Sarah Palin

Pallin' around with Palin

Even though she may not consider it a "pro-America" part of the country, Governor Sarah Palin made her way to New York City yesterday to tape an episode of Saturday Night Live. Check out both of her skits here:

Some Sunday Morning Reading

Frank Rich has one of his best columns of the year today.   It focuses on the way the McCain Palin ticket is stoking anti-Obama fires in a way most ugly.

A Kos dairist, DCDemocrat, reviews Alaskan news coverage of Troopergate, reminding us that further action might be taken against the Governor's unlawful and unethical acts, including impeachment.  

David Leonardt has an excellent essay this morning looking at America's financial overreach and the challenges to come.  

In the Washington Post Sumit Ganguly has a disturbing article on Pakistan's march to becoming a failed state.  

And DemFromCT's morning poll roundup has more good news for Obama.

Happy Sunday.

One More.  From today's lead story in the New York Times: 

As international leaders gathered here on Saturday to grapple with the global financial crisis, the Bush administration embarked on an overhaul of its own strategy for rescuing the foundering financial system.

Two weeks after persuading Congress to let it spend $700 billion to buy distressed securities tied to mortgages, the Bush administration has put that idea aside in favor of a new approach that would have the government inject capital directly into the nation's banks - in effect, partially nationalizing the industry.

As recently as Sept. 23, senior officials had publicly derided proposals by Democrats to have the government take ownership stakes in banks.

The Treasury Department's surprising turnaround on the issue of buying stock in banks, which has now become its primary focus, has raised questions about whether the administration squandered valuable time in trying to sell Congress on a plan that officials had failed to think through in advance.

It has also raised questions about whether the administration's deep philosophical aversion to government ownership in private companies hindered its ability to look at all options for stabilizing the markets.

Some experts also contend that Treasury's decision last month to not use taxpayer money to save Lehman Brothers worsened the panic that quickly metastasized into an international crisis.

On this page, in post after post, essay after essay, we questioned whether Bush and Co had any idea what they were doing, and suggested again and again that the Bailout plan would not resolve the financial crisis.   None of this should come as any suprise for these are the guys who brought us Iraq, Katrina, incredible levels of corruption, out of control spending, declining standards of living, more people in bankruptcy, without health insurance and in poverty.   Virtually everything this Administration has attempted to do has ended up in disaster.  Why all of a sudden did we believe they could get the financial crisis right after ignoring all the warning signs for so long?  

Friends tell me the reason Treasury hasn't signed on to the Gordon Brown plan is that it wasn't their idea, and they couldn't look like they are following the lead of those across the pond. It will be interesting to see what happens here in Washington the next few days, and how Congress reacts to the Administration's apparent repudiation of the sky is falling strategy they made Congress embrace just ten days ago.

Panel Says Palin Abused Power

Just in from CNN.   

What exactly does the rise and fall of Sarah Palin say about John McCain and his judgement?  Are we learning that the downside of mavericky behavior is that sometimes when crazy ole mavericks shoot from the hip, go with their gut, act impulsively, they just simply blow it? 

Fey Does It Again

On last night's SNL, Tina Fey knocked another one out of the park.  This one is my favorite yet. 

Has any actor or comedian since Chevy Chase played such a major role in an election?

Daily Tracks Now Average 7 Points

Catch the latest poll analysis from DemFromCT this morning, showing among many other things the poll average now at 7 points. 

The Post has a story this morning detailing the McCain's camp decision to go scorched earth all the way to the end now. 

1045am Update - Rasmussen's daily starts this way: 

With one month to go until Election Day, the Rasmussen Reports daily
Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Barack Obama attracting
51% of the vote while John McCain earns 45%. For each of the past nine
days, Obama has been at 50% or 51% and McCain has been at 44% or 45% (see trends). The stability of these results suggests that the McCain campaign faces a very steep challenge in the remaining few weeks of Election 2008.

Palin Disagrees With Decision to Pull Out of Michigan

I'm sure the McCain camp is loving this one.   That Governor sure is feisty, isnt she?

Some Modest Liveblogging

901pm - I think Palin will do well tonight.  She's a natural. 

903pm - My CNN HD has a running dial group with Ohio undecideds.  It's a wild way to watch the debate. I will resist referencing it during my blogging.  Biden had a solid start.  She tried hard but didn't do so much. 

907pm - Palin - we bring new energy.  John McCain! 

910pm - She's just getting out there, delivering her message, making her case.  She's not responding to Biden, not attacking.  Just using this time to make her case.  She's a very good messenger.  Biden is arguing, not making the simple case for the Obama message.  He's not making his case to the audience....

925pm - I dont really understand her argument when Governor Palin makes the case that she is the one who will take on the oil companies, not Obama Biden.  The McCain Palin ticket has so little to work with.  

928pm - Biden makes the case for keeping people in their homes!  Thanks Joe.

930pm - Palin just repeated the most crazy fringe thing she has ever said - that it doesn't matter what has created climate change we just have to fix it.  That climate change may also have been caused by cyclical weather patters? Friends, what does this mean?  Don't we need to understand what has caused it in order to combat it?  Oh, Biden just said this.  Well done Joe. Of all the wild stuff she has ever said this is the craziest and most dangerous.

939pm - Iraq.  Man she really sounds like she is over her head now.  Hate it when all these talking points run together! Biden's answer got off the charts ratings from the Ohio dial group.  Biden is just burying her in this portion of this show.  She seems so out of her depth.  He is raising the bar now. 

951pm - Maybe she's a little tired now.  Biden is finally, finally making the case now that the Bush strategy for the Middle East has been an abject failure.  Her response - change the subject!  This part of the debate has been a rout, a rout.

10pm - Biden just knocked the ball out of the park on Darfur, and on Iraq.  She just can't play at this level.  This part has left her smaller, diminished.  And she knows it. 

1015pm - Biden has kept his game at a very high level for a long time now.  She is trying hard to get back in the game but just can't keep up.  

1019pm - Exceptionalism.  Beacon of Hope.  My old boss Linda Ellerbee had a great line - the words are all there they are just in the wrong order.  She is awfully likable but she comes off as a well-intentioned local pol fighting way above her weight. "Quasi-caved in."

1028pm - This has been a good night for Joe Biden, and Barack Obama.  Palin did all right, but simply could not play at this level.  Biden gained confidence, strength and his voice as the night went along.  All in all I think Senator Biden just got much more out of tonight than Governor Palin, which of course is a problem for the McCain Palin ticket.

Your Guide to the VP Debate

As the hour of the Vice Presidential debate approaches, the web has been flooded by all manner of analysis, punditry and bloggery (plus the occasional piece of news). We're here to offer you a guide  to the madness so you know what to expect and can impress your date during pre-debate cocktails.

The big question is: How will Sarah Palin fare?  Her previous public appearances have been mixed. At the Republican National Convention, she killed. As Sam Harris wrote in Newsweek, her speech was extraordinarily effective political communication.

Since that day she has been in constant decline. First came her interview with Charlie Gibson and the "Bush Doctrine" gaffe, then over the past week she's taken major blows as her damning serialized interview with Katie Couric has aired. After double lampoonings on SNL, Palin is on the verge of becoming nothing more than a laughing stock to many. See Simon's link to TPM for video of Sarah's greatest hits.

But debates are a different game, and Palin has had success in the past. The LA Times reports that she ought not be underestimated: She keeps it simple and is irresistably charming. The NY Times, likewise, says that though she's often unclear in her answers, she appears confident and wins viewers. This debate could be her chance to recover some of the ground she's lost.

The Obama camp will not be underestimating her. Campaign manager David Plouffe called Palin a "terrific debater," and said he expects she'll perform well against Joe Biden. Nobody knows her skills better than Andrew Halcro, who faced her when they both ran for governor of Alaska. He describes her as a "master of the nonanswer," but says that if she can "fill the room with her presence," she may do well. Even Joe Biden has said that she looks "pretty doggone confident."

Biden comes into the debate with some concerns of his own. As the Washington Post wrote yesterday, "letting Biden be Biden" has occasional downsides: He has a freewheeling style, and when he runs with it, he can make mistakes. The NY Times also discusses his "legendary loquatiousness," making the point that, debating a woman, Biden runs the danger of looking like a bully. According to the Financial Times, the Obama campaign is training Biden to avoid verbal missteps.

There has been controversy surrounding debate host Gwen Ifill. Because she is currently writing a book about Barack Obama, among other new black politicians, some Republican pundits have cried bias.  Marc Ambinder thinks this is nonsense, and Ifill herself has dismissed the concerns.

George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro, who faced off in the first male vs. female VP debate in 1984, reminisce about their experience and offer their thoguhts the Palin-Biden matchup.

Michael Tomasky of the Guardian gives his forecast for tomorrow night in a fun video.

Roger Simon at Politico provides 10 ready-made answers to Sarah Palin. Respond to any question with ease!

And if it's all getting too serious for you, Newsweek invites you to play VP bingo.

The Best of Palin

Josh Marshall has put together the Governor's greatest YouTube hits. 

Watch it here

It is a good prep for tomorrow night's debate.

Rolling Stone Takes a Long and Deep Look at McCain

Just went on-line.  Will hit the stands Friday.  You can read it here.

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