McCain/Palin vs Obama/Biden – The Battle Of Good And Evil

MSM Praise For Palin (Volume 1) – “She Killed” – With Photo Essay

“Oh, No! Say It Ain’t So, Joe!” … Biden’s 14 Lies – Video Added

MSM Praise For Palin (Volume 2) – “Genius”



By Michelle Malkin  •  October 2, 2008 10:50 PM

First, I would like to see all the Sarah doubters and detractors in the Beltway/Manhattan corridor eat their words.

Eat them.

Sarah Palin is the real deal. Five weeks on the campaign trail, thrust onto the national stage, she rocked tonight’s debate.

She was warm, fresh, funny, confident, energetic, personable, relentless, and on message. She roasted Obama’s flip-flops on the surge and tea-with-dictators declarations, dinged Biden’s bash-Bush rhetoric, challenged the blame-America defeatism of the Left, and exuded the sunny optimism that energized the base in the first place.

McCain has not done many things right. But Sarah Palin proved tonight that the VP risk he took was worth it.

Her performance also underscored the underhandedness of the hatchet job editors at ABC News and CBS News, which failed to capture her solid competence on the whole array of foreign and domestic policy issues on the debate table tonight. (I didn’t care for all the “greed” rhetoric, but I understand they are trying to appeal to independents and Dems. They’re trying to win the election.)

Pause to reflect on this: She matched — and trumped several times — a man who has spent his entire adult life on the political stage, run for president twice, and as he mentioned several times, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sarah Palin looked presidential.

Joe Biden looked tired.

Sarah made history.

Biden is history.


Prediction: Watch for a whole new, severe strain of Palin Derangement Syndrome to begin tonight.

They hated her before tonight. They are going to pour on more unfathomable hate at a level we have never seen before.

Sarah, we’re praying for you.


Frank Luntz’s focus group agrees: Sarah rocks.

Reader Brett had a sharp observation: “Palin amazingly avoided falling into a trap when Gwen Ifill asked whether she agreed with Biden on a [particular] issue — instead Palin repeated the question and stated her answer — rather than say ‘I agree’ — like Obama said so many times at an earlier debate.”

Yes, that was excellent.

Mark Levin:

I have been involved in and observed politics for a long time. Governor Palin is a truly unique national figure. She is down to earth, personable, and smart as hell. That’s right. She has been on the national scene for a little over a month, she has been campaigning everywhere, she has had to bone up on all kinds of national issues, and she has shown class throughout. Too often too many are persuaded by the mainstream media’s opinion and react to that. This should be another lesson in that regard. As for some of her populist views, she cannot openly campaign against the positions of her presidential running mate. She is the bright light in this campaign from my perspective.


Previous: Liveblogging the debate.


As for Gwen “Age of Obama” Ifill, she behaved herself for the most part. She was duly chastened. But the questions and the controversy and the double standards don’t go away. As I wrote in my column this week:

It’s not the color of your skin, sweetie. It’s the color of your politics. Perhaps Ifill will be able to conceal it this week. But if the “stunning” “Breakthrough” she’s rooting for comes to pass on January 20, 2009, nobody will be fooled.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.


As I noted in my liveblog, Gwen Ifill failed to disclose her book and financial conflict of interest at the start of the debate. It’s a travesty.

Andy McCarthy (whose terrific column blasting Ifill/PBS’s “Do as I say-ism” is here) adds:

…it was an unmitigated disgrace for her to be presiding — and she is smart enough to know that, so not stepping aside was a culpable act.

Spot on.


Jim Hoft attended the Palin post-debate rally. Great photos.

The Enigma of Obama

The Enigma of Obama

By Paul Shlichta

A school of thought is emerging that Barack Obama has an advanced form of narcissistic personality disorder. I heartily agree with Robert Bowie Johnson and Dr. Sam Vaknin  in their shared conclusion, but I reached it from a somewhat different route. I had been trying to write an article comparing our political candidates to circus freaks such as chameleons, phoobs, and contortionists. But I was stumped when I came to Obama, who seems to partake of all of these metaphors.

How can one categorize a man who combines:


  • a revivalist’s grandiose and extravagant oratory,
  • a charismatic talent for swaying crowds for no logical reason that they can explain,
  • bewilderingly contradictory changes in positions on issues,
  • a squidlike ability to befog and blur statements into ambiguous or ominous vagaries,
  • an inflated image (and self-image) covering a naïve and meager mental ability,
  • a penchant for gaffes and misstatements combined with a dismissal of any corrections as irrelevant or malignant,
  • a humorless rigidity, elitist aloofness, and perpetual air of condescension, and
  • a thin-skinned aggrievement at being misinterpreted or of having his privacy violated.
It’s like trying to cram a three-ring circus into a pup tent. Unlike a chameleon, he maintains a constant personal image; it is only his positions that change. He shares the ignorance and self confidence of megaegos, but they doggedly stick to one set of dogmas while he changes them with the ease of a shapeshifter. Moreover, he maintains conflicting positions with more grace than a contortionist and more rigidity than an india-rubber man.  


I tried thinking of him as a Jekyll-Hyde case. I imagined the leftist Dr. Barack, having won the nomination, drinking a potion and turning into the centrist Mr. Obama for the final campaign. I had to discard this model because Obama manages to hold conflicting positions simultaneously, like one of those images under ridged plastic that changes back and forth as you tilt it.


I next thought of Obama as an amoeba [no anagram intended], incessantly changing its detailed shape to engulf its prey while maintaining a constant overall appearance. This suggested the image of an amoeba splitting in two (one to reassure the liberals while the other woos the centrists) or of Siamese twins or a two-headed man-a perfect freak for my political sideshow.


And then I saw the ads for “The Dark Knight”. Of course, Barack Obama is Harvey Dent!  Imagine Two Face in the White House, with his subservient aides saying: “Mister President, Iran has just detonated an atomic bomb. Should we attack them or negotiate?” Without a word, the coin flips up and spins in mid-air….


But all this imagery iconizes only one facet of Obama. His penchant for pyrotechnic oratory calls to mind a sideshow barker or snake oil salesman. His charisma suggests a hypnotist, or perhaps the daring young man on the flying trapeze. His pompous humorlessness suggests Victorian icons that I have described elsewhere. But his most prominent trait is the incongruous combination of meager mental resources, as evidenced by his frequent gaffes and childishly naïve pronouncements, with a greatly inflated self-image of his expertise and capabilities.


I then thought of one of those huge balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. There is something like that in C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, wherein one of the damned spirits, an ugly silent dwarf, leads around a large impressive puppet that speaks for him like a ventriloquist’s dummy. Or like the old man in “Men in Black”, who turns out to be a robot operated by a tiny alien sitting at the control panel inside its head.


But these extravagant fantasies are needless excesses. As she occasionally does, Maureen Dowd managed to pinpoint Obama precisely:


He seems more like a child prodigy. Those enraptured with his gifts urge him on, like anxious parents, trying to pull that sustained, dazzling performance out of him that they believe he’s capable of; they are willing to put up with the prodigy’s occasional listlessness and crabbiness, his flights of self-regard and self-righteousness.


But Dowd did not carry her analysis far enough. As Johnson and Vaknin and others have already pointed out, the traits she hints at would alert a psychologist to the likelihood of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), whose symptoms  include


  • An exaggerated sense of self-importance; exaggerates achievements and talents; expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements
  • Need for excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Selfishness; taking advantage of others to achieve own ends
  • Lack of empathy
  • Arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behavior or attitudes.
It is important to realize that NPD is much more dangerous than simple vanity. Even closer to Dowd’s precocious-child model  is Joanna Ashmun’s description of NPD:


“Narcissists have normal, even superior, intellectual development while remaining emotionally and morally immature. Dealing with them can give you the sense of trying to have a reasonable discussion with a very clever six-year-old — this is an age when normal children are grandiose and exhibitionistic, when they are very resistant to taking the blame for their own misbehavior, when they understand what the rules are (e.g., that lying, cheating, and stealing are prohibited) but are still trying to wriggle out of accepting those rules for themselves.”


The Dowd-Ashmum model, which seems to account for all of the Obamic traits listed above, moves us to pity and then horror. A child with NPD is bad enough — but what if that child had the immense power of the President of the United States? As if to answer that question, Ashmun’s website refers to Jerome Bixby’s famous short story “It’s a Good Life“, in which a small boy is omnipotent, to the servile terror of everyone else in his village. A plot summary can be found in Wikipedia.  The whole story can be found here

But I warn you that, if you read it, you will be very anxious until the election is over — and perhaps even more so in the years to come.

Palin Has Everything that Counts

Palin Has Everything that Counts

By Kyle-Anne Shiver

I must admit to being quite taken aback, last week, by Kathleen Parker’s insistence that Sarah Palin do the Country and her Party the favor of withdrawing from this race.  One is left to only imagine whether Ms. Parker is of the same mind today, or whether she will now be sending this advice to Joe Biden instead. 

As for me and my vote, Sarah Palin has everything that counts.  She has had my admiration since day one, and I’ve seen nothing of significance to change my mind.  I read Kaylene Johnson’s biography, Sarah, this week.  It’s the portrait of the hockey mom, “who turned Alaska’s political establishment upside down,”  a woman who has produced some rather extraordinary accomplishments for her family, her town and her state, in that order, taking one thing at a time.  According to those who know Sarah best, she has done it not so much with extraordinary talent as with personal drive and hard work.


The kind of effort most Americans value most.


For all the talk about the smallness of the governments Mrs. Palin has run successfully, one might get the idea that it’s harder to sit among a large group of Senators on the Hill in Washington, D.C. than being on the hot seat all alone in a mayor or governor’s office.


Well, that’s pure poppycock.  


We don’t need any more proof than the recent revelations of hidden-in-plain-sight shenanigans of Congress — up to their eyeballs in Freddie/Fannie corruption! – to know which job is hardest.  It’s a whole lot more difficult to be constantly exposed to watchful constituents in one’s own hometown and state, than it is to be ensconced on the Hill hundreds or thousands of miles from the taxpayers.


To listen to Governor Palin’s critics lately, though, one might imagine that none of her real accomplishments, nor the honesty and integrity evidenced by Mrs. Palin in office, actually count any more.  Sarah Palin has proven her qualifications by actually making decisions that have borne real fruit — results.  And proven results certainly matter to me.


When I saw Sarah Palin make her national debut at the RNC convention, and again in her first major debate last night, I found her to be quite the American version of Margaret Thatcher.  Thatcher, too, faced scathing derision from her country’s press and from her opposition, much of it focused on the issues of small town vs. big city and commoner vs. elite. 


And, like Palin, Thatcher rose above it all with grace and made her case to the actual voters, who elected her again and again, until the Iron Lady became the longest sitting Prime Minister in more than a Century.  What  did Margaret Thatcher credit with her amazing success?


Thatcher said simply, in much the way I expect Sarah Palin will:


“I just owe almost everything to my father and it’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.”   


And as the first female Prime Minister of England, Margaret Thatcher, also said, “Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.”  Then, she set about proving her own words true.


Despite her harping critics, Maggie Thatcher proved to be a most able leader upon the world stage, even at a time of rather perilous threats on many fronts.  When besieged by naysayers, she once remarked, “If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.”  And after watching Sarah Palin last night, I would say that she agrees with Maggie. 


Don’t let the naysayers ever get you down.


Peggy Noonan was actually one of the first journalists to pronounce that McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin signaled the end of his presidential quest.  Oddly enough, however, Peggy Noonan sang quite a different tune some years ago, when she declared “character” alone as the essential requirement in a President.


“In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant… He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever… You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you can’t buy courage and decency, you can’t rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him… He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a “vision” of the future he wishes to create.. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character– the courage and heart– to see it through.”


Well said, Ms. Noonan.  When did you lose your way?


My favorite part of the debate last night was when Governor Palin reminded us all of Joe Biden’s characterization of paying more taxes as “patriotic.”  Sarah Palin’s authenticity is the most powerful gift she has, in my opinion, and she smiled right into the camera, looked with a mischievous grin, and said that plans for the redistribution of wealth were not how we real Americans in the middle-class see “patriotism.”


Can you say moose-in-the-headlights Biden? 


Why does everything with liberals always come down to throwing money at problems?


It wasn’t hard to see why Joe Biden has been a Senator and never really in charge of anything on his own.  He came across as someone, who did little more than rehearse a role for public performance.  Governor Palin, on the other hand, is the professional politician’s worst nightmare.


Just as Margaret Thatcher pulled the rug out from under a lot of old hands in England, here comes Sarah Palin going right over the heads of  media elites, who think they are charged with the responsibility of telling the rest of us what things to consider when casting our votes.


No one thought Maggie Thatcher, raised over a grocery store in a small town, could be the first female Prime Minister of England, either.  But the Iron Lady did quite a splendid job.  And I predict that Sarah Palin will as well. 


Sarah Palin is the perfect balance to McCain’s experience and wisdom.  She is fresh, genuine and as American as apple pie.  Smart as a whip to boot.  She evidences the spark of true humility, a willingness to learn from others, and the character so necessary for sound judgment. 


In everything that counts, Sarah Palin has what it takes to make a great Vice President.  And someday, she’ll make a terrific first female President too.


I hope I live to see it.


Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She blogs at

The “Pit Bull” Returns

The “Pit Bull” Returns

By Jacob Laksin | 10/3/2008

In the weeks preceding yesterday’s vice presidential debate, one might have been forgiven for suspecting a vast right-wing conspiracy to lower expectations for Sarah Palin. A platitude-filled interview with Katie Couric, spoofed on “Saturday Night Live” and lamented by unnamed but oft-quoted “top advisers to John McCain,” seemed to underscore the impression that the attractive Alaska governor was all style and no substance – and certainly no match for a Senate heavyweight like Joe Biden.


Palin did nothing to discourage such deflationary talk. For instance, she suggested that she was overmatched by the experienced Biden when she said that she’d been listening to his “speeches since I was in the second grade.” So pronounced did the underselling of Palin become that even the Obama campaign felt compelled to bolster the case for the really “terrific debater” who would “give a great performance next Thursday.”


Alas for the Obama camp, their spin was more precise. Time and again in their Thursday night debate, Palin not only stood her ground against Biden but, on issue after issue, outperformed her Democratic counterpart. This political pit-bull, it turns out, has bark and bite.


It didn’t hurt Palin that Biden seemed determined to rehearse the more dubious charges of the Obama campaign. Several times, Biden suggested that John McCain had pushed for a special tax break for oil companies like Exxon Mobil at the expense of tax relief for the middle class, a charge that first aired in an Obama TV ad earlier this summer. At the time, the non-partisan website, maintained by the St. Petersburg Times, demonstrated that it was a serious distortion of McCain’s support for a broad reduction in corporate taxes.


Palin went one better. Not only did she identify by name Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, but she went on to point out, accurately, that Obama himself had voted for the 2005 energy bill that granted tax breaks to oil companies, and contrasted it with her own much-publicized battles with oil companies in Alaska. (Palin was too nice to mention that Obama’s crusading against Exxon hasn’t prevented him from pocketing more than $30,000 from Exxon-Mobil employees.) A minor issue in the context of the wider debate, it nonetheless established straightaway that Palin not only understood the details of policy – something that her recent televised flops had given cause to doubt – but would not be bullied on politics.


And, indeed, she wasn’t. Take foreign policy. As the reigning chairman and longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden was thought to have a clear advantage on the subject. It was just one of the assumptions demolished in the course of the debate. When Biden tried to defend Obama’s record on the Iraq war, Palin countered with some inconvenient praise, noting that Biden had earlier “opposed the move [Obama] made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that.”

Going on the attack, Palin then asked how Biden could defend Obama’s position “especially with your son in the National Guard.” The reference to Beau Biden, a captain in Delaware’s National Guard, was particularly clever, coming as it did from Biden’s very own political playbook: During the primaries last August, Biden had scorned his Democratic opponents for voting against funding for the troops “to make a political point,” memorably adding that “there’s no political point worth my son’s life.” He couldn’t have imagined then how the line would come back to haunt him.


To shift the topic, Biden reached for a standard Democratic talking point. Iraq, he insisted, was a distraction from the real war on terror. Palin again gave no ground. Democrats’ claims to the contrary notwithstanding, she countered, Iraq is indeed a central front in the war on terror. “And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was General Petraeus and al Qaeda,” said Palin, amusingly pointing out that this was the “only thing that they’re ever going to agree on.” Against Palin’s pointed outline of the stakes in Iraq, Biden’s promise to withdraw troops in adherence with a political timeline seemed especially out of touch. And although Palin did not raise the point directly, viewers were left to wonder: How would President Obama make good on his promises to defeat al-Qaeda when he and his running mate refuse to recognize Iraq as a key battleground in the war on terror?


Palin proved even more adept in pricking the Democratic ticket’s pretensions to bi-partisanship. When Biden suggested that an Obama presidency would end polarization in Washington, Palin noted that Obama cast some 96 percent of his votes “solely along party line.” As Biden strained to play the loyal surrogate, Palin not only called attention to McCain’s record of breaking with his own party, but proudly boasted that he “never asked me to check my opinions at the door.”

Biden had hardly burnished his bi-partisan credentials when he revealed that his great insight as a senator was to recognize that judicial nominees should not be evaluated on their service record or qualifications but on the basis of their political ideology, citing as a putative achievement his successful 1987 campaign to defeat the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork. Those who recall Biden’s role in misrepresenting the record of Judge Bork – a Yale law professor and a member of the prestigious Court of Appeals whose great failing was to be a judicial conservative – might wonder how it supports his pledge to usher in an era of post-partisanship.


The discrepancy was not lost on Palin. In one of her most effective lines of the evening, she rebuffed Biden’s partisan attempts to tie McCain to the Bush administration by observing that “for a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there’s just too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make us believe that that’s where you’re going.” As with so many other times in the debate, Biden had no compelling answer.


Nor could the Washington veteran match Palin’s engaging presence, which ultimately turned the debate in her favor. Charming, gracious, and politically fluent, she deftly inserted populist references to “Main Streeters like me” and even forced a crack in Biden’s steely façade when she premised a rejoinder with a ringing, “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”

Biden, by contrast, was stiff and hectoring, with his recurrent admonition – “Let me say that again” – calling to mind all the pompousness of the entrenched political class. One almost expected the Senator to address himself in the third person, which in fact he did, when he assured his interviewer, Gwen Ifill, that “no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden.” That is debatable. More certain is that Joe Biden has had better debates.


Presidential campaigns rarely hinge on political debates, and yesterday’s duel is unlikely to reverse this history. It does, however, confirm a point that until yesterday seemed increasingly uncertain. If John McCain loses the election, it won’t be because of Sarah Palin.

Jacob Laksin is a senior editor for FrontPage Magazine. He is a 2007 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow. His e-mail is

“Oh, No! Say It Ain’t So, Joe!” … Biden’s 14 Lies

‘Insanity’ and ‘Obscenity’: McCain Criticizes Pork In Bailout Bill He Voted For