A Mormon take on the Sarah Palin phenomenon

The minute John McCain announced Sarah Palin my take on this presidential campaign completely changed.  And after Palin’s speech Wednesday night, I’m even more excited.

If you want to know why, read this article.

The first point is that most evangelicals and Mormons think somewhat differently. While the attached article profiles a pretty typical evangelical familiy, I agree there are many differences with your typical Mormon family.

So I am not claiming that Sarah Palin somehow resonates specifically with Mormons.

But I do think she resonates very well with Western, outdoors-oriented family people. And as most readers here know, there are a huge amount of American Mormons who fit that category.

Sarah Palin went to college in Idaho. Check. She married relatively young. Check. She feels comfortable in the outdoors. Check. She has five children. Check. She is an “I can do it all” type of woman who is constantly busy. Check. She has a tough side as well as an obviously feminine side. Check. She is a good public speaker. Check.

To sum up: is there any doubt that if she were traveling across the plains with her family, she would get out and help push the cart? (Believe me, I have gone out with plenty of women who would NOT get out and help push the cart no matter what).

So, Sarah Palin fits in (in a general sense) with a vision of the typical Mormon woman and seems to have some of the Mormon pioneer ethos that we as a culture consider important and heroic.

So, my prediction is that Sarah will be enormously popular with Western Mormon woman (and indeed with middle American women generally) and much less so with your typical New York feminist liberal who is really worried about protecting abortion rights. McCain must have known that when he picked Sarah that he would never win the New York feminist demographic anyway.

But has McCain picked up any additional votes from picking Sarah Palin? Well, this Rasmussen poll may help us find out. She is apparently more popular than either McCain or Obama. Several polls taken Thursday show that Palin has helped McCain overcome the boost Obama got post-convention. So the race is all tied up again.

I am the first to admit that Palin could say something really stupid and become the target of endless Saturday Night Live jokes. The media will be uncovering ever rock in Alaska looking for dirt on her, and they may find something damaging. Things could change.

But Palin really does improve things for McCain and there really are two reasons.

1)The conservative base was extremely depressed about a McCain presidency. The “hold your nose and vote for McCain” phenomenon was real. If McCain had chosen Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge, he would have lost votes among conservatives. They would not have gone out to volunteer for him and many of them would have stayed home on election day. That has all changed. Enthusiasm among conservatives is the highest I have seen it since 1984 when Reagan was going for his second term.

Why? Because conservatives felt in their hearts that McCain hated them and would have run a quasi-Democrat administration in which conservatives were shunned. Palin, a true conservative, proves that conservatives will have a voice in a McCain administration, and that’s huge.

2)Independents and undecideds. This is the big unknown in this campaign. Let me give you one example. I have a business associate who is your typical undecided independent who leans Democrat. She is very concerned about Obama’s lack of experience, but she hates President Bush and was going to vote for Obama. I urged her to watch Palin’s speech, which she did. Afterwards, she was extremely impressed with Palin and even had a higher opinion of McCain. Now she is leaning toward voting for McCain.

How many voters are there who fit that profile? I don’t think we know, but Palin will probably win more votes among them than lose.

OK, back to Palin and Mormons. What difference does that make? Well, the Mormon populations of two swing states — Nevada and Colorado — are significant. If she can influence 50,000 votes in those states, it will be enough for them to go McCain’s way. And given that she has a lot in common with the typical middle American and Western woman, I think it helps more than it hurts.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

108 thoughts on “A Mormon take on the Sarah Palin phenomenon

  1. The Republicans certainly need her to offset McCain’s wife.
    I’m not a fan of country women or barbies, but McCain’s choice certainly makes this campaign more interesting.

  2. I’m really surprised that you would “check” all the ways that Palin is similar to (stereotypical) Mormon women without addressing the issue that she’s a working woman with a more-than-full-time job.

  3. Geoff, while I agree with you on Palin’s pluses in the West, I wonder what do you think are her minuses? Also, do you think her western charm will help her east of the Mississippi?

  4. By the way, my wife watched Palin’s speech and had a very different take than I did. I found it very energizing, a truly excellent speech to excite the base and even win some undecideds (and remember: I’m an Obama supporter). My wife, on the other hand, was completely turned off by Palin as “cynical, snotty, rude, and arrogant.”

  5. I love how the GOP Party Faithful are falling all over themselves to praise Sarah Palin, when they would be crucifying her if she were the Democratic VP nod — the inexperience, the nutty personal beliefs, the pregnant daughter, the faux “reformer” image.

    Here’s a perfect example of the Republican double-standard, assembled by The Daily Show:

    http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184086

    John McCain is 72, and he’s taken an inexperienced, unknown governor of a tiny state (in both population and significance) and put her one heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world. And why? Because she’s a woman.

    Palin is the most cynical choice McCain could have made.

  6. I think Palin’s family situation is great. I’m serious, too. I have admiration for them. In some ways non traditional, but I actually think it’s kind of cool to have Dad as the primary caregiver. And I think it’s totally out of line to cast judgments on the family or the parenting here because of Bristol’s pregnancy.

    My problem is that I think her “feisty” side, this whole spitfire thing, would be interpreted as arrogant and mean-spirited if she looked like, say, Janet Reno. Mocking Obama’s experience as a community organizer was despicable. The guy put off Harvard Law School to go and work for Catholic Social Services — the equivalent of serving a full-time, inner-city service mission in devastated neighborhoods for three years for minuscule pay. If Romney were the nominee and Biden described his mission as “hocking Jesus door to door like an Amway salesman”, that would be the rough equivalent. That she can stand in front of a congregation and talk about oil pipelines manifesting God’s will while and then ridicule someone else for putting off a successful career in law and politics to do real, gritty, least-of-these-my-brethren kind of service — all in order to score political points for he party — speaks volumes to the kind of Christian she is. There are plenty of things for which she could have criticized Obama, things that, from a conservative perspective, are susceptible to criticism and would have resonated with her audience. Why attack that? Bad, bad, bad form.

  7. It looks like her husband isn’t the caregiver, though…apparently he was for a while, but he returned to work because her salary as a governor just wasn’t cutting it.
    The “eight months” thing seems to be true, but it doesn’t necessarily mean she was pregnant when they got married, and even if she was I’m not sure it’s really that significant. McCain’s affair with Cindy while still married to his first wife is a much bigger issue.

  8. All those who claim Palin’s talk was too negative need to take another look at Obama’s speech:

    http://volokh.com/posts/1220590175.shtml

    “Obama’s speech includes more negative attacks than Palin’s . . . If one compares Palin’s speech to Obama’s, it appears to me that they used similar amounts of sarcasm (not much), but Obama made considerably more extensive negative comments about McCain and Republican administrations than Palin did about Obama and Democrats. Palin’s negative comments, however, were on balance funnier, better written, and more pointed than Obama’s. Neither candidate’s comments were entirely fair in every characterization of their opponents’ positions.”

    As for Mike Parker: You know nothing about Alaska. To call it tiny is just plain ignorant. Maybe on population (but we are not the least populous state) – but to say it’s insignificant shows you are rather ignorant about what actually goes on there.

  9. Ivan,

    Alaska is significant resource-wise, but insignificant in political importance and experience. It’s not a swing state, nor a state with electoral votes that will help McCain. It’s not a state where the governor does much of anything. Think North Dakota, only bigger and colder.

    Karl Rove hailed Palin as the “mayor of the second-largest city in Alaska” in the video I linked previously — but the second-largest city has a population of 9,000 people. I live in a small, rural Utah town of 20,000 people — twice Wasilla’s size — and I can’t imagine our city mayor being selected as a Vice Presidential candidate in 2012.

  10. Brad -

    To pick a couple of nits, if you read Obama’s first book you’ll learn he didn’t decide to apply to law school until after he’d worked in Chicago for a couple of years. He didn’t “put off Harvard Law”, and he didn’t work for Catholic Social Services. However, your basic point is valid, that attacking his service as a community organizer was petty.

  11. Think North Dakota, only bigger and colder.

    Since I’m actually from Alaska, I’ll just say: nope.

    I will accept “politically insignificant” as a fair (if hostile) description, but that’s not what you said initially. You said it was “tiny” as relates to “significance” – your newest explanation may make your case better, but it also makes your first statement totally wrong.

  12. Also:
    I live in a small, rural Utah town of 20,000 people — twice Wasilla’s size — and I can’t imagine our city mayor being selected as a Vice Presidential candidate in 2012.

    That’s just a lack of imagination on your part, as well as ignorance about how politics works in a frontier state.

    But – I told myself two years ago I was going to stay away from political posts, so I’m going to stay away from this one. I can’t stand the double standards, willful ignorance, and unthinking partisanship (from both sides and pointing at no specific commentators) they tend to attract.

    However, being a proud Alaskan, I had to respond to the ignorance presented. But there’s nothing more I can say without writing a book (or very long essay) on the topic, and I really should work on my dissertation instead.

  13. Obviously Karl Rove doesn’t know Alaska either. Fairbanks is the second largest city. I remember when I lived in Alaska, Wasilla had a great cross-country runner who won all the meets. We ran there a few times as well as at the famous Palmer relays, at the other important Mat-Su valley town.

    For those who are interested in the relative importance of the town of Wasilla, it bears about the same relationship to Anchorage as Heber City does to Salt Lake City.

  14. Mike, I’ve gotta say, I continue to be stunned at your amazing ability to find negativity in everything. You must get a lot of joy out of being a contrarian, something which frankly I find very foreign.

    A very large number of libertarians are very complimentary of Sarah Palin as one of the best libertarian choices on a major party ticket in a long time. See here:

    http://volokh.com/posts/1220576263.shtml

    and here:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/the_libertarian_case_for_palin.html

    Libertarians come in all stripes, sizes and shapes, so just because some libertarians like her does not mean you have to. But the unrelenting negativity of your comments is so shocking and over the top that I really do think it is difficult to take you seriously. Maybe it comes from living in a very Republican area of Utah, but you come across as one of those old grouches with piles sitting on a porch complaining about everything under the sun.

  15. Hilarious post. I’d love to see this same post in an alternate universe where Palin is the Democratic nominee. I’m certain it would have gone another direction.

  16. John Willis and Tim,

    I’m not sure how you can confess belief in repentance if you continue to bash people for 20 year old mistakes when their current actions and statements show that they have changed.

    Mike Parker,

    Governor Palin is the Governor of Alaska, not just the former mayor of a small town. Once you’ve internalized that go ahead and pass the message along to Senator Obama since he seems more interested in running against her as a Mayor than as a Governor.

    And this of course is the whole point behind the “Community Organizer” slam. Obama has belittled small towns, has belittled small town mayors, and continues to try to diminish Palin’s executive experience by referring to her mayoral experience instead of her experience as a Governor. The dig at “Community Organizer”‘s was a shot back in his direction. “You mock my experience? Well I’m going to mock yours.” The problem for Obama is that Palin is right, being a Mayor and being a “Community Organizer” are not comparable. The public is now evenly split on whether Obama or Palin has better experience to be President. But Palin is running for Vice-President…

    JJohnson,

    What I find most humorous about this whole situation is that Democrats, and the media, are finding themselves shocked and appalled that Republicans aren’t the unforgiving, uncharitable, sexists that the Democrats paint them as. If Governor Palin keeps her momentum and doesn’t get bogged down in some scandal then she could be on the path to leading the Republican party whether Senator McCain wins or not. We like her, we like what she stands for, and having her as our spokesman scares Democrats to death.

  17. Geoff,

    Outside of Ron Paul, I doubt there is a VP McCain could have picked that would have made me happy. If he had picked Romney, I wouldn’t have liked it, but at least I would have respected his decision. I can’t even respect the Palin choice.

    Her libertarian credentials are greatly exaggerated. She and her apologists have tried to pass her off as a small government reformer, but the truth is that she was as big a lover of pork as any small-town mayor. Ironically, John McCain himself was critical of earmarks for Wasilla back in 2001 and 2002, when Palin was mayor:

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/09/mccain_criticized_palin_for_ea.php

    As for her stands in other areas — social policy and foreign policy — she’s your typical neoconservative evangelical Christian, and not even remotely libertarian.

    I wish I wasn’t so often the contrarian here, Geoff; I really do. I’m generally happy in my private life, among my family, friends, and coworkers. But I am horrified and saddened by the GOP’s support of McCain and enthusiasm for Palin. In almost all respects they are exactly the opposite of what America needs in this time of crisis.

  18. Obama’s community organizing was with a group called ACORN.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/06/25/the-acorn-obama-knows/

    ACORN has been implicated for voter fraud on numerous occasions:

    “In Ohio in 2004, a worker for one affiliate was given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. During a congressional hearing in Ohio in the aftermath of the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state explained ACORN’s practice of dumping thousands of registration forms in their lap on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been collected months earlier.”

  19. Aluwid,

    The GOP was the first to go after Obama’s lack of experience. That’s why it’s ironic that McCain would pick someone like Palin (a first-term governor with less than two years under her belt). They opened themselves up for the attacks; it’s low-hanging fruit.

  20. And Geoff, is right. Obama opened himself up to the “community organizer” attack by referring to Palin repeatedly as only a former small-town mayor.

  21. Mike,

    Obama is running for President, Palin is running for Vice-President. By all means continue comparing their two resumes, it does nothing but diminish Obama in comparison to McCain.

    McCain’s chose of Palin was politically brilliant as most attacks on her bounce right back at Obama:

    Lack of Experience – Obama isn’t even through his first term as a senator. He has no executive experience.

    “Token Female” – Why is Obama a historical candidate again?

    She is a religious extremist! – While we’re on that subject, how about a nice chat about Reverend Wright?

    She is a pro-life zealot! – Speaking of abortion, did you know that Senator Obama cares more about abortion rights then he does about preventing infanticide?

  22. And Mike, Obama’s campaign has preached “change” and him choosing the fifth longest tenured Senator in Washington sort of damned that cause, no?

    And criticizing the lack of experience of the VP candidate is incredibly hypocritical when she basically has the same experience as the Dems Presidiential nom. The more Obama compares himself to Palin, the more likely he is to lose.

  23. Tim J,

    You know, it’s classic Michelle Malkin to use guilt by association to slander someone for the actions of people he’s never known and would almost certainly criticize himself.

    I’m not an Obama supporter, and I won’t vote for him. But the Republican/FOX News/talk radio attacks on him are desperate, unfair, and wrong. Our scriptures tell us “honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.” I’m surprised to see a Latter-day Saint repeat such evilspeaking.

  24. Having a president with minimal qualifications is one thing. But if president has died or become incapacitated, the nation is in crisis, and we need a strong VP who can step up to the plate immediately. It pains me to see the Democrats get the sequencing right, and the GOP bungle it so badly.

  25. “I’m not an Obama supporter, and I won’t vote for him. But the Republican/FOX News/talk radio attacks on him are desperate, unfair, and wrong.”

    I agree, but the attacks on Palin are awful as well. I’m not exactly a Malkin fan, but this points out what Obama was doing as a community organizer. He wasn’t clothing the naked, feeding the poor, and healing the sick. He was registering people to vote.

    Here’s another article:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDZiMjkwMDczZWI5ODdjOWYxZTIzZGIyNzEyMjE0ODI=

    Go ahead and Google Obama Acorn to see what else comes up.

    Again, we can dive into Palin’s background all we want. The only time Obama’s past has come into question was when Clinton brought it up. I had never heard of Rezko until Obama’s debate with Clinton.

    There is a HUGE double standard here. And even when Palin brought up the community organizing, the press simply mocked her for doing so instead of investigating what it was Obama was actually doing those years.

  26. “It pains me to see the Democrats get the sequencing right”

    What?!?! It’s better to have the more experienced guy be underneath? Last time that happened was…oh yeah, Bush-Cheney. THat didn’t work so well.

    And you forgot to say “god forbid” when you alluded to McCain’s death. You haven’t been listening to the media. When you bring up McCain’s death, you have to say “god forbid” so as not to look callous and distasteful.

  27. Mike,

    That makes no sense. Senator Obama and Governor Palin have equivalent experience. Both of them as President would be expected to utilize a strong Vice President who could shore-up their weak points. In the event that President McCain were to die in office, leaving Governor Palin as the next President, I would fully expect her to pick someone in the mold of Senator Biden to be the next Vice President leaving her on even footing with Senator Obama.

    So in the best case (McCain lives out his term in office) the Republican ticket is better than the Democratic ticket on experience. And in the worst case (McCain dies and Governor Palin picks an experienced Vice President) they are equal with the Democrats.

    Republicans have the upper hand in this scenario.

  28. Geoff,

    I agree with you that the selection of Governor Palin has really energized the LDS vote along with the conservative evangelical vote. (I do not refer to the “conservative LDS” vote, or the “GOP LDS” vote, to avoid being redundant :) ) In that respect, the selection was a brilliant move.

    I also agree that a risk to the GOP is putting off moderate voters.

  29. “I’m not sure how you can confess belief in repentance if you continue to bash people for 20 year old mistakes when their current actions and statements show that they have changed.”
    It’s just the irony here…Obama gets blamed for associations and non-associations (see above posts), many in the distant past…
    And Republicans conveniently ignore a very significant part of McCain’s private life.
    I’d wager that most Republicans don’t even know the basic details of his past…and you can be 100% sure, if he were a democrat, everyone would know.

  30. “It’s just the irony here…Obama gets blamed for associations and non-associations (see above posts), many in the distant past…”

    Though I think they are for the most part irrelevant, his association with an anti-american pastor, an anti-american terrorist, and a corrupt business man are only months old, not very distant. The only distant association is the ACORN one. But the pattern is startling.

    And again, the MSM hasn’t reported on ANY of these. Rezko was only brought up by Clinton and only THEN was it reported, and has never been touched on since.

    “I’d love to see this same post in an alternate universe where Palin is the Democratic nominee. I’m certain it would have gone another direction.”

    Dems would use Palin as an example of modern America where a woman could balance family and job. But of course, femists would reject her due to wanting the standard bearer, Clinton to represent them.

    I don’t really think Dems understand the Palin appeal to COnservatives. It’s not really who she is but what she represents. Biden complained that the middle class was never mentioned in her speech. He doesn’t get it. She IS the middle class.

    Conservatives would be similarly excited if this were a younger man with five kids and the family situation being equal. Palin being a woman is only a bonus. Had Fiorina or Whitman been nominated it wouldn’t have received near this reaction.

  31. MSM has reported plenty on Obama’s old pastor. It’s old news right now, but a couple of months ago that was all they talked about.

  32. Ivan, my wife found very little “funny” in Palin’s speech but did find a whole lot of snide (with an extra helping of mocking). She did not feel the same about Obama’s, whose negative attacks she mostly took as pointed criticism of Bush, et al. You can do or cite whatever analysis you want, but the point is how the electorate takes it.

  33. Obama’s “community organizer” experience is fair game.

    Many folks in similar situations have done great things. But, here are the two accomplishments claimed by the Obama campaign:

    * Ran a program to pickup broken glass in playgrounds.

    * Stormed into a Cook County council meeting with a group of protestors.

    Very impressive.

    The key point is that this position — like everything else Mr. Obama has done — lacks any real achievements.

    He served in the Illinois State Senate and left virtually no fingerprints. Avoided taking a position on 130 votes by voting “present”. Most of his cited legislative achievements are cosponsorships of other senators bills.

    He followed the same pattern in the U.S. Senate. Obama has spent most of his time running for President and little time voting or pushing legislation. His big achievements are, again, other people’s bills which he cosponsored. One of the most damning points is that he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations European Affairs Subcommittee. Do you know how many times he actually called the subcommittee into session? Not once. His only significant accomplishment is to be deemed the #1 most liberal senator by non-partisan National Journal.

    Obama’s argument is that he will change Washington. Yet, his entire history is of not doing anything substantive. It is an amazingly consistent pattern.

  34. You know I agree with DKL that Palin was a brilliant choice. I mean name one other person who could have unified and energized the party like she has. You can’t. And Mike, it’s hardly a cynical choice. Far from it. It sadly is one of those (many) gut choices McCain likes. And that is what makes me the most fearful of McCain. Just as I think it was Bush’s greatest liability. (Even more than his near irrational level of loyalty) If I don’t vote for McCain that’ll be why.

    However it was daring precisely because she was an unknown. He also put the shock and awe above vetting her. (I still can’t decide if it was worth it)

    Reaction from most Democrats was pretty overwhelming. It infuriated them. Then the inevitable charges of hypocrisy while being hypocrital raged. (Come on – can we agree that zealots for both sides are amazingly hypocritical sophists and then move on?)

    As I’ve thought about the choice I’ve liked her less and less though. I was definitely initially excited (and all the Democrat zealot’s fuming just makes Republicans excited thinking they are doing something right). But here are my major problems.

    1. The unmarried daughter. Yes Palin is probably not responsible. But here’s the deal. She’s a role model. Now this role model has this pregnant teenage daughter who is keeping the baby and getting married at 17 to an other extremely young kid. What message is this sending? What is it normalizing?

    2. Related to (1) but doesn’t accepting this situation mean that Republicans have lost the moral high ground to criticize role models who provide bad role models? Yes Democrats just saw it as arrogant moralizing. But there was something to it. A truth about our culture. Republicans have abrogated the high ground and I sincerely worry how this will develop culturally.

    3. McCain went with the “if you can’t beat them join them mindset.” Clinton couldn’t succeed with noting Obama’s significant inexperience. (And Obama supporters only seem to care when it is Palin) But guess what. Clinton and McCain were right. Experience matters. And Palin has little to nothing on the very thing that a President shapes most: foreign policy. Yes we can say Obama’s worse since he’s actually running for President and not VP. But come on. Does that really deal with the central problem?

    4. Science. McCain was a joy because he was pro-science in a day and time when many Republicans have an irrational skepticism of science and the scientific method. Palin is a throwback even being willing to teach Creationism in school alongside Evolution. That, along with her views on warming alongside the extremely troubling issue with the library really makes me worry. Will we have a repeat of Bush here? (And yes, I recognize that the media and especially Obama supporters are exaggerating the facts here significantly – but there is a core of truth to the issue)

    The rest doesn’t bother me as much. I think it silly to judge someone in their 40′s for what they did as a teenager or in their early 20′s. So I don’t care that Palin, Obama, and Bush all did drugs in their youth and all had pre-marital sex. Sorry, but I just don’t care.

    Regarding community service, the Obama supporters are really trying to distort this one. Come on – it was Obama’s use of it as somehow implying relevant experience that was ridiculous.

  35. Steve, well said. Criticize Palin all you want but at least you can point to things she did for good or ill. With Obama we have nice discourses and policy statements but nothing to really tell how he will act as President. Palin is, in that sense, more of a known commodity. (I don’t think known enough – which is why I’m so depressed about this election. Both sides suck)

  36. Ivan, my wife found very little “funny” in Palin’s speech but did find a whole lot of snide (with an extra helping of mocking). She did not feel the same about Obama’s, whose negative attacks she mostly took as pointed criticism of Bush, et al. You can do or cite whatever analysis you want, but the point is how the electorate takes it.

    Sadly this is the status quo. It’s acceptable to say Republicans are sarcastic and mean but when Democrats do the same thing it’s pointed criticism. That’s not a criticism of your wife mind you. Just a reality that Republicans have to face.

    Reagan’s genius was the ability to get past that and be optimistic and cheerful while lambasting Democrats. I don’t think anyone else has been able to do that. Indeed given the uphill fight any Republican faces in competing against Democrats it’s primarily Democratic incompetence that keeps them from maintaining leadership. (Come on, nominating Kerry? ’04 should have been an easy win for Democrats)

    Unfortunately (and I mean that sincerely) what Republicans have turned to is the “guilt by association” trick. Sometimes there’s something to it. (For instance starting your State Senate campaign in the home of an unrepentant terrorist seems like at a minimum bad judgment) Othertimes there’s less to it and it’s simply dirty smears.

    Of course Democrats are doing it too starting with their most prominent argument. Bush was a Republican and McCain is a Republican therefore McCain is like Bush…

  37. Clark, I think your 1) argument is extremely weak. Palin is somehow a bad role model because her daughter is having a baby at 17? Have you ever seen a teenager? If you have, perhaps you have gathered that they can’t exactly be controlled, not by their parents, teachers, Sunday School teachers, etc. I really hope you don’t have to deal with that personally, but when your kids get to be teenagers (I’m pretty sure they are younger) perhaps you will reassess that argument. Do you think Adam, who helped create the world, is a bad role model because he couldn’t control Cain?

    I am not saying you are the only one using this argument, but the people who are using it haven’t really thought it through very carefully.

  38. “That makes no sense. Senator Obama and Governor Palin have equivalent experience.”

    This is a hilarious joke. Palin had been governor for about two months when Obama began his presidential campaign. Already at that time enough people believed he had the proper qualifications that he was able to raise plenty of money, and beat one of the most formidable political machines.

    Of course, all along the way, there were those who preferred to distort his record and his policy prescriptions, even though those are available for all but the lazy and the dishonest to plainly see.

    One of the most brazen liars, Palin herself, came late to the party, saying that Obama had never authored a single law or reform, even in the state senate. In fact, Obama sponsored 820 laws in the state senate, and has co-sponsored 427 so far in the US senate. He has “authored” 152. Of course, Palin was just reading what was put in front of her, but obviously neither she nor her speechwriter had done their homework.

    For four years I’ve been watching Obama’s wise and judicious questions to our military leaders and cabinet members in Foreign relations committee hearings. All I’ve seen from Palin is two speeches, neither of which provided evidence that she has ever thought very much about foreign policy. Maybe she has. But she hasn’t even deigned to answer any questions so far.

  39. Mike could you clarify what you find problematic in that passage quoted by Sullivan? I confess I think it a good thing to seek to find the will of God in everything we do. The fact that Palin is a fundamentalist Christian is somewhat troubling to me, but not for those reasons.

    Geoff, the issue isn’t Palin’s culpability in her daughter’s pregnancy. Rather it is the fact that now she is a role model. Nothing more than that. Major figures are symbols and we can’t forget about that.

    Bill, you are saying that because someone could raise money and get people to think they should be elected that that means they are qualified? Huh? So if Palin raises lots of money she’s qualified?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Palin is qualified. I just don’t see her being significantly less qualified than Obama. (Sorry, putting your name on a bill isn’t the same as writing it)

  40. Bill,

    You’ve been reading too many Obama talking points.

    Let’s take this Congress (the past two years).

    Mr. Obama has proposed 129 pieces of legislation. NOT ONE HAS PASSED INTO LAW. He has had a few minor amendments accepted unanimously. But, he has lost every direct vote he has every had on his measures — in a Democratic Senate.

    His record in the Illinois Senate was very similar. Lots of introductions. Plenty of co-sponsors. Few passing and nothing substantive.

  41. Clark, I’m sorry but I have to insist that your argument is nonsensical. If Sarah Palin was 17 and had a baby out of wedlock, then you might have a point. But it is simply way out of bounds to accuse somebody of being a bad role model based on the behavior of other people who happen to be related to them. Al Gore’s son was apparently into drugs in 2000 — did that make Al Gore a bad role model? Every president has had relations who are embarrassing in one way or another (remember Billy Carter?) — their relations’ behavior has nothing to do with the presidents’ ability to govern, lead, etc, and it is no different with Sarah Palin. From a religious standpoint, you are talking about separate spirits who make their own choices — you cannot control them and cannot be responsible for the choices they make. Trying to hold them politically responsible is again, nonsensical.

  42. “(Sorry, putting your name on a bill isn’t the same as writing it)”

    Yes, we all know this. Most legislators don’t write the bills, most politicians don’t write their speeches, and most presidents and governors don’t do the actual work of governing.

    That’s why it’s important to vote for people with good judgment, who surround themselves with competent staff rather than ideological litmus-tested cronies whose loyalty is more important than their expertise.

  43. Geoff, by bringing Palin’s daughter on stage with her future husband you are normalizing the relationship. Once again I’m not talking about fault in the least. Mainly symbolism.

    Bill, if you know that, then why do people bring up all these bills as if they told us something about Obama? I agree it’s important to vote for people with good judgment. I’m skeptical McCain has it and have no positive reason to believe Obama does either.

  44. Clark, “…when Democrats do the same thing…” That was really my wife’s point: the Dems (and the other Republican speakers) did not do the same thing (I should point out that we missed Giuliani’s speech). She found Palin’s speech to be dripping with sarcasm. Again, my wife was not strongly for or against anyone in this campaign, so she wasn’t coming in with bias. (She was, however, strongly against Bush.) She saw the snide remarks in other speeches for what they were, but saw lots of positive comments in them that more than balanced the overall tone.

    In short: I don’t think this is a simple double standard that judges Palin more harshly. I think her speech really was very mocking, snide, etc. Seriously, I can’t remember anything she said that wasn’t snide—which is not to say that everything was snide, just that that’s what was remembered. (Sheesh, and I said this would be “in short”!)

  45. BrianJ –

    Read what factcheck.org says . .

    * He cosponsored ethics legislation in Illinois
    * He cosponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate on tracking nuclear proliferation

    The only Obama accomplishment cited is the 2007 ethics passage. Guess what. He wasn’t the driver. The House crafted the package. Obama proposed some changes.

    I used to work on Capitol Hill. There are plenty heavy lifters on legislation. Obama isn’t even in the medium category.

    I think the funniest item sited by his campaign is the two accomplishments of his community organizing: 1) Creating a program to pickup broken glass on playgrounds and 2) staging a protest. Think how many Eagle scouts have done more significant work as part of their project.

    Obama is the ultimate, ineffective lightweight. His entire life record shows that.

  46. BrianJ,

    I can’t help but think that Palin’s speech might have been viewed differently had it not come on the heels of Giuliani’s. Not sure if you and your wife saw it, but he was the one that took the gloves off.

    I also think there were expectations that she was going to be more biographical. Remember her intro film got cut (and after seeing McCain’s, thank goodness) so I think that probably would have taken care of much of that.

  47. “Bill, if you know that, then why do people bring up all these bills as if they told us something about Obama?”

    I brought it up as refutation of Aluwid’s and Sarah Palin’s obvious falsehoods.

  48. Julie, I watched that video of Palin at a church, that you linked to on the sidebar at T & S.

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1766638341

    I saw nothing scary in it. She’s a nice evangelical. There was nothing anti-restored-gospel, nor anti-LDS in what I heard. As I listened, I thought maybe you were reacting (you said it “scared” you) to possible pre-conceived notions that all evangelicals are anti-mormon. Her use of evangelical terminology or shibboleths may have had an objective-correlative effect on you, bringing to mind anti-LDS evangelicals who have the same gospel terminology as her.

    Maybe she does secretly harbor anti-LDS feelings, but if she does, they did not show in that video.

    The gospel terminology and shibboleths she used are legitimate gospel terms and not necessarily indicative of anti-Mormonism. Though anti-Mormons can, and have, certainly wielded the same terms.

    Like Bored-in-Vernal, I too came from an evangelical background. I believe that the overlap between evangelical/fundamental/pentecostal beliefs and LDS teachings should be celebrated, not shunted aside because some of their members are anti-LDS, or some of their doctrine contradicts LDS doctrine. They believe in Christ, and in His Atonement as paying the price for sin. You gotta hand that much to them. And when you read the “This is my doctrine…” part of the Savior’s words in 3rd Nephi, believing in Him as the son of God and in His atonement is the central core of our doctrine too.

    Romney is not done with national politics yet. And Palin’s new place in national politics may yet generate a bridge, or serve as some kind of bridge itself to Romney, and hence to Mormonism.

    She may serve as a catalyst for LDS-Evangelical dialogue.

    Evangelicals (and fundamentalists and pentecostals) are NOT our (LDS’s) enemy. Their doctrines about miracles and gifts of the Spirit and (most of) their dedication to the gospel actually make them the best prospects for conversion than members of any other religion I can think of.

    Oh that more Mormons were willing to talk about God and Jesus in public and in front of crowds. What chutzpah. That lady has more intestinal fortitude than all the Democratic primary candidates put together. She makes them look like the effete effeminate pansies that they are.

  49. Bill, I think your bringing up the bills shows that Palin wasn’t really that off. (I’d originally taken it as hyberbole and have a negative impression of all such speeches – but looking into it he really did less than I imagined)

    BrianJ, I can’t speak to your wife’s reaction (my wife had a positive one and I ended up playing devil’s advocate for Obama). I do think that Obama had a more negative speech. See this Volokh post for examples. As to why we think Palin is more negative I can’t say. That’s partially subjective based upon our expectations. Some people can pull it off. (Reagan was the master for instance) Obama’s a great speaker and very charismatic. (Which is why I think he’ll win handedly)


  50. This is a hilarious joke. Palin had been governor for about two months when Obama began his presidential campaign.

    Obama began his presidential campaign shortly after becoming a Senator in 2005. (After saying he would do no such thing) Palin became Governor in 2006. You’re right. Worlds of difference in experience. That year and a half makes all the difference in the world.

  51. Tim J, my wife missed Giulian’s speech; I caught a few moments of it.

    Clark, Tim, Ivan (and anyone else who linked to Volkh): I looked at the review of Palin’s sarcasm. It’s a very incomplete review! It claims there was only one sarcastic comment. Just off the top of my head I thought of another: “…job of a mayor. It’s sort of like a community organizer…” Really not a good review of the speech.

    And my wife was not turned off by negativity per se. She’s fine with saying, “You’re wrong,” but she doesn’t want to hear, “You’re stupid.” Any guess how she heard Obama vs. Palin?

    One last note: I don’t mean to make this about my wife’s reaction. I’m only interested to see whether other voters felt the same way. I also don’t really care about Palin—she’s a Veep candidate after all!!

  52. Clark, I was dating it from the official beginning of his campaign. If you want to argue that even two years before that he had sufficient stature as a national politician to be considered as a viable presidential candidate I won’t argue with you, especially since I suggested as much myself on this blog back in 2005.

  53. From Wikipedia about Obama’s job as a community organizer (which I realize isn’t always accurate, but it’s a lot better than from Rush Limbaugh, which is where some of you are getting a lot of your information from):
    During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama was modest about the accomplishment of these years. “[F]or the most part I would say I wasn’t wildly successful,” Obama said in a 2007 interview. “The victories that we achieved were extraordinarily modest: you know, getting a job-training site set up or getting an after-school program for young people put in place.”

  54. Tim,

    The difference between setting something up (job training) and accomplishing something (picking up glass) is substantial.

    That is why Obama has struggled so much to explain his time as a community organizer. He wanted to do great things. He didn’t.

    The more disturbing is that his organization was affiliated with ACORN — a hard left group known for registration voters innappropriately (engaging in vote fraud), protests and just plain weirdness. Obama performed “training” for ACORN in on how to stage protests — ie. storm into governments meetings, attract media attention and bludgeon public officials into agreeing to what you want. Very impressive.

  55. Clark wrote:

    Mike could you clarify what you find problematic in that passage quoted by Sullivan? I confess I think it a good thing to seek to find the will of God in everything we do.

    The portion that bothers me is her statement about we should pray “that our national leaders are sending [troops to Iraq] on a task that is from God, that”s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.” This is exactly the sort of mindset that got us into the Iraq mess in the first place — the belief that God wants us to preemptively attack weak nations that pose no threat to us, and Jesus is happy when we kill people.

  56. Bookslinger,

    Anti-LDS had nothing to do with it. What scared me was the line about it being God’s work to build a pipeline, God’s work to be in Iraq, and [although she didn't say this, she nodded when it was said] that Alaska was some kind of special refuge for the lower 48 for a future time.

    Those three items speak to a worldview that scares the daylights out of me.

  57. Mike, I confess I’m a bit shocked since I was making very similar prayers. I’m not sure if God was inspiring Bush about going into Iraq. (I was for the invasion but claim no revelation on the subject) I am very confident he wasn’t listening to God about conducting things though. Praying that he listen to God is a good thing. Indeed it’s a prayer I’ve often made myself. It’d be the height of hypocrisy for me to criticize Palin for something I’ve prayed for myself and think everyone ought to pray.

    When (as I suspect) Obama becomes President in January I’ll be making similar prayers for him. I hope and pray that all our actions are in harmony with God. I think that for the leader of the nation that is essential.

  58. Clark,

    Have you heard of the Left Behind series of books? Are you familiar with the theology behind them? It’s this sort of thinking that drives right-wing evangelical support for Bush’s war policy, and it’s this sort of thinking that Palin’s church endorses — an end-times holy crusade against evil.

    Palin’s remarks in her church frighten me because they indicate that she sees the Iraq war (and other possible wars in the region) as part of “God’s plan” for America. It goes beyond praying for our leaders; it speaks to a messianic view of what we’re doing in (and to) the Middle East.

    I find similar nationalism trickling into our own faith and practice. I have often heard sacrament meeting prayers asking God to “bless our troops as they strive to protect our freedom.” But I have not once heard a public LDS prayer asking God to protect innocent lives, bring an end to the present conflict, and establish peace in our world. And that saddens me.

  59. I think there is a double standard being applied in terms of Palin’s speech. If she were a man (particularly a liberal-leaning agnostic or atheist) there would be no charges of snideness or sacrasm. But she is a woman, and a Christian one at that. I think stereotypes are informing people’s judgment about how she should talk and think. People think because she is a woman, she should “talk nice” and not use harsh or critical language. You know, men are the only ones that are allowed to use tough and callous language. Another observation is how the anti-Christian left tries to interpret Christianity and use it against Christians, as if all Christians are supposed to let everyone take advantage of them and “turn the other cheek.” I seems to be a given that liberal, agnostic/atheists are allowed to be critical and snide because a lower standard applies to them. Again, I think if Palin were a secular man, there would be no comparisons between the tone of her speech and those of the other candidates.

  60. Skaught, “If she were a man (particularly a liberal-leaning agnostic or atheist) there would be no charges of snideness or sacrasm.” I think you are plain wrong. Of course, I cannot prove it, but neither can you.

    This “if she was a man” argument strikes me as assuming that Palin is the first female politician any of us has ever heard, which is just not true. It is, however, the first time many Americans ever heard Palin, and the impression of many is that she is snide.

  61. I don’t know a whole lot about ACORN, but doing some reading they sound a lot like the Sierra Club: an organization that tries to do a lot of good (depending on one’s perspective of course) and unfortunately attracts some zealots who are willing to break the law to make political gains (or just to steal from ACORN itself). You guys are talking about ACORN as though it’s the Khmer Rouge.

    For example: Steve criticizing Obama for training ACORN on how to stage protests. Why should I be against staged protests??

    Tim, thanks for the Wikipedia article on Obama’s service. I hadn’t connected the two before, but it lends some credence to Obama’s plan to have college grads repay loans in part through community service.

  62. Julie:

    “was the line about it being God’s work to build a pipeline, God’s work to be in Iraq, ”

    I don’t remember those lines. I’ll have to go re-listen. I still think you might be making a jump in interpreting what she said.

    I’ve listened to a man who worked as a civilian contractor in Iraq. He claimed that LDS soliders and civilian contractors were also doing “God’s work” to spread the gospel in Iraq. (There is a degree of religious freedom now in Iraq.)

    That isn’t to say that it was “God’s will that they go there in the first place” which is what you seem to be imputing to Palin’s words.

    However, if we can claim that LDS soldiers happened to be doing God’s work (sharing the gospel) while they were over there, then logically, evangelical soldiers could say the same thing.

    Also, I’ll go out on a limb, and consider if it could have been “God’s will” that the US go into Iraq. According to soldiers that I’ve talked to, listened to, and read, the Iraqi people are very grateful to the US for ousting Hussein. Those Iraqis who are grateful to the US for overthrowing Hussein might indeed agree that it was “the will of Allah” that the US did so.

  63. BrianJ,

    I guess we’ll have to wait til November to see if the perception of Palin is true. The point remains that gender/religious steroetypes are informing peoples political perspectives. The fact that Biden offered up more political attacks is an example of what I’m talking about.

  64. Skaught while I think it undeniable that stereotypes are informing judgments I also think it the case that these are being exaggerated more than a little for political expediency.

  65. Yes, as soon as we get to see more of Palin we’ll see if she is always snide. As for others’ attacks, there is a difference between being negative and being snide or sarcastic. For example, I wrote above that I think you are wrong; that’s negative, but it isn’t snide. I didn’t call you names or try to belittle you or mock you in any way.

  66. However, the Wall Street Journal — not exactly a bastion of the liberal media — is reporting on just how fiscally and operationally reckless Palin’s mayorship of Wasilla was:

    The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.

    The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin’s legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla…

    “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities,” Ms. Palin said Wednesday in her acceptance speech at the Republican convention. Litigation resulting from the dispute over Ms. Palin’s sports-complex project is still in the courts, with the land’s former owner seeking hundreds of thousands of additional dollars from the city.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/a-fiscal-conser.html

    Andrew Sullivan follows up on this with:

    When Palin took over Wasilla, the town had no long-term debt. By the time she was done, debt service had increased by 69 percent, the town had close to $19 million in long-term debt, making the debt around $3000 per capita. And the Mccain campaign is asking us – seriously – to consider her a fiscal conservative.

    She is a Bush-Cheney fiscal conservative: low taxes, unprecedented new spending, utter incompetence, endemic cronyism and massive debt.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/a-disastrous-ma.html

  67. BrianJ,
    I agree with your distinction between snide and negative. I just don’t really see the difference between the tone of Palin’s comments and those of Obama or Biden. Clark, yes I think political expediency figures into the equation all around.

  68. Mike,
    Is it then your belief that a McCain-Palin administration will follow in the footsteps of Bush-Cheney fiscal conservatism because of her record as Mayor of Wasilla? McCain’s version of fiscal conservatism is far different from Bush’s; in fact, he’s been one of Bush’s biggest critics in this area.

    If your point is that an Obama administration will be more fiscally conservative than McCain, I would have to disagree. If I take Sullivan’s analysis at face value, then I believe the only difference between Obama-Biden and Bush-Cheney fiscal policy is that Obama will raise taxes.

  69. Mike,

    The city I work in is about to go into some serious debt to build both a new baseball field as well revamp the sewer system. I don’t see a problem with it. The people voted for a sale tax increase to pay for the complex. Clearing roads, installing utilities etc. only happened after a judge had ruled in the city’s favor and the mess ensued only because he reversed his decision.

    The $1.2MM in extra costs happened because the city decided to add an emergency kitchen to the project. This was added after Palin left office.

    In any event, the case is pretty much settled and I’m guessing Wasilla residents are happy to have it, which is what’s most important.

    http://www.adn.com/matsu/story/474934.html

    “the complex has been up and running since 2004. The city owes about $7.6 million on the sports complex construction debt and plans to make an extra payment on it this year.”

  70. Skaught,

    I harbor no illusions that either a McCain or an Obama administration will reduce the size, scope, and power of the federal government.

  71. I agree with Clark’s opinion that the pregnancy of her daughter makes Palin a problematic role model. Just look how many of her defenders are now sold on the idea that things happen, it’s all just the luck of the draw, nothing parental leadership can much do one way or the other to guide those headstrong teenagers that has any effect.

    A couple years back, one of my cousins, who also lives in Wasilla, wrote to us about her family, including mention of her teen daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend and the fun the two have going fishing together. My wife read that, and said “Your cousin knows what’s really happening on those fishing trips, doesn’t she?” Maybe Palin was vigilant and cared about her daughter’s activity, and the daughter disappointed her. (Maybe not.) At the least, Palin’s leadership in the home fell short in its effectiveness.

    And seconding what Clark wrote, putting the young couple on the convention stage while they’re still unmarried normalizes what ought not. Thanks a ton, GOP! The Democrats couldn’t do it all alone without you.

  72. Back when Nancy Pelosi became House Speaker, I was impressed with the timing of her political career. A mother of five, she first ran for office when her youngest was in the last year of high school. “The way a Mormon mother would likely go about it,” I thought.

  73. Sullivan is foaming at the mouth about Palin so badly I’d not really buy into too much he says unless it’s confirmed by a more objective source. That said I’d second Tim’s comments (and made the same point at Mormon Mentality when Dan brought up those issues there). There’s a lot to distrust Palin over but bringing in a popular sports facility really isn’t one of them.

    As for McCain, he’s the only one I would count on to reduce government. It’s one of the few things I’d praise him for.

  74. Although I didn’t see much of the coverage, there didn’t seem to be much political hay made about the presence of the pregnant daughter at the convention. However, I’m sure much more would have been made about the issue had the daughter not been there. The obvious question by detractors would have been, “What are they trying to hide?” I think there would have been much more scrutiny had she been absent, so IMO it can go either way.

  75. Clark,

    If you’ll read the Sullivan page I linked earlier, you’ll see that he sources his claims. (Ironically enough, to a 2006 Democratic vetting evaluation.)

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/a-fiscal-conser.html

    I highly doubt McCain will do anything to reduce spending. He hasn’t said a word about Bush’s proposed $3 trillion budget (it was $1 trillion when Bush took office). McCain can rant and rave about earmarks all he wants, but the big portions of the budget — Social Security, Medicare, defense — aren’t going to be touched by a McCain administration.

    In fact, look for an increase in defense spending as McCain accelerates Bush’s “U.S.-against-the-world” foreign policy.

    In fairness, I do appreciate the stand he took again the $300 billion agriculture bill last month, though.

  76. McCain is now beating Obama in one poll by 10 points among likely voters:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-07-poll_N.htm

    The poll shows Sarah Palin has helped the ticket tremendously. For those with an eye to history, it is worth noting that candidates always get a bounce post-convention. The key question is whether this will last.

    If you average out all recent polls, McCain is ahead for the first time in months:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

    It is worth noting that the national poll numbers are not as important as state polling in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, WI, CO, NV, NH and NM. Personally, I am putting VA, FL and NC firmly in the McCain column at this point, although the Obama camp would like to pretend they still have a chance in those states. History and voters trends show they don’t. The other nine states are much more important, and the election will be decided there. (I am putting PA and Iowa in the Dem column).

    If Obama does not turn things around in those nine states, McCain will win. You heard it here first.

    Here is my prediction of how this election will turn out:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/maps/obama_vs_mccain/

    I predict McCain will win 274 to 264 in the electoral vote. He will win FL, VA, NC, OH, IN, CO, NV. He will lose NH, NM, PA, IA, MI, WI and MN. Again, you heard it here first. :)

  77. Geoff, that RCP map is good times. Looks like the election is going to come down to Ohio…again.

    Realize that if on your list Nevada goes from McCain to Obama then it’s a tie 269-269. If we thought the hanging chads in Florida was bad two elections ago, I could only imagine the firestorm that would occur.

  78. Interesting prediction, Geoff. The RCP “no toss up states” map assigns all the same states that you did (VA, FL, NC to McCain; PA, IA to Obama) and has NV going McCain and still shows Obama winning 273/265 in the Electoral College. Which state(s) do you predict will give McCain the 9 EC votes to get to your total?

    FiveThirtyEight.com has Obama winning 304/234, but I don’t think the model has been updated with this weekend’s polls to include McCain’s bounce.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

  79. Mike, sorry, late answer to your question. I predict McCain will win Colorado, which has nine electoral votes. It is interesting to note that McCain-Palin is also picking up ground in Michigan, and if Obama loses Michigan it will be really tough for him to pull out a win.

    Meanwhile, if anybody is still reading this thread, this article is one of the best I’ve seen on the subject of this post:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/the_top_ten_ways_sarah_palin_h.html

  80. Clark, that’s a fair question. Take a look at the attached:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/co/colorado_mccain_vs_obama-546.html

    McCain and Obama are basically tied in CO today. Obama got no real boost because of the convention. My feeling is that CO is still a Republican state in presidential voting. Energy is a big issue here, and the Democrats (Gov. Ritter and Sen. Salazar) have basically shut down the energy industry with new taxes and opposition to shale oil development. The Republicans have been able to “make hay” with that issue and high gas prices. McCain-Palin were in CO Springs over the weekend, and there were thousands of cheering people in an overflowing crowd. I predict McCain will end up taking CO by five points at least.

  81. Clark,

    There is also an anti-affirmative action bill as well a bill defining when life begins(or something like that) on the Colorado ballot this election.

  82. At the least, Palin’s leadership in the home fell short in its effectiveness.

    Some were heard to complain about the effectiveness of leadership in the home when one Lucifer decided to rebel and cause a hell of a ruckus.

  83. Of course not, Tim.

    I was suggesting that we should be really careful blaming a child’s mistakes on his parent’s failures in “leadership in the home.”

  84. Just a note. Most of this is bounce. Once the excitement wears off (assuming Obama gets back on point) then the bounce will wear off. Right now it’s a bit discouraging that the McCain campaign is campaigning on fluff. I can excuse a lot of the hypocrisy. But the fluff? Ugh. It’s really pushing me over the line into the Obama camp.

  85. Possible threadjack alert:

    Robert Godwin writing about the victimology of modern feminists (contrasting Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton) has this to say:

    “But before you can be convinced that you are weak and helpless, you also have to be kind of stupid and suggestible…. you know, a hysterical female, or one of those people who just pick up their thoughts from the surrounding atmosphere. Which is pretty much what liberal academia has been reduced to, just a great clearing house for pseudo-thoughts riding on the cosmic currents that descend all the way down. The problem isn’t a glass ceiling. Rather, it’s a non-existent floor. ”

    Godwin is describing a kind of person that frequently posts here and elsewhere in the Bloggernacle. Read the whole thing at:

    http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/2008/09/courting-idiot-vote.html

  86. No willF probably not. Romney is one of the biggest opportunists in American politics.

    besides, Mormonism is better off without a Mormon in high office.

  87. Following up on my comment here about the risk of putting off moderate voters, and my comments now doubting the wisdom of the Palin pick on the closed thread regarding McCain, I simply include a link to this article mentioning newspapers that supported Bush in 2004 but do not support McCain, in part,because of the Palin pick. http://www.reason.com/blog/show/129460.html

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