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Sarah Palin Vlog #1: Katie Couric Interview
Sarah Palin Vlog #2: Debate Prep
Sarah Palin Vlog #3: Cramming for the Economics Debate
Oops that was 133 – the new figure for the lobbyist in and around the McCain camp – is now 134!
It can be argued that lobbyist are people ~ too – So McCain could still be Working For You!
Hmm… Naa !
Keep up to date at McCainSource.com
Spilling the beans – Palin is quoted as saying – facts and figures don’t matter!
Monitor opinion editor Josh Burek talks with former Alaska state representative and gubenatorial candidate Andrew Halcro about Gov. Sarah Palin’s debating abilities.
Anchorage, Alaska – When he faces off against Sarah Palin Thursday night, Joe Biden will have his hands full.
I should know. I’ve debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she’s a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do.
On paper, of course, the debate appears to be a mismatch.
In 2000, Palin was the mayor of an Alaskan town of 5,500 people, while Biden was serving his 28th year as a United States senator. Her major public policy concern was building a local ice rink and sports center. His major public policy concern was the State Department’s decision to grant an export license to allow sales of heavy-lift helicopters to Turkey, during tense UN-sponsored Cyprus peace talks.
On paper, the difference in experience on both domestic and foreign policy is like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing a bullet. Unfortunately for Biden, if recent history is an indicator, experience or a grasp of the issues won’t matter when it comes to debating Palin.
On April 17, 2006, Palin and I participated in a debate at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks on agriculture issues. The next day, the Fairbanks Daily News Miner published this excerpt:
“Andrew Halcro, a declared independent candidate from Anchorage, came armed with statistics on agricultural productivity. Sarah Palin, a Republican from Wasilla, said the Matanuska Valley provides a positive example for other communities interested in agriculture to study.”
On April 18, 2006, Palin and I sat together in a hotel coffee shop comparing campaign trail notes. As we talked about the debates, Palin made a comment that highlights the phenomenon that Biden is up against.
“Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I’m amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, ‘Does any of this really matter?’ ” Palin said.
While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin’s knowledge on public policy issues never matured – because it didn’t have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.
Palin is a master of the nonanswer. She can turn a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she’s met people on the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.
In one debate, a moderator asked the candidates to name a bill the legislature had recently passed that we didn’t like. I named one. Democratic candidate Tony Knowles named one. But Sarah Palin instead used her allotted time to criticize the incumbent governor, Frank Murkowski. Asked to name a bill we did like, the same pattern emerged: Palin didn’t name a bill.
And when she does answer the actual question asked, she has a canny ability to connect with the audience on a personal level. For example, asked to name a major issue that had been ignored during the campaign, I discussed the health of local communities, Mr. Knowles talked about affordable healthcare, and Palin talked about … the need to protect hunting and fishing rights.
So what does that mean for Biden? With shorter question-and-answer times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in the role of the bully.
On the other side of the stage, if Palin is to be successful, she needs to do what she does best: fill the room with her presence and stick to the scripted sound bites.
• Andrew Halcro served two terms as a Republican member of the Alaska State House of Representatives. He ran for governor as an Independent in 2006, debating Sarah Palin more than two dozen times. He blogs at http://www.andrewhalcro.com .
Planned Parenthood tells First Read it will begin running a new ad on Thursday that brings up the fact that Wasilla, while Palin was mayor there, charged rape victims or their insurers for emergency-room rape kits.
The ad — which Planned Parenthood says will run in the markets of St. Louis (MO), Madison (WI), and DC/Northern Virginia (VA) — begins with a testimonial from a rape victim. “I just didn’t think it would happen to me,” she says. “I was drugged and raped.” Then an announcer states, “Under Mayor Sarah Palin, women like Gretchen were forced to pay up to $1,200 for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers,” adding: “In the Senate, John McCain voted against legislation to protect women from these same heartless policies.”
A compilation of attacks on Sarah Palin’s record make up a new ad set to run in Colorado and other battleground states prior to the vice presidential debate Thursday.
For Coloradans already bombarded with attack ads this one’s a bit different — schmaltzy music, goofy 80’s-style heartbeat graphics and not a ominous voice to be heard. Oh, and there’s that grainy black and white image of John McCain with arm outstretched in a death pall pose over a chirpy soundtrack of “one heartbeat away.” Yipes!
This is the type of thinking we need to get rid of – Palin is not satisfied with hunting wolves herself in a way that could be compared to shooting fish in a barrel – she wants to offer a bounty for anyone who can bring in the foreleg of a wolf !! Wild thinking!
Of all the ads to have aired this presidential campaign, one of the most successful may have been one of the least remarked-upon.
Weeks ago, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund released a 60-second spot titled “Brutal,” denouncing Gov. Sarah Palin’s support for an aerial wolf killing program as well as a policy that places bounties on the forelegs of killed wolves. It was, according to trackers of voter responses, one of the most effective ads of the cycle.
It also earned the organization $600,000 in donations in the six hours after it was released, and more than $1 million overall. With the extra funds, the organization is now plowing money back into its advertisement.
On Wednesday, the wildlife group will announce that they are expanding the airing of its ad to additional swing states – a measure meant to correspond with Thursday’s vice presidential debate. The ad is currently airing in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Northern Virginia; voters in Colorado and Missouri will soon see it also.
“Defenders of Wildlife has found a more effective critique of Palin than the Obama campaign or Democratic Party,” said a source with the organization. “The ad damages Palin with exactly the voters McCain put her on the ticket to attract — suburban women, moderate Independents.”
The group’s initial spot scored incredibly well among focus groups. A study of 312 Democrats, Republicans and Independents showed that the ad produced “moderate movement among all parties” in Obama’s favor. The spot earned a Political Communications Impact Score of 23.5, making it, according to the site Media Curves, the second most effective ad to have aired this cycle.
And unlike many presidential campaign ads this cycle, the claims made in the Defenders spot are virtually all true, albeit with some caveats, according to FactCheck.org.
“Aerial killing of wolves may not be your standard national election issue, but it is one that helps illuminate an important part of Sarah Palin’s character,” President of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Rodger Schlickeisen said in a statement. “We believe voters deserve to know about her support for this brutal practice, and we are confident the issue can move votes as we head into the home stretch of this campaign.”
Sarah Palin discusses global warming and its causes, vaguely, on CBS
Sarah Palin clearly was in her comfort zone when she chatted on-air Tuesday with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt. As The Ticket noted , she presented a persona and offered some lines that could serve her well in her Thursday debate with Joe Biden.
Tuesday also saw the broadcast of the last of her several interviews with Katie Couric of CBS (we will miss them; they were fast becoming a staple of our daily routine).
The final segment may not spark more calls from conservative commentators that Palin give up her spot on the Republican national ticket. But in front of the television cameras — and in the face of more pointed questioning — the self-assurance that marked her conversation with Hewitt continued to elude her.
One answer by Palin will do little to quell concerns about her position on global warming. As she did with ABC’s Charlie Gibson a few weeks back, she did her best to skirt a direct answer on its causes.
From the transcript:
Palin: Well, we’re the only Arctic state, of course, Alaska. So we feel the impacts more than any other state, up there with the changes in climates. And certainly, it is apparent. We have erosion issues. And we have melting sea ice, of course. So, what I’ve done up there is form a sub-cabinet to focus solely on climate change. Understanding that it is real. And …
Couric: Is it man-made, though in your view?
Palin: You know there are – there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate. Because the world’s weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn’t matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it’s real; we need to do something about it.
Pardon us for asking, but would it not be difficult to devise an effective policy to mitigate the effects of global warming without a firm grasp on what caused it?
Palin also was not about to be pinned down …
… by Couric on the subject of her reading habits. Here’s the exchange:
Couric: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
Couric: What, specifically?
Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.
Couric: Can you name a few?
Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.
Palin may well ace her final on Thursday (especially if much of the public decides to grade on the curve). But following the debate, we think it far more likely her future bookings will tilt heavily toward tete-a-tetes with friendly radio types than sit-downs with the likes of Gibson and Couric.
– Don Frederick
Will looking good be enough!! Without a teleprompter how will Palin communicate the facts?
She’s clearly good at making up a story or two – perhaps this might be one of her solutions.
But we should all look to getting behind Joe Biden – so far every reporter that Palin has had an interview with has been accused of beating her up – it’s the workman who blames his tools for the Republican spin artists.
Joe Biden when asked how would he deal with Palin – he said “respectful” – what more can she hope for – but this in no way should mean he should give her an easy ride.
The only easy ride she should get is from McCain!!
Not since Dan Quayle took the stage in 1988 have debate expectations for a major party candidate been as low as they will be on Thursday for Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
A newcomer to the national scene, Ms. Palin has given little indication that she has been engaged in a serious way in the pressing national and international issues of the day.
But a review of a handful of her debate performances in the race for governor in 2006 shows a somewhat different persona from the one that has emerged since Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, named Ms. Palin as the vice-presidential nominee a month ago.
Ms. Palin, a former mayor who had become a whistle-blower about ethical misconduct in state government, held her own in those debates. (There were almost two dozen in the general election alone; she skipped some, and not all were recorded.)
She staked out a populist stance against oil companies and projected a fresh, down-to-earth face at a time when voters wanted change. That helped her soundly defeat Frank H. Murkowski, the unpopular Republican governor, in the primary and former Gov. Tony Knowles in the general election.
Her debating style was rarely confrontational, and she appeared confident. In contrast to today, when she seems unversed on several important issues, she demonstrated fluency on certain subjects, particularly oil and gas development.
But just as she does now, Ms. Palin often spoke in generalities and showed scant aptitude for developing arguments beyond a talking point or two. Her sentences were distinguished by their repetition of words, by the use of the phrase “here in Alaska” and for gaps. On paper, her sentences would have been difficult to diagram.
John Bitney, the policy director for her campaign for governor and the main person who helped prepare her for debates, said her repetition of words was “her way of running down the clock as her mind searches for where she wants to go.”
These tendencies could fuzz her meaning and lead her into linguistic cul-de-sacs. She often used less than her allotted time and ended her answers abruptly.
When questioned about the nuts and bolts of governing, Ms. Palin tended to avoid specifics and instead fell back on her core values: a broadly conservative philosophy and a can-do spirit.
“My attitude and my approaches towards dealing with the complexities of health care issues,” she said in an AARP debate in October 2006, “is a respectful and responsible approach, and it’s a positive approach. I don’t believe that the sky is falling here in Alaska.”
These patterns could help explain why the McCain campaign negotiated for less time for discussion in her debate Thursday with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware than the presidential candidates had in their debate last week.
Ms. Palin was not always at her best when questioned by her opponents in the governor’s race.
In the AARP debate, Mr. Knowles and Andrew Halcro, an independent, double-teamed her to press her about how she would pay for health care.
In response to Mr. Knowles, she mentioned “certificates of need” and said they had been inflexible, “creating an environment where a lot of folks are lacking the receiving of their health care that is needed in some of the areas, especially in some of our larger markets.” She added, “The State of Alaska needs to be looking specifically at that inflexibility that exists today in order to fill some of the market needs that are out there in Alaska in our larger markets.”
She then added, “I can’t tell you how much that will reduce monetarily our health care costs, but competition makes everyone better, it makes us work harder, it does allow reduction in costs, so addressing that is going to be a priority.”
Mr. Knowles was nonplussed, saying that he did not understand her answer and that Ms. Palin had missed the point.
Mr. Halcro asked how she would pay for critical health care programs.
“Well, the point there, Andrew,” she said, “is that these are critical, and again it’s a matter of prioritizing and it’s a matter of government understanding its proper role in public safety, is health care, so it’s a matter of priorities.”
Mr. Halcro called her answer “political gibberish.”
But other times, she gave direct answers that appealed directly to her audience. The candidates were asked in a debate on Aug. 17, 2006, by a rural resident via video whether they would restore a longevity bonus for senior citizens, a payment intended to keep them from leaving the state.
“No,” Mr. Murkowski said gruffly. John Binkley, a third candidate, said yes. Ms. Palin’s response was filled with emotion.
“Yes, our precious, precious elders,” she said, looking into the camera. “For those who were prematurely lopped off, I am so sorry that that has happened to you.”
But generally, her voice carried surprisingly little affect.
“In tone, manner and sometimes even language, she treated every issue exactly the same,” Michael Carey, the former editorial page editor of The Anchorage Daily News, wrote in an essay about Ms. Palin. “She gave no suggestion that some issues are of higher priority than others. Her voice was cheerful, up-tempo, optimistic, never off key but always in the same key.”
Perhaps her strength in debating was coming across like an average person who understood the average person’s needs and would not be expected to have detailed policy prescriptions.
She also neutralized some of her conservative social views. She said intelligent design should be taught in schools — along with evolution. She said she favored the teaching of abstinence — along with the teaching of sex education. “Let the kids debate both sides,” she said.
She was not a particularly aggressive debater, and she rarely took an opportunity to challenge her opponents. But when pressed, she could be tough. In a roundtable discussion in October on the “Bob and Mark Show,” Mr. Halcro suggested that Ms. Palin had not attended enough debates.
“It’s been a year today that I’ve been on the campaign trail,” Ms. Palin responded, “attending many, many more forums, more debates, than either one of you, Tony and Andrew, because I had a primary opponent. You know, you got to have the balls to take it on in the early part of a campaign, and not just go right to the big show.”
At the moment just expect everything Sarah Palin says to be either a bold face lie or a half truth. Including all things to do with her finances – actual accounts will be released on Oct 6 ’08.
This defines being out of touch. On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Sarah Palin calls herself “an everyday working class American” — but the truth is that her family income is $250K and she owns five properties, two watercraft, and an airplane.
Here she was on Hewitt’s show:
Todd and I, heck, we’re going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don’t like the idea of just an everyday working class American running for such an office.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has introduced her family to the nation as small-town common folk since she burst onto the scene as the surprise pick for the Republican vice-presidential nominee last month. A check of financial records, though, shows the Palins live anything but a common life when compared with their fellow residents of their hometown of Wasilla.
Their combined income of nearly a quarter-million dollars last year was five times the median household income for Wasilla’s 7,000 residents. They own a single-engine plane, two boats, two personal watercraft and a half-million-dollar, custom-built home on a lake that is worth three times the average of other homes in town.
For the future, they also have a 401(k) retirement account compliments of Todd Palin’s years as an engineer with oil giant BP.
“Gov. Palin’s story is emblematic of the American dream,” McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt said.
The Palins have been hugely successful by most standards in both their public and their private lives, according to the records.
“As a person, she’s consistent, honest and warm,” said Cheryl Metiva, executive director of the chamber of commerce in the Palins’ hometown of Wasilla. “As a politician, she’s focused, direct and clear. And she’s done a tremendous job of balancing her family life and with her public duties.
“You underestimate her at your peril,” she said.
The couple’s house was appraised this year at $552,100, which, according to Alaska magazine, was designed and built by Mr. Palin.
Mr. Palin, known in Alaska as the “First Dude,” is a longtime commercial fisherman who maintains a highly sought-after commercial-fishing permit that has been handed down in his family from generation to generation. A native of Dillingham, Alaska, his mother is one-quarter Yup’ik Eskimo and his maternal grandmother is a member of the Curyung tribe, which is the source of the permit.
“Hard work and principled convictions have allowed her to catapult to being the most popular governor in America,” Mr. Porritt said of the Republican candidate.
Source: Washington Times