Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 8, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

Just a little fact-checking to do in this week's column - you'll see it in a bit.

And there's not much in this column as Jack's just putting in his two cents for who should be Senator McCain's running mate. I'll save you some time: He thinks it should be the current Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
Jack's description:

At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska's relatively brief history as a state. She's also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.

This is due partly to her personal qualities. When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness. Two years later, when she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, she was also voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.

Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is smart and drop dead gorgeous.

But it's mostly because she's been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.

Just some background on the 49th state. While it's HUGE (by my math, Alaska is about the size in square miles of Texas, California, Montana and Utah - combined), the population is only about 683,000. In contrast, Pittsburgh has a population of just over 300,000 and Allegheny County about 1.3 million. Nearly twice as many people in Allegheny County as there are in the whole state of Alaska.

Alaska also represents 3 electoral votes. With Governor Palin's sky high (and they really are) poll numbers I guess Jack thinks it's a shoe in she'll be able to deliver on those 3 electoral votes come November.

Actually, I do need to do a wee bit of fact-checking on Jack. He writes:
"The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah," pollster Dave Dittman told The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes.
And here's the original from The Weekly Standard (it's from 7/16/07, by the way):
In the roughly three years since she quit as the state's chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the "body count" of Palin's rivals. "The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah," says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. [emphasis added]
Isn't that something that Jack should probably have pointed out? The statement may indeed be true, but without those six words one might be left with the notion that Mr Dittman is a disinterested observer, that he's more or less objective, that he doesn't have a vested interest in the discussion.

Running down the quotation in The Weekly Standard, I stumbled across something else. It's pretty obvious where Jack got some of his research on Governor Palin. It's more or less directly from Fred Barnes. Check out what Jack wrote again:

When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her fierce competitiveness. Two years later, when she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, she was also voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants.

Now take a look at what Barnes wrote in 2007:

Gov. Palin grew up in Wasilla, where as star of her high school basketball team she got the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her fierce competitiveness. She led her underdog team to the state basketball championship. Palin also won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest, in which she was named Miss Congeniality, and went on to compete in the Miss Alaska pageant.

But goshers that's close! Shouldn't Jack have added a few "According to Fred Barnes..." qualifiers in there? It would look less like he's passing this stuff off as his own.

He's also none-too-clear in another place:

Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal said Mr. McCain should run against a corrupt, do-nothing Congress, a la Harry Truman. If he should choose to do so, Ms. Palin would make an excellent partner.

Aside from the completely laughable proposition that the current Congress is corrupt and "do-nothing" (as opposed to say, the last Republican-led, Mark Foley corrupted, real-life do-nothing Congress), can someone please read through the column and tell me where Strassel even mentions Governor Palin?

Bottom line. Palin is also a two term Mayor, one term Governor of a state with a population smaller than that of Allegheny County. Isn't one of the criticisms of the Democratic Candidate that he doesn't have enough experience? Never mind. Such subtlety is usually lost on Republicans. It's certainly lost on Jack.

There's also another reason why Governor Palin might not want to be McCain's VP: She gave birth only seven weeks ago.

Doesn't Jack Kelly believe in maternity leave? He'd have a sitting Governor with a new 2-month old flying across the country in what has to be the most grueling campaign schedule on the planet.

Nice going, Jack. You're all heart.


Anonymous said...

I fear that Alaska's meager 3 electoral votes would be far far outweighed by Palin's obvious attraction for the GOP on a national level.

And Palin's tough actions AGAINST the establishment Republicans and spending in Alaska would dovetail with McCain's maverick positions against the GOP.

And, finally, I don't think the Dems running with Obama can make an issue of the extent of Palin's experience since, in many respects, her experience exceeds Obama's.

Just saying, these are things to watch out for.

Anonymous said...

You may be correct, Jack.

However there's some question as to whether McCain is, actually, a maverick.

I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not one labels McCain a maverick, it is not rocket science here that Palin would be for McCain his best Veep pick (as it would be McCain's worst pick for VP for the Democrats).

Anonymous said...

In a state that small, my pet ferret could probably qualify for the beauty pageant!

Alaska is a backwater, one-issue state; it's all about oil. Fight for oil and you're a hero. Dare to do anything else and you're a bum. So Ms. Palin doesn't have to be a genius to rise quickly. On the other hand, being a suck-up to oil and gas interests probably does make her a perfect tool/choice for the GOP. And they can try to claim some of that Alaskan "independent" cred to match McSame's maverick meme....which Obama will attack relentlessly.

In the end, though, I have to think they'll go for the Electoral votes. No one REALLY cares about the Veep, but tipping the scales in a swing state, now, that DOES matter....


Anonymous said...

Pilt, last I heard, women live and vote in all the swing states. Her draw isn't geographic, it's gender with a capital G.

There are a lot of Hillary supporters who are STILL mad as hell. It would be easier for them to vote for McCain if Palin was on the ticket.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps it would be easier but the consequences would still be the same. I don't know what Palin's position is on a women's reproductive freedom, but John McCain is a firm supporter of completely overturning Roe v. Wade.

I really hope Hillary's supporters keep that in mind.

Yes, they might be mad, but is it worth risking that? Is it worth perpetuating a mistaken war for four more years?

I wouldn't want to be the person that had to someone who lost their son or daughter in Iraq that I voted McCain because I was angry. And I certainly wouldn't have to explain one day why, in my anger and disappointment, I voted for a man that will put more conservatives on the bench and overturn Roe v. Wade.

I understand their frustration, but I hope, in time, that they put things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

Palin is very pro-life (Kelly says so in his column).

A vote for McCain is a vote to do away with Roe v Wade.


Anonymous said...

jaywillie,for older women who supported Hillary, McCain's pro-life position will NOT keep them from voting for him. It no longer effects them. Sure it may effect our daughters, but we're tired of doing the heavy lifting for women's rights. Let those young Obama supporting women who call us crones and hags demonstrate if Roe v. Wade is overturned. We have been there and done that -- now it is their turn.

Besides, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, almost none of the states would prohibit first trimester abortions, which constitute about 90 percent of the abortions that take place.

My point is that the Dems can't use Roe v. Wade to scare us into voting for Obama.

You should read more about Sarah Palin -- she is definately pro-life. She gave birth to a baby boy this past April knowing early on in her pregnancy that the baby had Down Syndrome. Yet Palin released this quote to the newspaper: "Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives."

I am pro-choice, but Sarah Palin has gained a lot of cred in my eyes.

And another thing, Sarah Palin's son joined the Army this past September and is supposedly will be deployed to Iraq. This also gives her an unique perspective and a connection with all military families.

Anonymous said...


I don't have time atm to respond in full, but I will later.

Let me just say that I find your reply astounding and morally reprehensible.

To bemoan Hillary's loss as a great loss for all women and then to throw future generations of women under the bus, essentially telling them, "Tough shit. You're on your own. All that talk about standing up for women's rights? That was just for me," is really unbelievable.

And how dare you assume that women who support Obama weren't fighting some of the same battles as you have in the past.

And the namecalling...please, please would Clinton supporters please stop acting like they weren't calling people names to?

I respond more later when I have time...

Anonymous said...

jaywillie, no need to blow a gasket.

I never said that women who support Obama weren't fighting some of the same battles as I did in the past. I'm sure there are.

I was referring to young 20-something age women. They grew up never experiencing the overt sexual discrimination that my generation did. They didn't have to fight any battles because, to a large degree, the battles had already been won. If there are future battles to be fought, I think it about time for younger women to start pulling their own weight. What's so morally reprehensible about that?

Abortion is not the single-issue litmus test anymore for older women. That's why McCain should choose Palin for VP if he hopes to get those disgruntled "Hillary Hags" to vote for him. Two old white guys on the ticket, however, won't get them to vote Republican.

Anonymous said...

Most blacks in this country were never slaves. It's about time they started pulling their weight.

Most Jews in this country were never in concentration camps. Time to put up some barbed wire so they can learn.

Most Irish in this country never starved. Make them turn over their potatoes and at least get real hungry so they can appreciate everything we did for them.

Anonymous said...


No, I wasn't blowing a gasket...maybe a little too dramatic :)...but I am glad you responded.

I don't think any generation can say that they are not indebted to the ones who came before them, no matter what we're talking about. But the progress made and victories won for your generation were possible only because women that you never knew or met where willing to give their lives fighting for much that they would never see. Those battles weren't just fought for the people leading the charge, but for all women.

And I don't think young women have avoided sexual discrimination. It might not be as prevalent in our society as it was, but, like racism, it still exists; though personally, I feel we are still somewhat an overtly sexist society.

But I would hope, as Democrats, that some of Hillary's supporters considering the idea of voting for John McCain wouldn't be beguiled by his appointment of Palin to VP, because it would only be an empty, symbolic gesture on McCain's part.

We would still have a president who would continue the policies of George W. Bush and the Republicans. That's not good for anyone.

John McCain is not going to address income inequality. He's not going to be concerned about discrimination in the work place. I think any Hillary supporter who voted for him would come to seriously regret it after another four years of a needless war, no plan for healthcare or the environment or education other than to turn it over to those concerned with making a profit, no investment in our crumbling would simply be four years later and probably a lot worse.

I hope that in time you come to see that those who labeled Clinton's supporters as "Hillary hags" are not representative of Sen. Obama's supporters. Don't let those people get the better of you or allow it to hand the country to John McCain.

None of us can afford that.

I know it's hard now to let go of the anger and frustration; I've been on the losing end of these battles many, many times. And I understand that for you and many others it goes much deeper than simply another candidate trying to get the nomination.

I can only tell you that, as a person of mixed race, Obama's campaign and nomination means just as much to me as Hillary's did for you. The supporters of the two camps are really not so different from each other after all.

Anonymous said...


You're not going to be able to convince the Hillary Hags to vote for Obama. The more you try, the more insulting it becomes.

But I have yet to hear your opinion on the thread topic, should McCain pick Palin as his VP?

As a Hillary Hag, I say yes. My vote is up for grabs (other than voting for Obama)and the more I read about Sarah Palin, the more I like.

From your viewpoint, you may say "No", as you might think that Palin is the one possible VP nonimee that could draw votes away from Obama. She does after all, have substantially more executive experience than Obama. Or maybe you disagree.

But I am interested in hearing your answer.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: In a spirit of bipartisanship. Sen. McCain is expected to endorse Hussein Obama for President. Spokesperson for McCain said this should cement his credentianals for reaching to the other party to resolve problems.

However, Obama people along with the 2PJ bloggers, in typical liberal fashion, say this is not enough. McCain needs to begin raising money for Obama.

The head of the DNC. H. Dean, welcomes the gesture on the part of McCain and says, "Why have an election?" Just convene a committee and decide how to apportion the votes so that Obama wins. It worked with Sen. Clinton.

Anonymous said...

If older ladies are 'hags' then I am a hag for Obama who worked for him in the primary. My daughters-all professionals-are supporting Obama. And guess what-so is my husband who served 24 years in the military.
Stop listening to these blow-hard old women who really have never done anything but whine and believe in the real democratic party.
The first woman president will not be a lying corporate whore. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Don't you just love these, "older ladies are hags," Obama people. They are so open minded and so interested in changing the culture of DC they only called Sen. Clinton a whore once. Ahh the Obama people, do as I say, not as I do. LMAO at just how easy it is to expose you liberals LOL

Sherry Pasquarello said...

i got more grief from younger feminist women than older ones for supporting obama.

they really ridiculed me for "trying to scare them about roe v. wade being overturned"

they really do not believe that it will. they don't recall the history of things like prohibition or the fact that this country goes thru moralistic fits.

they were full of contempt because i said that i had learned in life to pick and choose my battles because if one protests every small slight or ill chosen word with the same intensity as the truly sexist/racist any ist out there then no one takes it seriously and you are labeled a kook or worse.

i'm 56, white, blue collar and an obama supporter.

but most of all, i am an american and i want the republicans out of power before they can do anymore damage.

EdHeath said...

So Laura, did Obama win the nomination fairly, or are you claiming he stole it from Hillary? And support for Obama doesn't have to be a single issue matter, it could include health care, education, government reform, trying not to destroy the planet, redistributing income somewhat from rich to poor, getting us out of Iraq and improving our foreign policy and standing as well as Roe V Wade.

But older people tend to be richer, they are not worried about health care so much (they have medicare), they are not going to have to serve (and if they are old enough neither will their kids, maybe only their spoiled grand kids, serves 'em right) and they probably aren't sympathetic to ideas of fighting poverty or racism. And they vote in big numbers.

Hopefully the party will show unity, but it appears that just like Pittsburgh's older voters act mechanically, so too oldr democratic women will find excuses to vote in their own economic self interest.

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Palin is also a two term Mayor, one term Governor of a state with a population smaller than that of Allegheny County. I
So she has more experience than Barack Obama.

Anonymous said...

So she has more experience than Barack Obama. running a chicken coop.

Anonymous said...


Personally, I don't think VP choices make much difference at all. About the most your looking for is someone who won't get "Eagleton-ed" - you don't want scandal and controversy.

Other than that, there's really very little evidence to suggest a VP has much draw for a ticket. So, it wouldn't matter to me if he picked Palin(a relatively unkown person) or not. I certainly don't think some unkown person without a national presence is going to save John McCain's campaign. And it would, considering her extremely rightwing views, only reaffirm the notion that John McCain isn't a maverick, but just another Republican winger.

And I don't know how understand why dicsussing this is insulting to you.

Let's consider for a second, Laura, that a lot of us Obama supporters have put what we considered to be blatant racism(backed up by that report from a Clinton super who said a top advisor wanted to exacerbate the divide between Jews and African-Americans) on the backburner. A lot of us tolerated being called mindless cultists, dumb young people, etc. So spare me the indignation, because we put up with an awful lot of bullshit from the Clinton camp and now we're supposed to pretend nothing happend.

Personally, I would encourage you at this point, Laura, to leave the Democratic Party and register as a Republican.

If, in your anger, your willing to sacrifice the health care of our children, the lives of the young men and women who will die in Iraq if John gets to perpetuate his war for another century, if you're willing to throw away all of your Demcoratic values to vote for Republicans that don't support those values, then, by all means, vote for them.

And just to point another glaring round of stupidity from John K., no one here called Hillary a hag or a whore. In fact, it was John McCain who responded to one of his supporters questions, with a pretty big grin, about how do the republicans "beat the bitch," the video of which was just removed today(that's how much he thinks of you, Clinton supporters - you're just getting played). And it was a Clinton supporter in this thread that brought up the "Hillary Hags," a term I have not heard until she mentioned it.

So...nice try, John, but you're still clueless...why don't you go back to lying about Maj. John Andre again?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Yep we are doing so bad in Iraq that NBC did a positive report on the situation tonight. OH MY!

Anonymous said...

I'm really worried about McCain picking Palin as his VEEP, especially after I saw this vid:

Anonymous said...

ahem, jaywillie, it was me who coined the "Hillary Hag" name in this thread. After being called a hag and a dried up old crone by countless Obamabots, I decided to EMBRACE my hagginess!

You have made a lot of good points. And I may very well reconsider my position. But in my book, actions speak louder than words.

So I would very much appreciate you pointing out to me what Obama has accomplished as a senator from the great state of Illinois, other than running for the POTUS.

Please explain to me why he voted "present" on the more controversial issues instead of taking a stand one way or another. Explain all that to me and I may just let that pod sprout by my bed tonight.

I patiently await your response.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: The Hillary the Hag comment is just so funny. Because 18 months ago if I had said, wooo. And in 1998 If I had said that, look out for the vast right wing conspiracy. Nice to see lefties joining in.

Anonymous said...

Please explain to me why he voted "present" on the more controversial issues instead of taking a stand one way or another.

To my way of thinking, it might be more useful to investigate what Obama has NOT accomplished. He has not helped to enable a disastrous war. He has not attempted to jab more holes into the First Amendment. He has not proposed that a woman be denied the right to decide how to deal with her own body. He has not suggested that the American military continue to be tortured in Iraq for the next 100 years. His most important opponents have done these things.

However, he has made two major foreign-policy errors by asserting his willingness to invade an ally and by recently taking any negotiations about Jerusalem off the table. If I were looking for reasons to vote otherwise, I would focus on these. But of course Sen. McCain gives us many, many reasons to reject him on foreign-policy grounds.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Actually Hussein Obama has put Jerusalem back on the table for negotiations. He did the usual lefty trick of talking out of both sides of his mouth. This way the left can say he never said it. Obama plans on surrendering in Iraq. To appease who? Heck Bush could have surrendered in Iraq. But that is what cowards do. And Obama is in favor of restricting the 1st Ammendment. He favors the fairness doctrine as well as attempted to shut up conservatives by listing a bunch of items he feels they are not allowed to talk about. YOU LOSE AGAIN!

Anonymous said...

Actually Hussein Obama has put Jerusalem back on the table for negotiations.

I have seen no evidence of this. Do you have a link?

Anonymous said...


Don't bother looking for links (or, indeed facts) from John K.

He's begun to prattle on about the "fairness doctrine" when conservatives are the ONLY people actually talkin about that.

Of course we all know which President is a coward. Same one that sat out Vietnam with the Texas Air National Guard and then failed to fulfill his duty while John Kerry was getting a Silver Star for Bravery.

Can you say Bush went AWOL, John K?

Sure, I knew you could.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I am quite aware of that. In fact, that's my point.