Sarah Palin

From Fear To Sneer
September 04, 2008

We usually write about issues but, as Rick Davis wants it, issues were beside the point of tonight's speeches.  If Republicans were the party of fear in 2004, tonight they became the party of sneer.  Sarah Palin has the knack of delivering strong shots with a light touch, and Rudy Giuliani's nasty speech made even her strongest lines seem a little gentler.  Bob Dole would seem gentle after Giuliani.  But Palin's speech was laced with inaccuracies.  She riffed on how Barack Obama wants to raise taxes.  Never mind that Obama would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans.  Never mind that Palin he

Palin Power
September 03, 2008

Well at least the next two months should be interesting. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sarah Palin proved herself a heckuva speaker. She's homey, feisty, fetching, irreverent, and an adroit peddler of that bracing brand of reverse snobbery that Americans find so charming. I personally found the early focus on her family disconcerting in light of how much we've all been lectured this week about the inappropriateness of focusing on a candidate's family. But hey, it's her family. She can spotlight them however she likes.

Who's The Celebrity Now?
September 03, 2008

Astoundingly, Sarah Palin may single-handedly be giving John McCain another chance at victory, one which seemed a distant hope after Obama's night at Invesco (which now feels like a month ago). Why? Certainly not her qualifications, such as they are. Nor her ideology; Palin may be exciting the conservative base--but McCain will need more than that to win. The answer is that she has become the thing McCain spent the summer attacking: a celebrity. Palin thrives because she is a cultural phenomenon. She is young, attractive, and grew up in a strange place. Sound familiar?

Palin's Big Night
September 03, 2008

  There is no question that Sarah Palin did well tonight. She spoke well, and the speech she read was very effective. The strongest section was the middle when she was responding to the Obama campaign’s dumb attack on her for being the mayor of a small town. Let me quote it in full: And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.

Does Mccain Need Independent And Moderate Voters?
September 03, 2008

Alan Brinkley--who is the provost and a professor of history at Columbia University, as well as a National Book Award-winning author--will be writing for us throughout the Republican convention.     I guess the Democrats can't count on Sarah Palin to torpedo McCain's candidacy. If there is a danger, it is that her speech will overshadow his. After the really dreary and depressing session of yesterday, tonight was very successful, with two good speeches--the other by Giuliani.

Palin's Speech Was Fine. But What's The Goal Here?
September 03, 2008

Just about every liberal I know thinks that Sarah Palin unleashed a terrifyingly effective speech tonight. I'm not convinced. It was a solid red-meat speech, sure, and she was smart to take up the attack-dog role: It will create a fresh storyline, and it was light years better than having her weakly protest that she is too ready to lead. And, yes, she lied about opposing the "Bridge to Nowhere," but maybe she thinks the press won't call her on it.

A Teamster For Mccain
September 03, 2008

  Randy Orr is a truck driver and a member of the Teamsters Union. He is also a Republican delegate from Houston. This is his first convention, and he is delighted with it. "I never finished my degree in college. I remember the one class I took that I enjoyed was political science. It was a Democrat that taught it, and he talked about being a delegate. Now I'm one."  He decided to become active in Republican politics because of his faith. "I grew up in the church, and after about four or five years, I realized that anything that affects you or me, God is interested in it," he says.

In Alaska, Everyone's An Oil Baron
September 03, 2008

Upon announcing her bid for Alaska's governorship in October 2005, Sarah Palin made a solemn pledge to "put Alaskans first": Palin declared her candidacy on October 18, Alaska Day, before any other Republican candidate joined the race for Governor, declaring, "It is time to take a stand and put Alaskans first". She has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Murkowski's Canadian gasline deal and wants to see entities compete for Alaska's natural gas so Alaskans get the most value for their resources.

Name That Tune
September 03, 2008

Now that Mike's examined the trivial matter of what Sarah Palin should say tonight, I thought I'd turn my attention to the more weighty issue of what music she should pick to finish off her appearance. I can think of only four songs that have obvious Alaska references, and none of them would seem to be appropriate for a GOP convention. The Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says" gets dq'd for being too dark. The same goes for Lou Reed's updating of that song--now called "Caroline Says" and packed with explicit drug and domestic abuse references.

Victim Politics, Gop Style
September 03, 2008

 From the hardest-working man in journalism, Politico's Mike Allen: STEVE SCHMIDT’S “NO FURTHER COMMENT” STATEMENT, IN FULL: “Governor Sarah Palin is an exceptional governor with a record of accomplishment that exceeds, by far, the governing accomplishments of Senator Obama. Her selection came after a six-month long rigorous vetting process where her extraordinary credentials and exceptionalism became clear.