McCain's Unsolvable Problem: Sarah Palin

Big Tent Democrat believes that:

The country is rejecting Republicanism and extreme conservatism, not Sarah Palin's "qualifications." The mandate is for a change away from extreme Republicanism and conservatism, not a rejection of Sarah Palin the person.

I agree that Sarah Palin "the person" is not being rejected. But her qualifications are being rejected, and as CNN reports today, her lack of qualifications are the number one reason voters are rejecting John McCain:

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that in early September, when Palin was just starting out as a candidate, 47 percent of voters had a positive opinion of her, compared to 27 percent who felt negatively. Now 47 percent have negative feelings, compared with 38 percent who feel positively.

And the new poll found that concern about Palin's qualifications is voters' top concern about McCain, ahead of every other issue in the election. (Emphasis supplied.)

Most of Obama's supporters are voting for him because they hate the failed policies of the past 8 years and want change. If those were the only issues, it would be a close race. But Obama will win this election because of the many voters outside the core Democratic base who cannot accept the idea of Sarah Palin being so close to the Presidency.

In addition to her lack of qualifications, there's the rejection of her ties to the radical right and religious fundamentalism.

Turnout will be enormous because two factors are at work: Support for Obama and opposition to Palin.

Sarah Palin will cost John McCain the presidency. She is his insurmountable problem. He has no one to blame but himself and his advisers. He chose Palin in a desperate Hail Mary pass to save his fledgling campaign and it didn't work. Not with women who formerly supported Hillary, not with Independents and not even with leaders of his own party like Colin Powell.

Sarah Palin is the train wreck the McCain campaign didn't see coming. The rest of the country can't take its eyes away, which is why stories about her are number one on so many news sites and why SNL's ratings are sky high.

Nothing shows John McCain's lack of judgment and ill-suitedness to lead our country more than his spectacular blunder in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. It's the prime reason that on November 4, voters other than true Obama supporters -- those that might have voted for McCain -- will run in the other direction.

Update: For clarity, my statement that Palin cost McCain the election does not mean I believe McCain would have won but for Palin. It means, as I said, without Palin it would have been a close race. Palin made it impossible for McCain to win, and it is in that sense that she cost him the election.

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    Palin is the avatar of. . . (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 09:51:57 AM EST
    the modern Republican Party.

    If you think about it, she's really George Bush with lipstick.  She represents the same no-nothing swaggering position on international affairs, the same conservative leanings on social issues that Bush pandered to (in fact, she represents the base that Bush was pandering to), the shoddy governing practices, disdain for ethics, promotion of loyalty over competence, hypocrisy in spending, and on and on.

    When the electorate recoils from her, it's not her individually they're recoiling from, but the her in role of effigy for the Republican Party.

    Rather than reinforcing his credentials as a "maverick", his selection of Palin paints McCain as a panderer to the Republican right.

    The punchline of (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by mg7505 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:16:28 AM EST
    this story: Palin is a boon to Democrats. We needed to sow discord among their ranks, and she threw down the gauntlet. We needed to make the experience issue go away, and she turned it in our favor. We needed a caricature of the Right, and they gave us a Tina Fey look-alike, George Bush think-alike (if "think" is the right word).

    Kudos to Jeralyn and BTD for identifying the P-factor. It seems almost obvious now, but just knowing the effect her presence should embolden all those of us working the phones, GOTV etc.


    Palin: Drinking Buddy, Sure, VP, Not So Much (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:14:27 AM EST
    That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

    MSM paradox/loop? (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by marian evans on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:01:59 PM EST
    OK I think Sarah Palin's worldview is in fruitloop territory, but isn't there a potential causation paradox in this story?

    I mean, is it such a surprise that approval ratings have gone down for Sarah Palin, when the MSM have solidly ridiculed her since she was selected as VP? They generate bad opinions of her, and then say, "Oh look, people have a bad opinion of her". Huh?

    If you think back to Al Gore, and how perception of him was distorted by the media, the MSM has a long rap sheet of these sorts of manipulations.

    Opposition to what Sarah Palin stands for is perfectly sensible (from my rationalist POV), but I keep having the uncomfortable suspicion that if the MSM had not already decided that they preferred Sen Obama's narrative, we could be looking at an entirely different depiction of her - and that's what is most worrying.

    That's a bigger story for me than Sarah Palin, any old day. She's just a passing irritation. Her 15 minutes will come and go - but the process whereby public opinion is massaged by the MSM, now that is a systemic problem.


    systemic problem (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 03:24:56 PM EST
    yes, but as to "ridicule".  She made herself available to interview with Couric and Charlie and performed embarassingly displaying a lack of knowledge and tried to answer every q with a talking point.

    McCain and his campaign put her in the position and they are to be blamed.  She was ridiculed in blogs, not the MSM and for good reason.

    If anythign the msm has been too soft on her and McCain allowing her to answer questions with non answers and talking points.  We all saw clearly what her base of knowledge is when asked simple follow up questions.

    The msm is guilty of buddying up to pols and for attending bbq's at their houses and palling around with them and it does a great disservice to the public.  But when the campaigns are spending hundreds of millions with them, how can they bite the hand that feeds them?

    Let's see the complaints from the right when she goes through a primary process for pres with her own party and see if the kid gloves and palinpalooza lives.  


    True About the MSM Except (none / 0) (#64)
    by daring grace on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 02:01:22 PM EST
    when the subject of MSM ridicule is seen by the public as effective they can't define that person or dictate their fate as well. Palin was never well enough known or proven to be effective enough to inoculate her against the MSM.

    Witness Bill Clinton during the Monica era and the impeachment fiasco. Day after day after day the MSM hammered away furiously at him, implying he would resign etc. And each morning they would (with startled expressions on their faces) report his ratings with the public were through the roof and only getting higher the more the media and the right wing worked to defeat him.


    The Whole Experience (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by zvs888 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 09:53:49 AM EST
    Issue has always been an interesting one.

    It isn't how much experience you have that voters really care about, it's how well you convey knowledge of the issues.

    If you convey knowledge of the issues, then voters are willing to look past a lack of experience and grant you a stamp of approval.

    The problem with Sarah Palin is that regardless of her little experience, she was rolled out so badly, that no one thought she knew anything about what she was talking about.

    Her backers were willing to say she had enough experience, but she couldn't display any sort of competence on national issues and so most voters just rejected her offhand.

    Obama's advantage in that sense is that the 20 month campaign has made him seem as knowledgeable as anyone else on the issues, which disarms the experience arguments since his backers can claim that he has the judgment to lead.

    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:01:50 AM EST
    Obama's advantage in that sense is that the 20 month campaign has made him seem as knowledgeable as anyone else on the issues,

    Do you suppose that Magna cum Laude at Harvard Law was just a fluke, or is there a slight possibility that this guy is actually smart?  He has run a campaign that dethroned an "inevitable" candidate, and he is poised to overcome every disadvantage of his birth and rise to the highest office in the land.

    What would it take to convince you that he actually IS "knowledgeable" about the issues?  


    I'm really sick of this BS (5.00 / 7) (#29)
    by ChrisO on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:43:03 AM EST
    Obama didn't "dethrone" anyone. Hillary was the frontrunner in the polls because she was the only candidate the public knew. It's really annoying that Obama supporters rejoice in the fact that we're about to elect the first black President, while talking about Hillary's attempt to be the first woman President as "inevitable."

    I'm also sick of hearing refences from Obama supporters to the Clinton "machine." All this supposed "machine" did was elect Bill to the Preidency and Hillary to the Senate. If it's a machine, whot other candidates did it get elected?

    Obama ran a very smart and unprincipled campaign, and it won him the election. It's hardly unusual for the nominee (especially among the Democrats) to be a different person than the frontrunner of a year earlier.

    In 1991, Paul Tsongas, Mario Cuomo and Dick Gephardt were the frontrunners. In August, 2003, Joe Lieberman had a 10 point lead over Dick Gephardt.

    Obama is poised for an historic victory. He's accomplished quite a bit. But what he had to overcome was lack of name recognition and the color of his skin, not Hillary's "inevitability."


    I Didn't Mean (none / 0) (#7)
    by zvs888 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:05:27 AM EST
    That in a snarky kind of way.

    Granted Obama is obviously a smart and talented guy; the general public doesn't really measure people like that.

    No one really cares that McCain, Bush, Kerry were all relative failures in school at some points in their lives, whereas Obama generally performed near the top of his class.

    The point I was trying to make is that the public just needs to feel that a politician is knowledgeable, which is why I used seem.


    Especially so after Junior Bush (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by denise k on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:54:22 AM EST
    I think we all learned hard lesson about competence and intelligence in the last eight years that we don't want to experience again.  

    I did not find him impressive on economic (none / 0) (#8)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:06:04 AM EST
    issues in the primary, and still find that his weakest area. Fortunately, all a Democrats needs is to sound not crazy and he can win.
    I'm fine with that.
    I also think Hillary was much more informed on energy issues. Obama's record of support for corn-based biofuels is not good.

    What disadvantages do (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:59:53 AM EST
    you attribute to Obama's birth?

    Let's compare (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 06:51:45 PM EST
    He's Black, or at least perceived to be Black although he is mixed race.  That costs him votes from some parts of society automatically.  There is a precedent for a woman on the national ticket, but no presidential candidate before this election would have thought that a Black man in the #2 spot would gain votes, and it would have been considered suicidal to run a Black man at the top.

    He has a funny name, and the middle one has been used as a weapon against him.  This makes it easy for people to perceive him as some sort of dangerously exotic foreigner.

    He has an unorthodox upbringing, including living as a child abroad.

    In addition to the accidents of birth:

    He didn't have an automatic entry into a prestigious university, but he created that entry from his own ability, and as president of Harvard Law Review and Magna cum Laude it is obvious that he made the maximum gain from that opportunity.

    He didn't have a prestigious job to launch his initial campaign from.  He was a teacher and a community organizer.

    His two opponents had definite advantages at the start of each campaign.

    McCain had the hero story, the press in his pocket, and the years of name recognition.  Hillary Clinton was overwhelmingly familiar to the public, to the extent that claims that Obama somehow "redefined" her to the American people after her 16 years in the spotlight seem bogus.  She had the Big Dog, still wildly popular, campaigning for her.  She had every Clinton supporter going back 16 years on her side.

    Obama identified how the Democratic party chooses its candidates, and with a campaign focused on how delegates are selected, he forced the party to choose him.  He found millions of small donors that Hillary couldn't and he got millions of new Democrats registered.  In doing so he showed superior strategic vision, tactical skills, and organizational ability.  His ability to organize the campaign at every level is so superior to Hillary's that he looks to put a whompin' on McCain that Hillary would have been incapable of.

    Hillary Clinton seems to have gotten over her primary loss and joined the Obama bandwagon.  Perhaps you should also.


    Obama's background isn't disadvantaged... (none / 0) (#78)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 02:21:32 AM EST
    Your quoted statements are, evidently, meant to demonstrate that Obama has had a disadvantaged background, even up to the time of the current campaign. I hope my responses provide something of a reality check (emphasis added to quotes throughout).

    1) He's Black, or at least perceived to be Black although he is mixed race.  That costs him votes from some parts of society automatically.

    Actually, Obama's race has been a plus with the base of the Democratic Party; and for many other progressives looking to earn their bona fides.

    2) He has a funny name, and the middle one has been used as a weapon against him.

    Nobody has harped on the "funny name" meme more than Obama and his own spokespeople. He also used to call himself a "skinny, young guy, with a funny name" didn't he. Yeah, the far right wingnuts have made fun of his middle name but they made themselves look like fools in the process.

    3) He has an unorthodox upbringing, including living as a child abroad.

    Obama used to suggest that living abroad (he neglected to say "as a child") enhanced his foreign policy credentials.

    4) He didn't have an automatic entry into a prestigious university [Harvard], but he created that entry from his own ability...

    Obama's parents were both highly educated. His father was a graduate of Harvard with a Master's degree in economics and his mother had a PhD in Anthropology.

    5) He didn't have a prestigious job to launch his initial campaign from.  He was a teacher and a community organizer.

    Obama had two very good jobs when he launched his political career. From 1993-2004, he worked at the major Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, 1996-2004.

    6) His two opponents had definite advantages at the start of each campaign.

    Hillary Clinton and McCain do have the advantage of more experience. However, Obama has had the backing of the Democratic Party establishment. They started grooming him when they handed him the keynote convention speech in '04.

    7) Obama identified how the Democratic party chooses its candidates, and with a campaign focused on how delegates are selected, he forced the party to choose him.

    He didn't "force the party to choose him"; the Democratic big wigs did a lot of the forcing for him. We'll see soon enough how far the "bandwagon" goes.


    I'm been thinking about experience, too (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by obiden08 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:33:24 AM EST
    At the start of the primaries, we had:
    Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Obama, Clinton, Edwards

    The last three standing:
    Clinton, Edwards, Obama

    It's pretty clear that the last three standing had the least experience.  In fact, I think Richardson probably had the best "experience" resume

    So what brought C, E, O to the forefront?

    I think your idea of clarity in presenting issues is a part of it.

    Given that we threw experience overboard in getting to the final three (C-E-O), I was often confused when folks used experiene to differentiate them.  


    Wow. I guess you got a point there... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:43:25 AM EST
    McCain himself (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:04:54 AM EST
    has looked foolish enough on his own without Palin's help. Given the Republican record in general over the past eight years and McCain's pandering to his party's base I feel that he would have had a huge problem in this election at best without Sarah Palin.

    When he chose Palin the focus changed and she's become reason number one. If McCain had chosen Romney then the religious wing of the base would, at least in part, stayed home and some people would say that Ronmey hurt the ticket.

    The Vice-Presidential candidate usually doesn't help all that much.  I remember that in '68 people were very impressed by Ed Muskie but voted for Nixon anyway because of the general climate of the times. In McCain's case Sarah Palin has just hurt him all the more especially given his age.

    I certainly don't believe that she's the sole reason for the state of the Republican ticket.

    She's not the sole reason (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:16:57 AM EST
    she's the top reason.

    That's funny! (2.00 / 0) (#36)
    by robert72 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:34:06 AM EST
    Biden has made far more stupid comments than Palin, and he is supposed to be the experience behind Obama. I guess it all depends on how you are looking at it - or if you watch MSNBC or not. For example, why are Sarah's clothes more ridiculous than Obama's Greek columns?
    What would you have said about Gov. Palin if she had said that there was going to be a world crisis within six months because McCain was going to be tested? Can you imagine the fuss that would cause on Talkleft?
    I think some of you have lost your sense of humor!

    Biden doesn't make ignorant (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:43:02 AM EST
    comments the way Palin does.

    True, his gaffes are (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:55:19 AM EST
    more of the Poppy Bush "goofy" nature ("gird your loins) or are generally cringe-worthy ("articulate and clean").   And he came to this race with a well-known tendency as a gaffer, so in that sense some of this might not be considered newsworthy.

    The guy knows his stuff though ... usually.  His line about FDR going on television right after the stock market crash to reassure the public, however ... that one was a howler ...   Makes me wonder somewhat about his grasp of history prior to, say, his election in 1972.  

    For instance, I kinda wish he'd elaborated on how exactly and when he thought Kennedy was being tested -- I'm not certain that Biden would have gotten his history right.  And why didn't he think a more relevant example was the way both Bill and Junior were "tested" in the first year of their presidencies with the terrorist attacks.


    They are as stupid ... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:44:22 PM EST
    if you assume he's stupid.

    Biden said FDR went on TV after the stock market crash.

    As we know, FDR wasn't president when the stock market crashed.  And there weren't TV broadcasts at the time.

    Now Dems all assume their candidates aren't stupid.  So they just see this as a misstatement.

    But if you assumed he was stupid, as most Dems assume of all Republicans, it's excellent evidence for him being stupid.


    Form over function (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by denise k on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:45:09 AM EST
    I think you mistake the importance of the Palin clothes problem versus the Biden gaffes.  Biden is a practical gaffe machine, but in between gaffes he sounds and is acknowledged to be very intelligent and he knows a LOT about foreign affairs.  Palin, on the other hand, has not shown any substance and all we hear from her are platitudes about Obama's so-called terrorist connections and "real Americans".  There is no there there.  So when we find out that she got $150,000 in clothes it just emphasizes that she is there as eye candy not for her substance.  

    I don't think she is there as (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:53:03 AM EST
    eye candy. I think she is there for a reason of substance, to shore up support for McCain among the radical right wing of the party who were opposed to McCain because they didn't view him as conservative enough on their issues.

    The problem with the clothes, which is not something I think will factor into voting decisions, is that it showcases the Republican's hypocrisy. They portrayed her as a Walmart hockey mom, someone who understands the economic problems of the working class because she's one of them. Now she's decked out in designer clothes. Republican voters would have cheered if she had said "I'm not dressing like someone I'm not." Instead, within 10 days of being nominated, she became a fashion plate wearing clothes that cost more than people's mortgages.

    I think most people are cynical enough about politics to know clothes go with the territory -- but there will be a lot of Republican donors to the RNC who are angry that's where their money went.


    I agree with everything you say but (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by denise k on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:13:04 PM EST
    I also think you cannot overlook that she is also there as eye candy.  She would not have been nominated if she looked like Ann Richards.  The Right learned long ago that pretty women can say the most malicious things without the blowback that comes otherwise.  For example, Michelle Bachmann or Ann Coulter (20 years ago).  Dana Perino fits here, too, imo.

    I guess I agree, that the hypocrisy is the main reason she is taking a hit on the clothes.  But I don't think you should underestimate the role of eye candy here.  


    Yep... (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 01:31:18 PM EST
    ...just ask Rich Lowrey and his wingnut buddies about that.  Or note this from Kathleen Parker...

    My husband called it first. Then, a brilliant 75-year-old scholar and raconteur confessed to me over wine: "I'm sexually attracted to her. I don't care that she knows nothing."

    As my husband observed early on, McCain the mortal couldn't mind having an attractive woman all but singing arias to his greatness. Cameras frequently capture McCain beaming like a gold-starred schoolboy while Palin tells crowds that he is "exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief." This, notes Draper, "seemed to confer not only valor but virility on a 72-year-old politician who only weeks ago barely registered with the party faithful."

    You can't compare Palin and Biden (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by obiden08 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:49:23 AM EST
    It may not be fair, but that's where we are.

    People may think that Joe Biden has diarrhea of the mouth and they may disagree with his positions but they don't think he's uninformed or stupid. He's been around too long and has presented his ideas to the American people many times.

    Unfortunately for Palin, the public did not know her and the McCain camp allowed her to be defined as uninformed, and to some, as stupid.  When she speaks, even simple errors, she's not given the benefit of the doubt because she didn't get the chance to establish her competency baseline.

    Obama doesn't have Biden's experience, but he was able to establissh a competency baseline that prevented him from being cast as uninformed/stupid.  His books went a long way towards establishing his baseline.

    Palin was thrust on the national scene totally unprepared. Blame the McCain campaign.  Obama was prepared for his national appearance. And then he had the primary season to shine himself up.  THe extended battle with Hillary was invaluable.



    variety of reasons (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:28:42 AM EST
    but I agree the top. The economy, messaging, zero sense of the economy, posture, anger, and Palin.  The campaign was nuts to think they needed to rally the "base".  Evangelicals, their base were not going to vote for Obama period.  This election, with the ground game of Obama being so aggressive, they needed to assure independents and hold the older voters.  

    Romney would have been a much better selection as he would have made indys comfortable with his economic experience, and older voters would not have jumped ship.  The evangelicals may not have been excited about Romney but the abortion/gay marriage crowd would have still loved that ticket over O's any day.

    This campaign will be regarded as one of the worst in modern times and perhaps as bad as W's presidency.....


    One must wonder... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by desertswine on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:30:37 PM EST
    where McCain's numbers would be now had Romney been on the ticket instead of Palin.

    I hope this is not true (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:05:26 AM EST
    If, as you appear to believe, McCain would have won but for voters doubts about her qualifications and aversion to having Gov. Palin "so close to the Presidency," then there has been no rejection of the ideas of McCain and his party. I hope (and believe) that you are wrong.

    Not ready for prime time (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by obiden08 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:37:56 AM EST
    McCain may be a great Senator, but I think he'd be an awful president. It's not in his DNA.  

    Unfortunately, this race has showcased just how horrible a president he'd be.  The selection of Palin said more about him than about her.  And what it said was not good.


    He's also an awful Senator. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:11:10 PM EST
    Hey, circumstances have forced (none / 0) (#10)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:07:36 AM EST
    voters to consider actual issues. That's good for Democrats.

    This Is a Questionable (none / 0) (#13)
    by zvs888 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:09:16 AM EST
    Kind of Assumption.  If you think about it, McCain showed that the GOP base is the fringe by picking Palin.  He exposed the worst tendencies of the Republican base through her, which is partially why the GOP is being rejected.

    He could have easily hidden all of that by picking a moderate like Tom Ridge and masked the problems in the GOP by acquiring enough moderates in certain states to win.

    McCain ran a base campaign as a base kind of politican, which is why his party is being rejected right now.  If he had been able to fool the public into thinking that he was a new face of the GOP with new ideas and a more moderate approach, then it is possible that he would be doing far better and the GOP wouldn't be in as dire straits.


    Like my candidate Hillary, (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:42:01 AM EST
    McCain ran the wrong kind of campaign at the wrong time against Obama.  HRC ran a general election campaign when she needed something more exciting and progressive-minded than the stodgy Nixonian Experience campaign she ran against a dynamic and appealing Obama.

    McCain has been running a primary-base campaign when he needed to run more to the center against Barack.  And the slight shift in tactics lately with the Joe the Plumber ploy has been exposed, for most people, as the fraud that it is (along with the racial undertones).  

    I'm a little surprised that McCain didn't quietly make arrangements, back in March, with leading people from his base -- the religious fundies, the Big Corp fatcats and the RW intelligentsia -- to notify them that he'd need to run a moderate GE campaign, including with his VP pick, in order to stand a chance of victory in a Change year with a very unpopular incumbent being hung around his neck, something Junior and Rove did in the 2000 election cycle.


    To this day McCain (none / 0) (#63)
    by TomStewart on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 01:32:38 PM EST
    is still trying to win over the base. He should have had this sown up by the end of the primary campaign, and probably figured that the choice of Palin would finally do it. But he kept running rightward, trying to get the 'popular' people' in the party to like him, that and Palin disgusted the independent voters. McCain, with the transparently cynical way he ran the campaign (attack, elites, Joe the plumber) just kept pushing people away, including disgruntled democrats who might have voted for him.

    He might have won the base, but they will never like him much, and will drop him like a hot rock after Nov 4th.


    No, I said it would be a close race (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    but for his picking Palin, not that McCain would have won without Palin.

    To be fair (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:28:22 AM EST
    You said: "But Obama will win this election because of the many voters outside the core Democratic base who cannot accept the idea of Sarah Palin being so close to the Presidency."

    And "Sarah Palin will cost John McCain the presidency."

    Sounds to me like you think McCain would have won but-for Palin, but I appreciate your clarification.


    yes I meant (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:37:59 AM EST
    she made it impossible for him to win, and in that sense, she cost him the presidency, not that he would have won but for her.

    Let's see how much love (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:06:22 AM EST
    the right talking heads and financeers show in  2012 if she makes a run.  It is about her inch deep knowledge on all policy including energy and 50 year old white males drooling.  

    If she decides to run in 2012 and I hope she does, the primaries will be quite telling.  Does anyone think that the other candidates and media will say "she deserves deference?"

    She is inspiring to evangelicals and very little else and when it comes to winning next time around the right will be harder on her than anything she has experienced in this election.  

    I would argue that she will be as crappily versed in policy in 2.5 years as she is now and the "reform warshington" schtick will last about a month before the crash and burn.

    I would also venture to argue that there are many female pols on the right who believe that they deserve party support before her and that angst will create a big divide in the party.  In 3 years the economy will be rebounding and we will be out of Iraq and people will be feeling "good" about the country, 2012 barring any disasters in the left party will be a shoo-in.

    Let's see how the anti-intellect candidate is received in 3 years when things are looking brighter.  

    That's what I'm waiting for too. The (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:14:59 AM EST
    Palinites insist her performance this cycle was due to a left-wing conspiracy and in reality, she was just as smart as most other national politians. She and her supporters won't be able to hide and make excuses in 2012. She better be ready because it will be even rougher next time, and she will get the Clinton, Bush, Obama, etc. treatment.

    Palin may run in 2012 - who knows? (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:38:34 PM EST
    But I don't think she will get anywhere near the White House. It's going to take a lot more than hockey-mom-itis to beat an incumbant Obama. The GOPers will go with someone who displays charm AND strong creds. I think this year is Palin's swan song in national politics.

    Actually I think she is dangerous --not (none / 0) (#12)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:09:01 AM EST
    to the Democrats, but to the sanity of the GOP.
    Right now, the Republicans have the choice of rejecting the crazies; the reaction to Palin shows that they may choose to reject reality as well.

    After the VP debates, the right trotted out (none / 0) (#51)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:03:39 PM EST
    Hawaii's Repub Gov. Linda Lingle to support Palin.  Lingle was effusive in her praise of Palin, but the funny thing is that someone like Lingle could never garner the support of the GOP and certainly not the votes of the middle aged men who are still drooling over Palin.  She's not married (oh-oh) and lacks Palin's, um, draw.  Yet she's managed to become governor in a very Democratic state, and is well liked there.  Her decisions seem to mostly match the Dem platform.  

    I understand why women like Elizabeth Dole, Laura Bush and Palin are Republicans, but someone like Lingle being a Republican seems as strange as the Log Cabin Republicans.  Why do smart people like Gov. Lingle stick with that party?  Any ideas?


    well (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by connecticut yankee on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:07:40 AM EST
    I know how those people feel.  McCain-Ridge or McCain-Lieberman would be very unpleasant but I'd sleep at night.   McCain-Palin scares me to death.

    Chuck Todd reported that as doubts about her rise, so do doubts about McCain's age. They are linked.

    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by denise k on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:48:21 AM EST
    The two issues are inextricably linked.  McCain could have put the age issue to rest with a solid VP choice, but instead he emphasized it with a pick who scares everyone to death with her lack of experience and her extreme views.

    Because Palin was not McCain's first (none / 0) (#14)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:09:42 AM EST
    choice: he showed that he was not his own man in choosing Palin.

    I think (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by OldCity on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:15:50 AM EST
    it's pretty that many Americans have reconciled themselves to the fact that "Joe or Jane Sixpack" may be perfectly nice, but certainly not the person to potentially run the country.

    I think we might be seeing a bit of a revolt against the anti-intellectualism that has so permeated American political culture, particularly (and paradoxically) on the right.  People may be tired of being embarrassed by their leaders, by the lack of competence, the inability to cogently articulate.  

    This might be new ground for Palin.  The recent New Yorker article was illuminating...she charmed the Republican power brokers.  She did not bowl them over with her grasp of issues or her expertise, but with her looks and her clear ambition for the national stage.  

    Obama was criticized excessively as being an "empty suit".  Is a suit full of intellect really empty?  


    I hope and suspect you're right... (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:22:02 AM EST
    I think you are both right (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:20:02 AM EST
    women, in general, rejected her because of her extreme right views. This happened pretty early. They might have liked her, but they were not going to vote for her.

    Now she seems more scary every day.

    I still don't get that. (4.50 / 2) (#73)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 06:22:59 PM EST
    I think John McCain is scary due to a lot of the same reasons that Palin is scary.  #1 is McCain's apparently terrible grasp of economics and finance.

    To me Palin is just McCain without his experience and historical narrative.  She's more raw, more ignorant but they both haven't got the basics to lead this country in a time of economic crisis let alone a time of relative prosperity and tranquility.

    What I would give to see a Clinton/McCain or a Clinton/Palin debate on economic policies....


    It's not just voters "outside the (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:28:34 AM EST
     core Democratic base who cannot accept the idea of Sarah Palin being so close to the Presidency,"  it's also voters inside the core Democratic base, specifically Hillary Clinton supporters like myself who seriously considered leaving the top of the ticket blank....until Sarah Palin was selected.

    mccain was a (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:39:10 AM EST
    train wreck long before he selected gov. palin, she merely added a few more cars to the disaster.

    mccain and bush were relative failures in school for their entire lives, not just "at some point". that consistent, yawning intellectual chasm has manifested itself throughout their entire adult lives. neither of them has, as far as i can tell, ever expressed a clearly articulated, original thought, that ever made any actual sense.

    kerry got into and out of an accredited law school, and managed to pass the bar exam. he had to have had reasonably decent grades to do so.

    The problem with Sarah Palin is that regardless of her little experience, she was rolled out so badly, that no one thought she knew anything about what she was talking about.

    possibly, she doesn't know anything about what she's talking about, which is why people tend to think that. this is the gov. of a state, who doesn't appear to have the slightest clue about what the actual responsibilities of the vp are. it just gets worse from there.

    that's why people have rejected her, and her extremist social views.

    That's very cogent, but speaking for myself (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:51:47 AM EST
    in being revulsed by the Palin candidacy I find it difficult to separate her "personal" qualities from the "policy/political" mess she represents.  Frankly, they are inseparable.

    Palin was not the or an "unsolvable problem".  Rather, she was and is the ultimate expression and distillation of the Republican philosophy which has governed, in the Oval Office and throughout government and in the world of ideas, for the last 25 or 30 years.  

    Her religious fundamentalism, itself taken beyond the "normal" of fundamentalism to a talking-in-tongues, witch-hunting extreme*, is bad enough.  Two of the core errors of fundamentalists and fundamentalism - that (1) the adherent believes they are the (favored) recipient of Revealed Truth and (2) that this adherent thereby has the divinely given right to impose their interpretation of that Truth upon others regardless of anything - she expresses in spades.  The most recent episode of this is evinced in her inability to criticize abortion-clining bombers and abortionist-murderers during the Williams/NBC interview.  In this regard, she is no different from Bush the Younger and his attitude toward law - in the words of the hot dog commercial, he "answers to a higher authority".

    Moreover, she has - from first impression on - seemed to me the aggressive purveyor of a plastic, phony morality which my experience as a lawyer teaches me is more often than not the camouflage of a person utterly lacking in moral and ethical fiber.  The old saw "what you are screams so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying" applies to her.  The disclosures subsequent to the initial Troopergate - the wardrobe first among them and her rampant cronyism second - showed her as venal and cheap.

    McCain and his campaign took a calculated gamble, expressed by someone at the poker table the other night in rough but accurate terms:  "Our guy is old and angry and our program is f*cked up, but we can get past that if we wheel out a piece of a*s everyone will want to look at."  Palin was the choice the campaign and McCain made to effect that.  She was the political analogue of the same choice managers of mediocre rock-and-roll bands have made since time immemorial - if we put a hot chick who can swing her body seductively and kinda carry a tune out in front, no one will notice how crappy our music really is because they'll all be looking at and fantasizing about her.  And we'll all make a quick killing.

    I mean, Ashley duPre (or whatever her working name is now), aspiring singer and full-time hooker, made a cool million-plus off selling her really crappy singing over the internet in the first week after the Spitzer scandal broke.  A quick killing.

    And that, FWIW, is likely what the American people have discerned not only about McCain but about the Republican policies and philosophy.  They are designed and intended to produce one quick killing after another, the profits every time flowing into the hands and pockets of the Republicans and their friends.  Over the last 25 plus years we've seen not only the expansion of gambling (sic, "gaming") as an "industry", every time being lobbied for by Republican pols and the executive ranks infested with former Republican officeholders, but also the conversion of most other industries into some analogue of gambling.  They have turned government and the gambling industry (the latter formerly derided as a social evil) into a new form of extractive industry, one in which they mine the money earned (by actual production) from the pockets of average Americans and refine it into their own pockets.  I've watched repeatedly as local politicians not only hailed the opening of a new off-track-betting horse parlor cum slot-machine den, but earlier when they eagerly competed for placing it in their jurisdictions.  I'm not so old that I can't remember the days when those "businesses" were the object of politicians' attention - as the targets of police raids.  Nor have I forgotten when politicians spent their "hailing" and "competitive pursuing" time on new factories, transportation projects, and public works.  All of which benefitted, rather than impoverished, their constituents.   By dergulating the stock and securities markets, the Republicans have converted useful institutions and businesses into more versions of crooked casinos.  

    One of the poker players the other night was an official in local government.  The official complained that his governmental entity has a backlog of useful public works which need fixing, improvement or first-time building, and a plethora of competent contractors willing and begging to put in serious bids for the work.  The number of contractors desperate for work has increased several-fold since last year.  But, the official complained, none of the work can be bid out, let alone get done, because no one will buy the bonds that have to be floated to finance the work.  Either the very-solvent governmental entity foregoes doing the work (leaving the many people who'd actually swing the hammers out of work), or it goes begging to wealthy, famous private investors asking those investors to let them pay him several times the prime rate of interest - tax-free interest, remember - on their bonds.  All this while they and everyone know that investor is not risking his own money buying the bonds but rather is borrowing money at something approximating the prime rate to buy them.  The investor getting twelve tax-free by paying three with no underlying risk of default?  

    And McCain and the Republicans are surprised when people revolt at the idea of more of this?

    And people haven't seen through Palin?


    What shocks me most is the forebearance of the American people in the face of such venal, corrupt and despicable politicians.  The people of America aren't stupid, and those who deride them as such - as the Republicans have - and who condescend to them - as the Republicans have - and who sneer at their concerns and humanity - as is a cardinal trait of Republicans - have about run out the string of popular tolerance.  

    They'd better get the f out of the way.  Their day is done.


    *  Scribe knows all about Home Exorcism Kits, chasing demons and hyper-religiosity.  And the fraudulent self-delusion which too often lies behind it.  It ain't a pretty story.

    Palin - the wrong running mate for an old man. (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by denise k on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:27:54 AM EST
    McCain is an old man who LOOKS and ACTS old.  To overcome the age issue, McCain needed a strong VP pick - like Biden or Cheney or Gore - who would obviously be able to pick up the official duties of the presidency at a moment's notice. To state the painfully obvious, Palin was the wrong choice for this purpose. If she were running mate to Romney (the mind boggles, but that is OT) or Huckabee, she might be given the benefit of the doubt -- as Quayle was -- that she could grow into the job over time. But with McCain, she is vetted as if she were a presidential candidate -- and she is clearly, obviously, painfully not ready -- nor has she given any sign of the potential to be so.  Instead she looks like a gimmick and McCain looks like he does not take the role of the Presidency seriously enough to occupy the job.  

    last Sunday (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:01:04 PM EST
    I was trying to have a conversation about the election at the nursing home with my 85 year old mother, a staunch liberal democrat (as were her parents, my father and his parents). She's not too with it cognitively most days and due to Parkinsons, her words don't come out right most of the time. CNN was on and I explained who was running.  McCain came on giving a speech at a rally. I said, "That's John McCain." She took one look and in a perfect sentence immediately said, "Him? He's too old to be President."

    I think Sarah Palin (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:37:15 PM EST
    is sinking his campaign because she destroys EVERY.SINGLE.MESSAGE his campaign was throwing out there before he chose her.  Experience?  Judgment?  Attacks on celebrity?  Allright then, let's choose an inexperienced candidate that hasn't demonstrated a lot of great judgment, and make her a celebrity.

    And they haven't even done a good job of enticing female Democrats.  Now that they've seemingly lost the chance of picking up a lot of Hillary voters, they are beginning to attack the "feminist left" for attacking Sarah Palin.  

    What is killing McCain is not having a message.  His choice of Sarah Palin is part of that dynamic.  The fact that he can't keep his story straight is one of the things that makes me particularly scared of the small chance he may be President - I have no concept of what he will actually do for the country, since so far he seems to be desperately following his whims.

    Another issue that truly (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by OldCity on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 01:05:17 PM EST
    befuddles me is the whole "maverick" meme.

    Both McCain and Palin are, in effect, running against the President and against their party.  That begs the question, Why run as a Republican, if you're so out of step with the party, or have so much disdain for the party?

    Notwithstanding the fact that he voted with the President a LOT, that she not only hired lobbyists but aggressively sought pork and created debt...I mean, their whole message is fragmented.

    Essentially, he's ethically flexible and she's disingenuous (except of course, that she's not even good at presenting that way).  And they're running for, and against, their own party.  

    So, she's a drag, for sure.  Not just because of her (let's face it) utter lack of qualifications, but also because it's tough to identify them.  It's the charge against Obama in reverse.  What are McCain/Palin for?  Do we really know them?

    I'd also like to point out that in practical usage, a "maverick" is a mad cow.  Sort of writes itself, doesn't it?  

    None of Give Palin the Credit She is Due (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by msobel on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 02:32:35 PM EST
    It took Bush almost 8 years to achieve the low approval ratings he has.  Palin has exceeded him in less than 8 weeks.  Just what we feminists have been saying, send a woman to do the job.

    To paraphrase Jon Stewart... (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 03:44:56 PM EST
    ...Palin and her tribe are nothing but grifters and John McCain was an easy mark.  

    Hopefully, the voters will through the ruse.

    You're Both Wrong (J and BTD) (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by pluege on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:27:28 PM EST
    Its a combination of things that account for mccain's failings - NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER: his choice of palin, his personality, his policies, his age, his pandering to right wing extremists, his sucking up to and support of bush, because he's republican, his flip flopping, his bazaar actions, etc. Its a total package that is anathema to most Americans and any sane person. If the media didn't  stroke him so much, build him up, and create unreality fantasies about integrity and man honor BS that are complete fabrications, mccain would be one of the most disliked politicians in America.  

    The bold but risky move (none / 0) (#3)
    by Faust on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 09:55:07 AM EST
    has turned out to be a catastrophe.

    I do think one can seperate out her "qualifications" from her "policy positions" and her "personality."

    Anecdotal (none / 0) (#21)
    by Chatham on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:21:17 AM EST
    One of my grandmothers was one of those people who was impressed by Palin when she came out.  She was a prime target.  A woman who didn't pay close attention to politics but generally felt like "the elites in Washington" were against her.  Some one who voted for Reagan because "how can anyone not vote for that nice man?".

    The other day she was through with Palin, saying "enough is enough".  This cemented in our mind the trouble McCain is in.

    I think McCain would lose under any circumstances, (none / 0) (#30)
    by ChrisO on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:50:04 AM EST
    because he's shown that he's just not that good a campaigner. But I would argue that this election would me much closer if we had been going through a national security crisis in the last month, rather than an economic one.

    I'm voting for Obama, but if he wins in a landslide I'm not looking forward to hearing the crowing from his supporters about how he won simply based on his wonderfulness, and how he's responsible for the victory of every other Democrat in the country.

    Senator Biden (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:25:50 AM EST
    may not have been the vice presidential pick, if the Georgia/Russia issue had not occurred just prior to the Democratic Party Convention  If the financial mess was then in the forefront maybe Senator Bayh or Senator Dodd would have been the running mate.  However,  McCain's problems with the voters became evident with the debates.  McCain lost whatever place he had with his mean spiritedness and his lack of a presidential temperament. Governor Palin's nail-in-the-coffin also came with the debate: The Republican's attempt at elevating ignorance to a point of pride was no longer working. Particularly in her changing the rules of debate to those more comfortable to her, and her "say it isn't so Joe"--disdain for history with the "there you go pointing backwards"  This was seen as singularly obtuse and profoundly ignorant.  All of knowledge, culture and civilization is predicated on integrating the past with the present and the extension to the future. She does not get it, and, I trust, we will not get her, or McCain.

    Or will we flog her even more, after the election?

    I get the feeling that (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:40:55 AM EST
    after the election, she will be spending more time with lawyers than she'd like.

    as long as she purports to be qualified (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 03:31:00 PM EST
    for the office of the presidency and purports to represent regular joes while spending 150k on clothes I think she is fair game.  

    Should the press and blogs ignore her because she is not up on policy but represents "reform"?  

    How can you reform anything if you are an inch deep in policy?

    Now that oil is back to reality, I wonder how alaskans are going to feel about her when they don't get their redristribution of income.

    I wonder how they will feel about her violating state ethics laws?

    She has done nothing but attack Joe Biden, Wall Street and Barack Obama but since she is a regular joe aw shucks, we should ignore her?

    If you are going to attack from the pulpit the character of another candidate, than you should be big enough to accept the reciprocal attacks.  

    She is the kid with glasses who kicks someone in the nuts and says, "you can't hit a kid with glasses">


    that could (none / 0) (#52)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:08:03 PM EST
    actually be quite entertaining!

    Or will we flog her even more, after the election?

    Don't give Larry "First Amendment King" (none / 0) (#65)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 02:25:02 PM EST
    Flynt any ideas.

    Not that he needs them.

    But I seriously could see the actress who's made the pron version of the Palin story having a very remunerative career if Mr. Flynt decides to (ahem) spank Sarah the Pure (her Alaskan name) with a series of (ahem) "educational" films.


    The flogging will end (none / 0) (#68)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 03:03:21 PM EST
    at the same time that Tina Fey happily trades in her glasses and gives up her most recent SNL gig...just about 11 days and 8 hours from now.

    and if the Dem ticket was Obama/Clinton.. (none / 0) (#55)
    by rise hillary rise on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:23:25 PM EST
    no chance McCain would've gone for Palin. it would've been Pawlenty, or Romney, and they'd have lost even bigger.

    I'm not ready to write Palin's political obit. she has 4 years to prepare for the next round. plus, I doubt that we are seeing the whole politician-she's got her marching orders and has followed them well.

    Let's stick to 2008 (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:27:18 PM EST
    The post is about her effect on this election, not Palin's future.

    If the country ISN'T rejecting Conservatism (none / 0) (#67)
    by lambert on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 02:44:42 PM EST
    ... that's not exactly good news, is it?

    But then, if you think personality-driven politics are equal to politics -- as Our Betters in the Village would have us believe -- then yes, I suppose rejecting Palin on the basis of her qualifications would count as a famous victory.

    Personally, I think a more desireable outcome would be, "Sure, as governor of Alaska she's notionally qualified, but nobody who believes in Conservative ideology is remotely qualified for anything. ever. Remember Katrina?" But that's not the campaign that was run, so that outcome is not on the table.

    GOP needs to kick the habit (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarany on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 04:02:55 PM EST
    They thought the red meat values base was magic for them and they have to wake up and realize that it worked for a few elections, but they need more than that.

    It wasn't long ago that they were talking about a permanent majority, wasn't it?  They thought they were invincible, which just goes to show that hubris will get you -- eventually.  

    Imagine Greenspan thinking that wall st would self-regulate.

    I hope we get -- for a while -- a government that doesn't think too much of itself, and doesn't stop trying to be better. Realistic idealism is what we need.

    One thing is clear about palin (none / 0) (#76)
    by pluege on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:43:13 PM EST
    she IS the cause of some notable republicans to come out for Obama or at least publicly express displeasure in, and doubt about mccain. So for what its worth, palin has turned the handful or so of remaining "moderate" republicans against mccain.

    Surprisingly, Frum not so crazy (none / 0) (#77)
    by pluege on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 10:49:21 PM EST
    Frum on Colbert was very lucid in stating that conservatives need a new policy that actually helps the middle class in America, that they have to abandon their clearly failed policies. He didn't of course mention how that would happen or what it would be.

    What Frum hasn't realized yet (it'll be interesting to see of the next few years if he gets there) is that if he sticks with and follows his objective of helping the middle class, he will find himself a Democrat, i.e., there is no possible way to help the middle class or anyone else other than the ubber wealthy with conservative/republican policies in anything remotely recognizable to todays policies and ideology.

    David Frum is a Canadian from a liberal family. (none / 0) (#79)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 02:47:14 AM EST
    He is the daughter of Barbara Frum (now deceased). She was a very well-known, well-loved, progressive journalist with the CBC. She once said that her family of origin was: "so privileged, we didn't know we were privileged".

    I have it on good authority: on the whole, Canadians abhor David. His politics are so far right - he had no choice but to leave the country. His poor mother will be rolling in her grave for all eternity.