Exclusive: Wednesday, September 3

by PRESIDENTIAL WATCH September 3, 2008
Sensational montage of Palin - potentially our next V.P., then next POTUS in 2016 or earlier. Say g'nite, Hill 'n Bill. You're yesterday's lunch, compared to this dynamite leader! Click here for America's Future!
To listen to Democrats speaking out against Obama - GO HERE.
Team McCain Takes the Lead
Michael Gerson, Washington Post.com
Two extraordinary things have happened since Thursday afternoon in a presidential election that had been largely stuck in a narrow trading range for the past few weeks.
First, Barack Obama's convention speech -- amazingly, shockingly -- set out to polarize this election in ways bound to anger anyone with a conservative instinct anywhere in their political body. No Democratic class-warfare cliché went unexpressed. No cheap attack on John McCain went unmade -- and made without humor, class or grace. (How could it possibly be an effective Democratic attack to accuse McCain of cowardice in confronting al-Qaeda?) Anyone viewing Obama for the first time would have seen the most typical, ordinary, unreconstructed Democratic nominee since Walter Mondale (though with far greater political skills).
Maybe I am so disappointed because I half-believed in Obama, at least at the beginning. On Thursday night, he made nothing of his historical moment. And he purposely set out to alienate people like me. It worked.
Second, McCain's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin turns out to be brilliant. It achieves four things:
1) Every religious conservative I have talked to since the selection is more excited about John McCain than I have ever heard before.
2) Palin is a historic pick -- if elected as vice president, she would most likely be America's first female president. Though the evangelical/hunter/beauty-contest contestant is unlikely to appeal to the hardest core of Hillary's feminist supporters, she is likely to appeal broadly to most women, who will be undisturbed that she doesn't fit feminist stereotypes. The left's main response to Palin's unconventional background has been to sneer -- but a sneer is not an argument. Read article.
The Fighter Pilot and the Moose Hunter
Lisa Schiffren, City Journal.org
McCain’s V.P. pick has electrified the base—for good reason.
By putting the relatively unknown governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, on his presidential ticket, John McCain has demonstrated that rarest of all political qualities: willingness to take a real risk on a serious new venture with great potential. It’s a sign of confidence, not desperation.
If the response from the conservative base is any indication, McCain has hit a home run with the Palin selection. A sullen GOP, set to vote reluctantly, if at all, for the “maverick” (some say unprincipled) senator from Arizona, has suddenly become electrified. In the first 36 hours after McCain announced his pick, $7 million in new contributions poured in online.
This isn’t because Palin is making history as the first woman on a GOP ticket. It’s because of the type of woman and politician that she is.
Palin worked her way up the political ladder, rising on talent (she’s likable and a good speaker) and incremental achievement. She didn’t marry into power, and no one handed her anything. This is what conservatives say they want in female and minority candidates for high office. Further, she’s a reformer and a Washington outsider in a year when, as Republicans know, their own party is part of the problem. She represents real “change,” to adopt a word of the moment, and for Reaganites who have been waiting for the first post-Reagan conservative generation to rise to power, Palin represents “hope” as well.
Now about that woman thing..... Read article.
Sarah Palin: conservatives find the girl of their dreams
Sarah Baxter, TimesOnline.co.uk
When Sarah Palin stepped into the spotlight as John McCain’s running mate in Dayton, Ohio, and promised that women could “shatter that glass ceiling once and for all”, it was an electrifying moment in a presidential election that had already produced its share of upsets and surprises.
History was on the march again the morning after Barack Obama became the first African-American to accept his party’s White House nomination. After the fireworks, the 80,000-strong crowd who had cheered Obama to the skies at the Mile High stadium in Denver woke up with a hangover.
“We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.”
With her beehive hairdo and retro specs, Palin, 44, has a “naughty librarian vibe”, according to Craig Ferguson, the Scottish comedian who stars on late-night US television. However, the selection of Palin, the governor of Alaska and a mother of five, as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee is no joke for the Democrats.
Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio chat show host, exulted, “We’re the ones with a babe on the ticket” — one, moreover, with a reputation as a tax-cutter and corruption buster in her job as the first woman governor of Alaska.
Palin’s selection on the eve of the Republican convention in St Paul, Minnesota, has set the stage for an epic battle for the votes of women, African-Americans, evangelical Christians and the young. The demographic wars that dominated the contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton are now set to be replicated in the national election. Read article.
Sarah Palin -- Dream Girl
Debra J. Saunders, Rasmussen Reports.com
After Barack Obama picked Joe Biden as his running mate, I began to steel myself for the possibility that McCain might make a similarly uninspiring, but seemingly safe, choice. The top pick of Beltway insiders was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a strong campaigner with solid economic credentials -- but flawed by what seemed an opportunistic shift to the right on social issues in order to win the GOP primary. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge supports abortion rights -- a plus for me -- but he likely would be the butt of late-night talk-show jokes because of the color-coded federal warning system devised to alert Americans to the likelihood of terrorist attacks when he was director of Homeland Security. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty looked OK -- but he wasn't Sarah Palin.
Is she short on experience? Yes. Voters will have to watch her performance on the campaign trail to judge how she responds to high-stakes politics and the international arena.
That said, as a governor, Palin she has more experience running a government than Obama, who began serving his first term in the U.S. Senate in 2005. And unlike Obama, Palin has shown herself willing to challenge her jaded ethical policies within her party. That's change.
As McCain said Friday, Palin is "exactly who this country needs" to help him confront "the same old Washington politics of me first and country second." Read article.
In Wasilla, Pregnancy Was No Secret
Nathan Thornburgh, TIME.com
People in Wasilla are Alaskan tough, so not only does a thing like teen pregnancy not seem like anyone's damn business, but it's also not seen as the calamity so many people in the lower 48 might think it is. This is dangerous country — it's not just the roughneck jobs on cable reality shows. It's real life here.
Regardless of what you will hear over the next few days, Bristol's pregnancy is not a legitimate political issue. Sarah Palin is a longterm member of a group called Feminists for Life, which is not opposed to birth control. So you probably can't tag her for consigning young people to unwanted pregnancies.
You can argue that it was hamhanded of the McCain campaign—they had to have known, right?—to somehow let this drop just a few days after the announcement. Pregnancy does show, and it does have a ticking clock. The story was going to come out eventually.
As for the idea — sure to be floated—that the avowedly anti-abortion Palin may have pressured her poor daughter to ruin her life by carrying an unwanted baby to term, I wouldn't bet on it. The Palin family seems to share the same pro-life values going back at least as far back as anyone here can remember, and it wouldn't be at all surprising if Bristol wore those values, however imperfectly, as her own. At least, that's what the town thinks. And Wasilla, above all, is pretty sensible. Read article.
Rocking Morton Kondracke's World
J.D. Pendry, JDPendry.com
On Friday, I was particularly interested in what the Fox cable Brit Hume "Special Report" panel discussion might offer up on the selection of Governor Sarah Palin by Senator McCain as his Vice Presidential running mate.
I was not surprised to hear Morton Kondracke express some contempt for the choice. He cited her lack of experience to assume the duties of the President as if he fully expected McCain to drop over dead on inauguration day. Why, he’s had two bouts of melanoma declared Mr. Kondracke. Morton is prone to say some dumb things, at least in my view, but following his comments about Governor Palin’s lack of experience he added to his nuttier than a squirrel turd opinion by saying that Senator Obama was more qualified to be President simply because he had been running for the job for the past 3 years.
Morton actually had a pained expression on his face. Perhaps you need more fiber in the diet Morton. And just for the record, Obama is running against McCain or maybe it is Bush. I am not always sure, but he is not running against Palin.
Do you know what Morton’s problem is? Intentionally or not, John McCain just kicked down the door to the country club and invited in an ordinary outside and I mean way outside the beltway American. Morton may have to someday soon grit his teeth, furrow his brow in further consternation and admit that there is a blasted commoner in the White House, even if it is only as Vice President. Moose stew on the menu, my, my. Morton and the remainder of likeminded beltway bandits cannot fathom the concept that a former member of the serfdom could ascend to the ruling class. It is not a glass ceiling that needs broken, it is the country club strangle hold on our country that does. Read article.
A Star is Born?
William Kristol, NY Times.com
It’s amazing what a bold vice-presidential pick who gives a sterling performance when she’s introduced will do for a party’s spirits.
There are Republicans who are unhappy about John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin. Many are insiders who highly value — who overly value — “experience.” There are also sensible strategists who nervously note just how big a gamble McCain has taken.
But what was McCain’s alternative? To go quietly down to defeat, accepting a role as a bit player in The Barack Obama Story? McCain had to shake up the race, and once he was persuaded not to pick Joe Lieberman, which would have been one kind of gamble, he went all in with Sarah Palin.
Some media mandarins were upset. One reporter noted that — horrors! — Palin had never even appeared on “Meet the Press.” Time’s Joe Klein remarked disapprovingly that McCain didn’t know Palin well and had never worked with her. He noted by contrast “that when Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who had worked with Ferraro, was not only vouching for her, but raving about her.”
Of course, Ferraro was widely regarded as an unsuccessful V.P. choice. Maybe rave reviews from D.C. insiders aren’t the best guarantee of future success.
And Obama supporters can’t get too indignant about Palin’s inexperience. Read article.
Changes in Politics
Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com
Despite the incessantly repeated mantra of "change," Barack Obama's politics is as old as the New Deal and he is behind the curve when it comes to today's economy.
Senator Obama's statement that "our economy is in turmoil" is standard stuff on the left and in the mainstream media, which has been dying to use the word "recession."
Not only has the economic slowdown failed to reach the definition of a recession, the most recent data show the U.S. economy growing at a rate exceeding 3 percent-- a rate that many European economies would die for, despite our being constantly urged to imitate those countries whose end results are not as good as ours.
Barack Obama's "change" is a recycling of the kinds of policies and rhetoric of the New Deal that prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s far beyond the duration of any depression before or since.
These are the same kinds of liberal policies that led to double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates and rising unemployment during the Carter administration. These are "back to the future" changes to economic disasters that need repeating.
Cutting the military budget and taking foreign policy problems to the United Nations are Obama's version of "change."
That is change that we dare not believe in. It is the audacity of hype. Read article.
Where Was the Hope in Obama's Speech?
Mac Johnson, Human Events.com
Hope. It’s allegedly Barack Obama’s strong suite: the magic mantra that has propelled the unknown and inexperienced first-term senator into the universal spotlight he enjoys today. But it was nowhere to be found in Thursday night’s dour acceptance speech.
The tone of his speech, as with all human communication, was set with his body language and facial expressions more than with the words themselves. And the tone was unwavering: grimacing, frowning, brow lowered and finger wagging into the camera, as his preachy words poured out like an indictment bracketed by disdainful furrows in his face.
This is the left’s “Kennedyesque” pied piper of hope? This is the Democrats’ Dalai Obama, the messiah of a new America?
I’ve seen happier, less judgmental looks on the faces of bitter women talking about their divorces.
Obama’s entire speech consisted of three miserable themes: 1) Obama himself, a man who deserves to be president as a sort of personal revenge on America for its perceived injustices toward him, 2) McCain, the well-meaning but stupid veteran, and 3) the commoner as a pitiful composite character who should elect Obama as a sort of personal revenge on America for its perceived injustices. Apparently, Hope took the day off and Bile subbed for her.
Obama’s “story” is simply a well-marketed mythology. Read article.
With Biden on Board can Obama be Trusted?
Caroline Glick, CarolineGlick.com
While Biden's rhetoric on America's relationship with Israel is firm, his positions on issues critically important to Israel's national security call into question his willingness to stand by Israel.
He is a staunch supporter of an Israeli transfer of the strategically critical Golan Heights to Syria and has harshly criticized the Bush administration for its refusal to support Israeli negotiations with Syria. At the same time, he downplays the significance of Syria's strategic alliance with Iran and its sponsorship of terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. Belittling those ties, Biden has claimed repeatedly and without a shred of evidence that the Syrians really want to put all of that behind them.
Biden's positions on Iran are even more troubling. Over the past decade, since Iran's ballistic missile program and its nuclear program came into full view, Biden has distinguished himself both for his refusal to support tough U.S. diplomatic moves against Iran and for his absolute opposition to the notion of a U.S. military strike on Iran's nuclear installations. In 1998, Biden was one of only four senators to vote against the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, a bill that punished foreign companies and other entities that sent Iran sensitive missile technology or expertise.
In February 2005, at a speech before the global Davos Conference, Biden said that Iran's quest for nuclear capabilities is understandable and called on the U.S. to address Iran's "emotional needs" by signing a non-aggression pact with the mullocracy. Read article.
The Debates: Three-Out-of-Three Liberal Moderators–Again
Arnold Ahlert, Political Mavens.com
Once again, the same old presidential debate format has been agreed to by both campaigns. Once again, the same old media bias has reared its ugly head.
The first debate will be held at the University of Mississippi on Sept. 26th. Candidates will be answering questions posed by the moderator. The moderator is PBS’s Jim Lehrer–unabashed liberal.
The second debate will be held on Oct. 7th at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Candidates will be answering questions from a moderator, who will also call on audience members and pose questions submitted via Internet. The moderator is NBC’s Tom Brokaw–unabashed liberal.
The third debate will be Oct 15th at Hofstra University. Both candidates will sit at a table and answer questions from the moderator who will sit with them. The moderator is CBS’s Bob Schieffer–unabashed liberal.
The ten Townhall meetings in which candidates would have asked each other questions, the ones which Barack Obama originally agreed to do? No way. Obama without a Teleprompter is a phumphering disaster. The chance Barack Obama might face genuinely difficult questioning? Winning the Lottery is a better bet. A conservative moderator at even one debate? The McCain campaign, which has often complained about media bias, apparently got rolled. Or worse, McCain himself is liberal enough to believe that his former “best buds” won’t sandbag him. Read article.
Is Khalid al-Mansour the man behind Obama myth?
Jack Cashill, WND.com
A few weeks back, I wrote a column titled, "Who Wrote 'Dreams From My Father'?" My research led me to the conclusion that a literary neophyte like Obama could not have written the memoir on his own. It was simply too well crafted.
I was also suspicious about his claim that publishers had sought him out, while still unknown, contract in hand. I doubted, too, that the publisher would have paid him a hefty advance.
And I refused to believe that his publisher would have invested the hefty ghostwriting fee needed to rescue the project after four years of amateurish dithering, a dithering that included an extended stay for Barack and Michelle on Bali.
"The whole story smells of purposeful intervention," I wrote. "The whole book does. A political career holds more promise when launched with a lovely memoir under one's belt than with an unfulfilled contract over one's head. Much more."
"The question remains," I concluded, "who did the intervening and why?" I sensed and still do an affluent and unseen political godfather, someone with a grander vision than Bill Ayers or Tony Rezko. Read article.
Obama-nomics Would Send Economy into a Nose Dive
Don Feder, GrasstopsUSA.com
Someone needs to tell Barack Obama that the last time a Democrat won the White House with class warfare was 1948 (Truman vs. Dewey).
Last week, before he picked the plagiarist as his running-mate, Obama was running ads saying John McCain would do everything for the super-rich but spread caviar on their toast and service their Learjets -- whilst he (Obama with his million-dollar income, sitting in his modest, $4-million, home) was the tribune of the people.
Announcer: “Can we really afford more of the same? John McCain’s tax plan: For big corporations -- $200 billion in new tax breaks. Oil companies -- $4 billion. Companies shipping jobs overseas -- keep their tax giveaways while 100 million Americans get no tax relief at all. For the change we need, Barack Obama. A plan that cuts taxes for middle-class families three times as much as John McCain would. Barack Obama for president.”
When a Democrat talks about cutting taxes for the middle class, he lacks -- what’s the word? -- credibility. The last Democrat who reduced the middle-class tax burden was John F. Kennedy. And in today’s political landscape, he’d be a Republican.
When Obama speaks of new spending (which goes hand-in-hand with tax hikes), that’s believable. But cutting taxes? We’re still waiting for the middle-class tax cut Bill Clinton promised us in his 1992 campaign. Read article.
Is the Presidency above Obama’s Pay Grade?
Selwyn Duke, Canada Free Press.com
The truth is that, sans teleprompter and prepared speech and contrary to myth, Obama is at best a mediocre speaker. (If you say that we’re electing a president and not a professional orator, fair enough. But given that Bush’s wanting speaking skills have made him the butt of jokes and have been used to paint him as an idiot, I think it bears mention.) Yet neither this nor “thoughtfulness” explains his fumbling tongue. After all, politicians are people who are supposed to live and breathe issues and policy, so there should be few things they haven’t been asked about or at least pondered before.
Thus, they should have oft-rendered, memorized, standard responses at the ready. For sure, John McCain did, despite his supposed status as a septuagenarian with senior moments. And if politicians don’t have them – neither sublime answers nor slick dodges – what does it tell us? Well, perhaps it means they haven’t put much thought into things at all. For if a person makes it a practice to think deeply about issues, he doesn’t have to think about them on stage. It’s the difference between preparation and improvisation. Read article.
There is not much that is bipartisan about Barack Obama
Jonathan Gurwitz, JWR.com
 In 2004, Obama presented himself as a unifier, a politician who wasn't concerned with red or blue labels or conservative or liberal tags.
There was nothing about Obama's past that suggested the young lawmaker from Illinois should be the agent of American post-partisanship. Not the bare knuckle politics of Chicago's South Side from which he emerged. And not his hyper-partisan, liberal voting record in the Illinois Legislature.
Contrary to F. Scott Fitzgerald, however, there are indeed second acts in American political lives. And when Obama went to Washington in 2005, he had his chance to do more than just talk about consensus, bipartisanship and a new brand of politics.
But just as in Springfield, Obama proved to be nothing more than a shrewd and opportunistic partisan. He could have joined the bipartisan "Gang of 14" that negotiated a halt to divisive judicial nominations, but didn't. He could have been a leader for bipartisan compromises on immigration, terrorist surveillance and energy, but wasn't.
According to a Washington Post database, Obama votes with his party 96 percent of the time, which makes him tied for the eleventh most partisan member of the Senate. At 96.6 percent, his running mate Joe Biden is the eighth most partisan senator. Read article.
Obama, Justice Thomas and Col. West: On Morality
James Lewis, American Thinker.com
We have never heard Obama denounce Louis Farrakhan, who has defended the Black Muslims' assassination of Malcolm X, Obama's boyhood hero. Obama is morally compromised by a lifelong quest for power. It has made him famous, powerful, and rich; but it has not demonstrated moral strength and courage. No, no, no, no! as Rev. Wright might have said. Obama is a morally compromised man.
Barack Obama is a talented politician, articulate when his speech is printed out on his teleprompter, and as wriggly as Bill Clinton. He has minimal experience in the real world, including the world of national politics. He is both ambitious, yet personally immature and overly touchy at the same time.
He is constantly enticed by his bizarre campaign decision to depict him as President of the United States without all the fuss and bother of an election; look at the Berlin speech, the "President Obama" name plate on his official airplane seat, and his constant efforts to act presidential, making a stream of embarrassing pratfalls in the process. When Obama talks off the cuff he's a disaster waiting to happen. Senator Obama has a tendency to claim special protection from criticism because he is black, and therefore a victim -- although he has no slavery in his family background (at least slaves), and has never encountered the degradations of the Dixiecrat South in which Clarence Thomas grew up. Obama is a lifelong child of privilege, from birth all the way to Harvard Law School and the US Senate. Yes his mother was a single mom, but one with a PhD and a mother who was a bank vice president, enabling her to spend her time overseas mostly unencumbered by a child. In contrast, Lt. Col. West has never claimed special privileges because he was black -- and has never needed to, as far as we can know. He has too strong a sense of personal honor. He is too clear in his values to need that kind of crutch.
Senator Obama has a tendency to claim special protection from criticism because he is black, and therefore a victim -- although he has no slavery in his family background (at least slaves), and has never encountered the degradations of the Dixiecrat South in which Clarence Thomas grew up. Obama is a lifelong child of privilege, from birth all the way to Harvard Law School and the US Senate. Yes his mother was a single mom, but one with a PhD and a mother who was a bank vice president, enabling her to spend her time overseas mostly unencumbered by a child. In contrast, Lt. Col. West has never claimed special privileges because he was black -- and has never needed to, as far as we can know. He has too strong a sense of personal honor. He is too clear in his values to need that kind of crutch. Read article.

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