novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Browsing Posts published in September, 2008

I have to note that the home base of some of our favorite bloggers-in-arms (and commenters), Too Conservative, is still offline.

As revealed in the comments at Hoodathunk, TC went over their bandwidth usage limit and got unceremoniously shut down. Also read there our good friend BlackOut exercising his magical powers of healing and brotherly love.

Back when NVTH was in its infancy, TC was our evil aunt, our death-dealing midwife. But long story short, we all became best friends.

Here’s to hoping LI and company get themselves a new host soon. I know from experience that is a royal pain in the you know what, so my sympathies. If any of you TC contributors are itching to blog send me a note and I will give you a temporary login here. (LI I have lost your e-mail address).

Loudoun County, and I know the LCRC, are waiting with bated breath for your return to action.

Look, clearly I cannot dispute what any of you are saying about the bad interviews, because they WERE bad; otherwise I would not be proffering advice to change course completely.

But let me insert some objective reality into the discussion before the waltz on Palin’s political grave gets too far along.

Sarah Palin is obviously not the nitwit many of you are making her out to be because she has performed very well in debates and interviews in the past. Her political accomplishments have been, by any measure, impressive.

The question is: Does this new appointment place her out of her league? Has she now been promoted to the level of her incompetence?

Performing poorly in a broadcast interview is like falling off a bike, let me tell you. I’ve been interviewed on things I knew a lot about and came off looking like a complete idiot. (Many of you will object, “but Joe, you ARE a complete idiot.” To which I must say: Agreed, but I came off as a much MORE COMPLETE idiot than I could possibly be). The reason for my poor performance was always related to psychic stress: nerves, fear, forgetfulness.

We see this all the time in our elected officials who are, at least nominally, all human. Remember Bush’s “hard work” debate in 2004? Remember Obama’s “57 states”?

When Palin can’t even say which newspapers she reads, there is definite evidence of such stress. I submit that the stress is directly related to commands that she not stray from the party line about anything, and she had not yet been briefed on the official McCain position on appropriate newspapers.

That exchange is a great symbol (thanks to Zimzo for sending it) of how thoroughly the McCain campaign geniuses have dissolved the savor from the salt of their best asset.

What remains to be seen is which Sarah Palin shows up Thursday night. She is the one who has kept McCain competitive in the race. (By way of example, I would be writing about the presidential campaign 95% less frequently if she was not on the ticket). Barring a major misstep by Barack Obama, Sarah Palin is probably the only factor that will determine whether McCain’s effort gets one final big bump in the polls.

And ironically, her performance will depend on whether she can loosen up.

UPDATE: Good discussion in the comments. I think we can say with assurance it all will depend on which Sarah Palin shows up Thursday night: the one who has been less than impressive in the mainstream media interviews, or this one. I will admit, not being able to name which newspapers you read is the very definition of stifled.

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It was made evident in the first debate that John McCain revealed Barack Obama’s understanding of international relations to be puerile at best, yet Obama seems to have been judged winner according to the early polls (polls towards the end of this week will be more instructive). What this tells us is the general public is not looking for facts but rather presentation.

More specifically, authenticity.

Barack Obama can say he visited 57 states and would sit down face to face with the leaders of Iran and North Korea, and the public gives him a pass because he says it mellifluously. The bar is not set too high.

So with regard to Sarah Palin’s apparent current task to memorize a host of McCain talking points, I suggest two adjustments which will give her more room to operate and free her of the burden to be a Chatty-Kathy doll for the McCain campaign.

1) Be able to say what she thinks, and if it diverges from the talking points, respond “John and I are almost on the same page but I will try to bring him over to my point of view.” She has done this well on the topic of ANWR.

2) If asked something she doesn’t know about, say “I never took statistics but I learned to have excellent statisticians on staff for the information I need to make a decision” or some such.

Barack Obama clearly will need to be blanketed with knowledgeable experts in order to make decisions above the pay grade of a community organizer.

Sarah Palin, who presumably will have the opportunity afforded every vice president for some on the job observation (men apparently assumed by the mainstream media to be more adept at this than women), would not be immediately stripped of her Cabinet if John McCain became disabled. So she and Obama would be on equal footing.

Oh, and there is also

3) Hey McCain campaign: Ease up on the force-fed talking points. You are falling in the polls, (after Sept 30 that link will be meaningless so don’t click) so might as well allow your VP nominee to say whatever the hell she wants. Let her go off the reservation. Let her contradict you completely. She connects with the voters in a way that you don’t.

We’ve seen how the “schooling Sarah” strategy has worked. It diminished a key asset of your campaign. Screw the McCain platform. Let the woman talk and even be a renegade VP.

Like it or not, this is “American Idol” America: Thus we have Barack Obama.

The McCain campaign needs some style points and I respectfully submit that John McCain ain’t gonna deliver the goods. Sarah could deliver the goods in an avalanche if you take the blinders and shackles off her. Let her go off the reservation. It’s the only way she can do what you brought her on board for.

Plenty of Americans who won’t vote for John McCain will vote for Sarah Palin.

From an employee at one of the “major newsrooms.”

I guess in a sense the supposedly 1000-1 against message from constituents puts some of the blame in their lap, but sometimes leaders have to lead.

John Hinderaker:

For the first time in my lifetime, serious people are talking about the possibility of a depression. The credit problem is world-wide. If there is a competing school of thought, a view that the credit crisis isn’t so bad or will take care of itself without great damage being done, I haven’t seen it articulated.

“There is something genuinely sickening about seeing Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and others trying to stick President Bush and the Republicans with the blame for the financial meltdown that has put the American taxpayer in hock for the problem they created….”

People are changing their minds. Read about it here.

Also here is the best summary of how the mess started and why exactly the bailout federal intervention is necessary.