Palin comparison, IX: the Politician

This is another in our Daily Dose of Sarah Palin, because even if John McCain didn't think it was that important to learn a lot about the person who might be the next President should some medical event befall the 72 year old cancer survivor should he be elected, most people want more information. Previous installments here. Today we discuss Sarah Palin's true nature.

Let's be very clear about what Sarah Palin is. Whatever else bad she is -- and there's a lot of bad there -- she's mainly a politician and an exceptionally talented one. Very slick. As Sam Goldwyn once said, "If you can fake sincerity, you've got it made." You don't have to come from Washington, DC to be a skilled politician. You can come from anywhere. Even a small town in Alaska. In fact you don't get from a small town in Alaska to the national stage if you aren't a skilled politician. This talent is not something to hold against her. They're all politicians: McCain, Obama, Biden and the rest. Some are better at it than others but they all aspire to it. Some of them use if for good and some use it as Palin does, to muddy the waters and incite division an turmoil amongst Americans. Palin's gimmick is the claim she isn't a politician. Her record says otherwise. Here's a random assortment:

In 1992, Palin said, "I'm not going to ride the fence on any issue...You ask me my feelings on an issue and I'll give it to you straight up, because that's the only way a voter knows where his employee stands. Elected officials are exactly that--employees." [Frontiersman, 9/30/92]

Anchorage Daily News: Palin Delivered "Non-Answers" On Expanding Health Care Coverage and Walmart. "Asked about expanding health care coverage and about Wal-Mart's corporate conduct, she delivered non-answers with a disarming smile." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 1/30/06]

Palin "Seemed Unsure" About Preferential Voting, Declined to Take a Position. "One question asked candidates to state their position on preferential voting, a ballot measure on the primary election. Preferential voting is essentially ranking candidates instead of supporting just one so that the first candidate to get a majority of voters' support wins. This way of voting negates the spoiler effect. Leman, Benson and Taylor said they support preferential voting. Hall and Phillips are against it. Palin seemed doubtful about the voting system and is still studying the matter." [Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 8/7/02]

Palin Called Herself "Such a Weasel" For Not Having a Firm Stand on the Property Tax Cap. "Does that mean she'd vote for it? 'I still have five more weeks to make up my mind, like everybody's trying to do,' Palin said. 'I wish it were not a statewide issue.' Palin said she has declined requests by Tax Cap Yes to speak in favor of the initiative. Yet, she said, she doesn't object to her name's continuing to be listed on the group's Web site among 10 current or former government officials -- half from Mat-Su -- in support of the initiative. Palin acknowledged that she was sounding quite the politician. 'I am so sorry I'm such a weasel,' she said." [Anchorage Daily News, 10/8/00]

Palin Was Criticized for What Some Said Was Misleading Tactics Telling Primary Voters They Had to Request a Republican Ballot, When They Did Not. "Brown also criticized a sticky-note campaign ad that Palin put on the front of the Daily News Tuesday, saying it mislead voters. The note included a picture of Palin and said: "Thank you for taking a stand and for your vote today! If you are undeclared or non-partisan, you must ask for the Republican ballot." Some voters thought that meant they had no choice but to choose the Republican ballot when really they could have selected either, said Democrats, who called the ad misleading. Kris Perry, a key volunteer for the Palin campaign, said the ad was meant to remind Palin supporters to vote and to make sure they asked for the right ballot." [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 8/24/06]

Critics Complained That Palin's Hiring of Public Works Director Was a Political Reward. Frontiersman columnist Paul Stuart wrote, "Some local political observers in Wasilla are complaining Mayor Sarah Palin's recent appointment of Cindy Roberts to the $55,000-a-year post of public works director was nothing but a political reward. They maintain Roberts has no engineering training and no work experience to make up for the deficit. Admitting Roberts has no engineering expertise, Palin said the city will contract out engineering services. But the Wasilla mayor says Roberts' management experience in the public and private sector made her rise above other candidates." [Frontiersman, 9/24/97]

Wasilla Replaced City Attorney of 13 Years With Attorney for Alaska Republican Party. "The Wasilla City Council replaced Richard Deuser, Wasilla's attorney for 13 years, with an Anchorage attorney last week. The council voted 5-1 Sept. 8 to award the city's legal services contract to Ken Jacobus, an attorney specializing in municipal law who also serves as general counsel for the Alaska Republican Party." [Frontiersman, 9/17/97]

Palin Discontinued Liquor Task Force--Then Denied She Had Until She Was Confronted. In 1996, the Frontiersman reported that Wasilla's "Liquor Task Force was dissolved by Mayor Sarah Palin on Oct. 17--three days after she took office." When asked, Palin said she was not aware the group was not still meeting, but, according to the Frontiersman, the outreach coordinator said that "on Thursday, Oct. 17, Mug-Shot Saloon owner Ted Anderson informed the group the task force would not be meeting again...Wasilla Police Chief Irl Stambaugh said Wednesday he specifically recalled Palin telling him in a conversation in her office on Oct. 17 that the task force would not be meeting anymore." The Frontiersman added, "Confronted with these conflicting stories Wednesday afternoon, Palin dropped the denials she had made earlier in the day. 'When the (Wasilla City) council, the borough and the City of Palmer voted on the bar closure issue, the question was answered on bar closures,' Palin stated. 'What came to mind then was whether there was a need for continuation of the task force.'" [Frontiersman, 12/13/96]

Palin Exaggerated Work Experience for Mayoral Campaign. In 1997, Frontiersman columnist Paul Stuart wrote that after Palin had criticized her opponent for using City Hal resources for political gain, "when Palin was asked back then (by me) why the lodge where she claimed, in her campaign, to have gained her management experience, had no record of a borough business license or of paying any bed tax, she paused and said it might have been because the place had no clients for a year or so." In an article describing the possibility of recalling Palin, the Frontiersman wrote the "reasons include Palin's alleged falsification of her credentials during the campaign last fall." [Frontiersman, 1/22/97, 2/5/97] (via Mudflats)

These are the typical moves of a cynical politician. Say one thing, do another. A perfect running mate for McCain who will say anything and do anything, even lie shamelessly. But she's good. No doubt about that.

The big question is what she's good at.

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She's good at continuing the Republican role of lying to the people for her own benefit.

Sarah Palin must be a student of HL Menchen - Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people - or clever right wing wack job - no doubt the latter.

Palin frightens me more than than Nixon and the 2 George Bushes combined. It's great motivation to work harder for the other side.

When you guys get through with this mutual lib/Dem masturbation session how about checking up with a left wing/Dem news site.

Great Smear Job Revere........... Too bad you cant find anything wrong with Obama to provide any sort of balance. You know, things like that pork barrel bridge to now where that he voted for. But that would be making sense again and we just cant have that running around here.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 Sep 2008 #permalink

> Palin comparison, IX: the Politician
> Category: McCain - Palin

is this still scienceblogs or are we getting political ?

Randy, the issue isn't so much that she supported the bridge, it's that she flip-flopped on it, and is now being misrepresented as an opponent of the project. Congress had already killed the funding anyway, so her change in position was a retro-fit. It's a cheap, sleazy stunt. "Hey Louie, the man wants a blue suit; turn on the blue light". Alaska kept the money earmarked for the bridge, but she keeps saying (over and over) that she told them "thanks but no thanks". When you keep the money, you say "thanks", or perhaps even "thanks very much", but you don't say "thanks but no thanks". If she wouldn't keep going on about it, nobody else would either.

Racter...thats an interpretation of the situation. I dont think that there is anyplace other than that has dedicated so much, to so little. Please do remember though its a left wing liberal political site. All are welcome to come in and bash up their fellow Americans. Forget the Russians, forget the Syrians and the Iranians. They dont pose a threat...Sarah Palin does. Where are the issues being discussed? I want to go there.

But remember, Revere said he was going to vote for John Edwards too. I guess she should have aborted the baby? All nice and neat and he would have been Obama's running mate. Another credible Democrat.

As for flipping, she flipped because the matching state money was going to be a budget buster. She did put the jet up on E-Bay. She didnt say anything about selling it. Couldnt give a Westwind away and the purchase was a good ole boy network buy in the first place. No short field capabilities. Commonly referred to as a Hebrew canoe as the Israelis bought the company and rebuilt the aircraft type from bottom to top.

And they kept the money, used on their roads and other bridges because it was "earmarked." Time covered that pretty well. Couldnt give it back because of the process. Not that any governor would in any state. They aint none of them that stupid. Thats how just about all of them get elected anyway.

But, thats the way the mop flops... You get to have a site that has dedicated ten days to denigration, not issues.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 Sep 2008 #permalink

When you keep the money, you say "thanks", or perhaps even "thanks very much", but you don't say "thanks but no thanks". If she wouldn't keep going on about it, nobody else would either.

There's no harm in mentioning again that Palin's appetite for pork was criticized repeatedly by McCain himself:

Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin.

I'd find this stuff less irritating if they made more of an effort to be consistent and plausible. It's their contempt for the brainpower of voters that really drives me nuts.

You get to have a site that has dedicated ten days to denigration, not issues.

No kidding. There are much more serious things to discuss, like Obama's Phony Birth Certificate.

Randy: Exactly what have I said (or what did she say) that constitutes a "smear job"? And what does your link have to do with anything? It is widely acknowledged that the claims Obama "is" a muslim (does that mean the Rev. Wright stuff is irrelevant now? good) is a smear. I'd like to know what about this stuff, in this post, is a smear. It's not enough just to say it. Is it a smear to say this woman is not much more than a talented politician? Don't just make stuff up, Randy. Argue with facts and logic. As for Obama, you know quite well I have been critical of Obama here (which is more than you have been about McCain). But these posts are about Palin, about whom we still know comparatively little and she is being put forward as a plausible president (given McCain's age and health). How are you able to say these arguments aren't relevant or valid? I really want to know.

You make everything into a partisan battle and don't give people credit for actually being concerned about the future of the country. For you it's all "libs versus righties" or "Dems vs. Republicans" or "right versus left" or more generally "us versus them" where you are always "us" and anybody who disagrees with you is always "them", some generic bad guy. Lots of us who think you are dead wrong on the issues still care about things and argue with you because we do care. You aren't the only one who cares. More to the point, some of us care enough that we don't want to use smear tactics, even if it works, so please show enough respect to tell me how what I said was a "smear". Or is it just you don't like it and don't have anything to say to counter it?

BTW, I don't remember saying I was going to vote for Edwards (I didn't), only that his policies were probably closest to my views, although I had many disagreements with him. But that's not very relevant to anything.

As for the plane, I never said Palin lied (at least not in her convention speech; I'm not sure what she has said since) but that McCain lied about it because he said "sold for a profit on eBay" and he knows that was untrue.

As for changing her mind on the bridge and keeping the money, for someone so dedicated to anti-pork and fighting her party, maybe you should look at how it was Alaska was able to keep the money once it wasn't used for the famous bridge. For example, who was head of the Appropriations subcommittee at the time and how much principle Palin showed in keeping the money.

Are any of these contentions "smears" or legit arguments that have been made by mainstream newsmedia, including the Wall Street Journal?

So where exactly does the "No Thanks" part come in?

The state of Alaska sold the plane to one of Palin's contributors and backers for a loss. You can easily find that one on the Google.
As for her flip flop on the bridge, that is evident by any campaign picture showing her in her "Nowhere" shirt. Again, Google is your friend in this instance.
I personally don't care about her family, her religion (other than her trying to shove it down my throat) or her hobbies. I care about the FACT that she is untested and unknown. She will indeed be the next in line to lead our military and that scares the SHIT out of me big time. As a vet, I do not think she is capable of doing this. McCain, maybe. Palin No Fing WAY.

The no thanks comes from someone taking something they feel entitled to. They dont bother thanking the source because they figure it is their due. Do burglars thank their victims? Do rapists thank their victims? Do slave owners thank their slaves for the slaves labor? Does Halliburton thank the DOD for the no-bid contracts? Do warlords thank the peasants they exploit? Do TV Evangelicals thank their donors? Do Nigerian scammers thank their victims? Of course not.

The no thanks comes from people who are given an inch but then take a mile.

Usually "thanks but no thanks" means "thanks for the offer but I am declining to take it".

What Sarah Palin is meaning is "thanks for the money, I will take it, use it for what I want, and you will get nothing back from me, not even acknowledgement that I took the money."

A phrase that means the same to her is thanks, sucka! That is what she will be thinking if she is elected.

"I'd find this stuff less irritating if they made more of an effort to be consistent and plausible. It's their contempt for the brainpower of voters that really drives me nuts." - Phila

But they understand, and exploit, the fact that their constituents are stupid. That's why McBush can continue to spout utterly transparent lies to his audiences; a large segment of the target population believes the lies, and those who recognize that he is lying simply don't care. "Sarah sold the plane on eBay...and it sold for a profit." Total fabrication. Complete lie. But the senile McBush still trots it out every time. Why? Because it works, clearly. That is telling your constituents to their faces that you believe that they are stupid. And guess what? He's right. If he were to preface his heart warming little urban legend with something along the lines of "Look, I know that you're fucking hopelessly stupid, so I'm going to just tell you some shit that would be a real insult to a fucking imbecile." They would all nod and cheer, in unison, still. These people know their audience.

So Palin flip-flopped. You can't change your mind? Isn't that what we are HOPING for? If we continue down a road where politicians INSIST that gray is black.....and alternatively that gray is white and no one changes their mind or opens their mind to the gray, we will remain divided.

I'm opposed to someone who stands behind a stupid belief ONLY to uphold their "reputation". There is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake...learning from it and moving on. I know of NO ONE who never makes a mistake.

I find myself in a rare circumstance...agreeing with Randy. And I ask the same questions he has. Obama impresses me as a very good man (more platitudes, sorry), but surely he has made a mistake? Can you say, Rev Wright? I don't think ANYONE honestly believes that Obama would agree with Rev Wright's statement that "Damns America". Obama is a better man than that, whether I agree with his politics or not.

Although I'm aware it COULD come at any time, many of you here were wrong about predictions of the onset of a pandemic. You believed in it. But it's OK to learn from a mistake and see more gray than black. It could still happen but there is more to it than Niman's or Tom DVM's assertions.

I don't believe that Gov Palin (or any republican or democrat for that matter) is INTENTIONALLY doing harm to any one or any thing. They believe they are doing what's best for us, our country and in some cases, mankind.

Why are we so bitter??

Patch: I agree that admitting an error and changing your mind of conditions dictate is a good thing. The problem here is why she changed her position and then what she claimed for her change in position and what her previous position means about her bogus status as a reformer. And the hypocrisy of McCain's positions about it. These are all lies of the most cynical kind. I don't care about the flip flopping. McCain is a champion flip flopper and Obama's done it too on issues where I think he was wrong to do it (FISA and drilling to take two examples).


OK. Glad you are open to a mistake now and again.

What issue in particular are you talking about. If it's several, give me one. And give a brief (very brief) description that validates her status (or fails to do so in this case) as a reformer.

Keep in mind, I don't think she is a reformer on EVERY issue. No one should be! You can only target a few.

And also keep in mind, that they are trying to win an election. While truth is important, it's not uncommon to brag up your achievements a little. Humble is one thing most politicians ain't. Bragging can cross over the line, I agree. But cynical liar? That's a stretch I think.

But they understand, and exploit, the fact that their constituents are stupid.

Well, yes and no. I don't really accept that anyone is stupid enough to believe some of the things these people claim to believe, and to treat facts they don't like as irrelevant. That requires ideology, and educated people can fall into that trap at least as easily as uneducated people. (Lest this sound too optimistic, I have to add that ideology is a lot harder to overcome than stupidity or ignorance.)

The thing is, I think that most of this stuff isn't really aimed at the GOP base, the majority of whom would sooner vote for David Duke than Barack Obama. I think they're targeting fence sitters of one sort and another. Which is why the lack of any effort to be plausible confuses me: these are voters who might, just possibly, check political rhetoric against reality and make a decision based on what they learn. Lord knows the base's appetite for lies is bottomless. But I'd assume most of those people are already in the bag.

Why isn't anyone pointing out that if McCain kicks the bucket Palin's vice president will be Nancy Pelosi. Imagine the cat fights!