Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 25, 2008

PALIN'S UNIQUE SPIN ON THE BAILOUT.... When Sarah Palin sat down with ABC's Charlie Gibson a couple of weeks ago, it was a fairly dominant story. Palin's interview yesterday with CBS's Katie Couric is drawing significantly less attention, obviously because it's facing tougher competition from other news developments.

And the McCain campaign has to be thrilled, because the truth is, Palin is getting worse at answering questions, not better. This one has to be seen to be believed.

The question was provocative, but hardly unexpected given recent events. Couric asked Palin, "Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?"

Palin, in a rambling and largely incoherent response, responded, "That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it's got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade -- we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation."

I'm sorry, what? Did she even hear the question?

Worse, if you watch the clip, you might notice that Palin was intermittently referring to notes. In other words, this is the kind of response she offers on a question about the Wall Street bailout with help.

I just want to reiterate a point from last week. First-time candidates for national office often struggle to get over the learning curve. Governors and senators will visit a coffee shop in Iowa City eight months before the caucuses, get confused about a policy detail, but improve as the campaign rolls on. They take their time, go through extensive briefings, and learn to get good. By the time the conventions are done, these candidates are supposed to be on the top of their game.

Palin, however, is in a situation where failure is almost impossible to avoid. She's never expressed any knowledge of national or international issues, she's never expressed any interest in national or international issues, and she's making humiliating mistakes under the glare of the national spotlight, with just six weeks until Election Day.

With some time in government, Palin might become a less embarrassing candidate. But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

Steve Benen 2:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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Comments

200 words to say "Duh."

Posted by: Former Dan on September 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats are falling into a trap with the bailout. God, we are stupid. I can smell it coming.

They will cave. McCain will then oppose the bill and Obama will lose the election.

That's my thinking at this moment, and I'm sweating bullets.

What kind of agreement can be reached on something that wasn't even a plan yesterday???

Posted by: manfred on September 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

The debate will be absolutely riveting.

Posted by: Needles on September 25, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

luckily, her voice is so grating that no one would want to listen to more than 15 seconds anyway, so no one notices she says nothing. ok, worse than nothing.

I apparently know more about this bailout than Palin does, at least I read it.

Posted by: northzax on September 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The debate will be absolutely riveting.

Posted by: Needles on September 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

God, Couric looked like she was trying to stay awake during that long answer. I'd have fallen asleep for sure.

Posted by: captcrisis on September 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The theory that McCain pulled that "no debate" stunt yesterday in order to distract attention away from the Couric-Palin interview is gaining more credibility.

Posted by: g. powell on September 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I have a Friday night replacement for McCain.

Cynthia McKinney is ready to go!

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Time to ask her:
"if you don't believe in fossils how come you want to drill for fossil-fuels?"

Oh..we can't bring religion into the fray.

Then how about:

"What makes wolf hunting fun?"

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

What a blithering idiot.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

"She's never expressed any knowledge of national or international issues, she's never expressed any interest in national or international issues, and she's making humiliating mistakes under the glare of the national spotlight...."
Sounds just like Shrub to me - and we had to deal with him for eight years...depressing, isn't it...we really are an embarrassment to the world.

Posted by: whichwitch on September 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

More Palin, maybe even better/worse:

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

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-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--

COURIC: Mock?

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

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

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

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- 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-- 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-- to our state."

My head hurts.

Posted by: RollaMO on September 25, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

I have a Friday night replacement for McCain.
Cynthia McKinney is ready to go! Posted by: SocraticGadfly

Enough, SG, about McKinney. She's as nutty as McCain is clueless.

Posted by: Jeff II on September 25, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

What???

I have been completely unable to understand her answers in both interviews. She has W's inability to form complete sentences combined with a high schooler's bullet points taken straight from Cliff's Notes.

Yikes.

Posted by: BH on September 25, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Palin was chosen by McCain as the most qualified person to step into his shoes should he be unable to fulfill his duties as President. If he's unable to debate Obama tomorrow night, McCain should ask Palin to do it.

Posted by: Robert on September 25, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

In baseball, if you call up a pitcher from the minors before his time, you can destroy his confidence (and thus his career) permanently. Palin's confidence isn't the issue, but she'll never have another chance to make a first impression.

Palin probably had a decent amount of long-term upside, which Team McCain sacrificed on a doomed campaign. McCain would still have lost if he had gone with Romney, but he would probably have lost more gracefully and without wasting a (formerly) rising star in the GOP.

Posted by: kth on September 25, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or did Couric's face betray a sense of first bewilderment, followed by real concern for the country.

Posted by: Jake on September 25, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

And this is the women that Bill Clinton is impressed with and that we should be careful not to criticize. And Billary invite McCain to the Clinton summit today...

Hmm.... I hate to say it but maybe Maureen Dowd is correct for once?

It's always all about Billary. Actually , I think Bill is the one with the bigger problem with Obama and is doing his best to subtly weaken his candidacy and prop up McCain/Palin.

It's getting to the point where I almost wished I voted for G.H.W. in 1992 (but no Dole in 96).

Posted by: BrianInMKE on September 25, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

. . . you might notice that Palin was intermittently referring to notes.

I'm afraid that's not possible, Steve. You may recall that the teleprompter exploded or got stolen by bears or something during her RNC speech, and so she winged it and ended up giving the best convention speech ever, present, past or future.

So please don't suggest that she is less than the most brilliant policy genius this nation has produced since its inception more than 200 years ago.

Posted by: David Bailey on September 25, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

*
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM CAMPAIGNS

At the end of the "Morning Joe" show each morning, each of the three regulars makes a tongue-in-cheek statement of what each has learned today. So, what have we learned from the campaigns for president? We have learned that:

You can actually see Russia from Alaska

Ordinary workers at their tasks determine the fundamental soundness of the U.S. economy

Obama's use of "look" to introduce a thought has spread to pundits and other politicians

The negative and misleading ads of the McCain campaign were caused by Obama's refusal to engage in a series of town hall debates

Small town people can be bitter and cling to guns or religion

Hillary Clinton will be ready on day one

McCain has the requisite experience; Obama gave a speech

Obama is a Christian, as far as Hillary knows

Hillary Clinton is from Scranton

Dennis Kucinich is conversant with UFOs

Dennis Kucinich has a gorgeous wife

Joe Biden can give a one word answer

Joe Biden's wife is "drop-dead gorgeous"

Ron Paul is angry, but not as angry as Mike Gravel

Sarah Palin may be kept in Social Security's lock box until the election

Sarah Palin can field dress a moose.

John McCain has heard of the e-mail and the google, but is unaware of possible use of telecommuncations and airplanes between Washington and campaign or debate locations

There is such a thing as credit default swaps

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on September 25, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Something to be remembered is that her rise in local Wasilla politics was apparently based upon her repeating the rightwing's culture war rhetoric of the 90's, introducing a national platform into a race that was typically more local. But of course, that doesn't help her now at all. Not only do Republicans not use that rhetoric anymore, but it was all just meaningless gibberish to begin with and doesn't work with non-culture issues at all.

So it's not like she was just a local person who focused on local issues instead of national issues. She rose to fame on an empty talk-radio platform which left her unable to deal with local AND national issues. She was in over her head even in smalltown Alaska politics.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on September 25, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans,

Oh. My. God.

So now that the government is on the hook for about a trillion dollars plus, she thinks the solution is to lower taxes and thereby bring in even less revenue? So where's this trillion dollars gonna come from?

Posted by: Stefan on September 25, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Neat glasses!!

Posted by: bobbo on September 25, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

She was truly awful. It was like they filled her Mixmaster with talking points and turned it on high without ever putting on the lid.

A random number generator would have assembled a more cohesive sequence of talking points.

Posted by: JoeW on September 25, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

Huh? God, this is such an annoying habit among bloggers on this site. McCain "set her up" for this fiasco? No, a million times, NO. She VOLUNTEERED for this fiasco.

If anything, McCain is doing his best to protect her as much as he can from embarrassing herself, and by extension, himself. Stop with the assertions that somehow she is a victim in all this. Arrogant ignorance deserves no quarter.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on September 25, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Palin did reveal something useful in the Couric interview. After Palin asserted that Americans are looking to McCain to sort out the financial mess, Couric pointed out that the polls show otherwise. Palin was very self-assured in responding that polls don't matter b/c McCain is a maverick. She brightened visibly. It was straight from her talking points and she believes in her primer lessons. It is as the Democrats are predicting and fearing - McCain intends to blackball anything and whatever in order to posture as the patriotic maverick hero of the American people. It is still only one vote though and I think this is going to backfire hugely.

Posted by: cjm on September 25, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

ttthattts all folks! Porky Pig is more articulate

Posted by: john r on September 25, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing that was missing was "the Iraq".

There will be no Vice Presidential debate.

They can't risk it.

God bless the Americans who are putting their faith in Sarah Palin - maybe she can hide behind sweet lil' Trigg again.

So sad.

Posted by: Nashville_fan on September 25, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Some in the GOP must be searching far and wide for a nanny that Palin did not pay Social Security for. Anything to get her the hell off the ticket.

If she debates half as badly as she talks now, the bottom may fall out beneath independent support for McCain/Palin.

Then again, at the debate, will they be giving her the questions ahead of time?

Posted by: airron on September 25, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Palin always sounds like the beauty pageant contestant answering that final question from the emcee.

Posted by: Brian on September 25, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

For the base, Palin's manifest ignorance is a feature, not a bug.

As Obama pointed out, they're proud of their ignorance.

When sensible and loyal Americans are shocked by her unreadiness, to the dead-ender it's a boost, because she "annoys liberals."

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Dumbest. Candidate. Ever.

Posted by: doubtful on September 25, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, there is a case for her to make for foreign policy experience that she continues to fail to communicate:

"Gov. Palin blew the opportunity, perhaps because she is “incurious.” She didn’t know but should have known and described our many roles. For example, there are our fisheries, Japanese investment, our international markets, the hazards of shifting currencies. We are a majority player in the North Pacific Fisheries Commission. We have 63 percent of the coastline of the United States, participate in two huge offshore fisheries economic zones, the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, the latter which we share with Russia. Then there is the Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean, now in play internationally with global warming. We are a player in the International Whaling Commission, and a leader in the Circumpolar Conference of Arctic peoples.

Our University is a leader in polar geophysical science, marine science, and Arctic regions engineering. We are not just “near Russia,” we bring students from the Russian Far East to our University. Our tourist trade and timber trades are international in character. Our large mines bring international investment, principally from the Far East, Canada, and Europe.A huge portion of world air freight traffics through Anchorage International Airport. The sea trade of the Pacific follows the great circle route along our shores, and we know about the problems of dealing with pollution and accountability from shipping accidents by foreign carriers."

Posted by: John Henry on September 25, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

A heartbeat away from the presidency?
I wouldn't want this dunce a heartbeat away from a burnt match.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on September 25, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Could someone phone the set, this Stepford Junior Executive model seems to be malfunctioning. But the Network Anchor Model, wow, now that's lifelike!

Posted by: Capt Kirk on September 25, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one reminded of the South Park episode in which it was "revealed" that Family Guy is actually written by manatees randomly picking idea balls?

To follow up to Brian at 2:34 - this race isn't about politics for her. It's her getting to live her beauty pageant days all over again, except this time she actually has a chance of getting the tiara.

Posted by: Keori on September 25, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

McCain really has set Palin up to fail here by dropping her straight into this mess. Whether anyone will notice is another matter?

Posted by: ckelly on September 25, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

So now that the government is on the hook for about a trillion dollars plus, she thinks the solution is to lower taxes and thereby bring in even less revenue? So where's this trillion dollars gonna come from? Posted by: Stefan

Pathetic, wasn't it? She had a talking point she knew she had to slip in there some place, and it just short of squirted out there.

What an idiot. She hasn't a clue about any of the issues facing the country.

Posted by: Jeff II on September 25, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. I could answer that question smartly.

Miss Brainerd, MN 1975

Posted by: lilybart on September 25, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: "When Sarah Palin sat down with ABC's Charlie Gibson a couple of weeks ago, it was a fairly dominant story. Palin's interview yesterday with CBS's Katie Couric is drawing significantly less attention, obviously because it's facing tougher competition from other news developments."

I'm telling you Steve, McCain didn't "suspend" his campaign because he's a gambler. He did so to change the subject.

The fact that Palin's interview is facing tougher competition from other news developments is no coincidence. Creating a diversion from Palin's awful interview (and Rick Davis' $15,000/month controversy) in order to dominate the news cycle with something else is a classic Rovian tactic that was implemented yesterday by McCain's campaign team--run primarily by Rove's apprentices.

If and when Palin does debate, then you watch. The night before, or the day of the debate, or the day after the debate, the McCain team will hit us with another dramatic stunt to relegate her performance into the afterthought category. As usual, the traditional media will fall for it.

Posted by: CJ on September 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

No fair John Henry You obviously have more than one operating brain cell and you are not an Ideologue

Posted by: John R on September 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well I guess if they need to find a silver lining (any lining really) it's this: nobody is talking about Palin upstaging McCain anymore are they?

(of course that's because 1) he's taken the mantle of "most reckless politician alive" and ran with it and 2) She's proven herself to be dumber than a stump.

Posted by: neilt on September 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Palin was chosen by McCain as the most qualified person to step into his shoes should he be unable to fulfill his duties as President. If he's unable to debate Obama tomorrow night, McCain should ask Palin to do it.

But McCain isn't unable to debate obama; he's unwilling.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

THIS BEAUTY IS SO HOT and Brilliant you just cant understand her appeal.

America will be freer than ever. The woman knows Russia like she knows her own sweet self.

You liberals are just jealous of her beauty. And her connection with regular people.

McCain is as close to godhood as a politician can be. Badback Oshama is a sham.

Posted by: Free Lover of Freedom and Free Liberty on September 25, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Dennis-SGMM & Capt Kirk

LOL.
It's gotten so terrible that all we can do is laugh!

Posted by: whichwitch on September 25, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

My God! After watching that clip with Palin and Katie Couric, she makes W. look like a freakin genious!(sp?)
This is really scary. If they steal this election like the last two, we may as well buy our funeral plots.
This is the reason McCain does not want the debates! How can republicans be so blind?!?

Posted by: mary b on September 25, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

You decide:

The Alaskan Beauty Queef (I mean Queen - damn keyboard)

OR

The South Carolina Beauty Queen.

I'd say Sarah plagiarized if only I could understand what she was saying.


Posted by: MissMudd on September 25, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's gotten so terrible that all we can do is point and laugh!

Fixed.

Posted by: Gregory on September 25, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's a beautiful day, the Tigers are up at the moment, and I feel little sympathy for Sarah Palin, or Katie Couric for that matter.

Maybe if Couric would have stuck to asking questions about the best ways to roast a witch, Palin's responses would have been more coherent.

Seventh inning starting up...

Posted by: grape _crush, from comerica park on September 25, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's a beautiful day, the Tigers are up at the moment, and I feel little sympathy for Sarah Palin, or Katie Couric for that matter.

Maybe if Couric would have stuck to asking questions about the best ways to roast a witch, Palin's responses would have been more coherent.

Seventh inning starting up...

Posted by: grape _crush, from comerica park on September 25, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with not feeling sorry for Palin. She signed up for this.

It's the ass whupping she deserves so richly.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 25, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hilarious!

Wait, that *wasn't* Tina Fey parodying Sarah Palin?

Ooops.

She's an insult to beauty pageant contestants.

Posted by: short fuse on September 25, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

If you think this answer was bad, go over to the HuffPost to watch Palin talk about Russia with Katie Couric. Honestly, you won't believe your ears.

Posted by: CJ on September 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I think it's the same crap that most Republican politicians (and probably an occasional Democratic politician) responds with. Not answering the actual question, not offering any real information, managing to say offensive things (or lying) in such vague terms that listeners can't tell what they mean and reporters would seem 'rude' if they insist on clarity.

Yeah, she's a little more garbled than most, in terms of her grammar and word choice. But mainly she doesn't have that bullying air about her which allows all the others to get away with it, or gives it a veneer of authority and plausibility.

Posted by: Sasha on September 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Is Tina Fey now out of a job?

good one short fuse....

Posted by: whichwitch on September 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

With some time in government, Palin might become a less embarrassing candidate. But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

Aw, geez, Steve... almost unfair of McCain?

The root of the whole mess is the exceedingly poor judgment by both McCain offering and Palin accepting the nomination. They both came to that decision with political experience and advisors to consult. They are grown-ups who had to examine and accept the obvious realities and risks.

I know you see it, too, but to whatever extent putting Palin on the ticket is revealed to be a spectacular blunder, both of them must own it.

Posted by: Bose on September 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

typical liberal meanness, cruelty and misogyny on full display here. Liberals just don't like pretty, articulate women with middle class Christian values. They are so used to the hairy godless hippie NOW types.

Posted by: gregor on September 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Double post. Damn cell phone browser.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

What kind of agreement can be reached on something that wasn't even a plan yesterday???

WTF are you talking about? Congress has been working on a plan for at least a week now. It's relatively easy to get agreement on a plan when both sides have been working together -- it's not like one side has to go off and read it cold.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on September 25, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think we are about to invent a new way of speaking...palinese.

I'll have a go.

Question: What is Wealthcare?

Wealthcare. Oh, you mean the bail out thing that's got folks all in a tizzy down in DC? It's the single biggest most important thing our country needs in this time of fiscal downturnment.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

No pity. She could have said, "No. Are you crazy? I'm not ready for that. I'll get eaten alive!" She could have put her country, or even her party first. She chose not to. She decided that this was a good shot at federal office. Heck, given McCain age and apparent mental degeneration, there's a good shot that if she got in, she might have a couple of years as president. Sorry. She joined this circus of her own free will. She plastered on the makeup, and decided to squeeze into the clown car. No pity for her.

Posted by: Diogenes on September 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

NOBODY expects the Sarah Inquisition! Our chief weapon is bailout...bailout and healthcare...healthcare and bailout.... Our two weapons are bailout and healthcare...and job creation.... Our *three* weapons are bailout, healthcare, and job creation...and an almost fanatical devotion to the reducing taxes.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as bailout, healthcare....

Posted by: bud on September 25, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II...

First, I cut third-party candidates more slack.

Second, other than her degree of indulgence of 9/11 Truthers, I don't consider McKinney "nutty". Maybe "taken with herself," re the Capitol Police pushing incident, but that's something entirely different.

Less "nutty" than claiming "clean coal" actually is; less "nutty" than taking big bucks from the nuke industry while claiming to be tough; less "nutty" than refusing to tie regulatory reform to the bailout.

But, "nutty" is a facile answer to prop up the two-party duopoly, I know. If you have real examples of her being "nutty," feel free to post them.

Which is part of the problem.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 25, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

...it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

Setting people up for failure is a sadistic impulse. You think McCain is suffering from the affects of POW-ism? Why isn't this discussed? The man may be damaged from the trauma of it all. Think of his infamous temper and his f-you way of making rash decisions. The way he treated his first wife. A real manchurian candidate nut-case if you ask me.

Anyway, before you feel sorry for Miss SP, think of how she likes to hunt (murder) Bullwinkle Moose and shoot wolves from helicopters in Blackwater fashion. Not to mention her way of bullying employees and in-laws. The c-word was invented for personalities like her.

Posted by: Hotspur on September 25, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

"it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco."

For FIVE AND A HALF YEARS McCain couldn't set anyone up for any kind of fiasco at all! FIVE AND A HALF YEARS! FIVE AND A HALF YEARS!!!!

As for his campaign -- suspended? It looks like it hasn't even been required to do remedial homework.

Posted by: on September 25, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Tom: I'll have a go at Palinese.

Q: Governor, how will the bailout effect average middle-class Americans?

A: Look. Middle class Americans are people with middle values...middle class values...that...they...when you put the... When John McCain talks about the middle class, he's talking about a more stronger middle class value system that makes...the takes on more of an oversight...sight kind of role. When...when it comes to the creation of job creation, we're going to take a stand. You've got to take a stand. You've got to. Right? I mean, if the middle class values are to own a home or a car or go to college...you've got to be an owner of it.

Q: Are you done?

A: Yeah.

Posted by: chrenson on September 25, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think John McCain has revealed his truly heroic nature and dedication to the American ideal of democratic governance by keeping Palin on the ticket. He is, in fact, throwing himself on his sword and conclusively proving to America (or atleast the 72% who abhor George Bush) that one can't trust the mouth-breathing psychotic Christianist sycophants of the far-right to pick a leader for this country. Maybe the lesson will sink in this time...

Posted by: Everett on September 25, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

McCain could have had his first choice as Veep if he hadn’t been overly worried about Condi’s .

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 25, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

While you say it may be unfair to put her through this, she did say yes. If she thought she couldn't handle it, she should have said no. If she thought she could handle it, then she deserves the humiliation.

In either case, this selection and agreement to it speak poorly of both McCain and Palin's judgements.

Posted by: anon on September 25, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

While you say it may be unfair to put her through this, she did say yes. If she thought she couldn't handle it, she should have said no. If she thought she could handle it, then she deserves the humiliation.

In either case, this selection and agreement to it speak poorly of both McCain and Palin's judgements.

Posted by: anon on September 25, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan -

So now that the government is on the hook for about a trillion dollars plus, she thinks the solution is to lower taxes and thereby bring in even less revenue? So where's this trillion dollars gonna come from?

Holy carp! You can translate from "gibberishly mangled talking point" to English? How the hell did you get any meaning at all out of that so-called "sentence"?

And Steve:

With some time in government, Palin might become a less embarrassing candidate. But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

Stop denying Palin her own agency. No one forced her to say yes to McCain. Unless you have some evidence that McCain was going to do something horrible to her or to her family if she said "uh - I think I'll pass on this one" then please don't call it "unfair" to her. She has free will - she could have said no.

I'll agree that it's unfair to the American people that McCain would prop her up as someone ready to be backup President in case he dies or becomes unable to perform the duties in some other way. But stuff like this isn't unfair to her at all. She's an adult - she can make her own choices and live with the consequences (which hopefully for us will be to make her more of a punchline than Dan Quayle - a nice outcome of this whole Palin mess is that by insisting on McCain choosing her as their standard bearer, the religious righters might have just torpedoed one of their best future standard bearers. Thank Grod for the rest of us...)

Posted by: NonyNony on September 25, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

airron: who cares if she gets the questions ahead of time? Couric threw her softballs and she couldn't handle them. How you can do an interview with a network news anchor this week and not have an answer prepared for a question about the bailout is unclear. it's the top story of the week, by a country mile. give the a week to pre-write the questions, it's obvious it won't help.

This is a woman who has made Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson look like Edward R. Murrow, for the love of God. Gibson wasn't trying to press her too hard, but I think he was incredulous that she didn't know anything. Couric is even better, I think she was shocked to realize "shit, you STILL don't know this stuff." and a little p'oed that someone would sit for an interview so blatantly unprepared.

Posted by: northzax on September 25, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

McCain could have had his first choice as Veep if he hadn’t been overly worried about Condi’s darned lesbian rumors. (Didn't copy a line a minute ago.)

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 25, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the Condi link with correct HTML. Geez.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 25, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I said earlier that Caribou Barbie (or would Mooselini be better?) was just Rick Santorum in a skirt. I'm wrong; she's Shrub in a skirt.

If that doesn't utterly terrify you, I can't see what would,
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on September 25, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm really starting to believe that McCain is happy that his campaign is imploding. Probably not, but he couldn't be doing any more damage to the religious right if he tried. The Palin discussion begins and ends with "She wants YOUR DAUGHTERS to carry RAPIST'S babies to term."

Everything else is just sideshow IMHO.

McCain may have decided the best way to undermine the agents of intolerance was to pick one and highlight same so the nation could truly see what they are up against? If that were the case, it would be the ultimate sacrifice of personal gain for the sake of the country.

When McCain loses, he ought to update his autobiography to highlight this fact, burnishing his image as selfless hero and giving a huge middle finger to the 'agents' previously referred to.

Enjoy.

Posted by: Tim Fuller on September 25, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

A hundred bucks says Palin won't make it to her scheduled debate (and she certainly will be off the ticket by election day).

Posted by: pixie on September 25, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

"With some time in government, Palin might become a less embarrassing candidate. But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco."

Yeah, I feel really sorry for Palin. After all, she's shown such humility.

Posted by: Ellis on September 25, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Very well put by Kth

“Palin probably had a decent amount of long-term upside, which Team McCain sacrificed on a doomed campaign. McCain would still have lost if he had gone with Romney, but he would probably have lost more gracefully and without wasting a (formerly) rising star in the GOP.”

Sort of like Bush Wasted Powell…

This is an interesting way to look at this political play. Here, Palin, pretty with a crackly irritating voice, much, much worse than Hillary, to an extent is pushing the envelope along with McCain in a huge failed decision picking Palin as Vice President.

More of the electorate on both sides of the parties can feel it and slowly coming to grips. Observations into goodness and badness reel off the network medium via interviews which maybe good or not, for me this is all controlled by those very people who want your tax money, that trillion dollars likely is only a partial payment if this bail out flies.

This whole scenario is far reaching plus a failure in the basics of the Constitution. America examines the close requirements of the Constitution to see any citizen can be chosen as a candidate for the Presidency or Vice Presidency can be you or me. All this business about experience is not called for in the requirements of the Constitution.

Ladies and Gentleman of America we are making up rules on the fly as the election and our very needs progress forward. One thing is good; at least Obama has some degree of understanding in the guidelines that guide us in the Constitution. For we can say Country First, which one can argue as a tyrannical concept compared to “We The People” the basics that our founding fathers made into a Constitution for the individuals rights that prevent a kingdom to grow instead of a Democracy in companion to a solid Republic.

The terrible realization across the country is this whole system is way off course. Yet Bush for years exclaimed “Stay the Course”, here, America we sense and see the mind set with Sarah Palin she offers a well ordered set of disordered ideals so shallow and shorted out, however many Americans are in a vacuum to feel proud to walk around in tee shirts that say “I kissed a pig with lip stick and love it” must be in a mind set on the edge of Autism.

All of a sudden for me a more perspective is beginning to surface in an intuitive way to understand not only how off track America is but how imperfect the Constitution is. Hopefully many more Americans will all of a sudden realize Obama is not such a bad choice being versed in the Constitution with a huge amount of experience and time to perhaps develop the right track and open up debate to improved options for America to grow.


For those who hate blacks and hold torch to classify these citizens as niggers and not voting for Obama for that reason should consider one thing. God put us all here to work through this thing called life. For Obama to achieve this position to direct the most powerful country that ever existed is something. And for those who are biased against blacks forget that they actually are embracing a huge burden in this ethnic group to prove to world yes “we can improve”.

Obama and the black population will likely go through huge change likely for the better; more over it will likely reflect on international politics here where people of color get to view their own ethnicity in action. Don’t forget history now is recorded in a whole new way for generations to view it. History for the future will be generated by folks like you and me, here, Bush and Company likely will go down in history as the biggest smuck ever elected by a media and money biased culture.

Obama for president 2008 to change.

Posted by: Megalomania on September 25, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing matters anymore. They are being played. WHY! WHY! WHY!

The Democrats did not need to support this stupid bailout as written. How stupid can they be?

Mark my words next year this thing will be called the Reid/Pelosi Bailout bill and will sweep every dem who voted for it out of office.

STUPID STUPID STUPID.

Can somebody PLEASE clue the Dems into this so they don't back this god-awful thing? I don't care what piddling provisions they tried to get. I don't care about executives getting a little pay cut. It looks like they approved the whole $700 billion. What kind of third grade math are they doing.

If this passes hope is gone. McCain can be a maverick again and the Dems dig their own grave and bury our freedoms and our future inside.

Posted by: Pastafar on September 25, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

"our next door neighbors are foreign countries"

I mean, at least she got this right. Credit where credit is due!

Posted by: John PM on September 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Couric, the daytime TV queen who took CBS News straight to the bottom in the ratings, is less qualified to be an anchor than Palin is to be Veep. She oughta ask Pelosi and Reid her question about the bailout, since that's who's been pimping it for the Bushies.

Posted by: Chrome on September 25, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

See would make a great side-kick for Prof. Irwin Corey.

Posted by: JoeKool on September 25, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is, in a functional sense, dumber than a turnip. The fact that McTheuselah picked her, unvetted, suggests that he's dumber than Sarah Palin, in that functional sense.

The GOP finally has their very own Tom Eagleton -- no offense to the late Missouri senator, who was NOT dumber than a turnip by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by: Hart Williams on September 25, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush with a vagina. Good God is this country in sorry shape.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 25, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

You know, when watching this interview, I felt almost sorry for Palin. It really looks like she's desperately clinging to the talking points in order to avoid any potential gaffes that could land her in Rove's torture chamber. She also looks like she completely overstudied and crammed the way I did for my orals, which is why all this buzzword nonsense comes out, but nothing intelligible. In all fairness, I think she needs some time to digest all the information she's been fed and "find her voice" in all of this nonsense. Of course, that won't be for a long time.

But yeah, the GOP just snuffed out one of their formerly future stars with a lot of potential by making her appear like a dimwit. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Posted by: charlotte on September 25, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin, what you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Posted by: Principal Max Anderson on September 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

On top of all this, Americans hate losers. If she is seen (by the McCainites, first of all) as the reason Big John tanked, she may have no future in the Republican party. Where would she turn then, to Siberia?

Posted by: Kenji on September 25, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

She totally has international experience. She was the Mayor of Islamabad .... I mean Riyadh...I mean Tehran....I mean Wasilla.

Sorry, but I have trouble keeping all the cities who punish rape victims straight in my head.

Nevermind. Wasilla, as much as it may resemble a Middle Eastern hellhole, is in America.

Posted by: libarbarian on September 25, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

See would make a great side-kick for Prof. Irwin Corey. Posted by: JoeKool

Better yet, Wally Cox in all his presidential bids - kind of a post-modern Fibber McGee and Molly or George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Posted by: Jeff II on September 25, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

JoeKool nailed it. Palin is channeling Prof. Irwin Corey. This could be a great career move for Palin. Straight from politics to SNL.

It was amusing to watch Katie Couric. She sounded like she was talking to a pre-schooler when she asked Palin for the third time to come up with just one example of of McCain coming out for more regulations.

Posted by: JohnK on September 25, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why did she think she could successfully run for VP of the USA? It's because she's convinced her Heavenly Father would back her candidacy. After all, she'd been prayed over, cleansed of any witchcraft hexes and felt the endorphen rush of the Holy Spirit in response to her delusional enthusiasm. She has barreled through the Alaskan political system, which proves her sacred backing.

If she does not do well now, it is obviously the work of Satan. We must all pray harder.

heh...

Posted by: alapip on September 25, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Forrest Gump? Chance Gardner? Box of rocks?

Maybe she's talking in tongues?

I am deeply afraid.

Posted by: sabella on September 25, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Forrest Gump? Chance Gardner? Box of rocks?

Maybe she's talking in tongues?

I am deeply afraid.

Posted by: sabella on September 25, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Forrest Gump? Chance Gardner? Box of rocks?

Maybe she's talking in tongues?

I am deeply afraid.

Posted by: sabella on September 25, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Forrest Gump? Chance Gardner? Box of rocks?

Maybe she's talking in tongues?

I am deeply afraid.

Posted by: sabella on September 25, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry - user error. (A box of rocks moment, if you will.)

Posted by: sabella on September 25, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

I fed her quoted text into a markov chain based text generator (a babble generator). Her text is somewhat better than text generated using a markov chain model of her text, but not much. Sample (generated, not a quote):


"That's why I say I, like every Americans, and getting it back on that is needed to help shore up our economy, and tax reductions, and reining it back on that we have been put in. Where it is needed to help those who are concerned about the right track. So health care reform and reining it back on the right track. So health care reform that we have got to be about the taxpayers looking taxes and tax reductions, and reductions, and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and getting in spending has got to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help shore up our economy, and reining it back on that as more opportunity. All of those who are concerned about job creation.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on September 25, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

So now that the government is on the hook for about a trillion dollars plus, she thinks the solution is to lower taxes and thereby bring in even less revenue? So where's this trillion dollars gonna come from? Posted by: Stefan

The answer, Stefan my boy, is it's gonna come from you. For the rest of your life. Bush and his co-dependents in the Democratic leadership mean to put you in hock for the rest of your life. Sarah Palin ain't got nothin' to do with it.

Posted by: Chrome on September 25, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

This may not be the venue for a thoughtful response, but I found the following comment posted on a site called Political Animal, nestled among other comments almost entirely hostile to Palin:

Apparently, there is a case for her to make for foreign policy experience that she continues to fail to communicate:

"Gov. Palin blew the opportunity, perhaps because she is “incurious.” She didn’t know but should have known and described our many roles. For example, there are our fisheries, Japanese investment, our international markets, the hazards of shifting currencies. We are a majority player in the North Pacific Fisheries Commission. We have 63 percent of the coastline of the United States, participate in two huge offshore fisheries economic zones, the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, the latter which we share with Russia. Then there is the Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean, now in play internationally with global warming. We are a player in the International Whaling Commission, and a leader in the Circumpolar Conference of Arctic peoples.

Our University is a leader in polar geophysical science, marine science, and Arctic regions engineering. We are not just “near Russia,” we bring students from the Russian Far East to our University. Our tourist trade and timber trades are international in character. Our large mines bring international investment, principally from the Far East, Canada, and Europe.A huge portion of world air freight traffics through Anchorage International Airport. The sea trade of the Pacific follows the great circle route along our shores, and we know about the problems of dealing with pollution and accountability from shipping accidents by foreign carriers."
Posted by: John Henry on September 25, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea who authored the interior two-paragraph quote, except it's clearly somebody with an Alaska connection. I do think it's worth noting that Palin has in fact been running this diverse and complex state, though not for very long. She is said to have an 80% approval rating there, which suggests--to me, anyway--that her inability to communicate doesn't imply an inability to discharge executive responsibilities or deal with cutting-edge issues. Finally, it's hard to resist comparison with Biden's Delaware, second smallest state in the Union, same number of electoral votes, whose whole raison d'etre seems to be to serve as a flag of convenience for corporations that, for whatever reason, don't want to incorporate where they actually do their business.

Posted by: Chrome on September 25, 2008 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

If her perforamce continues on this trajectory I don't think she's qualified to be governor of Alaska-- if Obama wins I wonder if she'll get impeached?

However, if Obama doesn't win everyone needs to be prepared to secede individually. I will declare my house and its land a foreign, independent nation.

Posted by: zoe from pittsburgh on September 25, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

She was truly awful. It was like they filled her Mixmaster with talking points and turned it on high without ever putting on the lid.

A random number generator would have assembled a more cohesive sequence of talking points. -- joew @ 2:26

That pretty much nails it. Everytime I hear Palin's garbled, nonsensical responses to serious interview questions, I feel like I need to go steal a horse and begin riding through the streets shouting "To arms! To arms!" I feel the need for a modern day Paul Revere to sound dthe warning. This woman is SCARY under-qualified. I doubt she even possesses enough self-awareness to feel the humiliation her conceit earns her. But conceit is the central feature of her personality. In my mind, she is worse than Dubya, and that is going SOME.

Posted by: TuiMel on September 25, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

I couldn't understand a thing she was saying and even when I watched it several more times it still made no sense. I will be looking forward to the debate though just to see what else she can spout out about. I am betting that Joe Biden's head will explode as he tries to understand what she is saying also! Bring on the popcorn and beer.

Posted by: mishanti on September 25, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, unfair my ass. She's a shit talking asshole who deliberately charged women who'd been raped up to $1,000 for their rape kits; who has defiled the office of the Governor of Alaska with non-stop unethical and illegal secrecy, obstruction, and incompetence; who stood before America at the RNC and puked up the most puerile, vile stream of venom, hatred, baseless ridicule, willful ignorance, and naked resentment since Spiro Agnew and Joe McCarthy; she's a player, she stepped up to the plate and if she's a punk then she goes down like a punk. Unfair? Hardly. Either she can play in the bigs or she can't. I just hope all those good, solid Americans who see a little of themselves in her (and I cannot tell you how many of those I've personally run across), who see perhaps a tad of their own wildly fantastical dreams personified in her small town smile; I only hope these salt of the earth Americans who have allowed themselves to be swept along by the red tide of false hopes, empty promises, and bankrupt narcissism are watching Palin’s meltdown as closely as they watch...whatever crap they watch these days. With any luck McCain’ll be next. Let’s put the twisted dream of sainted father savior and jus’ folks populist doppelganger to rest for a generation at least, or until America sees the wisdom of a parliamentary system. Sarah, John, your nation calls to you, coo coo, coo choo...

Posted by: Conrad's Ghost on September 26, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Watch this Fred Armisen bit from SNL:

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/politics/video/play.shtml?mea=229107

... then watch Palin again with Couric.

Pretty amazing similarity eh?

I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Digger on September 26, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

It turns out that Palin's answer to Couric's bailout proposal question is EXACTLY what the bailout is about. Don't believe me? See the latest version of the Bill for yourself:

http://www.c-span.org/pdf/hr1424_100108.pdf

I'm no Palin fan (or even a Republican, for that matter), but people need to know she wasn't crazy to give that answer.

Posted by: Andrei MR on October 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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