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Whangarei

She's Not Ready Op Ed piece

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Whangarei

This man had the same reaction I did while watching Palin on the Charlie Gibson interview. Here's what he said.

While watching the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson Thursday night, and the coverage of the Palin phenomenon in general, I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, that dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail.

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Go to Columnist Page » How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?

For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”

Ms. Palin may be a perfectly competent and reasonably intelligent woman (however troubling her views on evolution and global warming may be), but she is not ready to be vice president.

With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues.

“Do you believe in the Bush doctrine?” Mr. Gibson asked during the interview. Ms. Palin looked like an unprepared student who wanted nothing so much as to escape this encounter with the school principal.

Clueless, she asked, “In what respect, Charlie?”

“Well, what do you interpret it to be?” said Mr. Gibson.

“His worldview?” asked Ms. Palin.

Later, in the spin zones of cable TV, commentators repeatedly made the point that there are probably very few voters — some specifically mentioned “hockey moms” — who could explain the Bush doctrine. But that’s exactly the reason we have such long and intense campaigns. You want to find the individuals who best understand these issues, who will address them in sophisticated and creative ways that enhance the well-being of the nation.

The Bush doctrine, which flung open the doors to the catastrophe in Iraq, was such a fundamental aspect of the administration’s foreign policy that it staggers the imagination that we could have someone no further than a whisper away from the White House who doesn’t even know what it is.

You can’t imagine that John McCain or Barack Obama or Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman would not know what the Bush doctrine is. But Sarah Palin? Absolutely clueless.

Ms. Palin’s problem is not that she was mayor of a small town or has only been in the Alaska governor’s office a short while. Her problem (and now ours) is that she is not well versed on the critical matters confronting the country at one of the most crucial turning points in its history.

The economy is in a tailspin. The financial sector is lurching about on rubbery legs. We’re mired in self-defeating energy policies. We’re at war. And we are still vulnerable to the very real threat of international terrorism.

With all of that and more being the case, how can it be a good idea to set in motion the possibility that Americans might wake up one morning to find that Sarah Palin is president?

I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

To burnish the foreign policy credentials of a vice presidential candidate who never even had a passport until last year, the Republicans have been touting Alaska’s proximity to Russia. (Imagine the derisive laughter in conservative circles if the Democrats had tried such nonsense.) So Mr. Gibson asked Ms. Palin, “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?”

She said, “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. From an island in Alaska.”

Mr. Gibson tried again. “But what insight does that give you,” he asked, “into what they’re doing in Georgia?”

John McCain, who is shameless about promoting himself as America’s ultimate patriot, put the best interests of the nation aside in making his incredibly reckless choice of a running mate. But there is a profound double standard in this country. The likes of John McCain and George W. Bush can do the craziest, most irresponsible things imaginable, and it only seems to help them politically.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/opinion/...amp;oref=slogin

Edited by Whangarei

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rideron

Why Whangarei, and the New York Times; have it wrong:

Here's the view of the originator of the phrase "Bush Doctrine"

Charlie Gibson's Gaffe

By Charles Krauthammer

Saturday, September 13, 2008; A17

"At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of 'anticipatory self-defense.' "

-- New York Times, Sept. 12

Informed her? Rubbish.

The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.

He asked Palin, "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"

She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, "In what respect, Charlie?"

Sensing his "gotcha" moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine "is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense."

Wrong.

I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to the joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush doctrine.

Until Iraq. A year later, when the Iraq war was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of preemptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.

It's not. It's the third in a series and was superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

This declaration of a sweeping, universal American freedom agenda was consciously meant to echo John Kennedy's pledge in his inaugural address that the United States "shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." It draws also from the Truman doctrine of March 1947 and from Wilson's 14 points.

If I were in any public foreign policy debate today, and my adversary were to raise the Bush doctrine, both I and the audience would assume -- unless my interlocutor annotated the reference otherwise -- that he was speaking about the grandly proclaimed (and widely attacked) freedom agenda of the Bush administration.

Not the Gibson doctrine of preemption.

Not the "with us or against us" no-neutrality-is-permitted policy of the immediate post-9/11 days.

Not the unilateralism that characterized the pre-9/11 first year of the Bush administration.

Presidential doctrines are inherently malleable and difficult to define. The only fixed "doctrines" in American history are the Monroe and the Truman doctrines which come out of single presidential statements during administrations where there were few other contradictory or conflicting foreign policy crosscurrents.

Such is not the case with the Bush doctrine.

Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

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Startraveler

Indeed, Palin-McCain is a ticket singularly unprepared to deal with actual problems. Their entire campaign is built on gimmicks "drill, baby, drill" won't do a thing for gas prices and isn't even close to being a cogent energy policy, eliminating every single earmark wouldn't make a dent in the federal budget, continuing to practice trickle-down economics by making the tax system more regressive is a cruel joke from a party that's run out of idea, and so on. Palin-McCain is a disaster waiting to happen. The Obama camp is correct: John McCain would rather lose his integrity than lose an election. And lest we think "well, that's just for the campaign," the Palin pick pretty conclusively proves he doesn't care all that much about how the country's run.

But at least she's got some tutors and scriptwriters working round the clock to avoid any embarrassments.

I wince and feel for her over the reports of how she is being tutored, guided and taught in marathon cram sessions of what might be called a crash course in Instant Experience 101. There’s something almost funny in the idea that she is being speedily stuffed, Strasbourg-goose-style, with knowledge she should have had before she was selected.

You can’t help wondering about her current tutors and coaches and experts. Will they collect their checks and depart? Or will they still be around should she have to make a quick decision about things like troop movements, new surges, or whether or not to reduce Iran to a cinder? Or any number of other matters requiring resume items more complex than those faced by a mayor of Wasilla.

>

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SoCrazes

Yea, she didn't appear to be presidential material to me. Actually, far from it. Hesitant, awkward use of the hands, bad body language, squirming with words, and not convincing. She'll probably do better this upcoming week when Fox's Hannity "interviews" her. I'm sure she won't get any unexpected curve balls from them. I cannot forsee Palin handling the affairs of our country...it down right scares me to think she is vying for a position that could put her at the helm. I'd vote for a McCain/Condy Rice before I'd vote for McCain/Palin ticket.

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Aztec Warrior

What was Obama doing four years ago. An Illinois State Senator.....talk about being totally unprepared. He is tanking in the polls and the gap is widening daily. Now, all the Dem's can look at is the EC and that is also changing.

Obama should ignore Palin and focus on his policies, for all the good it will do.

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SoCrazes
What was Obama doing four years ago. An Illinois State Senator.....talk about being totally unprepared. He is tanking in the polls and the gap is widening daily. Now, all the Dem's can look at is the EC and that is also changing.

Obama should ignore Palin and focus on his policies, for all the good it will do.

Unlike Palin, I feel that Obama and Biden could run the country effectively; handle international affairs, and have some idea of repairing the national economy. Obama handles himself so much better than Palin and has a better understanding of how the federal government works. Palin, she knows Alaska...a state that 100s of miles from any other U.S. state and, just two years ago she was a mayor of a little town. Palin is nearing the end of her "bridge to nowhere" as she now flip-flops on issues like her running mate McCain. The only polls that matter are the ones taken on November 4; the rest are part of a meaningless "pre-game" show.

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Guardsman Bass
Indeed, Palin-McCain is a ticket singularly unprepared to deal with actual problems. Their entire campaign is built on gimmicks "drill, baby, drill" won't do a thing for gas prices and isn't even close to being a cogent energy policy, eliminating every single earmark wouldn't make a dent in the federal budget, continuing to practice trickle-down economics by making the tax system more regressive is a cruel joke from a party that's run out of idea, and so on. Palin-McCain is a disaster waiting to happen. The Obama camp is correct: John McCain would rather lose his integrity than lose an election. And lest we think "well, that's just for the campaign," the Palin pick pretty conclusively proves he doesn't care all that much about how the country's run.

To be fair, VP picks traditionally have been done mainly to placate someone or gain an electoral advantage - think of Kennedy/Johnson, for example. Not every VP candidate is going to be as influential as Dick Cheney.

You are right, though, in that the campaign is a little weak on the policy side. The focus on earmarks, of all things, as some kind of sign of great governance is highly amusing, particularly when there are much more important issues.

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Startraveler
Unlike Palin, I feel that Obama and Biden could run the country effectively;

Not to mention the fact that Obama actually has an understanding of the policy issues facing the country today.

To be fair, VP picks traditionally have been done mainly to placate someone or gain an electoral advantage - think of Kennedy/Johnson, for example.

Indeed, and that's clearly what's happening. The lackluster McCain Campaign is now the exciting Palin-McCain ticket. The only problem is that McCain might not make it through his term. In which case we're all up **** creek.

Edited by Startraveler

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Guardsman Bass

We'll manage, albeit badly (hopefully Palin isn't stupid enough to think she's some kind of strategic genius if the unthinkable happens and McCain gets elected and proceeds to die). There's been worse actual Presidents - think Harding, Buchanon, and Hoover.

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Whangarei

How about her throwaway statement saying "I'm an Alaskan girl and believe me there's oil in them hills" To me its as if they've served up Alaska on a platter to beleaguered Americans desperate for oil. If she was the governor of Hawaii for example we'd still have to convince Alaska to go along with it. She's promising something she can't be sure of. Drill baby drill is so sad. People are desperate.

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Caesar
Unlike Palin, I feel that Obama and Biden could run the country effectively; handle international affairs, and have some idea of repairing the national economy. Obama handles himself so much better than Palin and has a better understanding of how the federal government works. Palin, she knows Alaska...a state that 100s of miles from any other U.S. state and, just two years ago she was a mayor of a little town. Palin is nearing the end of her "bridge to nowhere" as she now flip-flops on issues like her running mate McCain. The only polls that matter are the ones taken on November 4; the rest are part of a meaningless "pre-game" show.

Voting “present” nearly 130 times as a state senator doesn't seem to show any leadership skills if you ask me. neither does being a community organizer.

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Startraveler

Community organizing has nothing to do with leadership skills?

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Caesar
Community organizing has nothing to do with leadership skills?

I mean in terms with responsibility with tax payer money and getting things done

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Caesar
What was Obama doing four years ago. An Illinois State Senator.....talk about being totally unprepared. He is tanking in the polls and the gap is widening daily. Now, all the Dem's can look at is the EC and that is also changing.

Obama should ignore Palin and focus on his policies, for all the good it will do.

LOL states like Washington and Minnesota are turning to tossups Obama now has to go back to those state he thought he would win easy those states are always solid blue states. but the whole Electoral College trend is looking very good for McCain. more and more states are leaning red.

realclearpolitics.com

Election 2008: Electoral College Update

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Incorrigible1
Community organizing has nothing to do with leadership skills?

I'm curious, I'm not asking this disparagingly: What level of budget does a community organizer work with? What executive decisions does a community organizer cast?

To say Palin lacks the experience while insisting BHO has it seems odd, to me.

Thank you.

Edited by Incorrigible1

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ninjadude
Voting “present” nearly 130 times as a state senator doesn't seem to show any leadership skills if you ask me. neither does being a community organizer.

As has been pointed out to you Illinois voting is different than everywhere else (and 130 times is a miniscule amount of the total) and you clearly have no understanding of what a community organizer is.

Edited by ninjadude

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Startraveler

The details will vary with the specific organization in question. In Obama's case, the Developing Communities Project had a budget of $70,000 when he arrived (though it grew to $400,000 under Obama's leadership). The executive decisions made by the director of a non-profit are those made by the leader of any small organization.

To say Palin lacks the experience while insisting BHO has it seems odd, to me.

It seems odd because the Republican Convention apparently tricked certain party loyalists into believing Obama's "experience" centers around his time at the DCP between undergrad and law school. His strength has always been his command of the issues: health care, education, poverty, nuclear nonproliferation, civil rights, etc. He's dealt with them as a senior lecturer at one of the top law schools in the United States, in his work as a civil rights lawyer, in his eight years in the senate of the 5th largest state in the country, and in his four years in the U.S. Senate. He doesn't need a two-week cram session to sit down and have a policy discussion. He's spent a lifetime thinking and working on serious issues, interacting with well-informed people of every political stripe (UChicago is not a particularly liberal school), and honing his own political philosophy. I know thinking is elitist, but I'm ready for a thoughtful, policy wonk of a president.

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Caesar
As has been pointed out to you Illinois voting is different than everywhere else (and 130 times is a miniscule amount of the total) and you clearly have no understanding of what a community organizer is.

No, even the New York Times said it was alot more then normal. a community organizer is nothing like being a governer of a state

It’s Not Just ‘Ayes’ and ‘Nays’: Obama’s Votes in Illinois Echo

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ninjadude
I'm curious, I'm not asking this disparagingly: What level of budget does a community organizer work with? What executive decisions does a community organizer cast?

Nice try. But the community organizing was a small part of his experience right out of college. You all act like it is his whole life experience. If you want to read about Obamas experiences you can go to his website, wiki, or read his books. And you are being disparaging.

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ninjadude
No, even the New York Times said it was alot more then normal. a community organizer is nothing like being a governer of a state

The NYT is not Illinois now is it? Sure IF community organizing was somehow put up as his only qualification for office. It's not and you know it. It was a small part of his experience. You are opposing Obama with Palin. Apparently foregetting that McCain is the one running for president. Or are you sure he will die in office? Obama's strength is his grasp of the issues that Americans grapple with. Unlike McCain who grapples with the truth on a daily basis.

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Caesar
The NYT is not Illinois now is it? Sure IF community organizing was somehow put up as his only qualification for office. It's not and you know it. It was a small part of his experience. You are opposing Obama with Palin. Apparently foregetting that McCain is the one running for president. Or are you sure he will die in office? Obama's strength is his grasp of the issues that Americans grapple with. Unlike McCain who grapples with the truth on a daily basis.

Its sad when the republican vp pick has much more experience then the top pick for the Liberals

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SoCrazes
Its sad when the republican vp pick has much more experience then the top pick for the Liberals

That is your opinion and everyone has one. Thank you for sharing. The Rep Vp is a rube in the true sense of the word. Her biggest assest is that she is a pretty rube. That is my opinion and your welcome.

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Caesar
That is your opinion and everyone has one. Thank you for sharing. The Rep Vp is a rube in the true sense of the word. Her biggest assest is that she is a pretty rube. That is my opinion and your welcome.

Its a fact. she has executive experience and has made executive decisions Obama and Biden have not and her aproval rating is almost 90% in Alaska now

Palin is viewed favorably by 58% thats more then McCain, Obama and Biden

rasmussenreports.com

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Incorrigible1
It seems odd because the Republican Convention apparently tricked certain party loyalists into believing Obama's "experience" centers around his time at the DCP between undergrad and law school. His strength has always been his command of the issues: health care, education, poverty, nuclear nonproliferation, civil rights, etc. He's dealt with them as a senior lecturer at one of the top law schools in the United States, in his work as a civil rights lawyer, in his eight years in the senate of the 5th largest state in the country, and in his four years in the U.S. Senate.

Nice. While I generally respect your knowledgeable postings, you've skillfully (or not) avoided my questions.

Again, they were: What level of budget does a community organizer work with? What executive decisions does a community organizer cast?

While state legislative positions are helpful, they've rarely been considered qualifications for national presidential ambitions at any time in the past. Yet, historically, past and present, state governorship certainly has.

Perhaps Democratic dogma has "tricked certain party loyalists into believing Obama's "experience" into not only believing, but vociferously defending the Dem's nominee as somehow "experienced," whereas, the Republican candidate with the most executive experience is castigated as "inexperienced." Curious and curiouser!

Edited by Incorrigible1

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Startraveler
Nice. While I generally respect your knowledgeable postings, you've skillfully (or not) avoided my questions.

Again, they were: What level of budget does a community organizer work with? What executive decisions does a community organizer cast?

Perhaps that's because you neglected to quote the part of my post where I did directly answer you. So I'll copy and paste it:

The details will vary with the specific organization in question. In Obama's case, the Developing Communities Project had a budget of $70,000 when he arrived (though it grew to $400,000 under Obama's leadership). The executive decisions made by the director of a non-profit are those made by the leader of any small organization.

To elaborate a bit, I'll draw from Obama's own description of community organizing:

In theory, community organizing provides a way to merge various strategies for neighborhood empowerment. Organizing begins with the premise that (1) the problems facing inner-city communities do not result from a lack of effective solutions, but from a lack of power to implement these solutions; (2) that the only way for communities to build long-term power is by organizing people and money around a common vision; and (3) that a viable organization can only be achieved if a broadly based indigenous leadership — and not one or two charismatic leaders — can knit together the diverse interests of their local institutions.

This means bringing together churches, block clubs, parent groups and any other institutions in a given community to pay dues, hire organizers, conduct research, develop leadership, hold rallies and education cam­paigns, and begin drawing up plans on a whole range of issues — jobs, education, crime, etc. Once such a vehicle is formed, it holds the power to make politicians, agencies and corporations more responsive to commu­nity needs. Equally important, it enables people to break their crippling isolation from each other, to reshape their mutual values and expectations and rediscover the possibilities of acting collaboratively — the prerequi­sites of any successful self-help initiative.

By using this approach, the Developing Communities Project and other organizations in Chicago's inner city have achieved some impressive results. Schools have been made more accountable-Job training programs have been established; housing has been renovated and built; city services have been provided; parks have been refurbished; and crime and drug problems have been curtailed. Additionally, plain folk have been able to access the levers of power, and a sophisticated pool of local civic leadership has been developed.

This isn't the cornerstone of his life experience, nor is it the basis of his run for the presidency. But it is very much real-world experience.

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