Tag Archives: palin

Politics

Sarah Palin doesn’t suck on the Factor

Last week, Sarah Palin made an appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s show ‘The O’Reilly Factor‘ as part of her Going Rogue promotional tour.  Although I didn’t catch it live – fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) I don’t get Fox News – I did have a chance to read a ‘rush’ transcript of the interview.

Surprisingly, Palin wasn’t completely terrible.  She demonstrated a modest grasp of a variety of topical issues, from health care reform to Russia’s involvement in suppressing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  I don’t necessarily agree with her views, but at least she sounded as though she holds some.  Her ability to communicate them, however, was less impressive, and I’m starting to think that her limited vocabulary and inability to form coherent sentences is really what’s holding her back.  Have a look at this particularly interesting response:

O’REILLY: Do you think that [Obama] wants to change the country into an entitlement society?

PALIN: We’re going to see, depending on his cap and tax bill that he will no doubt support coming out of Congress, that the health care bill, whatever that’s going to cost us and whatever the answers are there to all of our questions about the health care, we’re going to see, if he decides that he can kind of shift gears, change course, and move us back to more of a free enterprise, free market principles that built up this country, then my answer to you is going to be no, he’s not hell-bent on changing the capitalist society that we are. But if he is stubborn about this, then my answer to you is going to be well, his actions speak louder than our words, and yes, he’s going to change our capitalistic society.

You get a rough idea of what she’s trying to say, despite her stunningly poor grammar and syntax.  If she learned to speak in short, declarative sentences, rather than meandering, scattered ones, Palin’s appeal would surely broaden.  To be fair, though, her recent extended Iran/Iraq flub suggests that perhaps her grasp of policy is indeed as weak as her opponents suggests.

Interestingly, O’Reilly was also less generous with Palin than I would have expected.  At a couple of points, he seems to question her responses, and presses her (if ever so gently) for clarification.  It’s hardly hard-hitting investigative journalism, but at least it’s not the obvious fawning Fox New seems to have a reputation for.  Here’s one such exchange:

O’REILLY: Honest, do you think he’s honest?

PALIN: I think that he has told us some things in the campaign. I think that he’s told us some things early on in his presidency that have not come to fruition. He was all about positive change, and I think a lot of Americans are believing that the change that he’s ushering in isn’t necessarily positive.

O’REILLY: Well, he says it is. I’m — you’re a conservative, so you don’t like it, but…

PALIN: How — positive in terms of creating debt for our children?

O’REILLY: No, but he says, you know what the arguments are. I mean, he says that, look, a lot of Americans can’t afford health insurance, the insurance companies are out of control, I’ve got to get them under control. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. You know, that’s his point of view.

PALIN: Let’s get the health care problems under control then. But let’s use free market, results-oriented, patient-centered solutions to do that. Tort reform, he’s not embracing any of those ideas. Getting rid of the waste and fraud that he insists today, if we would just get a handle on that, we could pay for this one point.

O’REILLY: Well, he says he’s going to get rid of the waste.

PALIN: Let’s do it right now then.

Politics

McCain supporters are not racist

There has been an increasing amount of talk about how McCain’s supporters (well, mainly on the Palin side) have begun a pretty vicious campaign and there has been an increasing amount of vitriolic racial attacks.  A lot of emphasis on Obama being a secret Muslim,  or calling him an Arab, or a lot of things.

Blogger Interrupted has posted a video detailing some of the ignorant attacks of SOME of the attendees.  With thousands of ralliers, it’s not surprising that you find some people like that.

What was more surprising was that finally, John McCain began to calm things down.  He took a step back and actually disputed some of his supporters.  In fact, one moment I can be proud of, he directly told the crowd that they did not need to be afraid of Obama.   He did, however, stop short of saying what Colin Powell did in his endorsement the other day: that even if Obama was a Muslim, that shouldn’t be an insult or a weakness.

Here’s a video of a brief moment:

The best thing I’ve seen so far, is the reaction of a few smart McCain supporters to xenophobic McCain supporters.  They essentially yelled at them till they left.   I think it does go to show that despite accusations from both sides, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

Featured Politics

Palin/Biden debate was pathetic

I have to be honest here, I was thoroughly unimpressed with both of the American VP candidates.  But especially with Palin.  Biden’s intense “don’t mess up, don’t pick on the girl” tactics were definitely smart, but not exactly the way I want to see politics run.  The pundits and analysts were all saying he had to be incredibly careful about this, because the American public didn’t want to see him coming across as intimidating Palin in any way or anything.  So he was deferential, always calling her Governor Palin (despite her constant reference to him as “Joe”), he never directly engaged or corrected her, despite several clear mistakes (like her mistaking the name of the current commanding General in Iraq).

In fact, if you were watching carefully, he rarely made eye contact unless he was smiling and, at the end of the debate, he made sure to come around the podium but remained standing and waited for her to come to him and shake hands.  Why is this important?  Frankly, because he was coached to do that.  It’s common knowledge that when Hillary Clinton was running for Senator of New York, her rival Rick Lazio made one huge mistake.  At a debate, he walked over to her podium and presented her with a petition to sign.  Bad, bad move.  The public thought that he was attempting to physically intimidate her with his larger frame and aggressive demeanor, so Biden had to stay far, far away.

Biden did do a reasonable job at coming across pretty seasoned and knowledgeable.  It was evident that he knew his foreign policy quite well (as well he should, considering just how long he was in the Senate).  I was frankly dissapointed by his brutal tapdance around the gay-marriage question, and he leaned towards brilliance when asked about Darfur and when exactly the US should intervene…but then quickly retreated.

Still, all this was better than Palin’s performance.  It was hands down one of the worst campaign performances I have ever witnessed in all my years.  She was 99% charm and 1% knowledge, even stating that she wouldn’t answer the questions asked she’d just talk “directly to Americans”.  Her folksy “aww shucks” attitude was a brilliant political maneuver, because it did appeal to regular Americans.  But how anyone could fall for her blatant avoidance of all the questions is beyond me.  She just straight up refused to answer anything, and tiptoed around every possible issue she could think of.  When asked about the same Darfur issue, instead of discussing anything she lapsed into Bush-speak, calling America a “shining example” and a “beacon of hope”.  This type of language should have been left behind, because demagogy is an embarassment to politics.  The American public should have learned their lesson after the Bush/Rove tactic of using exactly this same type of language to distract from major issues.

Palin had few flashes of decency in this entire exchange, tossing out tirades against government and constant references of how she and McCain are ‘mavericks’.  And, I’m not making this up, she actually winked at the camera and also gave a shout out to her brothers third-grade class.  Both, while cute, are not befitting a vice-presidential candidate. And yet somehow the New York Post thinks Palin won the debate and that she also belongs to the class of great communicators like Reagan and Bill Clinton.  Frankly, she doesn’t.  Her Katie Couric interview debunks this claim definitively.  But still, she wasn’t all bad.  She did have poise and confidence and didn’t crumble during the debate as many predicted she would.  But then again, she didn’t really answer any questions, and moderator Gwen Ifil did a piss-poor job of following-up and pressing any of the candidates.  Obviously she was afraid of being accused of bias, since she has a book coming out on inauguration day about black political progress (of which Barack Obama is a big part).

The most memorable part of the debate for me was Palin’s quick and confident answer to a part of the Darfur issue.  Palin claims she was instrumental in getting the Alaska Permanent Fund to divest itself of investment in the Sudan because she didn’t want to be seen as condoning what was happening there.  Not a bad statement in and of itself, except that it was a bold-faced lie.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live series did a pretty decent job lampooning the debate.  Check it out here.

Leave your comments and let us know what you thought (and feel free to disagree with me).

Politics

Palin interview is the worst thing in the world

Literally, the Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric is the most embarrassing moment I’ve ever seen from a politician.

Check out Youtube for the whole thing, but this particular answer is just plain awful.

Quick

Palin has national security experience because Alaska is ‘close to Russia’

Yeah, the title says it all.  Visit this article at Huffingtonpost.com to see Cindy McCain make the argument that Governor Palin has national security experience because Alaska is close to Russia.  And she’s being serious.