Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Palin cleared, for what it’s worth by now

An independent panel (emphasis this time on “independent”) has exonerated Sarah Palin of wrongdoing in the dust-up formerly known as “Troopergate.” The panel was convened by the nonpartisan state Personnel Board with an independent investigator, instead of by one of Gov. Palin’s most vocal opponents in the Alaska legislature with an investigator bought and paid for by him. (More here and here.)

Of course the first “investigation,” spearheaded by State Sen. Hollis French, did the damage it was designed to do. Exoneration now comes too late for the damage to be undone. But then again, that was the point of French’s crusade to begin with…it was never to punish wrongdoing, just to punish opposition (which, in French’s fevered mind, amounts to a distinction without a difference).

How else to explain why French’s entire set of findings rested on the perceived violation of an unenforceable non-statute (a violation which the more recent investigation found wasn’t worth the air Sen. French wasted on it)? How else to explain why no charges were filed? How else to explain why the French panel’s findings were never adopted by the Alaska Legislature, or any committee or subcommittee thereof?

There is no other explanation. Sarah Palin did her job, and abused no aspect of the office. Sen. French tried to dance around it, and fortunately nobody applauded, but then he wasn’t going for the applause, was he?

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Senator Palin? Doubtful. But what if…

Covert Zero brings up “an interesting point” (before throwing me a link…thanks!) from former defense analyst Chuck Spinney (H/T James Fallows):

“How much do you want to bet the Sarah Palin won’t replace Ted Stevens after being induced to run in a special election by “popular demand”?

Could happen, but that’s not a bet I’d take.

Explanation, and lots more wonkery with an even wilder scenario, below the break.

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Kiss Alaska goodbye. Thank Ted Stevens.

Newly convicted Sen. Ted Stevens is digging in his heels, and this blogger sees no sign of any intent to resign, before or after the election. The man honestly thinks he won’t spend day one in jail; I don’t think he’s capable of envisioning a Senate without him.

National Republicans are abandoning him, the state party is clinging to him, his fellow senators (of both parties) are talking openly about expelling him, and local political experts are still saying he might eke out one final re-election victory.

News developments, analysis, and more wonkery below the break.

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Rally featuring Tito the Truck Driver

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Joe the Plumber has generated an honest-to-gawd sequel: Tito the Truck Driver, who introduced Sarah Palin at a McCain-Palin rally today.

Tito first burst onto the scene when he confronted Mother Jones columnist David Corn at an earlier rally, surrounded by a small crowd in high moral dudgeon. (Corn was there to demonstrate to the world what a savage bunch McCain-Palin supporters were.) Tito laced into Corn for the media’s shabby treatment of Joe Wurzelbacher, AKA Joe the Plumber, and their general, all-around in-the-tankitude regarding Barack Obama. Corn went through most of the exchange with the same deer-in-the-headlights look on his face that he and so many of his colleagues love to ascribe to Gov. Palin.

It got him noticed, and it eventually got his name out. He next turned up in the McCain-Palin campaign’s very effective ad released last week, “I Am Joe,” in which a succession of blue-collar workers and small-business owners vocally identified with Joe the Plumber and described what makes them like him. This was where the angry guy in the hardhat from David Corn’s ill-fated foray into Red-State America introduced himself formally as “Tito the Truck Driver.”

Now he appears to have joined the McCain-Palin ground team on a semi-permanent basis as a VIP, introducing Sarah Palin for her rally speeches. Not bad for a Colombian immigrant who came here with nothing.

I just hope, for Tito’s sake, that he has his taxes in order. Especially now that David Corn has a mad-on for him.

UPDATE: Thanks to Anchoress, who tells me Tito’s full name. Joe Wurzelbacher, meet Tito Muñoz.

Welcome to the bighouse, Ted. Now what?

The Congressional Indicted Caucus officially has one fewer member. Senator Ted Stevens has been convicted on all counts. To quote a certain played-out, over-the-hill cartoonist: “Guilty, guilty, guilty!” (More here, here, here, and here.) For his part, Stevens has announced he will appeal, maintaining his innocence and lacerating the prosecutors for what I admit was some pretty messed-up lawyering.

I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see Sen. Stevens go, which will come as no surprise to WitSnapper readers (who may have read my thoughts on the man here, here, here, here, and elsewhere). His Senate seat will likely go to his Democratic opponent, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich, now effectively running unopposed. Republicans now are scrambling to assess their very limited options.

Bunches of scenario-weaving below the break.

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“You got served, beeyotch!”

OK, after that last post I think we desperately need to lighten the mood a bit. This oughta work. Kick back and relax for the McCain vs. Obama Dance-Off! It’s on!

Stick around for the surprise twist. Whoever made this video has waaaaaay too much spare time, but all the same I’d say it was worth every second. (H/T the Corner.)

Sarah Palin plays a forbidden game…in public!

Well, this is new. Sarah Palin has asked the unthinkable question directly to a journalist: “Can you imagine if I woulda said such a thing?” CNN’s Drew Griffin has been asked on the air to play “Media Party Switch.”

Gov. Palin brought to the cable news networks (outside of Fox News) something that we in the blogosphere do on a regular basis.  She examined Joe Biden’s recent statement warning that an international crisis would test Barack Obama’s mettle as president before his first six months in the White House are up, and wondered aloud what might have happened if instead she had been the one to say something so bizarre (and manifestly unhelpful to the top of her ticket).

During this entire presidential campaign — and frankly, this pattern is not at all limited to presidential elections — bloggers like me have indulged in a time-honored thought experiment. I’ll call it “Media Party Switch.” Put briefly, it considers any given gaffe, smear, flub, reckless accusation, or other similarly outrageous or boneheaded statement by a Democrat that has gone unnoticed or unreported by the journalistic community, and poses the rhetorical question of what would have happened if the same type of statement had been made by a Republican under the same circumstances.

Readers of WitSnapper have seen me dabble in “Media Party Switch” here from time to time. It’s become a pseudo-regular feature of the Biden Gaffe Watch, in which I wonder more than once when the sum total of instances of Biden’s frothing mouth galloping away from him (also lovingly recapped here by Miz Michelle) might equal, for example, former Vice President Dan Quayle’s infamous misspelling of “potato.”  However, as widespread a practice as this thought experiment is among bloggers, it rarely, if ever, makes it to network or cable news, given how embarrassing such a look in the mirror could be (after all, it’s not the blogosphere that puts the “Media” in “Media Party Switch”).

In Griffin’s CNN interview with Gov. Palin, Griffin doesn’t go so far as to break the omerta among his colleagues and producers by openly musing what the media reaction might have been if Palin had said something like what Biden did. However, he must be given credit (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he might have been able to see this coming) for opening the door by asking the more general question of whether Palin thinks Joe Biden has been “given a pass” by the media.  Palin strides right through that door, answering that he’d have to ask his own colleagues and bosses as to why Biden’s been given a pass, but she does wonder aloud (video here):

Can you imagine if I would’ve said such a thing?  No, I think we would be hounded and held accountable: “What in the world did you mean by that, VP/presidential candidate?  Why would you say that, ‘Mark my words, this nation will undergo an international crisis if you elect Barack Obama?'” If I would have said something like that you guys would clobber me!

Again, to his credit, Griffin doesn’t waste airtime trying to argue the point:

You’re right! [Both laugh.] You’re right.

Excellent.  Good to hear it.  In that spirit, I look forward to seeing Griffin call Sen. Biden on this statement, or whatever other bizarre statement he’ll inevitably let loose by the time CNN gets him to sit down with them, or for that matter any of the embarrassing wealth of past statements on which the senator has been “given a pass.”  How’s your game of “Media Party Switch,” Senator?