Palin's Speech and Noonan's Odds

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Palin's speech was delivered as well as it possibly could have been. But, it wasn't written by her, and one has to wonder if she even understood the fallacious allusions and logical holes in her statements big enough to rival the Grand Canyon. Perhaps Noonan and Murphy knew what was coming when, on an open microphone, they said the McCain ticket is dead, or words to that effect.

Gov. Palin apparently believes she has never fought for the American people. She said John McCain is the only candidate in this race who has fought for the American people. If Obama's work on the South side of Chicago for paltry pay despite his law degree capable of fetching vastly greater sums, was not fighting for American people, then who does Palin think those South Chicagoans were: Borneo Aboriginals? Perhaps! But, her statement also logically means she herself has never fought for the Americans in Alaska with public service.

She said the Obama and Biden have no energy plan. Apparently she has a hearing problem too! Obama's speech was quite specific about plans for alternative energy, and expansion of drilling as an interim measure. But, the more likely explanation is that she never listened to Obama's speech and therefore didn't realize what a foolish line her speech writers had handed her to deliver.

After raising taxes on oil companies in Alaska, she had temerity to accuse Obama of planning to raise taxes on the oil industry. Apparently raising taxes oil companies is not a bad thing when she does it as Governor, but an abomination if a Democrat proposes the option.

It was appropriate for her to spend half the speech talking about herself, because 90% of America haven't a clue who she is. But, when she delivered that line about her being advocate for parents with children with disabilities, did she really expect people to believe that she would advocate for the rest of Americans with special needs children receiving the same tax paid health care her Down's syndrome child will receive if she is Vice President? Get real! She will accept it for herself, but, she will not advocate for it for her fellow Americans. Tax payer subsidized health care is something she is opposed to for the rest of Americans.

There are many, many other illogical allusions in her speech, and I am quite confident Sen. Biden will address many of them in his debate with Gov. Palin.

She delivered the handler crafted speech very, very well. She is quite capable of reaching out to Republicans with emotion based references to POW status as qualification for President, and how having been tortured affords the credentials to become the leader of a nation, and how crafting a reform law like McCain-Feingold is a what? A good thing? A bad thing? Republicans hate the McCain Feingold law. So why was she touting McCain's only claim to reform legislation as a justification for McCain's presidency? Confusing is what it was, unless one was simply seeking emotional stimulation from the rhetoric devoid of any critical analysis or logical assessment.

The Peggy Noonan open microphone gaffe has achieved 450,000 hits on You Tube in just over 6 hours. I haven't found much use for Peggy Noonan's take on things for many years now, since she avidly supported the worst president in the last century named George W. Bush. So, I can't claim I trust her assessment that the McCain ticket is dead in the water with the Palin choice for VP.

Here is the what was said on the open microphone while unaware the microphone was open:

Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.

(cut away)

Peggy Noonan: Yeah.

Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

PN: It's over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MM: They're all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

Here is a link to Noonan's response and explanation of what was said on the open mic, after the fact and in response to other's take on it.

This was of course, after Noonan published a very different commentary in the Wall Street Journal earlier today:

The choice of Sarah Palin IS a Hail Mary pass, the pass the guy who thinks he has a good arm makes to the receiver he hopes is gifted.

Most Hail Mary passes don't work.

But when they do they're a thing of beauty and a joy forever.


Gut: The Sarah Palin choice is really going to work, or really not going to work. It's not going to be a little successful or a little not; it's not going to be a wash. She is either going to be magic or one of history's accidents. She is either going to be brilliant and groundbreaking, or will soon be the target of unattributed quotes by bitter staffers shifting blame in all the Making of the President 2008 books. Of which there should be plenty, as we've never had a year like this, with the fabulous freak of a campaign.

More immediately and seriously on Palin:

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

She could become a transformative political presence.

As if putting both feet in her mouth weren't enough, she has another post open mic commentary about the open mic commentary which reads:

Peggy Noonan offers a mea culpa after the fact. She says her on-air words were misconstrued. She now says that WSJ editors have allowed her to amend her post and change the headline to "Open Mic Night at MSNBC." The new top portion of the post reads:

Well, I just got mugged by the nature of modern media, and I wish it weren't my fault, but it is. Readers deserve an explanation, so I'm putting a new top on today's column and, with the forbearance of the Journal, here it is.

Wednesday afternoon, in a live MSNBC television panel hosted by NBC's political analyst Chuck Todd, and along with Republican strategist Mike Murphy, we discussed Sarah Palin's speech this evening to the Republican National Convention. I said she has to tell us in her speech who she is, what she believes, and why she's here. We spoke of Republican charges that the media has been unfair to Mrs. Palin, and I defended the view that while the media should investigate every quote and vote she's made, and look deeply into her career, it has been unjust in its treatment of her family circumstances, and deserved criticism for this.

When the segment was over and MSNBC was in commercial, Todd, Murphy and I continued our conversation, talking about the Palin choice overall. We were speaking informally, with some passion -- and into live mics. An audio tape of that conversation was sent, how or by whom I don't know, onto the internet. And within three hours I was receiving it from friends far and wide, asking me why I thought the McCain campaign is "over", as it says in the transcript of the conversation. Here I must plead some confusion. In our off-air conversation, I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up. "The first lesson they learned is the one they remember," I said to Todd -- and I'm pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" -- and I said it more than once -- that is what I was referring to. I am pretty certain that is exactly what Todd and Murphy understood I was referring to. In the truncated version of the conversation, on the Web, it appears I am saying the McCain campaign is over. I did not say it, and do not think it. In fact, at an on-the-record press symposium on the campaign on Monday, when all of those on the panel were pressed to predict who would win, I said that I didn't know, but that we just might find "This IS a country for old men." That is, McCain may well win. I do not think the campaign is over, I do not think this is settled, and did not suggest, back to the Todd-Murphy conversation, that "It's over."

However, I did say two things that I haven't said in public, either in speaking or in my writing. One is a vulgar epithet that I wish I could blame on the mood of the moment but cannot. No one else, to my memory, swore. I just blurted. The other, more seriously, is a real criticism that I had not previously made, but only because I hadn't thought of it. And it is connected to a thought I had this morning, Wednesday morning, and wrote to a friend. Here it is. Early this morning I saw Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and as we chatted about the McCain campaign (she thoughtfully and supportively) I looked into her eyes and thought, Why not her? Had she been vetted for the vice presidency, and how did it come about that it was the less experienced Mrs. Palin who was chosen? I didn't ask these questions or mention them, I just thought them. Later in the morning, still pondering this, I thought of something that had happened exactly 20 years before. It was just after the 1988 Republican convention ended. I was on the plane, as a speechwriter, that took Republican presidential nominee George H.W. Bush, and the new vice presidential nominee, Dan Quayle, from New Orleans, the site of the convention, to Indiana. Sitting next to Mr. Quayle was the other senator from that state, Richard Lugar. As we chatted, I thought, "Why him and not him?" Why Mr. Quayle as the choice, and not the more experienced Mr. Lugar? I came to think, in following years, that some of the reason came down to what is now called The Narrative. The story the campaign wishes to tell about itself, and communicate to others. I don't like the idea of The Narrative. I think it is ... a barnyard epithet. And, oddly enough, it is something that Republicans are not very good at, because it's not where they live, it's not what they're about, it's too fancy. To the extent the McCain campaign was thinking in these terms, I don't like that either. I do like Mrs. Palin, because I like the things she espouses. And because, frankly, I met her once and liked her. I suspect, as I say further in here, that her candidacy will be either dramatically successful or a dramatically not; it won't be something in between.

But, bottom line, I am certainly sorry I blurted my barnyard ephithet, I am certainly sorry that someone abused my meaning in the use of the words, "It's over", and I'm sorry I didn't have the Kay Baily Hutchison thought before this morning, because I could have written of it. There. Now: onto today's column.

So, Peggy and Sarah, tell us now, what do you really think? Is aspiring to the Oval Office a great and noble deed when sought by a Republican, but, opportunistic and egotistical when sought by a person of color or a Democrat?

How about the issues, ladies? Why are you both so want to avoid them. You know issues,

  • like how long are we going to continue bankrupting our nation in Iraq?
  • How deep in debt must we get before your are willing to negotiate a political bipartisan solution to the entitlement debt crisis impaling our nation's economic future?
  • How long are we going to keep overpopulating our nation's resources and government spending with wide open borders to millions seeking a better quality of life on American's taxes?
  • How long do Americans have to wait to receive the same level of quality health care from their tax dollars that federal politicians receive from American tax dollars?

We voters would really like to know the answers to these questions.

P.S., here are a couple items from regarding speeches at the Convention made earlier:

Joe Lieberman and his former Senate colleague Fred Thompson both made misleading claims about Obama in their prime time GOP convention speeches on Tuesday. We've heard two of them before - many times.

* Lieberman said Obama hadn't "reached across party lines" to accomplish "anything significant," though Obama has teamed with GOP Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar to pass laws enhancing government transparency and curtailing the proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.

* Thompson repeated misleading claims about Obama's tax program, saying it would bring "one of the largest tax increases in American history." But as increases go, Obama's package is hardly a history-maker. It would raise taxes for families with incomes above $250,000. Most people would see a cut.

* Lieberman also accused Obama of "voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield." But Obama's only vote against a war-funding bill came after Bush vetoed a version of the bill Obama had supported - and McCain urged the veto.


As a democrat I'm really confused with all of the reaction to Palin last night.

At the end of the speech I thought, well, Obama could really lose this election. She is impressive, sounded smart, she relates to many people, she is real, her family is sweet, her husband supports her (really supports her - not like Bill "supported" Hillary), he is a commercial fisherman no less, she got to this position through her own work (not her husbands work), she would make a good role model for women, she will care about family issues, etc.

Every woman I've spoken to today has the same feeling. Wow - how did they find someone who meets all of these criteria. There was no mistake in the vetting process, she is impressive. The democrats will have a hard time with this since people are focusing on "discriminatory" comments like she is "shrill" or "I didn't like her voice" or "sarcastic", "isn't a good (the real) mother", instead of the real issues like budget issues, health care, etc. The more I hear what I consider to be derogatory "women" focused comments I will be more moved to support her.

Please, give credit where credit is due: her speech was impressive, full of content, and challenging. Whether she was a good mayor or governor is something that should be investigated and I look forward to learning the answer.

N, you won't have to wait long. Investigators are turning up unbelievable stuff already, like her speech to secessionists, Alaskans who want to secede from the U.S. seeking their support. Real patriotic, huh?

She is lying about her credentials as CIC of the Alaskan Nat'l Guard. When asked what orders she has ever issued to the Guard, she could'nt answer with even one example. No experience. And her allusions to being the first line of defense against Russia is pure poppycock. The Governor of Alaska has no authority whatsoever over any national defense systems in Alaska.

She has a real conflict of interest where alternative energy is concerned. Any move she makes in federal office to promote alternative energy undermines the 80% of the Alaskan state budget funded by oil and gas extraction from Alaska. Alaska's and her constitutent's future rebate checks would be jeopardized by federal promotion of alternative energy sources.

When asked in her 2006 campaign about abortion, she said it is a very personal decision. She said she would not choose abortion but that is a very personal decision. 180 degree turnaround today, or a deception in 2006 to get elected? No answer on that yet.

She was for the funding for the bridge to nowhere as reported by news agencies in Alaska, before it became a national disgrace, and then she opposed it. But, she still worked to get federal funds for a ferry to nowhere to the same penninsula. Can anyone say porker? They will as more is uncovered, like the 20 million dollar debt she she left behind as Mayor of a town of 8,000 people.

Fiscally responsible? Doesn't appear so from her mayoral record.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 3, 2008 11:25 PM.

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