Democracy Has Prevailed.

August 31, 2008

Jack Kelly Sunday

In this week's column, Jack Kelly gloats:
I wrote a column back in June in which I said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be the ideal running mate for Sen. John McCain. But I never thought he'd pick her.
Here's the column from June and my analysis of it. Just as he pretty much lifted a whole chunk or two out of Fred Barnes' Weekly Standard article on Palin, he rewrites the June article into this week's column. Jack restates:

Ms. Palin is popular in part because of her personal qualities. She earned the "Sarah Barracuda" nickname as the point guard on her Wasilla high school basketball team, which she led to the state championship in 1982. Two years later, when she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant (and went on to be the first runner up in the Miss Alaska contest) she was also named Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice.

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.

Hmm. That last part's a little off. Why? Do you remember (the now indicted for corruption) Senator Ted Stevens' "Bridge to Nowhere"? Seems Sarah Barracuda was for it before she was against it. According to the New Republic she was asked about the bridges in October 22, 2006:

5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?

Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.

[I]t sure looks like she was fine with the bridge in principle, never had a problem with the earmarks, bristled at all the mockery, and only gave up on the project when it was clear that federal support wasn't forthcoming.
Hardly the "ferocious fighter of corruption" Jack Kelly describes her as. Jack's next paragraph:
Ms. Palin touches other conservative bases, some of which Mr. McCain has been accused of missing. A regular churchgoer, she's staunchly pro-life. Her eldest son is a soldier. She's a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes and runs marathons.
But there's some of the stuff that I think even conservatives would be surprised to hear. From USAToday:
She stood up to the powerful oil industry, and with bipartisan support in the statehouse she won a tax increase on oil companies' profits.
Governor Palin's increased a tax on oil companies? I guess so. No wonder Jack didn't mention it.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Gov. Sarah Palin is asking the Legislature to give every Alaskan $1,200 as energy cost relief.

"It's a one-time, special return of the vast wealth that Alaska has right now. We're returning it to the resource owners, the people of Alaska," the governor said Friday. "I am confident the people of Alaska can spend the surplus dollars better than state government is going to spend them."

And further down:
Conservative critics have attacked it as socialism, comparing Palin to Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
Ouch - that's gotta sting.

By the way Senator Obama's proposed something similar:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Friday announced an “Emergency Economic Plan” that would give families a stimulus check of $1,000 each, funded in part by what his presidential campaign calls “windfall profits from Big Oil.”
And of course Senator McCain responded:
Unlike Sen. Obama, I do not believe that raising taxes is the answer to our economic problems. There is no surer way to force jobs overseas than to raise taxes on businesses.
I wonder if he asked Palin about her oil company tax increase during their one meeting before she was announced as his running mate.

Despite the positive reviews by Radio talk show host Mark Levin (who by the way said that Bush's commutation prevented Scooter Libby from becoming a "political prisoner" - since when are obstruction of justice and perjury political issues? Just asking), the reviews have NOT been favorable to the former Miss Wasilla. From the Times Online:
Shannen Coffin, a former White House counsel to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, said choosing Palin seemed “desperate” and that it would be difficult to attack Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, on the grounds of inexperience.
Even though Jack tries:
But it will be difficult for Democrats to attack Ms. Palin on this without calling attention to Barack Obama's lack of experience. Ms. Palin is the undercard, not the top of the ticket. And her 18 months as governor (not to mention her two terms as mayor) is 18 months more executive experience than Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have combined.
It's also more than John McCain has.

Indeed the word out of Alaska has been harsh (h/t to The Huffingtonpost on this). From the Fairbanks News Miner:
She has never publicly demonstrated the kind of interest, much less expertise, in federal issues and foreign affairs that should mark a candidate for the second-highest office in the land. Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin? Or will everyone just be forced to drop the subject? That’s not a comforting possibility.

Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it.

It’s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance. She’s a woman. She has fought corruption. She has fought the oil companies. She’s married to a union member. These are portrayals for campaign speeches; they are not policy positions.

Then there's the Anchorage Daily News:

Alaskans are delighted because the eyes of the world will be on Alaska as Sarah Palin campaigns for the vice-presidency.

And it's stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be heartbeat away from the presidency.


McCain picked Palin despite a recent blemish on her ethically pure resume. While she was governor, members of her family and staff tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers. Her public safety commissioner would not do so; she forced him out, supposedly for other reasons. While she runs for vice-president, the Legislature has an investigator on the case.

For all those advantages, Palin joins the ticket with one huge weakness: She's a total beginner on national and international issues.

And then some of the Republicans up there have chimed in. State Senate President Lyda Green is quoted as saying:

She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?

Granted, Palin and Green have according to the Anchorage Daily News "fueded repeatedly" over the past two years, but still.

Stunning pick. Total beginner on national and international issues. Not ready for the job. Picked for reasons of image, not substance. Not prepared to be vice president or president.

When the newspapers and politicians in the candidate's home state are saying this, the criticisms can not be easily dismissed.

Congratulations, Jack.

And we haven't even started on Troopergate!


porchwise said...

Palin is the bullet which will shoot down McCain's bid for the ballot. Just goes to show that men really do go out of their mind for a pretty girl...hmmm, maybe he wants to trade in his aging wife again?

billrott said...
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John K. said...

John K: You left wingers are really sickos. You attack Palin's child. The one with down's syndrome? Sick, sick, sick. But anything to obtain power. LMAO Now we are going to rip you lefties apart for attacking Palin's kid. Oh yah. LMAO So thanks for giving us the excuse.

John K. said...

John K: No, actually conservatives are not upset about Palin attacking big oil. You left wingers are angry though. Sort of removes the stereotype. 80% approval in Alaska. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has 80% negatives. And she fights corruption. Took on Sen. Stevens and the Republican party on that issue. I thought you lefties hated corruption within the Republican party also. Guess not. And she is a pro-life feminist. The lesbian lobby at MSNBC is now on medication. LOL LOL LOL McCain picked a winner and you got Biden. A two time loser. LMAO Way to go lefties.

billrott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mathteacher said...

What do we do about Jack Kelly? He was the representative of the PPG on the PBS Newshour on Friday. The panel members were presented as media analysts & were to discuss Obama's acceptance speech from that slant. Of course, if you read the PPG, you know what Jack had to say. How was it that he was the representative of the PPG? Who makes those decisions? I've written PBS- the panel was far from "fair & balanced." Who do I contact at the PPG?

billrott said...

Emails On Trooper Gate Allegedly Exist

From the article in the Anchorage Daily News:

"Monegan also disclosed for the first time that Palin sent him two or three e-mails that referenced her ex-brother-in-law and his status with troopers. Monegan declined to provide the e-mails because of the ongoing investigation."

Yes, this pick is looking very very very bad. For the few right wing zealots that respond, I ask you to think prior to posting.

My question is do you really think this person is qualified and the best person to have on a national ticket?

With ethics issues over her head and the general ethics issues impacting Republicans, especially from Alaska, is this the best person to assist with your brand this year?

I know that heir and John K are die hard republicans, yet I hope they truly understand what the impact could be to the Republicans down ticket on this very reckless choice.

To put it another way, if John McCain dies prior to the election, are you really ready to run the Palin for President election this time around???

EdHeath said...

cyertI am actually far less worried about "Troopergate" (can we leave the poor hotel alone?) than I am about her wanting to have creationism taught in public schools. I have heard it would be along side natural selection, but I think religion has no place being taught in the schools in science class as an equal to science. I have also heard a rumor (perhaps here) that she either does not believe in global warming or does not believe it is caused by man. The NYTImes reprinted a thoughtful opinion piece from her about why polar bears should not go on the endangered species list, that was actually reasonably compelling. But I think as President she might do a lot to damage policy on social issues.


Anonymous said...

My wife's labors were shorter with each additional baby. I don't think that our experiences were uncommon. What I find most amazing is that Gov. Palin was able to go into labor in Texas, and then fly back to Alaska, in time to deliver. That had to be a long flight. From my perspective, amazing.

John K. said...

John K: What to do about Jack Kelly? How about what to do about DeLano. Let's use the market place to determine that ala Cullen. Lefty censorship at work again eh?

Anonymous said...


You are correct - Palin does not believe that humankind contributes to global warming.

On most social issues, she is beholden to the extreme rightwing of her party. Even on abortion, she does not believe in exceptions for cases of rape or incest(that's extreme!).

On foreign policy matters, well, the right assures us that since Alaska is near Russia, Palin has plenty. I have my doubts.

The simple fact is that she has very, very little experience in government and what she does have is not impressive. This pick is a huge surprise considering McCain constantly stated that what he was looking for in a VP was someone ready to do the job from day one.

Did she fight corruption in Alaska? Sort of...Alaskans(from what I've been reading) are pretty astounded by her claim that she was opposed to the "Bridge from Nowhere". It's probably more accurate to say that she exploited opportunities w/in her party to make a political name for herself.

After all, she had the full endorsement of corrupt pols Ted Stevens and Don Young.

Now, to take on John K.'s accusation against Billrott.

Bill most certainly DID NOT attack Palin's child. In fact, dear John, it was your hero, Rush, who first interjected Trig into politics by making a joke about Obama asking Palin if she considered aborting Trig before or after he was born.

Sorry, pal, but the sickness is owned by your side on this little matter.

I will tell you that I have read and heard a number of libertarians and social values conservatives who have said that they do not feel Palin made a good decision by accepting the VP nod because she had a child so recently and because she has a family to help raise.

That's not from people on the left; that's from people on your side of the political spectrum, John K.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, she fights corruption, John K....that's why she's currently under an ethics investigation.

It figures...the conservative answer to fighting corruption is to nominate two corrupt candidates!

You're doing a heckuva job, wingers!

Anonymous said...

john k: You say, re Jack Kelly, "Let's use the market place to determine that ala Cullen. "

By all accounts, Ms. Cullen's show was profitable for the station. What "market forces" were at work in her firing?

As far as Jack Kelly: It's easy to predict what his column will be for any particular week. Whatever the current GOP talking points are, will be the basis for his next column. Perhaps the PG and Blade will simply decide that they'd like a little more return for their money. LMAO!

John K. said...

John K: Spin this all you want, an attack was launched against Palin's kid by the left in here in an attempt to smear her. You lefties have no shame.

John K. said...

John K: You left wingers cannot be that dumb. To the question of what if something happens to Sen. McCain? The first thought I had at 12:20PM on Friday is why isn't Palin running for President. Many other conservatives share the same view. You are running two DC insiders and asking for change. Palin is about as far outside of DC as you can get. Face it left wing kooks. You ran two duds. Sen. Clinton was the choice. LMAO And all you got for a week's work was a 4 point bounce. LMAO

John K. said...

John K: McCain out thought you left wing kooks. Hussein Obama picked Biden because he thought McCain was going to pick Ridge/Pawlenty/Romney. And that Biden was the perfect foil to those fellows. But he did what the left wanted to do. He picked a Gov who also happens to be a woman. And a pro life feminist. And your response is laughable. You left wingers in here attacked her kid. As Limbaugh predicted on Friday. That was an easy guess. And this one from the Hussein Obama camp that she was mayor of a small town. LOL LOL LOL LOL LMAO LMAO Open door, bang the left wingers nose into it. Close door and laugh.

John K. said...

John K: Ron Morris is one savvy business man. He sees money as green. If he thought for a second that Cullen raised enough cash to make her show viable he would have found a spot for her. Arbitron had her ratings below that of christian broadcasting. She pulled sponsors from shops no one knew or cared about. How many pairs of Little's shoes does one buy in a year. LOL LOL LOL One after another of the left wingers on the radio have been pushed out thru market forces. Only way you left wingers are going to survive is to hope Hussein Obama gets elected and the fairness doctrine gets in. Heck even Quinn and Rose broadcast nationally. LMAO LOL LOL Fire Delano.

Anonymous said...

I'm amused at the thought that some wingnuts actually think Palin is qualified to be president.

She's been governor of a state that has fewer people than Allegheny County. The State of Alaska has a huge surplus, thanks to $120bbl oil, so she hasn't had to make any true budget decisions, because the state has enough revenues to make everybody happy. (She only turned against the Bridge to Nowhere when it became clear that Federal funding wasn't coming, anymore.)

In short, she might be qualifed to give Dan Onorato a challenge. But, other than that, by what stretch would she be qualified to be president?

Anonymous said...

About Lynn Cullen and "the market:"

John acts as if she were the only show that was taken off air by the format change. Dr Laura was canned, too, wasn't she? But, it was only "liberal talk" that "the market" punished?

Yeah. Sure.

Bram Reichbaum said...

I worry that we're underestimating the non-partisan Clinton vote, or not-strongly partisan Clinton vote. We always seem to be underestimating stuff like that.

But seriously, it was nothing we can't handle. Nothing Jack Kelly says here scares me.

Anonymous said...

Keep spinnin', John K. Keep trying to convince yourself this was a good pick.

Honestly, who do you conservatives think is going to believe that you care about women when you've made your careers keeping them "in their place?"

Oh btw...way to go in saying that Palin is more qualified than McCain. You can't even contain your disgust for your own candidate!

Ha! Winger clowns...

billrott said...
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Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about the non-partisan vote, Bram.

Palin is WAY OUTSIDE the mainstream on domestic issues - it's clear she was a gift to the fringe elements of the Republican party. That's not going to appeal to moderates or women.

P.S. John K.,

Have you conservatives finally decided how your going to exploit Gustav for political gain yet? Classy.

It's an election year...suddenly Republicans care about running the government properly!

Oh, and Obama's bounce in the Gallup Daily was 49-41(Fri.), 49-41(Sat.) and 48-42(Sun.) must really suck, John K., to not even have a legitimate convention to look forward to so that McCain can get his own bounce...

Sorry, but God hates Republicans.

Anonymous said...

And, John, Palin is going to get destroyed by Biden in the debate without even having to respond to her directly.

You know how much Dems think of this pick? We're going to ignore her, that's how much. She's not relevant; she has no national political experience; she's a complete won't see either of our candidates attacking her; their focus will be on McCain.

But she simply is not going to be able to hold her own on a foreign policy debate, let alone a domestic policy debate. There's no time to coach her up to the level she needs to be at; that's why you don't pick a complete unknown, especially someone whose only foreign policy experience is living in a state that is near Russia.

Palin's pick tells you how seriously McCain and conservatives take governing - not at all.

The only thing that matters to the wingers is that Palin is pro-life.

After all their talk of how we couldn't afford inexperience during a time of war, they nominate one of the most unqualified people to ever share a major party ticket. After John McCain repeatedly said his VP wouldn't be someone ready on day one, he's picked someone who won't even be ready in four years.

Wingers may love the Palin pick(they should - she's extremely rightwing) but America will not. Early impressions of her are not good news for McCain - people see the pick as risky, dangerous, a gamble.

That's not the impression you want to create when you are a 72 year old man with a history of recurrent skin cancer.

To put someone with so little experience a heartbeat away from the Presidency proves just how dangerous a McCain presidency would be.

McCain/Palin? It's just not worth the risk.

P.S. John, just curious, but not that long ago you were arguing that McCain was such a strong candidate because he wouldn't do what the left wanted him to do.

Now, you're saying the opposite - he did listen to the left(btw I don't think the left really cared who he picked. why are you taking advice from us anyway?) and that we're ungrateful when we should be jumping for joy.

And I'd like you to provide evidence that any of us attacked her kid.

Again, John, it was your man, Rush the Pig, who decided to bring Palin's 5 month old child into this. Stop looking for scapegoats, and take accountability for what you do and say. I know that's hard for conservatives...

Anonymous said...

Hey, winger clowns!

While McCain is busy exploiting a natural disaster(keepin' it classy!), don't you think he should take a little time to explain to the victims of Katrina why he:

1) voted against Senatate amendment 1661 to provide emergency funding to victims of Katrina

2)voted against a bipartisan Katrina oversight committee

3) voted against extending unemployment benefits to victims of Katrina

4) voted against numerous other bills to provide relief to victims of Katrina.

I know the Pander Bear is busy...pandering, but I think if he's going to milk Gustav for his own political gain, he should answer why he wasn't there when the victims of Katrina needed him.

That's not leadership; it's just more of the same.

John K. said...

John K: Looks like Jaywillie is exploiting the tragedy of Katrina and now Gustav for political gain. Biden is marching in a parade. Bush/McCain are at work looking out for the welfare of New Orleans. LMAO I WIN!

John K. said...

John K: Kimber is criticizing Palin for being Gov of a State. So tell me kooks, what has Hussein Obama or Biden ever been in charge of? Corporate fundraisers? LOL LOL LOL How dumb you look saying actual management experience means nothing when your TWO guys have squat.

billrott said...

So tell me kooks, what has Obama or Biden ever been in charge of?


We have all watched Obama run one of the most successful grassroots organizations in campaign history. To do such a feat, Obama needs to possess god management skills. The short comings of both McCain and Clinton's campaign demonstrate this importance of management abilities.

Now, I also find it extremely peculiar that you and others want to count Palin's 1 1/2 years as governor of a state smaller in population than Baltimore or should I say 1/6 the size of Chicago and Palin's 2 terms as a mayor. The reason these points don't make sense to me is that just hours before Palin was picked, you and others were arguing that you can't count Obama's state senate experience...

So I guess being a state senator is not nearly as involved as being the mayor of Wasella.