Stranger Fruit

Palin and McCain’s “judgment”

On August 10th, Karl Rove had the following to say about Tim Kaine who he wrongly assumed was to be Obama’s choice for VP:

With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years, he’s been able but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, `You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States?

Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasillia (a lot smaller than Richmond) and has been Governor of Alaska for a mere twenty months. To channel Rove, I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that she’s done.

Should the septuagenarian McCain fall ill while in office, the highly unqualified Palin would take charge. Is that really what is best for the country?

Last night, Obama said:

Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time?  I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

Once again, McCain shows bad judgment. It is obvious that McCain is unconcerned with what is best for the country and is more interested in vacuuming up stray Clinton supporters and keeping the far Right happy. That is an intensely political choice.


  1. #1 tkozak
    August 30, 2008

    This actually shows you the brilliance of Rove’s tactics, unfortunately. The nasty, nasty brilliance. This particular move has been a standby for the past few election cycles.

    The trick is to hit your opponent early with any attacks that you think you yourself will be vulnerable to. Even if the attack doesn’t stick, it makes any response by the opponent look weak.

    So in this case, attacking Palin on inexperience will never be very effective, because everyone remembers the initial attacks on Obama. So it lets the Republicans paint the response as juvenile “no YOU’RE stupid” taunting.

    Similarly, witness the flap over “elitist.” Accuse Obama of it, and he can’t use it against McCain. Say that Obama’s making “political” choices, and it weakens the impact when McCain actually does it.


  2. #2 eddie
    August 30, 2008


    And what of that mayoralty? Yesterday the town population went down from 9.000 to between 6,000 and 7,000. Did Palin scare them off, or was it her husband’s health and safety record?

  3. #3 yogi-one
    August 30, 2008

    Since when did qualifications have anything to do with it?

    There’s a new quality that GOP delegates look for when choosing Pres and VP Nominees: stoogeness. If you are a GOP delegate, the CEO of a huge megacorporation, a member of the Carlysle group, on the board of stiockholders in a megabank, or CEO of a military contracting corporation , stoogeness is the number one quality you are looking for in a candidate.

    McCain’s stoogeness factor is off the charts.He’ll say anything or do anything the military industrial political complex wants him to. He doesn’t care. He is not informed on the issues. He is stupid, and his rank in his graduating class proves it.

    Palin also has a huge stoogeness factor. She’s married to an oil industry exec. She’s a creationist and anti-choice advocate.She’s a blind believer who isn’t informed on the issues and doesn’t have any qualifications or much experience (two things that actually hinder you from being electable in the GOP. That’s why the other guys weren’t chosen). She has idealism, and she drinks the Kool-Aid in Big Gulps (then chucks the plastic cups into the ocean.) Those are the perfect qualifications to hold an office in the GOP. Ask W, ask Michael Chertoff, ask Alberto Gonzales.

    Being qualified is irrelevant. Being a stooge is what matters.

    Now the GOP has the perfect stooge ticket. In the coming three months you are going to see incredible stoogeness from the GOP ticket.

    That’s Presidential behavior in the eyes of those who choose GOP nominees.

  4. #4 Michael
    August 30, 2008

    Palin has 20 months experience in leading the largest state, and is a candidate for vice president. Obama had spent roughly that long as a US Senator, with much less of an “in charge” aspect, when he started campaigning to be president. Criticizing Palin for not having much experience will fail badly among mainstream Americans. She has also been a force for cleaning up Alaskan politics; that was how she got elected governor. Obama cannot claim anything except membership in the Chicago Democratic machine. (Rove could defend his previous statement by pointing out how important for Obama to have an experienced VP in order to balance out Obama’s own inexperience.)

  5. #5 Scott Belyea
    August 30, 2008

    Palin also has a huge stoogeness factor. She’s married to an oil industry exec.

    Hardly. According to Wikipedia …

    Palin’s husband, Todd Palin,[90] works for the energy corporation BP in a non-managerial position[91] and works as a fisherman in his hometown in the summers.

  6. #6 Jim Lippard
    August 30, 2008

    I agree with Scott and Michael: Given that Palin has a reputation for addressing Alaskan corruption, I don’t think the “stoogeness factor” is a genuine issue.

    I also agree with Michael that the inexperience factor is a weaker argument against a VP selection than it is against a presidential candidate.

  7. #7 Robert
    August 30, 2008

    Gonna be a fun time watching the VP debate between Palin and Biden.

  8. #8 Sean
    August 31, 2008

    I can easily imagine a scenario where the extreme right-wingers vote for McCain as a knee-jerk reaction to the addition of Sarah Palin on the ticket without fully considering the ramifications. That might be enough to keep the Republicans in the White House and that, quite frankly, spooks me. I think I’ll donate a bit more to Obama’s campaign.

  9. #9 eddie
    September 1, 2008

    I fear there may be a meme-bot at work here. Palin’s alleged record of dealing with corruption is non-existent. Her reputation on corruption is as being corrupt.

  10. #10 Jim Lippard
    September 2, 2008

    eddie: Can you substantiate those statements?

    Here’s evidence of her willingness to blow the whistle corruption.

    What’s your evidence of her being corrupt?

  11. #11 Jim Lippard
    September 2, 2008

    That was supposed to say “blow the whistle on corruption.”

  12. #12 Pat C-S
    September 14, 2008

    At this point, I’m willing to randomly pick some totally unqualifed person for president-say Homer Simpson. That is it! Some totally unqualified *fictional* person for president. Could we do worse?
    The way the election has been going, it has a distinct air of fiction now….

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