As promised - Andrew Sullivan, who hates Sarah Palin, reposted a 1984 video of Palin modeling a swimsuit as part of the Miss Alaska pageant. How anyone could believe that such a video would be harmful is beyond me.
So Barack Obama flubbed big-time yesterday when he egged on his crowd with a reminder that pigs in lipstick are still pigs, and that rotten fish in a new wrapper will still stink. That blunder might cost him dearly, since "pit bull in lipstick" is now Sarah Palin's signature line.
The Palin nomination is a gift that keeps on giving for a number of good reasons, and at the top of that list is the fact that Palin has caused voters to question Obama's plans for "change." To the skeptics like myself, Obama's "change" is nothing more than simply giving more power and money to the Democrat majority in Congress. Perhaps I should remind Barack Obama:
The LA Times is also reporting that "Palinmania" has caused a run on Kawasaki 704 eyeglasses frames and a renewed interest in retro upswept hairstyles, a laAudrey Hepburn. Personally I find this hard to believe, particularly since there was no apparent surge of interest in the Hair Club after Joe Biden's nomination.
Over at WizBang, DJ Drummond examined the "bounce" and notes that the underdog candidate usually receives the biggest convention bounce, but still goes on to lose the general election. Interesting.
Finally, am I alone in sensing a major shift in the Democratic party's expectations for this year's election? It seems like team Obama is still trying to find their berings after last week's triumphant Republican convention. I wonder if the Clintons have been waiting for some miraculous moment like this to arrive, so they can begin to put pressure on the Obama campaign from the left. I'm not saying that they are aiding McCain in any way; I'm just saying that McCain has damaged Obama to an extent that no one predicted, and the Clintons are taking that advantage and possibly working to weaken Obama even more.
Here's why they would do that -- an Obama win would put Obama in the race again in 2012. Hillary would have a better chance winning the Democrat nomination in 2016 than hijacking the nomination from Obama in 2012 (which could only happen if Obama turned out to be the worst president in history -- even Jimmy Carter was nominated again in 1980). So that leaves Hillary out in the cold until 2016. By that time she will be 69 years old, hardly a "new leader" or an agent of "change." But a McCain victory in 2008 changes that, because everyone assumes that 72 year old McCain will only serve one term, thus leaving the Republican ticket open for Sarah Palin in 2012. I believe that the Clintons feel that Hillary can win the nomination in 2012 (since Obama will be tainted as a "loser") and then defeat the much younger, "inexperienced" Sarah Palin in the 2012 general election.
I only see one problem with this theory. Hillary's supporters are pitting the Hillary of today with the Sarah Palin of today, but in a race that will take place four years from now. By that time, if MaCain and Palin win in November, she will have had four years experience as Vice President. She will be a far different -- and much tougher -- opponent then.
Well, all the numbers are finally in. The 2008 RNC Convention was the most watched political convention in history, with nearly 80 million Americans total tuning in Wednesday and Thursday night, to watch Sarah Palin and John McCain. The Republican convention was carried by ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, and PBS. The Democrat convention was carried by all these networks plus BET, Telemundo, Univision, and TV One. The AP estmiates that both Obama and McCain drew TV audiences of 42.4 million viewers for their acceptance speeches.
Think about this for a minute. Conventions are considered to be nothing more than carefully stage-managed political theater. They are also assumed to be ratings disasters, which is why the Big 3 networks devoted only one scheduled hour per night to the Republican convention. No one watches, because no one cares.
There was also a painful lack of excitement within the ranks of Republicans. Conservative bloggers and pundits seemed to support everyone but John McCain. The party talking heads said, without reservation, that the Republicans had "sold out" and had abandoned their conservatism when they nominated McCain. "None of the Above '08" was a popular joke among Republican loyalists.
But the Palin nomination changed all of that. The initial surprise and confusion of the Democrats quickly turned into one of the most vicious negative dogpiles on a political candidate in recent memory. The hatred of Clinton and Bush 43 took time to build; sure, there was partisan grumbling from the start, but the onslaught against Clinton didn't really begin until his second term, likewise, the onslaught against Bush didn't really start until the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Palin is so electrifying that Oprah Winfree, who is unabashedly in the tank for Obama, will not invite Palin to be a guest on her show until after the election.
Perhaps the Obama campaign and their acolytes in the mainstream media and at Daily Kos failed to remember a simple characteristic of Americans -- we always pull for the underdog. What, in fact, was Obama's narrative based on, except the triumph of the underdog?
This is nothing new. Read this excerpt from a New York Times editorial:
Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become
President? Or where is it written that mere representatives aren’t qualified? Where is it written that
governors and mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too
local, too provincial? That didn’t stop Richard Nixon from picking
Spiro Agnew, a suburban politician who became Governor of Maryland.
Remember the main foreign affairs credential of Georgia’s Governor
Carter: He was a member of the Trilateral Commission. Presidential
candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of
practical demography, not idealized democracy. On occasion,
Americans find it necessary to rationalize this rough-and-ready
process. What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes
little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow
into statesmen. This rationale may even be right, but then let it also
be fair. Why shouldn’t a little-known woman have the same opportunity
to grow? We may even be gradually elevating our standards for choosing
Vice Presidential candidates. But that should be done fairly, also.
Meanwhile, the indispensable credential for a Woman Who is the same as
for a Man Who - one who helps the ticket.
Now for the sucker punch -- what you just read was a slightly redacted version of an editorial written in 1984 in support of Geraldine Ferraro, a young congresswoman, the mother of three children, who was chosen as the vice presidential running mate of Walter Mondale. What does this prove, other than the obvious fact that the current Times editors consistently fail to read their own editorial page?
Well, for one thing it proves that most Americans are willing to give an unknown, yet appealing, candidate a chance. Innocent until proven guilty, remember? Most Americans are not obsessed with the little (D) or (R) behind candidate's names, and so they don't exhibit the blind partisanship that leads to the ridiculous hypocrisy and bias that we have witnessed in the mainstream press and liberal blogs during the past week.
We also know that Americans don't like to see seemingly everyday people subjected to cruel and unusual handling by the media. The recent Rasmussen polls have been a fascinating source of information about how Americans are viewing the role of the press in this year's election. According to Rasmussen, 55% of Americans view media bias as a more serious problem than campaign financing, 49% believe that the press will overtly favor Obama in their election coverage, and 51% believe that reporters are deliberately trying to damage Sarah Palin.
McCain and Palin seem to have rediscovered the key to the success of Ronald Reagan: he took his message directly to the people and never tried to make friends with the press or request that they treat him nicely. The media's scourging of Sarah Palin motivated over 40 million Americans to tune in for themselves and see what the big deal was all about. More and more, conservatives are wondering if the 2008 election cycle will finally destroy the hallowed image of the mainstream news media as a reliable source of accurate and unbiased information. I think the answer to that is becoming clearer day by day.
Two cover stories from the same magazine. You be the judge.
Once again I must confess my utter amazement at the herculean effort launched by major media publications to completely suppress any news about a possible affair between John Edwards and Rielle Hunter (except for The National Enquirer, which broke the story), when compared to the gargantuan dogpile of rumors, speculation, gossip, half-truths, and personal attacks that was dumped on Sarah Palin and her family this past weekend.
Major news outlets and blogs have managed, I believe, to dredge up more dirt on Sarah Palin in four days than they have on Barack Obama in the past two years.
ADDED: check out this fawning profile of Janet Napolitano and Sarah Palin published by Newsweek in October 2007. Newsweek even used the hallowed word "post-partisan" to describe their new approaches to solving their state's problems. (*sigh*)
Liberals smeared Sarah Palin as "Dan Quayle in a dress." A more accurate comparison, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out yesterday, would be between Palin and Clarence Thomas, who was forced to endure what he described as an "electronic lynching" because he committed the grave, unpardonable sin of being black and conservative.
There's also this -- the Thomas nomination and the subsequent depths to which liberals sank in order to destroy him galvanized conservatives around him and elevated him to the position of cult leader within the ranks of conservatives. The same thing seems to be happening now with Sarah Palin. The McCain-Palin campaign is reporting that they received $10 million in contributions this weekend alone. McCain is playing it smart and letting the Democrats and their acolytes in the press run wild with their Palin smears. When they've had their fun, and the conservative base has solidly rallied in defense of Palin, then McCain will unleash a devastating attack on the character of liberals and on the leadership abilities of Barack Obama, who -- so far -- has been either unwilling or unable to stop the Palin smears. Just you wait and see.
Finally, this incident is yet another in a long string of tell-tale episodes proving that feminism's professed support for strong, career-minded women, and the Democratic Party's perpetual lip service in support of those values, is nothing but an outright lie. I don't regularly link to Michelle Malkin's syndicated columns (although I am a regular visitor and commenter on her blog) but this time she hits it out of the park, providing example after example of feminists and liberals smearing conservative women as bimbos, sock puppets, and bad mothers.
Oh -- here's one last thing to chew on: Liberals regularly smear conservatives and Christians and accuse us of using the threat of sin and hell and guilt and scandal to repress and dominate and victimize our children, thus depriving them of a normal, happy, care-free experience of adult sexuality. But now, when we stand by a family going through a pregnancy crisis and support them rather than offer condemnation -- we're the bad guys again! Liberals should be congratulating us for finally seeing the light and accepting youthful sexuality as a wonderful thing. Instead, they don't understand why we aren't joining them in smearing this family -- after all, they seem to be asking, isn't it the "Christian" thing to kick "sinners" when they are down? They promote love and peace and accuse us of hate. But when we choose grace and refuse to feed their hatred, we are liars and hypocrites.
(This post has been bumped and updated. Make sure you read it all.)
A couple of days ago, I wrote about "the slime has already begun to ooze from the fever swamps of the left," with respect to Vice Presidential pick Gov. Sarah Palin. It got worse over the weekend, with left-wing kooks deliriously celebrating the extraordinary "truth" they discovered -- Sarah Palin's baby boy Trig was actually the illegitimate son of her oldest daughter Bristol, and Palin wore a "pregnant suit" in public in order to pull off the ruse.
Today Sarah Palin publicly announced that Bristol is, in fact, unmarried and pregnant. But she plans to marry the father, a young man who has been her high school sweetheart for over a year now, and the couple will keep their baby. This is simply yet another example of the rugged ordinariness of the Palin family, and why they resonate so deeply with middle America.
Desperately looking for anything hypocritical that could drive a wedge between Sarah Palin and likely voters, liberal bloggers and MSM reporters were quick to note that Palin supports the teaching of abstinence in schools. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated reaction from Dr. James Dobson was not the outburst of righteous indignation and disapproval that they certainly were expecting; nor was the reaction of the Evangelical community at large, and the left is currently going crazy. Read the comments here.
Observing the continuous, glittering string of failures suffered by the Left as they attempt to attack Sarah Palin's character, one might ask, how can the Left be so mistaken about the core values of Sarah Palin's supporters?
Let me reintroduce you to this propitious quote from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism:
I've never seen the Democrats more thoroughly panicked than after yesterday's announcement that Gov. Sarah Palin is John McCain's choice for Vice President. It was like they suddenly realized that they might actually have to work at winning the election this fall. For a group who expected an easy cakewalk into the White House, such a realization has got to be causing a lot of indigestion.
And you know what must be really driving the far left nuts? Sarah Palin is the closest thing to a real person
-- someone who might actually be your neighbor or a friend from the PTA
or someone you work with or a fellow congregant at your church -- than anyone who has graced a
Presidential ticket in some time, at least in my lifetime.
Star high school athlete and beauty pageant contestant? Check.
Married high school sweetheart? Check. Adorable family? Check and double check. Immediate family in the military? Check. (Buh-bye "chicken hawk" argument ...)
PTA member? Check. Loves hunting and fishing and belongs to the NRA? Check. Loves moose burgers and snowmobiling? Check. Married to a blue collar union member? Check. (Wow, a real live union family. The liberal elitist crowd must have really pissed their pants over that one.) Someone
who regularly attends church, and who could probably espouse a simple, direct explanation of her faith that most Americans could also understand and
identify with? Check. Became involved in politics after tiring of local bureaucratic fumbling and corruption? Check.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Of course the slime has already begun to ooze from the fever swamps of the left -- the first crude MILF/naughty librarian/Vixen jokes; rumors that Palin actually adopted her youngest child, who is really the product of an unwanted pregnancy from her oldest daughter; accusations that Palin is just pandering to the "Right To Life nutbags" by deliberately carrying her defective pregnancy to term instead of doing what any sensible, intelligent woman would do; questions about her fitness as a mother, since she is obviously abandoning her poor, mentally retarded baby in order to join the McCain campaign; speculation that because Palin entered the Miss Alaska pageant, there must be compromising or embarassing photos of her somewhere. And liberal women? They'll be a perpetual fountain of rudeness, vulgarity, and cattiness. (PS - If those swimsuit photos ever do become available, you can rest assured that I'll post them ASAP. Hubba-hubba!)
But you can't use that kind of unhinged lunacy in a national campaign. So Obama is left with the standard complaints -- "She's inexperienced/She's not qualified/She didn't earn this" and
so forth. This will be the thrust of the national message against Palin, but it will be like walking on broken glass for Obama given his nonexistent list of real accomplishments as a leader.
So what's wrong with Sarah Palin? In order to really understand this, we must ask "What is right about Barack Obama?" And here's the answer: he was raised by a free-spirited agnostic mom, he went to Harvard, he
studied community organizing, he studied civil rights law, he read John
Dewey and Saul Alinsky and James Cone and Ghandi, his leadership skills were mentored by
some of the left's leading radicals and he became a star pupil, his potential as a leader was
recognized and he was
given "guardian angels" by the Democratic party and fast-tracked
through the Chicago and Illinois political machines. In other words, he was hand-picked and groomed
by the liberal establishment to be President. This is not a flattering
metaphor but it is an accurate one: Obama is the top stud from the
progressive leadership stud farm, and all his adult life he has been
bred to sire the new Democratic Socialist States of America.
Compare that pedigree to Sarah Palin's: Who has mentored her? Has she studied
Alinsky? Cone? Gustavo Gutierrez? Pauol Freire? Chomsky? Cornel West?
No Ivy Leage degree? No community organizing skills? No experience in
civil rights advocacy? Her "accomplishments" as mayor and Energy
Commission chairwoman and governor mean nothing next to the void
of her poorly trained and sadly underdeveloped intellect.
But again, average people would find those arguments completely non-compelling, if not outright silly. So we're back to "She's not ready/She's not qualified" etc.
The next two months are going to be a lot of fun. I'm heading out to buy the popcorn right now.