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Monday, September 29, 2008


The bar has been set so low that she'll look good if she shows up with her pulse.

We will know the answer to this spin in a few hours. If she were so bad, I wonder why none of her public embarrassments from her performances in Alaska have not been making the rounds? I'm sure that if she is clueless now, then she must certainly have been clueless then also, yet she managed to demolish her Alaskan competition. H-m-m, perhaps her Alaskan competition was so inept that they elevated her. On the other hand, if Joe asks Chuck to stand up again, or asks Gwen about her Obama book, she just might not have to say very much at all.

Actually, Ron, go watch the videos from Alaska. She was clueless in those debates. She ridiculed her opposition for talking about the facts of the Alaska budget. All she did was emote.

Her independent opponent in the gubernatorial race wrote an article this week where he recounts her debating style Basically, he describes her as spinning one of four or five pat answers to any question. I would suggest that this is a trick that she learned in prep classes for beauty queen competitions.

A willingness to look outside of websites devoted to the Republican cause (i.e. Drudge) would turn up plenty of videos with rather unstellar performances from Gov. Palin (nevermind the treats that we have been treated to this week in the very few moments that the McCain people have let her talk to the press!)

You know that a candidate is unqualified for ANYTHING when her supporters claim that asking her what newspapers she reads is a 'gotcha" question. Really? I mean, seriously??? Asking her what newspapers she reads? I guess that her fans won't get too upset if she gets asked about her favorite color or what is her favorite brand of soda. I assume that she can answer those questions. Although, one can wonder...

Look, just because you are a Republican doesn't mean that you have to deny the objective facts here. McCain picked a spectacularly unqualified running mate. If Obama had made such a glaring error Republicans would (rightly) be talking non-stop about it. Just because you want McCain to win does not mean that you should deny the objective facts that this woman is beyond unfit to be vice president under a 72 year old who is battling a deadly form of cancer.

Her performance last night spoke for itself. You dems are laughable.

The 2 October debate footage is in the can now and by most accounts Gov. Palin did quite well. And aside from the questionably innocent coincidence of the moderator’s forthcoming Obama puff piece release leaking out prematurely, the playing field appeared to be relatively level. This was very different than the stacked deck Gov. Palin faced with Charlie Gibson and perky Katie.

Although I wrote a much longer first draft of this response that addressed your points, I decided to simply follow the advice I offered when raising my offspring with respect to dealing with wide ranging, mostly wrong arguments put forth by political leftists; that being, simply reject the premise, as I do yours, Dennis.

With respect to the qualifications for anyone seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States of America, the qualifications are the same for both offices and can be found in Article II, Section 1, paragraph 5 of United States Constitution. To save you the effort of looking it up the United States Constitution states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Dennis, if you have some notion that there are any qualifications beyond those specified in the Constitution that are required of the candidates, please feel free to state them. By any objective measure your declaration that Gov. Palin is “spectacularly unqualified as a running mate,” is simply wrong. Governor Palin has significantly more executive experience than either of the Democrat candidates, neither of whom have ANY executive experience, excluding of course, Mr. Obama’s declaration that he was the CEO of his campaign organization. And, Dennis, this is an election for the chief executive officer of this nation, not for just another slick orator.

Dennis, your shrill proclamation of Gov. Palin’s lack of qualification for “ANYTHING,” is reminiscent of similar gratuitous swipes at President Bush’s swagger some years ago. President Bush’s dismissive response, “In Texas, we call that walkin’” adeptly dumped his leftist antagonists on their collective tails, sputtering.

Last evening’s Palin – Biden debate put to rest your notions that Gov. Palin is “clueless” and of the initial premise of this thread that Gov. Palin’s mock performances were “disastrous.” Perhaps it is more likely that you heard something you liked, bought it, and ran with it. H-m-m, here’s a delectable thought, perhaps you and others of your persuasion were baited to do so.

P.S. Love the vintage pictures.

She's a natural born citizen, over 35 and, after a week of intense coaching, she spoke in complete sentences. Pop the champagne corks. That makes her more than qualified if anything happens to the president.

if you have some notion that there are any qualifications beyond those specified in the Constitution that are required of the candidates, please feel free to state them.

Thank you Ron for reminding me of the constitutional standards. I am happy to see that there is at least one Republican somewhere with an interest in the constitution. I had come to believe that the party of Cheney and Rove had forgotten about that document.

I'm also happy to also ignore your ad hominems, too. (but I'll be happy translate that for you if you need it.)

That Mrs. Palin meets the constitutional standard is not in question. Is that enough? Obviously it is enough for Republicans, but the country is suffering under years of Republican mismanagement and we need a change. That party's willingness to look for a candidate who meets the lowest common denominator (as long as she is willing to sell out a woman's right to choose and to stop the icky gays) is interesting. I am glad to see that she obviously meets your standards.

The non-constitutional standards, I might suggest, are the same for both President and Vice President. Two or three are worthy of consideration:

1. experience on the national stage that has at least exposed one to the levers of power. Lincoln served one term in Congress before nomination. I would suggest that this might be a minimum standard. Mrs Palin does not meet that standard. Washington, DC is an unknown territory to her. In spite of the aw-shucks populism that the McCain trainwreck is playing this year, we are in a bind and need competence and knowledge in the corridors of power. If we weren't having to dig our way out of 8 years of near-criminal incompetence perhaps someone new to Washington would be ok. Not this year, though.

2. A wide ranging intellect with a willingness to ask questions and to think through consequences. The failures of the past 7+ years can be attributed to a dedication to rightwing ideology matched with a lack of intellectual curiosity. Gov. Palin has not given me any reason to suspect that she has many skills in this area. Her beauty pageant performances were interesting, I'll grant. But she has demonstrated little real depth of intellect in her 5 weeks on the national stage.

3. The final standard involves a question about the set of ideas and ideals that would best serve our needs as a nation. I would suggest that the best way to address this is a promise to undo much of the incredible damage that the Republican party and conservatives have done to our nation. McCain seems to be running away from much of the Republican record, so he or his polling staff must believe that this is an issue.

The problem with Republicans this year is their signal failure in seeing how much their far right ideology has damaged our constitution and destroyed our economy and standing in the world. Thanks to the Republicans in Washington our nation is teetering on the edge. Things are too important this year to risk letting any Republicans near the levers of power again. Fool us twice, shame on us.

Thankfully we can see the national polling numbers turning against the party driven by a far right ideology. We have a chance to close the door on the horrors of the past 7+ years and to restore our nation.

"The 2 October debate footage is in the can now and by most accounts Gov. Palin did quite well."

The post-debate polls say that she got her ass kicked, but she did well if you mean she didn't seize up and pee on stage.

The sad truth is that no matter which candidate is elected this time around, political leftists are likely to be well served. I would rather have someone in office who is less conciliatory to the Democrats, who in my many years of observation make no pretense of returning such goodwill gestures.

Contrary to your superciliousness with respect to Republicans and the Constitution, a couple of Republicans come to mind who also have a strong interest in the Constitution, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, but I don’t believe that political leftists hold them in much regard either. So it seems to be less a matter of whether a Republican respects the Constitution than it is his political leanings.

Real or imaginary ad hominems aside, I am puzzled by the vitriol spewing forth from the left with respect to VP Cheney and President Bush. The decline in personal freedom is real and I decry that as anyone should. However, need I point out that since 9-11 we have had no further successful attacks on American soil and there are now tens of millions of free people now who were not free before we removed Sadam from his role as despot. Costly? Yes, indeed. Worth it? Time will tell. Do I support going into Iraq? I support any reasonable effort to free people, topple dictators, and eradicate terrorists.

Dennis, I didn’t indicate that Gov. Palin met my standards, I merely pointed out that she met the standard for election to the office as set forth in our Constitution which is contrary to the sweeping ad homineum you employed in declaring her “spectacularly unqualified” for “ANYTHING.” You are quite right that we should seek more in our candidates than the minimum standards. While Gov. Palin does not have the experience on the national stage you mentioned, neither did either of the Clintons, yet they suited even the high minded leftist elements for the office of President and its levers of power.

One shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that no matter who is elected President, each will have at their disposal an army of experts in every aspect of governance. Again, the job in question requires the ability to make good decisions based on available knowledge, which is much different than possessing some nebulous notion of exceptional experience, encyclopedic knowledge, or impressive intelligence. So once again Dennis, I reject your premise.

Although Republicans are not without culpability in the current economic upheaval, the lion’s share of responsibility for the current problems rest with policies put in place during the Clinton administration, not during the past 7+ Republican years. There is no argument that prosecuting a war in the Middle East has been costly as was the near shutdown of the country following 9-11.

However, as Joseph Goebbels knew, if you repeat a lie often enough it can become the truth…a self fulfilling prophecy. The current problems were certainly festering under the surface during the past 7+ years, but to lay the entire responsibility at the feet of Republicans is incorrect.

If the notion of a Republican continuing with his hands on the levers of power is so troubling, then the past 40-years must have been traumatic for Democrats who have had their hands on those levers for only 12 of those 40-years and managed to fail as leaders each time. I’ve been labeled a Republican but that is wrong. I’ve been a registered Independent for many years. Actually I support a divided political environment because I don’t trust either side. However, I do feel more secure having a John McCain with his hands on those power levers than I would with a pretentious demigod at the helm.

AS for what various polls report, I stopped paying serious attention to them years ago. They can be easily skewed to show whatever the pollster wants his or her poll to show. I trust my own judgment and didn't see Gov. Palin as coming out second best in last night's debate. I saw it as even to a small edge to Gov. Palin. Each of us has the remarkable ability to see the same things differently from one another. For instance I like the design of a classic Porsche 911 and think the Pontiac Aztec was incredibly ugly; but I know that there are those out there that will see those things just the opposite. I don't pretend to understand why, but neither do I fret over it.

AS for what various polls report, I stopped paying serious attention to them years ago. They can be easily skewed to show whatever the pollster wants his or her poll to show.

Fox News wants to make it look like Biden won?

Yes, I saw that one on Fox. Perhaps it proves two points. One, that Fox really does report, and lets you decide; and two, shows like American Idol have demonstrated time and again that a concerted effort by a number of highly focused people rapidly redialing can skew a poll that should respond differently. I would expect Fox viewers to return a Republican result. Earlier last evening, Fox ran a phone poll during one of its programs that drew 1,000,000 votes in less than 5-minutes and crashed the server. The percentage on that poll was 86% Palin which was slanted in the expected direction. Two such different results on the same network is suspect; hence I don't pay much attention to them.


You're conflating invalid, non-scientific call-in polls used by TV stations as promotional gimmicks with scientific surveys. There is absolutely no equivalence between the two and the former has no bearing on the validity of the latter.

The Fox poll that found 61-39 in favor of Biden among undecided voters--wasn't a call-in gimmick. That particular Fox poll was a scientific survey. The participants were not self-selected.

My favorite quote:

"I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people."

I think we know why it took six years and five colleges.

I would have to know what the participant selection criteria was to determine whether I put any faith in a "scientific survey" of any kind, no matter who put the results up. For instance, I would not consider a poll taken in south-central Ohio of self declared "undecided voters" residing on or near MLK Blvd. or on the upper west side as being sufficiently representative of the general "undecided" population. The only poll that counts will be the one taken on election day and for my purposes no other poll is of much use or interest. However, since respondents of this blog are so supportive of polls showing Governor Palin as the clear loser of the debate, let me suggest that since those results show that you have already won the hearts and minds of the large majority of voters, including the undecideds, you need not trouble yourself to cast your vote on election day. Think of all the gasoline you would save and of the significant contribution you would make to reversing the pending disaster of global warming. If you are close enough to walk or bicycle to the poll, then you should take into account the potential reduction in CO2 and methane emissions you could contribute by electing to forgo the unnecessary trip. On the other hand both Rush Limbaugh and Dick Morris emphatically proclaimed Governor Palin the clear winner of the debate. "Kicked his ass" was one comment. So you may want to go ahead and vote just as a bit of insurance...to heck with the extra contribution to atmospheric pollution, gosh darn it.

Hi Ron,

I'm thinking about your initial claim that Palin did quite well. I guess the judgment of that depends upon what you mean by doing quite well. That's why I brought up the results from three scientific post debate polls in another post. Speculation is interesting, but votes are indeed what matter and scientific polls are the best method we have for gauging the thinking of voters. To argue about who did well, but exclude research data from the discussion doesn't make sense.

Yes, polls are imperfect but I'm going to assume that if Fox or any news organization hires professional pollsters, the pollsters are reasonably competent. One poll is interesting, but when you get the same trend in several polls, confidence in the findings goes up.

That doesn't mean things won't change before election day or that anyone should stay home, although, frankly, as an Illinois resident my previous votes didn't mean a darn thing to the outcomes and my vote in Illinois won't affect anything this time because the outcome here, as of now, looks like a virtual certainty. My vote will be more of an expression of civic responsibility as it has been in the past.-- Dr X

W.R.T. Gov. Palin doing well, my meaning is that I was not embarrassed for her at any time during the debate and thought her presentation of herself and her thoughts was competently done. I really have little interest in whether she “won” or not in the eyes of some narrowly defined segment of the population.

While pre-election poll results are useful to campaigns in managing their resources, I don’t see any use for them by us as laymen. However, I do see their usefulness as a propaganda tool in the hands of unscrupulous people using them to influence thought. Is that really their intended purpose? If not, then what practical use are they to me?

Well here is a firsthand account that is almost as useful as a poll. In the swing state of Missouri, the writers at the polling site fivethirtyeight.com went looking at campaign offices.

The few McCain offices were empty except for a field coordinator complaining that no one was there to help. The multiple Obama offices (in a decidedly Republican state) were crammed with volunteers.

Click on that link and read the post. With this much of a difference in both excitement and (more importantly) ground game it is not looking like Senator McErratic is going to win this year.

And this election has coattails. As Politico is reporting,

The possibility that Democrats will build a muscular, 60-seat Senate majority is looking increasing plausible, with new polls showing a powerful surge for the party’s candidates in Minnesota, Kentucky and other states.

A poll out Friday shows Sen. Norm Coleman could now easily lose his Minnesota seat to comedian-turned-candidate Al Franken. A Colorado race that initially looked like a nail-biter has now broken decisively for the Democrats. A top official in the McCain camp told us Sen. Elizabeth Dole is virtually certain to lose in conservative North Carolina.

I understand Republicans being angry this year. I'm angry about the Cubs blowing another playoff. But the truth is that we are in for a massive change in American politics. Long overdue, I might add.

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