The Hail Sarah Pass Open Thread
Picking Sarah Palin was a real desperation move on McCain's part-- and it's going over badly. I'll keep updating all day. Even Rahm Emanuel gets this one right:
"After trying to make experience the issue of this campaign, John McCain celebrated his 72nd birthday by appointing a former small town mayor and brand new Governor as his Vice Presidential nominee. Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency? Given Sarah Palin's lack of experience on every front and on nearly every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn't show judgement: it shows political panic."
And it's no wonder McCain was so antsy about leaking out an "exciting" name to get the attention off Obama. Over 38 million people watched Obama's speech last night.
Nielsen Media Research said more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year. Obama talked before a live audience of 80,000 people in Denver.
His TV audience nearly doubled the amount of people who watched John Kerry accept the Democratic nomination to run against President Bush four years ago. Kerry's speech was seen by just over 20 million people.
Obama's audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn't have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night.
Although the McCain campaign is busily re-writing history to make Palin sound like she opposed the corrupt earmarks that have landed Ted Stevens and Don Young in hot water-- particularly their "Bridge to Nowhere" that McCain is always railing against-- Palin was always a big supporter of the Bridges to Nowhere and all the criminal pork Young and Stevens were bringing back to Alaska. In 2006, when she was trying to make the leap from runner up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant and mayor of Wasilla (population 8,471) to gubernatorial contender, she was asked how she felt about the Bridges to Nowhere. According to the October 5th, 2006 Anchorage Daily News she replied. "I do support the infrastructure projects that are on tap here in the state of Alaska that our congressional delegations worked hard for." In fact, she then started complaining that the federal money for the two horrible projects weren't coming in fast enough!
In fact, Palin has always been a pork-crazed maniac, the kind of straw man McCain loves to bash on the stump. This year Alaska received nearly $100 million more In pork than any other state ($379,669,715). According to the Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Palin employs the lobbying firm Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates to seek earmarks for the state of Alaska. You think the vetters missed that when they were looking into her past? If so they also missed this: According to that same Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Palin paid the lobbying firm of Hoffman Silver Gilman & Blasco to lobby on behalf of the City of Wasilla while she was mayor and according to Citizens Against Government Waste, in 2000 the City of Wasilla received a $1 million transportation earmark for the Wasilla Intermodal Facility for bus and bus related facilities while Wasilla's Life Quest Community Mental Health Center gobbled up a $500,000 earmark, same amount as the town's emergency shelter, although less than the $600,000 earmark for the Wasilla city bus facility. Meanwhile Wasilla received a $1 million earmark for the Wasilla Regional Dispatch Center, a $1.5 million earmark for water and sewer improvements, and a $2.6 million transportation earmark for an alternative route project. And back then only 5,000 people lived there. Now that's pork. So, as inexperienced as she is about everything else, she sure knows how to rook the federal government out of boucoup taxpayer dollars. I wonder if McCain will still be screamin' and hollerin' about earmarks and Bridges to Nowhere now that she's on his ticket.
My friend David said this reminded him of Bush's ill-fated choice of Harriet Myers for the Supreme Court. "They can't judge women... (Or pick women judges... ) They're at a loss when they have to leave the country club and cigars and hang with" real people. Jonathan Singer goes further and sees Spiro Agnew in her.
It has been forty years since someone as inexperienced as Sarah Palin has been put on a national ticket, and surprisingly enough there are some real similarities between Palin and her unprepared predecessor, Spiro T. Agnew, who also had been governor less than two years at the time Richard Nixon picked him to be his number two and who also had a corruption problem lingering in the background that would end up causing his running mate problems.
...But the comparisons between Palin and Agnew do not end there. Just as a corruption scandal from Agnew's time as Maryland Governor plagued him throughout his Vice Presidential tenure-- in the end forcing him to resign-- so too does Palin have a corruption problem brewing in the background. What's more, her corruption and abuse of power problem is one easily understood by voters: She allegedly attempted to have fired a state trooper in a custody battle with her sister.
...Do we really need to put another wildly inexperienced, purely political choice into the White House, only to see issues from that candidate's past potentially stain the Vice Presidency?