Saturday, February 6, 2010

Governor Palin Addresses the TPC in Nashville TN

Governor Palin addresses the Tea Party Convention in Nashville TN. Saturday February 6 2010. The speech is followed by a Q & A session


National Tea Party Convention Keynote Address Open Thread

Around half an hour until showtime at 9:00 PM EST (though bassman reports that CNN claims that the speech may start early. No other network has reported that).

You can catch Palin's keynote address on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, PJTV, or Palintv.

LaDonna Hale Curzen from Sarah Palin Radio is tweeting from Nashville. Hopefully, we'll get a post-keynote report from the ubiquitous Sapwolf.

In other news, Governor Palin's Sunday show debut with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday has already occurred and will air tomorrow. Palin reportedly says that "[t]here are many things that he's doing today that cause an uneasiness in many, many Americans. I’m one of those who looks at the way that he is treating the trials of these terrorists."

I might as well sneak in my Super Bowl prediction: Colts 37 Saints 17. Peyton Manning wins his second Super Bowl MVP award.

* bumped

Update by Mel: President Ronald Reagan was born on this date in 1911. Here's his first inaugural address. Enjoy it while you await Governor Palin's speech this evening:

Update from TR: Sheya has some video earlier of Carl Cameron's report on the Tea Party Convention and a preview of Governor Palin's interview with Chris Wallace:

Update by Doug: Matthew Continetti at the Weekly Standard has a preliminary report on Governor Palin's speech:

Sarah Palin's speech to the Tea Party convention in Nashville showcased all of the former Alaska governor's strengths. She was confident, funny, down-to-earth, at times emotional--and she took a scalpel to the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. Ignore the critics who will say Palin spent too much time looking at her notes; her off-the-cuff approach and decision not to use a teleprompter was clearly calculated to highlight President Obama's reliance on scripted events and canned speeches.

The timing of the speech was also significant. Palin used the talk, broadcast live on Fox News Channel and C-SPAN, to respond to the president's State of the Union address from last week. Palin's mention that today is Ronald Reagan's birthday positioned her squarely among his heiresses. More interesting, Palin started off with a concentrated attack on the Obama administration's national security policies--not an issue for which the Tea Partiers are known. Palin noted that the president spent hardly any time on foreign policy during his annual report to Congress--indeed, she spent more time on our Israeli and Japanese allies, our Iranian and jihadist adversaries, and our strategic competitors than he did. And when Palin said that America needs a commander in chief, not a law professor, the crowd went wild; one was momentarily transported back to her famous speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

More here.

Update II by Mel: We're working on video. Until that's ready, go here to see the full speech.

Update II by Doug: Susan Davis of the Wall Street Journal has more on Governor Palin's Tea Party speech here.


Can We Beat the Reagan Odds?

Ronald Reagan was born 99 years ago today--and boy, is he missed! Americans are crying out for the common sense conservatism he embodied. We're gravitating toward those leaders who share those priciples while voting out those who do not.

Burt Folson wrote an article for Big Government called "Why Was Ronald Reagan the Greatest President of the 20th Century?" He stated:

Reagan had three parts to his genius. First, he was a visionary; he believed that people wanted freedom and would do well when more of it was given to them.


Second, Reagan had character, and in the eyes of America’s Founders, character was a necessary ingredient for greatness. Reagan stood for a set of ideas, and when trouble came he looked not to polls, but instead he applied courage, kindness, and persistence to achieve his ends.


Third, Reagan was teachable. That trait was essential. If one has vision and character, he must also be teachable to make his life flow in a constructive direction.

Publius, also of Big Government, chimed in with this:

Today, in 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in rural Illinois. He’s the kind of leader who ordinarily comes along only once in a life-time. We’re hoping we can beat those odds.

Now, we have all heard the President Reagan-Governor Palin comparisons. I've heard such things as "If Ronald Reagan is the mind of conservatism, Sarah Palin is the heart" and "Sarah Palin is Ronald Reagan in a skirt."

The governor surely exemplifies the characteristics Folson presents. It is her vision for the nation's purpose and potential that Americans have embraced. Her character rained down upon her the ire of the good old boys in the state of Alaska, while granting her the respect of those on the right side of ethics and reform. Her willingness and ability to continue learning and evolving have awarded her the reputation of being the quick study that she is. The similarities are obvious.

I'm currently reading Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America by Craig Shirley. Nothing has illustrated the Reaganesque Palin to me more than this book. I plan to provide an essay on this when I've completed it.

It may be too early to say for sure how it will all unfold, but I'm leaning toward telling Publius we've beaten the odds.


Midday Open Thread (Update: CNN to carry Keynote Live)

We'll have an open thread for Governor Palin's keynote address tonight later in the day. Her speech is scheduled for 9 PM EST and can be seen live on Fox News, MSNBC, C-Span, PJTV, and Palintv. Expect the speech to last between 30 to 45 minutes and then she will take 15 minutes of questions from the attendees. But here's what I've got for you to chew over until then...

-Erick Erickson's opinion regarding the Tea Party Convention and Governor Palin changes slightly.

-Rand Paul says that he sees Palin as a "conservative force to help define his race against Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson." Dr. Paul currently leads the likely Democrat Party nominee for the open Senate seat in Kentucky by a wider margin than Trey Greyson.

-Obama voter Ann Althouse notes that the NY Times article about Palin "quietly assembling the infrastructure of an expanding political operation" presents an "extreme contrast to the way Palin was mocked when she resigned as Governor of Alaska." The NY Times also changed its headline for the article.

-David Paul Kuhn from Real Clear Politics writes that the Tea Party is "grassroots activism that has now combined the second biggest political rock star with the hottest movement in American politics" and that it "might only be getting started."

No snow to be found here in the Pacific Northwest. What else is going on tonight?

Update: CNN will also now carry Palin's keynote address live. (h/t Techno)

Update #2: Our Illinois readers will be interested to learn that Adam Andrzejewski was "[s]potted at the convention."


Ron Devito: MSNBC’s Sarah Palin Investigation Reveals Nothing; Updated

Last night, in an excellent post, Tommy Report discussed the silly "investigation" into Governor Palin's emails by ace MSNBC investigative reporter Bill Dedman. (I know...being "ace" anything at MSNBC is like being chief water boy for the local t-ball team.) TR's post included a full statement by Thomas Van Flein, Governor Palin's attorney. Today Ron Devito at US For Palin takes another look at the faux scandal manufactured by the ratings-challenged MSNBC:

Today’s flavor of leftist manufactured “Sarah Palin scandal” pertains to emails, staff, and Todd Palin’s role as an adviser. None other than MSNBC — renowned for its hatred of all things Palin — did an “investigative piece,” Palin e-mails reveal a powerful ‘first dude’ in an attempt to paint a picture of Governor Palin as a “Nixon-esque” conniver bent on securing personal and political gain at any cost, and using her husband as a “shadow governor.” To build their case, MSNBC secured an archive of state and private emails — some 3,000 pages (Dedman, 2010, ¶2).

Of course, Dedman took issue with Governor Palin’s use of private email accounts, despite the fact that Alaska’s Superior Court on January 22, 2010 ruled that Governor Palin’s use of these accounts was perfectly legal.


So, what is the major scandal that lurks here? Hint: It does not involve: black bag burglaries, “plumbers,” wiretapping, embezzling, kickbacks, tax evasion, threats, harassment, intimidation, murder, arson, mayhem, buried bodies, drunk driving, sexual indiscretion, or other act of moral turpitude. All of the foregoing — items that are real scandals — have felled politicians of both parties over the past 30 years, but none of that is operative here.

So, what is the big scandal revealed in 3,000 pages of emails? Ladies and gentlemen, there were two major scandals uncovered. Let’s start that drum roll……

▪ Governor Palin wanted Todd to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables for the family and avoid processed foods (Dedman, 2010, ¶19).

▪ Governor Palin, for the first time in four years wanted to carve out two hours to see Juno with Todd and without the children (Dedman, 2010, ¶21).

Tada! Alaska’s chief executive wanted her husband of 20 years and her children to eat healthy foods, and she wanted to spend some time with her husband to watch a movie. This is a scandal?


Dedman tried to make a scandal out of routine items like electrical circuits in the Governor’s Mansion, and travel to bill signings throughout the article.

“Most horrifically,” Todd Palin was an advisor to Governor Palin. Let’s see….like Hillary Clinton was to her husband? Like politicians’ spouses have been since time immemorial? Yes indeed, Todd was an adviser to his wife Gov. Sarah Palin, who was at the time Alaska’s CEO. Every request that MSNBC tried to scandalize was routine, appropriate, or it was private emails from private accounts about private family matters.

The "expert" Dedman relies on to help him sort through the emails is none other than Andree McLeod, as Devito explains:

Dedman cites Andree McLeod as his subject matter expert on Gov. Palin’s emails throughout this article. McLeod had filed numerous frivolous ethics charges against Governor Palin, all of which were dismissed. Some of the charges filed were duplicates of charges filed by others that had also been dismissed. McLeod had a personal vendetta against Governor Palin, because she was denied a state job. She would routinely stalk Governor Palin, loitering in the lobby of the Anchorage state building and following her to events for the purpose of inquiring about working for the state. On one occasion, she approached Gov. Palin — who was pregnant with Trig at the time — in a hotel lobby. Following Governor Palin’s resignation, McLeod kept the frivolous complaints coming. A member of the State Personnel Board finally had enough of it and told her to “quit your b*tching!”


Perhaps MSNBC is trying to do what Jerry Seinfeld could not do for his pilot — a show about nothing.

Read the rest of Devito's piece here.

Update: To see Gary P. Jackson's take on this, go here.


Saturday Open Thread

The Economist: America's budget: Clueless in Washington

Brian Riedl: Rising debt will do U.S. in

WSJ: Dodd Says Finance-Overhaul Talks Reach Impasse

Hot Air: Unemployment drops to 9.7%

VDH: It's Bad Actors Who See 'Change' As America Rides Off Into Sunset


Kevin Wright: "Thoughts on Salina" (Update)

Thanks for the write up and audio of Governor Palin's speech from the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet, Kevin!

"Thoughts On Salina" by Kevin Wright

If I had any doubt about Sarah Palin's national ambitions going into tonight's event (and I admittedly had some doubts she was interested in running in 2012), the content of her speech to the Salina Chamber of Commerce did much to squelch them. Like many Kansans, I read the news of the Governor's visit to Salina in an online article several months ago and immediately bought tickets for both myself and my family, some of whom had their own doubts about not only her national ambitions, but perhaps her actual governing abilities as well. Well, apparently tonight was a night of doubt-squelching, because by the end of the evening, they were as reassured of both her conviction of character and her good ideas to progress this nation forward as I have always been. A longtime fan of Gov. Palin and reader of this blog in particular, I immediately saw it as an opportunity to contribute something to the Conservatives4Palin community.

I'd like to relay some of the things I gleaned from tonight's speech to you all. As someone who had, until tonight, never seen her speak in person, I know that simply being unable to attend an event -- whether for financial or geographical reasons -- is no reason not to be privy to the ideas shared and put forth. As such, I recorded the entire speech for everyone to hear.

For those of you unable to listen to a 40-45 minute talk (I say "talk" rather than "speech" because of her innate ability to connect with a crowd) I'd also like to do a quick summation of some of the things spoken about during her time on stage.

She was first introduced by Rep. Jerry Moran, whose introduction spans the 0:00-6:52 time mark. As she took the stage and began to speak, I was amazed to see many people visibly lean forward, as if somehow drawn in -- after the standing ovation, that is. It was clear that they were incredibly interested in what she had to say, and I have to assume that there were many people in that room who were neither conservatives nor Republicans, as it was not a campaign event or Republican event. For Sarah, the goals of the event were simple: speak to the small but effective local government of Salina and relay some of the wisdom she'd acquired over her years as a small-town mayor and councilwoman. I was surprised by how eager and receptive the attendants were to hear such a conservative message despite a definite lack of political consensus among those in attendance.

The environment was also varied in more ways than just politically. There was no one group that dominated the event's seating; In fact, there were a surprising number of young people (15-20) and 20 somethings, along with some older men and women, and yes, Chris Matthews -- plenty of different races represented. (Is your leg tingling yet?)

The part that seemed most to resonate with the people in attendance had nothing to do with the healthcare or energy or even the economy. In actuality, it was when the Governor began to frame the debate about War on Terror terminology and so-called "terrorist rights." More specifically, the fact that they had none, in spite of what our current administration would have us believe. Though she didn't come out swinging against President Obama or his administration for most of the night (in fact, I don't think she even called him by name), the one distinct reference to him was when she spoke about the Obama administration's decision to give Miranda rights to Christmas Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, effectively allowing him to lawyer up after only a few minutes and "evok(ing) our US Constitutional right to silence." A right that, as she pointed out clearly, was not his to utilize.

She summed up her thoughts nicely when she said the following: "We need a Commander-in-Chief. Not a professor of Constitutional Law." This comment literally had people rising to their feet in applause. (39:00-39:12. Fades out a bit at the end.)

In short (okay, not so short given all that I've babbled on about), the speech read like something of a campaign speech in disguise. Rather than explicitly saying "This is my plan for America" as a Presidential candidate would say, she was much subtler about it, instead implying it in a "This is what I think we should do" or "This is what I would do if I could" sort of manner. But truthfully, whether or not it was a campaign speech is of little importance, because in a room of 6000, I'd venture to guess she just secured 5800 votes for herself. I say only 5800 because there were some people under 18 there...and, yeah, my aunt said there were four eye-rolling Democrats in front of her who refused to applaud anything. Such is life.

The speech was heavy on the details. Unlike some interviews on Fox or on other networks where she often simply says "We need free market solutions," Sarah used specificity akin to that which was present in "Going Rogue," particularly when it came to which taxes need to be eliminated and/or reduced. Same goes for the content of the energy portion of the speech.

Oh, and by the way? Not a Teleprompter in sight. She did have a sheet of notes in front of her, but she rarely if ever used them. If it had been a speech, I would say it was delivered almost entirely from memory. But as said above, it was more of a talk, and thus came much more believably from the heart than her memory.


Update: You can check out RD's write-up of the event here.


Full Statement from Thomas Van Flein Regarding the E-Mails (Update)

A recent article discusses what purports to be a new "revelation" that Todd Palin was a "powerful first dude." To most Alaskans, and to the millions of people who read "Going Rogue" this is neither new nor a revelation. Like many married couples, including political 'power couples,' it is common for a spouse to play the role of key advisor to the other spouse. The Palins were no different. Todd Palin had official and unofficial duties, but one thing was clear: he was a key advisor to Governor Palin and involved in her efforts to improve the State of Alaska. Officially, in addition to the duties traditionally expected of the spouse of the Governor, Todd Palin was put in charge of a Workforce Development commission with the goal of increasing vocational education opportunities and awareness. But unlike some spouses of elected officials, Todd Palin did not travel with an entourage, had no designated office, had no title other than "First Dude", received no pay, and had no staff. He donated his time to the people of Alaska by assisting the Governor. Each spouse of the chief executive is free to define his or her own role. From the policy oriented Hillary Clinton, to the more traditional and charitable work of Laura Bush, to the combined policy/traditionalist role of Michelle Obama, the first spouse takes on the duties within their interests and within the context of their marriage to the chief executive. Todd was no different.

What is interesting is that the same media outlet that today breathlessly reports how close the Palins were while Sarah Palin was Governor--too close for at least one reporter--earlier reported that the Palins were not close enough and headed for divorce. Consistency is not necessarily a hallmark for investigative journalists, but certainly truth should be. Let's look at the most serious accusation made. The article posits that Todd Palin "passed financial information marked 'confidential' from his oil company employer to a state attorney." The author clearly implies that Todd Palin, who was not a member of the British Petroleum management team, obtained secret "financial" information and surreptitiously gave it to a State assistant attorney general. The true facts are as follows: Todd Palin received an email from a third party (an email that was apparently making the rounds in Alaska) and he forwarded that to a state attorney on August 29, 2007. But the information in the email itself was dated February 19, 2004--three and half years earlier--and the information addressed safety performance for 2003 and overall productivity. Of course, as a highly regulated producer in Alaska, this is largely the same information provided to state regulatory agencies, taxing authorities, and even publicly disclosed to its shareholders. See BP Annual Report and Accounts 2003. The latter part of the email referred to performance data for 2005 again analyzing production, costs and safety. So there are two distinct errors in the article: (1) the email itself was circulating in Alaska and was simply forwarded to Todd by a third party, it was not an email that was sent by BP to Todd Palin wherein he was told it was "confidential" and (2) the type of information within the email was years old and all, if not most, was a matter of public record under the tight regulatory strictures BP operates under and its release of data to shareholders, securities regulators, the department of Revenue, and the state oil and gas commission, among others.

The bottom line is that this story reveals nothing new. Todd Palin was, and remains, a close advisor to the Governor. Those in the administration knew this, and the public knew this. There is nothing unusual, untoward or inappropriate for a spouse of a chief executive to provide guidance, input and hands on assistance.

- Thomas Van Flein, Personal Attorney for Sarah Palin

Update: If you go back and read the e-mails that Todd Palin was copied on or the e-mails that Todd sent out, you'll notice that Todd was acting as nothing more than a conduit between Alaskans and the government. If someone was trying to reach Sarah Palin, it probably makes sense for that person to reach out to Todd, considering that he is the person closest to her. A similar situation exists here at C4P. We get e-mails all the time from people who have questions about their book orders, etc. We try to get that information to the someone who can answer those questions. The role that we play in getting information to the appropriate people is not that different from the primary role that Todd Palin played in his wife's administration.

It's absolutely clear from the all the e-mails that that Governor Palin was responsible for the decisions made in her administration. Take for example one e-mail that is getting sensationalistic coverage from MSNBC: it was an e-mail exchange between Ivy Frye and Todd Palin regarding a judicial appointment. All Todd Palin did was ask Frye a question based on concerns he heard from local Alaskans. Frye informed Todd that Sarah Palin was going to make a decision later on about the appointment. Todd Palin's e-mail expressing his constituent concerns was the extent of his involvement on this issue as Sarah Palin made the final call. As you can see if you read the actual e-mails and ignore the MSNBC coverage, sometimes Governor Palin copied her husband on emails to ensure that nothing slipped through the cracks. Read the emails in question and judge for yourselves. In fact, read all of the emails and send us what you find. I'm betting that we'll find a lot of instances of good things that the media is not reporting -- things that show Governor Palin to be a fiscal hawk, etc. Let's call this our own C4P email project. Go through them and pull out the good ones, note the link, email us your list of links. We'll publish a long list and make our own story! Here is a link to where you can access the e-mails.

Update #2: As for the travel issue, the governor has a large family. She ran for Governor as a working mom--this was not something the people of Alaska did not know. The "cost" of travel when minor children had to travel with her is expensive. Up until very recently, the Palins were living on a middle class income. Todd made $45,000 before taxes, and the Governor made $120,000 before taxes. It costs a lot of money to pay for intrastate travel in Alaska ($300-$600). Nit-pick all you want about the travel and the tanning bed (which, if you actually read the email, she was not hiding anything. She was simply saying that she didn’t want any fanfare about it because it was no one’s business), but one irrefutable truth remains: even with all these so-called “extravagances,” Governor Palin spent less on the Governor's Mansion operations than her predecessors and spent less on all personal and travel expenses for herself and her family than her predecessors. Period. End of story.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Post-Salina/NY Times Report on the Palin Team/Open Thread

-Here's the report from the Topeka Capital-Journal on Palin's speech to the Salina Chamber of Commerce.

-Here's the NY Times report about "[h]er growing cast of advisers and support system." No shoutout in the NY Times for Mansour or Russo? Didn't the NY Times hear from the radical left that the two of them are writing all the Governor's Facebook posts and op-eds (in case you don't know, this is a sarcastic question)?

-I'll give Becky Bohrer from the Associated Press a lot of credit for her write-up of the Palin e-mail story. Her article strikes a completely different tone than the sensationalistic story pushed by MSNBC (and no other network).

-In case you were wondering what some of the e-mails say, Sinistar thinks this one is the best. I'd agree.

-You'll be interested to learn that Erick Erickson is down at Nashville for the National Tea Party Convention.

-Steve Lombardo from LCG polling believes that in the GOP primaries for "Iowa, SC and FL she will run VERY strong."

What's going on tonight?


Salina Open Thread

The event is supposed to commence at 8 PM EST. RD and Alwaysfiredup will hopefully be providing updates via twitter.

Congressman and GOP Senate candidate Jerry Moran will be introducing Palin tonight.

On another topic, I think John Feehery summarizes my thoughts about today's news regarding Todd Palin quite well during his interview with Andrea Mitchell.

If you want to know what's going on at the National Tea Party Convention right now, you can check out Pajamas Media. I still recommend Sheya's PalinTV for the Saturday night speech.

So what else is going on?


Orlando Sentinel: Palin headlines Orange’s Lincoln Day Dinner

Unconfirmed of course:

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker at this year’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner, a key fundraising event for the Orange County Republican Party.

‘We’re just incredibly lucky,” said party Chairman Lew Oliver. “She’s a real rock star for Republicans.”

The March 12 event, which typically carries a $150 ticket price, will be kicked up to $250, thanks to Palin’s star power.

Here’s more event details.

Oliver said the party’s local fundraising is still lagging, and this should certainly give it a jolt. He’s planning for as many as 1,500 at the Rosen Shingle Creek site, but it can hold as many as 3,000, he said.


Friday Open Thread

RCP: House agrees to $1.9 trillion more debt

IBD: Collapsing Ceiling

WSJ: Senators Struggle to Craft Jobs Package

Hot Air: Jobless claims rise "unexpectedly"

AP: Government moving into central role in health care

CSM: Obama's export goals: Will China trade be a sticking point?

The Economist: Facing up to China


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Preview of the Next Three Days

Here's what's on tap in Palin-world these next three days:

-Salina's Chamber of Commerce Banquet. I believe C4P will be well represented at the event (A, RD, and Alwaysfiredup).

-Keynote address at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville. PJTV will join Fox News, MSNBC, and C-Span in broadcasting Governor Palin's speech live. However, I recommend catching the keynote address at PalinTV, created by the indispensable Sheya. As always, we'll be awaiting Sapwolf's on-the-scene report.

-Palin/Perry Super Bowl rally in Houston. Ted Nugent will perform at the event as well. Several C4P regulars (Lipstick, Gamsbo) plan to attend.

-Governor Palin's Sunday Show Debut on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Michael Calderone from Politico says that it appears that Palin "will be interviewed in her role of political figure rather than Fox News pundit."

Keep your web browser on C4P these next few days for any updates or news that we can provide. Shoot us a tip if you are attending any of these events (I suppose you couldn't attend the Wallace interview).


Fox News: Palin Camp Fires Back at Washington Post

Jake Gibson reports:

Sarah Palin's camp was quick to fire back at the Washington Post's blog, The Plum Line, for their report saying that Palin is at war with conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Sarah Palin spokesperson Meg Stapleton told Fox, "The Washington Post is trying hard to take the pressure off the White House by creating a side controversy, but it is missing the point: as the Governor has said, it doesn't matter who says the "r" word: it should no longer be part of our lexicon."

Limbaugh used the "r" word repeatedly during his daily radio show yesterday. When the Palin camp was asked for comment on Limbaugh's actions by the Washington Post, they said,“Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”

Palin officials say that is the same comment they have given reporters for a host of other instances where someone had used the "r" word and they are not singling out Limbaugh.


Andrew Malcolm: Sarah Palin Launches Next Political Journey

Andrew Malcolm has written an interesting article at the Los Angeles Times in which he discusses Governor Palin's increasingly busy calendar and what he believes it may mean going forward. Here are a few excerpts:

First up is the national Tea Party Convention in Nashville on Saturday night, a time usually reserved on cable TV for stale stories of missing persons and Geraldo Rivera exposes.

So, let's see, as a TV producer, which would you choose to lure in idling weekend eyeballs: News rehashes or Sarah Palin addressing a crowd of fervent anti-tax people the night before the Super Bowl? Even a Harvard grad could figure that one out.


Some pre-convention pushing and shoving in Music City scared off some other....

...Republican speakers. But Palin is patiently constructing her own political base for the next year or two, one rally, one handshake and one signed book at a time.

Which happens to be precisely the hands-on, grassroots way she ousted the old GOP geezers who ran the Alaska Republican Party for so long and thought they could keep Palin in her place. And then she took on a better-known Democrat who'd already been a governor and knew how politics worked. And she waxed him too.

The bigwigs of both parties, who went to fancy Eastern schools and share an insider's understanding about how the usual political game has been played in D.C., don't really know what to make of or do with Palin. The same way they initially felt about the spontaneous explosion of tea parties that have changed the nation's political landscape, expectations and rules in just 10 months.

Looking at Palin, the Democrats fall back on the dummy stereotype, you know, the stupid Republican thing they tried on Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan and Bush I and Bush II, who like Reagan beat them twice anyway.

But Palin puzzles, even frightens the Republican Party potentates too. Because Bush II clung to Dick Cheney for two terms, there was a stark leadership void, no VP heir trained on the job. So, now it's jumpball in the Republican Party. And guess who played some physical basketball for an Alaska state champion?


Unlike most of her party's stiff-suited talking heads on Capitol Hill, Palin connects with millions of regular Americans who know about hunting and union husbands working two jobs and going to church and the thrill of snowmobiling and family hurdles like Downs syndrome and teen pregnancy.


The Tea Party folks were made for Palin, folks who don't like big government, big taxes and big media.

Enthusiastic folks, many of them new to politics, who want some real American change to believe in (gee, that sounds strangely familiar?). And these disaffected voters don't mind the idea of a female delivering such change, even if she is largely dismissed by the elite Establishments, all of them.

In fact, especially because she is dismissed by those Establishments. The more dismissive the powers that be are of Palin, the more these folks adore her. Why? Because they've felt ignored and dismissed and patronized themselves for a very long time. And no one listened to them. Or could really speak for them.

Until now.

Read the whole thing here. It's good.


Stacy Drake: Sarah Palin’s Fair Weather “Friends”

Over the past several months, we've linked to many excellent posts by Gary P. Jackson at Redstate, The Cypress Times, and his own blog, A Time For Choosing. Gary just welcomed Stacy Drake to his blog and she wrote a piece related to Governor Palin's recent endorsement of Rand Paul in the Kentucky senate. An excerpt follows:

“My eighty-percent friend is not my twenty-percent enemy.”
-Ronald Reagan

Obviously some people out there in the political blogosphere don’t agree with the former president on that. It seems a mere one percent is enough for these people to, not only pick up their bags and leave from their former place of activism, but to also bash the integrity of the other ninety-nine percent of where they once stood. I’m speaking of those people that feel so let down by Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Rand Paul that they have thrown their hands in the air, calling it quits on her, all the while making sure that at least one of their middle fingers was prominently displayed as they voiced their frustration.

Does anybody reading this know anyone they agree with 100% of the time? I sure don’t. If I did and that person happened to be a politician, I would start to wonder about myself. I don’t agree with Governor Palin about everything. I certainly don’t agree with all of the candidates she is supporting. But guess what? I’m not going to sit here on my little soap box and have a hissy fit because she didn’t respond with time and resources to my email. I actually never sent her PAC an email about any candidates but if I did, I wouldn’t expect her to put all of her judgment and consideration aside because an activist told her to.

My main problem isn’t with any disagreement former supporters have with Governor Palin’s picks. As I just stated, I take little issue with disagreement on it’s face. However, when one turns that disagreement into ugly, dishonest smears, I take serious umbrage with that. Perhaps the most disturbing example that I have seen so far was a post by a member of “Smart Girl Politics” Monday night entitled, “It turns out that Sarah’s not such a ’smart girl’ after all.” The self proclaimed expert candidate vetter and research gatherer has concluded that because Governor Palin didn’t back her candidate, she isn’t ’smart’ like her. She also seems to suggest that Governor Palin isn’t living up to her own standards by backing Paul. So I feel it’s safe to assume that “Sue” wears a pretty healthy ego considering she thinks she knows Governor Palin’s values better than Sarah herself knows them.

The piece rambles on about what a terrible person Rand Paul is and what a wonderful “Ronald Reagan Republican” Bill Johnson is, but then slips into some rather dark territory. She writes, “While I was searching for information on Palin’s endorsement statement, I also ran into lots of Palin-bash sites.” Did you now? Rather curious how that happened…considering when I Googled the words “Sarah Palin endorses Rand Paul,” NO dedicated anti-Palin pages (and I know them all) came up within the first ten pages. NONE! I stopped looking after number ten because I knew this lady was full of rubbish. She didn’t just happen upon the anti-Palin hate-o-sphere while innocently performing some of that expert “research.” No, she went looking for trash and trash she found. Vindictive action at it’s core.

Read the rest of Stacy's piece here.


Thursday Open Thread

Matthew J. Slaughter: How to Destroy American Jobs

Bloomberg: U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised

IBD: A New Era Of Irresponsibility

OC Register: Obama's budget like Bush-era spending on steroids

Glenn Reynolds: Obama's Mixed Messages

AP: President's words fail to bridge ObamaCare divide

Mark Steyn: Change of Climate

Fox News: Pentagon Behind Obama Schedule for Deploying Troops to Afghanistan

WSJ: U.S. Announces Helmand Offensive

WaPo: Blast kills 3 U.S. service members in northwest Pakistan


Palin Headed to Calgary on March 6th?

This one remains very unconfirmed but the Edmonton Journal reports (via the Calgary Herald) the following:

The Calgary event at the BMO Centre's Palomino Room at Stampede Park will include a speech by Palin followed by a question-and-answer session with moderator Sen. Pamela Wallin.

Calgary entrepreneurs Christian Darbyshire and Andy McCreath, of tinePublic Inc., have organized the coup -- just one more of a long list of high-profile appearances the duo have secured in recent years.

"Obviously Calgary is a pretty good fit because of the correlation with Alaska, the experience with the oil and gas, the importance it has for energy security in North America. She's got some interesting insights and I think people in Calgary will be very interested in hearing what she has to say," said Darbyshire.

The event is expected to attract 1,000 people with 500 tickets available to the public at $199 and $149 through Ticketmaster.

You can read the entire article here.


I Think It's Safe to Call a Winner in the Palin-Emanuel Battle (Democrat Party Hack Donna Brazille Effectively Confirms Palin Victory)

I think it's safe to score this one for Trig's mom.

NBC Nightly News

ABC News

Andrea Mitchell

Rahm Emanuel deserves a liberal scolding

Rahm Emanuel on defensive over "retarded" comment; met with Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman

Emanuel says he will join effort to stop use of 'retarded'

Emanuel apologizes for using the 'R-word'

Rahm Emanuel Seeks to Make Amends for Saying "Retarded"

Obama chief of staff’s 'retarded' insult brings fallout, Palin criticism

Rahm's apology accepted, at last

Update: Democrat Party hack Donna Brazille tweets the following:

CNN with Wolf and Mary to discuss Palin's latest posting on her Facebook page. Let's move on and get serious folks.

I don't blame Donna for wanting to change the subject from Sarah Palin exposing and embarrassing one of the most important figures in the Obama White House.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Matthew Continetti: Sarah Palin and the Tea Party

Matthew Continetti has written an interesting article on Governor Palin and the Tea Party movement at the Weekly Standard. Although I don't necessarily agree with all of Continetti's conclusion's, it is worth your time nevertheless. Here's an excerpt:

Back when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress, all the political energy was on the left -- specifically, the emerging Net Roots movement that dispelled Clintonian centrism from the Democratic party.

These days, with Democrats controlling the White House and Congress, all the political energy is on the right -- specifically, the Tea Party free-market populist movement that opposes big-government spending, taxation, and regulation.

Tea Party enthusiasm has jolted the Republican party from its slumber. When GOP politicians oppose Obama's agenda, they do so because they know the Tea Partiers have their backs. If the Tea Party hadn't started on February 19, 2009, with Rick Santelli's famous rant on CNBC, Republicans would have remained rudderless and disunited throughout Obama's first year in office.

One of the strengths of the Tea Party is that it does not have a leader. The movement is organic, diverse, and in flux. It encompasses all sorts of folks, from disillusioned independents, to Ron Paul supporters, to first-time voters upset at the direction in which America is headed. This poses a political challenge for liberals, since they have found it hard to demonize an entire movement (not for lack of trying!). It is easier to demonize a single person, especially if the public already finds him polarizing.

And while certain Republican politicians are favorites at the Tea Party -- Michele Bachmann, Doug Hoffman, Marco Rubio, Scott Brown -- the activists do not have an icon. They have not rallied behind a single individual.

But that may be about to change.

Sarah Palin is clearly mounting a bid to lead the Tea Party. Last year, she endorsed Bill Hoffman's Tea Party campaign against liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens. This week, she endorsed Tea Party favorite Rand Paul in the Republican Senate primary in Kentucky. She will address a Tea Party convention in Nashville on Saturday; Fox News Channel will broadcast her speech live. In a USA Today column, Palin announces she will also appear at Tea Party functions in Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nevada (March), and Boston (April).

Read the rest here.


Open Thread

-Politico claims that Governor Palin's "got Ohio on her mind."

-Ted Nugent is scheduled to perform at the Palin/Perry event this Sunday in Houston. Any other C4P regulars planning on attending the event besides Gamsbo?

-The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce annual dinner that Palin is scheduled to speak at next Monday "is drawing so much attention that the group is moving the meeting to a bigger venue."

-K-Lo from National Review backs up Palin in her battle with Rahm Emanuel. We'll have a post later on documenting how embarrassing this story has become for Rahm Emanuel and the Obama White House, courtesy of Sarah Palin.

-You can see Rand Paul's first television ad here.

-Intrade? I'm linking this against my best judgment.

-Interestingly, according to Gallup, Alaska is only slightly more conservative than the rest of the country is on average.

So what else is going on tonight?


Far-Left Logic: You are a Tax Cheat if the Government Doesn't Tax You Enough

On the Huffington Post, Jeanne Devon implied that Sarah Palin is a "tax cheat." In fact, Devon was on Shannyn Moore's radio show this afternoon discussing the story, and Moore flat out called Palin a "tax cheat." Devon and Moore base this charge on the fact that Governor Palin did not pay more in property taxes than what was assessed by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on property that Palin owns in Petersville, Alaska.

What Devon fails to tell her readers is that the Matanuska-Sustina Borough is responsible for making property assessments, not Sarah Palin. Here is what the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Division of Assessment states on its website:

The Assessment Division discovers, lists and values (appraises) all real and personal property* in Matanuska Susitna Borough. According to state law, property must be assessed at its "full and true value" as of the annual assessment date of January 1. In order to accomplish this, physical inventories of property characteristics are gathered and maintained. Mass appraisal techniques are employed to fairly and equitably appraise property at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers of the borough.

It seems pretty clear to anyone who is not a far-left hack that it is the government's responsibility to make property assessments for determining the appropriate amount of taxation. Property owners do not voluntarily assess themselves. The Palins have paid what they were told they owe. The attachments that Devon provides to her scurrilous article as "proof" that the Palins have dodged their taxes actually establish that the Palins are current with their property taxes. In other words, there is no there there.

If Devon and Moore have an issue with how the Matanuska-Susitna Borough taxed Sarah Palin's property, then their complaint is with the borough and not with Palin. Of course, they can't generate a headline without impugning Palin with the ridiculous accusation that she is a "tax cheat."

I guess the new far-left mantra is that anyone who doesn't pay more than what the government tells them they owe is now a tax cheat.


Fox News to Broadcast Palin's Tea Party Convention Speech Live (Update: MSNBC and C-Span will Air it Live)

We're still waiting for the final results to come in for the Illinois gubernatorial primary races but it appears that Quinn and Brady will emerge victorious when the final votes are counted.

In other news, Fox News has announced that it will air Governor Palin's keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention Saturday night. CNN "will have a live camera in the hall in order to run excerpts and plans on sending three correspondents and one political contributor to Nashville." C-Span is attempting to carry it live as well. This is great news for those of us not lucky enough to be in Nashville later this week.

Update: MSNBC and C-Span will also air Governor Palin's speech live.


Wednesday Open Thread

Thomas Sowell: Politicians in Wonderland

WSJ: Democrats Change Health-Care Tack

Washington Times: Largest-ever federal payroll to hit 2.15 million

Hot Air: Obama: Charity begins with government

Kathryn Nix: Social Security Bailouts Begin in 2010

AP: China-US tensions spiking over Taiwan, Dalai Lama

NYT: Iran Executes More Protestors

ABC: Afghanistan: Making Counterinsurgency Work


Palin to Headline Event for Tea-Party Express in Harry Reid's Hometown

She already alluded to it in her USA Today op-ed. The Washington Post reports that Governor Palin will headline the kick-off event for the Tea Party Express's 42-city bus tour in Searchlight, Nevada, the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Post also reports that Reid responded
to Palin with the statement: "Make sure you stop by the Nugget for a ten-cent cup of coffee with free refills -- and make sure to say 'Hi' to Verlie."

Reid is going to need some better jokes if he wants to make it on the comedy circuit at the Nugget after his re-election bid fails miserably in November. A recent poll from a reputable pollster showed that Harry is just as popular in Nevada as Barack Obama....which is not very popular at all.

Update (Joshua): add another stop on the Tea Party Express bus tour to the list: Boston, April 14. Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams says this is all about "her coming along for political purposes. She's going to help us do what we do, which is the guerilla gathering of free media. This is politics."

Question of the day: has newly elected senator Scott Brown been invited to join the event? And if so, will he remember that he was asked?


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Polls Close in Illinois/Open Thread (Update: Mark Kirk Wins GOP Senate Primary) (Update #2: Giannoulias Wins) (Update #5: Recount?)

The voting has concluded in the Illinois Senate and Gubernatorial primaries. We'll update when the victors are announced. In other news,

-CNN reports that "[s]ales from [News Corp.]'s book publisher HarperCollins rose 25%, and operating profits almost tripled, due to strong sales that included Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue."

-Missouri Congressman and the Senate candidate for the GOP Roy Blunt tweets that "[w]e are very pleased to have the support of @SarahPalinUSA and welcome her help in any way in our campaign."

-Sean Linnane from the FrumForum (not a misprint) writes that "[t]he popular conservative movement we are currently witnessing via the tea parties, the Sarah Palin booksigning rallies, the election results in Massachusetts, the overwhelming popularity of conservative talk show hosts etc – is not angry."

-Amy Siskind, a friend of this blog, writes an article titled "Sarah Palin and the 'Abortion Bowl'" for More magazine. I don't agree with her argument but it's worth a read.

-Rasmussen finds in "[t]he latest Rasmussen Reports survey of likely Republican Primary voters in Texas... Perry lead[s] Hutchison 44% to 29%, with Medina at 16."

-McCain leads by 29 according to his pollster or 16 according to Hayworth's pollster.


Update: Patrick Hughes has conceded. Congratulations to Congressman Mark Kirk. He will be the GOP nominee for the open Illinois Senate seat.

Update #2: It's going right down to the wire in the Illinois GOP Gubernatorial contest.

McKenna , Andy GOP 109,063 20%
Brady , Bill GOP 106,894 20%
Dillard , Kirk GOP 106,759 20%

Update #3: Bill Brady has taken the lead and will likely win his contest. On the Democrat side, Hoffman has allegedly called Alexi Giannoulias to concede.

Update #4: With 96.4% of precincts reporting, Brady holds a narrow lead:

Brady 149,985
Dillard 148,720

Update #5: Nate Silver's projects that Quinn will hold on and that Brady and Dillard possibly end up separated by one vote.


Sarah Palin: Why I'm Speaking at the Tea Party Convention

Governor Palin has penned an op-ed in USA Today regarding her up-coming speech at the Tea Party convention:

Later this week I'll head to Nashville, where I'll have the honor of speaking with members of the Tea Party movement. I look forward to meeting many Americans who share a commitment to limited government, common sense and personal responsibility. This movement is truly a grassroots, organic effort. It's not a top-down organization; it's a ground-up call to action that already has both political parties rethinking the way they do business.

From the town halls last summer to the protests and marches in the fall to the game-changing recent elections, it has been inspiring to see real people — not politicos or inside-the-Beltway professionals — speak out for common-sense conservative policies and values. As with all grassroots efforts, the nature of this movement means that sometimes the debates are loud and the organization is messier than that of a polished, controlled machine. Legitimate disagreements take place about tone and tactics. That's OK, because this movement is about bigger things than politics or organizers.

The soul of the Tea Party is the people who belong to it — everyday Americans who grow our food, run our small businesses, teach our children how to read, serve the less fortunate and fight our wars. They're folks in small towns and cities across this nation who saw what was happening to our country and decided to get involved. Thank God for them. Many of these good Americans had never been involved in their government before, but now they attend town hall meetings and participate in online forums. They write letters to the editor. They sign up to be precinct leaders and run for local office and support other independent patriots. They have the courage to stand up and speak out.

Their vision is what drew me to the Tea Party movement. They believe in the same principles that guided my work in public service — whether I was working on the PTA and city council or serving as a mayor, commissioner or governor. I look forward to meeting some of these great Americans this weekend.

Recently, some have tried to portray this movement as a commercial endeavor rather than the grassroots uprising that it is. Those who do so don't understand the frustration everyday Americans feel when they see their government mortgaging their children's future with reckless spending. The spark of patriotic indignation that inspired those who fought for our independence and those who marched peacefully for civil rights has ignited once again. You can't buy such a sentiment. You can't AstroTurf it. It springs from love of country and the knowledge that we can make a difference if we just stand up and stand together.

I thought long and hard about my participation in this weekend's event. At the end of the day, my decision came down to this: It's important to keep faith with people who put a little bit of their faith in you. Everyone attending this event is a soldier in the cause. Some of them will be driving hundreds of miles to Nashville. I made a commitment to them to be there, and I am going to honor it.

But participation won't be limited to those in Nashville who have a ticket. It's much bigger than that. Because the Tea Party movement is spread out across the country — with no central offices or annual events — this is an opportunity to connect with like-minded folks. Yes, there will be speeches given in a room in Nashville. But we'll also be speaking with thousands of Americans watching online at, or through various news outlets. And the conversation will continue on my Facebook page.

I will not benefit financially from speaking at this event. My only goal is to support the grassroots activists who are fighting for responsible, limited government — and our Constitution. In that spirit, any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause.

The nature of the Tea Party movement means there may never be a "perfectly orchestrated" event: Democracy in action doesn't come with a manual. But we must not get caught up in the politics or the controversies that some hope will distract from the heart of the movement. The focus must remain on our ideas and beliefs, and on supporting those ideas and beliefs however we can.

This weekend, it's Nashville, but in March, I'll head to Searchlight, Nev., for the kickoff rally at the Tea Party Express III. In April, I'll be in Boston for a Tea Party gathering there. Across the country, tea-partiers will be sharing our vision for America's future, a vision that promotes common sense solutions to out-of-control spending and an out-of-touch political establishment.

The process may not always be pretty or perfect, but the message is loud and clear: We want a government worthy of the fine Americans that it serves. And we're going to keep spreading that message one convention, one town hall, one speech and one election at a time.


Sarah Palin: Freedom, Influence, Security Shrink as Budget Balloons

Via Facebook:

The White House recently announced its pricey Childhood Obesity Initiative to tell us what we should feed our kids. Helpful I’m sure – but most Americans would rather see government focus on other important areas right now. We know what our kids should eat: more healthy food, less junk food. There – we just saved Washington a ton of money by announcing that finding on personal responsibility.

What does demand our full attention is the newly released $3,800,000,000,000 federal budget. The president and Congress have a huge job tackling the problem staring right at us as we look at a budget we obviously can’t afford. America’s freedom and security are endangered as we become beholden to other nations, thanks to ballooning deficits and debt. One congressman just warned that our nation may become insolvent if we don’t make better decisions starting now. As noted in a New York Times article today, unless “miraculous growth” or miraculous unforeseen change is on the horizon, America’s freedom, influence, and security will continue to erode. (Personally, at this point I believe it wouldn’t hurt to ramp up our nation’s humble request for the divine miraculous change and wisdom we’ll need to see us through.)

Getting our arms around this will take all of us working together, making sacrifices, taking more personal responsibility, and sending elected leaders to Washington that we can trust. That’s why some of us may come across as strident in our efforts to call out the White House and Congress. We want to trust you, Washington; we want to work with you, but we cannot stomach some of the things being rammed down our throats. Your actions to pile on more debt make no sense, so we must question your motives and intentions. For instance, there’s just no room for expensive, dangerous, and unsustainable new initiatives like Obamacare, Cap and Tax, and a dramatically expanded federal payroll. These government-growing proposals will obviously cause more problems than they’ll solve. They are just further steps towards insolvency.

Steps towards insolvency are steps away from freedom. They’re steps towards destruction. It’s the reason we ask why we should swallow what's coming out of Washington.

The Wall Street Journal has a brilliant column by Gerald Seib today. It reads in part:
The U.S. government this year will borrow one of every three dollars it spends, with many of those funds coming from foreign countries. That weakens America’s standing and its freedom to act; strengthens China and other world powers including cash-rich oil producers; puts long-term defense spending at risk; undermines the power of the American system as a model for developing countries; and reduces the aura of power that has been a great intangible asset for presidents for more than a century.

“We’ve reached a point now where there’s an intimate link between our solvency and our national security,” says Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior national-security adviser in both the first and second Bush presidencies. “What’s so discouraging is that our domestic politics don’t seem to be up to the challenge. And the whole world is watching.”

In the 21st-century world order, the classic, narrow definition of national-security threats already has expanded in ways that make traditional foreign-policy thinking antiquated. The list of American security concerns now includes dependence on foreign oil and global warming, for example.

Consider just four of the ways that budget deficits also threaten American’s national security:

• They make America vulnerable to foreign pressures.

The U.S. has about $7.5 trillion in accumulated debt held by the public, about half of that in the hands of investors abroad.

Aside from the fact that each American next year will chip in more than $800 just to pay interest on this debt, that situation means America’s government is dependent on the largesse of foreign creditors and subject to the whims of international financial markets. A foreign government, through the actions of its central bank, could put pressure on the U.S. in a way its military never could. Even under a more benign scenario, a debt-ridden U.S. is vulnerable to a run on the American dollar that begins abroad.

Either way, Mr. Haass says, “it reduces our independence.”

• Chinese power is growing as a result.

A lot of the deficit is being financed by China, which is selling the U.S. many billions of dollars of manufactured goods, then lending the accumulated dollars back to the U.S. The IOUs are stacking up in Beijing.

So far this has been a mutually beneficial arrangement, but it is slowly increasing Chinese leverage over American consumers and the American government. At some point, the U.S. may have to bend its policies before either an implicit or explicit Chinese threat to stop the merry-go-round.

Just this weekend, for example, the U.S. angered China by agreeing to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion in arms. At some point, will the U.S. face economic servitude to China that would make such a policy decision impossible?

Please read the rest of Seib’s column here. Our out-of-control spending is weakening our country. We can no longer afford to kick the can down the road to the next generation. We need to have a serious discussion about our spending priorities before it's too late. Commonsense conservatives have a sincere desire to work with the White House on these challenges, and we’re thankful for those in Congress making the offer to help.

- Sarah Palin


Mike Murphy, Palin Backstabber, Turns Up in California...

Here’s a conundrum – ex eBay CEO billionairess Meg Whitman is hoping to run for Governor of California later this year but at present she is locked in a primary battle with Republican rival, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Whitman has been endorsed by John McCain (she became a national co-chair of his 2008 campaign) and Mitt Romney (she originally supported him in 2008) who both have touted her undoubted business skills – she helped grow eBay from scratch – as an ideal springboard for political office. At first glance, then, probably worthy of consideration for GOP voters in California – the state is certainly in a financial mess.

But John Hawkins at Right Wing News doesn’t care about her experience or her programme – one simple action has condemned her in his eyes – hiring Mike Murphy as her chief consultant.

After John McCain went down in flames, his staffers went on the warpath. Not against him, for blowing it in the home stretch of the campaign. Not against the media, for abandoning the man who used to be their favorite Republican. Not even against Barack Obama.

No, John McCain's staffers ran to the press and savaged Sarah Palin at every opportunity. Why? To shift the blame away from moderates, who abandoned a moderate candidate, and in an effort to toady to the Left by trashing the brightest spot in the entire McCain campaign.

Now, one the worst of McCain's staffers was Mike Murphy, who ripped on Sarah Palin like it was his new job. Where was the loyalty to the campaign? Where was the respect for all the conservatives that thought choosing Sarah Palin was the best move McCain made in the entire campaign?

So what message is Whitman giving to those Californians who are supporters of Sarah Palin?

It says that she holds Sarah Palin's many fans in the Republican Party in absolute contempt. She thinks so little of them and feels their support is so unwanted for her campaign, that she's going to hire a guy like Mike Murphy, who made more of a name for himself trashing Sarah Palin than he did working for the McCain campaign.

Not that Murphy (who was fired by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for incompetence during the 2005 special election) appears to be doing much good for Whitman. Steve Poizner has reported him to the FBI for e mailing one of his aides threatening that,unless he withdrew,Whitman’s campaign would launch a $40m character assassination blitz against him. However, if he bowed out his nomination as GOP front runner for California’s Senate seat in 2012 would be a foregone conclusion.

Hawkins points out that Murphy said this about Governor Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin is the political train wreck that keeps on giving. First, she was an awful choice last year as John McCain's running mate.

Train wrecks and awful choices? Perhaps Whitman might be beginning to think that about Mike Murphy.....

John Hawkins has a few other names to remember so check out the rest of his article here.

h/t Josh Painter

Update by Doug: No post about Mike Murphy is truly complete without putting a face to the name, so to speak.


Palin Unofficially Scheduled to Speak in Arizona, Kansas, and Alabama

All three speaking engagements are unconfirmed from anyone in Palin's camp:


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, now a Fox News commentator, will headline a Center for Arizona Policy event in Glendale in April.

Palin will be the keynote speaker at a CAP dinner April 24 at the Glendale Renaissance Hotel & Spa, according to CAP President Cathi Herrod. The socially conservative group led the 2008 state ballot measure banning same-sex marriages.


Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser in May for Bethel Life School in Wichita.

The event, May 2, will be held at Intrust Bank Arena. Information on tickets will be announced in following weeks.


Sarah Palin, former vice presidential candidate, is scheduled to speak at the 2010 Benefit Dinner at Faulkner University on Sunday, Oct. 7.

This annual event will be held at the Renaissance Hotel, Spa, and Convention Center at 7 p.m.


Rahm Emanuel Blinks After Palin Slams Him

Rahm folds (emphasis added):

"Rahm called Tim Shriver Wednesday to apologize and the apology was accepted," a White House aide said. "The White House remains committed to addressing the concerns and needs of Americans living with disabilities and recognizes that derogatory remarks demean us all."

The apology came to light just hours after former Alaska governor Sarah Palin posted a scathing critique of Emanuel's comments on her Facebook page and called for President Obama to fire him. Palin's son, Trig, was born with Down Syndrome.

Matt Drudge noticed as well.


Shocker: SarahPAC Pays For Donor Incentives

The wires have gone wild with this latest scandal. SarahPAC spent $63,000 purchasing copies of “Going Rogue for "fundraising donor fulfillment."

The NY Daily News Reports:

Sarah Palin has found a down-low way to stay atop the bestsellers' chart: she's quietly using her political action committee to buy up copies of her memoir.

Thousands of copies of "Going Rogue" were snatched up last year by Sarah PAC, the former GOP vice presidential nominee's PAC, for distribution to her supporters, according to records reviewed by ABC News.

The Federal Election Commission filings show that Sarah PAC sent $63,000 to Palin's publisher, Harper Collins, for "books for fundraising donor fulfillment.

How about that, and we thought that “Going Rogue” was a best seller by selling over 2.5 million copies. Now that SarahPAC purchased around 5000 copies I guess we should contact the NYTimes and demand it be removed off the best sellers list immediately.

If there is still anyone out there who doubts the media bias when it comes to Governor Palin, this story should put their doubt to rest.

ABC News, who broke this “shocking” story makes it clear - once readers who bother to read the entire piece click to go to page 2 - that it is common practice for politicians to purchase their own “memoires” via their PAC’s to send out as appreciations for donations. One of which include Senator Joe Lieberman:

“Palin would not be the first politician to use a PAC to underwrite the purchase of a memoir. The Federal Election Commission has heard a number of cases on the question of whether it is an appropriate expense. The rules are somewhat complex, but because Palin is neither a candidate for office, nor a sitting member of congress, her PAC is free to purchase the book under current law, according to Jan Baran, a campaign legal expert.

When former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman sought in 2004 to give away copies of his memoir, "In Praise of Public Life," he declined to take royalties off the books purchased by his campaign committee. It is not known whether Palin entered into a similar arrangement.”

Ed Morrissey over at HotAir notes:

Palin isn’t a candidate for office (yet), and since each book retails for $13.50 on Amazon, that amounts to less than 4700 books — hardly an effort to pull a Dianetics-like dodge and artificially keeping it on bestseller lists. Making the book an incentive for larger donations is not only a no-brainer, it’s just about SOP with plenty of other politicians as well … including those still holding office[.]

In the fall SarahPAC had a promotion where if you donated $100 to the RGA you received a signed copy of “Going Rogue”. I doubt anyone was under the illusion that HarperCollins just donated those books to SarahPAC. HarperCollins financed the book; they are the ones who paid all the costs, and they are in it for one thing: the money. If anyone wants to give away copies of a book as a donor fulfillment, by all means they can do it but you are expected to pay for the book whether you are the author or not. SarahPAC could have chosen to give away pens, mugs or any other book. They chose to go with the PAC founder's memoir, which had to be paid in the same way they would have had to pay for any other promotional gift.

Oh and WOW, I am impressed, “Going Rogue” got close to 5000 people to donate $100 to the RGA? that’s a whopping $500,000 for a book that is available for $13.50. Not bad for a two week gig.

Looking for a fundraising tool anyone? Contact HarperCollins, copies of “Going Rogue” are still available.


DailyKos/Research 2000 Poll: Palin Leads 2012 GOP Primary Race (Update: "Analysis")

QUESTION: If the 2012 Primary for President were held today, which of the following would you vote for?

Palin 16%
Romney 11%
Cheney 10%
Gingrich 7%
Huckabee 7%
Pawlenty 3%
Paul 2%
Thune 2%
Undecided 42%

The Daily Kos Republican Poll was conducted by Research 2000 from January 20 through January 31, 2010. A total of 2003 self identified Republicans were interviewed by telephone.

Update: Markos is already spinning his poll but here are my takeaways:

1) Governor Palin is winning Republicans in every age group and geographic region except for the Northeast.

2) Self-identified Republicans remain very culturally conservative.

3) Governor Palin seems to have passed the qualifications test with self-identified Republicans. 86% of Republicans told the Research 2000 pollster that she was either more qualified or weren't sure whether she was more qualified to be President than the current President. Keep in mind that the key word here is more. Obama is qualified just because he currently holds the position. That 86% of Republicans believe that she is more qualified or couldn't say whether she was more qualified is good news for her. I wouldn't be worried about the 14% of Republicans who do not believe she is more qualified to be President than Obama because Obama's status as President would likely lead most people to conclude that he is more qualified to hold the position than anyone else. That nearly the entire the Party disagrees with this assessment is good news for Palin. The next step is to demonstrate to Republicans that she can defeat the incumbent in 2012.


Governor Palin Returns to Michigan in May

According to Peter Hamby of CNN, Governor Palin will be addressing the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan in May:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will make a return trip to Michigan in May.

Palin will speak to the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan in Benton Harbor on May 13, a spokesman for the group told CNN.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee apparently has a special place in her heart for Michigan: when John McCain's campaign ceded the state to Barack Obama in 2008, Palin pushed back against the decision and pressed to make more visits to the state. She also launched her book tour last year in Grand Rapids.

Former President George W. Bush spoke to the same group in Benton Harbor last May, allowing reporters, but not television cameras, to cover the event. A spokesman for the economic club said plans for press coverage of Palin's speech have not been finalized.

The website for the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan can be found here.

(H/T Pat)


Tuesday Open Thread

VDH: Trashing the Job Makers

RCP: Obama budget would impose host of tax increases

Steven Landsberg: It’s the spending

WSJ: States Bet on Millions for Medicaid

Fouad Ajami: The Obama Spell Is Broken

The Economist: Rebranding Nicolas Sarkozy

Reuters: US missile test mimicking Iran strike fails

AP: Obama seeks $192 billion as war steps up in Afghanistan

Glenn Reynolds: Journalism: Stealth-Correction at Times-Picayune

C4P: Happy Marmot Day


Glad That Palin Is Coming, says Illinois Democrat

If you want a true measure of Sarah Palin’s reach into the American psyche then just have a quiet word with Steve Brown. He is vice president of the board that runs Five Points, Washington in Central Illinois and, according to The Peoria Journal Star, is looking forward to welcoming Governor Palin on April 17th when she gives the inaugural “Lessons from Leaders” speech.

"I think the governor has established a niche for herself," Brown said. "I'm a person who believes there is a lot of room for different points of views."
He recognizes that Palin, who has political star power, will attract attention to what Five Points is trying to accomplish with its new series. The goal is to raise money to eventually expand the facility and provide scholarships for area students.
"I see diversity as a good thing," Brown said. "I think this is a good thing to help offer our community and the region an opportunity to hear directly from someone they might not otherwise hear from."

Sounds good to me – the whole set up at Five Points with its emphasis on the community helping itself clearly touched a chord with the governor because she chose to take up the invitation in preference to many other requests that had been landing on her desk over the past year or so.

One other interesting point – Steve Brown also happens to be the right hand man of Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois house of Representatives, Chairman of the Illinois democratic Party and probably the most powerful Democrat in the state.

It has been said of Michael Madigan that he is very measured in what he says. He is never seen flying off on things. He is so precise. Speaker for almost 30 years he is reputed to run that chamber almost like he runs his house. They come in on time. He knows the rules. He's written the rules. Madigan apparently likes news clippings given to him every day; he likes to keep up on things. And he likes them clipped and organized in a certain way.

Of course there is no party political significance in this. Steve Brown will remain a Democratic mover and shaker and Michael Madigan will continue to hammer GOP hopefuls and recalcitrant Democrats for years to come. But it will help broaden that below the line network that all politicians need if they are to be able to keep a wide range of options open for their political future. It is a sign that more people who don’t necessarily share her political views are nevertheless willing to respect her as a person.

It’s already happened with Camille Paglia, Willie Brown, SNL's Lorne Michaels and the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page and as she moves around the USA – and hopefully outside America as well – she will establish similar contacts and become increasingly respected as a powerful and astute political figure well beyond the circle of her supporters. Then the asinine ramblings of fantasist Andrew Sullivan and Arianna Huffington’s pet toad Geoffrey Dunn will be recognised as incoherent and self serving as the lies and distortions peddled by Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf...

By the way, Andrew and Geoffrey, if you were thinking of going to the gig, just note this
Palin's 400 banquet/speech tickets were sold out less than 24 hours after her appearance was announced. Tickets were $200 each for the banquet/speech. Speech-only tickets sold for $100 on the main floor and $75 for balcony in the 1,000-seat Caterpillar Performing Arts Center.

Read the rest of the Peoria Journal Star article here.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Alaska Senator Mark Begich: Ritz Rendezvous with Lobbyists

Alaska Senator Mark Begich, who is already under investigation for not disclosing budget shortfall information during his tenure as Anchorage mayor, doesn't seem to be too worried about it.

In fact, the Senator spent his weekend whining and dining in Florida with lobbyists.

Conservative blog, Doctor Bulldog and Ronin, reports:

The guest list for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s “winter retreat” at the Ritz Carlton South Beach Resort doesn’t include the price tag for attendance, but the maximum contribution to the committee, typical for such events, is $30,000. There, to participate in “informal conversations” and other meetings Saturday, were senators including DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez; Michigan’s Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; freshmen Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska; and even left-leaning Bernie Sanders of Vermont.


The retreat’s guest list is a marked contrast to Menendez’s recent rhetoric, which has echoed the White House denunciation of “special interests” and “fat cats.”

“In the upcoming elections, voters will face a choice between Republicans who are standing with Wall Street fat cats, bankers and insurance companies — or Democrats who are working hard to clean up the mess we inherited by putting the people’s interests ahead of the special interests,” Menendez said in a press release last Wednesday.

Really? And was he working to clean up this "inherited" (sound familiar?) mess during his soiree with lobbyists and special interests?

About a month ago, in the midst of the controversy about Begich's actions as mayor, infamous Dan Fagan hammered the press for their overprotection of the senator. He mockingly writes in The Alaska Standard:

Why is everybody being so mean to Mark? He’s doing everything Harry Reed and Barack Obama are asking him to do. If it weren’t for Mark we wouldn’t have a government takeover of health care. So what if he snuck through an extra $200 million in raises for unions as mayor by lying about the budget? What’s the big deal? The rich under burdened taxpayers can afford it. Why are so many picking on Mark Begich? Why won’t they just let it go and move on?

The editorial writers at the Daily News make it clear they want people to start being nice to their favorite senator. They even put their wish in the form of a new year’s resolution.

They write,

“Here's something we would like to see in the New Year. How about if the Assembly and Mayor Dan Sullivan stop arguing with Sen. Mark Begich about his performance as mayor and criticizing his performance as a U.S. senator?”

I am not making this stuff up. The Daily News love fest with Mark Begich has reached such a crescendo, the paper is now calling on some to stop criticizing him. You can’t make this stuff up.

So will certain members of the press rush to his side concerning this weekend retreat as well? It must be nice to be the senator from Alaska and have people in your corner like this.

Unfortunately, a certain public servant was not afforded the same devotion during her tenure as governor, and she was on the right side of ethics and reform. Governor Palin spent much of her political career fighting corruption in the state of Alaska, no matter what side of the aisle it came from. The thanks she received, as we are all aware, was the vitriol of so-called activists who habitually filed bogus ethics complaints that wasted taxpayers' money and state employees' time.

Senator Begich, on the other hand, deserves to be called out for rendezvousing with lobbyists in a posh Florida hotel. Such behavior is certainly questionable, if not sleazy.


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