I’m open to the politics of this being smart for McCain. I don’t they are, I’m open to it. But I’m not much interested in the politics of it. I think when you pick a running mate, you have one obligation. You have an obligation to pick someone who’s manifestly ready to be president. That’s what Bill Clinton did. It’s what George Walker Bush did. It’s what Al Gore did. They all won the popular vote ... umm, at times, because they did the right thing. And I think as impressive as Sarah Palin is, as much as she has credentials that make her a fine young leader in America. It’s impossible to argue that she’s qualified, I believe, and it’s certainly equally impossible to argue that John McCain knows she’s qualified. He spent less time with her, as others have said, than one spends hiring an assistant manager at a Target store. And I think the responsibility that he had to pick someone qualified—then he can worry about the politics—he failed that and I think I think it makes him a significantly less serious candidate for this office and I think that’s [how] the American people will see it, whether or not all of the scrutiny that Nina [Easton] said Sarah Palin is getting right now causes her to blow up in some way.
Halperin called McCain a “less serious candidate” again a bit later in the show and when fellow guest Matthew Continetti (associate editor at The Weekly Standard) tried to roll out some pro-Palin malarkey about “a great divergence between elite opinion and popular opinion,” Halperin was having none of it:
These are dangerous times. I’m all for listening to popular opinion and not just going with elite opinion, but nothing in her resume suggest she’s ready to be commander-in-chief. If that’s elitist, then I’ll say I’m an elitist, but I can’t understand that.
The listener calls are pretty great overall, as well (including one fence sitter from MA and one swing voter from NC who are now supporting Obama because of the Palin pick). Definitely worth a listen (starts at about the 12:00 mark after Gustav coverage).
Saturday I told my lovely wife Chris it would take the media until after the convention to get over their giddy and self-interested delight about the human interest story that is Sarah Palin and start with the inevitable exclamations of “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding us!” I never thought the (dis)grace period would have ended this early. To quote one of my favorite Replacements songs, color me impressed.
The Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has announced that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child. [...]
“The despicable rumors that have been spread by liberal blogs, some even with Barack Obama’s name in them, is a real anchor around the Democratic ticket, pulling them down in the mud in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their ‘campaign of change,’” a senior aide said.
Never mind that exceedingly few liberal bloggers touched this rumor (several more, in fact, openly scolded people for spreading it) and that the only A-list blogger I know of who pushed it out there was Andrew Sullivan, who’s anything but a liberal; here comes yet another manufactured controversy that Obama will have to deal with even though his campaign had nothing to do with it. Of course, the media won’t highlight all of the vicious rumors directed at Barack and his family while they’re mass-producing sympathy cards for the Palin clan.
That said, regardless of how folks feel about Sarah Palin’s views on abstinence and a woman’s right to choose, Bristol’s pregnancy shouldn’t be considered “fair game.” She’s a young woman who, along with the father of her child, made a careless mistake and her situation shouldn’t be used as a campaign prop by either side of the political spectrum.
UPDATE: Maha seems to agree with me (read her comments as well) and Steve M. doesn’t. I think they’re both really wise and politically-savvy folks (as are several of our commenters who have many different takes on this below), so I guess this shows what a difficult subject this will be to juggle going forward. Who knows who’s right? My gut still tells me I think we should leave this alone, but my gut also thought it was a good idea to pour a merciless amount of Dave’s Insanity Sauce on my hot dog last weekend, so take that for what it’s worth.
Twenty-seven. That’s the number of times I urped in my mouth watching pundits drool over the human interest story that is Sarah Palin on today’s Sunday morning shows. Several of them admitted that the only reason they thought it was a good pick by McCain is because it will spice up a convention none of them were looking forward to covering. They really are that transparent and self-interested.
And check out Face the Nation‘s lineup: Rudy Guiliani, Joe Lieberman, Carly Fiorina and David Brooks. The only way they could have made the show more pro-Palin was if they added a hundred cheering hockey moms (if that many actually exist) and a really angry aborted fetus.
But, hey, I’m still not worried. The media’s love affair with her will be short-lived, more Palin gaffes and past dirt will quickly unspool in the next few weeks, and I still stick with my prediction that this pick will be a large net-negative for McCain when it comes to the undecideds. Hell, her mother-in-law isn’t sure who she’s going to vote for.
Asked about Palin’s credentials, Cindy McCain told ABC-TV’s “This Week:” “The experience that she comes from is with what she’s done in the government. And also, remember: Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. So, it’s not as if she doesn’t understand what’s at stake here.”
Yesterday people were wondering aloud if McCain and Republicans thought women were that stupid. Today we can safely ask if they think women and men are that stupid. According to McCain, we are all Doocys now.
Republican strategist Karl Rove said on Face The Nation Sunday that he expects presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama to choose a running mate based on political calculations, not the person’s readiness for the job.
“I think he’s going to make an intensely political choice, not a governing choice,” Rove said. “He’s going to view this through the prism of a candidate, not through the prism of president; that is to say, he’s going to pick somebody that he thinks will on the margin help him in a state like Indiana or Missouri or Virginia. He’s not going to be thinking big and broad about the responsibilities of president.”
Rove singled out Virginia governor Tim Kaine, also a Face The Nation guest, as an example of such a pick.
“With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years, he’s been able but undistinguished,” Rove said. “I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America.”
Rove continued: “So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, `You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States.”
OUCH: Palin giggled when a radio host called one of her female political adversaries a “bitch” and didn’t object when he referred to her as a “cancer,” even though the woman is a cancer survivor. Did the McCain camp vet this woman at all? I think we may have the Republican’s first Eagleton imploding before our eyes. And it’s been only one day since the announcement. Someone tell Pawlenty and Romney not to make any big plans for the next couple of months…
ABC’s Jan Crawford Greenburg reports: It wasn’t until Sunday night that John McCain, after meeting with his four top advisers, finally decided he could not tap independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to be his running mate. One adviser, tasked with taking the temperature of the conservative base, had strongly made the case to McCain that it would be a disaster for the party and that the base would revolt. McCain concluded he could not go that route.
As I wrote in the comments there:
Was the base upset that Lieberman didn’t have enough solid PTA experience? Or was it because Hadassah is TEH SUCK on snow machines?
MORE SOMEWHAT RELATED: From marindenver below in comments…
Absolutely loved that story on the Clintonistas website because that is the exact same thing my 84 year mom told me about a couple of her friends she talked to this morning. She is a moderate Republican who has been supporting Obama for awhile but her friends have been on the fence. The are all Obamacans now thanks to his terrific speech and McLoonyTunes ludicrous response to it. Th-th-th-thas all folks!
I guess Darragh McCainphy and her merry band o’ de-clawed dimwits have decided that the PUMA brand has been irreparably damaged, because now she’s forming “The New Democratic Party,” which represents ... oh, the fuck if I know...
We are NOT Republicans, though millions of us will vote McCain/Palin in November.
Our Platform is the Platform of the TRUE Democratic Party
* Healthcare for All
* Equal Rights for women, LGBT, and people of color
* Reproductive Rights
* Worker Protections
* Envmtl Protections
* Fair Immigration Policy
* Help for working class college students
* Good public schools
WE MUST PREVENT A REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER OF THE ELECTORATE.
I was having a discussion with icebergwedge on the phone yesterday and we were trying to decided who’s dumber, PUMAs or nutters? Personally, I’m stumped.
You think that because I loved Hillary Clinton, gave money to Hillary Clinton, stood in the freezing rain for two hours to see her speak, put a sticker on my car, wore my pin around town, and supported Hillary Clinton to the very end, that I will vote for you.
You think I will forget every single one of my personal and political values just because there’s a vagina on your pro-war, anti-woman, anti-science ticket.
The selection of Palin strikes me as a “stunt” nomination and an admission that even in the misty recesses of former prisoner of war John McCain’s mind, he knows that he is truly fucked. Therefore the campaign seems to be hunting for the PUMA vote; the PUMA being a mythical creature with the body of a middle-aged woman and the head of an idiot.