David A. Patten
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin alleges that the media has a blatant double standard, shining intense scrutiny on GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell while turning a blind eye to then-candidate Barack Obama’s personal history in the 2008 campaign.
During an interview with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night, Palin said: “Funny . . . That we are learning more about Christine O’Donnell and her college years, her teenage years, her financial dealings than anybody ever even bothered to ask about Barack Hussein Obama as a candidate and now as our president.”
Palin also recently tweeted to O’Donnell, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Delaware, that she shouldn’t waste time “appeasing nat’l media seeking ur destruction.”
Obama has come under some criticism during his campaign and after for failing to release documents and background material on his life that has been de rigeur for most candidates.
Obama has yet to release college transcripts and files from his undergraduate work at Occidental College and Columbia University, and later at Harvard Law School. His college dissertation at Columbia has disappeared. Many of his official papers during his time as an Illinois state representative have also disappeared. He has never released his full medical records.
Palin’s reference on the Van Susteren program to the president’s middle name, Hussein, drew national media attention.
Republican Senate candidates from Florida to Nevada have gotten the message that social networking matters – in 140 characters or less. Many Republicans of the Tea Party stripe dwarf their Democratic opponents in presence and energy on Twitter and Facebook, according to a new report from HeadCount, a non-partisan voter registration group.
“We now have a transparent view into momentum,” says Republican new media guru Patrick Ruffini. “I don’t think you can extrapolate that into who will get votes, but it is a predictor of momentum, passion and support.”
Online presence can also drive debate: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s tweets and Facebook posts in large part nationalized the conversation over the expansion of an Islamic center near Ground Zero.
The former President, being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos, via PalinTV:
The key question, of course, is just how far a Palin insurgency can travel. While she may be the most famous and charismatic Republican in America, there is significant disagreement over how that might translate into power. Polls show that 40% of Republicans doubt she’s qualified for the presidency in 2012. There are signs that Palin herself has little interest in building a top-drawer campaign operation. No pollsters or big-time consultants have been hired. She doesn’t have a formal spokesperson. Instead, Team Palin is run by a tiny inner circle of old friends and trusted aides.
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This year, she has backed 27 candidates — largely from the Tea Party — including 16 primary winners, mostly in Senate and gubernatorial races. While many — Alaska’s Joe Miller, Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell and Rand Paul in Kentucky, among them — were originally deemed outside the mainstream, Palin has helped change that river’s course. All three won their GOP primaries against more moderate candidates.
She cyber-brandishes her power directly to her followers via a stream of Facebook posts and tweets (as well as a pair of videos). That means she doesn’t need to run her talking points and beliefs through traditional media, save for an occasional Fox News chat. And she likes being unpredictable: in many cases, her endorsements take even the candidates themselves by surprise.
So far, she seems politically sure-footed, riding the Tea Party wave like a skilled surfer. “It is just so inspiring to see real people — not politicos, not inside-the-Beltway professionals — come out and speak out and stand up for commonsense, conservative principles,” Palin says in a video she released this week. “This party that we call the Tea Party is the future of politics.” No one knows what Palin’s immediate future holds, never mind the election of 2012. She has been coyly dropping hints. If no one else steps up, “I would offer myself in the name of service to the public,” she told Fox News on Wednesday.
In a thinking-outside-the-box editorial urging NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg to contend for the GOP Presidential nomination, the Sun makes this comparison between Hizzoner and the presumptive GOP frontrunner:
Mr. Bloomberg may not have as profound a comprehension of the political economy or the Constitution as, say, Governor Palin, whose praises we have been singing in these columns since Senator McCain ushered her onto the national stage. But it’s not Mrs. Palin and the partisans of her soaring theme of constitutional conservatism who would have to worry about him. The camp Mr. Bloomberg would draw from is of those who voted for President Obama and woke up to discover that the change they’d gotten locked into was the far-left agenda of the public-service- and teachers- unions, the tort bar, with a strain of anti-Wall Street demagoguery, class warfare and even, we predict, protectionism. The mayor has a rarely matched comprehension of the global nature of our economy (he employs, in his news service, more foreign correspondents than any American in history). He, like a number of others in the political lineup, has his own deeply American and inspiring personal story. And it’s hard to think of a reason for him not to enter the fray.
This is based on the PalinTV video of Gov. Palin’s 9/16 Louisville speech, which has been overshadowed by the intense coverage devoted to her Iowa address.
Palin was very personal and personable. She can certainly entertain an audience. Mostly she talked off script and occasionally read her notes. Her talk opened up a big window to the type of person she is. I really like her.
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And she is not afraid to talk about her faith. Her testament to her faith was beautiful and beautifully expressed. I myself am a secular person but it didn’t prevent me from recognizing that. She was so articulate and passionate about how she came to embrace God and believe in him that I loved her all the more.
Her faith doesn’t disqualify her from office (are Jewish liberals listening?). Nor is it any reason to fear her in office. Did you know that she is not a member of any church or that her best friend all her life was a lesbian. In fact they roomed together in college. When asked about her “lesbian friend”, she corrected the questioner and said my “best friend”. She said she would not judge her. When asked about her legislative intentions regarding abortion she said she prefers to be an advocate for life rather than to legislate it.
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Many seculars are turned off by anyone of faith. To my mind they are driven by prejudice. Some religious people can be a pain in the ass or when they talk about G-d its a turnoff. Others, like Palin, can be inspirational.
‘Avoid the Constitution?’
“Republicans: Enlist, but Avoid Speeches on the Constitution.” That’s the way the headline writer for the New York Times encapsulated the advice of one of its reporters, Kate Zernike, in a dispatch over the weekend. “The trick,” she writes, “is to take advantage of the Tea Party passion and stay away from its extremes. Celebrate the genius of the Constitution, but don’t get into the particulars.”
Ms. Zernike goes on to quote the political sage Stuart Rothenberg as saying he reckons it’s “very clear” that “what’s best for the election” is to focus on President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, health care, and the deficit. “You see these rallies and the signs are all about the Constitution,” Ms. Zernike quotes him as saying. “They want it to be about these big ideological ideas, when I don’t think most voters think that way.”
Hmmmm. Our own view is that Ms. Zernike and Mr. Rothenberg are selling the voters short. We don’t belittle their own credentials. Ms. Zernike is the author of a new book on the Tea Party, “Boiling Mad,” which is well up on the Amazon.com list. Mr. Rothenberg is the publisher of a non-partisan political report. But everywhere we’ve gone lately where the conversation or the speeches turn to the Constitution, the place lights right up.
The idea that the constitutional principles are beyond the ken of the American people strikes us as not only condescending but inaccurate. The history of constitutional law is a long oeuvre of cases that were brought by citizens with no special training in the law, and more often than not no fame or special stature. Think Clarence Earl Gideon on the right to counsel, Oliver Brown on school integration, Norma McCorvey, who entered the captions as Jane Roe, on abortion, to name but a few.
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So when the GOP is counseled not to get into these questions, we would say take that advice with a grain of salt. The rising stars on the right this season are crafting a whole movement around the phrase “constitutional conservativism.” That is the stock phrase being used at every stop by Sarah Palin. People like to belittle her learning. But she knows what she’s doing. She’s not trying to impose their religion or their social values. She, and others in her movement, are trying to restore the idea of constitutionalism, the idea that the Constitution through which the people granted power to the Congress also enumerated those powers, so as to limit them, and laid down on the Congress certain prohibitions, most famously the Bill of Rights but also Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution. Those who have taken their focus off these principles are the ones who are in trouble today. The ones who are making speeches about them are prospering. The advice to avoid the Constitution is advice from a quarter that doesn’t wish them success.
and Jason Clayworth
Sarah Palin offered a full-throated call to arms for angry and out-of-power Republicans on Friday in front of an audience of some of the nation’s most influential party activists as the headliner for a sold-out Iowa GOP fundraiser in Des Moines.
But the former Alaska governor only winked at the significance of her appearance in the state where the campaigns for the leadoff presidential caucuses are expected to crank up in a matter of months.
Palin joked after taking the stage at Hy-Vee Hall that her husband, Todd, urged her to work out inside after they arrived in Des Moines on Friday.
“Todd says, ‘I guarantee, if anyone spots you in tennis shoes, the headline is going to be in Vanity Fair. They’re going to say, “Palin in Iowa, decides to run,” ‘ ” Palin said.
Later, Palin batted away the buzz that confronted her in Iowa, urging the roughly 1,500 guests to focus on the election that’s now less than seven weeks away.
“We can’t wait until 2012 to get our country back on the right track,” she said. “We need to start now by electing strong Republican leaders who aren’t afraid to shake it up.”
Palin mixed folksy, informal asides with quotes from American icons Mark Twain, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan, the dinner’s namesake, during her 33-minute speech.
[ . . . ]
She called the health care bill signed by Obama in March “the mother of all unfunded mandates.”
An anonymous ‘Dem Insider’ (LD?) lays it on the line . . .
You mention Clinton a lot. Yeah, I do because Bill Clinton was the very best politician of our time and I got to see it up close for a period of time and I am still amazed at just how good he was. Second, I think Bill Clinton was a damn good president. He should be recognized more for just how good he really was.
And you don’t place Obama in the same league as Bill Clinton? (Laughter) Hell no. Obama has only been in office a couple of years, so that isn’t even a fair question right now. But what I have seen of Barack Obama has not left me with the confidence to say he will be as good a president as Bill Clinton. Maybe he will get it figured out before 2012, and I sure as hell hope so because the Republicans are getting some real oddballs running their own show over there and that scares me too.
What scares you more as president – Sarah Palin or Barack Obama? (Hands to head) Oh boy. What a choice! People would kill me for saying this – actually you know what, there are more and more of us Democrats saying what I am going to say in one form or another… Sarah Palin understands America more than Barack Obama. Yes, she has a minority of our far left who hates her, and some in our media are part of that group, but overall, she seems to get America. Americans aren’t a complicated people, and neither is Sarah Palin, so that probably works in her favor. But President Obama is just out of touch. He really doesn’t understand what America is. What it’s about. Or who it is. And that is a real problem for him – and the Democrat Party at this moment in its history.
In the October issue of Vanity Fair now on newsstands, Michael Gross reverts to junior high school to issue gossip-girl digs at Sarah Palin. Next up in Vanity Fair: “Sarah Palin Super Stuck Up; Thinks She’s All That.”
Gross dramatically reveals, for example, that her speech in Wichita, Kan., was “basically the same speech she gave 18 hours earlier to the Tea Party group in Independence (Mo.).”
A politician repeated lines in a speech? You must be kidding! Hello, Ripley’s? No, you cannot put me on hold. This is a worldwide exclusive. I’m sitting on a powder keg here.
Gross also apparently believes Vanity Fair readers will be tickled, rather than appalled by this story about Palin:
“Sometimes when she went out in public, people were unkind. Once, while shopping at Target, a man saw Palin and hollered, ‘Oh my God! It’s Tina Fey! I love Tina Fey!’ When other shoppers started laughing, the governor parked her cart, walked out of the store, and drove away.” (That jackass was lucky Sarah didn’t have her moose rifle with her.)
A random encounter with a rude, abusive jerk in public is supposed to make her look bad? Liberals have really lost their minds about Palin. They’d laugh if someone hit her with a baseball bat.