Wednesday Blogging – 9/3/08

Good morning everyone!

People at the McCain campaign are having fun sticking their feet in their mouths.

“The vetting process was completely thorough and I’m grateful for the results.” – John McCain

“This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.” – Rick Davis, McCain Campaign Manager

“If you’re sitting here [at the Republican convention] today, you’re not economically illiterate and you’re not a whiner, so I’m not worried about who you’re going to vote for.” – Phil Gramm, McCain’s economic adviser

Republicans made a big stink about Obama and his pastor Jeremiah Wright. As a result, McCain moved quickly to denounce his own affiliation with religious nutcase John Hagee after previously seeking his endorsement. But now it appears that McCain’s veep pick, Sarah Palin has a similar problem. This is a portion of a sermon she heard just a few weeks ago:

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God’s “judgment of unbelief” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity.

“Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It’s very real. When [Brickner’s son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”

I guess it’s not surprising Palin was only vetted the day before McCain picked her.

This tribute to Ronald Reagan from last night at the RNC was just bizarre. The narration is stilted and the script is so exaggerated it could come out of a comic book:

Someone in the press needs to ask George W. Bush if he thinks John McCain was tortured in Vietnam. In Bush’s convention speech last night, he mentioned “beatings and isolation” but not torture. I agree with Andrew Sullivan that Bush is avoiding the term because it would be admission of his own guilt as a war criminal.

Andrew Sullivan does some predicting:

Tonight is going to be amazing theater. She will rock the house, and there will be a tsunami of Republicans claiming she stole the night and rescued the convention. And then she will become the entire story, eclipsing McCain, as she already has. And then … the first actual press conference.

I agree. I have no doubts her speech tonight will be a big success with her base, and she may even succeed in changing the press narrative about her for a good 24 hours or so. Then we can hear rightwingers talk about how great she is because of that speech she gave. Because they love good oraters now… as long as they aren’t Democrats named Barack Obama.

The McCain camp actually wrote their veep’s convention speech before they knew who the veep would be. That probably gives us a hint about the authenticity of what we’ll hear tonight.

If your campaign is gonna play the victim card with Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter, maybe you shouldn’t have your nominee publicly embracing the unwed father… Just sayin’.

Why has Joe Klein been so awesome lately? From his blog:

The story of the day out here in Minneapolis is the McCain campaign’s war against the press. This has been building for some time. Those of us who have criticized the candidate–and especially those of us who enjoyed good relations with McCain in the past–have been subject to off-the-record browbeating and attempted bullying all year. But things have gotten much worse in recent days: there was McCain’s rude, bizarre interview with Time Magazine last week. Yesterday, McCain refused to an interview with Larry King, for God’s sake, because Campbell Brown had been caught in the commission of journalism on CNN the night before, asking McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds what decisions Sarah Palin had made as commander-in-chief of the Alaska national guard. (There was an answer that the unprepared Bounds didn’t have: she had deployed them to fight fires.)

So what’s going on here? Two things. McCain is just plain angry at us. By the evidence presented in the utterly revealing Time interview, he’s ballistic. This is a politician who needs to see himself as the man on the white horse, boldly traversing a muddy field…any intimations that he’s gotten muddied in the process, or has decided to throw mud, are intolerable

The second thing is more insidious: Steve Schmidt has decided, for tactical reasons, to slime the press.[…]

There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is “a task from God.” The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.


I’m signing off with a great quote from Ezra Klein, “I may be a political reporter, but I’m only human. It is simply not possible to keep up with quantity of scandals spilling out of Sarah Palin’s extremely short political career.”

Goodnight everyone!


  1. Ian

    As for the vetting Sarah Palin thing, even McCain’s people are calling that a lie. They said he wanted Lieberman or Ridge and both either turned him down or he didn’t ask them because his base was up in arms about them being pro-choice. So he was forced to take Palin and didn’t even talk to her about it until 4 or 5 days before the announcement. The NYT has been asking all around Alaska and no one knew that McCain was considering her and there was no evidence that anyone was looking into her background. McCain’s campaign claimed the FBI ran a background check on her, but the FBI denies this. Its a shame that you know that half the American people will buy into what McCain says just cause hes on their “team”. He’s showing himself to be an inept decision maker and yet his people are cheering him for it.

  2. Ian

    Also check this out:

    She gets worse by the day.

  3. Ted

    [Spam removed – Chris]

  4. Sheepywoman

    Ok, issue with this. 1) Celebs do not get any less scrutiny and regardless of what people say, the candidates have reached the exposure level of Brangelina. And 2) the beef about US Weekly being too openly Democratic; is this not any different than Fox being blatently Republican?

  5. Chris

    This explosion of news is entirely logical. Barack Obama has been campaigning for President nationally since his 2004 DNC speech. Palin might end up being the second most powerful person in the world next January, and virtually no one knew anything about her just last Wednesday.

  6. Ian

    Well, and US Weekly… really? Fox expects neutrality and journalistic integrity from a celebrity magazine? That’s like the pot calling the broom black or something.