Posts Tagged ‘Palin

I missed both debates and I so wanted to write on them. Had to travel during Thursday evening. Not fun. So I have to rely on news links. I’ll pop those in later. It is now the very early morning and I’m writing this before I rush off.

First, to comment on our debate then the American vice-presidential debate.

My impression- in the little I heard- first our own debate- I’m glad Elizabeth May was on stage. She did raise the bar for the debates. Although she is grating in her views at times, she presents well, she is prepared, and she speaks well. She has the ability to hold the audience interest.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion spent a lot of time on the defensive. I wish I spoke French, as the pundits and polls indicate he did very well in the French debate the night before, besting Prime Minister Steven Harper, who, reportedly, did come off looking calm- which impresses in itself to look unflappable under pressure.

Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party, sounded aggressive. In the short time I heard the debate- on radio yet, I never saw it- Layton sounded the same each time. It gave the impression of an attack dog on a leash. It was not a leader-like impression. The New Democratic Party has the reputation of a caring party- it’s been called “the conscious of the House”- it started our medicare (Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan), it has been the impetus for so many of our adopted social programs, but those days are gone, it seems. If Layton were an American, you’d say “Republican” instantly, just in how he looks. If he wore plaid work shirts, I’m sure it would look funny. In debate Layton sounds more like the guy with the pitchfork on your shoulder. He should address the audience more. He got lost in the wallpaper on radio sounding strident each time he spoke. He needs some variety in tone. Maybe it was there, I didn’t hear it.

Gilles Duceppe, the Bloc Leader. I remember when in college a political science instructor actually called the Bloc office in Ottawa and asked for their policy platform. He said they fell over themselves with surprise- a person from Alberta calling about their platform. That request would still register surprise. They are a Quebec-only party. Duceppe has a great voice on radio. Unlike Layton, Duceppe’s voice registers concern. His questions, though, seem to be not pinned to anything that can resonate with the average voter here. Um, they are not even pinned to reality, actually.

Prime Minister Harper. The man is good, you gotta give him that. He speaks well. He is Prime Ministerial. He knows his facts and can produce them instantly. He can go on the attack without breaking his monotone. On the attack he never sounds bitter, harsh, or mean. It sounds even policeman-like, as in someone saying, these are the facts, ma’am. When attacked- and he was constantly, everyone wanted a piece of him- he was unflappable, never broke stride. A damned good performance.

Now the American debate.

Remember I am listening on radio, driving down the Queen Elizabeth Highway (the Calgary-Edmonton Trail, renamed after Queen Elizabeth’s visit here in 2005), rushing to a meeting that took place while the debate was on.

Sarah Palin transformed. On radio she shone. She had a thin grasp of issues but she had good lines, good jabs. I was so impressed in the little I heard I thought she was winning- that is not a joke.

When I got back I flipped through news items on the debate and apparently one of the former Alaska governors Palin beat warned Joe Biden not to underestimate her. Good advice.

Biden was polite, never demeaning, presented his facts well.

But Biden does not have something Palin has. She has star power. I never realized that until I heard her on radio. I could not for the life of me understand what people saw in this woman. This blog actually gets a huge rise in hits when I mention Palin. No other subject I write about can affect my hit counter so dramatically. Americans are hungry for news of her. Mudflats, the Alaskan blog that follows her is one of the best-read blogs on WordPress. I thought Americans were hungry for news of her because they had no idea what she was all about and wanted to know more. Now I think she has a sort of Trudeau-mania about her. Palin-mania. Go figure.

She tripped only once that I heard, confusing “main street” with “Wall Street”. She appeared to see the crisis as triggered by Wall Street excess and near-criminal behaviour. I can see how voters would like that.

Palin sounded Reaganesque even. (“Well, Nancy and I..”) She has a similar casual-executive style of speech- a similar cadence. Her voice, once she gets going has a definite rhythm. It is not hesitant. She can absorb facts (unless she had giant cue-cards and I was fooled) and can shoot them out at just the right time. She has what should be an irritating habit of dropping the “g” in her words ending “ing” but it doesn’t sound irritating. It brands her as working folks. She even used a line to make sure that was emphasized- it was during her speaking on Obama’s tax proposal to cut taxes for everyone making less than $250,000 a year. It was a risk (if she is just folks the tax break would include her) but she took it. She said “Todd and I” were middle class all their lives, then told Biden the tax cut wouldn’t include some small businesses and explained that would hit jobs. It was not only well-delivered, she was developing a constituency as she spoke- a brand. Her people are working people.

In the short radio time I heard the debate I was surprised as Sarah Palin turned Joe Biden into wallpaper and shone as she jabbed and danced while promoting her brand on a national broadcast.

Another point here. Forgive this if you’re American, but the impression of the average American is not being among the brightest of bulbs on the world chandelier. I enjoyed a PBS documentary on the day-to-day life of an aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. But I was genuinely appalled by how little the average sailor knew about politics, geopolitics and history. Here they are, on one of the greatest warships in history, a key military tool representing the policy of the United States of America, our key ally, and the most of the crew gives the impression they are one brain chromosome short. It was not reassuring. It is those people, I think, that would adore Palin. She is them- working people, just folks people, down-home people whose families have never done well and never will, who view Washington and corporate America as foreign territory. I understand now how Sarah Palin’s view of Washington and politics would genuinely resonate with these people. These people would feel very comfortable with a President Palin. God help us.


The interview of Alaska Governor Sara Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, with American television news anchor Katie Couric, went badly for Palin, but one cannot help hating Couric for it.

Palin looked and sounded ill-informed and ill at ease as she answered Couric’s questions on issues she will have to face as vice-president should she win the post. But almost overshadowing that impression was Couric’s usually familiar, smiling Today-on-NBC face, twisted, for much of the interview, into an impatient, squinty-eyed, den mother, get-on-with-it expression, complete with telegraphed gotcha points as the interview went on.

It was rather like watching a rich, connected and rather polished snooty sorority senior interviewing the new poor girl from the other side of the tracks. Couric’s expression telegraphed more than her words: you are not one of us, you don’t belong, I’ll be nice, but I don’t like you and never will, you hopeless dumb bit of trash.

It was a painful interview to watch.

It was like watching the death of America. It is not true anymore. Not everyone can grow up to be president. There is a club you must belong to and the media hold the tickets. If you don’t smell of money and connectedness, and if you haven’t spent half your life as a news junkie reading rip-and read items like a candy addict, then you’re nothing.

Sarah Palin is the last American. A frontier woman who understands the oil patch, has a decent hard working husband, five wonderful kids, and a career, But she stepped outside Alaska and “they” are squashing her like a bug, even while crowds adore her.

Couric’s interview made one thing very clear. There really is a “they” in America.

The interview was painful to watch because Palin really doesn’t belong in this league. You never want to cheer for her. You have the constant impression, like fingernails scraping on a chalkboard, that just when you think it cannot get worse, it does. Palin gives the impression she is clearly over her head and John McCain should really have his head examined for taking her seriously as a running mate. Her experience as town mayor and state governor adds up to squat when you listen to her on issues.

If I were an American I would not support Sarah Palin for vice-president. That has been a given from the first time I heard her speak.

But I am still bothered by her failing. Very bothered for some reason. What may bother me is she is more representative of working Americans than any American vice-president since Truman, who was turned down by his eventual bride when he was farmer. He left farming and asked her again, this time successfully. Truman never graduated college, but he devoured books. He also never presented himself as a working man, but he was born to the family farm and worked it before starting his army career. Much later, Jimmy Carter, who never served as vice-president, relished his image as a simple peanut farmer, but he was far from unschooled. He was a physics major and naval career man with training in nuclear engineering. He has a brilliant mind of a planner (his botched chopper-over-sand attempt to rescue the hostages from Iran notwithstanding). Carter was from small-town people (when he told his mother he was going to run for president, Miss Lillian answered, “President of what?”) and he really was a peanut farmer. Truman never sported a tool belt around his waist like Carter has on many occasions, but Truman was truely simple in his outlook. He wasn’t dumb. He was well read, knowledgeable of history, well versed in geopolitics with a sense of right and wrong. That was why, in fact, he was misunderstood. He dared stand up to a recognized hero, General Douglas McArthur, over the Korean Conflict. History proved Truman right, but at the time, he was thought a bumpkin dumbass who was over his head. One can almost hear the critics: What the hell does Truman know? He’s from small town Missouri, for God’s sake, and is a failed haberdasher, to boot.

Interestingly, when Truman signed his name on registers that had a space for place, too, he never signed “White House”. A contemporary, Winston Churchill, wrote “10 Downing Street” while in office. But Truman put down “Independence, Missouri.” That was home. He never gave any other impression while in the White House. He was Independence, Missouri, as much as Sarah Palin is Wasilla, Alaska.

The point I’m making is this. Ordinary people make up America. Ordinary people make up a democracy. Ordinary people are not lawyers, but they are the ones who sit on juries. Ordinary people may not be police officers, but they are the ones who sit on police boards. Ordinary people may not be teachers or educators, but they are the ones who sit on school boards. Ordinary people run governments that include experts on banking, warfare, diplomacy, infrastructure, budgeting, public relations and so on. The commander in chief of the United States armed forces has always been an elected civilian, always, no exceptions. Retired armed forces, yes, but active service, no. Ordinary people are what makes democracies tick. If you reach a point when it is considered that there is an elite group of people who can be rulers (Couric’s expression says there is) and they are considered separate from the grubby unwashed ordinary groundling working people (read Sarah Palin) to be frowned upon, then you no longer have a true democracy. Instead of “We, the People…” you have “We, Some of the People…”

Like Sarah Palin, Harry Truman didn’t pass muster. In those days Americans were used to the voice and manner of their four-term president. (Joke from Bob Hope during this time: “Anyone in America can grow up to be vice-president.”) Truman’s hokey Missouri manner of speech must have been an added shock to a grieving nation when long-time president Franklin Roosevelt died, he of that great full upper-crust New England accent during warm fireside chats and forceful radio speeches (…a day that shall live in infamy). Truman must have sounded mule-like in comparison. But the country was stuck with him. Not until two decades had passed did the view of Truman change into appreciation for a well-run presidency with some very savvy people in charge.

Palin gives the impression that she is really is one of us, the ordinary folks. Love her or hate her- and I too, have rolled my eyes at this surprise pretender to the American throne- one has the impression that this is the last of ordinary people that will ever get this close to the White House. From here on in, it will be family dynasties, connected people, and those too rich to understand what it is like to need to work for a living. Barak Obama is admirable, but he was never just folks. He attained much from university but the experience polished him, there are no rough parts to him that would survive on a fishing boat year after year in Bristol Bay to make ends meet. He is the better candidate, but he is not working people- no matter how much he admires them, he is not one of them. Palin is.

Palin will lose, and she should lose. But when her vice-presidential bid dies, a part of America will die, too.

I feel sad over Palin hopelessly treading water while trying to answer questions from old hand reporters who have (almost) seen it all. I can’t abide the woman’s politics. I cringe when she answers questions on issues that should be a slam dunk. I feel badly for her. Sarah Palin just doesn’t get it. For some reason I wish she did.

Here is the interview. The transcript follows.

Here is the transcript to the above interview. I understand it is part two of the Couric interview. I have not seen part one. The transcript to part two follows:
Couric: Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin kept up her busy schedule today, meeting with several world leaders who are here in New York for the U.N. session. But she took time out for an interview and we talked about the financial crisis at length.
We began, though, with reporst that Senator McCain’s campaign manager received
payments last month from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, even as was failing. I asked her for her reaction during our exclusive interview.

Palin: My understanding is Rick Davis excused himself from the dealings in that firm. I don’t know how long ago, a year or two ago, and that he is not benefitting from that, and I would hope that is the case.
Couric: But he still has a stake in the company, so isn’t that a conflict of interest?
Palin: Again, my understanding is that he excused himself from the dealings with Freddie and Fannie, and any lobbying effort on his part there and I would hope that is the case, because as John McCain has been saying and I have been, on a much more local level, been also rallying against is the undue influence of lobbyists in public policy decisions being made.

Couric: Then we focussed on the $700 billion government bailout of bad debt and I asked her if she supports it.

Palin: I’m ill about the position that America is in and we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. At the same time, we know that inaction is not an option. And, as Senator McCain has said, unless this nearly trillion dollar bailout, is what it may end up to be, unless there are ammendments in Paulson’s proposal, really, I don’t believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this.
The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen Americans are waiting to see what John McCain is going to do on this proposal. They are not waiting to see what Barak Obama is going to do, is he going to do this and see what way the political wind’s blowing, they are waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these ammendments implemented in Paulson’s proposal.
Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barak Obama?
Palin: He’s got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism (hat’s needed at a crisis time like this.
Couric: But polls have shown that Senator Obama has actually gotten [sic] a boost from this latest crisis with more people feeling that he will handle this situation better than John McCain.
Palin: You know, I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to go back and look at track records and see who has actually
who is apt to be merely talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for some opportunity to change and who has actually done it.
Couric: If this doesn’t pass do you think there is a risk of another Great Depression?
Palin: Unfortunatley that is the road America may find itself on. Not necessarily this as it has been proposed has to pass or we’re going to find ourselves in another Great Depression, but there has to be some action taken, bypartisan effort, Congress not pointing fingers at this point at each other, but finding a solution to this, taking action and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.
Couric: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help keep Americans keep their homes?
Palin: That is something that John McCain and I have been discussing whether that is part of the solution or not. You know, it is going to be a multi-faceted solution that has to be found here.
Couric: So you haven’t decided yet whether you will support it or not?
Palin: I have not.
Couric: What are the pros and cons of it, do you think?
Palin: Well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded of course. At the same time-
Couric: By consumers, you’re saying?
Palin: Consumers, and predator lenders also.That has to be considered also. But again, it has to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.
Couric: You’ve said, quote, John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business. Other than supporting regulation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, can you give us any more examples of him leading the charge for more oversight?
Palin: I think the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie, that’s paramount, that is a heck of a lot more than other senators and representatives did for us.
Couric: But he has been in Congress for 26 years, he’s has been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee, and he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.
Palin: He is also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party and certainly taking shots from the other party trying to get people to understand what he has been talking about, the need to reform government.
Couric: I’m just going to ask you one more time, not to belabour the point, but specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.
Palin: I’ll try to find some and I’ll bring them to you.

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Hungry for Sarah Palin information?

Some stories on the background of the Republican Party nominee for vice-president include…this one by Tom Kizzia of the Anchorage Daily News first published October 23, 2006…and October 23, 2006….those two stories dug up and presented online by by Midwest Voices columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah.
This next story, from Editor & Publisher writer Greg Mitchell, includes story snippets compiled from Alaska newspaper articles.

And from Wikianswers, this rather professional looking third-person resume with concise background details.

Some stories are now concentrating on her college background. Palin, who graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Idaho, appears to have attended five post-secondary schools on the way to her degree. They include Hawaii Pacific University, North Idaho College, the University of Idaho, Matanuska-Susitna College in Palmer, Alaska, and back to the University of Idaho where she graduated. Story links from Ryan Finn, Bloomberg, and a blog post from All the Latest News that includes an early photograph of Palin.

Here also is an interesting story on the vetting process that finally resulted in Palin as the McCain’s choice. Story link: Dan Balz, Washington Post.

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Election in Canada
Governor-General Michaëlle Jean will meet with Prime Minister Steven Harper at 8:15 a.m. Sunday when Harper will tell her that he does not have confidence in parliament. The Canadian federal election is expected to take place October 14. Three Harper cabinet ministers will not run again, David Emerson (Foreign Affairs), Monte Solberg (Human Resources), and Loyola Hearn (Fisheries). Link to David Akin story, Edmonton Journal. Link to Alexander Panetta story for the Chronicle Herald.

How long has the American election been going on? Seems like forever. Here in Canada a parliament will fall and we will be at the polls all in 37 days. Then there will still be 18 days to the American election on November 4.

A recent CBC poll places the Conservatives at 38 per cent, Liberals at 28 per cent and 19 per cent New Democrat..majority territory is 40 per cent plus…Conservatives could make gains in Quebec – that story by Rhéal Séguin, Globe and Mail.

Election U.S.A.
Quote from Todd Palin…”I should have asked more questions when Sarah joined the PTA”…that from ABC news…Here’s a profile of Mr. Palin from Dino Cappiello for Associated Press…Can you see him hosting a tea for former Alaska First Ladies? Well apparently he has. See the bottom of the article.

There is an online buzz that Oprah Winfrey, a strong Barak Obama supporter is balking at putting Sarah Palin on her show that pulls in 15 million viewers a day…story from newsroomamerica.com

(Well, well. Update to the above. Oprah has responded. She would be happy to have Sarah Palin on her show- after the election. Winfrey’s statement: "The item in today's Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this Presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over." Link to story on Drudge Report.)

The Republicans did get a bounce at their convention. From Obama’s recent 50 per cent polling (Gallup reporting that on September 2) the tide has shifted. Rasmussen puts McCain-Palin pulling to within a single point of Obama-Biden…link here…Gallup conducted a poll over September 1 to 3, before Sarah Palin made her RNC acceptance speech. That poll still had Obama over McCain 49 per cent to 42 per cent. Gallup expects any Palin effect, if any, to show up in a couple days for their polling.

Stormy Weather
Atlantic storms this hurricane season are lining up like a hurricane traffic jam…Following the near miss of Hurricane Gustav that prompted an evacuation of New Orleans and cut off power to 900,000 Louisiana homes…there is Hanna, now a category 3 hurricane with 125 mile-per-hour winds (198 kilometres per hour), now 420 miles (632 kilometres) off North Carolina, followed by Hurricane Ike and then Josephine, a tropical storm not expected at this time to make landfall. Story link to Jack Ryan, Post Chronicle.

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What do the folks back in Wasilla, Alaska, think of Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech last night before the Republican National Convention?

The local newspaper, the Wasilla Frontiersman, has this story with some interviews from an excited crowd at Tailgaters, a local watering hole where many watched the speech.

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How does it feel to have Sarah Palin so close to the American vice-presidency?

“A little scary,” said Alaska radio broadcaster Shannyn Moore, in a telephone interview this morning with Nancy Wilson of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Moore noted the story previous to her interview on the program was on Vice-president Dick Cheney’s visiting Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Ukraine, following the Russian invasion of Georgia. Moore said she believed Palin wouldn’t be up to speed on the issue to do that task.

How did Palin do in her acceptance speech before the Republican National Convention?

Very well, said Moore, adding she was familiar with Palin’s speaking style.

“That wasn’t her,” she said, adding she believed Palin had extensive voice coaching before the speech that speech writers had done for her. Moore said only on a few occasions did some of Palin’s own style come out.

Moore, who has interviewed Palin on several occasions, told Wilson she has much in common with Palin, as an Alaskan, a hunter and teachers as parents, but adds she knows Palin’s record.

Palin’s harshest critics are in her own party, said Moore, adding that Palin’s 80 per cent approval rating is in large part due to giving more oil royalties to Alaskan citizens, citing a typical response to be, “She’s doing a great job. I just received a $1,200 cheque from her.”

Some issues Moore touched on: Alaska under Palin suing the federal government to take polar bears off the endangered species list. A huge issue in Alaska was the recent vote on what was called Ballot Measure 4, on stronger environmental standards to protect the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, reportedly the largest in North America. Stronger environmental standards might have killed the proposed Pebble Mine, which will be, if built, the largest open pit mine in North America. (Interestingly, the mine has a Canadian connection, with shares of Northern Dynasty rising 20 per cent after the vote to narrowly kill the stronger environmental measures.) Moore said Palin supported the mine proponents.

“She is very, very pro-business,” Moore said.

Moore also told Wilson Palin took debt-free Wasilla Alaska to about $20 million in debt when she left after two terms.

Moore’s blog, Just a Girl from Homer, is found here.

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Every great speech has its memorable one-liner.
Sarah Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention had more than one, but the stand-out was a self-description, a teaser one-liner delivered like a joke.
“What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? Lipstick.”
They say writers should write what they know. The same thing can be said about politicians. Palin played it smart and talked about family, small town values and energy.
She not only struck a cord, and not only met expectations, she told Americans she understood them, she was one of them. She exceeded expectations with the most important speech of the convention and of her life. If she didn’t hit a home run, McCain would be stranded on base.
Palin hit a home run.
“Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, not just to mingle with the right people,” Palin said. Her small town background didn’t show when she began mixing it up with her big-time opponents, reminding the crowd that Obama had written two memoirs but not a single law.
A sign in the audience read, “Straight talk” and she gave it.
“The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery,” Palin said, asking after the Democrats took their “styrofoam Greek columns” back to a studio lot, after being used at their convention in Denver, the Democrats plan for America were unclear.
In response to her criticism about her lack of foreign policy experience, she spoke about her concerns of new Russian energy aggressiveness in being overly ready to turning down the oil taps in the new pipelines stemming from it and the unfriendliness of Venezuela.
She wanted it understood that she understands oil and the geopolitics of it.
Wanting new energy sources is not an excuse to do nothing, Palin said, trumpeting the TransCanada Corporation’s $40 billion natural gas pipeline that will take Alaskan gas south to the lower 48.
She spoke of the small-town gas station of her sister and brother in law- the message is that she understands small business owners. She spoke of her son in the infantry going off to Iraq on September 11, eight days from now.
Palin’s well-delivered message was ‘I am one of you’.
On another channel before Palin spoke, Jay Leno already had his Palin one-liners in.
“This might be the first time a beauty contestant might actually bring us world peace. They’ve been talking about it for years.”
There were favourable optics during the speech. Family members holding the five-month old baby in turn, the youngest of Sarah and Todd Palin’s children, as Sarah Palin made her speech of a lifetime. One daughter (was it Willow?) holding the baby, then Todd, then the youngest daughter, repeatedly wiping her palm with her tongue to slick down the baby’s hair, Todd’s practiced “first guy” wave to the crowd when he was introduced by his wife on stage, and the look in his face of genuine admiration when John McCain stepped on stage and Todd Palin shook his hand.
It is interesting that Palin’s speech had leaning references to the Democrats. The term “profile in courage” is one letter away from book title written by John Kennedy.She also compared her unlikely rise from a small town to be chosen as the vice-presidential nominee to that of Independence, Missouri’s Harry Truman.
Sarah Palin hit a home run with her speech, energizing a dreary convention and easily putting to rest any concerns she might not be up to the challenge of the American presidential race she is fully in now.

The big proof Palin’s speech was a home run? Cindy McCain actually showed emotion at the end as she applauded.

The biggest surprise. Any thought that Palin is a lightweight with less experience (read “executive” experience) than Obama or Biden who has been in the Senate since 1972 and is well versed in foreign policy. The crowd chanted “zero, zero” several times, on message to point out Palin has governing executive experience, as a mayor and state governor, a claim neither Obama or Biden can make. Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle made that point in her address before Palin spoke. Palin described her two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska as being “sort of like a community organizer” but with “responsibilities”, a shot at Obama, who has made much of his Chicago work as a community organizer after graduating from Harvard.

Another thought: One part of the speech might bite Palin back. She trumpeted that she turned down the $329 million “bridge to nowhere” link between Ketchikan, Alaska with its island airport on Gravina Island, when news reports have already established she ran for governor supporting it, and Congress had abolished the earmark before she decided she was against the project. A regular ferry service runs between the two points year round. Watch for Palin to have to answer questions on that one in the coming days.

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  • wordbeeps: No, he doesn't deserve an apology. Who tweets during a funeral? If you do, expect feedback. I didn't say the mourners were faking it. I think they we
  • Holly Stick: Look you fuckwit, are you too stupid to realise that Ghomeshi was an actual friend of Layton's, when you tweeted to him that the mourners were faking
  • aardvarkcola: Thank you. I see the rest of your message now. i'm honoured to to have your words on my blog. That alone is a delight. Lawrence