Archive for the ‘Palin’ Category

MSNBC Ran Anti-Palin Story With No Check Out, Verification

November 13, 2008

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a Fox News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_en_tv/
palin_hoax;_ylt=ApmXbBdfbMaI.KksFZN6Kwas0NUE

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Above: Dan Mirvish, who with Eitan Gorlin created an elaborate Internet hoax complete with a fake policy institute and a phony adviser to Senator John McCain. Photo: Axel Koester for The New York Times

MSNBC Caught by Hoax on Palin

By Richard Perez-Pena
The New York Times

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/arts/
television/13hoax.html?hp

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Republican Sparring Starts Amid “Honesty About Eight Years of Failure”

November 11, 2008

By Adam Nagourney
The New York Times 

Above: Newt Gingrich, in New York on Monday, said Republicans should be honest “about the level of failure for the past eight years.” Photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
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The competition to fill the vacuum left by Senator John McCain’s defeat — and by the unpopularity of President Bush as he prepares to leave office — will be on full display at a Republican Governors Association meeting beginning Wednesday in Miami.
The session will showcase a roster of governors positioning themselves as leaders or future presidential candidates, including Sarah Palin of Alaska, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Charlie Crist of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

At the same time, Republicans representing diverse views about the party’s direction are preparing to fight for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee

, a prominent post when the party is out of the White House. The current chairman, Mike Duncan, has signaled that he wants to stay on after his term expires in January, but he is facing challenges from leaders in Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina, among other states.
 

 

 

Conservatives: We Didn’t Just Lose a Race. We Lost Our Bearings.

November 9, 2008

It is not exactly a blinding insight to note that the Republican Party has lost its way. The election of Barack Obama was simply the result of an intellectual decline that began with the start of President Bush‘s reelection campaign in the summer of 2003 and continued unabated, culminating in Gov. Sarah Palin‘s unabashed appeals this year to resentful, blue-collar Republican culture warriors.

By Dov S. Zakheim
The Washington Post
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Palin’s error, John McCain‘s error and the GOP‘s error was to assume that a shrinking slice of the U.S. population could constitute an increasingly large and influential faction of the party. There are simply too few culturally conservative whites to sustain a national political party. At most, that community can contribute to a larger coalition; it cannot constitute that coalition on its own.

How did we lose our bearings so badly? In late 1998, when I joined then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s foreign policy team (famously dubbed the “Vulcans”), I was going to work for a man who stood for five key principles that many of us thought would underpin a national Republican majority for decades to come. Last week’s failure stemmed from my party’s failure to hew to these values.

The first and best-known of these was “compassionate conservatism,” exemplified by the insistence that no child be left behind in poverty and despair — a reflection of President Bush’s determination to improve the lot of underprivileged Americans, especially minorities.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
6/AR2008110603000.html

Bush and Obama Teams: Thoughtful, Peaceful, Lawful Transition of Power

November 9, 2008

While meeting with a group of immigrants to American on the night of Barack Obama’s election last Tuesday, several new Americans said they could never have voted in the nation of their birth — or their vote was just for show and not counted by the ruling powers.  Others said they had never witnessed a peaceful transition of political power…

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By Robert Barnes, Dan Eggen and Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 9, 2008; Page A01

Faced with one of the most important transfers of presidential power in American history — amid wars on two fronts, the looming threat of terrorism at home and a full-blown economic crisis — the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama team have responded with exceptional cooperation on those issues, aides and outside experts say.

Serious decisions, and potentially divisive ones, still remain for the politically and ideologically divided camps, such as access to classified information and, in particular, battles over the regulations and executive orders that will define the policy of the two administrations.

But the days since Tuesday’s election have shown a striking level of comity following the rancor of the campaign, enhanced by President Bush‘s months-long efforts to pave the way for a smooth transition and President-elect Barack Obama‘s preelection determination to move quickly.

“Ensuring that this transition is seamless is a top priority for the rest of my time in office,” Bush said in his weekly radio address yesterday. “My administration will work hard to ensure that the next president and his team can hit the ground running.”

Bush has created a transition coordinating council, populated by experts from inside and outside the administration, and has streamlined the process for obtaining security clearances for key transition officials. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell flew to Chicago on Thursday to deliver Obama his first daily intelligence briefing.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
8/AR2008110802267.html?hpid=topnews

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By Jim Rutenberg
The New York Times

There is a great tradition of paint-peeling political hyperbole during presidential campaign years. And there is an equally great tradition of backing off from it all afterward, though with varying degrees of deftness.

But given the intensity of some of the charges that have been made in the past few months, and the historic nature of Mr. Obama’s election, the exercise this year has been particularly whiplash-inducing, with its extreme before-and-after contrasts.

The shift in tone follows the magnanimous concession speech from Mr. McCain, of Arizona, who referred to Mr. Obama’s victory Tuesday night as “a historic election” and hailed the “special pride” it held for African-Americans. That led the vice president-elect, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., to get into the act. During the campaign, Mr. Biden said he no longer recognized Mr. McCain, an old friend. Now, he says, “We’re still friends.” President Bush, in turn, also hailed Mr. Obama’s victory, saying his arrival at the White House would be “a stirring sight.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/us/politics/
09memo.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

McCain: Most Worthy Candidate Ever To Lose

November 7, 2008

In my previous life, I witnessed far more difficult postmortems. This one is easy. The patient was fatally stricken on Sept. 15 — caught in the rubble when the roof fell in (at Lehman Brothers, according to the police report) — although he did linger until his final, rather quiet demise on Nov. 4.

In the excitement and decisiveness of Barack Obama‘s victory, we forget that in the first weeks of September, John McCain was actually ahead. Then Lehman collapsed, and the financial system went off a cliff.

By Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
Friday, November 7, 2008; Page A19

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks during an election ... 
Above: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks during an election night rally in Phoenix Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

This was not just a meltdown but a panic. For an agonizing few days, there was a collapse of faith in the entire financial system — a run on banks, panicky money-market withdrawals, flights to safety, the impulse to hide one’s savings under a mattress.

This did not just have the obvious effect of turning people against the incumbent party, however great or tenuous its responsibility for the crisis. It had the more profound effect of making people seek shelter in government.

After all, if even Goldman Sachs was getting government protection, why not you? And offering the comfort and safety of government is the Democratic Party‘s vocation. With a Republican White House having partially nationalized the banks and just about everything else, McCain’s final anti-Obama maneuver — Joe the Plumber spread-the-wealth charges of socialism — became almost comical.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/06
/AR2008110602570.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

For Republicans: Could Have Been Worse

November 5, 2008

If Republicans are searching — Reagan-style — for the pony in the pile of manure, perhaps they can find it in this: The double-whammy wipeout many of them were expecting didn’t materialize on Election Night.
Yes, Barack Obama crushed John McCain in the presidential race. But Democrats seem destined to fall well short of the filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority they wanted in the Senate, and Republicans have won a slew of House races they were braced to lose. 

Jim VandeHei, Tim Grieve, Politico

While never quite predicting it, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chief Charles Schumer of New York said late last month that 60 was “possible.” In the House, Democratic operatives and leadership types had their hopes set on a 30-seat pickup and thought they might get to 40 if everything broke their way.

It didn’t.

The Senate road to 60 was supposed to run through Alaska, but the morning after found Republican Sen. Ted Stevens holding onto a slim lead over Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich — despite the fact that Stevens was convicted last week on seven federal felony counts.

Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman worried that his vote on the $700 billion bailout would cost him the election, but it hasn’t, yet; he claimed victory over Al Franken, but the margin was so small that a recount is mandated under state law. In Oregon, Gordon Smith — the quintessential endangered moderate Republican — may yet lose his seat, but he’s leading at the moment. Roger Wicker dodged the wave in Mississippi; Saxby Chambliss looks like a survivor in Georgia; and Mitch McConnell is not Tom Daschle.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks during an election ... 
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks during an election night rally in Phoenix Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. Looking on at right is wife Cindy McCain.(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

On the House side, Alaska Rep. Don Young — left for dead by just about everyone, including his governor, Sarah Palin — somehow managed to win reelection. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) saw roughly a million dollars pour into her opponent’s campaign after she went McCarthy on Chris Matthews and urged the news media to investigate whether members of Congress were “pro-American”; she won anyway. Seemingly vulnerable Republican Reps. Lee Terry of Nebraska, John Shadegg of Arizona and Mario Diaz-Balart and Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida all won new terms in Congress.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/15318

American Presidential Campaign: New Version of ‘World’s greatest Soap Opera’ Begins Wednesday for 2012

November 2, 2008

It’s been the year’s longest-running serialized drama, with more ups and downs than a season of “Lost” and more jilted contestants than a season and a half of “Top Model.”

And it all comes to a screeching halt after Tuesday night.

By Adam Buckman
The New York Post

The “show” is the presidential campaign. As in past election seasons, the all-news cable channels aired thousands of hours of repetitive chatter, much of it no more illuminating than a chat you or I or Joe the Plumber might have had about the candidates at a corner saloon.

The broadcast networks clawed at each other for interviews with the candidates, those all-important “gets,” not so much to inform the electorate but to showcase their anchors, in whom they have invested millions of dollars.

The highlights for better or worse, inasmuch as they helped form public perceptions, were Charlie Gibson’s and Katie Couric’s interviews with Sarah Palin. Both made news for days (if not weeks), after they were conducted, with Couric’s in particular providing more grist for Tina Fey to impersonate Palin on “Saturday Night Live.”

Gibson’s was notable mainly for the anchorman’s pomposity. Never mind what the interview revealed (if anything); most of us were too fixated on the way Charlie’s glasses were perched on the end of his nose to listen to what Gov. Palin had to say.

Comedy, with Palin positioned unfairly at the center of much of it, was once again a big part of the campaign picture, with untold numbers of voters preparing to cast their ballots on Election Day based on Jay Leno’s jokes and Jon Stewart’s sarcasm.

Stewart will be on hand to “cover” the Election Night returns on Comedy Central, with Stephen Colbert as his co-anchor, demonstrating how comedy and TV news are fast becoming synonymous.

But you could have said that four years ago, and even eight years ago. The difference this time around was this campaign’s soap opera storyline, which seemed tailor-made for TV.

Presidential campaigns are always dramatic, but this one was more so. It had race and gender and two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, who a year ago looked like shoo-ins for each of their party’s nominations, but who shattered all predictions for how this campaign would go by falling by the wayside.

Tuesday night, the TV newsers will make their last efforts to impress you enough for you to stay with them after the 2008 campaign saga concludes, and the 2012 race commences first thing Wednesday morning.

If McCain loses, what’s next for Palin?

November 1, 2008

Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger — a Republican and supporter of John McCain — told national public radio yesterday that Alaska governor Sarah Palin is not prepared to take over the job of President if she had to. He said, “I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested.”

But the fact is that if some people in the Republican Party get their way, she could be tested one day. Should John McCain lose the race for the White House, you can bet your last dollar this moose huntin’, gun totin’, pro-life hockey mom will not fade from the political spotlight. She’s a huge hit with a group of social conservatives who embrace her values and see her as a fresh face for a divided party… to them, a 2012 Palin run for President may be on the horizon.

Palin is a huge hit with social conservatives who would love to see her run in 2012. 
Palin is a huge hit with social conservatives who would love to see her run in 2012.

But a lot of other people feel quite differently. Sarah Palin quickly became a national joke for her lack of experience, failure to grasp the issues and inability to handle herself with the media — especially those awful interviews she did with Katie Couric. Recently she’s gone off script and off message on the campaign, angering several of McCain ’s campaign advisers. She’s been called everything from a “diva” to a “whack job,” and yet through it all she remains remarkably unphased.

In an interview this week on ABC’s 20-20, Palin said, “I’m not doin’ this for naught.” Yet another pithy utterance.

FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty

Good looks help women candidates, men not so much

October 31, 2008

Women running for top offices need to appear competent and attractive, according to a new study. For male candidates, seeming competent may be enough.

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

It’s a finding that could help justify heavy spending on makeup and wardrobe for Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, while at the same time raising questions about the need for a man like John Edwards to invest in a costly haircut.

“What we found was quite startling,” said Joan Y. Chiao of Northwestern University’s psychology department.

For male candidates, the only thing that mattered to male voters was competence, while female voters preferred men who seemed both competent and approachable.

But for “female candidates for a hypothetical election for the United States presidency, both male and female voters were more likely to vote for candidates that were both competent and attractive,” Chiao said in a telephone interview.

“Neither trait (alone) was sufficient to predict whether a person was going to vote for that candidate,” she added. Chiao’s findings are being published online by the journal PLoS ONE.

“For female candidates, it really matters if they’re perceived as competent and perceived as attractive. Those two qualities are sort of twin predictors of whether or not someone is going to be more or less likely to vote for them,” Chiao stressed.

Why?

“There are a lot of potential theories,” she said. Most likely may be the way people choose friends and mates.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_sc/sci_pretty_politicians;_
ylt=Aoz_.Aimqfp2u9pt4q6EqOys0NUE

Palin: Northern Star Rising Will Shine for a While

October 31, 2008

Sarah Palin has changed in the two months since John McCain named her as his running mate. I’m guessing that McCain’s view of Palin may be changing, too, and not entirely in a good way.

By Eugene Robinson
The Washington Post

I thought Palin was a lightweight; she’s not. I thought she was an ingenue; she is, but only as long as her claws are sheathed. I thought she was bewildered and star-struck at her sudden elevation to national prominence; if she ever was, she isn’t anymore. I thought she was nothing but raw political talent and unrealistic ambition; it turns out that she has impressive political skills. I thought she was destined to become nothing more than a historical footnote; I now think that Democrats underestimate her at their peril.

At this point, only McCain’s most loyal lieutenants could have been surprised when Palin told ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas that she’s already looking beyond Tuesday’s election toward her own political future. Asked whether she would just pack it in and go back to Alaska if she and McCain lose, Palin replied: “I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we’ve taken . . . I’m not doing this for naught.”

U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah ... 
U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks at a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in Hershey, Pennsylvania in this October 28, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

No, she’s doing it for Sarah — and doing it increasingly well.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008
/10/30/AR2008103003755.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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Palin Ponders Future

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

With days still to go in the White House race, backers of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin are talking her up as a possible contender in 2012, speculation that irritates other Republicans who contend she’s a drag on the ticket and that her lightweight image — unfair or not — will be hard to shed.

The Alaska governor has done little to quiet the talk. In fact, she fueled the discussion this week when she signaled that she will remain on the national political scene no matter what happens Tuesday. “I’m not doing this for naught,” she said in an interview with ABC News.

The telegenic Palin, who burst onto the national stage seven weeks ago, has divided conservatives — some energized by her strong stand on social issues and others embarrassed by her halting interview performances. On the campaign trail, she is a popular draw, attracting numbers that a Republican Party searching for female star power can’t ignore.

The divide is clearly evident.

George Will, a prominent conservative columnist, suggested “Palin has become an even heavier weight in John McCain’s saddle than is his association with George W. Bush.”

Indeed, a poll released this week by the Pew Research Center found that 49 percent of voters had an unfavorable opinion of Palin, compared to 44 percent who viewed her favorably. Pew also found that unlike past vice presidential choices, opinions of Palin mattered to the ticket.

Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, ... 
Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, claps along with the crowd before she addresses a campaign rally in Erie, Pa. Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

And public opinion about Palin is slipping, according to a CBS-New York Times poll released Thursday. It found that the number of voters who think she is not prepared has grown from 50 percent to 59 percent in the last month.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_el_pr/palin_s_future_4