August 30, 2008


Palin Selection Already Paying Dividends to McCain (Elizabeth Holmes, 8/30/0-8, WSJ: Washington Wire)

Regardless of the banter about his choice, John McCain selection of Sarah Palin has already proved profitable. The McCain campaign raised $4 million Friday with the announcement of the Alaska governor joining the GOP ticket. [...]

The McCain campaign is already burning through money because campaign-finance laws, which McCain must abide by in exchange for federal funding, require them to empty their primary coffers before the end of the month. “We have three days to spend it!” one senior aide said Friday night, elated by that day’s haul.

Random Observations--Mainly about Our Sarah (Peter Augustine Lawler, 8/30/08, No Left Turns)
5. It’s impossible to overemphasize how happy the various kinds of social conservatives are here at the convention about the choice. I won’t name names, but I’m including famous professors at leading institutions. Many of them have never really liked or trusted McCain. Strangely enough, they trust her. And they now trust him more.

6. Biden--whom I’m on record as admiring--must be miserable. He can’t attack her, and he better not be condescending toward her. He better not say something "inappropriate" about Sarah or her family. His record on such matters is not encouraging.

Can you believe Maverick picked a woman just because she'd thrill his party?

McCain unveils a secret weapon for culture wars (Father Raymond J. De Souza, 8/30/08, National Post)

Yet for all that novelty, Palin’s selection indicates that this election will be in large part about the culture wars, with abortion at the centre.

Governor Palin is pro-life, as is Senator McCain. Their political positions are dramatized in their own families. John and Cindy McCain adopted a sick Bangladeshi baby in 1991; now 17, Bridget McCain started life in an orphanage run by Mother Teresa’s Sisters. Cindy McCain met her on a trip to Bangladesh, and her heart was moved to take her back to Arizona for medical care, and eventual adoption.

Governor Palin and her husband have five children. The youngest, Trig, was born this past April. He has Down syndrome. Like most cases now, he was so diagnosed in utero. Unlike most such babies, he is still alive. Pre-natal diagnosis of Down syndrome is normally a death sentence. Abortion usually follows within days. The Palins chose life for Trig.

“I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”

In the combustible world of American abortion politics, there are very finely-calculated degrees of difference. For example, while both Obama and Biden are pro-choice, their positions are not the same. Obama is in favour of federal funding for abortion and permitting partial-birth abortion. Biden is against both. As the most extreme pro-abortion candidate for president ever, Obama voted against the “born alive” act in Illinois, which mandates medical care for babies which survive attempted abortions. Even Hillary Clinton, along with Joseph Biden, supported the federal “born alive” act. In fact, the latter passed unanimously.

The Palin selection indicates that the McCain campaign wishes to sharpen this contrast.

Sarah Palin: Queen of YouTube (Belinda Luscombe, 8/30/08, TIME)

She has a sense of humor — and of opportunity. Here she gives late-night comedian and resident alien Craig Ferguson honorary citizenship of Alaska and shamelessly promotes her state, even asking him to visit and "partake of rich, succulent wild Alaskan salmon." In response, Ferguson calls her a "naughty librarian."

Reading Sarah Palin (LAURA FITZPATRICK, 8/29/08, TIME)
Palin's writing doesn't give much insight into her conservative policy positions, but it does put on display some of the other, personal qualities that make her an appealing choice for McCain. She has written repeatedly criticizing other state politicians' possible ethical transgressions, targeting both Republicans and Democrats in her calls for reform. She sprinkles her pieces with quotes from Plato, Henry Kissinger, and her state's constitution, but also uses expressions like "doggone it" and praises Alaskans for their work ethic and love of freedom and community — a possible asset in a campaign that has focused on questions of elitism and being in touch with voters. [...]

Perhaps even more important than the issues, the op-eds hint at what Palin's campaign style will be like between now and November. Palin — a former co-captain of a state champion girls basketball team, a self-styled "hockey mom" and a distance runner — writes that she relishes the competition that is key in both the sports arena and the political one. "Competition defines and refines a person," she says. "It really is nothing to be afraid of." During her 2006 run for governor, she pledged transparency and praised "clean campaigns that stick to the issues — and stick to the truth."

-Palin Power (Jonathan Martin, 8/30/08, Politico)
My mention below of just how juiced many in the grass roots of the GOP are about Palin has only brought forth more stories and anecdotes of what this pick means.

Here is one from an Ohio source I know to be reliable:

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

The RNC, clearly hoping to push this angle, has also sent over an internal memo from Political Director Rich Beeson with their own examples. This one, from Waukesah County, Wisc., stands out.

-INTERVIEW: New Palin interview ( Kyle Hopkins, 8/30/08, Anchorage Daily News)
I got a brief chance to talk to Gov. Sarah Palin on the phone today from Pennsylvania, where she has a rally in a couple hours.

Here's the recording.

McCain Gets $7 Million Bounce from Palin Pick (Matthew Mosk, 8/30/08, The Trail)
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.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2008 4:00 PM
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