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Archive for August, 2008

Pundits all across the country are buzzing about Sarah Palin and the impact she’s having on the Obama-McCain matchup. This represents typical inside-the-box thinking. I think it’s also out of step with a new matchup that’s taking center stage: the Palin-Obama matchup.

People across America still understand that the presidential matchup is still McCain-Obama but they’re starting to notice that, when it comes to reform, it’s really a Palin-Obama matchup.

Prior to Gov. Palin’s entry into the mix, people generally thought of Sen. Obama as a change agent, a reformer. Now that people are finding out how Sarah Palin took on the powers-that-be within the Republican Party of Alaska and how she ran out the Republican Attorney General before thrashing the sitting Republican governor in a GOP primary, people are taking a second look at Sen. Obama’s reformer’s credentials.

The closer the scrutiny, I predict, the less impressed voters will be with Sen. Obama. The reason for that is because his reformer’s credentials are largely nonexistent. While he made his way up the food chain in Chicago’s crony-laden political system, Sen. Obama didn’t utter a peep about the corruption that dotted Chicago’s political landscape.

Instead, he picked friends like Jeremiah Wright, a racist, and William Ayers, a terrorist. While those relationships with radicals prove that Obama isn’t an inside-the-box politician, those relationships don’t prove that he’s got an ambition to change the status quo when the status quo is corrupt.

In fact, what it really proves is that, putting it charitably, Sen. Obama’s judgment on personal matters is suspect. It also calls into question Sen. Obama’s priorities. Based on this information, it’s difficult to prove that reforming Washington is a priority.

This brings me to another important point. Changing Washington isn’t the same as reforming Washington. In fact, changing Washington might mean he’s intent on using the legal system or the weight of the federal government to silence his critics. His campaign certainly didn’t hesitate in attempting to silence researcher Stanley Kurtz. His campaign went so far as to call Mr. Kurtz a “right-wing hatchet man.” Here’s a portion of the text of the email his campaign sent out:

In the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.

Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He’s currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.

Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.

Call into the “Extension 720″ show with Milt Rosenberg at (312) 591-7200

(Show airs from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. tonight)

Then report back on your call at http://my.barackobama.com/WGNstandards

Kurtz has been using his absurd TV appearances in an awkward and dishonest attempt to play the terrorism card. His current ploy is to embellish the relationship between Barack and Ayers.

Team Obama’s intent is clear. They wanted to intimidate and silence a critic. There’s a word for that and that word is censorship. The question we have to ask is simple: If Sen. Obama is prepared to go to these lengths to silence a critic during a campaign, what would he do with the vast resources of the federal government behind him?

People know that they’ll never have to ask that question of Sarah Palin. They’re starting to understand that she’s better at doing the things that Sen. Obama just talks about. She’s a reformer with results. Her straightforward approach is a refreshing blast that Washington needs badly.

The more she talks up her reform accomplishments, the more people will agree with her and like her.

Meanwhile, Sen. McCain can just take a step back and say “If I’m elected, I’m going to unleash Hurricane Sarah on K Street corruption.” People will know that there’s only one reform ticket on the ballot this fall.

The bad news for Team Obama is that they’ll know that it isn’t the Obama-Biden ticket.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, has just returned to insult our intelligence. This time, he’s done what I didn’t think possible. Here’s what he just said:

With the choice of Gov. Palin, it’s the third term of Dick Cheney,” Kerry said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “He’s chosen somebody who doesn’t believe climate change is man-made.”

Kerry added that Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters should be offended if people suggest Palin was selected to draw some of the female vote away from the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket.

“It’s almost insulting to the Hillary supporters,” Kerry said, calling Palin a “Cheneyesque social conservative who’s going to satisfy the base. John McCain is a prisoner of the right wing, not a maverick.”

Comparing Sarah Palin to Dick Cheney is like comparing Madonna to Pope Benedict. Calling it a stretch is massive understatement. Calling it idiotic is so John Kerry.

Actually, I shouldn’t call Sen. Kerry an idiot. I don’t want to demean idiots that way. That isn’t fair.

UPDATE: Just when I thought liberals couldn’t get more stupid than Sen. Kerry, I get an email from the DNC. Here’s the spin they’re selling this morning:

Friend –

Over the last week this race has been transformed.

Barack named Joe Biden as his running mate, and they accepted the Democratic nomination at our historic open convention in Denver.

Our team is complete, and our movement is growing rapidly. But now we are facing our first major challenge together.

The August financial reporting deadline is tomorrow at midnight, and we have an opportunity to show that a campaign funded by ordinary people can go toe-to-toe with the Washington lobbyists and special interests lined up behind John McCain and the Republican Party.

Dear God, these people think we’re idiots. John McCain is the pawn of Washington lobbyists? They can’t be serious. Sen. McCain’s son didn’t lobby his dad like Hunter Biden did on behalf of the bank he was lobbying for.

Saying that their “movement is growing rapidly” is as credible as saying John Kerry isn’t an out-of-touch Europe-loving elitist. It’s insulting to hear such spin.

Let’s be clear, though. Democrats have gotten away with this crap for years. They think they can still get away with it now. They think that all they need are the hate-mongering idiots of the far left blogosphere and the Agenda Media. They’re about to find out that that’s a failing recipe.

Let’s be clear about something else, too. People keep saying that Sen. McCain picked Sarah Palin because he wanted to pick off some of Hillary’s supporters. While it’d be nice picking off Hillary’s supporters, that isn’t what she’ll do. Lots of women in Maine, Massachusetts and northern Michigan will relate to her as a hockey mom. Pro-life Catholic Democrats will flock to her because she chose to give birth to a baby she knew would have Down’s Syndrome.

Disillusioned feminists, who are slowly rejecting the progressives’ brand of feminism, will be attracted to Gov. Palin. Independents will love the fact that she’s taken on the corruption within her political party at what might’ve been great risk to her political future. Undeterred, Sarah Palin took on, then defeated, many of the corrupt old boys’ network.

Don’t think that that message won’t sell at a time when the congressional approval rating is just slightly higher than chicken pox and influenza. Don’t think that that won’t sell when 80+ percent of Americans think we’re heading in the wrong direction. BTW, 80+ percent of Alaskans think she’s doing a great job. Coincidence? I think not.

While Sen. Obama preaches the empty gospel of Hopeandchange, while liberal elitists like John Kerry talk down to us, Sarah Palin will be connecting with voters all across America.

That’s why John Kerry and the DNC are desperately trying to paint a false image of Sarah Palin. They know that if America gets to know her, they’ll vote for her in droves.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Friday evening, Mort Kondracke of the Beltway Boys said during the roundtable portion of Special Report that Sarah Palin wasn’t qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I took offense with that, especially considering the ineptitude and qualifications of Sen. Obama, who wouldn’t be “one heartbeat away from the Oval Office”.

This morning, I wrote an email to Mr. Kondracke. Here’s the text of that email:

Mort, You’ve really outdid yourself this time. Saying that Gov. Palin, who’s visited Kuwait to talk with the troops from Alaska’s National Guard deployed in the Gulf, who’s rooted out corruption within her own party, isn’t qualified is uninformed opinion. It’s also irresponsible journalism.

Why haven’t you talked about Obama’s lack of qualifications? As you know, he chairs a subcommittee with oversight on Afghanistan. As you know, that subcommittee hasn’t met under his control. He’s been to Iraq twice. The last time he visited, he couldn’t even admit that the surge had worked because his hyperpartisanship wouldn’t allow him to admit that.

Who’s qualified to be commander-in-chief? It isn’t the junior senator from Illinois.

What about his reaction to Russia invading Georgia? Saying that both sides needed “to show restraint” is one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever heard from a politician, much less a political party’s presidential nominee.

Obama talks about changing Washington but it’s just that: talk. He grew up politically in Chicago but he never uttered a peep about the corruption running freely through that old boys network. Sarah Palin saw corruption in her own party & went to work to dismantle it. She’s done what he’s talked about.

Who’s qualified on reform? It isn’t the junior senator from Illinois.

After NRO’s Stanley Kurtz started digging into the documentation to determine the nature of Sen. Obama’s relationship with terrorist Bill Ayers, the OBAMA CAMPAIGN sent out a blast email telling his supporters to flood the phone banks so that “Republican hatchetman Stanley Kurtz” couldn’t smear Sen. Obama.

In other words, the Obama campaign didn’t think twice about trying to silence free speech.

Who’s qualified to “defend & protect the Constitution of the United States”? It isn’t the junior senator from Illinois. He’s shown his disrespect for the First Amendment.

You’ve talked about bipartisanship but you’ve got a nasty left lean. You’ve largely given Sen. Obama a free pass on whether he’s qualified but you’ve jumped down the throat of Sarah Palin, who represents the next generation of conservative reformers. What’s with that?

You’d be better off if you left the Beltway & went back to reporting from the Midwest. It’s obvious that the Beltway has warped your sense of priorities.

Gary Gross
Let Freedom Ring Blog
www.letfreedomringblog.com

Anyone who’s read this blog knows about my disdain for Beltway pundits. It’s something that I speak out loudly against. It’s my biggest pet peeve about Washington. Their conventional wisdom is usually misguided at best. It’s rarely wisdom at all. Frequently, it’s just a pile of BS. In fact, if you do the opposite of the CW, you’ll be better off more often than not.

As I pointed out, Sarah Palin has a history, a track record, of not tolerating corruption. I suspect that that’s because it goes against every principle she holds dear. That attitude and track record will endear her to millions of voters, be they conservatives, moderates or Lieberman liberals, nationwide.

As Newt said in his email to Bill Kristol, people will be drawn to Gov. Palin because she’s authentic. She’s got an irrefutable history of reform. Sen. Obama talks incessantly about change. He’s never lifted a finger to expose the corruption known as Chicago machine style politics. Gov. Palin didn’t spend much time talking about corruption. She just spend endless hours taking it on and demolishing it.

McCain-Palin style change is the change I’ll be enthusiastically voting for this November. In fact, I can’t wait to cast my vote.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This post by the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol quotes a Newt Gingrich email on why Sarah Palin is a big hit with people. That word is simply authenticity. The email is utterly spot on so I’ll just copy/paste it here and get out of the way. It speaks for itself.

Authenticity is the one word threat to the Obama-Biden ticket.

There is something going on this weekend which traditional pundits, traditional consultants and traditional politicians are simply missing. All of the normal biography-oriented and issue-oriented analysis misses an emotional gestalt event comparable to when Ronald Reagan in 1980 crystalized his leadership in New Hampshire when he seized control of the GOP debate.

In one sudden moment Friday, John McCain fundamentally changed American politics in a manner that transcends issues and details.

The great threat to the Obama-Biden ticket can be captured in one word: authenticity.

There is something unaffected and “unsophisticated” (in the Columbia, Princeton, Harvard and University of Chicago meanings of the word) about Governor Palin. She really was point guard of a state championship basketball team. She really is a competent hunter. She is a hockey mom. She has one son about to go to Iraq.

She has 13 years in elected office

By any practical standard she has done far more in the real world with much more spontaneity and practicality than Barack Obama. And there is something deeply real and courageous about John McCain ignoring most of his advisers and all of the “insider wisdom” to reach out to a younger woman whose greatest characteristic is undaunted courage and a willingness to clean out the corruption in her own party.

This is a moment of stunning authenticity versus a sad collapse on the part of the Obama campaign from ” change you can count on” to politics as usual, as marked by Obama’s choice of a senator first elected when Palin was 9 years old.

As I wandered around from a family restaurant to the dry cleaners to a variety of other non-political places, people kept walking up to me and talking with energy and enthusiasm about their reaction to McCain’s choice of Governor Palin. As I sifted through their emotions and the intensity of their reaction it hit me that they were responding to “the real thing.” The power of Palin is that she is so out of the establishment, and so out of the talking-heads, inside-the –Beltway-elite mindset, that the 80 per cent of Americans who believe we are on the wrong track suddenly can identify with someone who isn’t part of what got us on that track.

Palin will make mistakes. The news media and the Obama researchers will find things to attack. But if she stays relaxed and continues to be authentically who she has been for 44 years, the country is going to love her, and they are very rapidly going to get disgusted with the cynical negative nastiness of politics as usual.

Finally 2008 really has given us “change we can count on.” Ironically, it is the McCain-Palin ticket.

Couple this email with the anecdotal evidence chronicled in this post and I think you’ll have to reach only one conclusion.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Since Friday morning, I’ve been hearing anecdotal evidence that Sarah Palin was helping John McCain’s campaign. Now I have a way of measuring it. Here’s what a Zogby International poll found:

The interactive online Zogby survey shows that both Obama and McCain have solidified the support among their own parties; Obama won 86% support of Democrats and McCain 89% of Republicans in a two-way head-to-head poll question not including the running mates. When Biden and Palin are added to the mix, Obama’s Democratic support remains at 86%, while McCain’s increases to 92%.

This is proof that conservatives love the pick, as well they should. Having 92% of the conservatives supporting McCain is nothing short of spectacular. That’s approaching Bush-Cheney 04 levels.

I’ve been suspicious of Zogby International’s polling so I sought other forms of confirmation. It didn’t take long to find it. Consider this David Brody post for CBN:

For the most part, social conservatives and the Evangelical base are now about to come fully on board. Obama’s enthusiasm gap has narrowed considerably. Anytime you have motivated Evangelicals behind you it means your candidate is in a good spot. Watch for pro-family organizations and the McCain team to now start working together to get out the vote. This CAN NOT be emphasized enough.

Working at CBN gives Mr. Brody a pretty good grasp of what evangelical Christians are thinking. Couple McCain’s pick with his performance at Saddleback and there’s tons of reasons why evangelical Christians are jumping on board.

That isn’t the only proof of evangelicals coming on board. Here’s an exchange between James Dobson and Alan Colmes:

COLMES: So does this mean you’re now going to vote based on the bottom of the ticket, but not based on the top of the ticket?

DOBSON: No, I’ll vote for the ticket, I, or at least that is what I believe and what I feel. I did say in the beginning I could not vote for John McCain. I meant it and I had some very serious concerns about his candidacy, but it’s been a long campaign, and a lot of things have changed, and I have steadily moved in his direction when you look at the alternatives and what’s at stake. I feel a whole lot better, especially after today.

COLMES: Dr. Dobson, you said, “I’m convinced John McCain is not a conservative.” Has John McCain changed and become a conservative? Or have you changed and accepted somebody who’s not a conservative?

DOBSON: Well, a whole lot changed when I heard the debate with Barack Obama at Saddleback. I thought Senator McCain did an outstanding job. He said things that I believe, some things that I hadn’t heard him say, some things that sounded like a conviction to me.

And that began moving me in his direction, and then, of course, this choice of Governor Palin. I tell you, that was one of the most exciting moments of the political season.

I was in, I was in a conference this morning with about 300 conservatives, Alan, and they put her acceptance speech, not acceptance, but her response to Senator McCain up on the screen, and it was CNN, and I’m telling you, I’ve not seen that kind of electricity in a long time.

Dr. Dobson gives several legitimate reasons why he’s changed his mind. Obviously, evangelical Christians are thrilled to have Sarah Palin on the ticket. Her story of giving birth to a baby that she knew would have Down Syndrome is the ultimate pro-life testimonial.

There’s other proof that conservatives are getting engaged. Here’s another tidbit of proof:

Sen. John McCain has taken in $7 million in contributions since announcing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, a top campaign aide said today.

The money bounce may owe to Palin’s appeal with conservative donors, many of whom said privately they had planned on sitting out the campaign this year. The money comes in just under the wire, after McCain accepts the GOP nomination Thursday, he will accept public funds and no longer be permitted to raise private money for the campaign.

That will not, however, stop McCain and Palin from raising money for the Republican National Committee. In coming weeks, McCain will host four megafundraising events in major cities aimed at bolstering the accounts of the party. Palin, meanwhile, will be sent out to headline more than a dozen fundraising events for the RNC.

It’s said that several big money fundraisers had initially planned on not putting alot of effort into this year’s election. That changed the instant Gov. Palin was named as Sen. McCain’s running mate. Raising $7 million in 20-something hours is impressive, to say the least.

A couple months back, Rush was talking about the various Republican ‘alphabet organizations’ not doing well on the fundraising front. His opinion was pretty straightforward: The minute Republicans start acting like Republicans is the minute the fundraising floodgates will open wide. I’d say that he’s been proven right again.

Saturday morning, I got responses from members of the House GOP leadership on what they think of the Palin pick. It was positive to say the least.

Here’s Jonathan Martin’s report on Palin Power:

Speaking about GOP grass roots on fire, here in Cuyahoga County we have four victory centers, and in mine alone in the all-important city of Parma, I had 47 calls between 12:30 and 2 p.m. yesterday, all asking how they could volunteer and how they could get a yard sign, a ton of independent women.

Here’s another report in Martin’s post:

Today in Waukesha we had a woman come in who was volunteering for the first time. She told me that she heard that Sarah Palin was McCain’s choice for VP, and that she could immediately relate to her. Like Gov. Palin, our volunteer is also a mother of five, and is also a “hockey mom.” She told me that she was sitting at her table (which she said also serves as her office), and that she realized that Gov. Palin’s urging others to “get involved” was meant for her. She told me that she heard that and immediately drove to our headquarters. She stayed for over two hours making phone calls, and said that she will be back every week from now until Election Day.

This is additional proof that Republicans are sufficiently energized about this fall’s campaign.

These reports are proof to me that the VandeHei-Harris article is worthless. That report is junk journalism. (That’s being charitable.) Check out this series of reports from Jonathan Martin’s report of people volunteering:

From Alleghany County, Pennsylvania:

Phones at the Alleghany County Republican Party Headquarters have been ringing off the hook with female Democrats asking how they can get involved.

From Fredericksburg, Virginia:

Two women contacted me about volunteering because they were extremely excited about Governor Palin being announced as Senator McCain’s running mate. The people who had previously been involved prior to the announcement also seem to be energized by the selection.

From Tallahassee, Florida:

We have seen a significant increase in phone calls and emails to Tallahassee asking to volunteer. Victory offices across the state say that they have also had an increase in walk-in traffic and phone calls. Almost all are women excited about the selection and ready to help.

From South Florida:

The campaign has received calls from Jewish women in South Florida that were Hillary supporters who now want to make volunteer phone calls for us.

From Brevard County, Florida

Several former Hillary supporters came in to our office and asked to volunteer to make calls to Democratic women. In fact, they took a McCain bumper sticker and put it on their car right next to their Hillary sticker.

From Iowa

All of our offices had substantially more traffic with activists coming in to find out how they could help, and where they could get their McCain/Palin signs.

From Washington County, Oregon

A Beaverton couple just came into our office who returned from attending the convention in Denver today. They are both lifelong Democrats and Hillary supporters/volunteers who are now strongly supporting John McCain. They LOVE the VP pick Sarah Palin and offered to join any coalition that would be help

From Northern Virginia

A woman with two kids showed up right after the announcement cheering and saying it brought tears to her eyes to hear that Sarah Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate.

From Richmond, Virginia

A woman called up from Chesterfield who was a Hillary supporter and identified herself as a registered Democrat. She now supports McCain and was very energized by his picking Palin. She wants to win this thing badly and wanted to know how she could get involved in outreach to minority communities in the region to get the word out that McCain-Palin is THE only way ahead for America and that electing Obama would be a huge mistake.

From Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Today in Waukesha we had a woman come in who was volunteering for the first time. She told me that she heard that Sarah Palin was McCain’s choice for VP, and that she could immediately relate to her. Like Gov. Palin, our volunteer is also a mother of five, and is also a “hockey mom.” She told me that she was sitting at her table (which she said also serves as her office), and that she realized that Gov. Palin’s urging others to “get involved” was meant for her. She told me that she heard that and immediately drove to our headquarters. She stayed for over two hours making phone calls, and said that she will be back every week from now until Election Day.

From Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Emails and phone calls requesting “gear” have increased significantly today. Volunteers and the general public have been seeking out McCain/Palin yard signs and bumper stickers like they were Hannah Montana tickets. This has provided us a good opportunity to reach out to these individuals and get them involved, invested, and active. All responses to the VP pick have been positive. Gov. Palin’s speech this morning really resonated with people, and they are excited to learn more about her in the coming weeks.”

From North Carolina

A very nice lady called, requested a Democrat for McCain sticker, and told me she had been undecided but was going to vote for McCain now. That echoes the sentiment I have heard all day. I haven’t had a single person complain about the choice. The sheer volume of calls and walk-ins (mostly women) nearly doubled today.

Jonathan Martin is a liberal but, for the most part, he’s had a history of being fair in his reporting of the race. His reporting of this multitude of stories of people volunteering, many of them Democrats and Hillary supporters, tells me that the enthusiasm gap has all but disappeared.

If Gov. Palin delivers a great speech Wednesday night, which I think she will because she speaks from the heart, the McCain-Palin ticket will get a substantial post-convention bounce.

Here’s something worth considering from Zogby’s poll:

Does the selection of Sarah Palin help or hurt John McCain’s chances of winning the presidential election in November?

Overall, 52% said the selection of Palin as the GOP vice presidential nominee helps the Republican ticket, compared to 29% who said it hurt. Another 10% said it made no difference, while 10% were unsure.

By comparison, here’s what polling showed about Biden’s selection meant to the Obama ticket:

Zogby Poll One Week Ago: Does Biden Help or Hurt Obama?

43% said it’d help, 22% said it’d hurt, 26% said it wouldn’t make a difference, with 9% not being sure.

Let’s summarize things. Here’s what we know:

1) The polling shows that McCain’s support with Republicans is reaching Bush-Cheney 04 levels.
2) Fundraising skyrocketed the instant Gov. Palin was announced as Sen. McCain’s running mate.
3) Swarms of people are flooding victory offices across the nation asking to volunteer. (It’s gotta be troubling to Obama that Florida and Virginia are two of the states where enthusiam for Gov. Palin is running highest.)
4) Evangelical leaders like Dr. Dobson and CBN are jumping onboard with abandon.
5) Finally, let’s not underestimate the value Gov. Palin brings to the ticket in terms of pressing the energy issue. That alone will put Democrats on the defensive on the biggest domestic issue of this election.

The implications of these reports are potentially huge. It’s entirely possible that the GOP GOTV operation will be fully staffed and quite muscular within a short period of time.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The Politico’s Jim Vandehei and John Harris have written something analyzing Sen. McCain’s pick of Gov. Palin. In their article they cite “six things the Palin pick says about McCain.” According to Mssrs. Vandehei and Harris, here’s what the pick tells us about Sen. McCain:

1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters, and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election, and very sick of the Bush years.

McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.

McCain’s pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even “mavericks” like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning, or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.

Listen to the BS in that fist sentence. Mssrs. VandeHei and Harris are suggesting that all of the polling is badly wrong. Talk about arrogant. It’s beyond their belief that Sen. McCain could hang with this smooth-talking do-nothing liberal. Perhaps they didn’t notice that Sen. Obama’s fundraising comments about rural voters clinging to their guns and to God alienated voters to the extent that they wouldn’t trust him if their life depended on it.

Perhaps they didn’t notice that Hillary thrashed Sen. Obama amongst blue collar workers in state after state, starting with Ohio, then in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. I remember Hillary racking up 70% of the vote in one rural Pennsylvania county after another. Mssrs. VandeHei and Harris should’ve picked something up from that data but it obviously hasn’t.

Furthermore, I’d point out that these clowns haven’t paid attention to the House GOP Drilling Rebellion. I agree that this would’ve been a disastrous year had gas prices stayed in the $2.50 a gallon range. When the national average shot up to $4.14 a gallon, the dynamics shifted. Further complicating things for Democrats was Ms. Pelosi going into full dictatorial mode, denying the House GOP from offering amendments for drilling.

That action alone pissed off alot of voters. They want drilling. PERIOD. Every poll I’ve seen shows that 65-75% of voters want drilling on the OCS, with 60-65% of those polled favoring drilling in ANWR.

Do Mssrs. VandeHei and Harris really expect me to believe that Democrats can be on the 30% end of the most important economic issue of this campaign and not be negatively affected? That’s downright insulting. They might get away with peddling that crap with airhead liberals who don’t think things through but it doesn’t work with rational people.

BTW, Sen. McCain’s picking Gov. Palin just heightens the attention that issue gets. Rest assured that she’ll focus on drilling alot in her stump speeches. The best part is that she’ll be able to talk firsthand about ANWR’s Coastal Plain. She’ll tell people in the Heartland that her husband worked for the oil companies on Alaska’s North Slope.

Not only that but she’ll have instant credibility on the issue because she’s dealt with it on a daily basis, which makes Sen. McCain’s choice that much better.

Their statement that “McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide” isn’t based on anything resembling facts. It’s their right to opinionize about it but it’s my right to point out how stupid their opinions are. In this instance, that’s pretty easy.

Frankly, the quality of VandeHei’s and Harris’s workmanship on this article rates with Keith Olberman’s or Chris Matthews. Saying that this isn’t their best work is understatement.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Barack Obama is still attempting to paint John McCain as a Bush flunkie. He’s still trying to say that a McCain-Palin administration is Bush’s third term. Here’s his latest video making that silly accusation:

Here’s another video making essentially the same claim:

Nothing says change like someone that’s got a record of taking on corruption in your own political party. For all of Sen. Obama’s bluster that he’s the candidate of change, he’s sorely lacking in accomplishments.

Thursday night, Sen. Obama promised to raise taxes on small businesses. Today, he’s promising to granting more small business loans. That doesn’t sound like change. In fact, it sounds rather Carteresque. At least Bill Clinton’s tax increase was when the economy was weakening.

The Obama campaign had to do something to dent the McCain-Palin coverage. In making these videos, though, they made the outlandish claim that McCain-Palin was more of the same. I’ll guarantee that that claim won’t enhance their credibility.

That’s potentially damaging when contrasted with the McCain-Palin plain-spoken message and track record. Gov. Palin doesn’t just talk the talk like a certain junior senator from Illinois. She’s known for backing up her talk with actions, something that’s sorely missing on the Democratic ticket.

Rest assured that McCain-Palin won’t let these videos go unanswered. When they respond, I’ll bet that it’ll put Team Barry on its heals.

That’s what happens when people make specious accusations.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The editorial board at the Wall Street Journal have posted their thoughts about Sen. McCain’s picking Gov. Sarah Palin. The entire editorial is up to their high standards and well worth reading. I want to focus on something that will become clear in the days and weeks ahead. Here’s the key paragraph in the editorial:

Experience?

For starters, we’d say Governor Palin’s credentials as an agent of reform exceed Barack Obama’s. Mr. Obama rose through the Chicago Democratic machine without a peep of push-back. Alaska’s politics are deeply inbred and backed by energy-industry money. Mr. Obama slid past the kind of forces that Mrs. Palin took head on. This is one reason her selection, despite its campaign risks, seems to have been so well received by Republicans yesterday. They are looking for a new generation of leaders.

Sen. Obama likes talking the talk but his reform accomplishments are thin to nonexistent. In fact, I haven’t seen proof that he’s ever even attempted to spearhead a reform movement. Perhaps it exists but I’m not betting on it. Instead, I’d bet that reform isn’t a priority with any Chicago machine-style politician.

As is often the case, Sen. Obama’s reform words ring hollow. They’re nothing more than platitudes, if that. They’re like a movie set: When you see them on the movie screen, everything looks real. If you take a step behind the front view, though, you realize that it’s all facade.

Let’s compare Obama’s rhetoric with Gov. Palin’s accomplishments. When Gov. Palin was the ethics supervisor with the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, she saw corruption with the State Republican Party chairman. It wasn’t long after that that he was history.

Next she saw the corruption of Gov. Frank Murkowski. In her second ran against him, she defeated him 51%-19% in the GOP primary, ending his political career. As I said here, Gov. Palin hasn’t lost sight of her main purposes. She’s just as reform-minded now as she was years ago.

That’s because it’s part of who she is. Reform isn’t just a bullet point on her resume; it’s something that she’s committed to.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Last night, I sent an email to Minnesota’s House GOP leadershhip asking them for their opinion on Sen. McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Here’s what House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said of Sen. McCain’s pick:

“Sarah Palin is a rock solid conservative that brings excitement to this ticket. Her plain-spoken common sense is refreshing and will help John McCain in key areas.”

-House Minority Leader Marty Seifert

Here’s House Assistant Minority Leader Laura Brod’s reaction to Sen McCain’s selection of Gov. Palin:

“Governor Pawlenty’s reform message and ability to win and govern in a state that has trended Democrat attracted the attention of Senator McCain and others looking for new leaders. That made him an excellent candidate to be John McCain’s Vice President. However, Minnesota faces a looming budget deficit, and rumblings from our friends on the other side of the aisle that they will continue their drumb beat for job-killing tax increases. We will be fortunate to have Governor Pawlenty here to protect Minnesota taxpayers and struggling employers.

Governor Palin is also a reformer who offers fresh ideas from about as far away from Washington DC as you can get. As a mom, business owner and leader, she is a great mentor for those of us in public service as well as women across the country who are trying to balance checkbooks, family time and careers. Governor Palin is an excellent choice for Republicans who are looking for a conservative leader who is ready to serve as Vice President. Similarly, Independents and Democrats appreciate that Sen McCain is willing to step outside the box.

It is said that the candidates’ choice for Vice President is the first and most important decision they will make. Sen Obama looked to Washington and the Past. Senator McCain looked to the future and selected a woman from our frontier state of Alaska.”

Leader Seifert’s observation that Gov. Palin’s “plain-spoken common sense is refreshing” and that it will “help John McCain in key areas” should be given great weight. People across America’s Heartland appreciate politicians that don’t talk like politicians. Based on yesterday’s speech, I’m firmly convinced that Gov. Palin, though capable of speaking in politician-speak, has no desire to sound like a politician.

Rep. Brod makes several points that shouldn’t be overlooked. Saying that “Governor Pawlenty’s reform message and ability to win and govern in a state that has trended Democrat” is a testimony to his abilities and justification for him being on Sen. McCain’s short list. We’re fortunate to have someone as talented and as steadfast as Gov. Pawlenty leading our state.

Rep. Brod’s statement that Gov. Palin is “a mom, business owner and leader” as well as someone who is “trying to balance checkbooks, family time and careers” is proof that she’ll connect with working women everywhere. I’m confident that Gov. Palin’s combination of skills and duties will help her talk with wives and mothers everywhere.

Finally, Rep. Brod points out that Sen. Obama, though he talks about change, “looked to Washington and the Past.” Sen. Obama’s pick is contrasted by Sen. McCain’s looking “to the future and selected a woman from our frontier state of Alaska.” That speaks to Sen. McCain’s seriousness about ending business as usual in Washington.

Gov. Palin would be a great ally in a McCain administration’s fight against business-as-usual Washington. More importantly, she’ll have appeal with voters for having taken on corruption within her own party. That’s change we should vote for.

I’d like to thank Leader Seifert and Rep. Brod for sending me their thoughts and observations on Sen. McCain’s historic pick of Gov. Sarah Palin. Their leadership over the past two years has given heart to conservative activists everywhere in Minnesota. Having meet both of them, I can attest to the fact that both are great listeners whose common sense approach will serve us well in St. Paul.

UPDATE: Rep. Tom Emmer has weighed in with this statement:

Because she is from the Great State of Alaska, we do not have all the details about her background. That being said, what we do know tells us Sarah Palin is a great pick! A real person with real life experience, someone that not only talks conservative values, she apparently walks the walk. If the stories of her crack down on corruption in the 49th state are true, our corrupt Congress had better watch out. Great news for conservatives, great news for Republicans!

Rep. Emmer, I wholeheartedly agree.

It’s worth repeating that Gov. Palin has a history of going after corruption wherever it’s found. There’s no such thing as acceptable corruption. The ‘seriousness test’ is whether a person will eliminated corruption from within one’s political party. Gov. Palin has done that time and again.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I’ve just spent some time listening to Bob Beckel and Alan Colmes question Sarah Palin’s lack of experience. To be fair, both gentlemen said that picking a woman was a great step in the right direction for American politics.

The experience thing isn’t unimportant but it isn’t everything. The reason why experience often is beneficial is because you can draw on that information to see what did or didn’t work. The reason why it isn’t everything is when a Joe Biden has lots of information inside his head but his critical thinking skills cause him to make bad decisions.

Everything that I’ve read about Gov. Palin, coupled with watching her speech Friday morning, tells me that she’s got outstanding critical thinking abilities. A close examination of her decisions tells me that she picks up on things quickly, which helps her make high quality decisions.

Two things in her background particularly stand out for me, things that political pundits might laugh at. The first thing from her personal, non-political, life that jumps out at me is that she was a point guard for a state championship team. the reason why that’s important to me is because point guards are the quarterbacks of the basketball court.

Great point guards like Magic Johnson, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd get the ball to their teammats at exactly the right time in the best place for that player to make important, sometimes gamechanging, plays.

By all accounts, that’s something that Sarah Palin excelled in in high school. That tells me that her critical thinking skills are very good. Another thing that tells me that her critical thinking skills are good is that she hasn’t lost sight of her mission.

When she was on the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, she didn’t lose sight of her job description. Her job title with the AOGCC was ethics supervisor, meaning that she was tasked with investigating ethical violations. the highest profile ethics complaint was against Randy Ruedrich, then the chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.

It didn’t matter to Sarah Palin that she was also a Republican. Her job was to eliminate corruption wherever it was found. She focused herself like a laser beam on eliminating the corruption, much of which was within her political party. After getting Ruedrich to leave his job just ahead of an investigation was just the start.

She then took on Frank Murkowski, who’d served Alaska as a senator In the US Senate. She knew that he was a corrupt politician. Despite the long odds of defeating then-Gov. Murkowski in the Republican primary, she focused on defeating him. Without a hint of defeatism or pessimism, she set out to do just that. Months later, she’d defeated Gov. Murkowski. She then defeated Tony Knowles in the general election. She currently has a job approval rating north of 80 percent.

Another thing that I picked up on was that she confidently identified herself as a hockey mom. Having played in youth hockey back when I was young, I’ve seen alot of things that hockey moms do. In St. Cloud, they get up exceptionally early to get their kids to the rink for practice. For youth teams, that also means that they drove the kids to their games. St. Cloud’s youth hockey association wasn’t well-financed enough to charter buses.

In other words, hockey moms willingly made big sacrifices for their children. Simply put, that’s a personal character trait that is in too short of supply in politics.

Finally, I can’t omit the Palin’s decision to bring Trig into the world, especially knowing that he would have Down Syndrome. Not only did they bring him into the world but they saw him as a precious gift from God. Dick Morris was moved by this decision tonight on Hannity & Colmes. He said that everyone “knows that I’m pro-choice”, then proceeded to tell the audience that he was moved by this story. He said he had to tip his cap to the Palins for living out what they believed.

That’s quite the testimonial. I couldn’t agree more.

When you look at Sarah Palin’s public life, the thing that jumps out at me is how consistent she’s been in following her beliefs and her steadfastness in eliminating corruption. She’s dealt with energy policy. She’s done everything she can to eliminate corruption within the Alaskan Republican Party. She’s exercised fiscal restraint while signing off on a bill authorizing the building of a natural gas pipeline that will keep our supply of natural gas strong.

This isn’t a ‘business-as-usual’ lady. She isn’t the type that will be affected by criticism from party elders or the media. I’m confident that she’ll learn foreign policy quickly. Gov. Palin’s determination in ending status quo Washington will endear her to people all across the nation.

In short, she’ll go a long ways towards restoring the ‘Republican brand’.

The biggest mistake Democratic pundits are making is underestimating her abilities, her focus and her determination. In that respect, people will notice the attention gap between Gov. Palin and Sen. Biden. Sen. Biden is a true gentleman but he’s got a history of not maintaining his focus. The contrast between his meandering focus and Gov. Palin’s attention to detail won’t put Sen. Biden in a good light.

In the end, that’s why Gov. Palin is such an outstanding pick. She’s a great compliment to Sen. McCain’s critical thinking abilities. That’s why they’ll be the compelling story on the campaign trail.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative