Daily Archives: October 4, 2008

Oh, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah… UPDATE: Good news! False alarm!

Ace of Spades is liveblogging Sarah Palin’s rally in Carson, CA today.  Says he will have pictures of the Carson crowd later.  Jon Voigt was one of her openers, and he seems to have warmed up the crowd quite effectively.  Browsing through what Ace catches of Palin’s speech once she does get up there (the over-capacity crowd loves her, of course), most of what she says sounds like a series of rote crowd-pleasers, which is standard for a rally of this type.  Not all of it, though.  A couple of exceptions:

1)  The one that’s making it all over the news is her accusation that Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists,”  in reference to William Ayers (quote in video at about 1:35).  That’s one way to get Ayers’s name back in the media; I’m guessing it was spurred at least in part by the NYTimes’s whitewash of Obama’s relationship to Ayers in today’s edition.  (Instapundit has more; take note of his reader John’s email.)  It’s a good thing that this line is turning into the newsmaker of the day, because it looks like it’s crowding out the other exception, which is the reason behind this post’s title.

2)  This is just painful.  Ace (via Gateway Pundit) reports Palin telling the crowd, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support women.” Oh, groooooan…!  Thanks a heap, Governor.  In one sentence, you’ve combined the most teeth-grinding rhetoric of both the left (emotional blackmail through identity politics) and the right (ranting that your opponents are hellbound).  According to Ace: “Says she wasn’t sure how that would go over, wants to know how the media will twist it.”

That just makes my head hurt.  Unbelievable…she even knows what a risk she was taking with that line.  If the press actually does ignore that horror show of a sound bite in favor of her earlier “palling around with terrorists” line, she will have dodged a potentially lethal bullet, in my opinion.

Unforced errors like that for a candidate in her position are just way too stupid.  It’s one thing to run a campaign against the media; it’s quite another to bait the media unnecessarily.  Just ask Gary Hart.

UPDATE: Bless you, dear commenter ArmyWife (here, have a link!), who has informed me that Gov. Palin was deliberately cribbing a line from a fluffy TIME Magazine interview with Madeleine Albright from earlier this year.  Whew!  That is a huge load off my mind.  Sorry, folks, Ace didn’t include that context; clearly liveblogging amid a huge crowd required brevity on his part.  Sounds much better when used ironically, doesn’t it?  (Also explains why the media folk aren’t pouncing on it.)

Looking back at Gateway Pundit’s post, I see I was remiss (distraught over the “special place” line, I guess!) in not giving Sarah due credit for one of the best lines of the campaign so far at Obama’s expense:

Just once it would be nice if he said he wanted our country to win!

She isn’t cracking up.  She can still pop off a great one-liner.  OK, fine, feels like I’m back from the Spock-has-a-beard universe now.

UPDATE II: Still no Ace photos, but here’s one from an Instapundit emailer:

Palin rally; Carson, CA, 10/4/08

Palin rally; Carson, CA, 10/4/08

Where does AP get its poll samples??

Attention:  No matter what the AP says, Obama is not leading McCain by 7 points today, and there has not been a 12-point swing in Obama’s favor since the GOP convention.  At least, such a thing can’t be determined by the most recent poll from AP.

I’ve said before on this blog that some things can be measured by polls, and some can’t.  Of course, presidential preferences among voters can, but only if you do it right:  among other things, you have to be careful to keep your sample constant, or at least credibly reflective of available public data.  Newsbusters has uncovered the methodology of the last two presidential polls conducted for AP by GfK Roper, who has a history of this kind of sloppiness (and yes, I call it sloppiness…unlike Newsbusters, I doubt it was deliberate “cooking,” as they put it).

AP/Roper’s poll of 9/5-10 measured a party division ratio in that poll’s sample of 31Rep/33Dem/36Ind, which sounds about right coming out of a GOP convention (since not all states register voters by party, national polls ask respondents the party with which they affiliate or identify most closely, and that is a more subjective question than simple party registration).

The sample for their 9/27-30 poll, during which Nancy Pelosi was blowing the bailout vote with her ridiculous, spiteful, childish floor speech just before her bill went down, swung wildly in the Democrats’ direction to 29Rep/40Dem/31Ind.  That measure is entirely counterintuitive, especially given that Barack Obama did nothing to distinguish himself during that negotiation and vote.

Democrats normally enjoy a national party registration advantage (they were ahead in raw numbers even before they lost both houses of Congress in 1994), and it’s hardly unusual for registration numbers nationwide to fluctuate from one year to the next, but a nine-point swing toward the Democrats in party identification, in three weeks?  That just doesn’t happen, and for AP/Roper to try to sneak these poll results into the media stream while burying their party balance stats is inexcusable.

The AP/Roper poll after the GOP convention showed McCain ahead by 5 points.  I would never argue that McCain hasn’t noticeably lost ground nationally since then, but this follow-up poll by the exact same pollster showing Obama now ahead by 7 doesn’t even pass the laugh test, when considered in light of the crazy swing in party affiliation.  Unfortunately, it’s already been factored into the RealClearPolitics average, and become part of the conventional wisdom.

“We’re going to get a little tougher” UPDATE: Even Alec Baldwin, Senator!

Well, they’d better hope so.

According to the Washington Post, the McCain campaign and the Republicans are “readying a newly aggressive assault” for the final month of the election season, moving away from John McCain’s maverick-war-hero biography and shifting focus to Barack Obama and his associates; senior campaign officials offered Tony Rezko and William Ayers as examples.  (I love the WaPo’s description of Ayers, “whom the McCain campaign regularly calls a domestic terrorist because of his acts of violence against the U.S. government in the 1960s.” [Emphasis mine.]  Well, what would you call him?)

Sources at the campaign say that the new ad I touched on earlier, taking Obama to task over his description of himself as a “tax cutter,” was the leading edge of this new aggressive stance.  Hot Air backs me up that McCain will have to do better than that, and the best way to do it is to go national hammering the Democrats’ opposition to his drive for tightened oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Details, and a dimly encouraging quote from McCain, below the break.

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Life, minus 13 years for slick lawyering

Twelve people in California should have said this to O.J. Simpson thirteen years ago, but twelve Nevadans got around to it eventually today.  What a Nevada jury finally said boiled down to one word: “guilty.”  An added bonus: they also got around to saying it eleven additional times immediately afterward.  (Via Captain Ed.)

Fox livecast the verdict:

O.J. was immediately hustled back off to jail, pending sentencing on December 5.  He faces a sentence as stiff as life in prison (long odds on it, but hope springs eternal).  O.J.’s media agnomen of the last thirteen years, “celebrity in exile,” is about to take on a whole new meaning.

(No word on reaction to the guilty verdict from the families of Ron Goldman or Nicole Brown.  Goldman’s father Fred said before the verdict that he’d been following the trial “only generally,” though he did add, “At the absolute least, I’d like to see him in jail.”)

Two can play the Photoshop game

Amanda Carpenter seethes about the recent trend of Palinoiacs doing their utmost to trivialize Sarah Palin in a particularly shabby way:  pouncing on her unabashed femininity to turn her into some kind of slutty, bubbleheaded, bimboized porn star, featuring ample, and extraordinarily tasteless, use of Photoshop and the Internet.  Fairly predictable tactic when the object is a conservative woman (Carpenter recounts having been a target herself).

Well, turns out conservatives can be pretty handy with Photoshop as well.  And in this case, with a considerably sharper sense of humor.  Here’s a picture of the Democrats’ second-in-command in a candid moment at his professed favorite place to “hang out:”

"Hi, my name's Joe!"

"Hi, my name's Joe! Plumbing's in Aisle 7."

Imagine being greeted by this man.  Whaddya think, good for business or bad?

UPDATE: The lovely and talented blogress at LaLaBlahBlah bravely stands up and counts herself among the Palinoiacs plying their Photoshop trade at Gov. Palin’s expense, and defiantly posts a link to an example in my comments section.  I doubt Amanda Carpenter would complain about LLBB’s efforts, though, since her montage is actually kind of funny, and doesn’t come across as painfully vicious, skin-crawlingly creepy, or nastily partisan.  It’s OK, LLBB, I doubt you’d want to be in the company of Carpenter’s Palin “Pornification” Hall of Shame anyway.

UPDATE II: Welcome, readers of Miz Michelle! Please have a look around, if you would.

Show me the money

OK, now that the bailout has been rammed through Congress and is now our responsibility, I would love to see what these “sweeteners” were that were so yummy that they made a crap sandwich palatable.

Joe Biden slipped over $51 million in earmarks into the first bill, and he got caught.  If Obama has refrained from any similar earmarking activity, it’ll be a first.  McCain-Palin could manage to salvage some mileage from this pork-laden monstrosity after all.

UPDATE:  Miz Michelle’s got my back (though she’s characteristically a bit blunter on the matter).

UPDATE II:  A friend emails and asks me why Michelle Obama is cited on my blog.  Errmmm, if you’d click the link, you’d see that “Miz Michelle” is blogress Michelle Malkin.  Seasoned WitSnapper readers know that my shorthand for Michelle Obama is “La Michelle.”

Is it safe to like Sarah again?

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, prominent Sarah Palin fan-turned-skeptic-turned-oh-gawd-get-her-off-the-ticket-advocate, has now recovered from her brief spate of the vapors that led her to launch a one-woman “Dump Sarah” movement, and returned to the loving embrace of the pro-Palin fold.

On September 26, following Gov. Palin’s ghastly pseudo-interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, Parker posted a column to National Review Online that was half rueful lament and half panicky plea.  She reflected on her joy in the first couple of weeks following Palin’s assuming her place on the ticket, and concluded in morose retrospect, “it was fun while it lasted.”  Concluding that Palin was “Out Of Her League” (caps hers), Parker ended her column in an open appeal to Palin to “bow out” and “save McCain, her party, and the country she loves.”

The reaction was inevitable with such a piece from any conservative columnist.  It was snatched up by every mainstream reporter and liberal blogger from sea to shining website, paraded about like a head on a pike as incontrovertible evidence that McCain’s wild gamble on a backwoods hick governor had backfired and fried his campaign.  The schadenfreude was so suffocating that it could have dropped a rutting bull moose faster and with greater finality than the entire Palin family armed to the teeth.  The McCain-Palin bid was pronounced dead (again).

What a difference 90 minutes on a stage with Joe Biden can make!  Today’s column on Townhall.com reveals a “relieved” Parker.  The lead sentence asks in wonderment, “What did they do with the other Sarah Palin?”  If a Web page were capable of facial expressions, this one would be goggle-eyed and slack-jawed.  Parker still sounds a note of residual wariness about Palin’s fitness for office (“once bitten,” and all that) even as she hands her due credit for a satisfying debate performance.  However, while she still wonders whether Palin is able to lead the free world, she duly notes that such a question is no longer less daunting when directed at Barack Obama.

Her fellow columnist on the same site, Matt Lewis, posts his own reaction to the debate, entitled “Still Think She Should Step Down?”  Lewis is too much of a gentleman to mention Parker by name, or to make any churlish reference to her previous column, but then he doesn’t need to.