Monday, September 15, 2008



SEPTEMBER 14, 2008

So now we learn that Sarah Palin did not go to visit troops in Iraq, as the McCain-Palin campaign originally claimed, nor did she visit Ireland, as a spokesman claimed – she went through Ireland only for a refueling stop. Good reporting by the Boston Globe got to the truth of the matter. The McCain- Palin campaign was forced to concede the facts, but only after being pressed.

There’s a pattern here, two patterns actually. The first is that the McCain campaign is willing to peddle all sorts of untrue and half-true claims. The second is that the McCain campaign is clearly so uneasy about Palin’s patent lack of engagement with foreign policy that it has felt the need to greatly exaggerate what small bits of engagement she has had. (When ABC News' Charlie Gibson asked her how Alaska's proximity to Russia gave her insight into that country, Palin replied: “They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” That’s reassuring, isn’t it? The Gibson interview also revealed the thinness Palin's knowledge of domestic policy, particularly on the budget.)

There is also a question here for the media. When Hillary Clinton claimed last March that she had to evade sniper fire during a landing in Bosnia in 1996, the media came down on her hard. It was a huge story. But at least Clinton actually visited Bosnia. Will the media focus the same attention on the false and exaggerated claims about Palin?

Journalists gave Al Gore endless grief about supposed exaggerations and even suggested he said things (about inventing the Internet) that he actually didn't say. Aren't Palin's claims about opposing earmarks, when she actually tried to get them, and about saying "no thanks" to the bridge to nowhere, when she initially supported it, part of a larger narrative of deception?

The media made a big deal about whether John Kerry, when he served in Vietnam, did or didn't cross the border with Cambodia. Why doesn't Palin's relationship to the Kuwait-Iraq border deserve at least as much attention?

Since we're talking about travel here, let's stay focused on the Clinton comparison: Is there one standard for Hillary Clinton -- a tough one -- and another, permissive standard for Sarah Palin? I’ll be curious about this and so, I suspect, will Hillary Clinton’s supporters.

A Note on Gibson: In an earlier post, I suggested that Gibson should stay away from questions about Palin’s family life and focus on policy and her public life. I salute him for doing exactly that. And to conservatives who are going after Gibson, I’d point out that (1.) he did not press her at all hard either on Troopergate or on the controversy over her relationship with the Wasilla public library when she was mayor; (2.) he was still far tougher on Barack Obama in last April’s debate than he was on Palin; and (3.) he treated Palin as a serious person who presumably had something to say beyond index card briefings about policy. That’s the opposite of sexism. (Click here for ABC’s lengthy excerpts from the interview to judge for yourself.)

I continue to believe that Palin’s lack of engagement with most national and virtually all international issues until the moment of her selection will eventually become a bigger issue. So will McCain’s extremely limited personal knowledge of Palin before he picked her.


We just have to do a better job of exposing this female> How about a hole in the woman's bathroom. You guys are sick. She is a governor elected by the people of Alaska. Whats all this about travel? How much does a two week visit to Europe tell one about Europeans. I lived there for four years and I do not know their political thinking. That is why Presidents have advisers.How many visited China before Nixon

Why isn't the main stream media doing a detailed investigation and reporting the widely distributed story that supposed "super" mom and pro life supporter Sara Plain at 8 months into her pregnancy risked the life and safety of her unborn baby who had been already diagnosed with down syndrome with a flight to Texas and that she placed the