Rossi campaign. I’d try to hide him too.
Of course, I could be wrong, and Dino Rossi could prove me wrong by showing up for a live televised debate in Clark County on Oct. 13. I’m sure the wait staff at his fundraiser can keep his developer pals well plied with food and beverage for an extra half hour.
Where is Rossi’s fundraiser? According to the Clark County Republicans, it’s at the Red Lion at the Quay, right in downtown Vancouver. If the debate organizers were able to secure the Vancouver Hilton, that would be about a two minute drive for Rossi. Even if the debate were held over by the mall, it would likely be a fifteen minute drive mid-morning.
And what is Rossi doing in this oh-so-crucial half hour between 11:30 AM and noon that he couldn’t possibly debate Gregoire? He’s having photos taken with supporters.
At $500 per person.
Oh man the Ale House is packed. You’d think there was a championship football game or something. Maybe I’ll post some observations, maybe I won’t, but if I do, I’ll probably eventually get bored or distracted.
McCain: “I’ve not been feeling to great about a lot of things lately.” Huh. I’m guessing it’s his prostate.
McCain, first to use an antimetabole.
Jim Lehrer sounds downright animated. (Or perhaps that’s just relative to John McCain.)
John McCain has a pen. I didn’t know that. Also, he apparently thinks that the corrupt congressman serving prison sentences are victims of the earmark system or something.
So if Republicans buy McCain’s criticism of Obama for rejecting earmarks only after he started running for president, will they buy Darcy Burner’s criticism of Dave Reichert for his new found (and temporary) anti-earmark religion? (Oh… and Obama does indeed have prominent ears. He reminds me a bit of that Vulcan character on Star Trek: Voyager.)
I love the fact that Jim Lehrer is letting the rules slide a bit, and allowing more of a back and forth between the candidates. This has been one of the better political debate formats I’ve seen.
“The point is…” How many times has McCain said “the point is” in the first half hour alone? The point is, if you have to constantly be saying “the point is,” you’re not making your point very well.
When asked about what he plans to cut from the budget, McCain mentioned Boeing. Needless to say, he got rather loud boos from this partisan Seattle audience.
Obama finally hit the softball on what he wants to cut: the $10 billion a month we’re spending in Iraq. Cheers all around.
McCain wants to make sure that we don’t put health care in the hands of the government. You mean, like Medicare. (“Keep government’s hands off my Medicare, dang nab it!”)
The dial test people really like the word “orgy”. It went through the roof. Now there’s a political platform.
By the way, he didn’t quite say it this time, but every time I hear McCain warn against putting our health care in the hands of “government bureaucrats,” I have to point out that it is already in the hands of insurance company bureaucrats. A bureaucrat is a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat, and at least theoretically, the government bureaucrats are supposed to work for you rather than the interests of the shareholders.
McCain: “The next president will not have to decide whether to send the troops into Iraq.” No… the next president will have to make the decision whether to send troops into Iran. That’s what I’m afraid of.
Dial test folks really liked Obama crediting the “extraordinary performance of our troops.” If he can only manage to get “extraordinary orgy of our troops” into a sentence, I think he’ll have this election wrapped up.
Question: Is McCain’s perpetual shit-eating grin the result of his various surgeries? His torture at the hands of the Vietnamese? Or just his personality? Just curious.
Applause and laughter at CNN’s pan of the two debate watch parties: the Democratic watch party was younger, multi-ethnic, and engaged… the Republican watch party was a bunch of dour, white old people.
Did McCain just say he knew Alexander the Great?
McCain wants to set the record straight on bombing Iran, and it is true, that he’s never actually bombed Iran. And if he had tried, he probably would have been shot down.
To his credit, McCain is coming of a helluva lot more coherent than Sarah Palin, and she sets a very high bar. In limbo.
Are those McCain’s real arms? Behind that podium he looks like a muppet.
McCain: “The Iranians have a rotten government, and therefore their economy is rotten.” So… our economy is rotten, ergo….
What the hell is wrong with McCain’s eyebrows? It’s like they’re painted on his face. I know it’s petty, but it’s really distracting me.
In all seriousness, according to the polls, foreign policy is by far McCain’s greatest strength, and while there are no knock out punches or major gaffes, I think Obama is doing very well for himself. If he can close the gap in this one area, McCain is in trouble.
McCain just got pissed about “my friend Henry Kissinger” and nearly lost it. Not very presidential, and the dial test folks didn’t like it. Obama should have gone in for the kill while McCain was on the edge of blowing up..
I look into McCain’s eyes and see three letters: “LOL”
I don’t know if Obama is winning this debate on points, but he sure as hell isn’t losing it, and as the new kid on the block, that means Obama wins. I don’t see how truly undecided voters watch this debate and determine that Obama doesn’t have the demeanor, temperament, knowledge and ability to lead on foreign policy issues. In other words, I don’t see how this makes voters uncomfortable with the notion of Obama as commander in chief. So yeah… I’m partisan… but I think this is a win for Obama. And on top of the bad week McCain has had, I think that makes it a loss for him.
McCain: “Jim, when I came home from prison…” A last gambit of a desperate man.
Join me tonight for a special Friday night edition of Drinking Liberally, as we gather to see if the suddenly unsuspended John McCain actually shows up to debate Barack Obama. The debate starts at 6PM, and folks will start gathering around 5:30PM at our usual haunts, the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Ave E., in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood.
Democracy for Washington will be handing out Debate Bingo cards, and the first three winners will receive some DFA swag and a free round of beers. So join us for an evening partisan cheers, jeers, and of course, beers.
See ya there.
The raging debate over the true cost of Proposition 1 grew more heated today, with the release of new figures from light rail advocates that estimate the actual cost to taxpayers of this year’s Sound Transit expansion measure at only $2.8 billion—a full $15 billion less than the widely disseminated $17.8 billion figure that appears on the fall ballot.
The new estimate was arrived at by taking the actual cost of construction and financing, and projecting backwards 40 years to 1968—the year the $1.15 billion “Forward Thrust” rapid transit package failed with only 51% at the polls—and was released by a coalition of noted Sound Transit critics-critics, consisting of… me.
And if that seems like a flimsily sourced and, um, silly way to calculate the cost of a major construction project, well it’s no more flimsy or silly than the bizarre and totally unsupported $107 billion, 45-year cost projection the Seattle P-I’s Larry Lange used yesterday to fictionalize the notion that there is a genuine debate over Prop. 1’s actual costs.
But others argue the cost could be much higher than what Sound Transit has estimated.
Transportation planner and Sound Transit critic Jim MacIsaac estimates approval of the measure would authorize collection of more than $107.3 billion over 45 years, including $55.8 billion for the expansion, and the per-household expansion tax bill would be $284 annually next year and increasing in later years.
I’m an “other.” I’m a “critic.” Four times in his article Lange refutes Sound Transit’s math with the simple phrase: “critics say.” But who the fuck are these critics, and what the hell makes Jim MacIsaac any more credible than me?
Or even remotely as credible as Sound Transit, without a doubt the most audited and heavily scrutinized public agency in the state? The King County Superior Court judge who approved the ballot title accepted the $17.8 billion figure. The conservative Washington Policy Center, who opposes Prop. 1, accepts the $17.8 billion figure. Hell, even the pro-roads/anti-rail Seattle Times accepts the $17.8 billion figure. But some guy named Jim pulls a $107.3 billion estimate out of his ass, and you tell your readers that the true cost of light rail is “under debate”…?
I mean… what the fuck?
This is the worst sort of journalistic equivalency (or as Prop. 1 spokesman Alex Fryer called it, “54 column inches of phony debate“), the kind of lazy controversy mongering that all too often makes our news media worthless, if not downright detrimental to informed public discourse. You know, like when the overwhelming majority of climatologists agree that carbon emissions are warming our planet with potentially devasting results, but the media highlights the handful of dissenters in an effort to be “impartial.” Or when 99.99% of scientists accept the basic tenants of evolution, but reporters get tricked by the anti-science Jesus freaks at the Discovery Institute into “teaching the controversy.” Or when for decades, the tobacco industry sponsored its own faux-science in a conspiracy to lie to consumers about the safety of their lucrative product, and the media dutifully reported that the health effects of smoking were “under debate.”
$107.3 billion? Why not $200 billion? Hell, why not $700 billion… they’re all equally inpenetrable numbers, and Lange does little to explain, let alone challenge the assumptions on which Sound Transit’s “critics” base their patently absurd cost estimates. For example, Sound Transit estimates the proposed half cent increase in the sales tax will cost the typical household $125 a year, while “critics say” we’ll be paying at least $284. But as Erica C. Barnett points out on Slog:
If the “typical household,” whatever that means, actually spent $284 on a half-percent sales tax increase, that would mean that a typical household in the Sound Transit taxing area spends nearly $57,000 a year on goods subject to sales tax–which excludes food, utilities, and rent. [And motor fuel.] Considering that the median household income in the Sound Transit taxing area is only around $64,000, that’s a pretty hefty chunk to be blowing on clothes, iPods, and lattes.
Lange could have done that simple math. But he didn’t. No, some guy tells him the annual cost is actually 2.3 times higher than Sound Transit’s estimate, and Lange uses that as evidence that the numbers are “under debate.”
Well, I’m some guy too, and I say Prop. 1 will cost the typical household less than twenty bucks a year, so as long as the P-I is inviting crackpots and liars to the table, I expect to have an equal say in this so-called “debate.”
I’m waiting for your call, Larry.
Around 10 o’clock last night, as Dino Rossi was leaving Blaine, Washington, a rural town 20-minutes north of Bellingham on the border with Canada—where he and Governor Chris Gregoire had just sparred in their second debate—the GOP hopeful stopped at the Yorky’s Grocery, a convenience store attached to an Exxon gas station.
Garner Palomata, the 36-year-old Filipino working behind the counter, recognized Rossi from the candidate’s TV ads. “Hey, you’re the Rossi guys,” Palomata said—a little awed that “someone famous,” with two other guys in suits and ties in tow, had just strolled into his brightly-lit gas station grocery. Thursday night mostly stars a stream of regulars from the fishing town buying beer and cigarettes.
Rossi told Palomata he had just debated Governor Gregoire, and he had won. “We’re in good shape,” Rossi said. Then he bought a king-size package of King Henry Boston baked beans, wintergreen Certs, and a Red Bull for $20 in cash (one of his entourage paid, actually) and headed out of town.
Later that night at Yorky’s—I was on a junk food run— Palomata said he planned to vote for Rossi. “I’m a Republican. I like the Palin thing.” He was glad that Rossi thought the night had gone well.
I told Palomata about one of the main standoffs in that night’s debate, a point that seemed germane to the clerk. Both candidates were asked if they thought the minimum wage was supposed to be a “living wage” and would either one consider scaling it back.
“I don’t know of anybody getting rich on the minimum wage,” Gregoire told the hostile crowd (the debate was sponsored by the Association of Washington Business and the questions came from their membership). “The people of Washington are struggling. They go to the gas pumps and can’t afford to fill up the car, they go to the grocery and can’t afford to put food on the table…Washingtonians need to be able to provide for their families. Plenty of people are working minimum wage jobs that need to provide for their families, and I want to stand with Washingtonians.”
She said she supported the voter-approved minimum wage, $8.07 an hour. She also said she supported training programs for teen workers.
Rossi took the opposite point of view. Touting his Washington Restaurant Association endorsement (the most adamant opponents of the minimum wage), he said: “The minimum wage was not meant to be a family wage. It’s meant to be an entry level wage.”
The news pissed off Palomata. “If he lowers it,” he said, “I don’t want to vote for him. I’d be cutting my head off. I don’t want to demote myself.” Palomata and his girlfriend live in a rented cabin in Birch Bay, just south of Blaine, where the median family income is $44,000. (By way of comparison, the median family income in Seattle is $65,000.)
While Rossi’s line on the minimum wage didn’t play well with the Blaine convenience store clerk, it did play well with the crowd on the right side of the tracks in the 6,500-square-foot Semiahmoo Grand Ballroom at the Semiahmoo Resort Golf Spa, the classy hotel tucked away on the northern shoreline of the Puget Sound where AWB members drank red wine and nodded in approval at most of Rossi’s answers.
If you were to judge by the crowd reaction—the AWB gave Rossi an award earlier in the day and interrupted him several times during the debate with applause—Rossi was right when he boasted to Palomata about his successful night. He hit the themes he has hit before: Gregoire has increased spending 33 percent, created a $3.2 billion deficit, and raised taxes by $500 million. He also points out that Washington has one of the highest rates of small business failures in the U.S.
In contrast, Rossi says he will create an “entrepreneurial state,” balance the budget (“I’ve done it before and I will do it again”), and scrap all the requirements that he says are keeping insurance companies from coming to our state and creating a competitive health care climate.
Rossi’s most successful turn came when he accurately busted the governor for not being the deciderer on the Viaduct. “The big problem we have with transportation in this state is that we can’t make a decision until everybody is holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya,’ ” he said. “Sometimes you just have to make a decision.”
While Gregoire wasn’t an audience favorite, she was authoritative and forceful and certainly landed some blows herself. She unraveled Rossi’s talk of deregulating health care by linking Rossi’s GOP philosophy to the Bush-era disaster on Wall Street saying: “His other solution is deregulation, well, that worked great for the financial institutions of America.”
She also scored points (and even got a laugh from the otherwise unfriendly audience) when she answered a question posed by Rossi about her budget. Each candidate got to ask the other a question and Rossi asked if Gregoire had the chance, would she do her budget differently? The laugh came when she started by saying “unlike you” she would answer his question—Rossi had just dodged her question to him which asked what policies he disagreed with President Bush on.
Then she hit her main anti-Rossi theme (that his values are out of sync with the voters), saying she stood by her budget: “I balanced the budget and I will do it again…and not on the backs off children and seniors like he did, but by understanding the values of the people of Washington.” Rossi’s 2003 budget raised taxes on seniors in nursing homes, cut education funding by almost $1 billion, and threw 40,000 low-income kids off health care.
As they did in their first debate, the pair continued to fight over the projected $3.2 billion budget deficit. Gregoire maintains the state has a surplus and Rossi maintains Gregoire has spent the state into the red.
One final note that I found newsworthy in its own right beyond the debate: Governor Gregoire said the family leave act, a pet project of the liberal Senate, including Democratic Senate Majority leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane), was “suspended.” Gregoire noted this when she was asked to detail her plans to deal with the projected deficit. (Rossi’s only specific to the same question was that he would cut the governor’s office budget, which he said Gregoire had increased by bulking up her “entourage.”)
From: Will Kelley-Kamp
Date: September 25, 2008 10:07:25 PM PDT
To: David Goldstein
Subject: AWB debate
Tell me: why the hell does Gregoire debate in front of a pro-Rossi audience? Rossi doesn’t debate in front of the Sierra Club.
Huh. Good question.
FYI, Josh was in attendance last night and he has a full report coming soon. Stay tuned.
I’m hearing word the Rossi is backing out of a scheduled debate in Vancouver on October 13, that was to be sponsored by the Columbian. I guess the editors of the Columbian just aren’t pro-business enough.
The Seattle Times editorializes:
REPUBLICAN Sen. John McCain will look silly and erratic if he does not participate in tonight’s presidential debate at the University of Mississippi.
Huh. Maybe McCain’s handlers are worried he’ll look silly and erratic if he does participate in tonight’s debate? That could explain why they’re so desperately trying to duck it.
WADOT has released sketches of “Option E” (formerly “Plan 9”), state House Speaker Frank Chopp’s pet alternative for replacing the Viaduct.
Imagine a milelong building, filled with office and retail, 90 feet wide and 55 feet tall, stretching from King Street to Victor Steinbrueck Park.
And on top of that would be a massive park.
Or as Will likes to call it, “Suicide Park.”
I guess the artist’s rendering is pretty and all, but imagine the view from the other side. The side shrouded in darkness for all but a couple hours each day around noon. We’re talking about a 90 feet wide, 55 feet tall, milelong wall separating Seattle’s waterfront from the rest of the downtown… and if you think that’s gonna happen, I’ve got an eight-lane 520 bridge to sell you.
A reader emails me with another image of what the “Viaduct Mall” might look like:
Writing in the National Review Online, conservative columnist Kathleen Parker calls for Sarah Palin to bow out:
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.
No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.
[…] When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”
If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.
And Parker’s conclusion?
Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
Do it for your country.
In watching this interview, I think Carl Bernstein sums up my feelings best:
[N]o presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country’s security as McCain in his reckless choice of a running mate. He is 72 years old; has had four melanomas, a particularly voracious form of cancer; refuses to release his complete medical records. Three of our last eleven presidents (and nine of all 43) have come to office unexpectedly in mid-term from the vice presidency: Truman, who within days of FDR’s death was confronted with the decision of whether to drop the atom bomb on Japan; Lyndon Johnson, who took the oath in Dallas after JFK’s assassination; Gerald Ford, sworn in following the resignation of Richard Nixon. A fourth vice president, George H.W. Bush, briefly exercised the powers of the presidency after the near-assassination of Ronald Reagan.
I wonder, with the insider reports coming out from today’s meeting at the White House, if we might be reaching a tipping point in this presidential campaign?