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Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Being the chief executive of a state government is the best on-the-job training you can get for being the chief executive of the Federal government.  Many of the same elements are in play; budgetary concerns, legislative relations, muckraking opponents, the press, and a hundred other mundane challenges that the average person never hears about.

Sarah Palin had the opportunity to gain more executive experience – heck, she had the job! – and she just blew it off.  This is a problem for Palin’s fans and a boon for her detractors because Palin (to date) has given no coherent reason for her resignation.  The most likely reasons for the resignation seem to be that (1) She was unable to adequately perform the duties of her office due to the numerous (bogus) ethics complaints and attendant investigations pending and (2) She hopes to cash in on her fame by selling a book and/or giving speeches.  Unfortunately for her, Palin hasn’t personally gone on the record stating (1) and her ex-future-son-in-law has gone on the record theorizing (2).

Expanding on my theory that gubernatorial experience is the ideal training for the presidency, let’s look at Palin’s potential competition for the Republican nom in 2012:

  • Mike Huckabee served one half-term (appointed) and two full terms (elected) as governor of Arkansas. 
  • Tim Pawlenty is serving out his second term in Minnesota.
  • Haley Barbour is serving out his second term in Mississippi.
  • Mitt Romney served one full term in Massachusetts.
  • Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has less experience as governor than Palin, but by 2012 will have surpassed her.

In this sample group of sixRepublican prospects, Palin will come be the least experienced executive come 2012, and she is no longer gaining experience.  At the same time she is tied for the least legislative experience, with none.  Please, Palin backers, don’t try this at home.  Touting her mayoral experience won’t cut cheese with me.

I’ve waited this long to express an opinion on Sarah Palin’s resignation because I kept thinking that there’s more to it, that there’s a statement or revelation forthcoming that will make it all make sense.  But that isn’t happening, and if hasn’t by now, I don’t think it will.

It’s over, Sarah.  You were a longshot, but you still had a shot.  And now you’ve blown it.

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David Letterman quipped on his show this week that Sarah Palin cultivates an image as a “slutty flight attendant” and then joked that when Palin and her daughter visited Yankee Stadium and watched a baseball game, an awkward moment arose when Palin’s daughter was “knocked up” by Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez in the seventh inning.

Letterman isn’t always funny – in fact he hasn’t really been funny in years – but seldom has he stooped so low.

Sarah Palin is a lovely woman and millions of American women view her as a role model.  She is also an intelligent and accomplished woman, but her religious and political views have made her a favorite target of the left-wingers who dominate the American entertainment industry.  It’s no surprise that Letterman doesn’t like Governor Palin, but we may be forgiven for our surprise at the sliminess Letterman’s attack.  I’ve never heard Letterman link the word slutty to any other female politician, but maybe that’s because they just aren’t attractive enough to arouse him the way Palin does.

But the really disgusting moment, the moment when he really hit rock bottom, was the asinine joke about Governor Palin’s daughter getting impregnated by Alex Rodriguez.  Presumably Letterman and his overpaid writers assumed that Governor Palin was accompanied by her 18-year old daughter Bristol, who is an unwed mother.  At least that’s what he claims.  But the governor was actually accompanied by her 14-year old daughter Willow.  Consequently, Letterman was actually making a deroguatory sex joke about an underage girl.

In a lame attempt to get credit for an apology without actually making one, Letterman spoke about the incident during his monologue yesterday, making a variety of inane jokes that further illustrated his contempt for the entire Palin family.  He also said that he would “never ever” joke about a 14-year old girl being raped or otherwise engaging in any kind of sexual activity, but on the other hand, he did it in front of God and everybody.  And by the way, is it really so different to talk about an 18-year old in the same terms?

Personal note to Dave Letterman: Mr. Letterman, I’m no fan of yours.  You aren’t amusing and like I said before, you haven’t been in years.  So that you don’t think I have no sense of humor, I want you to know that I’m a big fan of your employee Craig Ferguson, who is funny in a way you have never been.  But you are just a huge jerk, a train wreck, and a laughingstock.  Most Americans aren’t laughing at your jokes any more, Dave Letterman.  They’re laughing at you.

For the last few weeks we’ve all heard the whispers – mostly from the talking heads in the mainstream press – that Sarah Palin isn’t up to the job of the vice presidency.  Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric’s interviews with Palin were really more like pop quizzes, and the democratic mouthpieces couldn’t contain their glee with her sometimes less than stellar performances.

But tonight Governor Palin held her own in a debate with Joe Biden, and something very important happened: she justified the hopes of her supporters.

The conventional wisdom in the press was that Biden, the seasoned politician and veteran of dozens of debates at diferent levels of government, was going to wipe the walls with Palin.  This was the hope of the democrats and the fear of the republicans.  But the reality was different.

Palin was frank and candid, and seemed comfortable in her own skin.  She touted her resume as a mother, a mayor, a commissioner, and a chief executive.  She spoke of her admiration and respect for her running mate, John McCain.  And she did it all with ease and confidence.

There were things that the governor could have done better.  For instance, she should have demanded the last word on several occasions when Biden punctuated his comments with cheap shots and democratic applause lines.  And it would have been better if she had spent more time on offense against Barack Obama instead of defending John McCain (and herself).  But Sarah Palin did enough things right without getting anything terribly wrong, and her highly credible performance is bound to reinvigorate the Republican base that had initially been so energized by her, and whose enthusiasm had begun to wane.

In that respect, Sarah Palin won tonight by not losing.

Sarah Palin, human being

Sarah Palin, human being

Feminists ought to thank Sarah Palin.

She’s going to win the vice presidency, and in doing so she’s going to break the glass ceiling.

The feminists’ favored candidate (Hillary You-Know-Who) has personally kept the glass ceiling intact for years with her obnoxious and condescending attitude, her sense of entitlement, and her smugness, her reputation for calculation…so many people find her so repellent that she could never succeed.  And yet all of America has been watching and waiting for her to achieve the ultimate success, and she’s been sucking up all the oxygen in the upper atmosphere of female politics.

Ironically, their worst nightmare is the woman who is going to succeed where they have failed.  They’re probably feeling that success is a litle bit overrated these days.

It must be disheartening for Democrats to see how well Sarah Palin has been received as John McCain’s running mate.  Women love her, men love to look at her, working class people and outdoorsmen identify with her, and her popularity is (at least for now) greater than that of anyone else that either party has to offer.  All this, and most people still really don’t know much about her.

Sounds familiar to Republicans.  For the last year and a half we’ve been hearing praise and adoration for Obama based on little more than his ability to read a speech and his skin color, from people who really didn’t know anything about him.

What does it all mean?

It means that people still vote for superficials.  People are still essentially the same today as they were twenty years ago, fifty years ago, and one hundred years ago.  People know that they can’t learn everything about a candidate, so they’re looking for someone who they identify with; we look for external markers that tell us this person is genuinely what they appear to be.  When mothers and grandmothers look at Palin they see a mother of five with a daughter who is pregnant and a son who has a developmental disability.  When evangelicals look at Palin they see a mom who could have aborted her imperfectly conceived child, but chose life instead.  When outdoorsmen look at Palin they see someone who genuinely likes to hunt and fish (not one who, like Bill Clinton, sits in a duck blind for an hour, fires a round into an empty sky, and then walks out of the blind with a duck that someone else shot).  When high-achieving, competitive people look at Palin they see Sarah Barracuda, state basketball champion and mother of a hockey player.  When frustrated idealists look at Palin they see a self-sacrificing whistleblower who took on her own party and won.

That’s why the Republican base isn’t even paying much attention to what Sarah Palin says.  It’s the same thing when Obama speaks – democrats hear some indistinct mix of nouns and verbs and adverbs and pronouns and beatiful, glittering, quavering adjectives.  “Elbow, snowflake, green grass, macaroni, you and I, best friends forever,” he says.  And their eyes fill with tears because he’s tall and handsome and black and he has a deep voice and he might actually win.

Yep, they’re a different color, a different gender, and a different party, but it’s pretty much the same thing going on.  That’s politics.  Welcome to campaign 2008.

From my beautiful wife, on the subject of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy and Sarah Palin’s candidacy: “Who cares?  It’s not like Sarah Palin got her daughter pregnant!”

From Peggy Noonan, on why Evangelical Christians aren’t judging the Palin family harshly: “…Modern American evangelicals are among the last people who’d judge her harshly. It is the left that is about to go crazy with Puritan judgments; it is the right that is about to show what mellow looks like. Religious conservatives know something’s wrong with us, that man’s a mess. They are not left dazed by the latest applications of this fact. ‘This just in – there’s a lot of sinning going on out there’ is not a headline they’d understand to be news.”

It looks like all the chattering knuckleheads of the commentator class were wrong about Tim Pawlenty (yours truly included), and John McCain has chosen Sarah Palin of Alaska to be his running mate.

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

One of the first and most widespread Democrat responses to this selection has been to disparage on the basis that “if McCain were a real maverick like people say, he would have picked someone unconventional, like Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge.”  This is an obvious false argument; to select Lieberman or Ridge wouldn’t make McCain a maverick, it would make him a contrarian.  And McCain is too prone to compromise to be considered a contrarian.

The other popular response from the dems is to run down Palin’s experience.  This is a definite non-starter, since her executive experience (mayor of Wasilla, governor of Alaska) dwarfs Obama’s (zero).  Say she isn’t ready to be president if you like, but she’s much more experienced and more qualified as a #2 than Barry is as a #1.