Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Hello everyone. If you haven't noticed, this blog has been rather quiet recently. This is in part due to the fact that I am very busy looking for employment and housing in the DC area, and partly due to the decrease in focus on the election. Hence, while I intend to continue blogging, I will not be posting here until after the New Year. Frankly, after almost two years at this gig, I think we could all use bit of a break to think and refocus.
Now, this does not mean we are shutting down. In fact, there are several things that I will be pursuing and would like your opinion on.
1) This website will not be changing its look...at all. Due to the fact that it is being archived by the Library of Congress as a site of historical significance, I intend to leave the name and design of this page intact for posterity and will not redesign. However, I may look into moving operations to a new location where we can put up a page with a more general and/or 2012-based focus.
2) I will probably be looking at launching a personal site/blog that will have a more general political scope (although it will almost surely include a section devoted to all things Sarah).
Thank you for reading and please keep coming back. I'm not going anywhere, just taking a breather before launching new efforts.
I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas or (in my case) a Happy Hanukkah, and I will see you all soon.
- Adam Brickley
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Chambliss: ‘Dynamite’ Palin turned out vote
Newly reelected Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) credited Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with firing up his base and allowing him to cruise to a victory over Democrat Jim Martin.
Chambliss heaped praise on Palin, saying she has a “great future” in the GOP.
“I can’t overstate the impact she had down here. All these folks did a great job coming in,” he said, referring to former presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani. “They all allow you [to] add momentum to where we were in the campaign. But when she walks in a room, folks just explode.”
Party leader credits Palin, majority for GOP victory in Georgia
“The margin you see in this race, I think you can attribute to her involvement in the end,” McKoon said.
Biden to Palin: With the race over, ‘no one pays attention to me’
“I might point out, as I told you when we walked in, since the race is over, no one pays attention to me at all … Maybe you will walk outside with me or something later and say hello to me,” Biden said,
Perry, Sanford and Palin fight for Taxpayers at Philly Conference
Republican Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Sarah Palin of Alaska, led a spirited debate about the pitfalls of adding to the $10.7-trillion federal debt. “They warned that the U.S. economy could collapse”, said Governor Paterson
Palin Power: Former Vice Presidential Candidate Attracts Most Attention At The Governors’ Meeting
The most exciting politician at the National Governors Association (NGA) conference was not President-elect Barack Obama, D, nor was it the former movie action star, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif. The politician everyone wanted was Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate.
“I still have great concerns, when much of the economic problem that we are facing today perhaps was caused by too much debt that solving those problems will not come from incurring more debt”, said Palin.
Finally, watch this video. It appears as if Senator Chambliss endorsed Palin for 2012.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I am going to take the post one step further and accuse some (in the minority) elite/east-coast Republicans of unknowingly sabotaging the party and any near-future hopes of regaining control of congress or the White house.
Expect President Obama and the DNC to raise $2 billion dollars over the next four years. Expect the Obama/DNC email distribution list to reach 20 million (from the current 13 million) and their online donors list to grow from the 3 million current supporters.
Many conservatives believe that the 2010 mid-term elections will be a repeat of 1994, but do not hold your breath. In the eyes of the voting public, the words, ‘Republican’, ‘corruption’ and ’DC’ are virtually indistinguishable. We are just as ill thought of as we were in 2006 and might still be just as negatively perceived in 2010, when there are even more vulnerable Republican seats up for re-election then there were in 2008.
Answer: Sarah Palin.
Let us put aside the 2012 campaign for a moment and review why Sarah Palin is critical to saving the Republican party from further electoral losses.
Currently, Governor Sarah Palin is the only Republican politician who is in high demand on the talk show circuit, has galliardising support, is directly or indirectly responsible for developing massive email distribution lists, growing the online presence of conservative chat rooms, networking site and blogs and has the ability to fund-raise at the level of President Bush. Since the Nov. 4th election, most of the new conservative blogs and sites have been created on behalf of Sarah Palin or created by administrators supportive of Palin and/or her conservative positions. The online growth (blogs, youtube, conservative social networking) is Palin motivated and Palin targeted.
The online Palin movement is the only conservative network to adopt identical technology and networking platforms as the successful Obama Presidential campaign. The Palin movement will be the critical factor in saving many Senators and House members in 2010, which is why liberals want Palin to become insignificant and shun from the national stage. See a transcript from a recent Limbaugh show for further explanation.
Still do not believe me about Palin, then read this from Politico.
- Palin was the most popular Lycos search from the week she joined the ticket continuously through last Sunday,
- The Alaska governor now ranks fourth, just one spot below Obama, on the weekly Lycos 50 list.
- In September, the Anchorage Daily News reported a 928 percent spike in traffic, according to Nielsen Online.
- Her mid-October “Saturday Night Live” appearance drove the show’s highest rating in 14 years, and her Oct. 2 debate with Joe Biden was the most watched vice presidential debate ever — drawing more viewers than any of the three presidential debates between McCain and Obama.
- She ranked as the No. 2 top news search at Ask.com this week and No. 2 (after Obama) among newsmakers on the AOL 2008 year-end hottest searches list, and she occupied two slots on Politico’s list of the site’s 10 most searched terms.
- Palin also ranked fourth among Yahoo searches
she sat for an interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News and delivered the show’s largest audience of the year.
- According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Palin was the second-leading newsmaker for the week of Nov. 10-16, trailing only Obama and ranking ahead of President Bush, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and McCain in the number of stories about her.
Some web sites and GOP activists/politicians have provided some excellent suggestions to improve the Republican party, election strategy and online and grassroots conservative activism, but without growing membership lists, fundraising dollars and motivated activists, the ideas will not materialize into success. Like her or not, Sarah Palin is the only net-positive national representative we have at the moment.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Brand new Sarah Palin ad, produced by a Conservative PAC. Watch it here.
PAC spokesman Sal Russo said they have received $2 million in donations for the ads, which will start running tomorrow in Alaska and will include a national buy. “We wanted to give Sarah Palin the reassurance that despite the critics, Americans by and large appreciated her service and want her to continue to be a voice.”
He said there was some “back and forth” about whether the political ad would air on the television networks. He said it would air on cable news outlets. In Alaska, the ad is airing in primetime Wednesday.
I can hear all the potential 2012 candidates saying to themselves…”I have no chance to secure the nomination if Palin runs”.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So, the word on the street today is that Sarah may have been offered up to $7 Million dollars to pen a book. Personally, I think she should take it…not for the money but for the exposure. In fact, I have suggested that writing a book would be a good step. However, I have to add one key caviat to my endorsement of the idea: if the publishers want her to just write a “memoir”, she should tell them to take a hike.
Memoirs are for has-beens…and Sarah is clearly just beginning her national career. What we need from her now is vision, not memories. Any forthcoming book by Sarah Palin needs to be forward-looking and contain commentary about the current political scene: what’s right about it, what’s wrong with it, and how we can fix it. If Sarah can use her own past accomplishments as a basis for a broader national agenda (and she can), than more power to her, but she needs to keep ideas at the center of her writing and use her biography only as proof that those ideas work. This book would need to be substantive and meaty, because it will probably be the lynchpin of any effort to dispel the Tina Fey stereotype of Palin-as-airhead.
Personally, I think she could eschew the biography end of things all together and write on policy. She’s one of the nation’s leading authorities on oil and gas policy, and one of its most dogged crusaders for ethical government. It should not be hard for her to crank out a volume on either of those subjects.
So, we can all celebrate the fact that the publishing world wants to hear from our favorite Governor, but we need to make sure that she knows what her devoted “fans” want to hear from her.
So, as the original “Palin fan” (at least here in the Lower 48), I’ll start the chorus:
SARAH, PLEASE FORGET ABOUT THE PAST AND GIVE US A VISION FOR THE FUTURE! (Besides, something tells me that, be the time this thing would go to print, the public might be hungry for some more genuine plans for “hope” and “change”)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ever start to put two and two together and…
I was updating my bookmarks and I was surprised to see Team Sarah was still actively advocating for Governor Palin. No mention of 2012, but their efforts were obvious. In recent weeks Team Sarah’s most vocal advocate and leader has been Jeri Thompson. You can watch some of Jeri’s performances here. As many of you are aware, Jeri is not just a political spouse, she is a political operative. Jeri worked at the RNC.
Both Thompson (Fred) and Palin have been very silent on their future roles in the GOP, but I am beginning to notice a trend. What appears to be a subtle movement(s), is actually a full-scale assault and I believe that Mrs. and Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Palin are actively working together to ascend to the leadership of the GOP.
This is of course is mostly a hunch, but we need to keep our eye on the connections and subtleties.
On Thompson, Matt Lewis from Politico (Townhall) has the story (including some speculation on Palin);
During his short-lived 2008 presidential run, Thompson often seemed a better advocate for others than for himself. After dropping out of the presidential race, he served as one of Sen. John McCain’s most eloquent, hard-hitting and effective surrogates. With his Hollywood ties, he’s also a pretty good fundraiser. As RNC chairman, he could continue in that role without the pressure to become president himself (which, frankly, didn’t seem to appeal to him).
This week has also produced the launch of what is probably going to be the largest “Draft a Pol” movement in American history.
Paul Streitz designed a great site for the 2012 Palin movement. Paul has a ‘MASSIVE’ distribution list and networks of supporters and volunteers across the nation. Politico has the details on the ‘Draft Palin for President’ movement. Paul was a leading activist against the Bush immigration bill (frequently seen on Lou Dobbs) and Paul is the founder of http://www.americafirst2008.com/. This movement will soon have the resources and nationwide network similar to a national leadership campaign.
David L. Kelly, the group’s Treasurer and Colorado coordinator, sent a mass email today that hit at least one Iowa GOP vet.
“Since forming our committee last week, we now have State Organizers in ten states and thousands from across the nation who have signed on as supporters,” writes Kelly. “We feel that for Conservatives to be successful again, we must get back to the core principles of Conservatism. Sarah Palin’s popularity and her Conservative values that she embodies will be the catalyst that will resurrect the Conservative base and reform the Republican Party of the near future.”
Monday, November 17, 2008
Former Romney supporter K-Lo, makes the argument; Read the full article.
Some highlights of the editorial, below.
But Time shouldn’t diss the not insignificant portion of the country that voted for Republican John McCain. And, specifically, they shouldn’t ignore the people who were energized by the addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to his ticket. She offered something new on the right, something new from a woman and something new for Republicans. Mind you, Palin was far from the first pro-life conservative woman to appear in the Republican party — there are plenty of them in the House of Representatives. (With the defeat of Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina, though, there are no pro-life women in the Senate.)
Whatever you thought of her, it seemed everyone in the country had an opinion of Palin — at the very start, throughout, and after the Republicans’ failed national campaign. And like Obama, all you had to do was look at her to see that she offered something different on a national ticket. In neither case did I think that novelty alone was a sufficient qualification for executive office, but the sheer innovative force of each was blindingly obvious, and the first things you noticed.
Here at National Review’s post-election cruise, a group gathered for a weeklong post-mortem on the high seas has Palin on the brain. Palin’s not on ship, but neither her absence nor the McCain loss has dampened enthusiasm for her here.
Like the “change” from the Obama campaign slogan embraced by so many, Palin offered something different. For some it was an anti-Washington feel. Many consider her a refreshing citizen-politician in the old mold, one that Thomas Jefferson would be proud to meet. Does that make her just like Obama? I do wonder what the campaign would have been like had they both been at the helm: He wouldn’t have had a monopoly on change, and she would have had her own staff and freedom to follow her instincts, and perhaps better advice than she was given as she ran for vice president.
We’ll never know what could have been in a straight-on Obama vs. Palin contest. But what we do know is this: Palin, like Obama, energized people. And she did it in a heckuva lot less time than he had to do it, only coming onto the national scene and the GOP ticket Labor Day weekend. It’s still a free country. Media outlets still can do as they please (save for those who choose to hand over their editorial direction to one party or another). But Time would make a mistake if it ignored the Palin phenom this year just because the ticket didn’t win in the end.
Obama would be wise to agree.
K-Lo, I could not agree more.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Obviously, we are going to have to re-tool this site for post-2008 success, and I'm happy to announce that we took the first step yesterday by adding a new blogger...Kristofer D. Lorelli. Kristofer has a been a player in the Palin movement for some time as the founder of PalinForVP.com, and is also a contributor at Race42012 (formerly Race42008.com).
I haven't worked out how often Kristofer will be contributing yet, but his account is active and he is free to log on whenever he pleases. I will be looking for more new bloggers in the coming weeks and will let you know when a process has been set up.
I also wanted to let you know that I will also be re-starting my non-Palin blogging efforts, as there are many issues I have not commented on in the last year, and I miss blogging on international affairs. For now, I will be re-activating my old blog, ConservaGlobe, with a column to be posted tonight. I will probably be trying to totally re-do that site.
The future starts today, friends, and I'm really looking forward to it.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Governor Palin is not an economic populist. Her record of accomplishments include, cutting earmarks, cutting corporate welfare, balancing budgets and re-prioritizing spending. In her RGA speech this morning, the fiscally conservative Governor Palin we all respect and admire re-appeared.
"We're hearing now more talk of additional taxpayer bailouts … for companies, for corporations, perhaps even states now who may be standing in line with their hands out despite, perhaps, some poor management decisions on their part that helped tank our economy,"I believe this is the first of many deviations we will see Governor Palin take from the 2008 campaign policy booklet.
"Republicans can help shore (these sectors of the economy) up without getting any more addicted to opium, other people's money," she argued. "We need to have a rational discussion. What and when is enough enough?"
Also, I will be on CNN today at 2:50 PM Eastern Time for anyone interested in watching.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I will however, point you in the direction of RedState.com's "Operation Leper", which was posted earlier today. While the idea sounds a little malicious, I think it is worth pursuing in this particular case. Staffers who tear down their candidate the day after the election (likely on false premises), should not have a place in the GOP. If we want to win anything in the next four years, we need to stop tearing each other down and work together. So, I don't care what you think of Sarah Palin or anyone else who might be running for President in 2012 - if your top priority TWO DAYS AFTER A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION is tearing down a leader in your own party, then I think I have good reason to question both your character and your intelligence.
So, while I normally don't like to be this petty, I think we do need to find out who these people are and get rid of them. Any self-respecting Republican should see the value in closing ranks around Governor Palin and expelling the bad apples who are spreading these viscous rumors. It is irrelevant who support for President in 2012 or what you think of Sarah Palin, if you are a Republican, you have an obligation to work toward unifying the party and providing an effective opposition the Obama administration. Right now, unifying the party means letting these rogue staffers know that we are not going to tolerate their senseless hatred of a major figure in the GOP.
Also, I wanted to post a great analysis of this situation from Townhall.com's Matt Lewis. (Full disclosure: Mr. Lewis is my boss, but I'm posting this because I think he said what a lot of us are thinking, not because I work for him.)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The dust has settled. Barack Obama is the President-Elect, Joe Biden is moving into the Naval Observatory, John McCain is headed back to the Senate, and Sarah is going back to Alaska...hopefully to continue the dramatic progress she has made in upsetting the political establishment and making government work for the people.
Meanwhile, those of us who supported Sarah in her run for Vice President get to begin the process of moving forward. So, as we launch a new phase in our movement, I think it's time to start talking about what we want to see in the future from the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, and our own movement. I have a few thoughts on each. Some of this is stuff I've already read, some of it isn't.
WHAT I WANT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO DO
Forget about the 2012 presidential race for two years. We're never going to unseat Obama if we don't unite the party and build a solid foundation. Instead of lining up behind our respective horses for the next round of primaries, we need to focus on getting good leadership in place in Congress and the Republican National Committee (RNC). In Congress, I think this means turning the House Leadership over the the "Young Turks" of the party. More than likely, this will involve the eventual installation of a new Minority Leader from a younger generation (likely Eric Cantor of Virginia). For the time being, John Boehner has indicated his desire to remain Leader, and Cantor is probably going to run for Minority Whip. However, in the next few years, there should be moves to eventually replace Boehner with Cantor and trade the aging leadership team in for dynamic new faces like Paul Ryan (Wisconsin), Thad McCotter (Michigan), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington). They will be able to produce and market 21st Century conservative alternatives to President Obama's proposals.
At the RNC, there needs to be a new Chairman who can rev up the party faithful, rebuild the GOP fundraising machine, and help new Republicans win election. The Democrats figured out how to find such a person in 2005 when they elected Howard Dean, a charismatic former presidential candidate who could barnstorm the country. We could replicate that phenomenon by turning to Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE FROM GOVERNOR PALIN
1. Don't pay much attention to 2012 speculation and focus on being Governor. Cement yourself as a presence on the national scene, but top priority is getting that gasline built (thereby giving yourself another major accomplishment as Governor and potentially lowering energy prices down here in the lower 48...you can run on that in 2012)
2. Launch "SarahPAC" as soon as possible. You are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fundraising potential, and lots of people will be happy to give you lots of cash to distribute to candidates around the country (this also gives you an excuse to occasionally go on campaign trips). You can use SarahPAC (or whatever you decide to call it) to establish a reputation for helping other Republicans win, and gain some loyalty from the Congressmen that you want to endorse your eventual candidacy.
3. Write a bestseller. The subject is irrelevant, though including a good deal of policy talk would probably be helpful. The American public needs to know that you are an intelligent and capable leader, so show them how smart you are. Plus, it never hurts to have to do a bunch of interviews to promote your new book, and if you wrote on energy policy, you could establish yourself as a "preeminent authority" on the subject.
4. DO NOT RUN FOR THE U.S. SENATE. You need to stay far away from Washington and continue to build your resume (and ensure that you get the credit for that shiny new gasline). If you want to run for something, run for re-election.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE FROM OUR MOVEMENT
Sarah cannot start openly tooting her 2012 horn for at least two years, and frankly neither can any other high level GOP operative or major media personality. On the other hand, we "internet nuts" are bound by no such standards of propriety. Our job moving forward is to wave pom-poms and yell "Sa-rah! Sa-rah!" at the top of our lungs for the next few years. We're the ones who will be making sure that Sarah's accomplishments in Alaska continue to be highlighted (need I mention the gasline again?) and that she stays at the top of any and all lists of potential 2012 candidates. This is what we do best, and we need to get back to that sort of operation.
We also need to pursue two objectives from an operational standpoint: institutionalization and decentralization. Institutionalization means putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the Palin Movement remains intact and cannot be broken up. Decentralization means making sure that there are multiple sources of pro-Palin chatter. We've already done well at decentralizing, with a plethora of Palin sites popping up earlier this year (Palinforamerica.com, Palinforvp.com, mccainpalin2008.blogspot.com, etc.), but we need to continue to build stronger networks and more sites. This will ensure that we cannot be shut down by the departure of one or two bloggers. I'll be honest here, I have no clue what I will be doing in four years or whether my career path will allow me to continue an independent partisan blog. We need to make sure that NO ONE can kill this movement or this site, not even me. Hence, I will be looking to build a stronger network of Pro-Palin blogs and re-networking with some of the connections that I have not been able to keep up during the recent frenzy. I will probably also be looking to add new bloggers the team here at palinforvp.blogspot.com.
If we take these steps, we should be able to set up a sustainable movement that, God willing, will help propel Sarah to the Presidency in four years.
God bless America.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
You've all done a wonderful job and I like to thank all of you for reading and commenting during the past year. For as much as I have received much credit for this movement, it would have gone nowhere without you, my readers. I look forward to continuing to work with you.
Our prayers are with Governor Palin, and God Bless America.
8:25 PM - Well, the early results are rolling in. The only thing I have to say is to remember that these are EARLY results. We won't really know what's going on in a lot of these states until more numbers roll in.
8:33 - While I'm thinking about it, special thanks to my friend Carly for the use of her laptop. Carly, I'm sure you'll see this at some point in the night, so rest assured that I will not post your last name all over the web :-).
9:04 - The networks are calling battleground states with less than 5% of the vote in...even Fox...amazing. Anyway, we're winning in VA and closing in FL and NC. Meanwhile, Carly informs me that, in return for using her laptop, I now have an obligation to drop her name in all media interviews.
9:20 - I continue to be amazed at the media's absurd confidence in their ability to predict the future. Pennsylvania has been called with 13% in (a heavy Obama lead...indicating a likely win in Philly) and Ohio with 9% (Oh boy...Obama won Cleaveland!).
10:23 - Things are starting to look bluer, but I'm still not buying some of the early calls. Either way, I'm settling in with some card games and preparing for the real excitement.
11:01 PM - CNN has called the election for Obama. Thoughts? Assuming the result holds, we still have a lot to talk about here. Sarah 2012?
Monday, November 3, 2008
I will be liveblogging all night long (though I will be at a party, so we're going to have to see how often I get to the computer). I'm also operating under the assumption that it will be a LONG night. McCain is on fire, Palin is on fire, and the best poll from 2004 shows the race as a tossup.
So, get out to your local polling stations and lets make sure that John and Sarah can raise their hands in victory tomorrow night. Then, we'll get online here to celebrate.
One last thing...I kicked off the last victory party by posting a Bon Jovi music video, so I figure I'll get this one started with another one...
Consider this my response to anyone who thinks this election is lost.
(and if any of you are artistically inclined, I would love it if somebody could photoshop Sarah's hairdo onto the "Have a Nice Day" smiley face from the video...I would love to make that our theme image going forward.)
Sunday, November 2, 2008
If you haven't noticed, most of the polls are showing Obama up by roughly 5%, but what a lot of people don't look at is the fine print on how those polls are conducted. A lot of pollsters build party registration breakdowns into their polls to ensure they have a sample that accurately reflects the electorate. Here's the problem: This year, the pollsters have been consistently building more Democrats into their polls. Through my job at Townhall, I had the opportunity to listen in on a McCain campaign media call the other day, and they had to explain that a lot of these polls are building in a 10-12% Democratic registration advantage (assuming a surge of new Democratic voters due to Obama). However, since 1984, that simply is not the case. Instead, there has been a pretty steady Democratic registration advantage of about 5% (even in elections where the GOP wins handily). If we were building polls based on that assumption, we would be looking at MUCH different data than the stuff we are getting.
So, the question then becomes what data the CAMPAIGNS are operating on. Obama wants us to think he's playing in red states now...and to a degree he is (North Carolina). However, that doesn't explain why the Senator from Illinois was in Iowa on Friday. Iowa has been polling blue for months, it's not in need of defending, right? Wrong. McCain internal polling shows it tied, and I'm guessing Obama's polls are showing the exact same thing (otherwise he wouldn't be there).
So, I'm bracing for a long night on Tuesday.
P.S. Here's the video from the CNN International segment I did the other day with Zennie Abraham. I can't get the embed to work, but Zennie also has a great piece on this up on his blog, so you can view it there. And he's right..they cut some good stuff out of the final version.
Friday, October 31, 2008
P.S. What's cuter than Piper and Trig? Piper and Trig in costume! (love the baby elephant!)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Also, I taped a segment with CNN International this morning. They put me opposite liberal blogger Zennie Abraham, and I have to say that it was an enjoyable discussion. I will let you know as soon as they tell me when they are airing it, and I will be sure to post video here.
Monday, October 27, 2008
There seems to be no real evidence of tension between McCain and Palin, just tension between Palin and the staffers which were assigned to her (mostly ex-Bush staffers). Everyone in the media seems to be placing the blame on Sarah (as always), but lets take a look at this situation:
Staffers are complaining that Palin isn't taking their advice...advice which led to the Katie Couric editing spree, the Charlie Gibson chop-job, and the abandoned "makeover". Now that Sarah is finding her feet and doing what she does best, suddenly the bad-advice people think they have a right to get mad at her?! Please. These people work for Sarah, not the other way around. She's their boss, not their science project. There's nothing wrong with trusting your advisers, but when the advisers steer you wrong, it's time to get a second opinion. Sarah is the candidate, meaning that she cannot "go rogue" on anyone (except McCain himself), or veer off her own message. The only people "going rogue" are the staffers who wanted to keep Sarah under wraps and hide her from the electorate. Considering their handling of the situation, they should be grateful that Sarah is keeping them around at all.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
On a more personal note, the current issue of The New Yorker has an article on the rise of Sarah Palin...and yes, I'm part of it. It was a real pleasure to be interviewed by Jane Mayer, and I think that the final article came out very well.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I could probably analyze these sketches more, but then you wouldn’t have time to watch them (assuming that you haven’t already done so)
Gov. Palin Steals Tina Fey’s Thunder!
The Sarah Palin Rap (Pure Hilarity!)
Hope your enjoyed the weekend fun, and see you tomorrow as we get back into campaign mode.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Now, the question becomes how to build on this momentum and continue climbing until Election Day. By most counts, Obama is up by between three and eight points. Some polls, particularly the Gallup Daily Tracker, have shown a wider lead. However, I refuse to put stock in the Gallup Poll as they have recently changed their definition of a “likely voter”. Luckily, Gallup is honest enough to report how their poll would have come out if the traditional definition of a “likely voter” was applied. In today’s poll, for instance, Obama enjoys a 7% lead among registered voters, and an 8% lead among “likely voters”. However, if the standard definition of a likely voter had been used rather than Gallup’s new expanded version, the very same poll would have shown Obama leading by only 3%! Hence, my personal feeling is that Obama’s actual lead going into the debate was somewhere in the 3-6% range. Based on McCain’s performance tonight, I would expect a 1-2% shift in his favor in the next few days, leaving the race in a statistical dead heat. This is where Sarah Palin once again enters the picture.
If you haven’t noticed yet, Gov. Palin has been granted MUCH more independence lately and has ramped up her end of the campaign. She’s doing well in her speeches, and more importantly she has been doing well in interviews. I listened to her on Rush Limbaugh yesterday and the Mike Gallagher Show this morning - she did beautifully in both. She’s also been getting a bit more positive coverage by doing things like stopping the Straight Talk Express at Wal-Mart to buy diapers for Trig (don’t laugh, it happened recently). Finally, if she does indeed appear on Saturday Night Live, she will likely generate a good deal of publicity and emphasize the difference between Tina Fey and the real Sarah Palin. These moves by Gov. Palin may be able to shift the polls another 1-2%.
I’ve already lined out the possibility for a 2-4% shift based solely on McCain and Palin’s actions. Taking into account other factors, it could easily be bigger. The stock market will gradually begin to stabilize, deflating the panic that has inflated Obama’s recent numbers. ACORN is becoming a major issue as more and more fraudulent voter registrations are found. I would not be surprised to see several more major ACORN busts, possibly accompanied by criminal charges. Finally, if there is any major international news, McCain is the natural beneficiary based on his foreign policy credentials.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
I personally doubt this will happen, but let’s say we end up with a “worst-case” scenario where most of the “allegations” against Palin are deemed to be true. Even in that case, I have difficulty discerning a crime. Legally, you can’t say that Commissioner Monegan was wrongly fired. First, he wasn’t dismissed. He was offered a reassignment, which he refused. Second, a Commissioner can be legally dismissed for any reason or even no reason. If I recall, they’re no longer even investigating that angle.
So, if it’s not about Monegan, maybe it’s about Todd Palin’s undue influence on his wife’s administration. Again, there’s no crime there. The governor can choose whoever she wants as an advisor, and numerous first spouses have had as much, if not more, influence than Todd Palin. Nancy Murkowski, Todd’s predecessor, admittedly had a VERY large role in her husband’s administration.
So, if it’s not about Todd, maybe it’s about the idea that Sarah used her power to pressure the department of Public Safety to fire Trooper Mike Wooten. I’m guessing that this is the actual focus of the “investigation”, but there are a lot of pitfalls there as well. I don’t have a link ready, but I remember reading somewhere that the legislators running this show originally said that pressuring for the dismissal of Wooten would be within the governor’s rights if she believed that he genuinely was a bad trooper. So, in order for the kangaroo court to find any wrongdoing, they would have to prove that Sarah not only applied direct pressure to fire Wooten (an accusation which already seems to have been debunked), but also that she disbelieved her own assertion that Mike Wooten was a bad trooper and a threat to public safety. First off, that’s a rather extraordinary burden of proof for the investigator; and second, I think it’s painfully clear that Trooper Wooten is no saint (I would point to his numerous official reprimands). Now, I’m no lawyer, but from what little I know, there objectively should be no case. The only thing they could potentially do is accuse somebody of trying to cover up a crime that…well…was never a crime to begin with.
Now, let’s compare this farce to some of the recent events involving the Obama campaign. Obviously, there’s the Willaim Ayers issue, on which Obama has shifted his position (he now says he knew of Ayers’ terrorist activities but believed that he had be ‘rehabilitated’). That’s worse than Troopergate to begin with in my mind, but most of those associations do go back a little farther than Palin’s issues with Mike Wooten, so let’s deal with something a little more current: A.C.O.R.N. If you’ve been reading the news, you should know that A.C.O.R.N, a community organizing network, is in a lot of hot water for voter fraud. Not only has Barack Obama associated with them in the past, his campaign paid $800,000 to an A.C.O.R.N. -affiliated organization back in the primaries. Now, as it comes to light that A.C.O.R.N is responsible for thousands of false voter registrations in numerous states, Sen. Obama is trying to backpedal. The conservative media and the Republican Party are getting mad, but the “mainstream” people don’t even seem to think that A.C.O.R.N. is even relevant. We’re talking about an organization that is actively trying to rig votes for Obama, which is a much bigger deal than trying to get a bad trooper fired, but I don’t hear anyone in the press screaming for an investigation. Maybe they’re just too busy camping out in the Alaska State Capitol.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Here's the breakdown: The AP has declared Palin a racist for associating Senator Obama with Bill Ayers, an admitted and unrepentant terrorist who once bombed the U.S. Capitol. Here's the problem: Ayers is white; most of his "Weather Underground" colleagues were white; and he is often referenced as an archetype of the (predominantly white) pseudo-intelligentsia of 1960s radicals masquerading as intellectuals on America's college campuses. Mr. Ayers has no connection to anything that would be considered "black", let alone "stereotypically black". In fact, associating Obama with Ayers is more of an attempt to associate him with the snobbish (and, again, mostly white) class of leftover-hippies-turned-radical-professors. So, basically, the AP has declared Palin racist because she associated Sen. Obama with a bunch of elitist Caucasians.
This bizarre feat of intellectual gymnastics was justified by the AP as follows:
Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?
Read that again very carefully. Essentially, they said that she did nothing racial at all, but merely that she dared to suggest that Senator Obama is anything less than a divine gift to America. If this paradigm were applied across the board, EVERY criticism of Obama would be labeled racism. Using that definition, it is literally impossible to say anything negative about the Senator from Illinois without committing a racist act.
Think about that for a second - let it sink in. According the the AP, NOBODY CAN EVER SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT BARACK OBAMA.
Friends, that's not just unjournalistic...it's downright Orwellian.
Sarah Palin is not a racist. She never has been; She never will be; and it is an understatement to say that the AP owes her an apology. It is appalling to me that Barack Obama's association will Bill Ayers, an admitted and unrepentant terrorist, would be considered anything less than "fair game". Until such time as Sen. Obama admits that he showed bad judgement by ever associating with Mr. Ayers, this should remain an open issue, and we should regard any media attempt to bury the story as censorship.
Apologies if this sounds a little radical of me, but this is genuinely how I see it, and I challenge the AP to prove to me that I am wrong.
Friday, October 3, 2008
1) Low expectations.
2) The debate was billed as a referendum on Sarah, and hardly anyone mentioned Joe Biden in the run-up. Far more people tuned in to watch her than her opponent, so she probably got more attention from the audience.
I would also note that skeptics such as David Brooks and Peggy Noonan wasted no time in jumping back on the bandwagon (though we are still awaiting reaction from Kathleen Parker).
So, Sarah is not only back in the game but back with a vengeance. To quote Noonan, "she killed." The only question now is how much movement we will see in the polls. My guess is that McCain will get enough of a bump to take back narrow leads in Virgina, Florida, and possibly Ohio. That would leave him down slightly overall, but well within striking distance if he can score victories in his own debates (which, judging by his first performance, he can).
Lastly, I think we saw last night that the unedited Sarah is far better than the unethical, cut-and-spliced travesties that Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric presented (and no, I don't think that's putting it to harshly after reading the unedited transcripts). This should provide a lesson to the McCain campaign that LIVE interviews are a absolute necessity for Sarah. I don't have a particular affinity for the Sunday talk shows, but I'm starting to think that they are the best venue simply because they cannot be edited. I know that Brian Williams of NBC has the next private interview lined up, and while I think he may have to be more careful after watching the debate, the campaign should assume that he will be just as...ahem..."artistic" in his editing as the other two network anchors. So, now is the time to start booking "Meet the Press" if they want to avoid another hit job.
Congratulations to Gov. Palin on a great debate, and thanks to all of you for helping her get there!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
In the final analysis, I think that we won’t really know how everything went until we see the news reports tomorrow. I’ll be watching to see which lines get the most play in both the mainstream and the conservative media. But, in the early going, I think that the perception is that Sarah is back with a vengeance.
Very quickly, I wanted to run over a few of the bullet points I listed before the debate.
1) On the wardrobe, we didn’t see the red, but we also didn’t see the dreaded leather jacket. So, I think that we saw some evidence that there is less harsh image control.
2) On Gwen Ifill, I thought that most of her questions were fair. I thought that one question was designed to imply that Gov. Palin supported gay marriage (which she does not). But, other than that, a competent job.
3) Kudos to Sen. Biden for keeping a lid on himself and avoiding pitfalls. That said, I saw/heard him sigh several times while listening to Sarah’s responses and I thought that his pronounced facial expressions could easily provide fodder for Saturday Night Live.
A few quick thoughts before we get started:
1) I’m personally going to be watching on FoxNews - not necessarily for the right-leaning coverage, but because they had the most coverage of the Gwen Ifill story yesterday. I’ll personally be watching Ms. Ifill very carefully, so I’m interested to hear analysis of her performance in addition to Sarah and Sen. Biden.
2) You may think I’m nuts for saying this, but I think that Gov. Palin’s wardrobe choice will be our first tip to how she will do tonight. Will we see the “Cindy McCain” designer leather jacket from the Couric interview, the “signature Sarah” red powersuit, or something black and formal? If we see the red, I think that’s our first clue that Sarah is liberated and coming out swinging.
3) Both Biden and Palin are masters of the one-liner, and I expect a number of memorable lines tonight. The question is who will get more.
4) My guess is that Biden will try to ignore Sarah and debate John McCain. On the other hand, I’ve read that Sarah is planning to debate Biden directly. Keep close track of who Biden is talking to. If he takes his focus off McCain and starts talking about Sarah, it could mean that she’s getting under his skin. And if she gets under his skin, she wins.
5) While we’re on the subject of Sen. Biden, there are two key traps waiting for him. First, he must always refer to Sarah as “Gov. Palin”. He doesn’t know her, and to address her without her title will be seen as demeaning. Secondly, he has to be very careful about mentioning the fact that his son is deploying to Iraq, as Track Palin is doing the same. Palin, as a mother, will win any arguments about empathizing with her children, and Biden could be in SERIOUS trouble if he dares to bring up Track before Sarah does.
There is probably a lot more that I’m not mentioning, but those are the first things that spring to mind. Enjoy the debate, and I will see you all afterward.
1) While I think that much of the criticism of Gov. Palin’s creatively edited interviews with Katie Couric has been overblown, it has succeeded in lowering expectations. In some cases, I think they have been lowered so far that it is literally impossible for Sarah to perform worse than expected.
2) Gov. Palin is generally regarded as a good debater. Coupled with low expectations, even a typical performance from Sarah will be regarded as a major win.
3) Thanks to her book on Obama, Gwen Ifill will be under more scrutiny than any moderator in history. She will likely go overboard to ensure that she is seen as unbiased, meaning that the questions will likely be fair ones rather than “gotcha” pop quizzes a la Katie Couric.
4) Debates cannot be edited. Both the Gibson and Couric interviews were edited to eliminate Gov. Palin’s best answers, and sometimes to make it look as if she evaded questions that, in the REAL interview, she answered. In a debate, there is no way to censor a speaker, so if Sarah answers a question, the public will actually hear her.
Now, Joe Biden is a good debater and a formidable opponent. He’ll be tough to beat, but I think that the deck is currently stacked in Sarah’s favor. In their rush to destroy her, some in the media have created a situation where she can look “better than expected” simply by forming complete sentences and not behaving like a character from “Hee Haw.” Hence, if she does indeed look competent and prepared, she will get even more of a bounce than she otherwise would have. An otherwise "good” performance will be seen as “stellar”, and an otherwise “stellar” performance could rise to the rank of “legendary”.
No promises, but I am going to try to live-blog tonight’s festivities. Hopefully, we will be watching the launch of Sarahmania version 2.0. See you then.
Monday, September 29, 2008
If today was any indication, it appears that the liberation is already underway. I personally am watching two indicators from Palin: one-liners and (believe it or not) wardrobe choices. Here's why I think both are relevant:
On the one-liners: Palin is best when speaking off-the-cuff. She's "in the zone" when she's allowed to joke and make lots of flippant remarks. If her speech at today's rally was any indication, it looks like they've already fixed that problem to some degree.Yes, it was still a speech, but it was definitely more of a vintage Palin speech than we've been seeing.
On the wardrobe: Like it or not, the way female politicians dress will always be analyzed more than the threads of their male counterparts. Both Sarah and the McCain campaign have been VERY cognizant of this fact. For Sarah's part, she practically trademarked her hairdo, glasses, and red powersuits in Alaska (and the first two nationally...I'll come back to the third). It was definitely a great look, but it was also done relatively cheaply (personal frugality is also a Palin trademak). On the other hand, the campaign people have put her through something of a makeover, encouraging her to buy expensive designer clothes (usually leather jackets of the sort often worn of Cindy McCain). I have nothing against these as occasional campaign expenses (especially for the convention), but they undermine the down-to-earth Palin persona and frankly they are just not Sarah. While I am actually a big fan of Cindy McCain's fashion sense, I think I'm going to hurl if that look continues to be applied to Sarah.
Why does this even matter? Because my guess is that the clothes will likely be the first thing to go if Sarah is to reinvent herself on her own terms (a reverse-makeover, if you will). Not that Sarah has to start shopping at Wal-Mart, but I think that "Revenge of the Red Powersuit" (also apparently on display today) is a quick and easy way signaling the public that Sarah is back in the driver's seat. It it really relevant, no; but symbolism is a big part of getting your message across.
Now, to those in the comments section who have said that my analyses lately have not contained any policy recommendations: you are absolutely correct. Obviously, there are things that Sarah has to do and say regarding policy in order for the public to be truly comfortable with her, and they are being hashed out on every cable news channel. That said, those of us who have watched Sarah for over a year know, down to the finest detail, all of the things she did that made her message more powerful. Hence, with Sarah receiving some criticism for looking uncomfortable in her own skin, I think it is totally prudent to include such "superfluous" details in strategy discussions. Whether we like it or not, these little details are the sort of things that people subconsciously pay attention to, and they simply cannot be ignored.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I know I'm not talking about FDR, and I promise I'll eventually eventually get back to that series, but there is bigger news to deal with. Everybody seems to be up in arms over Gov. Palin's supposedly bad performance in a recent interview with Katie Couric. Personally, I thought she did far better than people think, particularly in the second installment. I also thought that some of Katie Couric's questions on the first night were completely out of line (expecting Sarah Palin to have memorized every vote John McCain ever cast is totally unfair). However, I think that the Couric interview (and the general media narrative that Sarah is being "hidden") do show a problem. Not with Sarah...there is NOTHING wrong with Sarah...but with the campaign staff who are handling her.
I say this with the highest respect to the McCain camp and their strategists, but they don't seem to understand how to use Gov. Palin, and they are paying for it. The reason that we have always loved Sarah here is that she is real. She normally does not sound rehearsed, and most of her best lines have always been the UNSCRIPTED ones, including her most memorable line in the entire campaign ("pit bull in lipstick."). Unfortunately, the campaign seems to think that they need to keep Palin tightly scripted in her public appearances and only allowing her to talk in closed interviews with hostile journalists asking endless "gotcha" questions. This not only hides her strengths, it allows the media to choose the questions and define Sarah based on her perceived weaknesses.
If I were running the campaign, Sarah would be talking with the press at every single campaign stop, making off-the-cuff jokes, and flashing that legendary smile for as many cameras as humanly possible. That's the Sarah Palin that we fell in love with last year, and that's the Sarah Palin who needs to be out on the trail. While I don't think Sarah is doing badly with the tasks she's given, those of us who have watched her know that she is capable of so much more.
For whatever it's worth, my advice is to fire the speech coaches, tear up script, wind Sarah up, and let her loose on America. I think that the American's who fell for the "pit bull in lipstick" are puzzled by the tightly-controlled, suddenly-serious individual that has showed up for the last few interviews.
The GOP has been quick to compare Sarah to Teddy Roosevelt, but I don't think they realize just how appropriate that analogy is. TR was a loose cannon who often infuriated the Washington elite. The DC cocktail set (including the Republicans) shuddered at the thought of such a brash, independent-minded individual gaining as spot on William McKinley's ticket in the year 1900. One high-ranking Republican was so incensed by the selection that, when McKinley was assassinated, his first response was, "Now look what you've done! You've gone and made that d*** cowboy President!". Of course, in hindsight, that "d*** cowboy" became one of the most iconic presidents in history. If they want Palin to be Teddy Roosevelt, they need to start letting her be the type of take-no-prisoners leader that TR personified.
So, can we please mothball the "new Sarah" and bring back the old one? That would be just "bully" in my book.