Filed under: campaign, debate, election, Joe Biden, politics, Sarah Palin, vice-presidential debate | Tags: campaign, debate, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, vice-presidential debate
Many on the right who tuned into last night’s debate with white-knuckled dread are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief today. Sarah did an excellent job. From the sound of things it appears that the McCain campaign has finally decided to heed the advice of pundits and allow Sarah to be Sarah. We saw a return of the lively, down-to-earth hockey mom we remembered at the convention. While the usual McCain talking points were employed, she seemed to have a lot more freedom to be herself and phrase the answers in her own way.
Both candidates tried to appeal to the middle-class throughout the debate but Sarah, coming from a middle-class background herself, made a more genuine connection. In fact, in contrast to Biden she seldom even used the phrase “middle class” — sending the subtle message that she was one of them and didn’t have to make a distinction like her opponent.
When the focus turned to foreign policy, Biden went into full Senate speech mode and seemed to revel in his knowledge of one of his favorite subjects. But perhaps ol’ Joe was a bit too cocky in assuming he would win this segment of the debate. Immediately after he finished presenting an impressively worded outline of Obama’s timetable for pulling out of Iraq, Palin rared back and got in the debate’s biggest zinger:
Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that’s for sure. And it’s not what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked…
Pwned! And Joe knew it, baby. The passion in Sarah’s voice was evident here and Biden almost looked like a scolded schoolboy as she lit into him. How do you like the taste of barracuda, Joe.
Also there were some notable nods to the Gipper last night. Palin quoted Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” line and repeatedly railed on high taxes and our increasingly intrusive government. She even managed to slip in a famous Reagan retort from his debate with Jimmy Carter:
“Say it ain’t so, Joe. There you go again pointing backwards again.”
Sarah was in great form here and it was a joy to watch.
In her closing argument she invoked yet another moving quote from Ronaldus Magnus:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.
Amazing words from an amazing man. God, I miss that guy. Very wise of Sarah to invoke him here.
So with only a couple of exceptions (most notably her populist stance on the “greed” of Wall Street) Sarah’s message was notably conservative in tone. Overall she appeared poised, confident and intelligent. Even some of the more liberal pundits have had to admit [snort! spit!] that she carried herself very well last night. Suffice to say she has now eased a lot of the doubts that were starting to surface on the right in recent weeks.
As for me… I never doubted her for a moment. Sarah has had to hit the ground running and learn a lot in a very short time. But from the beginning I’ve seen in her the raw material for true greatness. I think she’s going to adapt quickly and surprise everyone before it’s all over.
Filed under: campaign, debate, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin, vice-presidential debate | Tags: debate, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin, vice-presidential debate
The V.P. debate is scheduled for tonight, and to many on the right it marks what may be the tipping point for this election. The general consensus is that if Sarah Palin’s performance is nothing less than flawless tonight, McCain’s campaign may never recover. And make no mistake, a growing number of my conservative friends are getting fidgety about our veep-in-running. Citing her less than stellar performances in recent television interviews they are even going so far as to suggest that she should never have been added to the ticket.
And you now what? I am starting to agree. But NOT for the reasons you might think.
Put simply: Sarah Palin is not destroying John McCain… John McCain is destroying Sarah Palin.
In the beginning I had assumed that maybe McCain was a little out of touch — that he simply didn’t understand what it was that made Sarah such a great asset. But now I’ve come to realize he understands her a little too well. I think she makes him a little nervous. Not nervous that her inexperience will show, but nervous that if she’s allowed to be herself she may just outshine what was supposed to be the main attraction.
McCain knows that Sarah has energized the conservative base and he further knows that the prime reason for this is because she is everything he is not. She’s an outsider and a true conservative who when left to her own devices has an impressive knack for communicating the conservative message in layman’s terms. As Alaska governor she also has gained a reputation for fighting against the Republican establishment. And let’s face it: John McCain is Republican establishment, folks. I don’t believe he has any disdain for Sarah but I do think his bizarre actions since choosing her as running mate have been almost an unconscious form of sabotage.
Basically his strategy for containing this potential loose cannon has been to lock her away in the basement, letting her out on occasion but only under carefully guarded conditions. During her confinement, he has charged his campaign staff with the daunting task of reprogramming this dynamic young conservative woman into an clone of himself.
And so, after what I imagine were long and intense sessions of attempting to cram John McCain talking points into Sarah’s head, the campaign then sent her staggering out for a couple of interviews with near disastrous consequences. She muddled through anwsers that she either didn’t fully believe or perhaps did believe but would have phrased much, much better herself. Even during her best moments she came across more like a Stepford wife than the fiesty barracuda we came to know and love at the convention.
So now because John has been so reluctant to unleash his running mate in her full power and allow people to get to know the real Sarah, he has allowed a situation to manifest where her performance in tonight’s debates may make or break his campaign. It never had to be that way.
So a word for John McCain: If it’s not too late at this point I’d like to join the growing chorus of my conservative friends… LET SARAH BE SARAH.
You have taken a bright new star in the conservative moment and instead of allowing her to shine you have insisted on hovering in front of her like a dusty old establishment cloud. If you don’t change that strategy and FAST you will not only lose this campaign, you will do permanent damage to what could have been a very promising career for a remarkable woman.
If a parrot in a suit was what you wanted, you could have chosen Mitt Romney and he would have been easily up to the task. He would have repeated your lines with the polished flair of a seasoned politician and without a single hair falling out of place.
But you have chosen Sarah Palin… so for God’s sake take off the leash and let the pit bull loose. Sure she will make the occasional gaffe but rest assured that lovable clown Joe Biden will always be two steps ahead of her in that category. And yes she will disagree with you on occasion but trust me… that’s what we WANT her to do. Those qualities are what made us love her in the first place. Her refreshing honesty and down to earth manner will HELP rather than hurt your campaign.
So two words, Senator McCain: FREE SARAH. Your victory depends on it. If you refuse to do this then her inclusion on your ticket was in vain. And in that sense I will come to regret her ever being chosen… for HER sake, not yours.
Filed under: Gwen Ifill, Joe Biden, PBS, Sarah Palin, vice-presidential debate | Tags: Gwen Ifill, Joe Biden, PBS, Sarah Palin, vice-presidential debates
Gas shortages may be plaguing parts of the nation, but we can rest assured Barack Obama’s tank is full. Guess who’ll be moderating Thursday night’s debates?
Questions are being raised about PBS anchor Gwen Ifill’s objectivity after news surfaced that she is releasing a new book promoting Barack Obama and other black politicians who have benefited from the civil rights struggle.
Ifill is moderating Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. Her book, “The Breakthrough,” is due to be released about the same time the next president takes the oath of office.
In her book, Ifill contends that the black political structure of the civil rights movement has cleared the way for post-racial politicians to ascend to new heights..
Even as objectivity descends to new depths. Story below.
Filed under: astroturfing, David Axelrod, Ethan Winner, Jawa Report, obama, politics, Sarah Palin, Winner & Associates | Tags: astroturfing, David Axelrod, Ethan Winner, Jawa Report, obama, Sarah Palin, Winner & Associates
Many of you are familiar with the recent smear-videos targeting Sarah Palin which have been circulating around YOUTube in recent weeks. A well known example is the one that inaccurately claims she was once a member of a secessionist political party in Alaska (she has in fact been a registered Republican since 1982). If you thought these vids were baseless and lacking in taste, you were right.
And if you thought they seemed a little polished for an amateur grassroots effort, you’re not alone.
Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report has engaged in a thorough and impressive research mission to trace just who is behind the creation of these ads. The results are eye-opening.
Here is what he found:
Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.
The PR firm in question is called Winner & Associates (which not surprisingly is headed by staunch Obama supporters). And they don’t come cheap. As The Jawa Report explains:
These people are professional guns for hire. Looking at their portfolio makes that clear. And they only work for big clients. The kind of clients that pay big bucks. The kind of people hired by Exxon to convince people that the effects of the Valdez spill were over. The kind of people hired to help push through oil fields in Chad and Cameroon or help companies respond to boycott threats over the Beijing Olympics.
The kind of people who would have an in-house attorney to handle PR for Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. And get them a movie deal.
Also the kind of people hired by the European Union to help sell the new EU treaty. Who was the lead in that effort? Ethan S. Winner.
Apparently these videos were distributed by Ethan and members of his family as well as other employees at the firm on company time. The technique they employed is called “astroturfing” — named so because it is essentially a phony grassroots campaign. In this case videos were planted in various spots on the internet under different names and made to look as if they were creations of left-wing political sites such as Democratic Underground or Daily Kos. The videos were also emailed to moderators at those very sites so that they could begin spreading the joy themselves.
If the term “astroturfing” sounds familiar, it’s probably because it is a favorite tactic of Barack Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod. He is notorious for using this technique to disseminate “unofficial” campaign messages using the internet.
So this leads us to the million dollar question: Did Axelrod pay Winner & Associates to produce these misleading videos? The paper trail is not yet clear enough to answer that question but the similarities in strategy are certainly there. Rest-assured The Jawa Report is still on the case.
Shackleford and other bloggers have also been looking into the identity of the professional voice over artist used in the ads. They believe they have located her. Why is this significant? Because the woman in question has been used extensively by David Axelrod’s firm over the years… and because she’s the same woman who narrates Obama’s official campaign ads.
What we do believe we have found is that David Axelrod’s firm has worked with the voice over artist in the “eswinner” Palin smear video. In fact, each and every political ad showcased on Axelrod’s website that has a female voice over seems to be the same voice from the Palin smear ad. That Axelrod used her over and over again in his videos going back several years.
We also believe that Axelrod has used her in several official Obama campaign videos.
I’ll emphasise here that they haven’t yet linked these ads conclusively to Obama. Nevertheless the pattern that has emerged so smacks of David Axelrod… and that’s what makes the story so intriguing. It will be interesting to see what The Jawa Report comes up with.
At the very least they have proven beyond a doubt that this smear campaign is a much more organized effort that it was being made to appear. Somebody’s money went into this… we just need to find out who.
There are many more details to this story so I’ll leave you the link to the Jawa Report expose’ and let you come to your own conclusions. It’s a fascinating read and is being updated frequently as new info is procured.
This is one of those times when I really thank God for bloggers. Excellent work, Rusty!
Filed under: Bill Clinton, campaign, election, elections, politics, Sarah Palin | Tags: Bill Clinton, elections, Sarah Palin
Former President Bill Clinton seems to have taken a real shine to Sarah Palin of late. His most recent praise came yesterday as he spoke of Palin’s appeal to the average American:
“I come from Arkansas, I get why she’s hot out there, why she’s doing well,” said Clinton, who supports the Democratic ticket headed by Barack Obama.
Ok there is obviously going to be some speculation over what he meant by “hot”. Taken in it’s context I’m pretty certain he just meant “popular”… but knowing Bill’s amorous past we always have to wonder what is really brewing in that head of his. He likes to plant seeds. And it’s not a stretch to surmise that somewhere in the recesses of his deluded mind lies a hope that he will one day have a chance at with Sarah. Or maybe not. Either way It’s hard to resist having a little fun with it.
Ulterior motives aside, lets analyze the comments that followed.
Speaking to reporters before his Clinton Global Initiative meeting, the former president described Palin’s appeal by adding, “People look at her, and they say, ‘All those kids. Something that happens in everybody’s family. I’m glad she loves her daughter and she’s not ashamed of her. Glad that girl’s going around with her boyfriend. Glad they’re going to get married.”‘
I’m going to say something that I’ve seldom said about Bill Clinton… he is RIGHT ON THE MONEY here. Regardless of his intentions, I agree with his sentiments. Check out the following statement:
“I get this,” Clinton said. “My view is … why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don’t we like them and celebrate them and be happy for her elevation to the ticket? And just say that she was a good choice for him and we disagree with them?”
Folks, the man is [cough, sputter] exactly right. Never has the inability to separate the person from the politics been more pronounced than with the left’s treatment of Sarah Palin. Leftists are stubbornly refusing to see anything of merit in the woman. They know in their heart of hearts that she has certain qualities they would kill for in a candidate — but the fact that she is a conservative is simply unforgivable to them. Especially when their candidate had this election aced. So not only is she criticized… she is loathed.
Their vitriol has manifested itself in childish ways. Lib pundits and celebrities have uttered crass and tasteless things about her and her family recently… really scaping the gutter in some cases. And in recent news, a liberal hacker — allegedly the son of a Tennessee Democratic congressman — has taken great glee in plastering Palin’s personal emails all over the web. This is juvenile behavior. The venom is really flowing over there on the left.
But what about me you might ask? Don’t I criticize and tease Barack Obama? Sure. It’s a political blog. Sarcasm and humor are part of the package. But it’s one thing to call a candidate ‘The Messiah’ and quite another to suggest that his opponent’s daughter will get “the electric chair for being a little slut” (as Russell Brand so tactfully quipped about Bristol Palin). It’s one thing to make light of Obama’s “57 states” gaffe and quite another to openly fantasize about his opponent’s running mate being gang-raped (credit the ever classy Sandra Bernhardt with that one). On the political humor scale, I’m a Leno… not a Howard Stern.
Now, here’s a seldom treaded path that I might suggest to some of you libs… it’s called ‘the high road’. When Hillary Clinton ran we were told that regardless of our political views, we should applaud the great strides she has made for womankind. Why not view Sarah Palin in the same light? Why not say “I disagree strongly with her views and will do everything in my power to defeat her party in this election… but I do think she’s a likable person and am impressed by what this woman has achieved for her gender.” And while you’re at it, admit that you liked the lipstick joke. Is that so hard?
Face it, it would be a tremendous step forward for women if we had a female vice president. The glass ceiling doesn’t get much higher than that. Does she have to be a Democrat before that will have any meaning for you liberals? Do you realize how shallow that is?
And while I’m on the subect what about feminists themselves? Many of them have gone on record blasting Sarah recently. They are not only doing a disservice to their cause, they are revealing to the world that liberalism is the real engine that drives modern feminism… not equal rights for women. Pretty ‘non-progressive’ if you ask me.
I’m not suggesting that Sarah never be criticised by any means. Color her any way you want… just keep your crayons inside the lines please. Politics aside she’s actually a pretty impressive woman.
Filed under: campaign, elections, Florida, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin | Tags: Florida, politics, Sarah Palin
Up until a month ago there was only one candidate in the presidential race who could draw a crowd of 60,000 enthusiastic supporters. Sarah Palin has changed all that. The Republican V.P. candidate got a hero’s welcome in Florida yesterday as she made her first stump speech in the battleground state. Is it any wonder Dems are foaming at the mouth over this woman?
“Sa-Rah! Sa-Rah!” they chanted at every mention of her name, applauding loudly and waiving tiny American flags that were distributed — along with free water bottles — by local volunteers. The fire chief estimated the crowd at 60,000.
Admiring throngs mobbed the Palin family’s arrival and departure, snapping souvenir pictures. Autograph seekers thrust campaign signs, caps with the McCain-Palin logo and copies of magazines with her face on their covers, and the Palins responded warmly.
Ask any lib why he or she loathes Sarah Palin (be sure to back up so that the spittle doesn’t land on your khakis) and they’ll rattle off a litany of venomous talking points they’ve collected on the Internet. But make no mistake, THIS is what is really eating at them. 60,000 adoring Americans gathering in one place to show their support for a [snort! spit! sneer!] Republican candidate.
The folks in this Florida crowd were not celebrities. They weren’t media elites. They weren’t scholarly types or cooler than thou college hipsters. They were just 60,000 of your next door neighbors. Sarah connects with people. She energizes them. She’s one of them.
Libs hate that.
With Sarah’s popularity this race has ceased to be the slam dunk that it once was for the Golden Boy. The left is panicking. Their shrieks of displeasure can be heard from all directions. Honestly it’s like being in a room full of chihuahuas. Yapping, growling, snapping. Refusing to be placated. Defiantly leaving trails of pee and poop everywhere they go. They are not happy.
Let ’em yap. Let ’em poop. I’m a pit bull person myself.