Chris Mathews on the Palin is a “whack job” comment: He said that “a McCain senior top adviser” narrows it down to two or three people in the campaign. He said the person who reported this, Mike Allen, “is a serious reporter, Mike Allen is serious business”.
Palin was called a diva by people in the McCain campaign, advisers that the American Spectator reports are former Romney aides. It appears that John McCain is regretting selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate because she turned out to be a liability who thinks she’s the biggest baddest barracuda in the ocean and because intellectually while he’s listening to Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ on the “Apocalypse Now” soundtrack she’s humming the Miss America theme song.
Politico’s Mike Allen to David Gregory (10/28/08) on the dissension in the Palin campaign says it’s like “bad marriage, car wreck, everybody is trying to blame everybody else”.
Is the “whack job” out to whack her running mate?
By now the word is out thanks to traitors to the Palin cause in the McCain enclave. It’s isn’t about the wardrobe, the makeup or the hair stylist. I doubt the unnamed Republican source who talked to CNN and said the following was thinking of an opera star. “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone. She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.” (CNN article.)
I keep finding myself feeling compelled to write about Sarah Palin in part because I find it so appalling that she actually seems to have fans who will vote for her and McCain because they think she’s sexy. They cheer everything she says at her rallies with little comprehension of what it means, let alone that many of her talking points are distortions or lies about Obama’s positions. She intimates that he’s a terrorist sympathizer and has outright said he wants to redistrubute wealth, even today saying to “dole out” your money to some unspecified people, obviously not those in her audience. One wonders to whom she’s referring — perhaps, dare I say — undeserving lazy black people?
Someone must have suggested she use the word “dole” as if her audience even knows that “being on the dole” was a term dating back to England in WWI. “This derives from the ‘doling out’, i.e. ‘handing out’ of charitable gifts of food or money. This dates back to at least 1919, when it was recorded in The Daily Mail” (link) and commonly used during The Great Depression.
From the same CNN article we learn the following:
But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her media interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.
They insisted that she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain’s record.
“Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”
From Robert Draper (added 10/28/08)
I’m sympathetic to (advisers) Eskew and Wallace, and not just because they’re decent people. They’ve held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me—namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues. Which meant, as one such adviser said to me: “Letting Sarah be Sarah may not be such a good thing.” It’s a grim binary choice, but apparently it came down to whether to make Palin look like a scripted robot or an unscripted ignoramus. I was told that Palin chafed at being defined by her discomfiting performances in the Couric, Charlie Gibson, and Sean Hannity interviews. She wanted to get back out there and do more. Well, if you’re Eskew and Wallace, what do you say to that? Your responsibility isn’t the care and feeding of Sarah Palin’s ego; it’s the furtherance of John McCain’s quest for the presidency.
I’ve heard from one well-placed source that McCain has snubbed her on one long bus ride aboard the Straight Talk Express, to the embarrassment of those sitting nearby.
And this conservative’s heartthrob who used her ability exude pheromone (see “Palin’s Love Boats””) thinks she’s qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, and if McCain looses, to be the leader of the Republican Party, no doubt heir to her hero, another grade B actor, Ronald Reagan.
McCain, it turns out is intellectually curious, widely and well read, and likes to have advisers with opposing views argue things out so he can hear both sides and make an informed decision. McCain is not only the un-Bush, he’s the un-Palin. No wonder he looked so uncomfortable in the joint interview with Brian Williams.
I think McCain has finally seen Palin unmasked, the Palin without (I can’t resist it) lipstick. I think he’s appalled by what he sees.
If McCain wanted to pick a woman he certainly could have done better. During his Senate career McCain has worked with many very bright female senators, women with incisive analytic minds, women who are well informed on many topics. During the campaign he’s selected female advisers like Carly Fiorina whose intellect, accomplishments and expertise is unquestioned.
Today on Meet the Press McCain extolled Sarah Palin as a vice presidential candidate. Notice that he didn’t bring up anything about her knowledge, intelligence, analytic mind and dare I say, wisdom.
She has more executive experience than Senator Biden and, and Senator Obama together. She took on the governor of her own party because she had seen what she’s thought was corruption. She’s been a mayor. She has 24,000 people underneath her. Her husband is a–works the third shift on a oil–in–facilities on the North Slope. He’s a–they, they have a–she has executive experience and has given back money to the taxpayers. She has taken Democrats as well as Republicans into her administration. It sounds like I’m, I’m "defending" her, but the fact is she is a dynamic person with executive experience, leadership, reform. She’s exactly what Washington needs. I’m so proud of the way she ignites the crowds. The way that she is–she has conducted herself is, in my view, incredibly admirable. I am–do we–do, do Sarah Palin and I disagree on a specific issue? Yeah, because we’re both mavericks. But we share the same goal of cleaning up Washington. You think some–we will clean up and reform Washington together, and she has the credentials and the vision and the dynamism and the strength to do that. I could not be more proud of her. Transcript page 4
These revelations about McCain being smarter and more well read and willing to hear both sides of an argument than I thought came from reading "John McCain, Flexible Aggression" by David Kirkpatrick, an excellent three page profile of McCain published today in The New York Times.
It verifies what we already know about McCain’s temper. We learn that he is known in the Senate for sending hand written notes of apology to fellow senators who he was rude to. Interesting tidbits here, but no astounding revelations.
What I found surprising is that McCain is the most unlike Bush and Palin in a way that has not come out in the campaign. He is both very well read and intellectually curious. He encourages advisers with opposing views to argue things out so he can hear both sides and make a more informed decision.
From the article:
He is often deliberative, self-critical and flexible, his advisers and fellow senators say, and has frequently corrected course during his 36 years in public life. “He is a much more supple mind than he is usually portrayed,” said Philip Bobbitt, an international relations scholar and Democrat the senator consulted this summer.
The cocky cocksman Naval Academy cellar dwelling graduate, it turns out is, while no gentleman, something of a scholar:
He reads widely, not only in public policy but also in fiction and history. An aide who looked in his briefcase in July found three books he was reading, two of which he has echoed in public statements since then. One was “The Return of History and the End of Dreams,” by the hawkish foreign policy thinker Robert Kagan, which posits a return to regional great power politics and arguably anticipated Russia’s recent incursion into Georgia. Another was “Tell Me How This Ends,” an admiring account of the troop “surge” in Iraq that Mr. McCain was among the first to embrace. A third book was “Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922,” a popular history of a remote event, the sacking of an Aegean city.
(Added 10/28/08) Here’s an addition about my misjudging McCain’s intellect, knowledge and curiosity. It’s by Anne Applebaum, a Washington Post OpEd writer who is an independent who considered supporting McCain but is voting for Obama.
She writes this about McCain:
Far more important is his knowledge of foreign affairs, an understanding that goes well beyond an ability to name the Pakistani president. McCain knows not only the names, he knows the people; and by this I mean not just foreign presidents but foreign members of parliament, foreign journalists, foreign generals. He goes to Germany every year, visits Vietnam often. He can talk intelligently about Belarus and Uzbekistan; I’ve heard him do it. Let’s just say that’s one of the things that distinguish him from our current president, who once confessed that “this foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating.” “Why McCain lost me” (10/28/08 )
Perhaps it was thought that to reveal this "elite" side of McCain would undermine his efforts to mock Obama’s Harvard creds among the slathering Neanderthals who have only heard of Smyrna because it’s the name of towns in a dozen states, not an ancient Turkish city (pictured, The Agora of Smyrna, columns of the western stoa).
If Palin only needed cosmetic improvements to make her ready for prime time I think he could have shrugged it off. (We learn today from Maureen Dowd in "A Makeover With an Ugly Gloss" spending $10,000 for Palin’s hair stylist for the first two weeks of October and putting the expense of her pre-convention voice coach under Operating Expenditures and Get-Out-The-Vote consulting in the finance report.) But he discovered too late that she wasn’t intellectually ready for prime time. While McCain has to be happy, and perhaps relieved, that Arizona’s largest newspaper just endorsed him he must be disappointed about the Anchorage Daily News’ decision to endorse Obama. The Arizona Republic wrote:
Nowhere else in the country do voters know John McCain like Arizonans know John McCain. Voters here have sent McCain to Washington, D.C., on their behalf five times since his first election to Congress in 1982. As much as an electorate can, we know this man.
McCain has to be wondering why the Anchorage Daily News couldn’t say the same thing about Palin. Alaska’s largest paper just endorsed Obama. Here’s what they had to say about their favorite daughter:
Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she’s a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight. Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.
He must be thinking he had a case of temporary insanity when he selected Palin. I wonder if he realizes that this will be as bad for his future as ignoring the warning buzzer when his jet was fired on over North Vietnam. Now that he has gotten to know her I can’t imagine him not having buyers remorse, which was evident in his body language in the Brian Williams interviews. New readers: Please consider registering as a poster on Capitol Hill Blue and commenting on this and other columns and blogs. If you came to this column directly from another website link, check out the other articles on our front page.
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