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Posts For: August 29, 2008

“Challenge the Status Quo”

“And serve the common good.”  This should be their theme.  This is an impressive woman.  I was a skeptic about this pick when I started hearing about it a few months ago. She has won me over. I think she’s a real leader.  Her description of taking on entrenched interests in Alaska, coupled with a wonder personal story, is compelling.  And she is as comfortable behind a microphone as anyone I’ve seen. She is amazing.

“And serve the common good.”  This should be their theme.  This is an impressive woman.  I was a skeptic about this pick when I started hearing about it a few months ago. She has won me over. I think she’s a real leader.  Her description of taking on entrenched interests in Alaska, coupled with a wonder personal story, is compelling.  And she is as comfortable behind a microphone as anyone I’ve seen. She is amazing.

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Who knew?

“A ship in harbor is safe but that’s not why it was built.” She is a marvelous speaker.

“A ship in harbor is safe but that’s not why it was built.” She is a marvelous speaker.

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Wow

A steelworker husband, a son in the military, the kids . . . there are reasons why she was chosen. She is a fluid speaker and tells her tale of growing up “working with her hands.” Now she is talking tax cuts and putting people first. So far, a home run start. And standing up to “the good ole boy network.”

A steelworker husband, a son in the military, the kids . . . there are reasons why she was chosen. She is a fluid speaker and tells her tale of growing up “working with her hands.” Now she is talking tax cuts and putting people first. So far, a home run start. And standing up to “the good ole boy network.”

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Very Good Move

Her description of her husband and family members makes Joe Biden’s description pale.  This is huge with the family values crowd. 

Her description of her husband and family members makes Joe Biden’s description pale.  This is huge with the family values crowd. 

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She Just Did Something

She brought genuine excitement to the Republican ticket. They needed this.

She brought genuine excitement to the Republican ticket. They needed this.

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The Case

“She doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down.” Hmm: sisterhood of the pansuits are you listening?

“She doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down.” Hmm: sisterhood of the pansuits are you listening?

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Fighting Spirit and Deep Compassion

He’s making an awfully good case for her.  Her anti-corruption credentials surely help. And she’s a union member and married to a union member.  No cheers from the crowd, but it’s a good issue.  She’ll help among blue-collar Dems uncomfortable with their party’s pick.

He’s making an awfully good case for her.  Her anti-corruption credentials surely help. And she’s a union member and married to a union member.  No cheers from the crowd, but it’s a good issue.  She’ll help among blue-collar Dems uncomfortable with their party’s pick.

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Hillary Looms Large

McCain is channeling the “you need a government that fights for you.” In Ohio. And his pick? Without Hillary, Sarah Palin would be Alaska today.

McCain is channeling the “you need a government that fights for you.” In Ohio. And his pick? Without Hillary, Sarah Palin would be Alaska today.

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Energy

Finally McCain has a rally that is energized. Gone is the ugly green backdrop.  They’re shouting.  He looks almost like a rock star–not quite Mick Jagger, but not likea 72 year old guy.

Finally McCain has a rally that is energized. Gone is the ugly green backdrop.  They’re shouting.  He looks almost like a rock star–not quite Mick Jagger, but not likea 72 year old guy.

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Is This Impressive. . .

or disturbing?

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin sent a letter to lawmakers the same day she gave birth proposing to let the AGIA process go full-term before they go into the special session she has called.

Not sure, but it probably signals the last of Barack Obama’s Hawaii vacations.

or disturbing?

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin sent a letter to lawmakers the same day she gave birth proposing to let the AGIA process go full-term before they go into the special session she has called.

Not sure, but it probably signals the last of Barack Obama’s Hawaii vacations.

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Bittergate II

This cringe-inducing retort from Obama campaign:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

There are a lot of towns of 9000 and it seems awfully mean spirited to bring that up as a dig. She of course is a governor now but to bring up her small town roots as a slam seems, well, stupid.

This cringe-inducing retort from Obama campaign:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

There are a lot of towns of 9000 and it seems awfully mean spirited to bring that up as a dig. She of course is a governor now but to bring up her small town roots as a slam seems, well, stupid.

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No VP like This Before

Sarah Palin was taken moose hunting at 3 a.m. as a child, we are told. She is also a beauty pageant contestant.

Sarah Palin was taken moose hunting at 3 a.m. as a child, we are told. She is also a beauty pageant contestant.

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A Masterpiece of Timing

What a tight, professional rollout from the McCain campaign. Message to Obama: This is how you do a VP announcement, rookie. McCain put the media in such a state of agog-ness that Obama’s speech last night has been knocked out of the headlines and will quickly feel like old news.

What a tight, professional rollout from the McCain campaign. Message to Obama: This is how you do a VP announcement, rookie. McCain put the media in such a state of agog-ness that Obama’s speech last night has been knocked out of the headlines and will quickly feel like old news.

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Yes, They Do

Conservatives love the Sarah Palin pick. The McCain team release emphasizes the executive experience and the outside Washington angle:

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us — Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent. In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars. As the head of Alaska’s National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops. Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.

If the Obama team wants to play on the reform/change/outsider side of the political field McCain is more than happy to do so,

Conservatives love the Sarah Palin pick. The McCain team release emphasizes the executive experience and the outside Washington angle:

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us — Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent. In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars. As the head of Alaska’s National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops. Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.

If the Obama team wants to play on the reform/change/outsider side of the political field McCain is more than happy to do so,

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That’s The Point, Isn’t It?

Howard Wolfson on FOX asks, “In the next few days a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters will be asking why she wasn’t the VP.” Wolfosn says “John McCain really has shaken up the race with this pick… It is looking like a good pick.” And of course Wolfson talks about the magic number: 18 million.

Howard Wolfson on FOX asks, “In the next few days a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters will be asking why she wasn’t the VP.” Wolfosn says “John McCain really has shaken up the race with this pick… It is looking like a good pick.” And of course Wolfson talks about the magic number: 18 million.

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A Military Mom

This is noteworthy:

Palin is generally supportive of America’s presence in Iraq, her 18-year-old son Track Palin is in the Army and is slotted to go to Iraq in September. Palin has also visited members of the Alaska National Guard in Kuwait.

So, with McCain and Palin both having kids who serve, why do I suspect calls for the Bush daughters to enlist will not stop?

This is noteworthy:

Palin is generally supportive of America’s presence in Iraq, her 18-year-old son Track Palin is in the Army and is slotted to go to Iraq in September. Palin has also visited members of the Alaska National Guard in Kuwait.

So, with McCain and Palin both having kids who serve, why do I suspect calls for the Bush daughters to enlist will not stop?

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Good Lord

Sarah Palin’s husband is an Eskimo.

Sarah Palin’s husband is an Eskimo.

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Obama’s Baffling Foreign Policy

Herewith some thoughts (from someone who is admittedly a foreign policy adviser to the McCain campaign) on the foreign policy portion of Obama’s acceptance speech. . . .

John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.

I’ve been puzzling over what this means ever since I heard it last night. I still can’t figure it out. Is Obama accusing John McCain of a lack of personal courage and promising that he, Barack Obama, who was a “community organizer” in Chicago during the same stretch of his life when McCain was an inmate of the Hanoi Hilton, that he will personally hunt down the arch-terrorist while McCain won’t? Or is it merely an allusion to his old promise to bomb Pakistan? McCain has criticized Obama for needlessly complicating relations with Pakistan by threatening to attack its territory without its government’s permission, but does anyone doubt that President McCain would order a bombing strike if he had good information about where bin Laden was hiding?

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

John McCain has said he would bring most troops home from Iraq by 2012, the end of his first term in office-or sooner if they can be pulled out without endangering their hard-won gains. That is not a “stubborn refusal to end a misguided war”; it is a stubborn refusal to accept defeat as the price of ending the war-which Obama clearly has no problem doing.

I was thrown for a loop by the inclusion of the “$79 billion surplus” in this sentence. What point is he trying to make? That we should not spend any of our resources to fight in Iraq because its government has an estimated $79 billion in oil revenue it hasn’t spent yet? The government of Kuwait had a lot of oil riches too but that didn’t stop us from fighting to liberate it in 1991–a war that few would now criticize, even those (like Joe Biden) who voted against it at the time. The mention of Iraq’s oil riches would be relevant if the argument were about whether we should extend economic aid to Iraq. But no one is arguing for that. The fact that Iraq has a lot of oil money does not mean that it can defend itself against Iran, Al Qaeda, and other aggressors.

We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

A vacuous phrase designed, as far as I can tell, to attack McCain for being old without coming out and saying so. What “threats of the future” does Obama recognize that McCain doesn’t? Usually when Democrats talk like this, they are accusing Republicans of “not getting it” on AIDS, global warming, and other “soft power” issues. But that’s a ludicrous charge to make against McCain, who has broken with Republican orthodoxy on global warming. And what “ideas of the past” is McCain grasping at that Obama rejects? The idea that you should win wars, rather than simply give up the fight? The idea that you should confront aggressors from a position of strength rather than try to appease them from a position of weakness?

You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq.

There is considerable evidence that the shellacking that Al Qaeda has taken in Iraq is affecting its global standing. Muslims are not rushing to join its cause the way they once were because Al Qaeda has been revealed to be particularly cruel (targeting mostly fellow Muslims) and, just as important, ineffectual–it has been defeated by the Great Satan. That won’t spell an end to Al Qaeda everywhere, but it’s far better than the alternative–a defeat in Iraq, of the kind Obama tried to legislate when he called for all U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by early 2008, would have emboldened Al Qaeda as much as their perceived defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan did.

You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington.

True, but you also don’t deter Iran by talking weak in Washington, as Obama has done.

You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.

Another puzzling statement. Is he accusing John McCain of straining “our oldest alliances”? Arguably that was a fair charge to make against George W. Bush during his first term, but his secretary of state wasn’t John McCain. Moreover, Obama seems not to have noticed that we actually have much better relations with old allies such as Italy, France, and Germany today because all of them have fairly pro-American leaders. That hasn’t made it any easier to “stand up for Georgia,” of course, because those states are still unwilling to confront Russia as forthrightly as McCain advocates. It remains a mystery how Obama will “stand up for Georgia” when his initial reaction to the Russian invasion was to call for “restraint” on both sides-akin, as many have pointed out, to suggesting that both the Czechs and the Nazis needed to show restraint when Hitler’s armies rolled into Czechoslovakia.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe.

As Matthew Continetti points out at weeklystandard.com, “It’s been more than 40 years since John F. Kennedy was president. Since then, three other Democrats have held the office: Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Why didn’t Obama mention them? Is this a tacit acknowledgment that the foreign policies of those presidents were, to put it charitably, a mixed bag?”

It is a particularly odd refrain to hear coming from Obama whose foreign policy has much more in common with George McGovern’s “come home, America” than it does with John F. Kennedy and his pledge to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Nowadays that kind of talk would be denounced by Democrats as “neocon warmongering.”

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Once again, Obama continues his refusal to acclaim “victory” as the goal in our current wars. Will Americans really be satisfied with “ending” or “finishing” a war (or, more accurately, ending our involvement in the war, which might actually lead to a wider conflict) if the cost of doing so is a terrible defeat?

I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

Talk about unwarranted “tough talk” of the kind Obama has just denounced. How exactly will his promise of unconditional talks with dictators “prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression”?

But other than that, of course, it was a great speech.

Herewith some thoughts (from someone who is admittedly a foreign policy adviser to the McCain campaign) on the foreign policy portion of Obama’s acceptance speech. . . .

John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.

I’ve been puzzling over what this means ever since I heard it last night. I still can’t figure it out. Is Obama accusing John McCain of a lack of personal courage and promising that he, Barack Obama, who was a “community organizer” in Chicago during the same stretch of his life when McCain was an inmate of the Hanoi Hilton, that he will personally hunt down the arch-terrorist while McCain won’t? Or is it merely an allusion to his old promise to bomb Pakistan? McCain has criticized Obama for needlessly complicating relations with Pakistan by threatening to attack its territory without its government’s permission, but does anyone doubt that President McCain would order a bombing strike if he had good information about where bin Laden was hiding?

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

John McCain has said he would bring most troops home from Iraq by 2012, the end of his first term in office-or sooner if they can be pulled out without endangering their hard-won gains. That is not a “stubborn refusal to end a misguided war”; it is a stubborn refusal to accept defeat as the price of ending the war-which Obama clearly has no problem doing.

I was thrown for a loop by the inclusion of the “$79 billion surplus” in this sentence. What point is he trying to make? That we should not spend any of our resources to fight in Iraq because its government has an estimated $79 billion in oil revenue it hasn’t spent yet? The government of Kuwait had a lot of oil riches too but that didn’t stop us from fighting to liberate it in 1991–a war that few would now criticize, even those (like Joe Biden) who voted against it at the time. The mention of Iraq’s oil riches would be relevant if the argument were about whether we should extend economic aid to Iraq. But no one is arguing for that. The fact that Iraq has a lot of oil money does not mean that it can defend itself against Iran, Al Qaeda, and other aggressors.

We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

A vacuous phrase designed, as far as I can tell, to attack McCain for being old without coming out and saying so. What “threats of the future” does Obama recognize that McCain doesn’t? Usually when Democrats talk like this, they are accusing Republicans of “not getting it” on AIDS, global warming, and other “soft power” issues. But that’s a ludicrous charge to make against McCain, who has broken with Republican orthodoxy on global warming. And what “ideas of the past” is McCain grasping at that Obama rejects? The idea that you should win wars, rather than simply give up the fight? The idea that you should confront aggressors from a position of strength rather than try to appease them from a position of weakness?

You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq.

There is considerable evidence that the shellacking that Al Qaeda has taken in Iraq is affecting its global standing. Muslims are not rushing to join its cause the way they once were because Al Qaeda has been revealed to be particularly cruel (targeting mostly fellow Muslims) and, just as important, ineffectual–it has been defeated by the Great Satan. That won’t spell an end to Al Qaeda everywhere, but it’s far better than the alternative–a defeat in Iraq, of the kind Obama tried to legislate when he called for all U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by early 2008, would have emboldened Al Qaeda as much as their perceived defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan did.

You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington.

True, but you also don’t deter Iran by talking weak in Washington, as Obama has done.

You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.

Another puzzling statement. Is he accusing John McCain of straining “our oldest alliances”? Arguably that was a fair charge to make against George W. Bush during his first term, but his secretary of state wasn’t John McCain. Moreover, Obama seems not to have noticed that we actually have much better relations with old allies such as Italy, France, and Germany today because all of them have fairly pro-American leaders. That hasn’t made it any easier to “stand up for Georgia,” of course, because those states are still unwilling to confront Russia as forthrightly as McCain advocates. It remains a mystery how Obama will “stand up for Georgia” when his initial reaction to the Russian invasion was to call for “restraint” on both sides-akin, as many have pointed out, to suggesting that both the Czechs and the Nazis needed to show restraint when Hitler’s armies rolled into Czechoslovakia.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe.

As Matthew Continetti points out at weeklystandard.com, “It’s been more than 40 years since John F. Kennedy was president. Since then, three other Democrats have held the office: Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Why didn’t Obama mention them? Is this a tacit acknowledgment that the foreign policies of those presidents were, to put it charitably, a mixed bag?”

It is a particularly odd refrain to hear coming from Obama whose foreign policy has much more in common with George McGovern’s “come home, America” than it does with John F. Kennedy and his pledge to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Nowadays that kind of talk would be denounced by Democrats as “neocon warmongering.”

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Once again, Obama continues his refusal to acclaim “victory” as the goal in our current wars. Will Americans really be satisfied with “ending” or “finishing” a war (or, more accurately, ending our involvement in the war, which might actually lead to a wider conflict) if the cost of doing so is a terrible defeat?

I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

Talk about unwarranted “tough talk” of the kind Obama has just denounced. How exactly will his promise of unconditional talks with dictators “prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression”?

But other than that, of course, it was a great speech.

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A Palin YouTube

Here she is, for five minutes. It’s a very friendly interview, so keep that in mind, but it displays a) her kooky Alaskan accent, which is an advantage, because it makes her seem slightly odd and therefore interesting, and b) her comfort on camera and her ability to talk policy: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKwZNwdowa4&eurl=http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/[/youtube]

Here she is, for five minutes. It’s a very friendly interview, so keep that in mind, but it displays a) her kooky Alaskan accent, which is an advantage, because it makes her seem slightly odd and therefore interesting, and b) her comfort on camera and her ability to talk policy: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKwZNwdowa4&eurl=http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/[/youtube]

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Star Power

If McCain was hoping that his VP pick would wipe Obama off the lede in the media, he achieved that. The NYT, WP, and all the cable shows have stopped talking about Obama’s stemwinder and are talking about nothing but Gov. Palin.  I’m still a little nervous about this pick. It has a Hail Mary quality about it. I hope she’s spent the last month cramming on foreign policy, memorizing countries and leaders, and won’t be caught by a “gotcha” question by a hostile press.

If McCain was hoping that his VP pick would wipe Obama off the lede in the media, he achieved that. The NYT, WP, and all the cable shows have stopped talking about Obama’s stemwinder and are talking about nothing but Gov. Palin.  I’m still a little nervous about this pick. It has a Hail Mary quality about it. I hope she’s spent the last month cramming on foreign policy, memorizing countries and leaders, and won’t be caught by a “gotcha” question by a hostile press.

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