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Palin Falls Short of VP Standards

Posted on Sep 12, 2008
Palins and McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, accompanied by her husband, Todd, and Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his wife, Cindy, addresses a rally in Fairfax, Va., on Wednesday.

By John Dean

Editor’s Note: John W. Dean was counsel to President Richard M. Nixon for 1,000 days and is the author of nine books, including “Conservatives Without Conscience,” “Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush” and “Pure Goldwater,” which Dean co-wrote with Barry M. Goldwater Jr.

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In truth, the vice president of the United States is important for only one reason: He or she will become president of the United States upon the death, incapacity or resignation of the president. Nine times in our history, vice presidents have succeeded to the presidency: John Tyler (1841), Millard Fillmore (1850), Andrew Johnson (1865), Chester A. Arthur (1881), Theodore Roosevelt (1901), Calvin Coolidge (1923), Harry Truman (1945), Lyndon Johnson (1963) and Gerald Ford (1974). Of course, the vice president also has a significant secondary role: It is he or she, acting with a majority of the Cabinet, who can declare the president incapable of carrying out the duties of the office, and then take charge—until the action is either ratified or rejected by a majority of the Congress. So far in our history, however, this has never occurred.

Given the fact that the 2008 GOP standard-bearer, John McCain, is 72 years of age, his selection of an inexperienced vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has again focused attention on the process and procedures for selecting vice presidents—or, to put it more bluntly, the utter lack of process or procedures in selecting the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. McCain, not unlike others before him, selected a less than fully vetted running mate for political reasons. That is surely a problem for voters to think over in the upcoming election—but it raises a systemic concern, too, for the long run.

Consider this parallel: Does anyone believe that if McCain were president and had selected Palin under the 25th Amendment to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency Congress would have confirmed her? Not likely. In fact, it is even less likely that McCain would have even attempted to do so, for he would have embarrassed himself.

While the Constitution does not expressly set forth qualifications for the vice presidency, it strongly implies them—- and Palin falls short.


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How Our Constitutional Process for Selecting Vice Presidents Evolved

Our founders gave little thought to the vice presidential selection process. Initially, the candidate who placed second in Electoral College votes became vice president. While this worked for the first three presidential elections, the election of 1800 produced a tie in the Electoral College, between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr (both of the same party), and although Burr was the announced candidate for vice president, when he came up with a tie vote he refused to step aside, forcing the resolution of the presidential contest in the House of Representatives, which proved to be a messy affair.

This clear flaw in the system was corrected by the 12th Amendment, which requires electors to vote separately for president and vice president. It was the 12th Amendment (adopted in 1804), along with the growth of political parties, that encouraged the pairing of candidates in the presidential election. Since then, the vice presidential selection process has evolved from party leaders’ making the selection to the current system, under which the party’s presidential nominee is given the power to select a vice presidential running mate.

The 25th Amendment (adopted in 1967) indirectly codified the power of a candidate for president to select his vice president, for the amendment states that when there is a vacancy in the office of the vice president, “the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.” A vice president, like a president, must be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years of age and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years.

Of course, Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, meets the minimum constitutional requirements. But there also exists a clear subtext within the Constitution, and related statutes, that suggests that there are other, implicit qualifications for the vice president, as well—qualifications as to which Gov. Palin falls short. While this subtext is plainly not formally binding on either a presidential candidate or president, candidates and presidents have traditionally followed the implicit qualifications suggested by the Constitution.

The 25th Amendment Suggests the Primary Qualification for Vice Presidents: Be Equipped to Serve as President Starting, if Necessary, on Day One

I served as minority counsel to the House Judiciary Committee when the committee was working on the 25th Amendment. Accordingly, I recall well the difficult debates and discussions on how vacancies in the vice presidency should be filled. The procedures under discussion ranged from a special national election for the vice president, to a convening of the Electoral College to make the decision, to the selection of a vice president by the Congress.

The process that was actually settled on, as I mentioned earlier, codified the procedure that had evolved over the years, through which the candidate selected his running mate. In line with that procedure, presidents were similarly given the power to fill vacancies in the office of the vice president. But there was a crucial difference: Under the 25th Amendment, presidents can fill that office only with the approval of a majority vote of both the House and Senate. Confirmation thus entails not only ratification by the public, but also scrutiny by political pros who assure Americans that the new vice president is up to the task of taking charge.

Twice, the 25th Amendment has been employed to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency. Richard Nixon appointed Gerald Ford to fill the office when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned (under threat of indictment). Then, after Nixon resigned and Ford succeeded to the presidency, Ford used it to appoint Nelson Rockefeller his vice president.

Both Nixon and Ford explained their decisions, and the criteria at the top of their lists. Nixon wrote in “RN: Memoirs of Richard Nixon” that from “the outset of the search for a new Vice President I had established four criteria for the man I would select: qualification to be President; ideological affinity; loyalty and confirmability” (emphasis added). Nixon’s first choice was his secretary of treasury, John Connally, who was dropped because he would have confirmation problems. (Connally was, in fact, later indicted, but he was acquitted.) New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and California Gov. Ronald Reagan were taken off Nixon’s list because the selection of either one over the other would have split the Republican Party. Finally, also on the list was Ford, the minority leader of the House, on whom Nixon settled.

Ford explained in “A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford” that he had given considerable thought to filling the vice presidency when he became president, and his staff developed a ranking system. “There was one overriding criterion,” he wrote to explain his baseline: “[H]e had to be a man fully qualified to step into my shoes should something happen to me.”

Ford’s top aides eliminated George H.W. Bush, who had served in the House of Representatives and headed the Republican National Committee, “as not yet ready to handle the rough challenges of the Oval Office.” And when Ford settled on one of the wealthiest men in America, Nelson Rockefeller, it resulted in protracted confirmation hearings because of the extent of Rockefeller’s holdings (which might have raised conflicts of interest). But in the end, Rockefeller was confirmed.

Congress Has Also Suggested Vice Presidential Qualifications Indirectly in the Succession Statutes It Has Passed

The 25th Amendment covers succession to the presidency or vice presidency only when one of these offices is vacant—not both. It is silent if there are vacancies in both the office of the president and the office of the vice president. The scenario of concurrent vacancies has, however, been addressed by Congress, most recently in a 1947 law.

The line of succession to the presidency begins with the speaker of the House of Representatives (currently, Nancy Pelosi of California). Next is the president pro tempore of the Senate (currently, Robert Byrd of West Virginia). Finally, if neither of these officers is willing or able to take the post, the succession law turns to the president’s Cabinet members.

The current order of succession is secretary of state (currently, Condoleezza Rice), secretary of the treasury (Henry Paulson), secretary of defense (Robert Gates), attorney general (Michael Mukasey), secretary of the interior (Dirk Kempthorne ), secretary of agriculture (Edward Schafer), secretary of commerce (Carlos Gutierrez, who was born in Cuba and thus is not “natural-born”), secretary of labor (Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan and thus is not “natural-born”), secretary of health and human services (Mike Leavitt), secretary of housing and urban development (Steven Preston), secretary of transportation (Mary Peters), secretary of energy (Samuel Bodman), secretary of education (Margaret Spellings), secretary of veterans affairs (James Peake) and secretary of homeland security (Michael Chertoff). Under the succession statute, the presidency is filled for the remainder of the president’s term.

Although this 1947 succession statute has been appropriately criticized, Congress has been reluctant to change it. The congressional consensus has been that if there is a dual vacancy in the executive branch’s elected officials, it should be temporarily filled by a seasoned elected official from the legislative branch. In practice, while the full line of succession has been stipulated, it is unlikely that we will ever need to go beyond the speaker of the House to fill the vacancy temporarily.

If neither the speaker nor the president pro tempore is up to the task of serving, Congress has been comfortable with the caliber of appointees serving as secretaries of state, treasury or defense to serve as temporary president—for no one believes (absent a dramatic situation such as a massive attack on the seat of government that would call into force continuity-of-government plans) that the succession process would ever proceed beyond the “big three” Cabinet posts.

Palin Does Not Qualify Under the Implicit Constitutional Standards

When Nixon selected Ford to be his vice president, and Ford selected Rockefeller, the government was divided, with the Democrats controlling Congress. Yet a Democratic Congress approved both Ford and Rockefeller to be vice president based on interbranch comity. Surely no one would argue that Sarah Palin is in a league with Ford and Rockefeller when it comes to experience.

Nor does Palin possess anything close to the experience qualifications of the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, or the president pro tempore of the Senate, Robert Byrd. Indeed, I feel confident that Palin could not get confirmed for any of the top presidential succession posts, namely the posts of secretary of state, treasury and defense. Palin’s lack of qualifications have been widely noted. Newspapers from her state have raised questions of her qualifications.

Recently, I was in Alaska, just after Palin’s name was first floated as a possible McCain running mate. Although I am not a Democrat, I gave a keynote speech at the Democrats’ state convention. During my visit, a senior Democratic Party official said to me that he sure hoped McCain would select Palin. Based on his observation of her record in Alaska, he opined: “She’s screwing up Alaska big-time, and she could probably assure defeat for McCain.” His wish may be coming true.

A slightly different version of the above article was originally published on FindLaw

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By Janet reno, September 24, 2008 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
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By An Expat, September 17, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
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Many of us predicted that, surrounded by failure, the Republicans could have no expectation of winning so they would make mischief.  The nomination of Sarah Palin, the least qualified person in the history of this country to be vice president, is making mischief on a grand scale.  She will never be president; the Republicans and the rest of America’s elite are too fond of their money and their own skins to allow it.  But when your party inaugurates the self-destruction of a superpower, any distraction will do.  The cynicism of the Republicans is breathtaking.

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By Bigwave, September 16, 2008 at 12:30 am Link to this comment
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Republicans delight in spreading the myth that Sarah Palin is amply qualified to be Vice President because Harry Truman was “only” a businessman (hat seller).

What they neglect to mention is that Truman was also a military officer in World War I, an elected judge, and served 10 years in the United States Senate before he was chosen by Franklin Roosevelt to be Vice President.

Mrs. Palin does not even approach such national and international qualifications.

Truman came from a small town, but he had a well-informed world view. Palin comes from a small town, but she brings a small mind filled with dangerously extreme beliefs and irrational talking points.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 15, 2008 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

@ thebeerdoctor, September 15 at 8:38 am;

That I understand, and agree.  Thanks.

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By Opening Eyes, September 15, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Palin says “Yes” when she should say “NO”.  She’s willing to take on tasks bigger than she is.  As a new mayor of Wasilla, she had to hire someone to help in the executive decisions.  What else will she say “Yes” to when she should say “NO”?
What will a foreign leader hear her say, when she thinks she’s saying something else?  Witness her talk to her church that the Iraq war is from God, and then doubting she said that in Gibson’s interview.  She’s a MIS-leader.

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By Leefeller, September 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

We should have a homeless person become vice president, then we can have a shopping cart on every corner.

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By jackpine savage, September 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

The question is not “can Sarah Palin be Vice President?”  Sure, pretty much anyone can be Vice President.

The question is, “Should Sarah Palin be Vice President?”

If John McCain were 12 years younger, then i probably wouldn’t care.  If Sarah Palin was a fundamentalist with something else to offer the ticket besides her fundamentalism and her genitalia, then i probably wouldn’t care.

But John McCain is not 60 years old, and he barely knew her before signing her up.  Her nomination is nothing but a political ploy that could well leave us with someone who neither can, nor should be president.

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By truthseeker4all, September 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment


Clearly you are not implying that a two term Governor or Arkansas (pop. 2.8m) is equally credentialed as a 1/2 term Governor of Alaska (.7m)?

I can see that you are confident in her abilities.  I’m not quite sure how you get there, but I for one think she’s in over her head, and doesn’t know it.

I just can’t visualize her sitting across the table from Putin, Castro or Chavez. 

Though he scares me a tad, I can certainly see a Harvard Law grad (magna cum laude) on U.S. Constitutional Law, and also the first African American to be President of the haughty taughty Harvard Law Review sitting across the table from just about anyone.  I’m also comfortable that he won’t behave like our constitution is a nuisance (like P. Bush).  I am equally comfortable with his running mate, who is respected around the globe by many world leaders.

In contrast, I’d say McCain has a mixed record of actual success during his xx years in the senate, and he graduated 894 out of 899 in his Naval Academy class.  He also didn’t follow his flight plan on at least one day (because he’s a maverick ya know) and got shot down.  His running mate tried 5 different colleges in six years and eventually earned a degree in Journalism.

There are example of questionable behaviors for every one of them, so personally, I call that a draw.

Q:  How can someone who only has reluctant support from his own party, and who is not liked at all by the other party (the majority) change Washington?  How can Sarah Palin change the powerful senators in Washington?  Do you believe we need change?

I’m not trying to demean your point of view, and I apologize for the sarcasm above, but I just can’t figure out how you equate these two teams.

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By libertarian, September 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
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You did not read this article before insulting the author. You claim the writer, John Dean,
suggests “being a Governor does not qualify one to be president of the United States..<cut>.”

In fact, he never said this. He names two prominent governors who were considered for the post: “New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and California Gov. Ronald Reagan were taken off Nixon’s list because the selection of either one over the other would have split the Republican Party.” His argument against Governor Palin is that she is simply not fit to be President.

For you to insult one of the finest non-partisan political thinkers of the last 50 years without even making an effort to understand what he is saying is for you to remove yourself from the political discourse.

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By Leefeller, September 15, 2008 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Their is something fishy going on the coast of Texas, a no fly zone and news blackout.  Not only are we lied to we are told to mind our own business. If you see this on the news it will not be because the Feds have tried to keep it out of the news.  Partisan politics with the lives of people is not beyond the scope of the White House.  Their failures are many, their short falls supported by their own house of cards, supported by lies.

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By blnd_nrs, September 15, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Consider this parallel: If the Presidents of the 20th Century had thought the way you think, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry Truman would never have been U.S. Presidents. After all, for 2 of them, their only real political experience was as Governors of their respective states and one of them was only a businessman.

12 of the last 20 presidents of the United States were governors before they were Presidents. 10 State Governors, 1 Provincial / Civil Governor, and one Lt. Governor. Only one of those had Senate experience and would have withstood the scrutiny you spoke of under the 25th Amendment, and that was Richard Nixon. Oh, and if being a Governor does not qualify one to be president of the United States, you should have mentioned that to Bill Clinton before he was elected.

I think you are the one who should be embarrassed for your shoddy research before publishing such a stupid article.

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By samosamo, September 15, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

By rowman, September 12 at 5:05 pm

Wowee, wowee!!! Now you get a taste of your own medicine where the CONSERVATIVE mainstream media has the ability to either give us real information or not give us real information or pass out a plate of grease and load of crap to the people which appears to suit you just fine. And when it comes to splitting hairs about issues with people running for public office whatever the msm does is OK with you and your kind but let the differing opinions try to bring out those hair splitters and you are revolted. Go to fux news, you will like it there.

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By samosamo, September 15, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

By Mizan DuPre, September 15 at 11:42 am

So can a trained chimpanzee. With ole johnny having one foot in the grave and the next in line to replace him, demonstrably an untrained wannabe, well, you may well just get your wish, it is just too bad your and some others desires will be inflicted on others that know better.

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By Mizan DuPre, September 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
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Yeah, right, Harry S Truman wasn’t qualified for much, either. But guess what? The country survived him, and now his wisdom and folksy humor are invoked by both parties. Sarah can do the job as VP.

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By samosamo, September 15, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

I am not getting the message. While there appears to be 70-80% of americans or would that be voters, that believe america is going in the wrong direction which I would deduce to make anything other than a republican canidate for president, a choice for president be it democrat, independent or libertarian, why is it that obama is loosing his lead over McPalin? Is it the race thing where the whites just cannot, no matter how the current administration has destroyed what a hell of a lot of people used to think of as america and the promise of the McPalin ticket to maintain that status, would drive this country deeper or all the way to collapse, there will not be enough guts to make a change in leadership because more and more voters are realizing that they just cannot pull the lever to elect a black man as president no matter how much better he may be than a continuation of the misery and hell that will surely continue unabated.
Or, is it the old men thinking that ‘WOW! gotta have that hot babe dictating law for the U.S.’(voting not by common sense but with their dicks). I know, I know, common sense went out the window along time ago.
Or could it be the conservative controlled media are jacking up the polls to make it appear that the majority believe McPalin is the better choice and with no offsetting poll or information so the ‘disneyheads’ of america will believe it just as repeating a lie often enough, people will believe it which especially true with the disneyheads here in the US.
I know I should not even pay attention to the polls as any and everyone can create their own poll to serve their purpose, but I have to look at this as part of the neocons tricks to sway people to a decision that will be ruinous for the country and what was america. And even then, how much will obama deliver on his promises; remember the 2006 elections?
If this keeps up, I will be forced to vote for….
Here is a link for this:

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By thebeerdoctor, September 15, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

At the risk of sounding even more infinitely obscure, I would like to point out that the idea of capitalism, as expressed by the legalized gambling known as the stock exchanges, relies on the perception, mostly delusional, that money will eventually take care of everything.
Jackpine Savage noted this when he said: “It is much like Bear Sterns, Lehman and Merrill. It relies now on nothing but “good faith and credit” but how long until our AAA rating gets downgraded?”
Exactly. How long until the Triple A delusion of neoliberal market reforms are shown to be what they are: instruments of unnecessary suffering throughout the world. The lack of transparency has provided quite a cover for financial disasters that are only revealed when the participants are ready to throw in the sponge. Hence, Lehman having to use the dreaded ELEVEN word.
So really all that is left, at this point, is the idea. The idea, as George W Bush said, that our capital markets are strong enough to withstand these shocks to the financial system. That a robust economy will emerge after these immediate painful adjustments, that…
Hell, you know the drill.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 15, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

@ thebeerdoctor;
Your answer was obscure to the infinite.

Never mind.

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By jackpine savage, September 15, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment enterprise is glorious and that the markets are the answer to all of life’s problems. ~The Beerdoctor

To some degree, i think that markets can do a good job of handling life’s problems.  The issue for me is in the definition of “market”.  Wall Street isn’t the market i’m talking about; hell, that’s just Vegas with less gold lame.

But an example of real markets at work would be GMO agriculture in Europe.  The law says that any product containing GMO’s must be labeled as such; consequently, the consumer has the information to make a decision.  To date, GMO’s have been mostly rejected by the informed market…and that market is free because there is A. information and B. choice.

Or, as i used to say to Europeans who decried MacDonald’s and its destructive force, stop eating the shit and they will go away.

But it all comes down to fooling most of the people most of the time, particularly by attempting to make middle America feel part of the investor class.  That works until the shithouse catches fire and middle America is the first and hardest hit.

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By jackpine savage, September 15, 2008 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Indeed, beerdoc, it is amazing to watch the unraveling of the system…more so the lack of attention it’s getting.  Even more so the fact that the common answer seems to be the idea that a bandaid will fix up a broken bone just fine.

The only thing that the Fed/Treasury seems to think will fix things is to print more money.  But more money makes more problems if there is no structural fix.  And at a certain point of instability a cascade effect takes over.

But the most fundamental issue is the one that will never be spoken aloud by those in (or aspiring to) power: the United States of America is bankrupt.  It is much like Bear Stearns, Lehman, and Merrill.  It relies now on nothing but “good faith and credit”, but how long until our AAA rating gets downgraded?  Maybe never as those who pull the levers will do everything in their power to keep that from happening…but we don’t know just how powerful they are.

As an aside, Lehman officially filed for bankruptcy this morning and AIG will have to be restructured to avoid the same fate.

As one analyst put it, “How many body blows can investors take before they can’t pull themselves up off the mat anymore?”

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By thebeerdoctor, September 15, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

re: Fahrenheit 451

To clarify, perhaps I was being too concise. By “idea” I was referring to the concept circulated throughout American culture that free enterprise is glorious and that the markets are the answer to all of life’s problems.
This is similar to what Joseph Conrad said about the conquest of the earth; that “what redeems it is the idea only”.
I once had a conversation with the late American novelist William Gaddis, who wrote what many now call a satiric masterpiece on the free enterprise system, JR. Mr. Gaddis put forward the question: “When does free enterprise become monopolized capitalism?”
Of course this runs counter to the doctrine worshiped by the folks in mergers and acquisitions, who see consolidation as a kind of holy grail, in their never ending quest to reshuffle paper for for even greater profit. As we always hear, droned in like an incessant mantra, profit is the essential engine that turns the cosmic business wheel.
But just how much profit? The instant retort is always: “whatever the market will bear”. And there is very little consideration of the concept “obscene profits”. I good example of this was when, Lucent Technologies, during the early IT buildup, had a component that was, at that time essential to optical technology. This component cost $8 to manufacture, which they then charged customers $10,000 to buy. There are many examples of this: Nike shoes that cost less than a dollar to make, using abused workers, selling for over $150 a pair.
This is the idea that is being exposed. A fraudulent doctrine promulgated by politicians with bipartisan zeal.
So it is not very surprising that they also portray as evil, anyone who questions this doctrine.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 15, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

@ thebeerdoctor;

No, the decline of capitalism is one thing, but the decline of the idea, is far far worse.
I’m not sure I understand that statement of yours.  It is apparent to me that the western concept of capitalism is a criminal endeavor and is in need of serious revision.  There are and were many models of a “responsible” form of capitalism throughout our and human history.  It is the rampant and unregulated greed (encouraged by government) that has destroyed our economic system.  According to every intelligent economist I have heard we haven’t yet seen the bottom.  You only need to read what Greenspan himself said today to understand the gravity of our situation.  By the way; Greenspan was largely involved with this current predicament.  Anyway, that’s my nickles worth.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 15, 2008 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

re: Jackpine Savage

Is it not amazing that the financial system is disappearing before our very eyes and no one seems to notice? Merrill Lynch has suddenly become a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America, which is similar to the way Anheuser-Busch now belongs to InBev (to put it in to language I understand eh?).
Lehman Brothers, what can you say? The tropic weight wool suit has been eaten up with moths. Soon there will be nothing but a carcass…
Team Obama’s economic advisers? Let’s see Robert Rubin pull a rabbit out of his investment class hat. No, the decline of capitalism is one thing, but the decline of the idea, is far far worse.
How strange. You wake up and discover that the world you thought you knew, does not exist anymore. And nobody seems to have an adequate explanation to how or why, it all disappeared.

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By jackpine savage, September 15, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment


I read that article; it was pretty funny.  I enjoyed the way that he circled around every issue.

The guy is somewhat right.  As i’ve said before, now is more like the mini-crash of 23-25.  The “solution” to that problem was to print a whole bunch of money…leading to hyperinflation in Germany, defaulting on war reparations, and then the ultimate crises.

But i’m not worried, Gov Palin probably has a good plan to handle these issues…and the opening bell on Wall Street hasn’t even rung yet.  As long as no traders are jumping out of windows it can’t be all that bad, right?

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By Outraged, September 15, 2008 at 12:57 am Link to this comment

Contrast Palin with Gonzales as a VP, check it out.

What’s the message…?  What message is Palin endorsing, and how does it sit with your conscience…?  How does Biden sit with your views or your conscience…or even your hopes…?

Do not cast a vote out of FEAR.  Fear is used as a tactic, DON’T FORGET THAT, don’t oblige the fear mongers.  Vote your conscience using your faculties.

Think twice before you enter the voting booth.  I will admit that NO ONE running, could be more ill-equipped for the position of VP than Palin, since apparently… she knows all about Russia, why it’s just “next door”.  Scary….

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By wildflower, September 14, 2008 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: jackpine savage

Guess you didn’t read the column that McCain’s advisor wrote for today’s Washington Post.  He says to quit doling out that bad economy stuff.  So . . . .

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By jackpine savage, September 14, 2008 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Merrill Lynch has sold itself to Bank of America to avoid failure.  BoA had been in talks with Lehman Brothers but abandoned them.  So Merrill has been saved at the cost of further centralizing the financial system as a whole.  On the other hand, BoA has taken on massive amounts of bad debt (they were also the purchaser of Countrywide) that is now collateralized with the savings accounts of regular Americans…in a frightening market.

Apparently, it is now expected that Lehman Brothers will go bankrupt this week.  AIG may not be far behind.  The shadow banking system is in disarray. 

I don’t like the system one bit, but watching it go into an uncontrolled demolition will not be a celebratory moment. 

I will vote for Obama because it is my only choice, and as kath points out, he’s the only realistic choice that at least suggests competence, curiosity, and flexibility in his thinking.  But Hope doesn’t pay the bills or reconstitute life savings’.

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

A recent article in the Daily Kos, about a phone call supporter of Obama, stated the undecided people like Palin, but the Obama supporter kept on the issues and was more successful than trashing Palin which would have turned them off. 

According to the Kos article, the economy was the most important issue to most of the undecideds. and four more years of the same does not seem inviting to them.

So, I for one will no longer be focused on Palin, for it is a waste of time for those infatuated by her personality will not accept attacks on her as reasons not to support her.  It is my hope she will come out in the wash anyway. 

It is the economy and what war?

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 14, 2008 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

@ Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD;

Yes, there is a disconnect and I don’t understand it.  There is something fundamentally wrong with the thought process of the general population.

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By kath cantarella, September 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To those of you who are thinking that there are two equally bad choices, you are absolutely wrong. Obama is not perfect, but he is light-years ahead of McCain.
You have a choice this election: you can vote for a good strategist and persuasive diplomat, a man who organised the positive reconstruction of his community in Chicago, or a stubborn-to-the-point-of-stupidity war-monger who advocated an unnecessary war (for years, even pre-911)  and is partly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and your nation’s economic destruction, as well as the destruction of it’s international reputation. McCain believes in policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Obama’s understanding of economics is far more profound than pushing economic booms that can only end one way: in crippling recessions. Temperance, balance and equity are the only things that work in the long term. This is something Obama understands, but McCain does not.
Don’t be fooled by the benign appearances of the republican ticket. They are anything but benign: they will bring you down harder than even Bin Laden dreamed of.
I am not a US citizen, i am an objective observer. It seems crystal clear to me, removed as i am from your society. Please consider what i am saying.

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By rage, September 14, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Does anyone believe that if McCain were president and had selected Palin under the 25th Amendment to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency Congress would have confirmed her?”

Please! And, pass up such a golden opportunity to set her loose on the tundra before they pursued her in a chopper to line her up in the crosshairs of the pristine scope on some high powered weapon for her anit-Hillary blasphemy? Okay, maybe that’s just Hillary, but I am certain a majority in Congress and the Senate would support her in that motion.

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By Opening Eyes, September 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

I want to echo truthseeker4all’s comments regarding education.  Here is a quote worthy of serious consideration:
Iranian political professor on Obama’s qualifications
Mohammad-Ali Fardanesh, an Iraniam political science professor is as impressed as many of Obama’s Americans supporters with his qualifications:

“The problem with Mr. Obama is his education. He is a Harvard graduate. The Americans cannot accept him because they consider him an elitist - someone who thinks he is above others, because he is better educated. They don’t understand that his education would enable him to serve them better.”

I’m afraid of picking a president or a vice-president who is much like an average American.  Other world leaders are not average people.  Why should whether someone is “like you” be a criteria in deciding who to vote for? I think we need skillful leaders, who are worldly, and who can help our image in the world.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Note to Back bencher: The Governor of Alaska presides over an entire population that is less in number, than the county in which I reside. It should also be remembered that with such a sparsely populated state, it is quite easy for multi-national Oil to throw those folks an annual stipend, which is what the Governor of Alaska embraces, claiming that she is giving the state back to the people.

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By truthseeker4all, September 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

re: Barbara
When they talk about experience of Palin vs Obama, I wonder if anyone factors in their education.  Palin does not seem to have a systematic education - she jumped from one second-rate college to another.  Obama came through Columbia and Harvard.

Let’s pretend for moment that the V.P. position is filled like any non-elected job.  You’re the recruiter and you’ve just received both Palin’s and Obama’s resumes (see Ms Gunn’s contribution).  Ah gee, who do you really want to interview first?  Graduating at the very bottom of his class (894 out of 899), McCain doesn’t fair much better than Palin, and reminds me of Barbara’s closing comment:

First-rate people hire first-rate people, and second-rate people hire third-rate people. If McCain makes Palin the VP, I can’t imagine who may hold other important posts.

Then of course there’s McCain’s 100 years of experience.  As a hiring manager I always ask myself one question when assessing the value of experience:  Do they really have 10 years of experience, or is it more like one year of experience 10 times.

I have my own concerns about Obama’s proposed solutions and the effects they’ll have on me personally, but there’s no doubt that he is intellectually superior to McCain and Palin, and appears to be more likely to surround himself with brilliant people.

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By Back bencher, September 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
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Actually the case might be made that Sarah is the BEST qualified candidate to be President or VP, since she is the only one of the four who has run anything larger than an election campaign.

I’m NOT a big Palin fan (I just don’t dig politicians) the McCain Palin ticket would get my nod for experience….If that was what I was seeking.

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2008 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

It is possible this election will have nothing to do with issues, for the Palin crowd is blinded by their blindness and issues are not important.  No, I am not going to say we are doomed! What war?

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By kitch, September 14, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Palin selection shows the extremes McCain will go to in order to satisfy his political ambitions.  Bad judgment is one thing.  But this self-serving hunger for power [at any cost] is destroying our Country.

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By yellowbird2525, September 14, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

it really & truly does not matter which of the “two” you claim are the only 2: like one gentleman said: they give you 2 choices & one is just as bad as the other. The 2 parties are united behind the scenes: and they know that they can DECEIVE the people by making them “believe” they have a CHOICE: and a VOICE; when in reality: they do NOT. The Corps run this country: THAT is what you see on TV: what THEY want you to see. NO ONE “likes” Bill Clinton: or Hillary: who is only in office thru false “voting” who let go long time employees & hired new hires working only 39 hours to PREVENT them health care benefits: they SHREDDED all emails b/4 ever reading because it is IMMATERIAL what the people want. The “truth is relative” I first learned of when a top Clinton person took to task a FBI (fumbling bumbling idiots) as the “politicians” refer to them: for telling the TRUTH under oath: he should have LIED to promote what THEY wanted: see “unlimited access” by Allrich who retired in disgust; the “pet name: for the FBI i learned in early 70’s from the grandson of a senator: who had videos taken of him demolishing cars (with “fire cocktails) and other deeds: as well as on tape & recorded as a major drug seller: he was “talked” to by the FBI who SHOWED them to him: and “told” him what an embarrassment it would be to his grandfather. NOW you see perhaps why I do NOT agree with removing the “under God” from the “pledge of alliegance” is any threat to God or the religious freedom in this country. I HAVE asked that the words “freedom, liberty and justice for all” be removed & STRONGLY feel that GOD would be far HAPPIER if the PEOPLE would ever getting around to RESTORING that in our nation;

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 14, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451: 

Either the Wacko Evangelical Right-Wingers don’t see or don’t believe how bad things are or, if they acknowledge it, don’t make the connection between Republicans and the last 8 years of ineptness.

If I’m right, and I hope I’m not, the NYT will have negligble effect on the campaign.  At best, they’ll be accused of lying or distorting the truth.

I am amazed at how the language is being use in this campaign.  In fact, I’m frustrated.

In any event, this is a neocon nation and the NYT is mostly disregarded or disrespected by those neocons who know how to read.  The rest only vote.

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By yellowbird2525, September 14, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

The Gov of the USA is being sued for FAILING to protect & GOVERN causing the global warming of which they have been aware of for at least 59 years or longer by accepting the bribes & doing the will of Corp’s AGAINST the people of the USA & the planet; a group of eskimos LOST their city & homes due to this: NOW, the Gov is running around claiming “national security” and swearing folks to secrecy: “don’t want the PEOPLE to learn of this” as so they are claming all water rights, yada yada yada; and of course the “politicians” at city, county, have having full fat purses & swelled with importance and pride: without realizing it is a common plot carried out repeatedly the a corrupted Gov based on fraud: and that THEY themselves will be paraded & shamed as the “perpetrators” and prosecuted by the same “Gov” who is running the same decades old is not longer scam that has run so effectively in the past. Shooting of the wolves & more by helicopter is reminiscent of the hundreds of millions of buffalo that were gunned down as “sport” by the SAME idiots who would have you believe that is the cow manure (which is mainly water) that is the direct cause of the global warming. And sad to say: there has NEVER been a NEED for the OIL that has polluted the air so badly: other greener options including per the energy group b/4 Congress: around $100 would convert every existing car/truck into using natural gas which is cheaper & greener. They recommended a “rebate” as in the “HDTV” which is the only thing the USA can claim they have done for the PEOPLE: oh, and a $300 “rebate” check: while raising taxes 65% just for Federal; only reason electricity is billed the way it is folks: is to OVERBILL the people; law stating they had to print CHARGES on bill: was under $19: to get electricity to you; finding it: the st of Oregon keep raising it & adding “new” fees: after 8 various answers: because of the PRIVILEDGE of HAVING electricity.

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By wildflower, September 14, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Re: Paolo

I very much agree, Paolo, enough of this emperor business. Speaking of which, did you read the NYT’s article that Truthdig posted on Alaska’s empress, Sarah Faye?  What’s with Palin and these poor polar bears?  I don’t understand it.

. . . Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears.

(Ms. Palin said the scientists had found no ill effects, and she has sued the federal government to block the listing of the bears as endangered.)

An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.

When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.

“Their secrecy is off the charts,” Mr. Steiner said.”

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By bob, September 14, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democrats seem to think it is a bigger problem having an inexperienced vp candidate than a totally inexperienced presidential candidate. I guess they are only hoping that if Obama wins, something happens to him and Biden takes over.

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By wildflower, September 14, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Re: jackpine savage

Actually, Dean does speak up in his books and articles. As for his political party of choice, I understand he considers himself a Republican, but after reading Dean’s book “Worse Than Watergate,” I seriously doubt he voted for George W. Bush. In regard to Roberts, I can only say I’ve never understood him.  Both he and Buchanan talk a lot, but in the end they seldom stand up for the bottom line principle. I guess they are what a psychologist would call enablers.

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By Frank, September 14, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

I wonder if the mainstream press is going to pick up on the story in Anchorage, Alaska. The largest political protest in the history of the state just happened, to protest against Sarah Palin.

Over 1,400 Alaskan anti-Palin demonstrators (not including 90 counter-demonstrators) showed up.  1,400 people in a city of 260,000 is pretty impressive. Anchorage is more than 1/3 of the state population.  That would be like a rally of 200,000 people in California.

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By Leefeller, September 14, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

For Crash McCain and Mistress Congeniality, blatant bold lies are now in order, just add them to the rest.

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By david, September 14, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Palin lacks the qualifications to be a VP, then DEFINITELY Obama lacks the qualifications to be president.  I am an independent that has voted for both parties and has loyalty to NEITHER, but Obama is a joke.  If he would have run in 20 years with more experience, i would consider him.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 14, 2008 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

This is the dems race to lose; they’ve just been handed a gift; please use it well.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 14, 2008 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

The NYT"s has probably delivered the Coup de grâce to Palin’s VP run.  The story is gaining traction with the MSM…whoa, who’d have thought?  B’bye Sarah, please go quickly.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 14, 2008 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

I noticed in John Dean’s assessment of the Vice President, he did not even mention the role of the Vice President as casting a deciding vote, as president of the Senate, in the event of a Senate tie.
Sometimes referred to as a “half power” the Vice President can move passage of legislation forward, by voting yes, after 50% in the Senate have voted no. John Adams exercised this vice presidential power 29 times. And from 1789 through 1915, it was used 179 times.
Al Gore as Vice President used this half power twice. One was to force ethanol into the gasoline supply; an ecological honor badge of rather dubious distinction. The other was to push forward Clinton’s economic plan of 1993.

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By Ms Gunn, September 13, 2008 at 11:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, Juris Doctor (J.D) magna *** laude
Elected to President of Harvard Law Review.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, B.A. Political Science and International Relations
U.S. SENATE (2004 – present)
U.S. Senator
State Legislator
Senior Lecturer, Constitutional Law (1996-2004)
Lecturer, Constitutional Law (1992 – 1996)
SYDLEY & AUSTIN, (Chicago Law firm)
Summer Associate
Director of PROJECT VOTE
PUBLIC ALLIES CHICAGO, founding member, executive director
WOOD FUND OF CHICAGO – board of directors
CHICAGO ANNENBERG CHALLENGE (1995 -2002) founding president , (1995 -1999) chairman of board of directors)
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO, BS. Communications, Journalism and Political Science
NORTH IDAHO COLLEGE (not completed)
HAWAII PACIFIC COLLEGE Business Administration (not completed)
U.S. STATE OF ALASKA (2006 –present)
KTUU-TV (1988-?)
Sports TV Presenter
Winner of “Miss Congeniality “ Award

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By bachu, September 13, 2008 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being the president of US is not as difficult as it sounds. Yes you need a lot of money and connections to get elected but after that it is easy going. There are a heck of a lot of ambitious people who will do what it takes to run the government. And as for questions of war and peace the generals at the Pentagon will as usual call the shots. There is in fact no need for over site for DHS, the best thing is to give them a blank check as has been successfully demonstrated by this administration.

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By SteveL, September 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

“Does anyone believe that if John McCain were president and had selected Gov. Sarah Palin under the 25th Amendment to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency Congress would have confirmed her? Not likely.”  Which points out with little change to the constitution we could have the House of Representatives elected every two years, take an up or down vote on the president, and if the vote is down, vote in the House on a new president.  We could have our own parliamentary system with the House responsible for what they put in the White House.  Three disputed elections should have gone to the House of Representatives only one did and gave us Thomas Jefferson.  The other two occasions gave us an end to reconstruction and the constitutional melt down we have now.

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By Leefeller, September 13, 2008 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment


You stated:

“I admit to being much impressed by Ms. Palin, she seems forthright, principled and a stand up woman…”

What she seems to you is interesting, maybe outspoken and straightforward, but the honest part does not fit.

Not sure what you mean by principled, she has money?  She was the president of the PTA?

Now I did not know about her being a stand up woman, do you mean a street walker?  Not nice to start rumors about someone who looks at the world as Disneyland.

Such the comic Pete.

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By jackpine savage, September 13, 2008 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment


Thank you.  Dean writes and thinks well.  While i find him mostly nonpartisan, you can - at times - feel the anger he has for his own party seeping through.

There is nothing wrong with being conservative; in fact, our nation was established with the idea of both sides of the coin keeping each other in balance.  Hell, it wasn’t even that long ago that liberals and conservatives in D.C. got along and accomplished things (good or bad is up for debate).

What bothers me is that too few real conservatives like Dean, Roberts, and - to some extent - Buchanen speak up against the Republican Party.  I can name a handful of serious conservatives that i know who are mad as hell.  Unfortunately, they can’t bring themselves to vote against the GOP.

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By felicity, September 13, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Experience?  Qualifications?  How about who is this person.  As governor, Palin ignored leaders in the legislature and turned every policy disagreement…into a personal vendetta.

When an Alaskan talk-show host repeated what Palin had said about a ‘former’ friend, calling her “a bitch and a cancer” Palin laughed, tittered, tee-heed. So happens that the woman referred to had had breast cancer in ‘97 and a radical mastectomy and Palin knew it.

Vengeance, vindictivness and cruelty are pronounced personality traits in Bush and Cheney. We’d better give serious thought to electing a person with the same traits.

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By maxxie, September 13, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Dean wrote, “Osborne reported that Gingrich was dominating, opposed to equality, desirous of personal power, and amoral; that he can be a bully, hedonistic, exploitive, manipulative, a cheater, prejudiced toward women, and mean-spirited; that he uses religion for political purposes; and that he wants others to submit to his authority and is aggressive on behalf of authority.”

And that’s just the good stuff on Gingrich. With a resume like that, I just know he’ll be POTUS someday.
How did his mother ever do it?  You mothers out there, Gawd Bless Ya!

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By Paolo, September 13, 2008 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

Hi Wildflower,

Your point about the 25th Amendment is interesting. A VP who is the President’s rival rather than best buddy probably would be more likely to misuse the 25th to declare the President incompetent and take temporary command. This would take an unusually power-mad politician, but Lord knows we have plenty of those.

On the other hand, one of the ideas of the Founders was to have rival politicians battling each other, rather than turning their collective power against the people. Having the VP and Prez from different parties would seem to ensure this.

I believe it was Jefferson who opposed having a single president at all; he wanted to have a Roman-style Triumvirate, with three presidents rotating in six-month shifts. I like that idea better, too.

Bottom line: we need to get away from this idea of the President as Emperor.

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By wildflower, September 13, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: jackpine savage

Speaking of John Dean, he has written a number of very interesting articles on his Findlaw site that I believe every voter should read. Just to name a few:

How Republicans Have Proven Themselves to Be Bad For a Good Economy

Congressman Kucinich’s Impeachment Resolution, the Parallel to Nixon

The Dwindling Republican Business Base: It’s the Economy, Stupid

The Impact of Authoritarian Conservatism On American Government

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By jackpine savage, September 13, 2008 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment


You are, apparently, unaware that John Dean was Nixon’s White House Counsel.  He was convicted of multiple felonies in the Watergate coverup.

Now, i have no idea how he votes (nor is it any of my business), but everything i’ve read by him has a strong conservative streak in it. 

Take note, i said “conservative”...not “Republican”.  There is a big difference.  Unless you believe that “conservative” means against abortion and gay marriage.

You may not have noticed that some of the fiercest critics of the Bush administration are men with conservative pedigrees far more distinguished than G.W. Bush…or the many of his inner-circle who used to be Communists (Trotskyites) when they were in college (Pearle, Wolfowitz, etc).

While the Bush administration has failed this country as a whole, it has failed conservatism most of all.  Unless, of course, you truly believe that the a guy who might as well be Woodrow Wilson grafted on to LBJ is actually conservative.  If you do, that might explain the real problem with the Republican Party.

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By scy, September 13, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

She falls short of basic intellect much less VP

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By BigScoop, September 13, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

If this is true, it is indeed scandalous. There is a video with a young man named Kevin who claims to be the real father of Bristol Palin. He says that Sarah and her husband have forced him away from Bristol and his baby. He says the Palin’s are lying about Levi being the real father of the baby. Kevin is an African American and Levi is white. Why would the Palin’s claim moral superiority and do this to the baby? Keeping the real father out because of what???...I think we know why and it’s not very nice.

Here is the video:

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By Gorki, September 13, 2008 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real focus of the Republican campaign now is to make the choice be on personality, not issues or positions.  Obama and Biden are presented as “aloof” and “eggheads” while McCain & Palin are shown as “mavericks” and “one of us”.... it’s the “who do you want to have a beer with?” all over again.  We don’t need to elect someone to backslap and guzzle brews with- we’ve had that for almost 8 years and it’s been great….. “W” told great jokes then left us with the bar tab.
I’d like someone a hellava lot smarter than me or you in the Whitehouse, not someone with a 1970’s view of the world and an ironhanded way of dealing with it.  It’s an amazingly fast changing world and the Republicans offer a team with less than sterling intellectual credentials to be able to deal with it or to find the right people to work things based on ability, not party loyalty.

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By Pete, September 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I admit to being much impressed by Ms. Palin, she seems forthright, principled and a stand up woman…I hardly think her Daughter’s issues are anywhere near as scandalous as many other politician’s behaviour…Bill Clinton cheated on his wife with an intern and he still gets treated like a celebrity, why Hillary never divorced him speaks ill of her, showing her current marriage is a mere sham and she stays wil Bill only for political reasons alone…the list of other scandal plagued politicians is long and notorious…

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By Leefeller, September 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Comparing Palin to Obama, is just what the Repugs want us to do.  How about vice president to vice prisident, the Wolf Killer Barbi show needs to stop.  Hate filled spewing by ignorant Machiavellian trolls has become perverse and successful in removing, hiding and avoiding at any cost the real issues from the election. And I need to give it up.

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By Glendon Wayne, September 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please Put Lipstick on the Pig

Say just who are these pigs of empire?
Do they have a plan?
Is there a ‘project for a new american century’?
Will it be a unipolar hyper military powered one?
Who gets to call the shots?

Who benefits from forever war?  ...people
Who’s calling for more war?.....people

Perhaps it’s time to put lipstick on the pig,... people
Perhaps it time to pillory and pie the pigs of empire,... people

Let’s put lipstick on the pig of empire…people

The ‘global cop’ is the global pig
who hype the homeland hyper stick
to the dreaded color coded red
the red of eternal blight, empire might
& ‘collateral dead’ the market led insight
of the corporate fools who think blowback
is just a hyper profit opportunity
while they mortgage our children’s generation
with the supreme international crime
say folks…..
It’s all on you and your children’s dime.

So please put lipstick on the pig…people.

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By wildflower, September 13, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Re: Paolo

Good points, Paolo. Although I can understand a “tie” could definitely be chaotic, in many ways it does makes a lot more sense to have maintained the original system, especially when you consider the situations that you presented. The original method also assures the position is held by an individual who has earned greater voter approval to an extent.

I do see one potential problem though. Can you envision this one in the hands of some of the self-serving politicians we see today?

“It is he or she, acting with a majority of the Cabinet, who can declare the president incapable of carrying out the duties of the office, and then take charge—until the action is either ratified or rejected by a majority of the Congress. So far in our history, however, this has never occurred.”

But I guess since the current system already allows for the potential chaotic scenario of a poorly vetted, relatively unknown Alaskan Governor of the same party to take this one and run with it without blinking an eye, the risks involved cancel one another. In fact, when you consider the issues we face with the “McCain’s VP of choice, indeed, the original is the lesser of two evils.

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By KYJurisDoctor, September 13, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am MORE AFRAID of someone who lies with reckless abandon, than I am of anyone else, period.

And the new John McCain is not the same one I voted for in 2000. That John McCain would not have resorted to telling lies.

To say that I am disappointed, is an understatement.

What has happened to him, I do not know, but whatever it is, It is sickening.

But in the end (of this political process), one thing will be perfectly clear:

Americans would have gotten the kind of leader they want or deserve, whoever that person happens to be.


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By observer, September 13, 2008 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is an example about the disinformation about Palin found on Utube

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By Barbara, September 13, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When they talk about experience of Palin vs Obama, I wonder if anyone factors in their education.  Palin does not seem to have a systematic education - she jumped from one second-rate college to another.  Obama came through Columbia and Harvard.  Our top universities is the only thing that still keeps our economy afloat and differentiates us from say, Brazil or another large, resource-rich country. 

Considering the complexity of tasks in the new global world, I think it is important that we have an educated person at the helm. 

It is hard for me to see why either Palin and McCain are equipped to make decisions - 3 am or 3 pm.  Economy or foreign policy - these are harder issues than campaigning about values.  It is hard to imagine Palin understanding a difference between a solar panel and wind turbine, or a trade relationship between China and South America. 

I understand that for most people in the US education is less important than, say, religion or being a “leader of trouble-makers”.  However, we had a religious C-student running the country for the past 8 years. Even if one believes that he has been well-meaning, and not simply working to enrich big oil, he has not been able to make right decisions.  None of Bush’s appointees was successful in their jobs.  And when they were fired, the White House defended them vigorously.  Bremer, Rumsfield, Gonsalez, Brown…  awful incompetence.  Rice is still there, but what did she achieve except for increasing the tension in the world?  This may be good for the Pentagon brass and people associated with the military, but for the rest of us?

First-rate people hire first-rate people, and second-rate people hire third-rate people. If McCain makes Palin the VP, I can’t imagine who may hold other important posts. We desperately need some first-rate people in Washington. “Country first”.  I might sound selfish, but I don’t want to be poor, when my teacher’ pension is eaten by inflation.

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By btousant, September 13, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am amazed how Mr. Dean and other Democrats want to dissect Mrs. Palin’s credentials but will not dissect Mr. Obama’s. If you were to compare apples to apples how would Ms. Palin stack up against Mr. Obama? His inexperience is more important to me as he is the head man in charge. I would suggest if Democrats are going to interpret Mrs. Palin’s credentials for VP that you interpret our Democratic candidate Mr. Obama for the highest office in the land “President.” You heard me right “I am a Democrat,” and a woman; but fair is fair and your personal bias and insecurities of women should not keep you from being fair in your assessments. It states “A vice president, like a president, must be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years of age and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years” I understand there is some question as to Mr. Obama’s being a “natural-born citizen”. You say you are not a “Democrat” but you spoke at the convention; come on Mr. Dean; do you expect me to believe you? I believe that you have an ingrained fear of women and feel they are not capable of leading this country. I disagree with you; women have always been leaders and always will be. Mrs. Palin can handle the job of President if the time occurs just as well as our inexperienced candidate for president, my beloved Mr. Obama

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 13, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Fahrenheit 451

Thanks for the link.  I’m finding it harder and harder not to generalize about right-wing wakkos.

Back in the ‘50’s liberals hated Goldwater but now they’d probably give anything to have him back.

One more thing, we all have probably way more than we either want or admit to having of our parents inside us—even though we like the good parts—but hearing the venom come out of Michael Reagan’s mouth gives me even more reason to, shall I say, dislike Ronald Reagan.  Michael didn’t get the way he is completley on his own.  It wasn’t a stretch for me to close my eyes and imagine I was listening to Ronnie, but without the B-acting ability.

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By Dean Booth, September 13, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who Wants to Be a Vice President? with sound on.

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By omop, September 13, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Here’s an article on Miss Sarah from the pages of a Canadian media outlet…. truth digging or partisan attacks

Read the link and decide.

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By Leefeller, September 13, 2008 at 8:24 am Link to this comment


Checked out the transcript, it explains very well why we have what we have.  I could not finish reading it, very depressing.  Hate is a great tool of the right, only it is much more profound than I had even believed possible.

Festering of the right must be a sickness and for people in politics to sanction divisiveness in such a way is even more so.

We are doomed, Palin’s sudden appearance on the scene now makes sense, in order to gather the hate vote.

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By Anthony, September 13, 2008 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
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I must say that I have respect for ALL of the candidates. When the “smoke screens” of all the irrelevant issues clear(the unqualified and beautiful hockey mom, the so-called covert Muslim, the ancient presidential candidate, and Fightin Biden), I will keep it simple.  I am sick and tired of ANY cowboys in the White House (that includes Mavericks or anyone else who has the “gun slinger” attitude). I also want a president who is academically sound.  With that in mind, we know that the American people have two choices in this election.

Obama / Biden =
Occidental College - two years.
Columbia University - B.A. political science with a specialization in international relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude
University of Delaware - B.A. in history and B.A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


McCain / Palin
United States Naval Academy - class rank 894 of 899
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in journalism

Which do you actually want running your country? I don’t want an “average or C- student” to represent me and my country.  We are bigger and better than that.  Have you analyzed the state of America lately? That is the result of an “average or C- student” being elected as president for the past eight years. Change should be to improve, not to get worse.

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By roadkill, September 13, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Among the many issues not to vote for McCain, the mere notion that Palin could be in the White House should be enough to scare anyone blue this election. 

I do not mean this as a partisan attack; but do you really think that she is qualified and if she isn’t, then why is she on the ticket?  Why?

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By Duane, September 13, 2008 at 6:26 am Link to this comment
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At least McCain had the guts to pick someone that helped him. Obama showed very poor judgement by not picking Hilary.

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By Richard Scott, September 13, 2008 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
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Palin is not qualified to be Vice President of the United States for the following reasons:

Palin does not qualify because she could be eliminated by the political qualifications of congress that are designed to eliminate the opposition. Palin does not qualify because she does not possess the politcal ambitions, the poltical vindictiveness, the political means to manipulate and deceive, nor does she possess the ideological motivations to compromise the constitution. She’s not qualified because she is not from the political elite and could never be accepted by the political elite. She is not qualified because she does not meet the subjective qualifications set by journalists. She is not qualified because she could upset the apple cart in the U.S. congress. Palin is not qualified because if she has the “hubris” to think she is qualified then other “little” people will believe they too can aspire to a level of public service from which they could upset even more apple carts. Palin is not qualified because there are people who simply don’t want her to be qualified.

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By Dan, September 13, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
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I guess I just don’t get it. I’m not so sure that she wouldn’t make it through the scrutiny of the house for confirmation. That would fall under speculative theory, and not truth. Why in the world can we not admire a person who has made great accomplishments with her life. What’s worse is we then pin her accomplishments on the “ignorance of the people” to make a case against her? People make mistakes, unless they are doing nothing, and we will find plenty of mistakes in Palins past. We will then, of course, crucify her for those mistakes and make another case for her being unfit to lead this nation as she is, after all, only a heart beat away from the presidency.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 13, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

BrianNYC You can’t.  I already have the job for life, like a SCOTUS appointee, and I have friends in high places who watch my back! 

P.S., I loved your comment!

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By sns, September 13, 2008 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
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Dear John W. Dean: excellent article. One of the better one’s here at TD. Thank you so very much.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 13, 2008 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Being one whom doesn’t really understand the “Palin” bullshit (phenomena); I saw a Moyers show about the press and how they’re “covering” the candidates.  It’s worth a view; link below, enjoy.

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By oldhip, September 13, 2008 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

If you are explaining - and not the media - to the masses, then you have already lost.  And that is our situation in America today.

Because the media, (the corporately controlled MSM,) has proven itself to be openly complicit with this corporatist administration, there is little chance that the masses will absorb the truth, or comprehend the political realities of their vote.  It is the only explanation for ‘the myth matters more than the truth’ in America today, which is “our” reality now.

As long as you allow them to controls who votes, and you allow their machines to count the vote, you have already lost.  And that is also our situation in America today.</td></tr></table></span><span style=“font-family:times new roman;font-size:130%;”>
If you allow them their open sneering crimes without stopping them, without punishing them, without sustained revolt - You have already lost.  And that is our situation in America today.

To paraphrase…  It’s the unfathomable and ongoing “Allowing,” stupid.

“Can’t Say We Weren’t Warned”

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By wildflower, September 12, 2008 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

I agree with you on McCain.  Although I’ve never shared his views on Iraq, I did respect him and never felt he was a part of the big Bush/Cheney lie.  My views of McCain, however, changed dramatically after his “Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran” Beach Boys act.  I felt it was downright creepy.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 12, 2008 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment
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McCain and Palin act extroverted, over-positive and the future open-ended for a reason… that’s the bulk of the nation’s personality traits. But is that what we need now? Seems a distinct plan, a vision to clean up the mess Bush left us in holds the key to a more prosperous future. Head-in-the-sand cheerleading was Bush. Who lays out a definable plan with a prosperous end?

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By Outraged, September 12, 2008 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Re: rowman

Your comment: “This site is nothing more than a Democrat Party mouthpiece… “

>>  Possibly you missed the site reference at the bottom of the homepage.  That’s cool, anyone could make that mistake.  Anyway it pretty much alludes to its premise by averring:

“A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman” plus..yadda…yadda…etc.

>> It could happen to anyone, so I understand your frustration.  All you need to do is scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and it’s all right there.

Now, I suppose we could debate whether it is “progressive” or “not progressive”, or whether it is “progressive enough” .... etc.  But, do we really NEED to go there?  I can.  But is this REALLY necessary…?

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By BrianNYC, September 12, 2008 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
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I used to have respect for John McCain, but if Sarah Palin’s “credentials” are enough to run for for VP, I’m running for Master of the Universe.

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By wildflower, September 12, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

Dean’s statement that “candidates and presidents have traditionally followed the implicit qualifications suggested by the Constitution” sort of says it all. 

Like the Bush administration, McCain has betrayed the spirit of the Constitution, which will only lead us toward greater instability and even possible destruction. 

One wonders what happened to the McCain who once said “I would much rather lose a campaign than a war,” and who is the cynical stranger now telling us, I would much rather lose my country than a campaign.

[McCain Quote] -

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By Big E, September 12, 2008 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

from that famous American:

“I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training.

I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time.
I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.” 

John S. McCain

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By Kashilinus, September 12, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
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The sorry truth is that too many votes are cast based on emotion, not thoughtfulness and reason. Republican strategists need only to keep Palin on a short leash, and they will surely do this. No campaigning except in the company of McCain. No interviews after Hannity (a predictable selection), and prayers of all the evangelists that she gets through the debate relatively unscathed. From then on, its freewheeling right into the White House. I can hear it now. “Good God, what have we done?”

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By Paolo, September 12, 2008 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

John Dean is usually right, but I have one small point of disagreement over the Twelfth Amendment. Actually, it would have been better for the country to have kept the original system in which the second-place electoral vote getter becomes the Vice President.

In this system, the Vice President serves as an important counterweight against the President, making it much less likely that he will become a tyrant.

Let’s demonstrate this with a few brief examples. Suppose, in 2000, George W. Bush became president, and Al Gore became Vice President (and, as one of his duties, President of the Senate). Would Bush have been able to so easily lead the country by the nose into war, if his most important rival had the “bully pulpit” of the Vice Presidency?

If John Kerry had become Vice President in 2004, would Bush have gotten off so easily with illegal spying, torturing, and renditioning?

What if, in this election, John McCain were to win, but Barack Obama became Vice President? Would he not be able to act as an effective check on the madman’s power? Would McCain be able to start new wars in Iran and Georgia, if he had to overcome vigorous opposition in the Senate, led by the VP serving in his role as President of the Senate?

No—the Founders had it right the first time around. The President and Vice-President should be rivals, not co-tyrants like Bush and Cheney.

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By samosamo, September 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Everyone is going to attack McPalin into the white house if this keeps up. More on real issues should the direction, all Mcpalin is, is personality bashing. Hopefully the debate(I assume 1 debate each for the president and v.p.) will give what a lot of people that don’t know what they may need to know IF the debates are centered on the real issues.

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By yeh, September 12, 2008 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
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First of all, I donated to Obama. The rest is this: Stop attacking Palin. She is no Mrs. Clinton. The reason that Obama and his supporters now suddenly become more desperate is that they realize by catering to Obama’s personal ego and not picking Mrs. Clinton as VP candidate, they are suddenly vulnerable to McCain’s selection of Palin. Obama thinks that he is great that he does not need the most effective running mate to help him, rather, chose the 2nd best choice. This speaks volume about him to me. Many most effective president in US history chose running mates they did not like. Regan, Kennedy… If Obama is not so desperate to win, why should we keep donating and supporting him. If he looses, he should be remembered as the one who help Republicans to rule another 4-8 years by being “small minded”.

Downtown LA

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By troublesum, September 12, 2008 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

The republicans are winning the game of keeping attention off the last eight years.  They knew they had to do this to win.  Love her or hate her, Palin is irresistible for both parties.

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By JimBob, September 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Well, actually, rowman, that’s not true.  But I suspect your mind’s already made up, since you possess a mind that equates someone telling the truth with an “attack.”  Great word, “attack.”  And easily misused by the weak of mind.

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By rowman, September 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Wow. Almost every article on the front page is an attack on either Palin or McCain.

Truth digging or Partisan attacks?

This site is nothing more than a Democrat Party mouthpiece…

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