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Friday, October 03, 2008


Andy McCarthy at NRO:
Sarah was terrific, especially in the second half. But I confess: I worry about the first half.

I almost turned the TV off in disgust 15 minutes in, when she blamed the credit crisis on predatory lenders — nothing about irresponsible borrowers, nothing about the Carter/Clinton Community Reinvestment Act, and, most of all, nothing about Fannie/Freddie and Dem bigwigs whose pattern of fraud and kickbacks would make Enron execs blush. And her ode to diplomacy with Iran — which Biden jumped on in one of his stronger points of the night — was disheartening.

I had the same reaction - I was spitting mad and demanding (to our cats) that she resign from the ticket (they seemed uninterested). It struck me that if she was so uninformed about the origins of the financial scandal, then she wasn't fit for national office. I stopped watching and poured myself an adult beverage.

The thing to bear in mind, and for the McCain campaign especially to bear in mind, is that Palin is weakest where she is shackled to McCain. Loyalty is big in my book, and Sarah is duly mindful of the opportunity McCain has given her — she's loyal. But when it comes to the base McCain must galvanize — the base that loves her and is suspicious of him — she's more valuable to McCain when she doesn't sound like she's reading his script.

After another 30 minutes, I had cooled down and figured out that her wiff on the financial scandal had to be a McCain strategy, rather than incompetence on Palin's part. She obviously knows about the CRA, the GSEs and Democrat culpability, but the McCain camp's tack is to play that down, avoid partisan rancor, until a bailout bill is passed. I watched the remainder of the debate and thought she was outstanding (although she still missed a number of opportunities).

Palin makes a big deal about not being on the same page as McCain on ANWR. But that tells people she has leeway to part company with him on other issues if she disagrees. Therefore, when she doesn't part company, one assumes she must agree. Now obviously, that's not how it works in the real world — veeps can only disagree with their principals on so many things before the arrangement becomes counterproductive. Still, I can't help thinking what a lights-out star Palin would be if she didn't need to conform to McCain's idiosyncrasies. It's going to inhibit her and annoy us. [emphasis mine]

Back in the summer, when Jim DeMint was offered as the ideal VP choice for conservatives, I worried that putting DeMint on the ticket would not help conservatives during a McCain presidency and would in fact damage DeMint by dint of his having been associated with McCain policies for one or two terms. He would be electoral dead meat for any future presidential run. I have the same concerns about Sarah Palin. As I said last night in a comment to G-Man's debate blog, she's too good for John McCain.

Whatever else goes on between now and forever, Sarah Palin needs to make sure that she is never associated with John McCain's policies. She must maintain her own ideological identity. Dick Morris called her a "superstar". Let's hope she doesn't lose her lustre following in John McCain's wake.


Blogger G-Man said...

Last night Palin introduced herself as one of us and demonstrated that she is just as frustrated with Washington as we our. Moreover, she wants to go there and shake things up. She reminded me of another governor – Ronald Reagan.

If Palin stays true to herself and doesn't backpedal, she will do fine regardless the outcome of this election.

Regarding her failure to name names with Fannie and Freddie, I suspect this is a campaign decision. I don't understand it. It seems to me that naming names with this mess would be a good way to start reforming Washington now. Why talk about reforming when you demonstrate it publicly? If McCain-Palin started naming names, it would be harder for the press to ignore it. And, of course, Mr. O is vulnerable.

Also, McCain handcuffed her here. By making earmarks and pork a keynote in his own debate, then voting for so-called bailout chock full of pork, Palin had to tread lightly on the subject. McCain did the right thing to suspend his campaign to do his day job – ostensibly, to fight for the people's interest over that of Big Government. But, he didn't follow through. There is a good chance that a Palin attack on Democrats helping Fannie and Freddie would have opened the door for Ifill and Biden to accuse McCain of trying to grandstand on the mortgage mess. This may have taken precious minutes away from Palin to address other issues.

I'm hoping there is still time for someone to bring more exposure to the culprits behind Fannie and Freddie. This may be McCain's hope as well.

Bottom line, Fannie and Freddie was the October Surprise that should have sunk Obama's ship. But, McCain came to his rescue. Let's hope he didn't sink his own ship in the process.

10/03/2008 1:29 PM  

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