Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 28, 2008

THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN'S PAKISTAN PROBLEM.... In Friday night's debate, John McCain identified the new president of Pakistan as "Qadari." His name is actually Asif Ali Zardari. McCain also insisted that Barack Obama doesn't "understand" that "there was a failed state in Pakistan when Musharraf came to power." It was McCain who didn't understand that Pakistan wasn't a "failed state" in 1999.

But the campaign's Pakistan problem seemed to get even worse last night, when McCain's running mate fielded a couple of questions in south Philadelphia last night. A local student asked about foreign policy.

"How about the Pakistan situation?," asked Rovito, who said he was not a Palin supporter. "What's your thoughts about that?"

"In Pakistan?," she asked, looking surprised.

"What's going on over there, like Waziristan?"

"It's working with [Pakistani president] Zardari to make sure that we're all working together to stop the guys from coming in over the border," she told him. "And we'll go from there."

Rovito wasn't finished. "Waziristan is blowing up!," he said.

"Yeah it is," Palin said, "and the economy there is blowing up too."

"So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan you think?," Rovito asked.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin responded, before moving on to greet other voters.

Didn't McCain just say Obama was wrong for endorsing this policy? Didn't he spend part of the debate lecturing Obama, saying, "You don't say that out loud"?

Steve Benen 10:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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Even more, Palin doesn't get it. The idea is not just to keep terrorists from coming in. If it were, you could just close the border. But the purpose is to eliminate their safe havens.

Also one of the dumbest things McCain could have said was, "you don't say it out loud." Coming off 8 years of secrecy and lying, McCain is essentially promising more of the same.

Posted by: Danp on September 28, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

It's reassuring to know that McCain & Palin are willing to disagree, right? But it's even better to know that Pailin thinks that we should work together to make sure that we're working together!

Posted by: Erik on September 28, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

George Stephanopolous just pressed this exact issue, even showing the video from it. McCain insisted that he and Palin were on the same page and in full agreement.

John McCain: Who You Gonna Believe, Me or Your Lying Eyes?

Posted by: TR on September 28, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

It's all in the emphasis: YOU don't say that out loud. IOKIYAR though.

Posted by: on September 28, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

This is a fake story. The "student" is a writer for the Wasilla newspaper and obviously was allowed access to Palin to make a trap for Obama.

They are hoping that Obama and his surrogates will attack this statement, thus making it clear that Obama's views on the world are closer to those of someone everyone agrees is woefully misinformed.

Posted by: on September 28, 2008 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

"and the economy there [i.e., Waziristan] is blowing up too." What is this nonsense???? The lady is clearly just wingin' it ...

Yesterday I was a bit sceptical that the unattributed McCain source that Palin is a complete disaster in mock debates and news conferences was just pre-debate spin, but this story has me hopeful again that it's all true. She makes stuff up on the fly to cover for what she doesn't know, and apparently what she doesn't know is a whole lot! ... Funny but really scary at the same time ...

Posted by: sjw on September 28, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

who's the anonymous bozo responsible for "This is a fake story" stupidity? Sheesh, go read one of McCain's self-congratulatory biographies or something and leave us alone. You're really wasting your time.

Posted by: sjw on September 28, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"who's the anonymous bozo responsible for "This is a fake story" stupidity?"

That post was parody. True, it's getting harder to tell the difference.

Posted by: BarryG on September 28, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

You should have known Palin in a bar would have disastrous consequences.

Posted by: gf12081 on September 28, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Pickin on the girl again, you limousine lumberjacks. If the truth had to be told, does anyone think that anyone has a plausible, timely strategy and tactics for solving Afghanistan & Pakistan? She is not the only one in Confusionstan.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 28, 2008 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for bringing this up Steve.

To me it looks like Palin did not watch or listen to the debate. That was one of the more biting exchanges between the 2 candidates. Especially the "you don't say it out loud" comment. If she had really watched and listed to the debate she would have very cautious especially regarding military issues and Pakistan. It was less than 24 hours prior so there is no way she would have forgot the exchange or been confused.

Posted by: Kelly on September 28, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

[ "In Pakistan?," she asked, looking surprised. ]

Um -- does she even have another look?

Posted by: jonno on September 28, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

"This Week," is on now here on the Left Coast. McCain is insisting that Palin's statement didn't mean what it seemed to mean. He's also "so happy that she's on the team!"

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on September 28, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Yeah it is," Palin said, "and the economy there is blowing up too."


Does that even make a lick of sense?

Hmmm, nothing a good round of tax cuts and deregulation couldn't cure........

Posted by: 2Manchu on September 28, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Tomorrow, Tuesday? When do they begin to lay the groundwork for pulling her out of the debate? Or will it be a "surprise" last minute thing?

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 28, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's response amounted to saying she should not be held responsible for answers given to impromptu questions. He then went on to say how proud he is of Sarah and Stephanopolous did not bother to question his musings

Posted by: msw on September 28, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Prior to her debate with Biden, she will undoubtedly have to suspend her campaign and return to Alaska to deal with some sort of economic crisis there. If Biden had any executive experience like Palin does, he would understand.

Posted by: josef on September 28, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

At least she didn't start talking about how we need to invade Pakistan to help those who are concerned about healthcare reform under the umbrella of job creation. Nor did suggest that reducing taxes needs to accompany tax reductions. So hey, it wasn't a completely bozo moment.

In what respect, Pakistan?

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on September 28, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Michael7843853, you miss the point. mcCain has repeatedly said that obama was irresponsible and naive for stating this policy, and his running mate has said the same thing at least twice. defend that with something other than IOKIYAR.

Posted by: benjoya on September 28, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I was thinking along the same lines as Doc Biobrain, but it should have been, "In what respect, Michael?"

On the economy blowing up over there, she was taking about the fundamentals of their economy. It's their workers who are getting blown up, and it's just terrible.

Posted by: Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor. on September 28, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Why do politicians always jump to "we're working hard to...", as if trying to convince the world that politics is something like coming home half-dead from the night shift at a steel mill (well, from the days when the steel mill was busy enough to need a night shift, that is). Stop blowing smoke up everyone's ass - politics is not hard work. It's harder if you're dumb, that's for sure, but it's nothing like the work day the average Joe or Jane puts in, week in and week out. George "The Idiot" Bush spent so much time on vacation even the media started to notice, and his regular job still allowed him plenty of time to regularly indulge his passion for bike riding. Condi Rice was never so busy engaged in international diplomacy that she couldn't pop by the local Feragamo's for some retail therapy. You're not really fooling anybody with that "working hard" talk - try changing it to "hardly working".

Posted by: Mark on September 28, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

To me it looks like Palin did not watch or listen to the debate.

She watched it with the sound turned off, and thought it was pretty funny.

Posted by: AJB on September 29, 2008 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK



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