October 20, 2008

How did Sarah Palin get picked for VP?

In The New Yorker, Jane Mayer offers an account of what happened, beginning in blogdom:
In February, 2007, Adam Brickley..., a self-described “obsessive” political junkie who recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, told me that he began by “randomly searching Wikipedia and election sites for Republican women.”...

Brickley registered a Web site—palinforvp.blogspot.com—which began getting attention in the conservative blogosphere. In the month before Palin was picked by McCain, Brickley said, his Web site was receiving about three thousand hits a day. Support for Palin had spread from one right-of-center Internet site to the next. First, the popular conservative blogger InstaPundit mentioned Brickley’s campaign.
Here's that first Instapundit link, back on September 22, 2007: "THERE'S A BLOG AIMED AT DRAFTING ALASKA GOV. Sarah Palin for Vice President. I don't see that as terribly likely, but I certainly like her action on the Bridge to Nowhere, and I wouldn't mind seeing her fill Ted Stevens' seat." It's Instapundit's third mention of Palin, the previous two being "porkbuster" posts.

Back to The New Yorker:
Then a site called the American Scene said that Palin was “very appealing”; another, Stop the A.C.L.U., described her as “a great choice.” The traditional conservative media soon got in on the act: The American Spectator embraced Palin, and Rush Limbaugh, the radio host, praised her as “a babe.”...

Brickley is an authentic heartland voice, but he is also the product of an effort by wealthy conservative organizations in Washington to train activists. He has attended several workshops sponsored by the Leadership Institute, a group based in the Washington area and founded in 1979 by the Christian conservative activist Morton Blackwell....

While Brickley and others were spreading the word about Palin on the Internet, Palin was wooing a number of well-connected Washington conservative thinkers. In a stroke of luck, Palin did not have to go to the capital to meet these members of “the permanent political establishment”; they came to Alaska. Shortly after taking office, Palin received two memos from Paulette Simpson, the Alaska Federation of Republican Women leader, noting that two prominent conservative magazines—The Weekly Standard, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and National Review, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.—were planning luxury cruises to Alaska in the summer of 2007, which would make stops in Juneau.
The plot thickens! First, a lone blogger. Then, that crazy National Review cruise ship! Oliver Stone should buy the movie rights to this article. William Kristol and Fred Barnes step into the story, landing by boat on the uncharted territory of the frozen north. There's the first Thanksgiving:
Kristol brought his wife and daughter; [Michael] Gerson brought his wife and two children. Barnes, who brought his sister and his wife, sat on one side of Governor Palin, who presided at the head of the long table in the mansion’s formal dining room; the Kristols sat on the other.... The menu featured halibut cheeks—the choicest part of the fish. Before the meal, Palin delivered a lengthy grace. Simpson, who was at the luncheon, said, “I told a girlfriend afterwards, ‘That was some grace!’ It really set the tone.” Joe Balash, Palin’s assistant, who was also present, said, “There are not many politicians who will say grace with the conviction of faith she has. It’s a daily part of her life.”
Cheeky!
During the lunch, everyone was charmed when the Governor’s small daughter Piper popped in to inquire about dessert. Fred Barnes recalled being “struck by how smart Palin was, and how unusually confident. Maybe because she had been a beauty queen, and a star athlete, and succeeded at almost everything she had done.” It didn’t escape his notice, too, that she was “exceptionally pretty.”
Oh, how the governor played those geezers from Washington.

You can read the rest at the link: Barnes and Kristol pushed Palin, McCain supposedly had his heart set on Joe Lieberman, Peggy Noonan and Christopher Buckey spoke out against Palin, and now -- according to a "longtime McCain friend" -- "John’s personal comfort level is low with everyone right now. He’s angry. But it was his choice."

40 comments:

Simon said...

So, first the left tried the meme that she came out of nowhere. It wasn't true. Then they tried the meme that she wasn't vetted. That wasn't true, either. Now, is the next meme on the chopping block to be that she isn't really an outsider, that she wanted to go do D.C. all along?

Keep throwing, guys. Sooner or later, something will stick, I'm sure.

1jpb said...

Simon,

Apparently she has been to nowhere. You know, when she was fighting to stop the bridge, just ask Fred.

Funny stuff.

MadisonMan said...

I find it interesting to read how the combination of ambition and circumstances can combine to propel a nominee forward. I'd like to read how Biden got the nomination as well.

Simon said...

Oh, and how nice, she even repeats the "he really wanted Lieberman" claim, even though there's never been any evidence of it and it makes no sense at all in terms of McCain's selection criteria or the likely effect of the nomination. I'm sure McCain would really have preferred Lieberman over Palin; I'm sure that he would have preferred to split the party, have a rancorous and fractious convention, and to see his chances of winning evaporate in the first week of September instead of unifying and energizing the party and leaving the convention with morale and momentum high. Do the people who write this stuff actually pause to think before rote repetition of the daily talking points? Do they think there's some utility in branding Palin as a second choice forced on McCain against his will, no matter how improbable the claim?

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"I'd like to read how Biden got the nomination as well."

"As well"? You haven't read how Palin got the nomination yet. This piece starts with a somewhat credible account of how she made it onto the radar, and a rote recitation of the standard (and deeply flawed) cant about how she got the nomination. Why would you take this piece seriously?

MadisonMan said...

Simon, do you actually pause to think before rote repetition of the daily talking points?

AJ Lynch said...

As you know I don't usually read the articles Ann writes about. I just make comments heh.

But the blurbs Ann provided hint that Palin is hurting the McCain ticket? If so, I have to disagree.

Simon said...

MM, I don't even read the daily talking points. If there's unconscious parallelism, so be it. That out the way, let's try this again: why is a piece written by Jane Mayer, appearing in "The New Yorker," that harmonizes with the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself), that in significant part flies in the face of all reason and adduces no credible evidence for why it is entitled to do so (and gives no sense of feeling the need to do so), to be given credibility?

Expat(ish) said...

Who is that guy who keeps writing "deeply sourced" books with anonymous sources that purport to tell us how things work "inside the Bush administration?" He was famous once, can't remember his name.

I always take stuff like that with a table shaker full of salt. Just like this.

I have no doubt, like in a Doug Adams book, the reality is much stranger and frighteningly more prosaic than the fiction.

-XC

Simon said...

AJ Lynch said...
"But the blurbs Ann provided hint that Palin is hurting the McCain ticket? If so, I have to disagree."

Exactly. If McCain hadn't picked Palin, Obama would have wrapped this up before the GOP even had its convention. The media would have spent the entire convention week talking about nothing but the hurricane in Denver and the hurricane in Texas. The fundamentals of this election season have favored the Democratic nominee all along, and that McCain even came within striking distance is a result of his wise selection of Palin. The idea that he would prefer to have picked Lieberman and lost fifty states - which he's surely smart enough to understand would have happened - fails the laugh test. Or does unless you're in the tank for Obama, I suppose.

Joan said...

Jonathon Last at The Weekly Standard has a lot to say about a similar-sounding article that appeared on the Daily Beast a couple of weeks ago. I didn't slog through the whole New Yorker article (I don't think you could pay me enough) but it sounds similar, and similarly overwrought.

SteveR said...

So Obama's long pursuit of the presidency and his relative lack of real experience is better than Sarah Palin's VP selection? Given how many really "smart" people are falling all over themselves over him, that seems to be a more important question: "How did Barack Obama get picked for P?"

Darcy said...

Agree with A.J. Lynch and Simon. Palin did not and is not hurting the ticket. I'm thinking these kinds of stories are being pushed to make Republicans believe that.

I don't think it will work.

Host with the Most said...

Having been in a political backroom that was falsely described in an article by a left leaning magazine that will remain nameless, I saw entire conversations that never happened "recounted" in said article. It had a percentage of truth in it, but then again, so did the lying serpent when he talked with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Enough truth in the article to make the like-minded comfortable, and enough to peer-pressure the gutless, spineless portion of the electorate.


The only difference between the New Yorker and it's left wing "fuck the Republican nominee whoever he/she is" attitude and the National Review is that the New Yorker has enough credibility with the Manhatttan troglodytes that force descpicable sell-outs like Peggy Noonan to "verify" part of their filth.

Host with the Most said...

Keep throwing, guys. Sooner or later, something will stick, I'm sure.

As in when the left begins throwing their skidmarked underwear.

Ann threw hers in the ring by bringing notice to this despicable article.

Triangle Man said...

SteveR said...

"How did Barack Obama get picked for P?"


Is this a trick question? He won the nomination of his party through a system of primary votes.

rcocean said...

I skimmed through it and its thin gruel. No on the record quotes from Palin or anyone in the McCain campaign. Just a lot of McCain "friends", pundits, and "sources inside the campaign".

One thing noticed was the inclusion of the word "F**K" for absolutely no reason. I guess that's New Yorker sophistication.

LarsPorsena said...

From a recent Biden speech:
"“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

No shit? Obama gets elected and we go straight to international crisis?
Biden's right on this.
Putin, the NOrks, Iranians, et al
know what an empty suit is.

On the other hand, if McCain is elected would Biden be thinking the same thing? Joe's on to something the rest of the electorate should be pondering.

Methadras said...

This is nonsense. Palin was an excellent pick, she is an excellent VP candidate and I hope that her rising star as a conservative will come back to haunt leftists/liberals everywhere. Political maturity and seasoning is what is needed now. We conservatives will endure an Obama Presidency because unlike leftists and liberals who rely on government, we don't. We will make our own way and we will continue to be the self-reliant individuals we have always been. When Palin decides to run for President I hope that Bobby Jindal or Romney will be ready to be her running mate.

Simon said...

Lars - I guess we all have to give up. There's just no way you could write better satire than what's already coming out of Biden's mouth.

Original George said...

Hmm...Jane Mayer...just about all of her work in recent years has been about how awful Bush is, how he's an incipient dictator, and her book "Strange Justice" wasn't exactly a love poem to Clarence Thomas.

I look forward to reading her article.

SteveR said...

Well it should be a trick question, but its not. Cindy McCain, Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin have been pretty well vetted. But when a good number of the people who would normally look closely at a nominee (or potential nominee) are working from the answer backwards and anyone else who questions him is accused of racism, I'm not going to be persuaded by the claim that we know enough about him and his past.

American Liberal Elite said...

Obama gets elected and we go straight to international crisis?

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

PatCA said...

"Brickley is an authentic heartland voice, but he is also the product of an effort by wealthy conservative organizations in Washington to train activists."

Sounds kind of sinister, like...community organizers?

Rich B said...

So McCain picks the one VP who could put him back in the race and the usual suspects are sniffing?

Ann, if I were cynical, I might think your cruel neutrality was feigned.

cardeblu said...

Expat(ish) said...
"[...]
I have no doubt, like in a Doug Adams book, the reality is much stranger and frighteningly more prosaic than the fiction.
-XC"

Reality--from one of Obama’s two memoirs, "Dreams from My Father," he describes his college experience:

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets…. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.”

I would forgive such associations in one's young adulthood if there was any evidence that he has disavowed those tendencies. However, besides throwing a select few people under the bus in just the past year or two since he's been campaigning, I don't see it.

Some Brits are getting it as well:

A PINCH OF REALITY
Melanie Phillips

"You have to pinch yourself – a Marxisant radical who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States.

And apparently it’s considered impolite to say so."


(via Dr. Sanity)

1jpb said...

cardeblu,

You're much smarter and more knowledgeable than Marxists Powell, Buffet, and Volcker.

Kirk Parker said...

ALE,

"Post hoc ergo propter hoc."

Did you miss the point that it was Biden saying this, note some Republican opponent?

AlphaLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Well, why should only Oliver Stone have fun with this? It sounds like good fodder for numerous retellings. That's a great story.

McCain and Palin are demonizing a group that has helped poor people all over this country have better lives, ACORN. And now the thugs are responding:

Death threat, vandalism hit ACORN after accusations

ACORN was the victim of the fraud, and they reported it, as required. Desperate Republicans are seeking to delegitimize Obama's election and set up a scorched earth campaign for January 21.

No matter the cost.

Christy said...

Highly recommend cruising the Inside Passage. Sitka has the worlds largest temperate rain forest just outside of town. Ketchikan, site of the infamous Bridge, is a common cruise stop. Float-planes abound to, er, ferry one about.

Cedarford said...

Methadras - We will make our own way and we will continue to be the self-reliant individuals we have always been. When Palin decides to run for President I hope that Bobby Jindal or Romney will be ready to be her running mate.

In case you haven't noticed, it isn't just McCain-Palin going down in flames, but 20% of House Republicans and 2/3rds of Republican Senators running this year.
That will leave the Republicans in as big a train wreck as after Watergate.
Who runs in 2012 and gets the nomination will be the candidate that is credited with best reorganizing the Republicans and working on their "ugly side" that scares away so many women, hispanics, working class people scared for their future. It likely will not be the Fertility Goddess of the Religious Right.

*****************
Simon - Exactly. If McCain hadn't picked Palin, Obama would have wrapped this up before the GOP even had its convention.

Maybe McCain DID have no choice but to proffer up an unqualified Fundie in order to "excite" his Deep South Base. But aside from most of the Old Confederacy being excited, Palin has done little to bring in voters from other regions, or close the gender gap.

She has worked great spouting off boilerplate Saint Reagan homilies, throwing out the old cultural war chants to excite the dwindling Base of True Believers....but the rest of the country sees her as ignorant or as a good woman simply not Ready for Primetime.

Thus the erosion of Republicans in CO, NM, FL, VA, NC, OH, PA is still unaddressed.

Bottom line, both the Republicans and Dems lost stronger, more qualified candidates to Party litmus tests.

And Obama has run a better campaign than Mccain, who many Republicans see as Bob Dole II, without the trust or respect.

The proper argument might be that Republicans had no choice given they screwed up and selected Mccain, to also screw up and select Palin because they had no idea she was so weak on issues or that the economy would implode.

But she sure got the Love in rural towns in Alabama going....

blake said...

Karma's a bitch.

TMink said...

If McCain had picked Lieberman he would be behind by 25 points. Since he has picked Palin he has closed the race from double to single digits, expanded the crowds at his speeches by an order of magnitude, and still may win this thing.

She goes on SNL and he gets a bump in the polls for goodness sake!!

Say what you want about McCain, but he can count.

Trey

JAL said...

Triangle Man said...

SteveR said...

"How did Barack Obama get picked for P?"

Is this a trick question? He won the nomination of his party through a system of primary votes.


Err... No. Not exactly.

The Dems have this byzantine system (courtesy I have heard, of the Clintons?) which involves primaries, caucuses (where every voter's vote is not counted) and super delegates (who can over rule voters if they so choose, and who apparently, can be legally bought).

Here are some links about alleged Obama abuse of the caucusing process, alienating Hillary people.

http://wthrockmorton.com/2008/10/14/
acornprimaries/

http://www.realdemocratsusa.org/2008/07/caucus-factor.html

There are more (google search) I just have to get back to things which really matter. (My laundry.) I didn't find the huge article which included mention of sworn statements and examples of Obama's people intimidating other candidates supporters.

It's simply Alinsky's Rules in practice. He did it in the primaries, and he is doing it in the general election.

But besides that -- Obama did come out of "nowhere" -- Nowhere as he, Obama, chose to define it and reveal -- not any place where serious vetters could check up on him.

Obama obscures his story packing his memoirs full of the kind of self conscious narrative that coincidently Ayers used in his Fugitive book. (Is it true? Depends on how you define truth.... Read the 2001 NYT Ayers interview.) Obama's people are composites, his conversations recalled mashes. There is little to really pin him down on. This is a man who does not like to get questioned.

He was not vetted. Too pedestrain for such an intellect as his. He lied about and omitted sigificant information. He is not an open book. He is a blank screen on which people can project whatever their desires and hopes are.

Yacch.

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"Maybe McCain DID have no choice but to proffer up an unqualified Fundie in order to 'excite' his Deep South Base."

You're smuggling in an assertion as a premise. She is qualified, as I've explained in comments passim ad nauseum.

Cedarford said...

TMink said...
If McCain had picked Lieberman he would be behind by 25 points.


The point would have been obviated if Romney or Fred Thompson (nominated after his pledge to consume large amounts of caffeine daily) had been the nominee. Then they could have gone with a more seasoned traditional Conservative as their VP - like Crist, Kay Bailey Hutchinson (who McCain hated), Haley Barbour. Or a VP candidate with solid foreign policy creds - like Smith of OR, Lamar Alexander.

Palin was a forced choice, a bone thrown to the Fundies - who has helped McCain "enthuse" the Bible Belt, but few outside it. Palin has actually worsened the gender gap, and cost McCain independents that see Palin as the underqualified backup to a man who is 72, erratic, and who has a serious cancer history.

McCain was a mistake. Watch for the election that every state McCain won to get his nomination (winner take all Blue states) goes to Obama, save for SC and a few others he won because conservatives split the vote.

And because he was a mistake, he had to go with Palin, an underqualified choice he didn't vet or prep well. Two wrongs seldom make a right.

Michael said...

McCain choosing Palin will be considered one of the biggest political blunders in American history.

Had he chosen Ridge, Pawlenty, Lieberman, Romney, Crist or any number of other "qualified" candidates...he would be leading in the polls and on the way to the White House.

As it stands, he has a pit bull with lipstick who knows less about the workings of America and the world than most political science graduates from major universities.

cardeblu said...

1jpb said...

"cardeblu,
You're much smarter and more knowledgeable than Marxists Powell, Buffet, and Volcker.


Thank you, thank you, fuck you very much. ;)

Of course, they're not Maxists; however, Powell may have been a republican, but has never been a conservative. Buffet, my fellow capitalist, already has his (stashed away in some other country), so why should he care? Volcker is already a dem, so...

There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know (as evidenced by Peggy Noonan, Christopher Buckley, and, yes, Colin Powell and many others). I'm really supposed to believe these people are my betters?

I could list all of the former Secs of State and 100s of retired generals backing McCain and Palin, but would that make a difference to you?

Didn't think so...

Kirk Parker said...

I'm all for a big tent; but if the R's can reformulate in a way that leaves C4 completely out in the cold, that will be a good thing.



I hear Pat Buchanan is looking for a few good followers these days...