But not for the reasons I keep reading about online or in the newspapers.
One of my reasons is because I think that it will be very interesting to see the very same insider reporters who tried to sell us on the idea of narrative as resume in Obama's case, suddenly now split hairs and say but not for Palin.
But, as usual, they won't be able to help themselves as we've already seen, and that can't but help McCain and Palin.
Frankly, I'm practically giddy at the prospect of Frank Rich's first lacerating attack against her, using that big brain and vocabulary of his to attack her like she's some poor schlub understudy from Alaska who's not quite ready for the big time of Broadway. As has been his wont so often away from Broadway, he'll reach too far, be too clever by half and in the end, be hoisted on his own petard, even as liberals cheer his columns but wonder why they aren't persuasive to the rest of the country.
But history is replete with examples of people who rose to the occasion -or didn't, like John Kerry four years ago- and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Palin is, in fact, such a person, since the consistency of her record is in marked contrast to most of what passes for serious policy analysis in Washington: she says what she means and she means what she says.
Fifteen years of being around Capitol Hill and K Street taught me that much.
How crazy is it that this is considered "maverick" behavior in the Year 2008?
The compelling narrative of Palin's track record, of personal integrity and feistiness above party, will prove especially popular and endearing in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan that
Obama has to win, but each of whom has been riven with political corruption fairly recently.
You don't have to be Michael Barone or Mickey Kaus or John Harwood to know the country is emotionally fatigued after years and years of the same Washington insiders and career politicians
forever fighting the last political war and trying to get even.
Though I personally like Joe Biden, let's not forget that he is yet another career senator with a son who's a Washington lobbyist, and while I think it's commendable that his son is an Amtrak Board member, let's not kid ourselves that he is there but for the influence of... whom?
For the most part, as Gilbert and Sullivan might have put it, R. Hunter Biden is the very model of a modern major lobbyist. He has an office near K Street, a blue-ribbon roster of clients, and his firm, Oldaker Biden & Belair, made $1.76 million in lobbying revenue in the first half of 2006...
I think that there are plenty of people who are tired of having to pretend that alternating party crews in Washington have been getting the kind of positive tangible results that are necessary, when it's perfectly clear they're really just running in place.
And given Palin's clear distaste for GOP royalty and familial over-reaching -Murkowski family-it's one of the reasons she was elected governor in the first place. Voters could see it was a visceral dislike, not a come-on.
Why do you suppose Teddy Roosevelt had such maverick appeal when he ran for president as an independent?
You can see the evidence all around you of what putting off hard choices has gotten this country, where Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is actually afraid to schedule a vote on the House floor on off-shore oil drilling because she knows that it will actually pass now, with moderate Democrats from competitive congressional districts abandoning Pelosi in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately for the country, as she has with so many other issues, Pelosi much prefers to have an issue she can manage and strangle, than she wants practical results and solutions that will result in more energy production for the country.
Naturally, here in the Sunshine State, there is no solar, wind or tidal energy facilities to speak of that anyone can point to with anything resembling pride or hope. It's so embarrassing in the year 2008!
One of my next posts will give a good example of this sort of political gamesmanship, writ large, where the interests of the country and people's safety and welfare are clearly placed second to party loyalty, and the offender is none other than local South Florida pol for life, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
And you know how I loathe her!
Do you suppose this is the kind of Obama 'change' or leadership we can come to expect in the future, when he can't even prevent the Illinois Demcratic Party from engaging in the very activities he continually decries?
It sounds like old-school corporate influence-peddling to meABC News Reporter Arrested in Denver Aug. 27, 2008
DNC Money Trail Aug. 25, 2008 PHOTOS: On the Money Trail at the DNC http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=5670682
ABC News Chief Investigator Brian Ross is on the job!
DNC Money Trail Aug. 25, 2008
You can tell how much the political axis moved with this selection of Sarah Palin because of how intensely the media people and pols who are always wrong -aka the usual drive-bys- are saying that it's a bad choice, or, condescendingly poo-poohing it.
Case in point: E.J Dionne and his crazy belief that Biden's Catholicism will somehow prove stronger in Pennsylvania than his actual voting record and reputation.
Now as I've stated here before, for many different reasons, I personally like Biden, as I wrote last Saturday, August 23rd,
2 Hillary Visits in South Florida, 3 Different Media Views; Biden anecdotes
http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/2-hillary-visits-in-south-florida-3.html but there are PLENTY of people who live there who'll tell you that rather than the blue-collar brother-in-law you love spending time with on weekends, barbecuing and watching Eagles games with, he's the know-it-all boss who never stops talking.
The sort of person in your life whose voice you hear when you can't go to sleep and who causes you to grind your teeth.
For the next few months I'm afraid we'll be hearing more than we ever wanted to from MSNBC's Chris Matthews about the subject of Catholicism and PA voting trends.
Except for the fact that as much as Matthews says he admires Jack Murtha, he's a chip-off-the-old-block, etc., Matthews would never ever want to live in a small town in Murtha's congressional district.
Did you happen to hear the condescending NPR coverage of the Sarah Palin announcement?
Even for them it was amazing. I turned to NPR while watching a muted FOX News, just to hear how elitist they'd be, and as usual, they didn't disappoint.
Condescending and patronizing now, yet within weeks, I strongly suspect that she'll be catnip to voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, WV and Michigan, and the NPR reporters will act like their remarks were never uttered.
And they'll do that as they describe the enthusiastic family crowds that turn out for Palin, and get interview after interview with ex-Hillary voters who say they're going to give Obama the big thumbs down.
It just reminded me all over again how tinny NPR's internal vibes have been for years, given that the night the U.S. invaded Iraq, and I was listening to WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., NPR's first story on All Things Considered was about a teenage murderer who was imprisoned in the Midwest -who used poetry to cope with his unique situation.
They never spoke about the victim's family.
Some things never change.
When I was living and working in D.C., partly because of being in an office downtown so much, I listened to NPR for about 6-9 hours a day, but now that I'm in South Florida, just Diane Rehm, and only if she has a good guest, plus the Friday round-ups of domestic and international news. http://wamu.org/programs/dr/
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, that Obama's campaign people immediately and rather foolishly thought to downplay and mock Palin's small-town roots, only plays into the lingering suspicion among many Americans that regardless of what he says, Obama and his crowd are thoroughly elitist and phony to a fair-thee-well.
In America, but not of it.
It only makes one recall Obama's much earlier and much-maligned comments at a San Francisco fund raiser, when he launched his full-throated attack on people who used to be the backbone of the Democratic Party, saying that Pennsylvania voters "cling to guns or religion or antipathy" out of political frustration." http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/04/11/Obama_Some_Pennsylvania_voters_bitter/UPI-66831207967499/
All these pieces of the puzzle begin to add up after a while.
Sometimes I can't help but wonder if among the most passionate of the Obama campaign staffers, the ones who really thought that attacking small-town America was the route to go in their initial public stink bomb attack against Palin, that their favorite part of It's a Wonderful Life was actually when Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey character tried desperately to leave the small town of Bedford Falls behind, and instead become a sophisticated person who traveled the world.
Not the part when he stayed and helped the town survive. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038650/
Seriously, I really wouldn't doubt it.
Frankly, I was hoping McCain would pick Palin a few weeks ago, but felt that he might succumb to pressure from some of his trusted aides, like South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham to pick Joe Lieberman, or select a more conventional pick like Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
I'm VERY pleased and think this show of political courage and faith by McCain in what he thinks he's hearing from American voters, will help cement McCain's victory in November, even though I disagree with him on a whole host of issues.
Most notable among those issues, of course, was his strong support for the ridiculously lenient illegal immigration policy -amnesty- proposed by President Bush, Sen. Kennedy and himself, which nearly ended his political career prematurely after it proved so unpopular with American voters.
He says he learned his lesson.
In case you're late coming to the Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier party, I voted for McCain in 2000 when there was no Democratic primary in Virginia, and as a matter of fact, much to my surprise, sat next to and spoke with McCain's sister-in-law for just under an hour at a McCain Straight Talk Express rally in Old Town (Alexandria) while we waited for the bus to show up.
I'll definitely be voting for him again in November.
Future headlines: Oprah to be dispatched by Dems for cross-country trip to explain Obama loss to disheartened minorities and Lib Dems.
Maybe she'd boil it all down to this: tough love.
"I guess when people were saying that they simply didn't think Obama was experienced enough to be president, and some of you said that they were just being racist, you were wrong, huh?
Those voters told you exactly what they thought and why they were voting the way they were -and you chose not to believe them.
That's on you, not them."
Which is my oblique way of bringing up the fact that despite my longtime antipathy to her over the years, well-known to my friends in D.C., as I've commented here before, it's time for me to give the devil her due. In this case, the devil being the BBC's Washington correspondent, Katty Kay.
She's FINALLY right about something!
She's someone whom I've rightfully disparaged in the past for good reason -her chronic lack of knowledge about facts, concepts, phrases and theories which someone in her position ought to know. But -quite maddeningly- doesn't!
That, of course, hasn't prevented her from trying to be the authoritative voice of U.K. sophisticated sobriety when she's spoken on myriad American public policy programs, most notably, the Diane Rehm Show on NPR, as both guest and guest host.
Eventually, over time, my friends finally caught on that I was right about what I said about Kay, because of the mounting amount of evidence.
It became sort of a parlor game among us to catch her on radio or TV saying something perfectly absurdly with her customary serious voice.
I'm not joking.
We actually got to the point where at parties or get-togethers, like the Oscars, Super Bowl or Final Four Weekend, 4-5 of us could, upon request, actually recite a favorite Kay declaration.
When we were in public somewhere together, like a ballgame or outside at a park, whenever we'd
hear someone say something factually wrong but doggedly insistent on their righteousness, we'd look each other in the eye and mouth the words, "Katty Kay."
More recently, thru plain old American persistence, I've come close to converting two Herald reporters into believers of the Katty Kay Syndrome.
But it wasn't easy.
Now by wrong, I'm not talking about personal opinions, since Kay is free to be as dopey or mis-informed in her personal opinions or private life as anyone who's a chronic caller to radio talk shows.
Or, the sad folks who, like obsessive compulsive serial criminals, return over and over to the same newspaper website comments sections to share their invective, rants and nonsense, like so many people in Broward County who seem to practically live on the Herald and Sun-Sentinel reader comment forums, a matter which is readily apparent when you read them.
No, here I'm talking about rather concrete things Kay's said in the past that were directly contradicted by reality or the BBC's own news reports and website. Like, well, to choose but one subject off the top-of-my-head, the actual background of the British prime minister, Gordon Brown.
How about this letter to the Editors of the BBC blog that I found?
on 29 Jun 2007:
I am suspect when Katy Kay gets her facts absolutely wrong. In her report last night she said that a small minority did not approve of the immigration bill. The Gallup Poll reported 47 Against and 30 In Favor. To make matters worse the only guest she had on discussing the matter was a far left immigration activist. I don't know if I should chalk it up to bias or ignorance, probably both are to blame. Why not give fact based journalism a try and an even handed discussion?
More recently, there was this comment to the Newsnight blog: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2008/08/thursday_21_august_2008.html
on 21 Aug 2008:
Katy Kay's piece tonight was shockingly lopsided and well below my usual expectations for a Newsnight segment. Having just spent two and a half months in America, it was quite clear to me that the 'smear' campaigns were not exclusive to conservatives, as Kay's piece strongly implied. Both sides have been thoroughly engaged in back-channel internet attacks. The obligatory mention of liberal smear tactics does not in itself create a balanced report when one spends roughly 90% of the segment obsessing over conservative e-mails and cartoons. Surely Katy Kay is cognizant of that? It was a good choice (on several levels) to place it last, but, unfortunately, a few of us do enjoy staying up for the entire programme. I adore Newsnight, but this was one of the most imbalanced reports I've seen from one of your contributors. Deeply disappointing.
That sort of makes her, what, the poor man's U.K. Andrea Mitchell, to name but another D.C. insider justly infamous around town among colleagues of mine for her faux pas, faux facts and big-footing.
Plus, there's Mitchell's whole reluctance to always report news she knows, like the way she avoided naming the U.S. senators whom she said never read the pre-war NIE report.
She loved to talk about the story on the NBC family of outlets, esp. MSNBC -up to the point where she'd actually have to name the members she claimed never read it.
Is that journalism?
But I'm getting off on a tangent, and I should confine my comments here to momentarily praising Kay.
On the BBC-TV this past Thursday night, immediately prior to Obama's acceptance speech, Kay alone among the army of big-footing campaign reporters in Denver made a point that I've long suspected would prove to be true, much as some will try to ignore it.
Trust me, when Katy Kay and I both agree on something, that's what noted New York philosopher George Costanza meant when he said 'worlds collide!'
For my purposes, it means that it must be true!
Kay said -and I'm paraphrasing here, because I didn't have a videotape running at the time and have not been able to find a recording of her comments yet- that based on what she's seen and heard for herself, among both the Obama campaign staff (and assorted hangers-on) and ordinary Democratic voters she's dealt with in various states throughout the country, especially Hillary Clinton supporters, there was ample evidence of a growing party cleavage that would prove very difficult to heal in the future.
Per my hypothetical words above in Oprah's mouth, a sharp divide that the Obama supporters
were ignoring, perhaps because they can't quite imagine that their own personal narrative and that of Obama's will be one where he actually loses the race, when it may well have been within his grasp.
So, on the one hand you have Obama supporters who think that any white Democrat who votes for McCain is doing so almost entirely because of core racism.
They won't accept any other explanation but that one, because that one neatly fits their world view.
On the other hand, of course, were those moderate and conservative Dems who said that regardless of Obama's soaring oratory or charisma, he still lacked the kind of tangible political abilities or experience they wanted in a potential president: someone who had a track record of
actually accomplishing something in Washington that the average person has heard of or could point to as proof, much less, constructively worked across the aisle to get results.
Obama has done neither.
There's a reason that The National Journal rated Obama as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate -he was.
There are a lot of voters in this country who don't want the "Most" anything senator to be in The White House, and I'm one of them.
And as someone who was actually around Washington at the time to attend the Foreign Relations hearings, enough of the Obama supporters' name-dropping of Hoosier Richard Lugar.
It's embarrassing, already!
Lugar was already doing the Nunn-Lugar shuffle with the Russians when Obama was just out of Harvard Law School.
For once, momentarily, Katy Kay is 100% right
See the BBC's US Election 2008 webpage -http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/usa/default.stm
Though I'll still be voting for McCain, I wanted to draw your attention to this web site as it's what led me to originally watching the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials online a few weeks before the Olympics.
I was mesmerized!
Well, I received a phone call on Friday from another DLC friend up in D.C. telling me that the Barack Obama acceptance speech would be on Microsoft Silverlight, and that I should watch it at some point after first seeing the speech on TV. He's right.
I did that late Friday night and it's absolutely amazing to see the way everything looks!
It looks better than life-like!
I suppose it'd be too much to think that they'll also be doing that for the RNC in St. Paul, where Hallandale Beach resident and former Rudy Giuliani supporter Ed Napolitano will be this week.
Microsoft Silverlight homepage is at http://silverlight.net/
Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. By using Expression Studio and Visual Studio, designers and developers can collaborate more effectively using the skills they have today to light up the Web of tomorrow.