Giuliani: Palin More Qualified Than Obama

Giuliani: Palin More Qualified Than Obama

Video of Face the nation

Aug. 31, 2008

(CBS) Speaking on Face The Nation Sunday, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was announced Friday as presumptive GOP nominee John McCain’s running mate, is more qualified to be president than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

“You know why? She had to make decisions,” Giuliani told

Face The Nation. “All Senator Obama has had to do is talk. That’s all he does.”

Palin, who is 44 years old, has been the governor of Alaska for less than two years. Previously, she served two terms as mayor of the town of Wasilla, Alaska, whose population in 2000 was 5,470.

Citing her executive experience, the Republican National Convention keynote speaker called Palin “somebody of accomplishment” because “she’s vetoed legislation, she’s taken on corruption, and in her party, and won. She took on the oil companies and won. She administered a budget successfully.”

He also said Obama “is the least experienced candidate for president in the last 100 years.

“I mean, he’s never run a city, he’s never run a state, he’s never run a business, he’s never administered a payroll, he’s never led people in crisis,” Giuliani said.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats but supports McCain, told Schieffer that McCain’s decision to add Palin to the ticket “is a little bit like opening a door and letting some fresh Alaska air into Washington.

“I think here he wanted to send the message, get somebody fresh, somebody really who represents the other America outside of Washington where people don’t care whether you have an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ after your name, they just want you to get something done to help them deal with the problems they have,” Lieberman said. “And Sarah Palin comes from that other America.”

Carly Fiorina, a senior McCain advisor, called Palin “a person of great accomplishment” and suggested she excites women because she is “a woman trying to balance her work life and her family life, not to mention her incredible track record of reform and taking on, as she said, the good old boy network.”

Fiorina said Palin’s anti-abortion rights position would not keep former Hillary Clinton supporters from backing a McCain-Palin ticket.

“I think, frankly, the Democratic Party has done a disservice to women by trying to hold women hostage to the issue of Roe v. Wade,” she said. “The truth is the most important issue to women, all the polls say this, is the economy. Women are not single issue voters. Yes, there are some women for whom the issue of reproductive rights trumps everything else. But the truth is most women are not that way.”

Also appearing on Face The Nation, New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested McCain chose Palin to shift the focus from Obama to his ticket.

“You can see why McCain took her,” he said. “She risked her political career to take on the special interests in her own party, she took on the oil companies. She’s like McCain. McCain wants to change this campaign from change to, from left to right, he wants to make it, ‘I’m going to clean out the stables.’

“But then we see the risks,” Brooks continued. “She has no experience, basically. People are going to be nervous about her. And what it says about John McCain [is], some people drive the aircraft carrier, they have a big team around them. Some people take off from the aircraft carrier, they’re lone fliers. John McCain is a lone flier. This was a ‘lone flier’ choice, it was risky.

“Do people want a risky president? The pluses and minuses are huge in this pick, and that’s why we’re talking about it.”

Giuliani said “there’s no question” that McCain would put the focus of the Republican National Convention “on the South and on Louisiana and Mississippi” because of Hurricane Gustav.

“Senator McCain has already indicated that it would be inappropriate to have celebrations, that things have to be scaled back,” Giuliani said.

Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, said, “We are 1,000 percent better prepared today than we were before Katrina.

“We have the full resources of the federal government prepositioned, supplies and equipment, communications equipment, and the resources of the United States military already on the scene helping to evacuate sick patients from hospitals,” he said. “So we are as ready as you could possibly be. What we have to hope and pray of course is that the storm does not go beyond the capacity of the levees to protect New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast.”
anchor Bob Schieffer

August 31, 2008


August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin: conservatives find the girl of their


The Alaskan governor’s family life and political views press the

right’s buttons


When Sarah Palin stepped into the spotlight as John McCain’s running mate in Dayton, Ohio, and promised that women could “shatter that glass ceiling once and for all”, it was an electrifying moment in a presidential election that had already produced its share of upsets and surprises.

History was on the march again the morning after Barack Obama became the first African-American to accept his party’s White House nomination. After the fireworks, the 80,000-strong crowd who had cheered Obama to the skies at the Mile High stadium in Denver woke up with a hangover.

“We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.”

With her beehive hairdo and retro specs, Palin, 44, has a “naughty librarian vibe”, according to Craig Ferguson, the Scottish comedian who stars on late-night US television. However, the selection of Palin, the governor of Alaska and a mother of five, as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee is no joke for the Democrats.

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio chat show host, exulted, “We’re the ones with a babe on the ticket” — one, moreover, with a reputation as a tax-cutter and corruption buster in her job as the first woman governor of Alaska.

Palin’s selection on the eve of the Republican convention in St Paul, Minnesota, has set the stage for an epic battle for the votes of women, African-Americans, evangelical Christians and the young. The demographic wars that dominated the contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton are now set to be replicated in the national election.

Will America fall in love with Palin or will she fizzle, like Dan Quayle, the vice-president to George Bush Sr who could not spell “potatoe”? Can she help McCain to defeat Obama, a modern political phenomenon, who drew a record-shattering television audience of nearly 40m — more than the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing — to watch his convention speech?

“Good Lord, we had barely 12 hours of Democrat optimism,” said Paglia. “It was a stunningly timed piece of PR by the Republicans.”

Whether Palin’s selection is more than a political stunt depends on how she handles the electoral pressure cooker. With the election in November, there is no time for on-the-job training. Karl Rove, Bush’s former aide, offered a guarded welcome to the “gun-packing, hockey-playing” governor, sayhing: “We’ll get a taste in the next five days of how well she does in the 62 days that follow.”

After Obama’s acceptance speech was wiped from the front pages, even he was forced to acknowledge that she “seems like a compelling person . . . with a terrific personal story”. Republicans are hailing their potential new vice-president as the all-American girl of their dreams.

Palin is gunning for the 18m women who voted for Hillary Clinton — a third of whom have not made up their mind to back Obama, according to the latest polls. McCain specifically deployed the language of feminism and civil rights when announcing her candidacy. “She stands up for what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down,” he said.

Palin’s parents learnt that she had been selected by McCain while they were heading for a remote camp in Alaska to hunt caribou. “I was speechless,” her father said. The skin of a grizzly bear that he shot drapes the sofa in her office.

The more Republicans examined Palin’s record, the more they liked it, although some are fearful of buyer’s remorse. She was born in the conservative heartland of Idaho before moving to Alaska as a baby. At school she was nicknamed Sarah Barracuda on the basketball court because she was so competitive and she led the prayers before each game.

She was a “hockey mom” who cut her teeth at the parent-teacher association before becoming mayor of Wasilla, a suburb of Anchorage with a population under 7,000. In 2006 she beat the corrupt male establishment in Alaska to win the governorship. She opposes same-sex marriage, but one of her first acts in office was to veto a bill blocking health benefits for gay lovers of public employees.

She hunts, ice-fishes and is a crack shot who knows how to fire an M16 rifle. “I was raised in a family where gender was not going to be an issue,” she said. “The girls did what the boys did. Apparently in Alaska that’s quite commonplace.” No softy, she sued to stop the federal government making polar bears an endangered species and favours drilling for oil in the Arctic wildlife refuge. However, she also levied a windfall tax on oil companies.

Palin was glamorous enough to have entered beauty contests to earn money for college. She was crowned Miss Wasilla in her home town and was runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest. “They made us line up in bathing suits and turn our backs so the male judges could look at our butts. I couldn’t believe it,” she told Vogue, more amused than outraged.

Counterbalancing McCain’s reputation as a political dinosaur, Palin smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska, admitting, “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled”, and her children, Track, 19, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, Piper, 7, and Trig, four months, have hippie-sounding names. Track, who joined the US infantry in September last year, is about to be deployed to Iraq. “It has really opened my eyes to international events and how war impacts everyday Americans like us,” she said.

On stage in Ohio, the Palin family looked every bit as photogenic as the Obamas on their big night in Denver. Todd, her rugged husband, is part Yupik Eskimo and is four-time champion of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race. If that is not macho enough, he is a member of the steelworkers’ union and a seasonal oil production operator for BP, from which he earned $93,000 last year. He also helps to run the family’s commercial fishing business. They eloped in 1988 to avoid the cost of a wedding. “We had a bad fishing year so we didn’t have any money,” he said.

Like his wife, he is able to swap the traditional roles. “My husband loves being a dad as much as I love being a mom,” Palin said. “I’ve got great help there.”

She needs it. They “wanted enough kids for a basketball team”, she once said, but Trig was born this year with Down’s syndrome. Palin knew there were complications while she was pregnant but never considered an abortion. When he was born, she said, “I’m looking at him right now and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking: in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?” Undaunted, she held a meeting as governor three days after giving birth. “I just put down the BlackBerrys and pick up the breast pump,” she said of her life as a working mother.

Left-wing websites such as the Daily Kos are leading the chorus of disapproval for now. “Having had two children at home at the age of four months, I know how much help they need even without unfortunate medical conditions,” said one tut-tutter.

Republican women, however, are delighted by Palin’s example. Kellyanne Conway, 41, a Republican pollster and mother of three, said, “I really feel mother knows best without the peanut gallery giving unsolicited advice. She strongly conveys to women today that you don’t have to choose between a successful career and motherhood. You do have to make sacrifices, but you can have it all.”

Evangelical Christians could turn out in droves for Palin, a member of Feminists for Life who opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest, if she maintains her promise.

Deborah Fikes, a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals, said: “I would just trust that the child is not neglected in any way. There are millions of women who work. Why is it that the father cannot provide the same standard of care? There has been an evolving view of working women even in conservative Christian circles.”

Fikes said Palin was an inspiring choice: “I didn’t think the Republicans would pick a female candidate for another decade, but John McCain is not a typical conservative leader.”

Other conservative women have pointed out that Palin was a much more effective counterweight to the super-competent and glamorous Michelle Obama than Cindy McCain, wife of the Republican candidate.

Cindy, a beer industry heiress who bought the seven homes that McCain cannot remember and once said the only way to travel around her home state of Arizona was by private plane, was under fire last week from her own half-sister. She said she was voting for Obama after Cindy had repeatedly claimed to be an “only child” and never expressed regret that her father had ignored her half-sister in his will.

In fact, even though the Clinton aides could barely conceal their satisfaction when she was chosen, the woman who Palin upstages most of all is Hillary. If Obama wins the election, Hillary will have to wait until 2016 to stand again. And if he loses, Palin will be first in line to become America’s first woman president.

Sarah Palin — Say Goodnight, Obama

Hillary supporters and Sarah Palin: a first indication

Hillary supporters and Sarah Palin: a first


Clarice Feldman
A poster at JOM just posted this and I want to share it with you:

That site is still closed to lurkers, and last time I was there I saw at least 400 comments, probably many more, 99% whooping and cheering Palin, promising to donate, volunteer, and vote Republican for the first time in their lives. There were several comments about Rice and Powell, excoriating the Dems for hypocricy for ever having accused Republicans of being racists and sexists, professing the realization that it’s the Dems that are the real bigots, etc., etc. Truly a sight to see.


Posted by: Extraneus

Sarah Works

By Bruce Walker

The selection of Sarah Palin works, on many levels and in many ways.  McCain knew what he was doing when he picked her. Consider all the ways in which Palin helps the Republican ticket.

Women voters know not only that the election of McCain likely will lead to the nomination of Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee in 2012 or 2016, but the election of McCain-Palin may well mean that the nominee of both major political parties in 2012 will be a woman:  Palin, if McCain decides not to seek another term, and Hillary, who would be the presumptive favorite for the Democratic nomination in 2012 if Obama loses in 2008. 

In other words, women voters who vote in this election know that they can probably ensure that the next president is a woman, if McCain is elected.  That knowledge will pull wavering women away from Obama-Biden and to McCain-Palin. 


Sarah may do more than any person in modern history to close the gender gap, not only for Republicans but for conservatives.  Unlike Hillary, who rode into Washington on the back of her husband, Sarah Palin created her own career.  Unlike Hillary, who dwells within a small family focused on politics, Sarah has a big family and focuses on life.  As a conservative, Sarah Palin sees life as more than politics, election campaigns and litigation.  Her husband has a real job in the real economy.  Sarah is athletic, animated, alive.  Her family seems very real to us. She seems very real to us.


Sarah Palin is pro-life, which solidifies McCain’s base with conservative voters, but she is pro-life with a vital twist:  She has walked the walk.  Women who favor the right to abortion love to point out that the male political leaders who want to limit abortion do not know what it is like to give birth, to care for an infant, or to endure the heartache of a child born with serious illnesses.  Sarah knows all those things at a very personal level.  When Sarah gave birth to Trig, her son with Down Syndrome, she walked the walk in a way that few people ever have had to do on the abortion question.  He will grow up in a warm, loving family and his mother can tell the world, with perfect sincerity, that all human life has great worth.  


She walks the walk on Iraq as well.  Track joined the Army.  He is going to Iraq.  Sarah and Todd are laying their most precious possession, the life of their child, in harm’s way for the sake of freedom.  Sarah Palin, like John McCain, can tell the American people that they know precisely what sort of sacrifices we all must be willing to make if America is to be safe and free.  The contrast between McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden on the personal sacrifices made for America is profound.


The criticism of her inexperience is already brewing, but Sarah can say that she has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined.  Moreover, she has been a gutsy chief executive of Alaska, which means that she has shown an ability to resist the blandishments of lobbyists which neither Obama nor Biden have demonstrated.  McCain and Palin really do represent a resistance to pork exceptional in a presidential ticket. 


As gas prices becomes an increasingly pressing personal issue for huge numbers of Americans, and as more and more Americans support drilling for oil as a logical way to bring down gas prices, Palin brings a strong and persuasive perspective on ANWR drilling.  She loves the outdoors.  Alaska is her home state, the place where her family lives.  When Sarah says, as she doubtless will, that no outsider can care more about preserving the beauty of Alaska than she does, it will be hard to contradict that.  So when she then says that drilling in ANWR will not damage the loveliness of that Alaskan natural wonder which she loves, then Sarah will be believed by millions of otherwise ambivalent voters.   Sarah, moreover, will be able to make a very cogent intellectual argument for drilling.  She knows more about this issue than Obama, Biden or even McCain.  And it is an issue that becomes more important to Americans by the day.


Sarah Palin on the ticket also creates some serious problems for Democrats in planning their campaign about the Republican ticket.  How, for example, will a reflexively arrogant man like Joe Biden act toward Sarah Palin in the Vice Presidential Debate?  This is the same man who talked about Obama as well spoken, for a black man.  How careful will Biden be when he debates Palin?  The debate will be a virtual minefield for someone as callous as Senator Biden.  One slip, one impolitic remark, could shift millions of votes.


Governor Palin also lives in a frontier state, a land about as far away from Washington as you can be and still hold political office in our republic.  This is a theme that can resonate with voters.  Delaware is right next to Washington:  Biden commutes home after work.  Chicago, the Daley Machine, does not seem to be much of an improvement.  But Palin, and for that matter, McCain, come from another part of America completely.  Alaska and Arizona are very distant from the capital whose machinations must be curbed.  The image of two people from America’s frontier cleaning up our nation’s capital is potent.


The biggest catch, though, is Palin herself.  She seems utterly genuine.  Her life story sounds familiar and comforting.  Her words come from her heart.  Her ideas come from a mind not trapped in Beltway Newspeak.  We want change?  She is change.  More than just change, though, Sarah Palin represents change for the better.  She personifies all the goodness in America which we seem to have lost.  Her election will be a shot across the bow of every entrenched politician in the federal government.   As a nominee, Sarah works.

illustration by Brett Noel

Bruce Walker is the author of  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and the recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity