Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 24, 2008

ASK A SILLY QUESTION.... John McCain and Sarah Palin met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvilli and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, and in a break from preferred campaign policy, reporters were briefly allowed into the room for the photo-op. Big mistake.

McCain then looked around the room and gestured as if to welcome questions. The AP reporter shouted a question at Gov. Palin ("Governor, what have you learned from your meetings?") but McCain aide Brooke Buchanan intervened and shepherded everybody out of the room.

Palin looked surprised, leaned over to McCain and asked him a question, to which your pooler thinks he shook his head as if to say "No."

Look, "What have you learned from your meetings?" is an easy one. It's not a trick question, or a "gotcha" question, or even a question intended to do test Palin's limited understanding of international affairs. She could have easily said something like, "I've been encouraged by how much support the United States continues to enjoy around the world." No muss, no fuss. It's not rocket science.

But, no. The McCain campaign apparently believes the Republican vice presidential nominee is some kind of child, under strict instructions not to speak. Palin has no doubt been receiving extensive briefings on a variety of subjects, and could probably handle a random question or two, but the McCain gang is so convinced of her incompetence, they're just not willing to take the risk -- even after a genuine media backlash has begun in earnest in response to the campaign's heavy-handed approach.

Greg Sargent asked, "Has anyone pointed out that McCain has placed Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency?"

It is a rather comical prospect, isn't it?

Steve Benen 2:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

I think proper protocol is to now ask the grandfather for permission to speak to the little lady first.

Posted by: ashton on September 24, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

It is a rather comical prospect, isn't it?

Comical no. Dangerous and reckless and stupid, yes

Posted by: ckelly on September 24, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

If she's not informed or competent enough to take questions from the press, how is she qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Posted by: mfw13 on September 24, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

This has to be good news for the McCain campaign.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on September 24, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I am curious to see how long Palin is going to play the game. She seems very strong and likes calling the shoots, not standing in the corner looking pretty while the Nation trashes her reputation for being too simple to answer National questions.

Does anyone else think maybe Team McCain had a plant ? "We will take questions, but let Johnny boy pick the reporter."

Posted by: ScottW on September 24, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Comical in a we're screwed and the world as we know it might end kind of way.

Posted by: MsJoanne on September 24, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin: Ready to be Vice-President, not yet ready to Campaign for Vice-President

Posted by: maurinsky on September 24, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Of course she didn't answer.

The AP reporter forgot to bow before he spoke to her.

Posted by: doubtful on September 24, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Greg Sargent asked, "Has anyone pointed out that McCain has placed Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency?"

McCain would have to get elected first. Fat chance.

Posted by: Gregory on September 24, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

The funny thing is, I think that Palin could win if McCain dropped out of the race.

Posted by: ko on September 24, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

D'oh! When McCain gestured for questions, he didn't say "Simon Says!"

Now the entire press pool has to take 10 steps back.

Posted by: zeitgeist on September 24, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

She has a stock answer ready for any situation or question. In this case, in reply to, "What have you learned from your meetings?", she would simply answer thus:

"I've learned that god has a plan."

There's your expertise baby!

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on September 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder, has the McCain campaign muzzled Palin because she was starting to say things like "the Palin/McCain ticket" in joint events? So here, properly chastised, she was asking permission from Grandpappy before answering the question, and he, of course, said no.

Posted by: Lukeness on September 24, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

She could have easily said something like...

Or she could have said something like, "we are grateful to have allies like Georgia and Ukrainia because of the strategic importance they have in protecting us against our nuclear enemies like Russia and Iran." Imagine the looks on Saakashvilli's and Yushchenko's faces for that photo op.

Posted by: Danp on September 24, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Arrogance and Contempt That is the only way to call it. The arrogance and contempt they show to the American people has no bounds. They are saying that the American people and the press are too stupid and will not notice the shit they are pulling. (hello Mr Davis) The perfect storm is approaching Mr McCain and you had better strap in because you have succeeded in pissing off everybody except the 28%

Posted by: John R on September 24, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Don't be fooled by this game of lowering expectation for the VP debate.

Posted by: gregor on September 24, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Still think the media is being too soft on this sequester Palin thing. It should be unacceptable...

Posted by: C. J. Roses on September 24, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

It is a rather comical prospect, isn't it?

About as funny as a 400Kt device going off in your city or town.

Its good to laugh in the face of the grim reaper.

Its all turned into a sick joke anyway.

Posted by: SnarkyShark on September 24, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

No teleprompter = no answers.

Posted by: RollaMO on September 24, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we need to substitute "a heartbeat away"--a cliche the brain tends to glide over--and try something like "in the event of McCain's death, Palin as commander-in-chief will have her trigger finger on the largest nuclear arsenal in the world."

Or words to that effect.

Posted by: hancock on September 24, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

The reporter clearly showed bias and lack of deference in asking such a disrespectful question. "What did you learn from your meeting?" is a well known schoolyard taunt with sexist and racial overtones and has no place in American politics.

Here again, the great John McCain displays quick action and chivalry that only a former POW could possess.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on September 24, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

"What have you learned from your meetings?"

It was an unfair question. The reporter presumed that
the governor learned something.

Posted by: Paul Avery on September 24, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, Joe Biden rips John McCain a new asshole.

McCain and Palin are becoming more and more of a joke as the days go by. This may be playing well with their bizarre base, but with the problems we're facing I can't imagine it going over well with anyone else.

Its hard to beoeive this is for real. It more like a farce.

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 24, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

That's not the look she used to give me.
.

Posted by: Brad Hanson on September 24, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

What could she possibly learn from the meetings? Alaska, after all, is right next to Russia, which in turn is right to both Georgia and Ukraine. She obviously already knows everything there is to know about both countries.

Posted by: Stephen Stralka on September 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously - if the McCain campaign is so convinced Palin is incompetent, what are the rest of us supposed to think?

Posted by: DH Walker on September 24, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

@hancock:"...Palin as commander-in-chief will have her trigger finger on the largest nuclear arsenal in the world."

Or, Palin will be decide when to bring on the Rapture.

Posted by: mmiddle on September 24, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

@hancock:"...Palin as commander-in-chief will have her trigger finger on the largest nuclear arsenal in the world."

Or, Palin will decide when to bring on the Rapture.

Posted by: mmiddle on September 24, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Is this how they lower expectations for the debate? Is she so awful that they want all of us to say "she must be awful" then she shines in comparison? IN comparison to nothing.

Posted by: lilybart on September 24, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Breaking: John McCain wants to "suspend" his campaign, postpone the debate and return to DC to "work on this financial crisis".

MSNBC

Woohoo

Posted by: MissMudd on September 24, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Breaking - and I am not joking. John McCain is suggesting that the debate be postponed.

Posted by: ohcomeon on September 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

And the Repiglican automatons who insist on 'believing' illusions and delusions versus facts scream on 'SARAH, SARAH' ...'USA,USA' ........ fucking mind boggling ....

Posted by: stormskies on September 24, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Governor, what have you learned from these meetings?"

"The Ukrainian word for 'lipstick.'"

Posted by: chrenson on September 24, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't you heard? Asking questions is SEXIST!

Posted by: Run Up The Score on September 24, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

ohcomeon - are you believing this?? sheesh

Posted by: MissMudd on September 24, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Suspending his campaign. Guess he can't prep for debate while working on economy. Hope we don't ever have to fight two wars at one - oh wait!

Posted by: on September 24, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

McCain backs out of debate

Posted by: MissMudd on September 24, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

What will Obama do?

Posted by: ohcomeon on September 24, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Breaking: John McCain wants to "suspend" his campaign, postpone the debate and return to DC to "work on this financial crisis".

I'll lay odds that someone finally broke the news to McCain that the Dems were saying that if he didn't vote for the bail out then there wasn't going to be any bailout.

He's scrambling back to make sure he can support whatever comes out of the Congress at this point because otherwise he's going to take the brunt of the blame for its failure - from the Dems AND from the guys on Wall Street who really want this money.

Posted by: NonyNony on September 24, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think he's just chicken. Surely he can take two hours to debate while still working on the economy. After all, he will have to juggle much more while President.

You don't "come together" 40 days before an election.

Posted by: ohcomeon on September 24, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Have John and Sarah fully consumated their relationship yet?

Posted by: Ted76 on September 24, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

I'm wondering what it actually means to "suspend a campaign"? I suspect he'll dump Palin during the intermission.

Fucking whores.

Posted by: MissMudd on September 24, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Obama to address McCain's actions within the hour.

Posted by: MsMudd on September 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Suspending his campaign to deal with the financial crisis? This does two things for McCain, at least for his base: 1] makes it look like he's not responsible for the mess in the first place, and 2] keeps him from having to ask any questions about it any time soon.

This is oddly timed, considering Bush Hog's speech tonight. I think McCain's going to be looking for some distance somehow. Or, there's more fan/shit a-coming.

I wonder if Bush is going to suggest postponing the general election tonight?

Posted by: chrenson on September 24, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

chrenson...them's Revolution words.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on September 24, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ouch. This was the last thing they should have done after Campbell Brown's call out. They proved her point pretty eloquently.
It would seem in McCain's world, women should know their place. They should be seen, but not heard.

Posted by: JoeW on September 24, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the political musical comedy "Of Thee I Sing" has received the "His Girl Friday" treatment and switched genders of the dimwit vice presidential candidate. But Sarah Palin is no Rosalind Russell.

Posted by: Vincent on September 24, 2008 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

If no one else has, I suggest that aside from eliminating any possibility of Gov. Palin gaffing it up, her sequestration also helps lower expectations.

Posted by: jhm on September 24, 2008 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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