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After much anticipation from a room full of reporters and other curiosity-seekers, Sarah Palin this morning took four questions from reporters in a press conference that lasted 11 minutes.
Actually, taking away Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s opening statement, the session lasted under 10 minutes.
Palin was on stage with 13 other Republican governors — all men — who received zero attention from the assembled crowd.
After the third question, an RGA aide tried to end the session but Perry interjected and allowed for a fourth question.
Palin sought to deflect attention from herself and talk about the governors as a group, but all the questions centered on her past and future.
Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska spoke at The Republican Governors Association in Miami on Thursday
MIAMI — Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska did something here on Thursday that she did not do in her entire campaign as the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee: she stood behind a lectern and held a news conference. She was asked what had changed.
“The campaign is over,” she said.
Granted, the question and answer session lasted only four minutes, and for only four questions. As she stood on a stage in a hotel overlooking Biscayne Bay, surrounded by 12 fellow governors, Ms. Palin was asked what message she hoped to get across.
“I’m trying to convey the message that Republican governors are a unique team,” said Ms. Palin, who said she was uninterested in discussing the campaign.
But Ms. Palin did allow herself a look back after the brief news conference ended, as she addressed a session of the Republican Governors Association and told them that she had managed to keep busy since their last conference.
“I had a baby, I did some traveling, I very briefly expanded my wardrobe, I made a few speeches, I met a few VIPS, including those who really impact society, like Tina Fey,” she said.
And yes, she spoke again of “Joe the Plumber,” the Ohio man who briefly dominated the McCain-Palin campaign and its talk about taxes.
Ms. Palin thanked the people who attended her rallies, including young women she hopes she has influenced.
“I am going to remember all the young girls who came up to me at rallies to see the first woman having the privilege of carrying our party’s VP nomination,” she said. “We’re going to work harder, we’re going to be stronger, we’re going to do better and one day, one of them will be the president.”
That raised again the question surrounding Ms. Palin since the election ended: will she run in 2012?
“The future is not that 2012 Presidential race, it’s next year and our next budgets,” she said. It is in 2010, she said, that “we’ll have 36 governors positions open.”
Ms. Palin tried to downplay her celebrity (even after a week in which she was featured in interviews on NBC, FOX News and CNN). In her speech, she tried to change the focus from herself to the work that Republican governors must now do, including developing energy resources to health care reform.
“I am not going to assume that the answer is for the federal government to just take it over and try to run America’s health care system,” Ms. Palin said. “Heaven forbid.”
She implored her fellow Republican governors to “show the federal government the way,” while also reforming their own party.
“We are the minority party. Let us resolve not to be the negative party,” Ms. Palin said. “Let us build our case with actions, not just with words.”
Her appearance was the highly anticipated moment of the conference, coming a day after other emerging governors spoke about the direction of the Republican Party. Entering the political wilderness after its losses this month, the group that many consider its future met to talk about what went wrong, and what to do next.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, who was very nearly Senator John McCain’s running mate this year, told the decidedly subdued, post-election conference Wednesday about a revelation he had recently while looking into the bathroom mirror at his home in Minnesota.
Mr. Pawlenty said that after wearily returning from the campaign trail, he looked at himself in the mirror and complained about what he saw to his wife, Mary. “I said, ‘Mary, look at me,’ “ he said. “ ‘I mean, my hairline’s receding, these crow’s feet and wrinkles are multiplying on my face by the day, I’ve been on the road eating junk food, I’m getting flabby, these love handles are flopping over the side of my belt.’
“I said, ‘Is there anything you can tell me that would give me some hope, some optimism, some encouragement?’ “ he said. “And she looked at me and she said, ‘Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.’ “
As his fellow governors laughed, he came to the moral of the story: “If we are going to successfully travel the road to improvement, as Republicans, we need to see clearly, and we need to speak to each other candidly about the state of our party.”
The long, sometimes painful post-mortem of the election — where Republicans were widely repudiated, losing the White House and more seats in Congress — began in earnest here among Republican governors, a group that has traditionally served as a wellspring of new ideas and talent for the party. It was, at times, a bit glum.
Frank Luntz, the communications strategist, gave the Republicans a slideshow describing how Republicans have just endured their worst back-to-back elections since 1930 and 1932. And Mr. Luntz said that the prospect of sharing his polling research with a group of Republicans gave him pause. “I understand how Dr. Kevorkian feels at an AARP convention,” he said.
Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, another rising star in the party who is considered potential presidential fodder, said that the party needed to recapture the high ground on the ethics and good government, and that it could draw lessons from the high-tech campaign that Barack Obama waged.
“We should learn from that,” Mr. Jindal said.
Mr. Pawlenty kicked off the conference with a somewhat gloomy appraisal of where things stand for the Republican Party.
“We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we are losing our ability to compete in Great Lakes States, we cannot compete on the West Coast, we are increasingly in danger of competing in the Mid-Atlantic States, and the Democrats are now winning some of the Western States,” he said. “That is not a formula for being a majority governing party in this nation.”
“And similarly we cannot compete, and prevail, as a majority governing party if we have a significant deficit, as we do, with women, where we have a large deficit with Hispanics, where we have a large deficit with African-American voters, where we have a large deficit with people of modest incomes and modest financial circumstances,” he said. “Those are not factors that make up a formula for success going forward.”
“There will be calls, and voices across the country for Republicans to return to traditional conservative approaches in almost all respects,” he said, adding that there would also be calls to modernize the party.
“The good news is both are true, and both can be harmonized in my view,” Mr. Pawlenty said. “We can be both conservative and we can be modern at the same time.”
Is it all Palin’s fault? Look back at the horrible things the McCain camp had Palin say ~ and like a soldier she followed their orders! John McCain has no one to blame but himself. His economic plan would give Exxon Mobil with it’s record profits more of the tax payers money, but he is appauled by a middle class tax cut – in these times. What he was hoping to do was to ride the security and war issue for a third Republican term, but once the economy failed – an economy – his policies helped to construct – never mind his erratic reaction – it simply wasn’t going to be easy to sell the very same economic plan to the American people and he is already tanking in the polls and likely he will tank on the election day.
What’s irony of it all is that people may have voted for the old McCain – the McCain who was more concerned about the average Joe – then the interests of lobbyist and the narrowly focused issues of the far-right of his party.
John McCain’s campaign is looking for a scapegoat. It is looking for someone to blame if McCain loses on Tuesday.
And it has decided on Sarah Palin.
In recent days, a McCain “adviser” told Dana Bash of CNN: “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone.”
Imagine not taking advice from the geniuses at the McCain campaign. What could Palin be thinking?
Also, a “top McCain adviser” told Mike Allen of Politico that Palin is “a whack job.”
Maybe she is. But who chose to put this “whack job” on the ticket? Wasn’t it John McCain? And wasn’t it his first presidential-level decision?
And if you are a 72-year-old presidential candidate, wouldn’t you expect that your running mate’s fitness for high office would come under a little extra scrutiny? And, therefore, wouldn’t you make your selection with care? (To say nothing about caring about the future of the nation?)
McCain didn’t seem to care that much. McCain admitted recently on national TV that he “didn’t know her well at all” before he chose Palin.
But why not? Why didn’t he get to know her better before he made his choice?
It’s not like he was rushed. McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination in early March. He didn’t announce his choice for a running mate until late August.
Wasn’t that enough time for McCain to get to know Palin? Wasn’t that enough time for his crackerjack “vetters” to investigate Palin’s strengths and weaknesses, check through records and published accounts, talk to a few people, and learn that she was not only a diva but a whack job diva?
But McCain picked her anyway. He wanted to close the “enthusiasm gap” between himself and Barack Obama. He wanted to inject a little adrenaline into the Republican National Convention. He wanted to goose up the Republican base.
And so he chose Palin. Is she really a diva and a whack job? Could be. There are quite a few in politics. (And a few in journalism, too, though in journalism they are called “columnists.”)
As proof that she is, McCain aides now say Palin is “going rogue” and straying from their script. Wow. What a condemnation. McCain sticks to the script. How well is he doing?
In truth, Palin’s real problem is not her personality or whether she takes orders well. Her real problem is that neither she nor McCain can make a credible case that Palin is ready to assume the presidency should she need to.
And that undercuts McCain’s entire campaign.
This was the deal McCain made with the devil. In exchange for energizing his base by picking Palin, he surrendered his chief selling point: that he was better prepared to run the nation in time of crisis, whether it be economic, an attack by terrorists or, as he has been talking about in recent days, fending off a nuclear war.
“The next president won’t have time to get used to the office,” McCain told a crowd in Miami on Wednesday. “I’ve been tested, my friends, I’ve been tested.”
But has Sarah Palin?
I don’t believe running mates win or lose elections, though some believe they can be a drag on the ticket. Lee Atwater, who was George H.W. Bush’s campaign manager in 1988, told me that Dan Quayle cost the ticket 2 to 3 percentage points. But Bush won the election by 7.8 percentage points.
So, in Atwater’s opinion, Bush survived his bad choice by winning the election on his own.
McCain could do the same thing. But his campaign’s bad decisions have not stopped with Sarah Palin. It has made a series of questionable calls, including making Joe the Plumber the embodiment of the campaign.
Are voters really expected to warmly embrace an (unlicensed) plumber who owes back taxes and complains about the possibility of making a quarter million dollars a year?
And did McCain’s aides really believe so little in John McCain’s own likability that they thought Joe the Plumber would be more likable?
Apparently so. Which is sad.
We in the press make too much of running mates and staff and talking points and all the rest of the hubbub that accompanies a campaign.
In the end, it comes down to two candidates slugging it out.
Either McCain pulls off a victory in the last round or he doesn’t.
And if he doesn’t, he has nobody to blame but himself.
WASHINGTON – Asked by a third-grader what a vice president does, Republican candidate Sarah Palin responded that the vice president is the president’s “team mate” but also “runs the Senate” and “can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes.”
While aimed at a typical 8-year-old, Palin’s explanations oversimplify the Constitution’s definition of the duties of the vice president and don’t match the office’s traditional role in Senate activities.
The vice president’s main duty is to replace the president if the president dies, resigns, is removed from office or can no longer carry out his or her duties for other reasons. The Constitution names the vice president as the president of the Senate but allows the vice president to cast a vote only to break a tie.
The vice president, as a member of the executive branch of the government, has no official role in developing legislation or determining how it is presented to or debated by the Senate, which is part of the legislative branch. In all meaningful ways, the leader of the majority party runs the Senate.
Traditionally, the vice president appears in the Senate for ceremonial events and in case of a tie vote. Although the vice president can preside over the Senate, vice presidents have left that day-to-day chore to senators themselves. In the past, each president has determined the role of the vice president in an administration.
The subject of the vice president’s duties came up as Palin sat for an interview with KUSA-TV in Denver, which has a feature called “Question from the Third Grade.” The interviewer asked, “Brandon Garcia wants to know, ‘What does the vice president do?'”
“That’s a great question, Brandon, and a vice president has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the president’s agenda, they’re like the team member, the team mate to that president,” Palin said.
“But also, they’re in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it’s a great job and I look forward to having that job,” she said.
Sarah Palin still doesn’t know what a Vice President (VP) does:
A legislative committee investigating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has found she unlawfully abused her authority in firing the state’s public safety commissioner.
The investigative report concludes that a family grudge wasn’t the sole reason for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan but says it likely was a contributing factor.
The Republican vice presidential nominee has been accused of firing a commissioner to settle a family dispute. Palin supporters have called the investigation politically motivated.
Monegan says he was dismissed as retribution for resisting pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor’s sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.
Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS
God’s on our side says Lieberman ~ not on theirs!
If he wants a Jihad ~ struggle — bring it on!
You can take so many things away from a person – but I’m not sure God (the Great All) is one.
Via CNN streaming video, I watched Sarah Palin’s event in Clearwater, Florida, this morning. She was heartily introduced there by John McCain’s pal Joe Lieberman. The former Democrat is a very strange figure these days, far from his moorings in the Democratic Party. But you can see how his personal friendship with McCain, and his genuine support for the Iraq war, might cause him to help out his buddy on the stump.
It was jarring, however, to hear Lieberman’s full-throated endorsement of Sarah Palin, a woman with whom he has no prior relationship, and whose policy credentials you have to think the wonky 20-year Senator would find suspect in any other context.
“She’s so strong, she’s so capable, she’s so competent,” Lieberman told the cheering crowd. Emphasizing her “faith,” he added that she is someone who “with your help–and God’s help–will be the next vice president of the United States.” More big cheers.
The religiousity continued when Palin bounded onstage. She commented right away on the number of American flags in the crowd, declaring: “God bless America–you guys get it!”
And then it was on with the attacks on Obama: “There are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are some candidates, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change,” Palin said. She went on to reiterate charges that Obama is friendly with terrorists (Bill Ayers), wants America to lose in Iraq, and smears US troops in Afghanistan.
More: For this heavily churchgoing GOP crowd, Palin is showing a side we haven’t seen in her TV interviews and at the debate. Mentioning the potential for wind and solar power in Florida she exclaims: “God has so richly blessed you here!” Between her and Lieberman, that makes four references to faith and God in about five minutes.
On the eve of the penultimate presidential debate, a new TIME/CNN poll shows John McCain still struggling in states won by George W. Bush in 2004, a sign that last week’s vice presidential debate had little effect on voter opinion.
In North Carolina, which Bush won by more than 12 percentage points in both 2000 and 2004, McCain and Obama are locked in a dead heat, with each candidate garnering the support of 49% of likely voters. In Indiana, which Bush won by 21 points in 2004 and 16 points in 2000, McCain maintains a slight 5 point lead over Obama, with 51% of likely voters, compared to Obama’s 46%.
In the crucial swing state of Ohio, which Bush won by slight margins in both 2000 and 2004, McCain trails Obama by 3 points, with the support of 47% of voters, compared to Obama’s 50%. Obama also holds a statistically significant 8 point lead over McCain in New Hampshire and a 5 point lead in Wisconsin, two states that Democrat John Kerry was able to win in 2004.
As a result of the new survey, CNN now considers New Hampshire and Wisconsin to be Obama-leaning states, after previously being considered tossups. North Carolina is now considered a tossup, after previously being categorized as a McCain-leaning state.
The polls were conducted between October 3 and 6, after last Thursday’s debate. They have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 to 4 percentage points.
Last week, the McCain campaign reacted to a polling downturn by shuttering its operation in the state of Michigan and redistributing staff to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Maine, where electoral votes are distributed by congressional district. In a conference call last week, Mike DuHaime, the McCain campaign’s political director, acknowledged that the national mood and Obama’s deep pockets had put previously solid Republican states like Indiana in play.
“I do think just the overall environment right now that we face is one of the worst environments for any Republican in probably 35 years,” DuHaime said. “Any time you have that, you have states move within that margin.”
After two grueling years, only two major events remain in the 2008 presidential campaign, a candidate town hall forum Tuesday in Tennessee, and a debate on October 15 in New York. In a nod to the dwindling window of opportunity, McCain again sharpened his attacks on Obama during a stump speech Monday in New Mexico, charging that Obama harbors a “back story” on every issue that needs to be explored.
“All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America?” McCain said. “In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.”
Campaigning in North Carolina, Obama countered by charging that McCain and his aides were “gambling that they can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance.”
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos reports: Stakes are high for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin going into tonight’s vice presidential debate with Sen. Joe Biden, D-Dela., with the latest poll finding she has become a drag on the Republican ticket.
Any mistake or gaffe by Palin could be fatal with a new poll finding voters are now questioning their commitment to Republican presidential candidate John McCain because of her.
About one third of likely voters, 32 percent of likely voters now say Palin makes it less likely they’ll vote for McCain, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released today.
Palin is beginning to have a big credibility problem: 60 percent of Americans are now doubting her qualifications for office, up 15 points from an ABC/Post poll last month.
The poll found a minority of likely voters, 35 percent, believe she is experience enough to be president.
The ABC poll also suggests that questions about Palin are reinforcing concerns about McCain’s age. Almost half of voters, 48 percent, now say the senator’s age is a worry — a new high — and 85 percent of that group say that Palin is not qualified to serve as President.
It hasn’t been an easy month for the Alaska governor. Palin initially boosted McCain’s poll numbers, but after refusing to speak to the media she gave a few select interviews where she gave muddled responses.
Contributing to her perception problem: more voters have likely seen the Saturday Night Live sketches making fun of her rather than hearing her speak on the campaign trail.
It’s all cementing in the minds of voters a preconceived notion that Palin is ill-prepared for the job.
Biden’s poll numbers contrast starkly with Palin’s with 75 percent of Americans saying he understands complex issues, 70 percent saying he has suitable experience to take over as president if necessary, and just 13 percent saying the Delaware senator makes them less apt to support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In his debate against Palin tonight, Biden will try to show gracious restraint, and focus his attacks against McCain, Obama campaign aides tell ABC News.
Meanwhile McCain campaign aides say Palin will attempt to aggressively take the fight to Obama.
Wise words as John McCain is not to worried about the party’s image–just winning and it seems at any cost. There has been a whole push around – should Barack Obama have picked Hillary as his running mate – but not talked about as much is – if John McCain had brought in Romney–how this would have added real weight to the GOP ticket. And on the economy Romney is better versed than John McCain.
Appealing so narrowly to the Evangelical vote – has worked out well for the Republicans – one could even accuse them of using religion to get elected – but what has worked in the past may work out to be their down fall this time. As a Mormon Romney was rejected by the Evangelicals Right – whereas Palin – with her radical (she belongs to an underground church which has aims to take America and set up God’s Kingdom on Earth) Christian beliefs – is more appealing to them – but compared to Romney on so many policy issues Palin would be beaten hands down. Though the same can not be said about Biden.
Strangely the Republicans – sound like they are all using the same broken record !!
I’ll bet it’s called The Fumbles.