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‘Unleash’ Palin? Get Real






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No, she’s not smoother than Joe Biden. She was not the better debater (she lost badly on points). She doesn’t have the depth of knowledge, the experience, the ease with “Washington speak” that Biden demonstrated – especially in foreign policy.

But Sarah Palin has something Joe Biden and every other politician in America would give their right eye to possess – the innate ability to look a camera straight in the lens and make a connection with the hearts of ordinary Americans.

Palin proved the one thing she had to prove; she belongs on The Big Stage. She might not be the brightest star in the firmament intellectually. But when she spoke, there was authority and confidence behind the words that belied every nasty thing written and spoken about her over the last few weeks. In fact, her performance made the McCain campaign handlers look like idiots. What the hell have they been doing hiding this woman for all this time? Are they nuts? I’m not the only one who underestimated this woman. The McCain people have as well. And at least I have an excuse – I’m ignorant. They’re supposed to know her, know her strengths and weaknesses.

There was a point with about 20 minutes to go in the debate where something happened that I never thought remotely possible; she took over the stage and dominated it with her personality. I believe they were talking about education and as the words poured out in that Midwestern twang, her eyes twinkled and that 100,000 watt smile lit up the hall, she turned on the charm and sincerity, and the stage suddenly shrank while Biden appeared a mere appendage to the broadcast.

She was totally at ease, referring some of her remarks to the moderator Gwen Ifill (who I thought bent over backwards to be fair – no doubt a consequence of her becoming a target after it was revealed she was writing a book partially about the Obama campaign) and nodding and looking at Biden on occasion. She did it effortlessly and without art or artifice. Biden sensed what was happening but couldn’t do anything. She was in charge, period. It was at that point, that I thought she might not be ready to be president from day one but that someday, she will be on a similar stage as a nominee for president of the Republican party.

The left is screaming tonight, trying to make believe that nothing has changed, that Palin is still a dunce, still out of her league. I would suggest they rerun the last hour and half and watch with a little more of an objective mind. She stood toe to toe with Biden (sometimes – other times she avoided direct combat) and bloodied him but good a couple of times. A boxing analogy would be the heavyweight champion boxing a middleweight. The lighter fighter might be getting pounded here and there but when getting in close, scores repeatedly with good body punches.

And, of course, the crowd is always with the underdog. Despite Biden’s competent performance, Palin will probably be narrowly declared the winner in tomorrow’s polls. Even her bitterest foes must acknowledge her ability to connect with ordinary people. That is a gift that any liberal only dreams of being able to do. For the left, it is not about connecting to average Americans. It is about average Americans acknowledging the liberal’s superior intellect and judgement and letting them run our lives. Unfortunately, in such times as these, that appears to be what the people are about to do.

I must confess that before the debate I was prepared for Mrs. Stumblebum – a female Gerald Ford tripping over her words and embarrassing herself on foreign policy questions. What I got was a composed, collected candidate who may have been deficient in the depth of her answers but nevertheless demonstrated a basic knowledge and familiarity with the issues. The nuances of instability in Pakistan might escape her (something an American president can do little about at this point anyway). But she had absolutely no trouble identifying why Ahmadinejad is an enemy of anyone who loves civilization and why it is of paramount importance that he not get his hands on nuclear weapons.

So I was wrong about her as far as how badly she would do. Not the first time I’ve been wrong on this blog and it won’t be the last. The question of the hour is does this change the race in any way? Will it kick start the McCain campaign and start a much needed comeback?

My sense is that it has stopped the bleeding but that the way back for McCain will not be through anything that Sarah Palin can do. She may have stopped the exodus of independents and women from the McCain camp but as far as winning any of them back I am just not convinced that a Vice Presidential candidate – no matter how well she performs in a debate or how she connects with ordinary voters – is up to that challenge.

For McCain to get back in the race, he must do it himself. Many Republicans are urging McCain to throw the kitchen sink at Obama – Ayers, Wright, Rezko, the Chicago Machine – the whole shebang of radicals, shady characters, and questionable associations. Obama can easily brush that kind of attack aside as an act of desperation by McCain. What he can’t brush aside is his record, or rather his lack thereof. McCain needs to go hard after Obama on the question of experience. It’s his best shot and he can bloody him at the remaining debates if he consistently hits that note. McCain must show that electing Obama is a risk. And in these uncertain times, that’s one thing the United States cannot afford.

By: Rick Moran at 12:05 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (48)

Democrat=Socialist linked with All The Post VP Debate Buzz...

I used to think that the United States was basically indestructible, that our constitution, the uncommon common sense of our people, a bountiful land, and a respect for our history and traditions could see us through any crisis.

Does that still hold true?

I believe these truths are immutable. But there is one very important additional truth that, when removed from the equation, causes the entire edifice to come crashing down in rack and ruin, a testament to the folly and failure of our politics and politicians.

I am talking about faith: Faith in government, faith in our leaders, faith in our institutions, and most of all, faith in ourselves and our talent for self government – the ability for us to decide what is best for our country and our families.

It is the faith of our fathers, and their fathers before them, and their fathers and grandfathers who bequeathed us a nation based on this simple, uncomplicated faith. Without it, there is no trust. And faith, like trust, once lost is a hard commodity to regain

I recall on 9/11, there was a time that it was unclear the extent of the attack, especially after the Pentagon was hit. I am not over dramatizing when I say that I believe everyone in America wondered who was next? What else could happen? The absolute worst scenarios went through my mind as I’m sure it did for most of you. And I remember thinking for just a second or two, “Is this the end of America?” But I immediately dismissed such a preposterous notion. America was a rock, a force of nature. You couldn’t destroy it. Knock a few buildings down, sure. But the almost childlike belief in our ability to overcome anything and emerge triumphant was a powerful tonic that worked its magic on the American psyche and gave us the will to pull together for the good of all.

In that crisis, we had faith to spare. Forgotten was the recent election and its gut rending divisiveness as we came together as one people in the face of tragedy and crisis. It was inspiring. It was elevating.

It was an illusion.

In truth, our unity after 9/11 was a mirage, a temporary respite from the culture wars, the political wars, the ideological wars – the war for the soul of America. The natural equilibrium of political combat to the death reasserted itself within a matter of weeks and any sense of togetherness we felt was extinguished in a flood of partisan poison. And you can draw a straight line from the post 9/11 falling out to our current crisis where what ails us as a nation has only been exacerbated by war and crisis.

I blame Bush. And the Democrats. And the liberals. And the conservatives. And I blame us for enabling the catastrophe, where it becomes easy to lose faith, trust, and even hope – hope that there was a way through this morass of hate and distrust so that we could emerge on a far distant shore, free of the infection that has sickened the body politic of America to the point that now, we teeter on the edge of a precipice, looking down into the blackness of an unknowable, unknowing future.

The internet is at fault. So is talk radio. So is the liberal/conservative/lazy media. So is the consolidation of information sources. So am I.

Am I taking the easy out? A typical Moran “a pox on both your houses” screed? Examine your consciences and you tell me where it’s all Bush’s fault or all the Democrats fault. Or where conservatives or liberals are blameless. Or even where one party or another is “more” at fault – as if you can place catastrophe on a scale and weigh it out, carefully loading one side or the other with rancor, bitterness, lies, exaggerations, political gamesmanship, and cynicism thus hoping to determine the “real” culprit of our current predicament.

That kind of stupidity is silly and self defeating. And it only reveals that those who try it are part of the problem, not the solution.

We are not in an economic crisis. We are in a crisis of faith. We have lost what has been handed down to us, generation after generation going all the way back to the founding, passing on the secret of America’s uniqueness, its “exceptionalism,” as if it were a holy relic of the Catholic church lovingly preserved and cared for by parishioners for all time.

We – all of us – have failed to do the things necessary to maintain this faith. We have been careless and stupid in choosing our leaders. We have been lax in holding them accountable. We have not paid attention to what they were doing – here or abroad – and we have failed to demand that the government lift the veil of secrecy on too many enterprises. We have failed to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We have failed to take responsibility for our own mistakes. We have abandoned self reliance, family and community values, respect for our political opponents, and the American idea that neighbor helping neighbor is far preferable to asking government to do it for us.

High ideals and standards to live up to, yes. And our forefathers were not always successful themselves in adhering to principle and acting for the greater good. But the difference between them and us is that they had faith that the wisdom and basic common decency of the American people would emerge and carry us through times of crisis relatively unscathed and still one nation. They counted on a rough unity of the people – that we all had basically the same idea of what America was and where it should be going. How to get there was the basis of our political battles – and believe me, they were as rough and tumble as any of the political donnybrooks we have had in recent memory.

It is not our politics that divides us. Nor does ideology tear us apart. These are but symptoms of the disease that afflicts us. Our problem is that we have lost faith in the idea that we can dream common dreams – American dreams – and give ourselves a common point of reference where we all agree what, at bottom, America is and where it should be going.

With this loss of faith has come an overpowering fear that prevents us from trusting others and ourselves. With no trust in one another – in our intentions or good will – we lose faith in our ability to solve our problems together and we get what we saw yesterday on Capitol Hill; a complete and utter failure of our leadership to deal with the crisis at hand, preferring to score cheap political points at the expense of the other rather than work together to avoid a probable calamity.

There was a point in the Cuban Missile Crisis (as dramatized in the movie Thirteen Days, based on Robert Kennedy’s book of the same name) where the Commander in Chief of the Strategic Air Command, General Curtis LeMay looks at President Kennedy and says, “You’re in a helluva fix, Mr. President.” Kennedy turned to the World War II hero and said, “In case you haven’t noticed, you’re in it with me.”

Each side is pointing at the other and, in effect, telling them they are in one helluva fix and then explaining why one side or the other is the real culprit at fault in this mess and it is up to them to deal with the crisis. Not enough Republicans supported the bailout or Pelosi was too partisan, or the Democrats wanted to embarrass McCain or the Republicans just don’t care and wish to see a catastrophe just as long as the free market triumphs.

None of it is true. The real issue is trust and the impossibility of achieving it because we have all lost faith in each other and ourselves. And the scary part is, no one in America knows how to fix what’s broken and bring us back to sanity.

‘Unleash’ Palin? Get Real

Note: Please excuse the slow loading website. My hosting company is working on it. 

I see where a few of my friends on the right are calling for the McCain campaign to “unleash” Palin and just let her be herself. This is delusional bordering on willful self deception. With Palin, what you see is what you get. There is no hidden genius. There is no glib, down to earth Will Rogers-like cornpone philosopher just waiting to be freed from the McCain campaign’s efforts to prep her for the media.

The Sarah Palin we have seen in interviews – minus the deliberate cutting and pasting done by the CBS partisans – is the Palin we got: Unsure of herself, light on facts, and clearly (at the present) over her head on the national political stage.

The good news is that all of this can be overcome with a little experience. It’s no accident that Presidential candidate Barack Obama held press “avails” on average once every 8 days during the first 9 months of his campaign. Even after that he made himself available to the press only twice a week. (Every other candidate had daily avails – sometimes twice a day). One might recall the famous Obama avail held in early March where, for the first time, Chicago reporters covering the Rezko mess got to ask the messiah some questions. His response? “C’mon guys. I’ve answered like 8 questions already.”

Never again were the Trib and Sun Times reporters covering the Obama scandals allowed to ask any questions off the cuff. Only Obama “beat” reporters from those publications who were following the campaign were granted access to the candidate. (Obama sat down with editorial staffs of both papers a few weeks later – after massive preparation, of course – and managed to evade the tough questions about Rezko and his real estate dealings with the convicted felon.)

The stumbling, bumbling manner in which Obama answered those questions at the March avail revealed a candidate not ready for high office – which is the obvious reason Obama was protected and hidden by his campaign from the press during those first months.

Palin did not have the luxury of being protected from the press for months as Obama clearly was. No doubt a year from now – if she is elected – her performance in these kinds of interviews as well as press conferences will be adequate if not spectacular. She is not stupid nor does she lack quick wits. Her problem is unfamiliarity and a lack of depth when it comes to knowledge – ignorance if you will – of national issues and her performance reveals that fact painfully.

Of course, the left has jumped all over her with their tried and true personal attack, calling Palin ignorant” and “stupid.” If I had a dollar every time a liberal called a Republican candidate “stupid” I would be wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice. Eisenhower (dumb, incoherent), Goldwater (crazy and stupid), Ford (dumb jock and a stumblebum), Reagan (dumb actor), Quayle (can’t spell potato), Jack Kemp (dumb jock), George Bush (dumb playboy). The harsh truth is, the personal attack works when you have the press and other media (think Saturday Night Live riffing off liberal talking points for Ford, Reagan, Quayle, Kemp, and Bush 43), buttressing and playing to that exact same argument. It is a potent combination and only the basic good sense of the American voter has saved the GOP from being shut out entirely over the last 50 years.

Lost in all of this (and the Obama campaign is breathing a sigh of relief for that) is the continuing adventures of the gaffe master himself Joe Biden. The large number of ignorant, incorrect, stupid, incredibly wrong statements by Biden over the last fortnight have been obscured by Palin’s problems. So expect the debate between the two – one ignorant of national issues the other unable to not say the first thing that comes into his head even if it is spectacularly wrong – to be a gaffe fest that will have both campaigns scrambling in the days following to correct the record or trying to undo the damage done by these two.

Biden’s gaffes reveal a shallow, unkempt mind – disorganized, arrogant, and stubbornly resistant to facts. If Palin is “stupid,” what does that make Biden? And, if liberals were honest with themselves (an admittedly forlorn hope), how much more “qualified” is Biden for the presidency than Palin given the extraordinary lack of depth of his character and intellect?

All this begs the question; is Palin qualified to be President if necessary? Right now, if she were forced to take over the top of the ticket I would have to say no. A year from now? I believe she will be as ready as anyone. A year at the center of power would give her all the experience and knowledge anyone would need to become president.

No one believes McCain chose her because she was qualified to become president “from day one.” Few are. She was a political choice as all Vice Presidential selections are. But this idea that there is a hidden Sarah Palin just waiting to be “unleashed” is kooky. She isn’t going to suddenly start speaking in complete sentences or stop repeating herself, or give anything save a thumbnail’s sketch of understanding when it comes to the issues. Perhaps she will be more relaxed during the debate and do a slightly better job of projecting herself. But that’s the best Palin supporters can hope for – for now.

Expectations for Palin are once again lower than dirt for the debate which means if she shows up, stays awake, gives us some charming one liners, and doesn’t make too many egregious mistakes, she wins hands down. I think Biden will not be able to help himself and will, when he is unaware the camera is on him, smile that condescending smile he is known for and set off the women of America on a tirade against him. He is far too arrogant and has too much belief in his own superiority not to treat Palin as he would some dumb hick from Wasilla. That’ll play great with most women in America, trust me Joe.

With Palin, it’s what you see is what you get. Imagining her as something she isn’t is only deluding yourself.

By: Rick Moran at 9:13 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (86)


On thing I really hate about politics is what it does to me sometimes. The bilious nature of the attacks by both candidates, the exaggeration and deliberate ginning up of outrage by partisans, and in this race, the relative weakness of both candidates in the midst of war and economic crisis turns me even more pessimistic than usual.

I fear for the United States not because either candidate would destroy it but because both candidates appear to me incapable of doing the things necessary to save it.

Save it from becoming a second rate power adrift in a world that has been salivating at the chance to take us down. And I’m not only talking of al-Qaeda here. Since the end of the cold war, it has become apparent that most of the big economies in the world have been working to create a counterweight to the United States or even surpass the US in economic influence. The European Union – socialist policies and all – has nevertheless been able to grow enough that it now rivals us in GDP.

In some respects, you have to see the situation from the European’s point of view. They are at the mercy of the US economy in many ways. Globalization has internationalized markets for everything from credit derivatives to tractors. And standing atop the heap has been the United States with the dollar generally recognized as the currency of choice while trading on Wall Street and the commodity markets sets the price for all kinds of financial instruments.

As big as the EU has become, the input they have into this system has not been commensurate with what they feel they are owed. Hence, while there probably isn’t much rejoicing going on about the crisis on Wall Street, I suspect there is a sense of satisfaction that we are getting our comeuppance and being brought down a little closer to their level.

This schadenfreude was also present in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. I have sought unsuccessfully to make a dent in the dominant narrative after 9/11 that the “world was with us” following those attacks. John Rosenthal writing in the Wall Street Journal on October 17, 2004 demolishes that myth by showing how the famous Le Monde editorial “We are All Americans,” written by the left wing publisher Jean-Marie Colombani of that newspaper was not a paean to solidarity but rather an anti-American screed that blamed US government policies for the attacks.

Mr. Rosenthal:

Since attention was first called to it in the Times, the title of Mr. Colombani’s post-9/11 editorial has been widely cited in the rest of the American media and on the Internet. Its content, however, has been largely ignored. (The only exceptions of which I am aware are an op-ed I published in Newsday on Sept. 27, 2002, and several articles published by Fouad Ajami the following year.) Thus are legends born. For the solidarity ostentatiously displayed in the title of Mr. Colombani’s editorial is in fact massively belied by the details of the text itself.

By the fifth paragraph, Mr. Colombani is offering his general reflections on the geo-political conditions he supposes provoked the attacks:

The reality is surely that of a world without a counterbalance, physically destabilized and thus dangerous in the absence of a multipolar equilibrium. And America, in the solitude of its power, of its hyperpower, . . . has ceased to draw the peoples of the globe to it; or, more exactly, in certain parts of the globe, it seems no longer to attract anything but hatred. . . . And perhaps even we ourselves in Europe, from the Gulf War to the use of F16s against Palestinians by the Israeli Army, have underestimated the hatred which, from the outskirts of Jakarta to those of Durban, by way of the rejoicing crowds of Nablus and of Cairo, is focused on the United States.

The last sentence is grammatically no more coherent in the French original than in English. But it amounted to the first, albeit awkward, suggestion in the French press that America had perhaps merely got what it had coming. In the following paragraph, Mr. Colombani went on to add that perhaps too “the reality” was that America had been “trapped by its own cynicism,” noting that Osama bin Laden himself had, after all, been “trained by the CIA”—a never substantiated charge that has, of course, in the meanwhile become chapter and verse for the blame-America-firsters. “Couldn’t it be, then,” Mr. Colombani concluded, “that America gave birth to this devil?”

Then there was the famous incident in Great Britain when the BBC show Question Time was aired in the days following 9/11 and the American Ambassador was brought to tears by an audience who booed him when he tried to defend the US against their attacks. There too, the Ward Churchill/Jeremiah Wright suggestions that our “chickens came home to roost” on 9/11 was the dominant feeling – and not just in the audience. William Shawcross found similar feelings among ordinary Brits wherever he went that week.

Obviously, Mr. Bush, taking office just 9 months earlier, had not been given a lot of time to become hated so something else must have been at work. Gee…do you think that maybe a very large segment of the world was not “with us” following 9/11 after all and, in fact, celebrated this hit against our pride and prestige?

Not if you listen to Democrats. The point being, that this financial crisis is one more indication that there are those who do not wish us well – even among our friends – and that there will now be a concerted efforts by our rivals to kick us while we’re down. In my opinion, neither John McCain or Barack Obama is capable of dealing with this situation. Obama could very well end up grovelling and apologizing to most of the planet while McCain ends up bombing the crap out of Iran and isolating us further.

On the domestic front, does anyone seriously believe either candidate can “reach across the aisle” and heal the gaping wounds that we inflict upon each other? The Democrats will be angry and frustrated if Obama loses to the point that they will be as obstructionist as the Republicans were during the Clinton years – perhaps even more so given their unhinged base that will demand everything from War Crimes Trials to a whole slew of investigations into Bush era crimes, real and imagined. A President McCain would have his hand cut off if he tried anything approaching bi-partisan consensus building.

And President Obama? What reason would he have to “reach across the aisle” when he would have such solid majorities in both houses of Congress? The man has never – repeat never – reached across the aisle for anything in his short, unproductive senate career. Why should he change when he will hold all the legislative cards?

Meanwhile, defense spending will almost certainly have to be cut by either man thanks to eye-popping budget deficits down the road that could approach half a trillion dollars a year. We will probably have to say goodbye to missile defense, the new generation fighter (or at least a dramatic slowdown in production), and say hello to a Rumsfeldian force reduction and the decommissioning of any number of carrier battle groups. In short, our ability to project our power will be diminished and our military will be generally weaker all around.

Put this all together and you have the US under siege abroad and disunited and weak at home. An economy in the toilet for the foreseeable future no matter who wins with tighter credit, less investment, and fewer jobs being created. And a continuation of partisan gridlock in government.

Can anyone honestly say either man is up to the job ahead? What I have just outlined is not just my native pessimism coming to the fore but rather some cold, hard, projections from leading economists. Can they be wrong? I suppose so. The future is never set in stone and I guess there’s a chance that increasing or lowering taxes, increasing or cutting spending, apologizing to the world for our “sins” and meekly accepting a lead role for the UN might avoid a downturn in our fortunes here and abroad.

But I’m doubting it. The forces of history that are driving the Chinese miracle, the Islamic fundamentalist revolution, the ascension of Europe to a position of near equality with us, the leftward lurch in Latin America and other massive changes in our world wait for no country. You either deal with the changing world or you watch as the panorama slides by, waking up a decade later wondering “What happened?” Right now, these forces of history are working against the United States. Can we adapt and make the right decisions that will keep us strong, safe, and pre-eminent in so many things?

If you are honest with yourself, you will agree that neither John McCain or Barack Obama have the ideas, the courage, or the foresight to bring us through to the other side of this epoch safely and still the dominant military and economic power on the planet.

By: Rick Moran at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (21)


Actually, the following are questions either I fantasize you asking – hence, giving me a chance to be snarky, silly, and humorous. Or they are questions you should be asking but you aren’t because you’re not as smart, incisive, wise, and experienced as I am.

1. Who won the debate last night?

A simple question so I will give a totally ridiculous, complex, opaque answer; yes, he won.

He said all the right things, didn’t make any mistakes, stayed away from the personal attacks, looked presidential, and never once stuttered or fell asleep.

2. Why didn’t McCain attack Obama and tie the financial crisis to the Dems like all the conservative bloggers are doing?

Never argue with the voter – even when they’re dead wrong. The narrative of this crisis has been “Bush and the GOP have been asleep for 8 years” since the beginning. Voters don’t want to hear the rest – the part about Democratic liberals enabling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make loans to people who even the Mafia might turn down. Or the 1970’s era good liberal government program, The Community Reinvestment Act, which guaranteed that any housing bubble would take those least able to meet their mortgages with it when it burst.

To say that the crisis came about only because of lax regulation and Bushie incompetence is one of the weirdest narratives ever pushed by Democrats. But, thanks to a lazy press that hates complex stories, this is the narrative which has taken hold and that voters believe. Hence, McCain wouldn’t be correcting Obama if he tried to make the case that Democrats were equally at fault. He would have been arguing with what the voters know.

This is an arguement the candidate loses 100% of the time.

3. Did McCain score any points at all?

Yes. By appearing onstage and alive, he quashed rumors that he was already dead and was actually a right wing neocon zombie. McCain also proved that his brain – contrary to what Democrats have been alleging – is not mush and that he has control of all his mental faculties.

I bet the audience was surprised that he didn’t fall asleep, didn’t drool, and could speak in complete sentences since this is the elevating meme being advanced by the left; that McCain is a senile, decriept, irrascible old codger who walks around with a nuke in one hand and a cross in the other.

A clear McCain triumph there.

4. Why didn’t McCain accuse Obama of being a Muslim? Or not an American citizen? Or a secret al-Qaeda “Manchurian Candidate?”

No time. I thought he could have slipped in the “Manchurian Candidate” charge – especially when Obama was so obviously lost in talking about Iran. But frankly, the moderator, Mr. Lehrer, was not very fair and failed to ask Obama if he had taken a loyalty oath to the United States or if he carried around an embossed, notarized, signed copy of his birth certificate.

Not that we’d believe him if he produced such a document. Face it – the guy just doesn’t look American what with those big ears, bushy eyebrows, and evil smile.

When is the press going to get curious about these things?

5. Did Obama make any big gaffes?

Some would say him being in the race at all is gaffe but let’s stick to the particulars of last night, shall we? Obama did not make any big gaffes. How do I know? The press sez so, that’s why. And when it comes to Obama, the press wouldn’t minimize his mistakes or promote the idea he won the debate, now would they?

6. Why didn’t the TV networks show the streaker who ran across the stage right in the middle of the debate?

Obviously, Nike requires streakers to wear their shoes if they wish to appear on TV. Since the streaker was wearing Puma’s, the networks were forbidden to show her or mention the fact that she had a “Palin in 2012” tattoo on the inside of her left thigh.

Come to think of it, judging by this revealing video of Palin in the swimsuit competition at the Miss Alaska pageant a few years ago, the streaker looked a little like Palin herself. But it couldn’t have been, could it? I mean, she’s not that good looking, is she?

Maybe we should ask the Pakistani President .

6. Who was right and who was wrong about Iraq?

Um…could you repeat the question?

7. Did Obama prove he can handle the presidency?

Of course not. I mean, if the president did nothing except try and get citizens angry at their government and organize to pressure lawmakers to do something for them, Obama would be the most prepared man in history to assume the office. Or if a president only had to mark himself “Present” every day. Or if a president only had to run for president, Obama might make the greatest president in history.

But everyone knows a president has to, above all, look good in a tux and folks, that skinny scarecrow of a candidate just won’t cut the proper figure as president when wearing evening attire.

That may be the biggest disqualification of all.

8. Can’t you be serious about the debate? This is the most monumental election in world history, the biggest contest since Samson faced off against the entire Philistine army with nothing but Harry Reid’s jawbone to fight them with. Can’t you for once see how important this election is?

Sorry, don’t buy the fact that if we elect McCain the US will fall into a fascist dictatorship or if we elect Obama, socialism will come to our shores.

Whoever wins, we will lurch a little to the left. And at the end of 4 years, the good ole US of A will still be here, still a free country.

So get used to it. One side or the other is going to lose this election. Trying to paint horns and a tail on your opponent will only reveal you to be a partisan hack.l

By: Rick Moran at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (15)

Maggie's Farm linked with Monday morning links...

Kathleen Parker writing in the National Review has taken a brave but stupid stand in favor of asking Sarah Palin to withdraw from the race.

Her reasoning:

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

I’m not exactly sure what Parker’s point is here. Is it that Palin doesn’t talk like a Washington policy wonk? Is it that her knowledge of the issues is deficient? What is it?

Forget that Palin is no more or less qualified for high office than Barack Obama (in some important ways, more qualified). Neither of them is inherently unqualified to serve. That’s because there are no qualifications except that the candidate be a native born American citizen and at least 35 years old. The Founders left the qualifications list extremely vague for a very good reason; they hoped and expected ordinary Americans to have a chance at the top job.

Granted we live in a complex world with huge problems. But presidents are not economic or foreign policy experts. Or military, trade, or education experts. At bottom, the greatest assets any president have are their innate common sense and their ability to communicate with the people. Beyond that, their judgement is informed by their life experience not what they read in some book somewhere. And anyone who has read presidential autobiographies knows how overwhelmed they all have felt when first taking over.

Yes, Virginia. There is always a learning curve for a new president and vice president. And while Palin may seem like a fish out of water at times, it may be because we are so used to seeing our politicians able to smoothly avoid all questions and give the answers to questions they prefer. It is the gift of Washington-speak that Palin hasn’t quite mastered yet and it shows. (Give her time and she’ll be as evasive as any politician in Washington.)

Besides this, if Palin were to withdraw, McCain may as well pack it in and go back to Arizona. No sense in staying in a race you are going to lose hugely.

So Parker’s suggestion is not only wrongheaded but ridiculously naive. It took some guts to give voice to those thoughts but frankly, she should have kept them to herself.

By: Rick Moran at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (55)

The Pink Flamingo linked with Katie Couric Edited Interview to Make Palin Look Bad... linked with Palin Couric Part II...

“May you be cursed to live in interesting times.”
(Not an old Chinese Proverb)

Negotiations to bail out Wall Street, dead beat homeowners, school loan scofflaws credit card scammers, ACORN, and others who have lined up outside the doors of Democratic lawmakers with their hands out wanting a piece of that $700 billion in free money appear to be stalled at the moment. Apparently, House Republicans are balking at the prospect of a large chunk of our free market economy being taken over by the government and are exploring alternatives.

If such action is necessary to keep us from sliding into a depression with a financial implosion this country may never fully recover from, then I am one of those conservatives who would reluctantly sign on to the Paulson plan – even with its goodies for left wing special interest groups and bailouts unrelated to the credit crunch on Wall Street.

But the more I read about this plan, the more I’m convinced that something akin to the 1982 tax cut bill is being acted out on Capitol Hill with everyone and their cockeyed uncle getting in line for a piece of the bailout pie. It is the time honored practice of log rolling – legislators loading up a bill with unnecessary and unrelated provisions supported by this powerful member or that one, done so that support for the overall measure can be gained. The smell of free money is loose in the land and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy.

Even with all of that, I’d be willing to embrace the bill – if there is no viable alternative. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be one. Holding up the bailout are conservative Republicans in the House who, even if they come up with something, will never get Pelosi and Reid to go along with it. In that sense, their efforts are a waste of time. The Bush Administration has caved on just about all of the Democrat’s demands to make this a “comprehensive” (read “Christmas Tree”) bailout bill. And the liberals are not about to give up the goodies they have fought for to help their various constituencies. Hence, the best the free market conservatives can hope for is to make a statement for the historical record that somebody stood up for liberty when the rest embraced dependency.

Overly dramatic? Not by much. No, we are not “nationalizing” Wall Street nor is America going to become a socialist country overnight. But to say nothing fundamental is going to change in America as a result of this massive intrusion by the federal government in the financial markets is equally wrong. We will come to rue this day, of this I am sure.

Here is a smattering of responses to three questions from “free market” economists that Reason’s blog Hit and Run asked: How bad is the current market situation?; how bad are the current proposed bailout plans?; and what’s the one thing we should be doing that we’re not?

How bad is the market? Bryan Caplan is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University:

To be honest, I’m not too sure. While we’re blaming banks and investors for their “herd behavior,” we should remember that politicians and the media often run with the herd, too. When the dust settles, I suspect we’ll realize that conditions weren’t as bad as people assumed—or at least they weren’t until we tried to fix them.

Same question to Robert E. Wright, clinical associate professor of economics at New York University:
The current situation is potentially dire. The comparison with 1932-33 is sobering: An unpopular Republican president is in office, the financial system is a mess, and an important election looms, yet many fear what the articulate Democratic candidate might do if elected. We won’t have to wait until March to find out this time around. But given how fast the world moves these days, late January will seem an eternity away. The payments system broke down last time (March 1933), necessitating a bank “holiday,” a moving speech (“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”), and creation of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Breakdown of the payments system today would stagger the economy

Next question. How bad are the current bailout plans? This from Jeffrey A. Miron, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard:
The bailout is a terrible idea. It transfers a huge amount of wealth to people who do not deserve it. It will generate enormous incentives for creative bookkeeping as the investment houses and banks try to rid themselves of any assets they do not want. The bailout fails to eliminate the crucial policies that contributed to and caused the current situation, such as the Community Reinvestment Act, the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and so on. Last but hardly least, the bailout sets a terrible precedent: If you take huge risks and become too big to fail, the government will bail you out.

Finally, what should we be doing? This from Fredric Sautet, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University:
Getting out of the mess is not going to be easy. Once the perverse incentives are in the system, it’s hard to go back. Bailing out is very bad and in the long run is worse than bankruptcy. It is not a coincidence that Paulson is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and is now bailing out his friends. The problem is that bankers should be punished for their careless, stupid investments (JP Morgan, for instance, has $8.1 trillion in credit derivatives on its books), but since it was largely driven by the government’s loose monetary policy and regulation, bankers are not the only ones responsible. Clearly letting the banks fail in the short run would have bad consequences for many households in the U.S. (and elsewhere). The problem is that the government does not have the incentives to intervene just for a short time. Once the banks are nationalized, it may take a while before the government leaves the place. Ultimately, this situation calls for radical policy solutions: The return to the gold standard and the abolition of central banks.

What is truly frightening to me is that no one really knows how bad things are now. Nor does anyone have a clue whether this bailout plan will work or make things worse. And to top it off, there is a growing belief among some economists that we are in a world of hurt and the probability of not a slowdown but an actual contraction of the economy looms large.

Yves Smith of the blog Naked Capitalism (writing in the same Reason Magazine article) points to a 2007 study done by Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff and the University of Maryland’s Carmen Reinhart who analyzed similar market conditions that led to contractions in other countries. This is long but worth reading in its entirety:

This credit crisis has already led to the biggest 12-month fall in household wealth in U.S. history, including during the Great Depression. It has not yet had a commensurate impact on economic growth because our foreign creditors provided what economist Brad Setser called “the quiet bailout,” lending to us to the tune of roughly $1,000 per man, woman, and child. But it would be a mistake to expect this largesse to continue, at least at such favorable interest rates.

As Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff and the University of Maryland’s Carmen Reinhart found in their analysis of financial crises, every country that experienced a housing/bank crisis of the magnitude of the one we are in has suffered a marked fall in GDP. As they noted in their paper “Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison”:

At this juncture, the book is still open on the how the current dislocations in the United States will play out. The precedent found in the aftermath of other episodes suggests that the strains can be quite severe, depending especially on the initial degree of trauma to the financial system (and to some extent, the policy response). The average drop in (real per capita) output growth is over 2 percent, and it typically takes two years to return to trend. For the five most catastrophic cases (which include episodes in Finland, Japan, Norway, Spain and Sweden), the drop in annual output growth from peak to trough is over 5 percent, and growth remained well below pre-crisis trend even after three years.

Note that their study shows the U.S. to be on a trajectory considerably worse than the average of the five worst cases, suggesting our fall in growth will be at least as severe. And no public official in the U.S. is willing to tell the public that no matter how this crisis plays out, we will suffer a fall in our standard of living.

Contraction, deflation, high unemployment, the disappearance of entire industries, a budgetary nightmare of unimaginable deficits in the out years that will top half a trillion dollars – this is what we have to look forward to even if this bailout plan goes forward – at least according to some economists.

Is this a glimpse of the future? Or just a worst case scenario? No one knows. And this is why the markets are so unsettled – panicky if you will. Uncertainty will eat away at our economy until not just Wall Street but Main Street as well feels the effects of the crisis.

Thankfully, we are not likely to have the bank failures, the soup lines, the massive dislocations that occurred during the Great Depression 80 years ago. FDIC and a social safety net along with (hopefully) no Dust Bowl will bring us to a hard, but manageable landing. But any recession (or contraction) will not be measured in months. It will be years before the toxicity of all this debt is wrung from the economy. It appears to me from reading what economists of all stripes are saying, that we are in for a period of slow or non-existent growth that could last 3 to 5 years (some say longer).

None of this refers to our current problem; the bailout and what to do about it. My desire – my longing – for alternatives to this plan will apparently not be realized. And while it is not a universal belief that catastrophe will occur if we do nothing, enough people who are a helluva lot smarter than me (and not all of them in government or supporting Bush) seem to think the chasm is open beneath our feet already and we are hanging on to the edge of a very steep cliff.

Incredibly, some Republicans are screaming for us to let go:

According to one GOP lawmaker, some House Republicans are saying privately that they’d rather “let the markets crash” than sign on to a massive bailout.

“For the sake of the altar of the free market system, do you accept a Great Depression?” the member asked.

If it were just some Wall Street fat cats who would lose their shirt, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over killing the bailout. But since there is no realistic chance for any other emergency measure to pass – not with Bush’s shameless caving in to the Democrats and the Senate Republicans meekly going along not to mention the Democrat’s desire to pander to their left wing interest groups like ACORN - I am forced to the conclusion that without this bailout, havoc would ensue and we might very well have a serious contraction of the economy with the result being the end of the US as a economic powerhouse for the foreseeable future.

The Germans already see it:

Germany blamed the United States on Thursday for spawning the global financial crisis with a blind drive for higher profits and said it must now accept more market regulation and a loss of its financial superpower status.

In some of the harshest criticism of the United States since the crisis threw Wall Street banks into financial disarray this month, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said the turmoil would leave “deep marks” on both sides of the Atlantic, but called it primarily an American problem.

“The world will never be as it was before the crisis,” Steinbrueck told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

“The United States will lose its superpower status in the world financial system. The world financial system will become more multi-polar,” he said.

Once again, I must confess ignorance as to whether Steinbrueck is blowing smoke out of his ass and engaging in a little wishful thinking or whether this is a consensus belief among other European powers. If the former, I hope he chokes on his sauerbraten. If the latter, we better get used to the idea that the kinds of huge capital infusions from overseas that have been one of the driving forces of American entrepreneurship may dry up and curtail business formation and expansion.

Whatever they are going to do, I hope they do it quickly. With Washington Mutual being seized by the government and many of its assets sold to J.P. Morgan while the credit crisis for ordinary folks hits home – the result of a wait and see attitude on the part of banks large and small on this bailout plan – you would hope that the powers that be on Capitol Hill might put aside the campaign for a moment to do something, you know, for the country.

But with John McCain’s political stunt apparently yielding zero results at the negotiating table while Democrats falsely accuse him of gumming up the works (after demanding he make his position on the bailout known), it doesn’t appear there are any grown ups in Washington who want to bite the bullet and do what is right for the country. There is suspicion that many of the liberal ornaments on this Christmas Tree were put in for the unexpressed purpose of presenting the Republican Congress with a plan they could not possibly support:

One of the sticking points, as Senator Lindsey Graham explained later, wasn’t a lack of begging but a poison pill that would push 20% of all profits from the bailout into the Housing Trust Fund — a boondoggle that Democrats in Congress has used to fund political-action groups like ACORN and the National Council of La Raza

So before we hear much about GOP obstructionists, perhaps we should look at the question of why Democrats would make that a deal breaker in their negotiations if not to play politics with the nation’s economic future?

Obama? MIA, of course. Not a peep from the messiah on the biggest issue to hit Capitol Hill in a generation. So much for leadership, eh?

If there is no plausible alternative, pass the damn Paulson plan and let’s hope for the best. That’s all we’ve got at the moment. Otherwise, the consequences of doing nothing may make us all wish we were somewhere else come Monday.

By: Rick Moran at 11:59 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (12) Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Congress is wary of the push to bail out Wall Street...

With the momentum of the campaign swinging decisively against him, John McCain has rolled the dice once again, hoping to alter the dynamics of a race where events over the last 10 days were playing directly into his opponent’s strengths while blunting his own post convention surge.

The suspension of his campaign is a gimmick, of course – a stylized Kabuki play where Obama was to meekly acquiesce, following the older man’s lead by going to Washington and help bring Congress together on a bailout package. But Obama didn’t want to come out and play. He is calling McCain’s bluff and will show up at the debate in Mississippi on Friday night even if McCain eschews participation. He also declined McCain’s gracious invitation to play second fiddle in Congressional negotiations on the package.

Is this smart? More than smart, it was necessary. McCain is the one gambling here, not Obama. There is very little risk for Obama continuing the campaign and going through with the debate. In fact, if McCain’s gambit is seen as playing politics with the crisis – a perception Obama surrogates are already trying to push – it may be very difficult for McCain to recover from that kind of damage before the election.

Nothing screams “President!” quite like “crisis leadership” and the McCain camp may have believed they had Obama trapped. If he had acceded to McCain’s wishes and gone back to Washington, the Republican would have had a triumph. I don’t think the McCain campaign ever saw that happening, though. More likely, they believed the contrast drawn between the two candidates – one selflessly suspending his campaign while the other cynically taking advantage of the crisis as well as his opponent’s “putting the country first” – would work in their favor.

In this, I believe they have miscalculated. This really is too gimmicky to work that well. McCain may not lose as much as he probably should (he may get some credit for the gambit) but all he has succeeded in doing is dominating one or two news cycles.

On the other hand, I don’t see this as a desperation move by McCain – a “hail Mary” as some commenters are dubbing it. It’s way too early for that kind of panic. And I also disagree that some of these polls that appeared yesterday had much to do at all with this move. They wouldn’t suspend their campaign based on the kind of polling done by WaPo or any other media outlet. They spend millions on their own polling thank you – polling that is much more accurate with regards to what people are feeling about the candidates and the race.

What they saw in their internal polling was no doubt some bad trends toward Obama. The Democrat is almost certainly not 9 points ahead nationally – not with both Gallup and Rasmussen showing it much closer. Nor do the state polls reflect that big of an Obama lead. My friend Rich Baehr at The American Thinker – a very savvy and incisive poll reader – gives Obama a 4 point lead based on his reading of the state polls with momentum clearly swinging his way the last 72 hours. This almost certainly reflects the voter’s skepticism that any bailout will be achieved hence McCain’s belief that he might tap into that worry by demonstrating crisis leadership and declaring his willingness to work toward a bi-partisan solution. The media isn’t buying it nor, if overnight flash polls can be believed, is the public.

So where does that leave McCain? I believe that the GOP will close ranks today and agree to join the Democrats in voting for the bailout package. McCain will suddenly discover the crisis is over and show up in Mississippi for the debate on Friday night. Yet to be seen is what effect, if any, the Gambit will have on people’s perceptions of the campaign and of McCain in particular. One flash poll taken minutes after McCain’s announcement is meaningless in this regard. It will take 48 hours or so for perceptions to harden as the news is filtered through the regular channels of cable news, the internet, and the MSM. I would expect that any polls taken just prior to the debate will reveal if McCain’s gamble had any effect on the race at all.

If it does nothing more than slow Obama’s momentum, it could be seen as a partial success. But frankly, I think both candidates are at the mercy of events with McCain at a decisive disadvantage. By 2-1 the public – rightly or wrongly – places the blame for the Wall Street meltdown on Republicans. And Obama is not going to let people forget that.

By: Rick Moran at 8:37 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (50)

Maggie's Farm linked with A few Thursday links...

I am afraid I’ve been derelict in my duties as Chief Bemused Chronicler of the Coming Catastrophe. I’ve got an excuse, though. My Give a Damn’s Busted.

Well, that’s only half right. Of course I care about the precipice we are currently teetering upon. Nevertheless, part of me wants to scream “Jump!” just because the idea of huge corporations with enormous political influence and the fabulously wealthy men who run them getting off the hook and not paying dearly for the cruddy decisions they made with their customer’s money sickens my soul.

In six months, even the ones who are fired will no doubt land on their feet running some other company or fund into the ground. They are losers. And the helluva it is, many of these fellows with their hands out, begging us to backstop their stupidity will not be fired, or disciplined, or even given a slap on the wrist. They may even receive kudos from shareholders and the “experts” for having the good sense to finagle cash from the government in exchange for paper that is worth less than a supermarket full of Charmin.

Yes, I know that eventually the Treasury Department will try and sell these securities. And no doubt, the American taxpayer will be told that it was a great deal because we bought in for a song and sold for a huge profit. In the meantime, these same guys will be planning their next get rich quick scheme, gambling that they won’t be one of the suckers holding the bag when the crap hits the fan next time.

As I understand it (and I use the word “understand” in the minimalist way as in “I “understand” quantum mechanics isn’t about repairing tiny cars) the whole point of these trillions of dollars in mortgage backed securities bought by banks and investment firms all over the world is that it “spread the risk” so that no one company would be too exposed.

Who came up with that idea? And why, after spreading the risk all over the world, does it come all the way back and slap the American taxpayer square in the face?

In the immortal words of C-3PO, “Don’t get technical with me.” We are used to government programs being designed to do one thing while ending up accomplishing exactly the opposite. But a financial instrument?

We are told there hasn’t been enough regulation. We are also told there’s been too much regulation. We’ve been told that capitalism is at fault. We’ve been told that it’s government’s fault. We’ve been told it’s a lack of oversight. We’ve been told that banks were forced to lend to deadbeats. We’ve been told it’s the fault of greedy businessmen. We’ve been told it’s no one’s fault, that everyone is to blame.

Now I am not that bright about this kind of thing but to my way of thinking, I’m not sure everything we’ve been told can all be right. And given the track record of the people making these grandiose claims of fault – right and left – it hardly engenders confidence that anyone, anywhere knows what the hell they are talking about.

We might as well face it. Even the financial gypsies at the Fed don’t know what they are doing in this situation. They are in full reactive mode and their crystal balls have gone dark. And if the Fed is in the dark, the hacks at the Treasury Department are only guessing too.

Now I may not understand what’s going on too well but common sense would tell the average Joe that before we go off half cocked and start handing out taxpayer money that maybe, perhaps, we should have the slightest idea if this is going to work.

Just sayin’, that’s all.

Do we have a fallback plan in case this doesn’t do the trick? Or are we just going to throw more money at these Wall Street geniuses and hope for the best?

One thing about this crisis that is truly entertaining is reading bloggers trying to outdo one another in the level of hysteria that their posts reach. It is truly amazing. I’ll bet some of those online thesauruses are getting massive traffic as bloggers search for new adjectives to describe how dire is the situation we find ourselves.

One would think such hyperbole would be the exclusive province of the left. But we righties are making a brave stab at matching them – not in describing the financial crisis but in warning of the catastrophic consequences of the bailout plan. Now, one can oppose the Treasury plan without going off half cocked about “nationalizing Wall Street” or “socializing” the financial system in America. Similarly, one can write of the gravity of the situation without resorting to florid language about selling apples on street corners and half of America standing in soup lines.

But then, what fun is being calm and reasonable? After all, this is an election season and the more out of control and idiotic the rhetoric, the more some people will take you seriously. Besides, predicting the end of the world makes you sound smart to some. It speaks to one of humanity’s most fundamental impulses; the need for drama in our dull and dreary existence. We see this with global warming advocates whose calamitous warnings actually make them feel good inside. There is something almost sexually arousing about imagining the end of the world.

And some bloggers appear to really have a hard on for this disaster.

By: Rick Moran at 8:37 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (22)


It is painfully obvious listening to the interview that John McCain had with a reporter from Radio Caracol Miami that the candidate had a very hard time understanding the interviewer’s words because of her very thick accent – coupled with the facts that she had a nasty habit of swallowing words at the end of her sentences and spoke very rapidly to boot.

It is not—repeat not, my lefty friends—because McCain doesn’t know where Spain is or who Zapatero is, or any other idiotic spin you want to put on it. That is so far beneath all of you (except Josh Marshall whose silliness is so out of control he should dress himself and his website up in a clown outfit) that it makes a mockery of any other critique you wish to make of McCain’s attacks on Obama.

There was a point when the interviewer realized McCain didn’t understand she was talking about Spain:

After an extended interview dealing with countries to our south, McCain used the question about Spain to allude back to Mexico, note his work “with leaders in the hemisphere,” and our relationship with “Latin America and the entire region.”

McCain also never makes any mention of Spain or Zapatero.

Further, the individual conducting the interview has a thick accent and McCain appears not to understand her at times.

“Ok, what about Europe, I’m talking about the President of Spain?” she asks.

“What about me, what?” McCain responds, believing she said “you” instead of “Europe.”

Listening to the exchange (it come about 3 minutes into the interview), it is understandable why McCain was having so much trouble. What is totally ridiculous is that McCain didn’t either 1) ask for clarification from the interviewer immediately; or 2) tell the truth after the interview rather than pretending he understood perfectly.
Despite all this, McCain’s campaign insists he was aware it was Spain that was being discussed.

“No, the questioner asked several times about Senator McCain’s willingness to meet Zapatero, and ID’d him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred,” said McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Schuenemann in an email. “Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview.:

McCain’s campaign also noted that since Zapatero pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq, he has still sought a coveted White House meeting. Representatives of his government have met with the campaigns to discuss the issue.

It seems quite possible in all this that McCain had stopped paying attention to the interview, but still got the policy line right on Spain by sticking to platitudes.

But it’s hard to imagine McCain saying this of a NATO member and European democracy, even one whose government is currently not seen as friendly: “I am willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom and I will stand up to those who are not.”

I was having a hard time myself trying to understand her. And I was listening to the clear end of the transmission as McCain was being interviewed by phone. I know exactly why McCain didn’t keep saying “What? Would you please repeat that?” He would have had to do it for almost every question given how the woman would trail off into incomprehensible gibberish at the end of her questions while speaking very rapidly with an accent that was very difficult to understand.

I had the exact same difficulty the other day talking to a very nice Hispanic woman in the Verizon customer service department. Now my hearing is going bad anyway but it is likely that most people would have had a problem comprehending what she was saying. She spoke so rapidly and her accent emphasized different syllables in some words so that the overall effect was that I was able to grasp about every third word.

Finally, I apologized profusely, saying I didn’t want to offend her, but her accent was causing me an enormous amount of trouble. She was very sweet and slowed down considerably. After that, I still had some problems but it was much better.

Now I am not running for president but why couldn’t McCain do the same thing? He is a proud man and because he is running for president, he didn’t want to show any potential weakness. It’s not surprising. The very same lefties making out as if he doesn’t know where Spain is or who President Zapetero is would spread the idiocy that he was hard of hearing. As it is, they are virtually accusing him of suffering from dementia.

Any fair minded person listening to that broadcast would agree with me. John McCain couldn’t understand the interviewer. But it was stupid of him to have his campaign go out and pretend that he understood perfectly. No one believes him and it only makes it appear that he did suffer some kind of brain cramp.

By: Rick Moran at 1:24 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (24)