From the minute Sarah Palin sat down with Charlie Gibson and then again with Katie Couric, it was obvious to all but the most ardent Kool-Aid drinkers that Sarah Palin was woefully unqualified to be the Vice President of the United States. Ironically, it was around the time of the Palin pick that John McCain settled on "Country First" as his theme, after several previous attempts at an identity. It is obvious now that he meant "country" in the sense of rural or country-western, because by picking the unqualified Palin - he certainly wasn't putting his country first.
Turns out, McCain staffers and the talking heads at Fox News knew all along that Palin was wholly unqualified for the job, but they all sucked it up to put their party first. It must have been a bitter pill for many because now that the election is over, they can't wait to throw Palin under the Straight Talk Express. They've started releasing their own versions of "Lipstick Confessions:
Highlights from the latest Lipstick Confessions include:
Palin did not know which countries were part of NAFTA.
It had to be explained to her that Africa was a continent, not a country
She was angry at staffers over the Gibson and Couric interviews, yet she previously refused staff requests to prepare for the interviews
Just to repeat -- It had to be explained to her that Africa was a continent, not a country. One wonders whether the McCain camp even Googled her before selecting her for VP. There appears to have been no vetting process whatsoever.
Newsweek teased yesterday with a few Lipstick Confessions of their own. Among them:
Palin went "rogue" by attacking Obama for his loose "association" with Ayers, before the McCain camp had a plan of attack
McCain advisors showed up at Palin's hotel room to meet with her and Todd during the RNC and she entered the room in nothing but two towels (one wrapped around her wet hair).
Look for more stories of implosion over the coming weeks as the GOP begins to eat it's own. Will Palin fire back with some McStories of her own? Stay tuned for more Lipstick Confessions....
(Lively discussion on Palin's cluelessness is also underway in ksh01's recommended diary.)
TLB Joe met with Senator Reid today. Reid's statement said:
"Today Senator Lieberman and I had the first of what I expect to be several conversations. No decisions have been made. While I understand that Senator Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus. I expect there to be additional discussions in the days to come, and Senator Lieberman and I will speak to our caucus in two weeks to discuss further steps."
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Bill Berkowitz
The Washington, D.C.-based think tank, which celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this year, sensed an Obama victory and got a head start on trolling for money.
These days, the missiles launched by the Heritage Foundation are coming in the form of pre- and now post-election fundraising appeals. After years of exclusively playing offense, one of the biggest and most important Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tanks is gearing up for a massive defensive stand.
Five days before the election, the Heritage Foundation sent out a fundraising letter that appeared to indicate that the think tank recognized that an Obama victory was in the offing. To understand just how much the Heritage Foundation felt that they were in for an ideological mugging of historic proportions, check out the e-mail sent out on Thursday, October 30 by the Foundation's Ed Fuellner.
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Barack Obama ran a masterful campaign and is clearly one of the finest politicians we will ever see. That said, Obama's win is also a function of the emerged Democratic majority. to wit, demography is political destiny. Matt Yglesias consistently made an important point - a vote is a vote - whether it is from a white man or an African American woman or a Latino. After 2004, the DLC types harped on the need to do better among white voters, particularly "values voters." This election really shattered the myth that Democrats needed Bubbas to win. The Media of course still does not fully get it:
Obama won men, which no Democrat had managed since Bill Clinton. . . . He won 54% of Catholics, 66% of Latinos, 68% of new voters a multicultural, multigenerational movement that shatters the old political ice pack. . . . The Republican caucus is smaller, more male and whiter at a time when the electorate is heading the other way.
But the electorate has been "heading the other way" since 1992. The electorate has reached the point that Democrats can win the Presidency and the Congress with just 40% of the white vote. And that number will keep dropping. More . . .
It is all the rage to bash Karl Rove these days, to pretend he did not recognize these trends. That ignores the reality that Karl Rove spent decades trying to woo Latinos into the GOP camp. Immigration reform was Rove's attempt to thread the needle of between the extreme elements of the GOP coalition and the Latino electorate. The extreme elements blocked him. Now the GOP has no way out. Democrats will win Latino voters by 2-1 going forward. Couple that with increased African American participation and Democratic lean and the Republican Party has no where to go. It is a regional party (Southern and isolated Republican states like Utah) precisely because that is the only region where Republicans can run up the margins among white voters necessary for them to win.
Demography is political destiny. Latino share of the vote increased this year and will continue to do so. More importantly, Latinos are now solidly in the Democratic camp and that will accelerate as well (younger Latinos are more Dem than older Latinos). African American participation increased and it too became more Democratic. Other minority participation also increased and became more Democratic. This too will also continue.
Since 1964, the Republicans have pursued an "Angry Whites" Southern strategy. And it was exceptionally successful. It culminated during the Reagan years and lived on to Newt Gingrich. George Bush needed to appeal to Latinos as well to squeak by to victory in 2004. Last night, Chuck Todd said that the Democratic ceiling still is in the 53% range. I think that is true - for now. But Todd argued that the Republican ceiling is higher. He is wrong. At this point, it is hard to imagine Republicans getting more than 50% of the vote. To wit, if everything breaks perfectly for the Republicans, they can barely win the Presidency. And as for regaining the Congress, that is impossible for the Republicans now. There simply are not enough seats where they are competitive to do so. Consider the Senate. Right now there are 3 Senate seats that will almost certainly become Democratic when the current Republican holder retire - Specter in Pennsylvania and Snow and Collins in Maine. The only Dem seats that are comparable are Landrieu in Louisiana, Pryor and Lincoln in Arkansas, Tester and Baucus in Montana, Conrad in North Dakota and Tim Johnson in South Dakota. Landrieu just won a close race, Pryor ran unopposed, Johnson and Baucus ran and won against token opposition. Tester is not up again until 2012.
In short, the Emerging Democratic Majority is now a reality. It has emerged.
By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only
As a top adviser in Senator John McCain?s now-imploded campaign tells the story, it was bad enough that Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska unwittingly scheduled, and then took, a prank telephone call from a Canadian comedian posing as the president of France. Far worse, the adviser said, she failed to inform her ticketmate about her rogue diplomacy....And this is why all of our collective mockery of Palin made a difference. We all, collectively, set the McCain campaign up for a civil war that surely hurt their chances at victory.
But behind those episodes may be a greater subtext: anger within the McCain camp that Ms. Palin harbored political ambitions beyond 2008.
As late as Tuesday night, a McCain adviser said, Ms. Palin was pushing to deliver her own speech just before Mr. McCain?s concession speech, even though vice-presidential nominees do not traditionally speak on election night. But Ms. Palin met up with Mr. McCain with text in hand. She was told no by Mark Salter, one of Mr. McCain?s closest advisers, and Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain?s top strategist.
On Wednesday, two top McCain campaign advisers said that the clothing purchases for Ms. Palin and her family were a particular source of outrage for them. As they portrayed it, Ms. Palin had been advised by Nicolle Wallace, a senior McCain aide, that she should buy three new suits for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in September and three additional suits for the fall campaign. The budget for the clothes was anticipated to be from $20,000 to $25,000, the officials said....
One of the last straws for the McCain advisers came just days before the election when news broke that Ms. Palin had taken a call made by Marc-Antoine Audette. Mr. Audette and his fellow comedian Sebastien Trudel are notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state.
Ms. Palin appeared to believe that she was talking to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, even though the prankster had a flamboyant French accent and spoke to her in a more personal way than would be protocol in such a call. At one point, he told Ms. Palin that she would make a good president some day. ?Maybe in eight years,? she replied.
President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will hold a meeting with the Transition Economic Advisory Board tomorrow, Friday, November 7, 2008. There will be a pooled photo spray for the meeting. The press conference will be held at 1:30pm central at the Hilton Chicago following the meeting.
The members of the Transition Economic Advisory Board are below and all will participate in tomorrow?s meeting.
- David Bonior (Member House of Representatives 1977-2003)Location:
- Warren Buffett (Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)-will participate via speakerphone
- Roel Campos (former SEC Commissioner)
- William Daley (Chairman of the Midwest, JP Morgan Chase; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Commerce, 1997-2000)
- William Donaldson (Former Chairman of the SEC 2003-2005)
- Roger Ferguson (President and CEO, TIAA-CREF and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve)
- Jennifer Granholm (Governor, State of Michigan)
- Anne Mulcahy (Chairman and CEO, Xerox)
- Richard Parsons (Chairman of the Board, Time Warner)
- Penny Pritzker (CEO, Classic Residence by Hyatt)
- Robert Reich (University of California, Berkeley; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Labor, 1993-1997)
- Robert Rubin (Chairman and Director of the Executive Committee, Citigroup; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Treasury, 1995-1999)
- Eric Schmidt (Chairman and CEO, Google)
- Lawrence Summers (Harvard University; Managing Director, D.E. Shaw; Former Secretary, U.S. Dept of Treasury, 1999-2001)
- Laura Tyson (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; Former Chairman, National Economic Council, 1995-1996; Former Chairman, President?s Council of Economic Advisors, 1993-1995)
- Antonio Villaraigosa (Mayor, City of Los Angeles)
- Paul Volcker (Former Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve 1979-1987)
Last night, Fox News’s Carl Cameron reported that “there was great concern in the McCain campaign that Sarah Palin lacked a degree of knowledgability [sic] necessary to be a running mate, vice president, and a heartbeat away from the Presidency.” For example, aides said Palin did not know that Africa was a continent, rather than a country. According to ABC News, Palin dismissed the internal criticism and refused to comment on the specific allegations:
PALIN: That’s kind of a small, evidently bitter type of person who would anonymously charge something foolish like that, that I perhaps didn’t know an answer to a question. So until I know who is talking about it, I won’t have a comment on false allegations.
The explosive claims — including that Palin could not name the signatories to NAFTA and that she refused to prepare before her Katie Couric interviews — are the latest signs of infighting and finger-pointing among McCain campaign staffers, not to mention evidence that Palin was difficult to control. For example, Newsweek and the New York Times are reporting that Palin spent far more than the originally-reported $150,000 on clothing, including spending on shoes, jewelry, and even luggage.
While Palin’s astounding misunderstanding of the basic nature of Africa has not yet been confirmed, it certainly would not deviate from her demonstrated lack of fundamental knowledge about the world:
– Palin suggested the U.S. shares a border with Afghanistan, calling it “our neighboring country.”
– Palin suggested the U.S. was in a war with Iran.
The fact that Palin thought, for example, that South Africa was just a region of the larger country of Africa makes McCain’s claim to have “turned to her for advice” on foreign policy “many times” that much more implausible — or frightening.
Carl Cameron does one of those Now-it-can-be-told stories Fox likes to do. In this episode we learn that:
None of this really came out during the Presidential campaign because of course it was told "off the record". There are a few ways to look at this, the most interesting being is why they felt the need to spill the beans the day after the election. Are the knives really out on Sarah Palin? Sure seems so. Time will tell.
Smith: Now that the election is over, Carl, tell us more about those reports of infighting between Palin and McCain staffers.
Cameron: I wish I could have told you more at the time but all of it was put off the record until after the election. There was great concern in the McCain campaign that Sarah Palin lack the degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president, and a heartbeat away from the presidency. We?re told by folks that she didn?t know what countries that were in NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, that being the Canada, the US, and Mexico. We?re told she didn?t understand that Africa was a continent rather than a country just in itself ... a whole host of questions that caused serious problems about her knowledgeability. She got very angry at staff, thought that she was mishandled.....was particularly angry about the way the Katie Couric interview went. She didn?t accept preparation for that interview when the aides say that that was part of the problem. And that there were times that she was hard to control emotionally there's talk of temper tantrums at bad news clippings......
Notwithstanding that there is to be an avalanche that will continue for many days now we?re told of story upon story of the foibles of Sarah Palin.
Just in case you missed this yesterday, Newsweek dishes on campaign secrets, reporting that hackers broke into both campaigns' computer systems in mid-summer and that VP candidate Sarah Palin actually spent more than $150,000 of campaign funds on clothing. Meanwhile uptight DC insiders were titillated -- I mean, scandalized -- by the thought of Sarah Palin greeting McCain aides Mark Salter and Steve Schmidt in a towel. (Newsweek)
Despite a trial that lasted more than a month, dredged up details of drug abuse, massage chairs, and marital dynamics, and ended in a guilty verdict, one in three Alaska voters said in exit polls that the corruption of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was not a factor in their decision. Loyalty to "Uncle Ted"--and perhaps to his mastery of the pork barrel system--may have trumped fear of felons, giving the 84 year-old a narrow lead against his Democratic challenger, Mark Begich. (AP)
High-profile Democrats and Republicans -- including minority leader Mitch McConnell -- have said Stevens can expect expulsion from the Senate if he returns. But now, with Stevens' re-election looking likely, McConnell has hedged, suggesting that the Senate will wait to take action until the case finishes working its way through the courts. (ProPublica)
Donald Howard, who administered federal oil and natural gas leases, yesterday pleaded guilty to accepting gifts from a contractor and lying about them. Howard, the third employee of the Minerals Management Service to be charged this year, had expensed more than $2,000 of travel to an oil contracter. (Washington Post)
Old habits die hard. In the latest revelation of corporate excess, executives at Fannie Mae spent more than $6,000 on a golf trip several weeks after the government seized the mortgage giant to save it from financial collapse. (AP)
Mortgage companies, like Lehman Brothers, played a far larger role in fueling the sub-prime mortgage crisis than they have acknowledged, reports the Village Voice, which documents the company's sketchy past and its connection to subsidiary Aurora Loan Services, which has aggressively foreclosed on homes. In other news, Lehman announced that it will "terminate" its imperious CEO Dick Fuld without a bonus by the end of the year. (Village Voice/NYTimes)
A California detention center held a U.S. citizen for two months, refusing to believe his birth certificate was real, before a U.S. judge freed the man, Jose Ledesma, this week. (AP)
A British court yesterday found a top interpreter for British forces in Afghanistan guilty of spying for Iran. Determination on two other charges will resume today. (BBC)
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