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The drama McCain managed when he selected a bright woman and 20-month governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, virtually unknown elsewhere, had us all in thrall--for a short time. Brilliant politics, one blogger reported: Palin offsets Obama’s youth, activism and vigor, as well as Michelle’s aura, while appealing to Hillary’s women and conservatives everywhere—we now have a real horse race. He spoke too soon.

As the bloom comes off the rose, thorns began to rip the curtain of anonymity from this enterprising woman, mother of five, forceful speaker, and strong campaigner. Most importantly, she holds a key credential: acceptability by the religious and political right wings.

Her biggest zinger came in her convention speech, she claimed to have told Congress "thanks but no thanks" when, in fact, she strongly supported federal money for the Bridge to nowhere. Visit to hear it in her own words. Her support came after Republican Congressmen decided against the bridge because it had become a political albatross. Palin did not give up. See New York Times for that. There is more:

Troopergate Investigation - ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate, is being represented by an attorney in the investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner.

"The Legislature is investigating whether Palin fired public safety commissioner Walt Monegan after he refused to fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin's sister."

Damage control - WSJ - "Going into sudden damage control, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has retained private counsel in the probe into the firing of her state trooper chief — while the McCain campaign tightened the reins on dealings with the media by her friends and family.

"Alaska legislators were notified Friday that an Anchorage law firm had been retained to represent the Republican vice presidential candidate and her office in a state investigation into Palin’s July 11 firing of Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan said afterwards that Palin and her husband, Todd, had pressured him to remove a state trooper who was a former brother-in-law she and her family had feuded with. Palin denies that, saying she removed the commissioner she appointed 18 months earlier because she wanted “a new direction,” and offered him a job as liquor board director which he turned down."

House Divided - "Here in Minnesota, they're concentrating on Palin as their story. It's probably best to measure their professed euphoria against the snarkiness of the jabs she's taken from a devoutly secular American media, about her inexperience, her looks and her obvious charisma.

"When Hillary Clinton supporters tried analyzing Obama in this superficial context, it somehow became a racial thing. Yet with Palin, pundits can get away with remarks on her physical appearance and black go-go boots, only because liberal Democratic feminists won't burn them for such heresy. Palin's social conservatism immunizes her from the protections of the sisterhood. She's undeniably a woman, but not their kind of sister.

"Such a double standard may provide a wedge for Republican sophists, since Palin wasn't chosen for her ability to govern should the 72-year-old McCain falter, but for her ability to attract disaffected Hillary voters. Yet this alone can't galvanize the conservatives."

Despite the ostentatiously loud declarations of affection you'll hear this week, the Republican Party and the conservatives have been estranged for so long that the old romance is all but loveless. They dine at separate tables now. They'll gaze across the tablecloths, or across the walleye buffet, remembering how good they were together, once."

No Bump for McCain – Gallop - "The Gallup Poll's daily tracking service never sleeps: The Labor Day poll shows Barack Obama leads John McCain 49-43 percent. The bottom line: No big bump (yet) for McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee."

Self Serving McCain - “Three quarters of all voters think McCain chose a female running mate specifically because he thought adding a woman to the Republican ticket would help him win in November.”

Excerpts from: Greg Sargent - September 1, 2008 ELECTION CENTRAL Sergent:

    • "On the same day that the Republicans were forced to dramatically cut back their convention activities, the Palin meltdown unfolded with extraordinary speed. It's worth pondering the totality of what happened today, in a mere half day...
    • "The news that Palin once backed the Bridge to Nowhere went national.
    • "It emerged that Palin has links to the bizarre Alaska Independence Party, which harbors the goal of seceding from the union that McCain and Palin seek to lead. [Her husband is a member and she appeared at a convention in Wasilla as Mayor.]
    • "The news broke that as governor, Palin relied on an earmark system she now opposes. Taken along with the Bridge to Nowhere stuff, this threatens to undercut her reformist image, something that was key to her selection as McCain's Veep candidate.
    • "Barely moments after McCain advisers put out word that McCain had known of Bristol Palin's pregnancy, the Anchorage Daily News revealed that Palin's own spokesperson hadn't known about it only two days ago.
    • "It came out that Republican lawyers are up in Alaska vetting Palin -- now, more than 72 hours after it was announced that she'd been picked.
    • "Palin lawyered up in relation to the trooper-gate probe in Alaska -- a move that ensures far more serious attention to the story from the major news orgs."

Times OnLine – "Until two years ago Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, which is why no one in their right mind expected John McCain to appoint her as his vice-presidential candidate - a job that potentially puts her second-in-line to the most powerful job on Planet Earth. To be fair, of course, Wasilla is bigger than it used to be. According to most estimates, all of 7,000 people call it home today."

So much for McCain’s litany that Obama is too inexperienced. From mayor of a town of 7000 people to governor of 670,000 twenty months earlier and then be snatched from obscurity for the number two job on earth is nothing short of miraculous. And that is EXPERIENCE. Everyone knows experience guarantees wisdom, righteousness, and toughness in command[Adolph, Joe, and Hideki had all in abundance.] Look for her to invoke Joan of Arc and/or Elizabeth I, or other great women who also came out of nowhere at very young ages. Come November, she could become next after the Next President. In view of her zero foreign policy experience and a single foreign trip, one has to wonder about Mc Cain's wisdom. Some of his conservative colleagues, commentators and pundits are beginning to wonder too.

Commentators are now openly linking the Surge in Iraq to politics. It came against military objections we now know. Why? The Sunnis had switched sides, that's why. The surge was not needed. But by forcing it through, "Uncle George" could extricate his party from the deep mess he put it in.

Then there was a family matter the tabloids will grab onto because that is their bread and butter and a large fraction of Americans eat it up. But we agree with Barack Obama; private family matters have nothing to do with a person’s ability to lead. Neither should they be an issue in any campaign.


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