Saturday, October 31, 2009

Governor Palin: A Time to Unite

So says the Governor on Facebook (h/t Whitney):

I want to personally thank Republican Dede Scozzafava for acting so selflessly today in the NY District 23 race. Now it's time to cross the finish line with Doug Hoffman so that he can get to work for District 23 and the rest of America.

With Congress poised to overhaul one-sixth of our economy with so-called health care “reform” (which is really a government takeover of health care) and with plans to enact a cap-and-tax bill just as our economy struggles to recover, Doug Hoffman will be a voice for fiscal responsibility and common sense in Washington.

We need candidates like Doug now more than ever. In these final days of the campaign, it's vital that Doug continue to receive the enthusiastic support of those who want to bring common sense to Washington. Let’s help make it happen! You can help Doug by visiting his official website today and offering your support:

- Sarah Palin


Halloween Open Thread (Updated with more tricks and treats)

Happy Halloween everybody.

-Congratulations to Doug Brady for getting linked and named by Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner (see Update III at the Examiner)!

-Palin, Tea Party supporters grab NY victory is the headline to Yael T. Abouhalkah's most recent blog post at the Kansas City Star.

-In his Washington Post article about NY-23, Dan Balz quotes a Republican strategist saying the following (emphasis added):

"Palin was catalyst -- -her endorsement turned the tide and gave everyone else permission to do the right thing," one conservative Republican strategist said Saturday. "If Hoffman pulls it off, it will be a case study in [political science] graduate seminars for years to come on how the grassroots rebelled against the party bosses and won."

-Kate Pickert from Time Magazine and former resident of New York's 23rd Congressional District writes (emphasis added) (see comment 2.1):

[T]he GOP establishment appears to have been caught completely off guard by Hoffman's surge. He was way behind in the polls just a few weeks ago and Palin's endorsement gave him a huge boost in terms of last-minute fundraising.

-Tom Jensen from PPP(D) expects "Hoffman will win easily now" and that his early polling numbers suggested Hoffman "was going to win easily with or without her in the race."

-That Dede Scozzafava has not endorsed Hoffman is by design and a "tactical move made in concert with Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman’s campaign."

-My updated prediction for this race is:

Hoffman 52%
Owens 37%
Scozzafava 10%



-Contrary to the finding in today's Siena poll regarding how likely voters in New York's 23rd Congressional District view Obama, the polling from PPP(D) thus far shows "negative approval" for Obama in a district where he won 52% of the vote last November.

-PPP(D) also gives us an update on its polling in the aftermath of Scozzafava's decision to suspend her campaign:

Hoffman has polled consistently at 45-46% all day, Owens up a little since Scozzafava dropout but still doesn’t look close

-Mark Blumenthal highlights a crosstab from the Siena poll showing that "64 percent of Scozzafava voters in the survey identified as Republicans, while only 19 percent identified with the Democratic party."

-The major public radio station for New York's 23rd Congressional District declares that "the conservative movement that cohered around former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 has emerged as the vibrant core of the modern Republican Party."


Newt Gingrich Endorses Doug Hoffman; Updated: Rush Responds to the News in NY-23, Huckabee Jumps on Bandwagon and Endorses Hoffman

Stacy McCain is reporting that Newt just endorsed Doug Hoffman:

Let's call this one a grudging, backhanded endorsement, shall we?

Scozzafava dropping out leaves Hoffman as only anti-tax anti-Pelosi vote in NY-23. Every voter opposed to tax increases support Doug Hoffman.

It's clear that the only reason Gingrich flipped his endorsement is because Scozzafava suspended her campaign and dropped out of the race. He still holds to the delusion that Scozzafava is actually dedicated to lower taxes (she's not) and opposing the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda (except where it involves pro-life issues, massive government spending, support for ACORN and big labor, and pork-barrel projects as vote bribes).

Of course, Gingrich could rehabilitate himself with conservatives by hitting the news networks as hard for Hoffman as he did for Scozzafava. The election is Tuesday. Surely Gingrich, who fancies himself a leader of the conservative movement, can spare a bit of shoe leather for Doug. But will he?

Welcome to the party pal. Still no word from Romney. Earlier today, Dede Scozzafava spoke to reporters after her withdrawal from the campaign:

Update by Doug: (H/T Yogi41) Via Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review:

In response to the NY-23 news, Rush Limbaugh (who will be on Fox News Sunday tomorrow) tells me: “Hmmm... I thought the Era of Reagan was over? Who was it that said that? Oh yeah, the smart people on our side who told us the only way we could win was with moderate/liberal candidates like Scozzafava. Hmmm...”

Readers may recall that Newt Gingrich famously proclaimed the era of Reagan was over last winter. I guess Newt was wrong...again.

Update II by Doug: (H/T Rob Harrison) Stacey McCain is now reporting that Mike Huckabee has finally seen the light:

According to Jonathan Martin of The Politico, Mike Huckabee has endorsed Doug Hoffman, too. Expect others to come in for Hoffman, too (**coughRomneycough**), now that the fence on which they were all precariously perched has disappeared out from underneath them.

Better late than never I guess. Without Governor Palin's courage, impeccable political instincts, and willingness to put principle above party, none of this would be happening. Every other GOP heavyweight, from Tim Pawlenty to Newt Gingrich to Mike Huckabee, is following her lead. Is there anyone left who doubts Governor Palin’s leadership of the conservative resurgence? Exit question: When will Mitt Romney make the decision to follow her lead? Or, will his decision continue to be indecision?

Support Doug Hoffman here.


Robert A. George: In Key New York Race, Barracuda Chews Up Mitt

Another Black Conservative recently lampooned establishment Republican insider Mitt Romney for "voting present" in the NY-23 race. Robert A. George, at NBC's Bay Area affiliate, has taken a further look at Romney's choice to avoid making a decision in the race:

What do you find most often in the middle of the road? Road kill. Mitt Romney, who hopes to be the GOP's next presidential nominee, couldn't bring himself to endorse anyone in New York state's contentious 23rd congressional district special election.


The conservative grassroots have rejected Scozzava, the party's official candidate in New York's 23rd. It started out with the base in the district as conservatives gathered around businessman Doug Hoffman and that rebellion has now gone national. Sarah Palin, using her unique sense of timing, one week ago became the biggest name of in-prime party leaders to endorse Hoffman. Had she stayed on the sidelines, this contest could have played out in predictable fashion: Republicans stayed split and Democrat Bill Owens would have cruised to victory. Instead, by all appearances, the conservative revolt has succeeded. Even the national GOP -- which had endorsed Scozzafava and was slamming outsider Hoffman as much as Democrat Owens -- is now recognizing that district voters seem to flocking to Hoffman.

Outside observers who want to dismiss Palin do so at their peril. But, there appears to be a reason that her basketball-playing nickname was "Barracuda." Recall she was the one who coined (or at least made viral) the phrase "death panel" during the health care fight during the summer -- forcing Democrats and the White House onto the defensive. Whether Palin is doing all this for PR purposes (her book comes out in three weeks) or being reckless in her political rhetoric, the fact is she is having an impact on the broader debate -- and continuing to resonate with her party's base.

Mitt Romney? Not so much. His voice hasn't been heard during the battle over health care. And then, Thursday he gave the vaguest statement on the race:

"I have chosen not to endorse the Republican candidate in New York's 23rd District," Romney told reporters while campaigning in Virginia for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. "That should speak a certain amount of volume. I can't endorse our candidate in that race."

Yeah, Mitt, that does speak "a certain amount of volume." It says that you're willing to campaign for a gubernatorial candidate who has had the Virginia race in the bag for months -- but not make a controversial, yet, dynamic decision in a race that would have significant ripples across the country. Palin (and Tim Pawlenty quickly following the former Alaska governor) recognized where the base's train was going and quickly got on board. Romney missed the train -- and missed the opportunity to take a significant role in a tough internal ideological debate that his party is undergoing. Even if Romney endorsed Scozzafava (as former Speaker Newt Gingrich did), at least he would have made a principled decision and could have articulated his reasons for it.

Instead, he looks completely wishy-washy.

Read the rest here. This is particularly prescient in light of today's withdrawal from the race by Dede Scozzafava. When called on to make a decision, Romney's decision was indecision.

(H/T jimr3)


Robert Stacy McCain: NY-23 Saturday Notebook; Update: Scozzafava Quits Race, Text of Withdrawal Added; Update: Blowout?

The Other McCain has been on the road in NY-23 for several days. This morning he posted this report from the ground in Upstate New York:

The cool news? Instapundit linked my American Spectator item about Democrats pouring in the big money against Doug Hoffman. I don't think it will be enough to elect Bill Owens, and I don't think Joe Biden will make a difference, either. Go back and check the 2008 Democratic primaries. The 23rd District was Hillary territory. Biden carries no weight up here. But I'll try to go see Joe, just in case he makes another one of his classic gaffes.

Friday afternoon, when word got around that NRCC was pulling its resources out of Dede Scozzafava's campaign, I overheard a guy explaining to a buddy what Team Hoffman's basic strategy had been from the start: "Kill Dede and we win."

Simple, brutal and true: The 23rd District is overwhelmingly Republican, and the Hoffman people knew that if Scozzafava couldn't get Republican votes, she couldn't win. Once it became apparent to Republican voters that Dede was a guaranteed loser, the momentum shift to Hoffman was inevitable.

This is where Newt Gingrich really exposed his cluelessness, parroting misleading talking-points provided by the equally clueless Republican "insiders" who handpicked Scozzafava and wasted hundreds of thousands of RNC/NRCC dollars on her doomed campaign.


By trying to depict Hoffman as a "spoiler," Gingrich was 180 degrees out of phase with the truth: Scozzafava is actually the "spoiler" in this race. If you find anybody willing to bet money that Dede will break 20% on Tuesday, take that bet. She could finish as low as 15%, but the one thing I can guarantee she won't do is win.

Maybe Gingrich backed Scozzafava because she reminds him of his favorite subject: Dede is history.

Read the rest here. McCain has lots of good information and is continuously updating from the road in NY-23. Contribute to Doug Hoffman's campaign here.

Update by Doug: (H/T Whitmey) Stacy McCain is reporting that Dede Scozzafava has quite the race:

Just confirmed that Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has quit the race. Speaking to supporters, Scozzafava broke down in tears.


Scozzafava, the hand-picked choice of the New York state GOP in the key 23rd District special election, reportedly will throw her support to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is confirming the story, as is Josh Kraushaar at the Politico.

Update II by Doug: (H/T Stacy McCain) Ali Akbar has text of Scozzafava's announcement:

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Throughout the course of my campaign for Congress, I have made the people of the 23rd District and the issues that affect them the focal point of my campaign. As a life long resident of this District, I care deeply and passionately about its people and our way of life. Whether as a candidate for Congress, a State Assemblywoman or a small town Mayor, I have always sought to act with the best interest of our District and its residents in mind—and today I again seek to act for the good of our community.

The opportunity to run as the Republican and Independence Party candidate to represent the 23rd District has been and remains one of the greatest honors of my life. During the past several months, as I’ve traveled the district, meeting and talking with voters about the issues that matter most to them, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received as I sought to serve as their voice in Washington. However, as Winston Churchill once said, Democracy can be a fickle employer, and the road to public office is not always a smooth one.

In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be. The reality that I’ve come to accept is that in today’s political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money—and as I’ve been outspent on both sides, I’ve been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record. But as I’ve said from the start of this campaign, this election is not about me, it’s about the people of this District. And, as always, today I will do what I believe serves their interests best.

It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my Party will emerge stronger and our District and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations.

On Election Day my name will appear on the ballot, but victory is unlikely. To those who support me – and to those who choose not to – I offer my sincerest thanks.


Update III by Doug: (H/T jimr3) Via Fox News:

Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Scozzafava is releasing supporters to vote for Hoffman.

This is all great news, but it's not over yet folks. Scozzafava's name will still be on the ballot and the Democrat Party is pouring money into this race. Go to Doug Hoffman's website, open up those wallets, and dig deep if you can.

Update IV by TR: Prior to this news, PPP(D) found that Hoffman was on his way to a blowout:

With about 200 interviews down we had Hoffman 45 Owens 26 Scozzafava 17...her withdrawal will just make it that much easier for Hoffman

However, the Siena poll conducted before this news shows a toss-up between Hoffman and Owens, with Hoffman gaining 12 points since the last Siena poll. His Republican support has increased from 27% to 50%.

Either way, Hoffman is now an overwhelming favorite to win on Intrade.


Edisto Joe: Thank You Sarah Palin

Via Edisto Joe:

Anyone who doubts Sarah Palin as an up and coming major player on the political scene better find a doctor for a reality check. Her endorsement of Conservative Doug Hoffman in the New York 23rd Congressional District special election has caught the attention of thousands who are now donating to his campaign and pledging support. Hoffman, who is running as a third party candidate against Republican, Dede Scozzafava and Democrat, Bill Owens, is a Republican himself but had to enter the race on a third party ticket since there was no primary for the special election. Had there been one Dede Scozzafava would never have been in the race. Scozzafava is Republican in name only. She leans to the left and supports Democratic policy. Hoffman is a Reagan principled conservative and was a natural to draw the support and backing from Palin. In a little over a week he has surged forward in the polls and now is dead even or ahead of Owens. Hoffman has been winning over GOP supporters and Independent voters as well.

Scozzafava, who has fallen to third, has been issuing warnings to voters to be wary of candidates whose backing comes from outside interests and have no interest in the 23rd district of New York. What she and the RNCC as well as House leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor fail to realize is those outside interests are the little guys, like you and me, who give the 10 and 20 dollar donations. They come from all over the country because we're tired of our party selling out to pretenders who turn left when they get into office. If these people thought the tea parties and town hall meetings over the summer were just a passing fancy they're in for a rude awakening. Nancy Pelosi, announcing the House version of health care reform yesterday, shows that the Democrats have little regard for the thousands that marched on Washington or voiced their disgust and concerns at town halls. The health bill proposed by Democrats is virtually the same as it was before they went on summer break. That may just be the fuel additive needed to push Hoffman out to a double digit lead over Owens and win the Congressional seat.

Read the rest here.


Saturday Open Thread

"The Warrior Song" is available for download from iTunes. "Every purchase supports members of the United States military, as the profits derived from its sale will be donated to the Armed Forces Relief Trust." (Active duty and former service members can request a free copy of the song here.) Speaking of supporting the troops... don't forget to visit Soldiers' Angels and offer your support for Project Valour-IT.

ESPN: NCAA Football: Week Nine Schedule

ESPN: NCAA Football: Week Nine Rankings NFL Week Eight Schedule

: High School Football Keeps the Friday Night Lights Burning

LAT: Welcome to 'The Pit'


Friday, October 30, 2009

Predictions Open Thread (Updated with Facebook Post from Governor Palin)

I should probably save this open thread for Monday night but I've got nothing else to post today:

-Virginia: McDonnell 54% Deeds 45%.

-New Jersey: Corzine 45% Christie 43% Daggett 10%.

-NY-23: Hoffman 45% Owens 36% Scozzafava 17%.


Update: A lot of pressure has been placed on House Minority Leader John Boehner. A new Facebook note from Governor Palin (h/t Beehive):

Mark my words - tomorrow is the game changer! Tune in to hear common sense solutions that bury the false accusations that conscientious members of Congress have no solutions to meet America's health care challenges.

If you're like me, shaking your head wondering why all the miscommunication between Washington and the American people who have been saying, "Please hear what we're saying about our desire for health care reform," then tomorrow will be a refreshing time of clarity for all.

All Americans, and especially colleagues of House Republican Leader John Boehner: please listen to tomorrow's weekly GOP national address. Rep. Boehner will highlight a common sense alternative to Speaker Pelosi's 1,990-page government takeover of health care. I urge you to watch for it. For a preview, go to:

You'll hear solutions. You'll hear of real choices based on America's proven free-market principles. You'll know once and for all what the GOP and Independents have been saying all along about alternatives to another big government take over. After tomorrow, you'll know that accusations against the GOP and Independents for not providing solutions are false. Those claims are bogus. There are alternatives. Tune in to Rep. Boehner's address tomorrow to hear them.

I look forward to the game changer!

- Sarah Palin

UPDATE: Rep. Boehner speaks about health care.


Economy Grows at Lackluster 3.5% in Third Quarter

Yesterday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy grew in the third quarter at an annualized rate of 3.5%. Although many in the media claim this means the recession is over (and it may well be), it’s not technically accurate to make that claim yet. The Business Cycle Dating Committee, part of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), is the entity charged with making the official call, and they haven’t done so yet, although all indications are that they will soon take this step.

Randall Hoven, at American Thinker, has an article out today in which he discusses some possible chicanery going on at the NBER. Specifically, the Dating Committee appears to use one method to date the beginning of the recession in order to place it as far back into the Bush Administration as possible, while, coincidentally I’m sure, using another method to place the end of the recession as early in the Obama Administration as possible. In short, it appears they may be trying to make Bush look as bad as possible while trying cast Obama in the most positive light possible. Why would they do this? Mr. Hoven notes the following with regard to the makeup of the Dating Committee:

It might just be coincidence that of the seven members on the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, one is the husband of Christina Romer, the Chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors. Mrs. Romer herself was a member of the NBER's board, along with her husband, until just after Obama's election.

Quite a coincidence indeed. Read the rest of Mr. Hoven’s article here.

While the economy may be technically recovering from the recession, the news is not nearly as positive as the mainstream media would have us believe. James Pethokoukis, in an article for Reuters, discusses the “anemic” recovery:

The anemic third-quarter U.S. GDP report is another indication that President Barack Obama’s economic gamble may yet fail to pay off. And that could be terrible news for Democrats heading into the 2010 midterm elections.

While the new report showed the economy shifting into recovery mode, it looks like a pretty anemic expansion. As the economics team at IHS Global Insight see things, temporary factors such as cash for clunkers (accounting for nearly half of the past quarter’s growth) and the homebuyers tax credit artificially inflated growth during the past three months. The firm puts underlying growth in the economy at closer to 2 percent than the 3.5 percent.

The cash for clunkers program and the home buyer’s credit did entice people to purchase cars and clunkers during the third quarter. But, these were purchases that would have occurred anyway in most cases. The government programs merely shifted some purchases from the future to the current. In short, the boost provided by cash for clunkers and the home buyer’s credit was temporary at best and accounted for nearly half of GDP growth in the third quarter. Incidentally, the cash for clunkers program cost taxpayers about $24,000 per car.

Even if we assume all of the growth in third quarter GDP was legitimate and not the result of ill-conceived government largesse, how does the 3.5% rate compare to the first quarter of other economic recoveries. Not very well, according to Mr. Pethokoukis:

Indeed, during the first quarter of the last 10 economic recoveries, real GDP rose a far more impressive 5.8 percent on average. For instance, the first five quarters of the Reagan Boom coming out of the 1981-82 recession showed GDP growth of 8.1 percent, 9.3 percent, 8.1 percent, 8.5 percent, and 8.0 percent.

The tremendous GDP growth coming out of the 1981-82 recession is startling. Of course there is a huge difference in the economic policies Reagan employed in the early ‘80s compared to what Obama is doing now. Pethokoukis notes that Obama’s so-called economic stimulus plan was roughly 2/3 spending and 1/3 tax cuts (which contrasts Reagan's plan of steep cuts in marginal tax rates), but that overstates Obama’s tax cuts in terms of their effect on economic incentives to stimulate long term economic growth.

While the 1/3 tax cut proportion may be technically true in beltway vernacular, it is, at best, misleading. All tax cuts are not created equal. The kinds of tax cuts Obama promotes are only marginally more stimulative than government spending and will not add to long-term economic growth. Obama relies on tax credits and other gimmicks rather than marginal tax rate reductions. The former rewards current consumption while the latter rewards investment in productive activities which will add to the nation’s capital stock and long term growth potential.

Obama still clings (bitterly?) to his claim, first made during the campaign, that he is providing income tax cuts to 95% of Americans. That is impossible, of course, when at least 40% don’t pay income taxes at all. The only way to do this is with what are called “refundable tax credits”. Refundable tax credits allow those who don’t pay taxes to receive a refund on taxes they don’t pay in the first place. In other words, they have a negative income tax and thus receive a check from the government. This is nothing more than welfare, paid for by productive citizens who actually pay income taxes. This is nonsense. Obama’s “tax cuts” are effectively indistinguishable from government spending.

Tax cuts which actually stimulate the economy must focus on productive activity. The rate of economic growth is measured by gross domestic product (GDP), the key word being “product” or production. Pro-growth tax cuts should be designed to stimulate productive activity, not spending. After all, we don’t define economic growth as “gross domestic spending”. Obama’s policies of refundable tax credits to non-taxpayers, cash for clunkers, first time home buyer credits, etc., will have no discernable long term effect on economic activity. (By the way, isn’t the first time home buyer credit another government program designed to “assist” those who can’t afford homes to do so? I seem to recall that a plan with similar goals didn’t work out so well last year. But I digress.)

The reason Reagan’s economic recovery was such a success is because he understood that to grow the economy, we need to stimulate the supply or production side of the economy. The only way to do this is through marginal tax rate productions. Businesses and entrepreneurs must have an incentive to take risks and grow their businesses, thus adding to the country's capital stock, which raises productivity and, ultimately, living standards. I discussed this fully in a post on the Laffer Curve a while back.

Although the economy is beginning to recover, as it always does, the meager recovery is occurring in spite of Obamanomics, not because of it. Make no mistake, there is no chance we’ll experience anything close to the robust recovery we saw as the economy climbed out of the 1981-82 recession. There is nothing in Obama’s plans to suggest he has even a rudimentary understanding of how an economy works. This is not complicated. Obama’s economic policies of large tax increases, trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, a government takeover of health care, a huge new energy tax, to name a few, will not grow the economy. Quite the opposite, they'll impede its growth.

Governor Palin, in her Hong Kong Speech, demonstrated a far better understanding of the economy and what needs to be done to grow it than Obama and his entire team of so-called economic advisors:

If you want real job growth, you cut taxes! And you reduce marginal tax rates on all Americans. Cut payroll taxes, eliminate capital gain taxes and slay the death tax, once and for all. Get federal spending under control, and then you step back and you watch the U.S. economy roar back to life. But it takes more courage for a politician to step back and let the free market correct itself than it does to push through panicky solutions or quick fixes…

If Obama followed Governor Palin's policy prescriptions, the economy would come roaring back to life just as it did after the 1981-82 recession which, by the way, was worse than the one we recently experienced. But we all know he won’t. He simply has no idea what he’s doing. The economy will continue to sputter along. Unemployment, as a lagging macroeconomic indicator, always improves slower than the economy as a whole. However, it will be even slower to recover from this recession given the anemic growth in GDP, caused by Obama’s anti-growth policies. The slow growth in the overall economy will not be sufficient to appreciably improve the unemployment rate. This is so unnecessary but, unfortunately, inevitable given the current occupant of the White House.


The Final Word on the Palin in Des Moines “Controversy”

From Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinated Thoughts

She’s not coming, but would like to in the future. She’d also come for free. Bryan English at the Iowa Family Policy Center just sent the following press release:

10/30/09 Pleasant Hill, IA – Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION received word this morning that Governor Sarah Palin is unable to accept our speaking invitation due to her book tour contractual commitments, which cannot be changed.
We extended our invitation knowing she would be in the middle of her book tour and the chances of her being able to accept any invitations were extremely slim.
She has asked if she could speak at a future mutually agreeable date. She will not accept any fees for her appearance.

Read the rest here – including some interesting information on those “unimpeachable” sources that fed Politico’s Jonathan Martin....

By the way... remember this?

Jonathan Martin of the Politico is a sickening hack who's a complete failure as a reporter.

H/T Hal


Anita Dunn - Loves Mao Tse Tung, Dislikes Fox News....and Governor Palin?

Time Magazine, official mouthpiece of the Obama administration, has an excerpt from “The Audacity to Win” by David Plouffe who was a key figure in Obama’s 2008 campaign. It’s an interesting behind the scenes glimpse into what has to be acknowledged as one of the most successful sales campaigns in marketing history. But what caught my eye was a fascinating factoid buried deep in the section describing how Plouffe and Co. reacted to McCain's selection of Governor Palin as his running mate.

Palin was a bolt of lightning, a true surprise. She was such a long shot, I didn't even have her research file on my computer, as I did for the likely McCain picks. I started Googling her, refreshing my memory while I waited for our research to be sent.


On our 6:00 a.m. conference call, [campaign adviser] Anita Dunn, who had worked against Palin in Alaska in the 2006 governor's race, warned us that she was a formidable political talent — clearly not up to this moment, she assured us, but bound to be a compelling player and a real headliner in the weeks ahead.

Yes – that Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, enemy of Fox News and admirer of Mao Tse Tung. Dunn, who started out working for President Carter’s chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, is regarded by Democrats as one of the their most highly experienced strategists. That’s why David Axelrod brought her into the Obama campaign team. It turns out that she also advised Tony Knowles in the 2006 Alaska Gubernatorial campaign.

"All of you on this call should watch video of her debates and speeches," Dunn counseled. "The substance is thin, but she's a very able performer. And her story is out of Hollywood. She'll be a phenomenon for a while."

Actually she also advised Knowles in his 2004 Senate bid so she clearly has close links with Alaska. In fact soon after the GOP convention she was on TV dissing the governors reformist credentials.

It’s quite clear that the Obama team was thrown into disarray by the Palin pick because over the next few weeks they threw every resource into undermining her credibility. Indeed at times it was as if she was Obama’s presidential opponent, rather than McCain.

The anti-Palin campaign operated, as we know, on two levels. Publicly one theme was “inexperience” though, given Obama’s shallow CV, this held some risk. Another was questioning the governor’s reformist/ethical credentials which Dunn herself laughably attempted just a few days after the nomination.

It was laughable not just because Obama had never aligned himself with any project that attempted to clean up the seedy politics of Chicago/Cook County but, as Michelle Malkin pointed out, Dunn herself had been very close to Tom Daschle.

Democratic media consultant Dunn’s claim to fame is her decade-long service as chief strategist for disgraced Democrat and former Senate Majority Leader-turned-health care lobbyist Tom Daschle. She was in the thick of his failed re-election campaign as Daschle asserted a bogus property-tax homestead exemption claim on his $1.9 million D.C. mansion – which he listed as his primary residence despite voting in South Dakota and claiming it as his primary residence in order to run for re-election. And Dunn was with Daschle during the years he failed to pay gobs of taxes on a luxury car and driver provided to him by crony donor Leo Hindery, Jr.

The public strategy was risky because of the possibility of backfire if anyone chose to delve too deeply into the past of Obama and his associates. However Axelrod and Co. were confident that a supine press and TV were too far in the tank for the Obama myth to afford any buyer’s remorse by asking questions. But the media were fascinated by a political figure who emerged from nowhere and proceeded to suck the oxygen out of Obama’s elegantly stage managed coronation at the Democrat convention. The media needed meat – and Team Obama had a private strategy to feed the beast.

While the public discourse remained civilised and respectful surrogates like HuffPo and Kos were used to orchestrate a tsunami of lies, distortions and rumours that were directed not so much at the governor’s politics but at her and her family. The media, using weasels words like “claimed” and “alleged”, eagerly climbed aboard and the bulk of the GOP establishment, not at all comfortable with a woman who had defied and destroyed key party figures in Alaska, simply left her to deal with it herself.

Almost all of the misinformation about Governor Palin came from Alaska, partly from local Democrats like Kim Elton (of Troopergate fame) and from “progressive” bloggers. Publicly, of course, there were no Team Obama fingerprints to be found on these slanders but it beggars belief to assume that these were all spontaneous outpourings from concerned citizens. Some might suggest a whiff of orchestration, and who else better to help connect the dots than someone closely involved with Alaskan Democrats since at least 2004 – someone like Anita Dunn. Michelle Malkin also noted this about Anita.

Dunn is married to Robert Bauer, a Washington, D.C. corporate lawyer who served as general counsel for Obama for America. It was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully last fall to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

It was Bauer who attempted to sic the DOJ on GOP donor Harold Simmons and sought his prosecution for funding the ad. It was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Barack Obama’s behalf.

Only conjecture, of course – but even more curious is the fact that the campaign of slander and misinformation continued after the election, spearheaded by Jesse Griffin of Immoral Minority. Dan Riehl raised some very important questions about Mr Griffin – unfortunately that part of Todd Purdum’s well balanced Vanity Fair article on Governor Palin was mysteriously mislaid by the printers. But the intrepid "journalists" at the Anchorage Daily News must be planning an in depth analysis of the Jesse Griffin affair for publication sometime in... 2028?

The question is, I suppose, did Anita Dunn have anything to do with the anti-Palin campaign? We just don’t know. Certainly on a political level Anita must still see her as a threat to be neutralised. But there might also be a personal motive. After all, when you are a highly regarded and seasoned strategist it must have been galling to see your candidate defeated in the 2006 gubernatorial election by somebody like this.

In some ways it’s easier to count those who aren’t in Palin’s inner circle than those who are. Before appearing on the GOP presidential ticket, Palin often relied mainly on grassroots support to propel her political efforts.


Palin’s campaign manager for her gubernatorial race was one of her hometown friends, Kris Perry. Other people playing lead roles in the campaign included middle-school friends and work acquaintances


George Pataki Endorses Doug Hoffman

Via Ben Smith at the Politico:

Former New York Gov. George Pataki endorsed Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman tonight, the clearest sign yet that even the most establishment New York Republicans now view Hoffman as having the best shot at preventing a Democrat from winning next Tuesday's special election.

Several of Pataki's former staffers are playing key roles with Republican Dede Scozzafava's campaign, and he wouldn’t be endorsing against her unless the writing was on the wall that there was no chance she could pull out a victory.

Here's Pataki’s statement:

As someone personally engaged in the way of life in the Adirondacks and Northern New York, I’m deeply concerned about the course of our nation and the outcome of the election in the 23rd Congressional District.

That is why tonight, I’m proud to endorse Doug Hoffman, a Republican, running on the Conservative line for Congress in the 23rd Congressional District.

Simply put, we cannot afford to give another vote to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid we cannot afford another vote for higher taxes, we cannot afford another vote for government run health care and we absolutely cannot afford another vote to take away from hard working men and women the right to secret ballot.

More here. It's great to see Governor Pataki join the tsunami of support for Doug Hoffman, which has been rapidly gaining momentum since Governor Palin's endorsement last week. Governor Pataki, who served three consecutive terms, is a well-known Republican moderate. His endorsement will have an impact with many of New York's establishment Republicans who may have been reluctant to escape Dede Scozzafava's sinking ship and support a "third party" candidate. Jimmie Bise also noted the significance of Pataki's endorsement at The Other McCain:

One of the big bombs dropped tonight in NY-23. George Pataki has come out and endorsed Doug Hoffman and, let me tell you, he did not spare the thinly-veiled elbow jabs at Dede Scozzafava.

As a businessman, and as a life-long resident of the North Country Doug Hoffman understands the need to lower taxes on working families, the need to stand tall against terror and he won’t back phony stimulus programs that fail to create the jobs we need and leaves a mountain of debt to our children.

When elected to Congress Doug will work to reduce our taxes, he will stand tall against those who despise our freedoms and he will be a vigilant stalwart against those who would substitute government programs for individual initiative.

And Doug Hoffman can win.

Boom! Bombshell.

Another of New York's Republican elder statesman, former Sen. Al D'Amato, hinted this week that he may also be endorsing Doug Hoffman. There is still no word from Rudy Giuliani. Below is a partial list of other individuals and groups who have followed Governor Palin's lead and endorsed Doug Hoffman in the days following her endorsement:

Rick Santorum
Wholesaler-Distributor Political Action Committee
Freedoms Defense Fund
U.S. Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas)
James Dobson, PhD
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Right Principles
Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
Governor Rick Perry (R-TX)
Senator Jim Demint (R-SC)
Steve Forbes
Atlas PAC
National Conservative Fund
Gun Owners of American-PVF
Life and Liberty PAC
Minuteman PAC
Right Principles PAC
Term Limits America PAC
Congressman Jeff Flake - AZ
Congressman Linder - GA
The Heart PAC
Republican Majority PAC
Family Research Council PAC
Leadership for America's Future
Conservative Opportunity Leadership & Enterprise
Associated Builders & Contractors
Citizens United Political Victory Fund
Freedom First PAC
Congressman Steve King - IA
Catholic Families for America PAC
The American Conservative Party
Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK)
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)
Rep. John C. Fleming (R-LA)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
John Bolton

I'm sure there are others and I apologize to those whose names I inadvertently neglected to mention. Support Doug Hoffman's campaign here.


Friday Open Thread

AP: Stimulus jobs overstated in report

CSM: Report: Cash for Clunkers was a lemon

Hot Air: "Joblessness is always a lagging indicator, but the downturn in investment in Q3 shows that the 'growth' was more gimmick than reality — which is another reason why joblessness continues to increase."

John McCormack: 1,990-Page Health Care Bill Pays for Abortions, Cuts Medicare, Raises Taxes, Fees, and the Deficit

Iowahawk: Iowahawk Endorses Doug Hoffman

Reihan Salam: Is Iraq Slipping Away?

LAT: Iran response to proposed nuclear deal called inadequate

JWF: Medevac Units at Work in Afghanistan

AP: Welcome home, Sgt. Stinson

Before you start your weekend, head over to Soldiers' Angels and support Project Valour-IT.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Associated Press Still Getting It Wrong About 'Death Panels'

The Associated Press has a story in which it continues the mainstream media narrative that Governor Palin was referring to end-of-life planning when she used the term "death panel":

It's alive. The Medicare end-of-life planning provision that 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said was tantamount to "death panels" for seniors is staying in the latest Democratic health care bill unveiled Thursday.

One problem for the AP: Sarah Palin didn't say that. In the Facebook post in which she first used the term "death panel" she said:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. [emphasis added]

Now, I'm not a highly trained Associated Press reporter, but my reading comprehension skills aren't too bad. It looks to me like that statement says that a "death panel" would be the result of rationing care. I see no mention of end-of-life consultations, Associated Press.

The AP might also take a look at Governor Palin's follow-up statement in which she said:

Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these “unproductive” members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care. [emphasis added]

This isn't difficult, Associated Press. All you have to do is take the time to actually read the statements.

Though there are serious questions about the government running an end-of-life planning program, as Charles Lane and others have discussed, the governor used the term "death panel" to describe health care rationing that will almost certainly result from a government run health care system.

Work on those reading comprehension skills, AP.


NRCC Changing Position on Doug Hoffman in NY-23?; Updated: "Sapwolf" Reports From the Ground in Upstate NY

It looks like the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), chaired by Representative Pete Sessions (R - Texas), is finally getting the message from the base. Just four days ago, in an article for the Politico, Alex Isenstadt wrote the following:

The National Republican Congressional Committee remains committed to embattled GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava in the upstate New York House special election, even as many of the party's top names throw their support to Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman.

Two party officials tell POLITICO that the NRCC will continue to air TV ads propping up Scozzafava in the days leading up to the Nov. 3 contest and plans to keep up a near relentless barrage of press releases slamming Hoffman.


The NRCC plans to spend between $200,000 and $300,000 on TV ads in the final week-and-a-half of the campaign. The ads will focus on Owens and Scozzafava and will not mention Hoffman.

The NRCC appears to be changing their tune now. Late today, in a just-released Politico article by Alex Isenstadt and John Kraushaar, Rep. Sessions discussed Doug Hoffman and the race in NY-23:

The House Republican leadership is prepared to welcome Doug Hoffman into its ranks, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said Thursday, a sign that the GOP establishment is recalibrating its approach toward the contentious New York special election and the Conservative Party nominee whose candidacy has divided the party.

“He would be very welcome, with open arms,” Sessions told POLITICO in an interview off the House floor.


On Thursday afternoon, Sessions appeared to tacitly acknowledge that Hoffman may represent the GOP’s best chance to keep the Republican-held seat from being picked up by a Democrat.

“I think it’s pretty clear that a person who would vote for John Boehner, support tax cuts, support growing our economy, and defeat Nancy Pelosi’s tax and spend agenda will be really welcome in our conference, and I think having a person who can win that district off that message would be really good for the Republican Party,” Sessions said.

Isenstadt and Kraushaar also note what a truly remarkable grass roots effort is underway in the district:

Hoffman, whose campaign barely had a presence in the district as recently as two weeks ago, is getting help from a well-oiled conservative ground game, with hundreds of volunteers from tea party groups and leading conservative organizations working in upstate New York to help him get out the vote next Tuesday.

Hoffman’s campaign now has five campaign offices teeming with volunteers across the sprawling district. By contrast, Scozzafava’s campaign has just one office in her home base.

The anti-tax Club for Growth, pro-life Susan B. Anthony’s List, Eagle Forum and anti-illegal immigration Minuteman PAC all have staffers on the ground knocking on doors, making calls to Republican voters and delivering pro-Hoffman literature to churches.

I don't think it's possible to overestimate the importance of Governor Palin's endorsement in this grass roots effort. While Dick Armey and Fred Thompson, among others, endorsed Doug Hoffman first, it was Governor Palin's endorsement that launched the tidal wave of endorsements and sparked the nationwide excitement we're seeing now. C4P reader and commenter "Sapwolf" drove hundreds of miles to volunteer for Hoffman's campaign, as did countless others. NY-23 is now the most exciting race in the country this election cycle, and the most important reason for that is the bold step Governor Palin took in which she placed principle above party. If Doug Hoffman wins on November 3rd, which looks increasingly possible, it will be due, in no small part, to the leadership of Governor Palin.

Contribute to Doug Hoffman's campaign here.

Update by Doug: Sapwolf, to whom I referred above, is on the ground in Upstate New York and posted the following report in the comments:

Report from Watertown, NY on District 23 race:

Doug Hoffman now has the momentum. He has pulled even with the Dem Owens and is clearly 10+ points ahead of the radical GOP Scozzafava in the newest DailyKOS poll and in one other poll.

A couple of Fox people were outside the office and they had trouble finding people who were not for Doug. And no, Ainsley Earhart was not one of them, I would have noticed.

GOP voters are gradually coming around to the truth about Scozza’s voting record and many are expressing disgust. I saw on TV tonight, from the Best Western in Canton, an incredible TV add for Scozzafava that presented her as the ‘progressive’ candidate. I kid you not. I thought I was in the twilight zone. We even bumped into a guy who admitted that he was working for Dede’s campaign and that the people there knew it was a sinking ship.

The Dems and Scozza’s gang are now running adds that only attack Doug as he is the real front-runner now.

I posted on Sarah’s Facebook to tell people to call Dede’s campaign to try to convince her to back out of the race and back Doug, but I doubt she will. By EOD Tuesday, assuming the passion holds and the momentum continues, I think we can win this one. Say a prayer.

By the way, I met Doug (Hoffman) and shook his hand tonight in Canton. Great guy. Totally grassroots CPA. Sarah backed the right horse. Some of the people here thanked me for helping out. Good salt-of-the-earth people.

And don’t forget to contact your Congressmen and tell them to vote against the current healthcare bill.

I’ll try to post again over the weekend.


What Jed Clampett could teach the GOP

I’m a 35-year-old long-time taxpayer, and if being a member of the first generation of American youth exposed to 24-hour-a-day cable television taught me anything, it was this: there is no situation that cannot be understood if broken down and filtered through “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

“The Beverly Hillbillies” was and remains one of the most popular series in the history of American television. Considering the theme song, I take you to this passage: “…but then one day he was shootin’ at some food/and up from the ground come a bubbl’n crude … oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.”

About as Joycean as it gets for a sitcom about hillibilles, yes?

Hillbilly Jed Clampett took a shot at a rabbit and discovered a patch of oil worth in excess of $60 million, and while that doesn’t sound like much, keep in mind we’re talking about 1960s dollars, a time when businessmen flew the friendly skies with steak knives aplenty and the term “Dollar” meant something to even the people who didn’t actually work for them. I’m guessing there are days when The Powers That Be in the Republican Party feel like Jed Clampett, yet instead of celebrating its newfound wealth, the GOP is doing everything possible to jam that vaulting stream of Texas tea right back into the slug-created spout from which it spewed.

The million-dollar shot that the GOP took was Sen. John McCain’s announcement of Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. As we’re talking hillbilly, let the record show even a blind squirrel finds an acorn ever now and again. Gov. Palin was an unknown, a wild card of the highest order, a Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot selection in a high-stakes game if there ever was one. Yet, as soon as she began speaking on that platform in Ohio, up came the black gold. As hard as this may be to understand, Gov. Palin appeals to a very specific type of American, and that type happens to be what used to be called “The GOP Base.”

Gov. Palin, the million-dollar shot, opened up a vein, and now the GOP leadership probably regrets her selection. “Goodness, wouldn’t life be easier without that pesky Sarah Palin being a household name, what with the inter-tubes and the Facespace and such…” Few Conservatives are as politically talented as Gov. Palin, but millions of us not only identify with her trials and tribulations, we admire her for getting to where she is on hard work and merit – did I mention we damn-sure like her politics?
This is not about Gov. Palin, though. Rather, it’s about the millions of us who identify with her who the GOP now see as pests to be swatted away rather than a base to be courted. Gov. Palin was that first bubble of black gold, and all of us behind her have come rushing out in a tidal wave of good fortune for the GOP, if only the party would recognize it.

To phrase it in words most would understand: Let me be clear, Conservatives, and no one but Conservatives, get Republicans elected.

In the months that followed the announcement of Gov. Palin’s addition to the McCain ticket and her stem-winding, cork-popping, status-gouging speech at the RNC Convention of ’08, thousands, then millions of people quite similar to Gov. Palin in attitude, background and yes, politics, began to get fed up about the direction of this country. Quite suddenly, with the help of a certain CNBC reporter, millions of Americans realized that we don’t have to sit back and take it quietly. Tea Parties started brewing, quietly at first, and then, all the sudden, they were everywhere.

On April 15, my friend Eric and I both took a vacation day from “work” and drove to Oklahoma City, participating in one of the largest Tax Day Tea Parties (“work” – that productive thing that creates wealth, is taxed and funds the various entitlement programs politicians are in love with). It was a genuine expression of First Amendment outrage, and what was the characterization of our efforts? We were promptly branded as “angry mobs,” to use one of the nice invectives of the day. Oh, and let’s not forget the permutation regarding those pesky bags of tea.

As the spring and summer wore on, word started getting out about The Healthcare Bill, a shape-shifting monstrosity code-name Project Beowulf. Instead of plot, though, this bill – like all bills – was larded with governmentese, meta-references to subsections C, L and Q, and sub-bills composing a Where’s Waldo of the Damned. By August, the Tea Parties held outdoors turned into the Town Halls held indoors, and it was as though oldsters hooked to oxygen tanks suddenly had rage pumping through those plastic tubes. People you wouldn’t guess ever willing or able to sit through an interminable zoning board meeting were suddenly citing, chapter and verse, sections of a healthcare bill few politicians had read, and those people, those pesky constituents, were making complex, astute arguments about a Byzantine subject to which even Read’s I, Pencil would defer. No man can make a pencil, but only a party of masochists, nihilists and fools could go along with what the Democrats have planned for American “health.”

With Doug Hoffman, the GOP finally met the first phase of its Waterloo, its Pickett’s Charge, its asinine hubris turned public for all the world to see. Hoffman may not win NY23 – why should he? In any room, GOP hero Newt Gingrich is likely the smartest man, and even he has proclaimed that to support Hoffman is a fool’s errand.

Hoffman’s not a career politician – hell, calling him a novice would be an insult to novices. Yet he happens to be one of those pesky Conservatives, and with the endorsements of Gov. Palin and Fred Thompson (and every aspiring national politician who actually can wrangle the Conservative base), he is gaining momentum. The GOP’s reaction to him is nothing short of absurd – by campaigning against him the GOP may as well wrap an explosive-vest around the torso of your party’s future and detonate it in the public square. NY23 is but one district in one special election, but this is to serve notice: Conservatives will no longer carry water for the GOP, no matter how much doom the party wants to envelope and obfuscate its reasoning.

We do not take talking points, not from Rush Limbaugh and not from Sarah Palin. However, Limbaugh and Palin are two among many who have a far better feel on the pulse of American Conservatism and the American public than your committees, delegations, pollsters, caucuses and ward leaders, and those of us who pay attention are fed up with the GOP’s wishy-washy desire to appease moderates. I don’t know if you anyone else has noticed, but the Democrats in charge care little for moderation or moderates, and while GOPers stand docile with olive branches and hands reached across the aisles, Donkeys come with sabers and have no quandary with chopping off hands and slitting throats.

Our patience, epic as it has been, has grown thin. If the GOP wishes to be Democrat Light 2.0, have at it, but we will no longer be appeased. Go after moderates with gusto and I wish you godspeed – have fun jockeying for position with the lowest common denominator against a lobby whose low has no floor.


Governor Palin's Good Day

On CBS “The Early Show” Levi Johnston repeated his claim that Governor Palin called her son Trig, who has Down Syndrome, "retarded," prompting a firm rebuttal from the governor.

Instantly commentators, bloggers and journalists all over the country, many with good intentions at heart, questioned the governor's motives for the rebuttal. Conventional wisdom has it that the governor should take the high road, rise above it, and ignore the ungrateful pinhead she once treated as her own child. Some have suggested that if she responds to every ridiculous slur, she’ll never have a chance at a political future; people won’t elect a tabloid figure.

Those arguments are the same made when, on the same network, David Letterman joked about her 14 year old daughter being “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez. Governor Palin was criticized for her fierce response, and then too she was advised to rise above it.

A recent CNN poll, to which Joshua referred in a post, noted that a 65% majority consider Governor Palin as “not a typical politician”, 64% consider her as “a good role model for women” and 56% believe her to be “caring about the needs for people like you”. The reason Governor Palin receives these high marks is because much of Governor Palin’s appeal is that she is a typical every day person like you and me.

Besides being a national figure, Governor Palin, is a mother, a grandmother, a human being and, yes, contrary to popular belief, she has feelings too. Unlike our president, who calls for a Jihad against a TV network who questions his policies, Governor Palin withstands criticism of her policies with grace and maturity. However, when it comes to her children, her maternal instincts take over and the “mama grizzly” surfaces!

Now, I know it’s difficult, because no one has really ever gone through what Governor Palin has in the last twelve months, but put yourself in Governor Palin’s shoes. You’re a mother of five, your youngest child was born with Down Syndrome (let alone that the mere legitimacy of your motherhood is questioned). Raising five children is a daily struggle in and of itself. And then, one day, your eldest daughter's ex-boyfriend, for no other reason than to make a quick buck, goes on national television, diminishes you and claims that you used to refer to your baby by a derogatory slur.

Being a parent myself, I know what I’d do. I’d pick up the phone, call the broadcasting network, demand to speak to the reporter, and rebuke the lie on live television. If possible, I’d happily throw a few punches at the moron (metaphorically of course) who made those claims without considering the consequences. Although nothing concrete would be achieved, it goes without question that I’d feel much better.

Governor Palin didn’t call the TV show to rebut the claims or to defend her helpless child. She did, however, call out the pathetic liar and express her feelings, heal the pain, and make herself feel better. This is perfectly understandable.

Political pundits in general, and journalists and commentators in particular, strive to continuously offer Governor Palin advice on what to do and how to do it. Maggie Rodriguez, when interviewing the lying, self destructing loser, asked if “he’s hurt by all this”. I wonder how many of those “well-meaning” politicians and journalists have ever picked up a phone to Governor Palin, not for an interview, not for a quote or a ratings boosting juicy exclusive, but to simply ask her if she’s hurt by all of this or how she is doing”. If so, I’m sure she would appreciate it.

From a political point of view, it could be argued that Governor Palin should ignore all the slurs thrown at her and her children. But Governor Palin is not a typical politician; she’s a human being and a mother, with feelings, just like you and me.

None of us can know for sure, including Governor Palin, what her political future might be. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, the next day, a year from now. What we do know is that after releasing her statement, for today, just today, Trig Palin’s mother felt good.

(H/T Doug for editing assistance)


Rick Perry: "I think I'd stick with Sarah."; Updated: Perry Endorses Doug Hoffman

Via Eric Kleefeld at Talking Points Memo:

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is brushing off former Vice President Dick Cheney's endorsement of Perry's primary challenger, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison -- saying he'd rather have his current support from Sarah Palin.

Perry touted an upcoming endorsement from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, as evidence of Republican support. Perry was then asked if he would rather have Cheney or Palin, who endorsed him back in February.

Perry's response: "I think I'd stick with Sarah."

Update by Doug: (H/T JeanA) Matt Lewis is reporting via Twitter that Rick Perry has just endorsed Doug Hoffman. Robert Costa at National Review also has the story.


Jonathan Martin Attempts to Create Controversy Where None Exists; Updated

Jonathan Martin, in a column today at the Politico, attempts to stir up controversy involving Governor Palin. A group in Iowa, The Iowa Family Policy Center, has decided to go through proper channels and contact Governor Palin’s agent, the Washington Speakers Bureau, to book her for an appearance on November 21:

A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next month has had an unintended effect: Rather than exciting conservatives about the prospect of a visit from the former Alaska governor, the group’s plan to raise a six-figure sum to bring her to the state has GOP activists recoiling at the thought of paying to land a politician's speaking appearance.

The Iowa Family Policy Center’s effort to cobble together $100,000 for Palin would represent a striking departure from customary practice in the first-in-the-nation state, these Republicans say, noting that a generation of White House hopefuls has paid their own way to boost their party and presidential ambitions.

So let me get this right, Mr. Martin. A private group would like to hear Governor Palin speak and, consequently, they contact the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, and this is evidence that she did something wrong? What, specifically, did she do wrong? After writing multiple paragraphs in an attempt to explain how horrible this is, Martin buries these nuggets in the middle of his story:

There is no indication that the former governor has requested a fee or that her decision whether to attend is being influenced by whether she’ll be paid.


But, money or not, it seems unlikely that Palin will appear for the event.

In other words, there is no point to Mr. Martin’s story other than to create false controversy involving Governor Palin. Matt Latimer referred to the Politico as Washington’s version of Variety. With non-stories like this, National Enquirer may be a more appropriate comparison.

Update by Doug: Josh Painter has also written about Martin's hit piece:

False? Misleading? Distorted? Deceptive? Biased? Anti-Palin? You betcha! That's Jonathan Martin. That's Politico. That's reprehensible. Why is Sarah Palin the only political figure Politico goes out of its way to treat in this manner?

Read the rest here.

Update by TR: Newsweek's Holly Bailey reports:

But hang on: did Palin actually ask the group to pay $100K for her appearance? An IFPC spokesman tells Martin he's "not personally aware" of a speaker's fee. "There may or may not be, I don't know," he tells Politico. For their part, the Palin camp tells NEWSWEEK there's no fee. Meg Stapleton, Palin's spokeswoman, tells your Gaggler that Palin "has not requested anything" and that she "does not charge people to campaign for them." According to Stapleton, Palin would instead cover such travel costs through her political-action committee, SarahPAC. Of course, that doesn't mean she's going to Iowa. Palin's book, Going Rogue, is due out Nov. 17, and she's got a major publicity tour planned around that, including a Nov. 16 appearance on Oprah. "We don't believe she will be able to attend with her tightly scheduled book tour, and the group has been told that through formal and informal channels," Stapleton says in an e-mail this morning. "However, it appears that some enthusiastic members are willing to try anything to entice the governor as we look at her schedule."


Why you should support Doug Hoffman; Updated: Stuart Rothenberg Weighs in on NY-23 Update #2: Kos confirms Hoffman surge

Have you spent the past week agonizing about whether you should make a donation to the Hoffman campaign, looking for someone to explain to you how this would actually help the only politician you really care about, namely Governor Palin? If so, I can recommend the following from the ever well-informed grassroots organization Yes, that's as in: George Soros sponsored, leftwing extremist, Sarah Palin hating Anyway, this is what they had to say on the importance of the race in NY-23:

Warning: A bizarre House race in upstate New York could end up giving a big national boost to Sarah Palin and the far right, and endangering health care reform in the House.

Here’s how: In a three-way race, Doug Hoffman, a right-wing third party candidate, has gotten Sarah Palin’s endorsement and become a cause célèbre for the far-right fringe.


Charlie Cook, one of the most respected political analysts in Washington, says that a Hoffman win would “shock Washington and force both parties to rethink their strategies.”

It would dramatically strengthen the Sarah Palin wing of the Republican party. And as for the Democrats—remember how the teabaggers’ town hall disruptions rattled conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats? Imagine how hard it’ll be to pass progressive legislation if conservative Democrats spend the next year worrying that they may be unseated by people who think Medicare is socialism and President Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen.
Yeah, imagine that: Democrats worrying so much about being unseated because they too might get hit by the Palin Express that they change their vote and help block Obamacare.

Now go and donate to the Hoffman campaign. And if you've done so already, go and do it again. It's that important.

Update by Doug: Well respected political prognosticator Stuart Rothenberg offers some interesting insights into the NY-23 race today in an article for Real Clear Politics:

In New York's 23rd district, another three-way race, Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava now seems like an afterthought.

Baseball statistician-turned-political-statistics guru Nate Silver, who seems to question the integrity and veracity of every Republican or conservative poll that he doesn't like, has raised questions about the newest Club for Growth survey, which shows Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman holding a slight lead of 32 percent to 28 percent over Democrat Bill Owens.

In fact, more than one poll (public and private) shows that the liberal Republican has slid into third place and that the race is statistically even between Hoffman and Owens. (For the record, Club for Growth pollster Jon Lerner is among the least likely pollsters to fudge numbers or manipulate data.)

The fact that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is attacking Hoffman - and that a new Club for Growth ad being aired in the district's three major media markets attacks Owens, contrasts him with Hoffman and ignores Scozzafava - is further proof that the special election has become a two-way race between the Democratic nominee and the Conservative Party nominee.

Interestingly, the National Republican Congressional Committee's independent expenditure campaign in the race has run three TV spots - all of which have attacked Owens but ignored Hoffman.

That strategy either assumes that Hoffman is irrelevant - a conclusion clearly not warranted by any of the recent polling or accepted by GOP operatives - or is intended to help Hoffman in the event that he emerges as the stronger opponent against the Democrat in the final days of the three-way contest. It isn't hard to figure out what Republican strategists are doing.

Read the rest of Rothenberg's article here. The fact that the NRCC is ignoring Hoffman and attacking Owens is, as Rothenberg notes, a sure sign that they realize Scozzafava can't win. They are, in effect, covertly helping Hoffman (who has stated his intention to caucus with House Republicans) by ignoring him and attacking Owens. Again, Doug Hoffman can win this race, but not without our help. Donate to his campaign here.

Update #2 from TR: Prior to Governor Palin's endorsement, a Daily Kos/Research 2K poll showed Hoffman trailing the frontrunner Bill Owens by a 35-23 margin, with the Republican at 30%. Today, the Kos/Research 2K poll shows Owens leading Hoffman by 33-32 margin, with the Republican at 21%.


C. Edmund Wright: Next Tuesday's Lessons for 2010

C. Edmund Wright, in an article for American Thinker, nails how clueless DC pundits and establishment Republicans are when it comes to Governor Palin:

OMG. From the backwater town of Wasilla, the naïve hockey-mom moose-huntress simply "Facebooked" a few thoughts into her device of choice, and damned if those words didn't bounce off a satellite and land squarely in the middle of New York state politics. Key among those words was the phrase "endorse Doug Hoffman."

Perhaps they landed in the middle of the run up to the 2010 mid term elections as well.

And from the glass towers of Manhattan to the stately low-rise buildings of Washington, self-important media pundits and Republican Party hacks are once again slow to realize that they have been outmaneuvered, out-finessed, and outsmarted by their favorite target of derision, Sarah

I wonder if David Brooks has quit staring at the crease in Obama's pants long enough to notice.

By her endorsement of Conservative Party candidate Hoffman in the now famous 23rd Congressional district of New York, Palin has demonstrated guts, leadership, political instincts, and a connection with real America that continue to dwarf those traits in almost everyone inside the beltway. Oh, and BTW -- she is a major reason that the now-famous special election of NY 23 is now famous.

Wright goes on to discuss the fact that the slew of endorsements by Governor Palin and other conservative luminaries is not a third party movement, but a fight to return the Republican Party to it's conservative roots as Reagan did in the late 1970s:

So as sexy as a third-party win would be in NY 23, the candidate and his chief supporters refuse to call NY 23 a third-party movement. To them, this is what Reagan called a "revitalized second party" and an invitation for liberal Republicans to "go their own way." The use of Reagan's name by both Hoffman and Palin is not a coincidence here.

And really, this is the lesson of all three races regardless of their outcomes. If Hoffman comes close, or wins against huge odds, as a third party -- and if Christie comes close or wins in far-left Jersey -- and if McDonnell wins big in a state Obama carried a year ago -- the lessons are the same. Republicans will do very well to send their liberal cohorts "their own way" and revitalize the party Reagan-style.

Another lesson is that one of the very first to fully invest in this theory was that hick ex-governor from Alaska. She rolled the dice. She swung for the fence. She thought outside the box, and she took a chance based on her instincts. And guess what? Just like when she resigned her governorship, her decision is coming up aces. Again.

Read the whole thing here. It's well worth it. Eric Richter has another interesting take on the NY-23 race here. Doug Hoffman wrote a piece in yesterday's National Review in which he discussed the stakes in next Tuesday's election. Also in National Review, Robert Costa notes that Doug Hoffman is drawing the ire of such kook fringe organizations as The Huffington Post and He must be doing something right. You can join Governor Palin in her support of Doug Hoffman here.


Thursday Open Thread

WSJ: House Leaders Compromise on Public Option

Keith Hennessey: Five important upcoming Senate health care votes

Ann Coulter: I'll pass on 'opting out'

VDH: All Falling Down

Holman Jenkins: Washington's Suicide Mission

NYT: U.S. Quietly Aids Pakistani Drives on Taliban

CNN: Obama attends return of fallen troops from Afghanistan

Hot Air: Obama’s new Afghanistan strategy: Protect the cities and cede the countryside to the Taliban

Michael Yon: A military watchdog gets it wrong on the debate over camouflage

Richard S. Lowry: Details of the firefight at COP Keating

Don't forget to visit Soldiers' Angels to support Project Valour-IT.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DNC Hacks Attack Governor Palin

The timing of this attack suggests that the DNC is perturbed by the fact that regardless of how American adults view Governor Palin's qualifications for the presidency at the moment, a good majority of American adults view her as "honest and trustworthy" and as "someone who cares about the needs of people like you." Her strong showing in these "character traits and qualities" categories (categories with which Republicans typically struggle) provide her arguments against Obamacare extra credibility.

This move from the DNC surprises me for two reasons: 1) the timing is interesting considering that it has been awhile since she's made the statements that concern the DNC and 2) ultra DNC hacks Hari Sevugan or Brad Woodhouse weren't on the e-mail.

Here is the DNC attack video:


A Time for Choosing

Is an introduction actually needed?


Media Matters? Media Malpractice.

As previously reported, sales of Governor Palin’s soon-to-be-released memoir, Going Rogue, went through the roof as soon as the release date was announced. The book's publisher, HarperCollins, pegging that Palin's book would be a bestseller ordered a whopping 1.5 million copies for the first printing. It seems, however, that some in the media, in their effort to continue to downplay its success, would do anything to distort the book's sales.

The left-wing site Media Matters, used a marketing email from Newsmax where you can get the book for “free,” to make the following statement:

Ever wonder how so many right-wing books become "bestsellers"? This may help explain it:


Normally you have to wait until the public displays pretty strong disinterest in a book before you can pick up the hardcover for $4.97. But thanks to Richard Scaife's right-wing, you can get Sarah Palin's book for that low price -- and it hasn't even been released yet.

Just keep this in mind if the media starts breathlessly reporting Palin's strong sales numbers.

What Media Matters fails to point out, is that you can only get the book for that price - or free - if you take it along with a one-year subscription of Newsmax Magazine at a total cost of $49.95. This is clearly noted in the email Newsmax sent out:

This book retails for almost $29 — but you can get it FREE with shipping included with a one-year subscription to Newsmax magazine!


Order Below Today.

Yes, rush me a copy of Sarah Palin's Going Rogue as soon as it is available — plus Newsmax magazine's special report Sarah Palin and "The Newer Feminism" FREE — a value of more than $39 with shipping included — along with my one-year subscription to Newsmax magazine. My total cost will be just $49.95 with automatic renewal. If you are current Newsmax magazine subscriber, your subscription will be extended an additional 12 months.

While Media Matters displays an image of the Newsmax email, they conveniently fail to activate the links that take you to the Newsmax order page, where full details of those offers are available.

Somehow I doubt that anyone would spend $49 for the Newsmax subscription just to get Going Rogue for free when you can buy the book from other retailers for less. Well, unless you were really waiting for an opportunity to get Newsmax.

Media Malpractice from Media Matters.


NBA Season/World Series Game 1 Open Thread

I'm happy that the NBA season has commenced and that the World Series begins tonight. Here are some links that may be of some interest:

-The Iowa Family Policy Center has invited Governor Palin to speak at its banquet on November 21st. Meg Stapleton says that Palin is unlikely to attend due to scheduling difficulties. Interestingly, if Governor Palin did attend, she'd be speaking at a venue that is across the street from where Joe Biden is scheduled to speak the same day.

-Allahpundit has a post up at Hot Air that discusses the CNN poll and other issues.

-The Far-left organization MoveOn has sent an e-mail to its supporters that provides further evidence that the race for the open House seat in New York's 23rd Congressional District is between Doug Hoffman and Bill Owens. Mark Blumenthal also doesn't see too much of an issue with the poll commissioned by the Club for Growth that showed Hoffman in the lead.

-According to Quinnipiac, Governor Corzine leads Christopher Christie 43-38% in the New Jersey Governor's race. Christie has resorted to calling the man he defeated in the Republican primary, Steve Lonegan, and asking him to campaign on his behalf in conservative areas of New Jersey.

-The NBC/WSJ poll "finds that the percentage of respondents believing that abortion decisions should be left to a woman and her doctor has dropped from 55% in 2007 to 51% now."

-Predictions: the Lakers win a rematch with the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals to repeat as champions. The Yankees win the World Series in six games.



CNN takes long, hard look at its own poll and finds the headline it wants

The headline of today's CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll will undoubtedly give the deeply tiresome Allahpundit the excuse he's looking for to launch into another one of his "moderate" anti-Palin tirades (I know, it hasn't been published yet, but I'm pretty confident he's typing one out as we speak). As part of our 'Get your retaliation in first' service, here are some facts AP is unlikely to mention:

  • The poll actually shows Palin regaining her footing. Her approval rating is now 42 percent, up 3 percent compared to the previous poll. Unfortunately, since 'Palin's approval rating rebounds' doesn't make for the kind of headline the CNN news crew were looking for, they decided against using this one.
  • In a matchup of the main Republican contenders, Palin comes in second - 7 percent behind Huckabee, but 4 percent ahead of Romney (and 20 percent ahead of Pawlenty). Palin's score is up 5 percent compared to the last poll taken before her resignation, in early June. Obviously, 'Palin still well placed for GOP nomination, now scoring higher than before her resignation' didn't qualify either, so that one was also quickly discarded.
  • On a whole range of personal qualities, Gov. Palin posts very healthy positive scores. She's considered 'not a typical politican' by 65 percent (65-34), 'a good role model for women' by 64 percent (64-35), 'caring about the needs of people like you' by 56 percent (56-43), and 'honest and trustworthy' by 55 percent (55-43). In a 50-50 nation like today's America, even her scores for 'shares your values' (49/49), 'agrees with you on issues you care about' (48-50) and 'is a strong and decisive leader' (47-51) were pretty decent. The only one that stands out negatively ('qualified to be president') is the one she can't really do anything about - well, not until she announces whether she intends to run for president. Until she does, most people will simply not see her through that lens, meaning her score is likely to remain relatively low. Given CNN's overall agenda, is it any suprise that they decided on this one for their headline?

Full details of the poll can be found here, with the CNN press release here. Oh and Allahpundit's anti-Palin hit piece will be up in about twenty minutes here.


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