Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 30, 2008

ALL QUESTIONS ARE 'GOTCHA' QUESTIONS.... Campaigning in Philadelphia on Saturday night, Sarah Palin fielded a few questions from local voters. A grad student asked Palin if she believed U.S. forces should be prepared to cross the Afghan border into Pakistan, and Palin responded, "If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should."

That, of course, is Barack Obama's position, which John McCain has repeatedly denounced. It even garnered a stern lecture at Friday's debate.

On Sunday, McCain said Palin's answer didn't count because it wasn't "a definitive policy statement." Last night, McCain and Palin sat down together with CBS's Katie Couric -- yes, again -- and came up with a new excuse.

"[L]ook, I understand this day and age 'gotcha' journalism," McCain said. "Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn't hear -- the question very well, you don't know the context of the conversation. Grab a phrase. Governor Palin and agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country."

When Couric asked if Palin was sorry she had made the statement, McCain again jumped in before Palin could answer. "Wait a minute," he said. "Before you say, 'is she sorry she said it,' this was a 'gotcha' sound bite that, look, no, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth. And, I'll let Governor Palin speak for herself."

Palin added, "In the context, this was a voter, a constituent, hollering out a question from across an area asking, 'What are you gonna do about Pakistan? You better have an answer to Pakistan.' I said we're gonna do what we have to do to protect the United States of America." She added, "That this is all about 'gotcha' journalism."

All of this is completely absurd. First, Palin did more than just recommit to protecting the country -- she specifically said we should "absolutely" cross the border to stop terrorists from moving into Pakistan.

Second, what are these bizarre rules McCain is coming up with? When a voter asks a topical, pertinent question, it's "gotcha journalism." When a candidate gives an answer while talking "back and forth" with a "group of people," it doesn't count.

This is insane. Palin isn't a victim here -- a voter asked a question, and she answered it. Palin, in other words, said something in public and the media reported it. Indeed, she said something important about a pressing national security issue, so the media is supposed to report it.

The Republican ticket is actually getting worse. I didn't think that was possible.

Steve Benen 8:01 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (73)

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Comments

It wasn't a gotcha question. However, it is a gotcha sound bite as McCain claims. But how is that a defense? And isn't McCain's campaign advertising strategy pretty much to use as many gotcha sound bites as possible?

Posted by: Danp on September 30, 2008 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

as someone pointed out , when Biden made an comment about coal on a rope line, McCain made TWO commercials out of it.

Two!

BUt leave Palin Alone or it's "gotcha" journalism!

Posted by: riffle on September 30, 2008 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

About a week and a half ago, on this very blog, I predicted that we'd be treated to a bunch of "get to know the real Sarah Palin" tripe in the coming weeks. Well, last night and this morning we've seen interviews with Palin's parents all over the place. They're definitely aimed for the "Matlock" generation. But, by golly, I was right! Do you have goosebumps?

Also, I predict that MacDonald's will bring back the McRib before the end of next summer.

Posted by: chrenson on September 30, 2008 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

The 'creating your own reality' thing has been taken to a new level with the McCain campaign. They're so far out there even some of his 'base' is calling him on it.

Posted by: Jack H. on September 30, 2008 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

What was that interview? A parent/teacher conference? Did daddy have to speak for his daughter at every turn?

Gotcha moments don't happen if you're smart enough to understand the question.

Of course they have to blame the media for Palin's demise because the media has done more homework than McCain did in choosing her. His vetting process consisted of hearing her voice on the phone and checking out her ass on the stage. It becomes more laughable she embodies just about every piece of poo he has tried to fling at Obama.

Posted by: Jason on September 30, 2008 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's contempt for the people on "Main Street" is really beginning to show, and as the "maverick" hype crumbles away some of them are finally beginning to see it .

I hope Obama's staff is working on a few zingers for the next debate that will cause the temper tantrum we've all been waiting for.

Posted by: SteveT on September 30, 2008 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

ANYONE who votes for these liar/buffoons should be sentenced to watching Palin and her sugar daddy on Fox Noise 24 hours a day. Oh, never mind: cruel and unusual punishment.

Posted by: Rosemary Molloy on September 30, 2008 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

I hope all those "feminists" saying they will vote for McCain because of his "treatment" of Hillary saw McCain treating Palin like a dumb bimbo who can't answer her own questions.

Posted by: vrk on September 30, 2008 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Why is Couric even giving them an opportunity to "display" their retraction? This is so pathetic. I think a bit of my breakfast just reached the back of my mouth. Oops. There it goes...

Posted by: Stevio on September 30, 2008 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK
McCain again jumped in before Palin could answer. "Wait a minute," he said. "Before you say, 'is she sorry she said it,' this was a 'gotcha' sound bite that, look, no, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth. And, I'll let Governor Palin speak for herself."

Now that I've told Sarah what she's going to say, I'll just fade into the background and let her say it.

Think maybe he's going up on stage with her when she debates Biden?

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on September 30, 2008 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Seems that if Palin or McCain says something ill-considered, mendacious, or downright stupid and the press calls them on it then that's "gotcha journalism."
What a pair of poseurs. If this is the best slate that the Republicans could produce in what they knew would be a difficult election year then they're well on their way to becoming a regional party.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on September 30, 2008 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so confused. I thought it was our job to play Stump the Candidate. Isn't that an invitation to ask gotcha questions?

Just looking at her makes me gag. She doesn't even have to open her mouth anymore.

Posted by: The Answer Is Green on September 30, 2008 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Aw, heck, is regional the best we can do? How about county or broom closet? The deeper we shove these troglodytes under the rug, the better off the country will be.

You've seen what 8 years of this buffoonery has done. Now picture 4 more with (is this possible?) even more mendacity. A vote for McCain is treason. It's that simple.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on September 30, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK


Palin's performance with McCain last night was noticeably better. Not good, but better. But what happens when McCain isn't around? Last night's performance with McCain holding Palin's hand doesn't reassure that she can capably take over the Presidency in the event of a catastrophe, but instead reinforces that she can't. The McCain campaign is hoping the general public doesn't notice.

Posted by: Lab Partner on September 30, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

And Tom Brokaw is sucking up to these clowns! Maybe it is time Tom retired. Maybe it is time NBC borrowed a pair.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 30, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

You all definitely don't show the good govie enough deference!

Posted by: TBone on September 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

SNL is going to have a field day with this.

Posted by: vrk on September 30, 2008 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Another reason why this explanation is tortured. It's ok to maintain a secret policy of cross border raids, but it's not ok to publicly announce them? Can someone say Cambodia!?

Posted by: AnxiousEER on September 30, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

I cant wait for November and finally having grownups in charge again.

Posted by: Aziz Poonawalla on September 30, 2008 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Come on, of course poor Sarah is a victim. No one St. John McCain chose as a running mate would ever do something wrong....

I'm a high school teacher and McCain in that interview is exactly like every asshole parent I've ever had come to a meeting to explain that their kid's screw-up is actually: my fault, the school's fault, some other kid's fault, or the fault anyone else other than their precious offspring.

This whole thing became farce a while ago. Can it please stop now?

Posted by: Kelly on September 30, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Openness and accountability do not count when "gotcha journalists" or "experts" like Katie Couric do the questioning?

At a press conference called by Palin in Alaska, she thought she could get away with "taking off the governor's hat" and expressing her personal views on a critical mining initiative just a few days prior to the vote. Now she and McCain are trying to apply some nonsensical rules exempting her statements from the record. What would have been the freaking cost of just saying that I made a mistake and stand corrected? Just plainly absurd.

Plus, McCain's policy of not voicing your potential actions in Pakistan because it might show the terrorists your hand is just ludicrous when, at this very moment, we probably have at least a dozen drones flying over Pakistan.

Posted by: lou on September 30, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

It's not just that Palin is sub-Quayle in intelligence and knowledge of the world. GHWBush was a reasonably vigorous man when elected, and the odds were strong that he would survive his term.

Every one of us who live in a district that might go for McCain should be posting signs on every lamppost:

"Actuarial tables show that the average 72 year old has a 1-in-7 chance of dying before he reaches 76. John McCain is a cancer survivor who spent 5 1/2 years in a Vietnam Prison Camp. The Presidency is the most stressful job in the world.

President Sarah Palin
Can we afford to risk it?"

(yes, my old 'mantra'
WE are Obama's surrogates)

How difficult would it be for each of us to run off a hundred, or five hundred copies of that simple a flyer and get them handed out. (Just make sure you state this is an independent effort, not connected with the Obama campaign. You don't HAVE to be a 527 to express your opinion, publicly.)

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 30, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

And wasn't it the McCain campaign, in its ridiculous efforts to keep Palin away from the media, that said she didn't need to talk to the media because she was being vetted by the public instead? Seems to me the voter was doing just that.

Posted by: NAlex on September 30, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

I am no fan of Courics, but she is impressing me in these interviews. She's no cream puff. I think John should put her on his ticket.

Posted by: Scott F. on September 30, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, the McRib! I'm going to keep my eye out for that, chrenson.

Also, the McCain campaign is toast. How does anyone vote for this guy (and the ridiculous Palin) at this point? Honestly, how does anyone pull the lever, poke the hole, press the button--do whatever it is they have to do--to cast a vote for McCain at this point? It's lunacy? Obama should have a 20 point lead at this point. But, he's black. And the US is still chock full of racists.

Racists, please vote for Obama. Most of you are low-income sorts of people so you'll actually do better under Obama. Don't hate yourself out of your own money.

Posted by: Scott on September 30, 2008 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

This is just a prelude to the explanation of why Sarah did so badly at the debate.

"Those blue meanies in the lower forty-eight are always picking on me!"

Waaaaa

Posted by: Person Of Interest on September 30, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's position on this issue always seemed short sighted to me. In effect, he tried to make it a gotcha of his own, twisting a soundbite in an attempt to make Obama look inexperienced. But really, McCain looks silly. We're supposed to believe that the man who's going to fix the Middle East by telling Shiites and Sunnis to "knock this shit off" has a subtle, nuanced view of our relationship with Pakistan? The man who likes to rattle his saber of Iran thinks it's bad to announce what countries you might attack?

We've all had a lot of fun with Palin's interview answers to date, and it's clear she doesn't understand most national issues at even the most rudimentary level, but the task she's faced with -- learning to defend McCain's 37 different positions on every issue -- is pretty difficult. Even McCain himself has had his statements disavowed by his own campaign. What chance does she have?

Posted by: Royko on September 30, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

what are these bizarre rules McCain is coming up with? When a voter asks a topical, pertinent question, it's "gotcha journalism."

The temerity of a voter asking a Republican a pertinent question! Republican Presidents don't consider themselves accountable to the American people!

Even NPR's profile on Palin tried hard to sound nice, but made it clear that she's woefully unprepared.

Palin was considered a rising star in the GOP. McCain's recklessness is not only helping Bush ruin the Republican Party's brand, but also prematurely spoiling Palin's national political career. She'll have "Loser" tattooed on her forehead after this election. I'm delighted.

Posted by: Gregory on September 30, 2008 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Palin isn't a victim here

Except of her own incompetence.

Posted by: Gregory on September 30, 2008 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's recklessness is not only helping Bush ruin the Republican Party's brand, but also prematurely spoiling Palin's national political career.

Not only that, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a recall effort in Alaska after they lose in November, given the heavy-handed way the McCain campaign has taken over Alaska state government in quashing the trooper investigation.

Posted by: Jennifer on September 30, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

After watching this "do over" interview clip last night, I still hope it gets massive airplay. Each of these candidates interviewed alone is a somewhat puzzling and uncomfortable viewing experience. Together, they are entirely self defeating, and equally entirely blind to this fact.

Can anyone else recall an interview with both President and VP candidates in a high profile setting? It was like watching some guy try to get his daughter into a fancy finishing school, taking her answers, trying to steer the questions or reframe them before little Sarah could speak.

As far as presidential campaigning goes, what could be more pathetic than this?

Posted by: Capt Kirk on September 30, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Carl Hiassen has the best rebuttal for all the Sarah nonsense. If Palin were a man
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/columnists/carl-hiaasen/story/703133.html

Posted by: John R on September 30, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

"Why is Couric even giving them an opportunity to "display" their retraction? "

I had the impression that Cuuric knew she had a freak show on her hands, and made the most of it. It was another really bad moment for McCain and Palin. It reinforced his dreadful demeanor at the debate. He was dismissive and almost insulting to Palin...who did nothing to improve on her increasingly vapid image. Everytime either of them makes an appearance, gives an interview or somehow or other presents themselves to the public it becomes clearer that neither should be allowed anywhere near the White House.

Short of Obama getting caught on tape blowing Osama bi Laden I don't think there's anyway for McCain to stop the hemmorrage. After the horrible campaign he's run his chickens are coming home to roost...and more are joining them. This is really the first time the American public has been subjected to the real McCain. We've always gotten the "Hollywood" version before. The carefully manufactured character. Now all the rumors and rumbling have come out into full view: he's a jerk. He's a mean-spirited, dim-witted, self-promoting jerk.

When Sarah Palin was first announced as the runningmate I said it would beremembered as one of the biggest political blunders in our history. I still think I was right.

Posted by: on September 30, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously, this was a dialogue with a voter and was not gotcha journalism. But let's suspend reason and ask: what if it was gotcha journalism? Is McCain saying that Palin can't handle gotcha journalism? A decent politician should be able to handle it. And let's not lose sight of the fact that she has a degree in journalism and she used to work in the media. She of all people should know how to handle the media. So that's not really a valid excuse either.

Posted by: cameo on September 30, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

I love how they do keep wanting to clarify everything they say as though they were taken out of context. Even after giving untelligible answers to questions, as does Palin, they want a "do-over." Heck, even the Miss Teen South Carolina got better at her answer regarding why US students aren't better at geography, but they won't always get these Mulligans when they are playing with the big boys. Here is something that Sarah needs to understand. The presidency and the vice-presidency are sort of like a pageant in that many times you only get one shot to screw things up by misstating a policy stance. Countries go on alert when politicians from other countries start running off at the mouth, and I can only imagine all of the saber rattling that would go on in their administration. We sort of need to rebuild relationships and not keep tearing them down.

Posted by: Ben on September 30, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be surprised to see a recall effort in Alaska after they lose in November

I'll settle for Alaska sending her back to Wasallia for her re-election bid.

Posted by: Gregory on September 30, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

See, sometimes you only get one shot...I made a typo and meant "unintelligible" above.

Posted by: Ben on September 30, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

The interview with Palin and McCain is reminiscent of Bush needing Cheney beside him to hand-hold when he testified.

In fact, McCain and Palin seem to epitomize most of Bush and Cheney's worst traits, just in different combinations.

I'm amazed by the media coverage of the Tina Fey spoof. I've seen that on TV more than Palin's actual interview. I'm wondering if the media is using the Tina Fey skit as a 'safe' way to criticize Palin. Palin gets protected not only by the "don't beat up on a woman" rule (especially the 'cute chick' version thereof), but also by the rule of "never speak ill of a Republican prior to actual conviction or resignation". Showing Fey's skit allows them to say, 'folks, your nominee is a grade-A twit' in a completely safe and deniable way.

Posted by: N.Wells on September 30, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

The McCain campaign at this moment - desperate, pathetic, and condemnable all at the same time! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on September 30, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

"She has a[n undergraduate] degree in journalism."

Not law, not politics, not government, not economics, not history, not science.

Journalism

And it took her five colleges to get that.

Why hasn't any reporter just gone out and tried to find her classmates, even her teachers? Hell, even looking at college yearbooks would tell us something about her college career.

Sometimes the explanation is that the family has moved, but that's not true here. Why did she go back to the University of Idaho to finish? And has anyone even bothered to take a good look at the academic standards at these colleges -- which don't seem to be particularly high.

I really think that, when we find out the background here, it will prove to be surprising and more important than it has seemed so far.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 30, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Carl Hiassen has the best rebuttal John R (8:59)

That was great, thanks. I'll bet Hiassen is considering moving to Alaska. He has about milked Florida, and Alaska would provide a whole new host of things to satire.

Posted by: Danp on September 30, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Seems to me there's a potential PA attack add in here somewhere. Wasn't she at one of those philly cheesesteak places? And McCain can't tell the difference between philly cheesesteak and pizza?

Posted by: Bill B. on September 30, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the press needs to come to an arrangement with the McCain gang, in which they somehow signal when an answer they are giving "counts". Like, maybe they tug on one ear while answering, otherwise the quote can't be used. Or maybe, at the end of each answer, the press now has to ask "Really?" or "Is that your final answer?".

Posted by: Eric on September 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Journalists: It's the hyprocisy, stupid.

Yes, it would be a gotcha question - but only if McLiar hadn't played gotcha with Obama on the same exact point...

Posted by: Ohioan on September 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

How the hell did America get to this purgatory where McCain, Palin, and Couric are all at the pinnacle of their respective realms of public trust and responsibility--and yet they all seem like pathological liars in a competition to manipulate the public.

I'm so tired of caring deeply about my country, wanting to be an informed American--and only getting endless crazy pills from these career bullshitters.

War. Bankruptcy. Environmental apocalypse. Social Collapse. It's not funny anymore. We don't need any more pseudo-Leaders.

Just. Stop. Lying.

Posted by: Yadda on September 30, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Let me also add something here that isn't obvious:

Palin's response of If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should in regards to cross-border raids on Pakistan is absolutely a typical Republican response - most of the time. Is there a Republican voter left who doesn't believe that this is a true statement at its core? Really? Because you sure couldn't tell by all of the OTHER CRAP they've been doing for the last 8 years to "stop the terrorists". For the last 8 years it's been non-stop "do what it takes to stop the terrorists."

The only reason that this is an issue at all is because McCain has decided that this one thing is something he should be hammering Obama about. He even gave away the game on Friday when he said "you don't talk about it." He absolutely thinks that this policy is right, but he wants to use it as a club to beat Obama over the head with. It's caused him to talk in circles on this issue. Does anyone think that if Obama had said that cross-border raids were a bad idea, McCain wouldn't have immediately lept on that as well and used IT as a point to beat Obama with? Of course he would have.

This is one of those cases where it really isn't Palin's fault that she's "off message". She's totally "on message" as far as Republican thinking is concerned, she's just "off message" from Johnny Drama's weird brain farts and strange tactics-that-he-likes-to-call-strategy.

Posted by: NonyNony on September 30, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Why has CBS become the McCain Campaign Broadcasting System? Do they feel having Katie interviewing them softens their image?

The poster Scott asked how anybody can vote for McCain and I ask the same question. But Scott, I can give you an answer. There are millions out there that listen only to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh! Just this weekend I was out with friends and we were talking about the debate. One of my friends stated "Obama is a terrorist". No reason why when pressed, its just that he's heard it on the right's airwaves. I rebutted with maybe McCain is a sleeper agent from his POW days!

He then informed me that he did not vote for Bush in 2000 but did in 2004. Who the hell could do that? He said because Kerry would just wave to the terrorists as they came to the US. I asked who was President on 9/11, his response was Clinton caused it. I asked about the memo that Bush ignored that memo about Al-Qaeda attacking US via airplanes. Still Clinton's fault. What about faking the reasons for Iraq? Nope, they had ties to Bin Laden as far as he was concerned.

As I said to my other friends, we should be scared because there are millions of these people out there. They may not be true Republicans but they follow the Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh party line.

Posted by: Joe D on September 30, 2008 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

To show how laughable and desperate republicans are becoming, I've been hearing about how conservative bloggers are trying to start a "rumor" Obama will dump Biden for Hillary after the debates. Their thinking goes that Biden will bow-out due to health reasons allowing Obama to make this "grand manipulation". LOL. That's soooo original. Now there are blue states, red states, and states of denial.

Posted by: Jim on September 30, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Two comments:

1. Katie is doing fine. I didn't think that CBS had it in it to run the interviews. I guess they found the secret to improved ratings -- real news.

2. Since he is now against using statements by candidates in informal settings against the candidate, I wonder if we will stop hearing about Obama's comments on guns and religion in SF.

Posted by: steve on September 30, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Chrenson, I saw a sign the other day in my neck of the woods: "McRib is BACK...for a limited time." So there you go....!

Posted by: Little Dick on September 30, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Written on Tuesday 9/30 "This is just a prelude to the explanation of why Sarah did so badly at the debate." Did I miss the debate? I thought it was scheduled for Thursday 10/2.
It's already over and Palin blew it. McCain is toast and he knows it. Yeah - keep thinking that. You don't even have to go to the polls because BO and JB are already winners. Elitists. Thet're so cute. They have to have the big egos I guess - and feeding the ego requires talking about their certainty that they are so superior to some low-life governor and senator. And that they're so much smarter than the president too.

Posted by: catdaddio42 on September 30, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid that all this hype is creating artificially low expectations for Palin's performance in the VP debate. Republicans are going to call it a rousing success if she's able to string two coherent sentences together.

Posted by: Franklin on September 30, 2008 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I believe the biggest issue here is about the unfair and bias news reporting. It is sad that the news organizations are the ones who are deciding the outcome of our presidential election.

Posted by: vh1 on September 30, 2008 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK


Wait 'til Thursday.

Posted by: ctrenta on September 30, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

And the worst, most stupid part,was the tone of disgust Palin used to describer the questioner. WTF is wrong with these people?

Posted by: scruncher on September 30, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

I hope Joe Biden lectures her really good at the debate about leadership using the example of President FDR speaking to the country on TV in '29 about the stock market crash.

Posted by: Hugh G. on September 30, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I hope Joe Biden lectures her really good at the debate about leadership using the example of President FDR speaking to the country on TV in '29 about the stock market crash.

Posted by: Paula Jones on September 30, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, the McRib! I'm going to keep my eye out for that, chrenson.


Posted by: Scott

What about the McMoose? Do I have to go to McDonalds in Wasilla to get one

Posted by: on September 30, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

First, it wasn't a "gotcha" moment.

Second, it underscores the insanity of McCain's position. He AGREED with the action that Obama said he'd taked and simply disagreed with the idea that one would talk about it before the act. Except, with that statement, McCain agreed -- in public -- that we'd follow a hot pursuit policy regarding following terrorists into Pakistan. It's INSANE. So, now Palin and Obama and McCain all agree. Except McCain and Palin don't for incomprehensible reasons.

Plus, we get the added fillip of McCain LYING (again) about what Obama has said. McCain repeatedly refers to the act as "attacking Pakistan" which nobody has advocated. Unless McCain has. McCain has reached a point where he lies so often it's hard to keep up.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 30, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis gets right to the heart of it.

The ultimate irony is that Palin's initial position is THE CORRECT ONE, Barack Obama's is the CORRECT ONE, and it pains me to say this but even George W Bush is CORRECT on this one. The only one who doesn't get it is John McCain.

Let me put it into this hypothetical:

We have very sound actionable intelligence as to the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, and the Pakistanis have rebuffed our requests for them to attempt to capture or kill him.

President Bush: Take him out.

President Obama: Send in the Predators and take him out.

President (*shiver*) Palin: Take him out.

President John McCain: We simply must respect Pakistani sovereignty. We can't "attack" an ally. We'll just have to wait until Mr. Bin Laden is kind enough to enter Afghanistan and then we can take him out.

Its really rather preposterous. And the ultimate irony is that John McCain doesn't respect the sovereignty of just about any other country on Earth given how many he plans to war with.

But Pakistan, where the terrorists who attacked us on September 11 are living, well that's off limits, folks.

Theatre of the absurd indeed.

Posted by: Piper on September 30, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

NonyNony - Good point. This is the first time I've heard Palin give a reasonable answer to a question(i.e. not Irwin Cory like, or a blatent lie) and she's forced to walk back from it. The real "gotcha" moment was when McCain siezed upon Obama's reasonable answer and tried to twist it into "attacking" Pakastan.

Posted by: Ben Smith on September 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Is that a pizza place?"

Heh, Heh...

Palin herself didn't really seem to get it or think it was funny...

And her response to Couric,when she was finally given a chance to speak, was ludicrous--painting the questioner as someone who shouted out from across the crowd and was stirring up things (so she needed to calm him down and just make up an answer?). I don't think so, especially since she's given that same shallow sort of five year old level of thinking response before.

Posted by: on September 30, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

This is beautiful. Their explanations are total BS and anybody with a frontal lobe can see that. More importantly, the McFail campaign is continuing to play defense, day after day. The entire campaign is crumbling. It's simply a beautiful thing to see them exposed for the frauds and hacks they are.

Posted by: Andre on September 30, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

So, what did McCain mean when he said he would go to the gates of Hell to get bin Laden? You think Pakistan didn't interpret that as attacking the border?

Apparently, "gotcha" journalism is when you give a stupid, contradictory answer to a reasonable question.

Posted by: Tx Bubba on September 30, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

She is right! What's your beef?

Posted by: jack carlson on September 30, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

The following are some non-gotcha questions that the McCain campaign has cleared for reporters to ask Governor Palin:

How are you today?

How's Bristol? Aren't you proud of her?

Are you prepared to be Vice President of the United States?

Why do you think the press has been so mean to you?

I bet you were pretty astonished when folks didn't seem to understand it was just a rhetorical question when you asked about banning books in the Wasilla library, huh?

How's Trig?

etc.

Posted by: Stephen Stralka on September 30, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Ben--Palin's responses are actually a lot like Beauty Pagent ones, or even worse.

And McCain's responses register pretty low too on the 'appreciation and awareness of the complexities meter', although he masks them well with his 'POW angry persona cloak' (and attacking others to divert attention and put his opponent on the defense).

He also pulls the "I've been everywhere and my friend is Henry Kissinger" kind of card to feign a sense of substance which covers up his simplistic view of things: good v bad, evil versus saintly, kill or be killed.

What an evolved pair they make!

Posted by: on September 30, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

To show how laughable and desperate republicans are becoming, I've been hearing about how conservative bloggers are trying to start a "rumor" Obama will dump Biden for Hillary after the debates. Their thinking goes that Biden will bow-out due to health reasons allowing Obama to make this "grand manipulation". LOL. That's soooo original. Now there are blue states, red states, and states of denial.

This follows Karl Rove's pronouncement that Obama's VP selection would be a strictly political game, with Obie tabbing Tim Kaine or Evan Bayh to help in the South &/or with Blue Dog, Blue Collar Dems. Then, Obie picks Biden.

Huh, Rove is thinking.

Then, Mc Cain picks Palin (after getting talked off the Liebermann).

Double huh.

Now, it's Obie that is going to dump Biden for Hillz. More likely, Palin gets dumped for Liebermann (R-Basra).

It's just further case of Republican sublimation of their own foibles & tribulations on others. It's the Republican Closet manifested outside of sexuality.

Posted by: Idi Amin's Last Meal on September 30, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Someone asked where she was. It was Tony Luke's. You can tell by the shiny aluminum walls. Some people like Gino's, some people like Pat's, but Tony Luke's steaks don't take a backseat to anybody. So at least we know she has good taste in fatty foods. And isn't that all that matters?

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Posted by: cao107 on September 30, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

If Palin just survives the debate without throwing up she will be heralded as the greatest debater ever going up against king kong of the debate world.

Why was it necessary for them to appear with Couric together. McCain is so stupid and no doubt thought it was a great idea being totally incapable of seeing how demeaning that appearance was.

Gotcha journalism is setting the person up to show the mistake they are making or have made in contrast to what they are saying now. There was no set up. A simple question was asked and she didn't answer it according to how McCain wanted her to answer it. There was no "gotcha" to it. McCain is trying to use it as an excuse to cover Palin's ineptness. Now they both look like fools for trying to excuse it with such a lame, non-sensical explanation. Then McCain felt the need to appear with her to "straighten us out". McCain butts in and screws up everything he touches.

What McCain can't stand is to tell him to butt out because he only makes it worse. "I'm John McCain...I'm an expert on everything...and I'll get you you son-of-a-bitch. Shut up Palin you fu**ing cu*t." Supporting these two means you take pride in being ignorant because the only way to not know how wrong these two are for office...is to not want to know.

Posted by: joey on September 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

btw...since OBL is dead and if our politicians were forced to recognize this fact...who would we be chasing as our enemy? Who would McCain follow through the gates of hell (only don't announce that beforehand)? They keep OBL alive to give a name to our enemy that is distinct. The Taliban could be anyone because al qaeda is. Less personal. Now it's just a militant group without a country or an army etc. It's a foreign "mob" that we must fear will destroy America.

We've been had and our treasury ransacked. Now two of the dumbest people in
America want to get elected to keep it all going. And this was supposed to be the least embarrassing candidates for the republican disaster. Enough. No more republican anything. Don't let the door kick you in the ass on the way out (you may drop the silverware).

Posted by: joey on September 30, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Similarly at unbossed.com on Monday: "For Palin, every question is a 'gotcha' question"

Fwiw, the voter who questioned Palin said she seemed "clueless".

Posted by: smintheus on September 30, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Can't remember when I've ever seen a VP candidate CHAPERONED!

Posted by: Sophie in VA on September 30, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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