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Let Sarah be Sarah?

When I first learned of John McCain's VP pick I had mixed emotions. I already knew something of Alaska's governor, and admired what I'd heard, but also feared that her rookie status might pose a problem for a ticket that valued "experience."

The first thing I did was to Google all her appearances I could find, including interviews on network television and debates from the gubernatorial contest. In all cases, I found her to be thoughtful, intelligent, and self-confident.

I was somewhat reassured, but still felt a bit on edge prior to her speech at the Republican National Convention. Two minutes into the speech, however, and I just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed.

But now what's happened? Her latest media appearances have been absolute abortions, and are totally out of character with the "Sarah Palin that I knew (™ Obama.)"

What happened? I guess some of it may be the star high school quarterback who chokes on the big game, when the stakes are high and all the recruiters are watching. But the RNC speech was a homerun (to mix a metaphor), so I don't think that's entirely it.

Rather, I think she's been overcoached. I think the McCain campaign, sensitive to criticism that she may be lacking on foreign policy, drilled her mercilessly, cramming her head full of figures and angles, and training her to always bring the dialog back to the touchstones of memorized talking points and pat rote answers.

In fact, I don't think it, I know it. You can all but see the gears spinning as she's asking herself "How can I bring this back to one of the half dozen points I was trained to focus on?"

That's a damn pity. Sarah Palin was chosen specifically to compensate for some of John McCain's shortcomings, so why all the effort to turn her into John McCain?

Count me squarely in the "Let Sarah be Sarah!" camp. I'd love to get back that spunky, intelligent, self-assured, first-term governor. I'd like to see her be herself and let the chips fall where they may. If she gaffes, she gaffes, but so what? Biden does it every time he opens his mouth.

Sadly, though, I'm not sure this kind of overcoaching can easily be put back in the box. It's one thing to say "Okay, we've changed our minds, just be yourself, " but it's another to actually be able to do it.

Ah well. We'll see. Thursday night.


All this handwringing by conservative comentaters, that Palin should stick to interviews with Hannity/Limbaugh/etc. and that we should let Palin be Palin and not be so over coached, kind of misses the point.

To me, it is apparent that she wasn't ready for the national stage for many reasons. (1) She was governor for a very short time. (2) Nothing wrong with Alaska, but it's unlike the lower 48 in many ways. (3) She hasn't shown much interest in her life in exploring issues outside Alaska, which includes not just foreign policy but domestic policy for the Continental U.S.

Had she run for President, she might have dealt with those issues and slowly got to understand concerns of people who are different than herself. In her speech, she quoted Harry Truman's love of small towns. Well, Truman had more breath of experience than Palin by the time he was nominated to be Vice President. While he came from a small town, by then he got to know Washington as well.

You say she was over coached? Well, why did she need to be coached, let alone sheltered from the press until weeks after the convention? Yes, she gave a good introduction at the convention, but hell even Quayle gave interviews after he was nominated and he managed to make the press look silly. Katie Couric, on the other hand, played it straight and made the interview about Palin, clearly exposing that Palin was just not ready.

I am angry at McCain for picking Palin. To me, it was just one more stunt that was ill thought out. McCain has been country first much of his life, but he hasn't acted that way lately, in my view.

I remember at the time how McCain supporters were all happy how McCain was able to surprise the media in his pick of Palin, how she wasn't on any of the short lists assembled by the pundits.

Well, if she had been on the short list and it appeared for months that she might get the nod, then we might've found out more about her before McCain picked her. As it is, Palin is now being thrust into the spotlight just two months before she could become one of the most powerful politicians in the land and I think people are rightly going through her trash because there is this sense that most people in this country just don't know her.

Pleasant surprises can go sour if they are not thought through.

Also, a lot of what you might call hysteria regarding Palin I find to be reasonable concerns.

I've attended church quite a bit and the praying that we've done was for the health of someone who was sick or the family of the deceased.

I've never experienced a candidate running for political office standing up in front of the congregation as the Pastor prays over her to help her get properly financed, that she win the governorship in the name of Jesus, and that she is protected against the forces of witchcraft.

I was concerned over Obama's church as well, but I didn't see Obama himself participating in that nonsense.

I also was given time to see how Obama was different from Reverend Wright. While he was wrong to tolerate it for so long, he was different.

I have no sense of Palin.

While I believe that the attacks on her daughter was totally out of bounds, many other concerns I find totally valid.

I am not ready for her to be President and that's what's she's running for, given McCain's health and age.

I don't care. Sarah has been so demonized by the left she can channel Churchill and still be excoriated. It's a simple double standard. How can Joe "eloquent for an African American" Biden can get away with so much bullsh#t is beyond me. And the mollycoddling of Senator O makes my stomach sick. As an AfAm myself, this is insulting. He just recently admitted that he doubted he could persuade the Reps to vote on the bailout. THAT's bipartisan?
If people don't want Sarah to be elected, then don't vote for her. Politicians make cringe-worthy statements all the time. I watched her recent interview with Couric (who looked like she'd rather swallow alum than talk to Gov Palin) and I am not happy with her viewpoints on abortion. HOWEVER, I understand where she comes from and think she is a smart woman. But I disagree with her strongly. Therefore I am discouraged over voting for her. If she is elected *and* she tries to override abortion rights, I will fight it.
There. Simple and painless.

"I am not happy with her viewpoints on abortion. HOWEVER, I understand where she comes from and think she is a smart woman. But I disagree with her strongly. Therefore I am discouraged over voting for her. If she is elected *and* she tries to override abortion rights, I will fight it." (Rachel)

Here's the thing, EVERY practicing Catholic opposes abortion.

It's one of the tenets of that religion, in fact, that religion ALSO opposes birth control!

I know there are nimrods like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi who both claim to hold views counter to their RC Church's beliefs while claiming to be "practicing Catholics," and then say absolutely idiotic things like, "The Catholic Church has never really decided when life begins."


I guess that's why the RC Church recently responded to BOTH those "lapsed Catholics" to educate them that support for abortion DOES indeed run counter to that Church's teachings and that in that entity's view "life begins at conception."

I haven't been a Catholic since I was 11 BECAUSE "If you DON'T believe in what a Church teaches, you are NOT a real member of that Church."

So, in many regards, I have more respect for people who just admit and acknowledge their anti-abortion views...hell, I even have more respect for pols like Mario Cuomo who famously tried to have it both ways - "While I'm personally opposed to abortion, I will not override the will of the people." That would've held a little more weight IF Cuomo had also felt the same way about Capital Punishment, supported by almost 80% of New Yorkers at the time, yet opposed by him on "religious/moral grounds."

Bottomline, even if Roe were to be overturned all that would do would be to return the abortion issue back to the individual states.

That's not an opinion, that is fact.

Moreover, with some 65% of Americans supporting first trimester abortion on demand and another 65% opposing late term abortion, it's almost certain that first trimester abortion (over 95% of all abortions) would be legal in virtually all states, with restrictions on late term abortion and various parental notification statutes varying by state.

I agree that many on the left have been brutal towards her. I personally believe that her children should be left alone.

That said, the question is not whether Andrew Sullivan should be President (I think not), but whether Sarah Palin should be. Yes, some on the left have been mean to her.. but there are meanies on the right as well.

"I am not ready for her to be President and that's what's she's running for, given McCain's health and age." (PE)

As to "age and health" - I don't know, seems McCain's Mom is not only "still kicking" at 95, she's sharp as a tack. I don't see that as an issue.

Look at Al Davis, owner of the Raiders, 78 y/o and still a dynamic, forceful leader. He just fired a coach and has decided NOT to honor the guy's contract, claiming the coach's actions breached that contract. A ballsy move, even if it doesn't hold up to challenges.

More than that, at least in MY view, one of the GREAT things about politics is that there are absolutely NO qualifications for public office.

Joe Biden recently said, "A leader has to know what he's talking about so that he can alay people's fears...that's why, when the stock market crashed FDR went on TV to calm the people..."

I don't know, but I'll go out on a limb here and say that you're at least as "qualified" as Joe Biden is."

In the wake of the LIRR massacre (which killed her husband and permanently injured her son), Carolyn McCarthy of LI's 4th District was elected to Congress after taking a lesson from that mass murder that ran counter to common-sense.

Ms. McCarthy decided that "easy access to guns" was to blame rather than say, illegal immigration (the killer, Colin Ferguson, was an illegal) or the real problem - guns in the hands of the wrong people.

Is that a "qualification?"

Suzanna Hupp, of Kileen, TX., who lost both her parents in the Luby's Luncheonette massacre, took the exact opposite view of Carolyn McCarthy and a view in-line with common sense - that if there were just one other armed person in Luby's that day (there was sadly a ban on weapons inside the restaurant) then George Jo Hennard almost certainly wouldn't have been able to kill 24 innocent people.

And YET, Liberals will kid themselves over the various "qualifications" of Suzanne Hupp and Carolyn McCarthy!

WHAT "qualifications!

Neither really has ANY...and quite frankly, our system of government doesn't require ANY.

And I'm glad it doesn't. It's one of its many peculiar pleasantries.

>...the question is not whether Andrew Sullivan should be President (I think not)...

He's constitutionally ineligible (Allah be praised.)

Given that the VP TV debate moderator has a book coming out on January 20th called "The Breakthrough - Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" (no, seriously!), you have to wonder just what it is we'll see on Thursday night.

What media bias?

1) Gwen Ifill moderated the VP debate in 2004.

2) The McCain knew about her book when they approved her this time around.

>2) The McCain knew about her book when they approved her this time around.

The McCain camp reportedly claims otherwise.

"Country First - Politics and Reform in the Age of McCain" written by the moderator of a major electoral debate (I won't brief my favoured [and vested interest] candidate on the questions and process beforehand - honest).

It's so blatant the MSM might as well wear the O shaped campaign buttons. Still the PEs of the left would slip into three monkey mode. But such corruption and stupidity is all to be expected.

The ones that really annoy me are the McCain campaign - they are sleepwalking into defeat.

From what I hear, it's been pretty open knowledge that she's been working on this book. It was mentioned in articles about her and the book was announced months ago.

Apparently, it's about blacks in politics, not just Obama. Whether or not she's favorable or critical of Obama, I understand though that it is a conflict of interest in that she will certainly sell more books if Obama wins.

Frankly, I'm not one who cares that much about who is moderating the debate. I have no problem with Fox News anchors, such as Brit Hume, participating and wouldn't care if they wrote a book about McCain.

Ifill was chosen because both sides agreed on her. I think it is possible for even biased anchors to be fair. Couric, for example, has asked nearly the exact same questions of both Biden and Palin in her interviews with both.

That said, in that she has an economic interest in the outcome, there is a conflict of interest.

There is no reason why the McCain campaign could not know about Ifill's book as she talked about it in nearly every interview she gave.

This is from an interview back in May called "Journalism pioneer talks about politics, race, herself."

"Well, I am working on this book now, which is frankly taking almost all of my waking hours when I'm not at work. The book is about an emerging generation of black politicians - in fact, when I'm in town, I'll probably talk to your mayor - including focusing on Barack Obama and [Massachusetts Gov.] Deval Patrick and [Newark, N.J., Mayor] Corey Booker - and trying to talk about what we see happening here, and I think there is something fundamental shifting here, which is shifting before our eyes, that goes beyond Barack Obama."

>That said, in that she has an economic interest in the outcome, there is a conflict of interest.

That's exactly it. The point is not that she's a liberal. Of course she's a liberal. But now she's a liberal with a vested financial interest in an Obama victory. Sorry, but that has got to be a violation of the journalists' code of ethics, as well as the policies of PBS. Too bad they don't care.

My first liberal knee jerk reaction was to defend Ifill because I personally admire her and watch her PBS program nearly every week.

That said, the more I thought about it, the more it didn't pass the smell test. I think it's OK for journalists to write books about current politics, but I think it was the fact that this book comes out on January 20 made it quite obvious that an Obama win would mean more books sold.

Her latest media appearances have been absolute abortions, and are totally out of character with the "Sarah Palin that I knew (™ Obama.)"

The Reps saw Sarah as a Messiah
The Dems saw Sarah as a Antichrist

When she proved she was human and made mistakes* everyone's expectations, esp Reps who did not think Mc was pure enough, were shattered.

*notice how her intereviews are presidential, while Obama's are fanboy-like.

The Repugs are already trying to make excuses for when Moose Jewel makes an ass of herself tonight. The McCain crybabies know that they could ask for a change and get it, but they aren't really doing that. They just want to lower expectations some more and have a pre-fabricated claim of bias.

Pathetic. What a bunch of whining losers.

"When she proved she was human and made mistakes* everyone's expectations, esp Reps who did not think Mc was pure enough, were shattered.

"*notice how her intereviews are presidential, while Obama's are fanboy-like." (Rachel)

The one thing I noticed and didn't like about the Couric-Palin interview in particular was that none of these types of questions ("name some SC decisons you disagree with and why"), although OK questions ARE NOT and HAVE NOT been asked of either Obama, McCain or Biden!

That's problematic, in that she (an outsider) has been treated differently than the other three Washington insiders...and that's wrong.

Again, one of the major problems with our MSM, at least in my view, comes down to "a lack of math skills" and the logic that is rooted in basic math.

I know there are people who think of Gibson and Couric as "good interviewers" and believe that that alone proves they're both "very smart people."

I don't know either of them, so I don't know how smart either of them is.

I DO know that interview skills are no more a real measure of intelligence than say, ping pong or chess skills are.

I'm a decent chess player and a pretty good ping pong player, neither, very much like interview skills, is indicative of anyone's intelligence.

I know a couple of guys who are GREAT interrogators. They could get just about anyone to implicate themselves in criminal activity...they're both SO good, that I believe either of them could get Katie Couric to implicate herself in criminal activities she's never been involved in....they're that good.

Now that skill is significantly more involved than mere interviewing is, but again, like ping pong or chess, it's a skill you can learn and it's not at all indicative of one's intellect.

A novice could be given a number of questions on index cards and conduct as good an interview as most "good interviewers," though no novice is going to adept at the nuances needed to be a good interrogator.

The problem I have with the MSM is pseudo-intellectuals (like Gibson and Couric) arbitrarily holding some people to different standards than others.

So far, the BEST interviews I've seen during the current election season have been O'Reilly's interviews with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama....he didn't subject either of them to any gotcha questions or pop quizzes, why the MSM feels Sarah Palin SHOULD BE subjected to them and held to a different standard than the other three candidates is anyone's guess.

Thanks, Rush Jr., for repeating the Repug talking points about the Evil Mainstream Media that is just oh so biased against Moose Jewel that they actually asked her tough questions like, "What newspapers do you read?"

Moose Jewel reads them all! She just reads EVERYTHING!

BWAHAHA ... what a retard.

Why do you despise the person most like yourself (NO, not in temperment or abilities...she's got you on both of those by wide margins, but as a "regular-everyday American") in the race?

There are three Washington insider pseudo-elites and one middle-class Mom from Alaska.

The Washington elites have been pretty much spanking the American working and middle classes for decades...sometimes "for the poor," OR "for the children," but mostly for the lobbyists (Corporate, environmental and Union lobbyists) who line their pockets in order to get legislation passed that benefits those lobbyist's groups at our expense.

For instance, I voted for Diane McGrath for Mayor against Ed Koch (who I liked very much - he was a good and effective Mayor) in 1985 precisely BECAUSE she had no prior political experience...and because she was closer to being "one of us" (the people) than anyone else in that race.

Maybe it's self-hatred that drives Liberals toward the pseudo-elitists who wipe their boots on them.

You know, there's therapy for that sort of thing now-a-days Barely. I hear sometimes it even works!

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