GOP Abandoned their brand, says DeMint

November 16, 2008

It’s official.  The Republican Party has declared open season on scapegoats.  John McCain is next in line (they’ve already skewered Sarah Palin).

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint says the Party lost because they abandoned their “brand” of governing:  “freedom, religious-based values and limited government.”  He places the blame on Bush, Ted Stevens and John McCain.

Bush we understand.  He was led into an unwinnable war by Rumsfeld and Cheney, and isn’t quite smart enough to figure out how to pay for no-bid war support contracts, relief for natural disasters, the Clinton mortgage meltdown, and still have enough to give enough rebates to jump-start the economy.

And Ted Stevens, the icon of old-guard corruption.  Caught taking bribes, convicted in federal court, he still denies he did anything wrong, and wants to go back to work siphoning federal funds to the only state in the Union that gives tax payments instead of collecting income tax, because there’s so much oil revenue.

But John McCain?  After winning the nomination away from 2 very religious contenders (Huckabee and Romney), he courted the religious right by picking Sarah Palin.  He did everything right except ignore the Washington Party elite.  It wasn’t his fault he lost.  The party bosses just weren’t ready for a woman who wouldn’t keep her mouth shut and stay in the background.

Unfortunately, it looks like DeMint just has a grudge agains McCain:

“McCain, who is proponent of campaign finance reform that weakened party organizations and basically put George Soros in the driver’s seat,” DeMint said. “His proposal for amnesty for illegals. His support of global warming, cap-and-trade programs that will put another burden on our economy. And of course, his embrace of the bailout right before the election was probably the nail in our coffin this last election. And he has been an opponent of drilling in ANWR, at a time when energy is so important. It really didn’t fit the label, but he was our package.”

McCain wasn’t the problem, just the package.  I’m sure that package is going to be attacked again before it’s over.  Fortunately, John McCain can take it.

Sources include:  CNN

Palin was Sabotaged

November 15, 2008

Right before the election, I wondered about what the Republican party was doing to itself.

I said that the party didn’t really want to be reformed.  It was as if they’d rather lose to a radical than win with a maverick.  Not McCain.  He knew how to take orders.  No the other Maverick.  Palin.

The party bosses made sure Palin failed.

According to a posting today from Women On the Web, Palin was shocked when she found out the price the handlers were paying to neuter her message.  She told Fox News’s Greta van Susteren that she had nothing to do with selecting the clothes and the hiring the hairdressers.

Former CBS News political analyst and McCain senior strategist, Nicolle Wallace, thought Palin’s style was too “outsider” and needed help.  (“Coming from Alaska, she needed a new look. She was a small-town girl who needed to look like a big-city girl.” )  A member of the media elite herself, she was out of touch with what made Palin special.  It was the message, not the packaging, that mattered to voters.

As for the clothes, they were provided by the stylists, who normally work for CBS  News.  They told her they were staging, and never told her the cost.  According to Palin, “they picked out some really nice clothes to borrow for a while there. But that was not anything that the Palin family would have chosen for ourselves. .. [I] did not order the clothes. Did not ask for the clothes. I would have been happy to wear my own clothes from day one.”

So you see, the Party lost on purpose.

How the Republican Party Machine Lost Their Way

October 27, 2008

First it was rampant spending for the war without cutting back at home.  Then the party was afraid of the best candidates – Huckabee and Romney, falling back on giving McCain his turn.  Romney supporters didn’t fully trust McCain and Huckabee supporters considered boycotting the election.  All because the party in power didn’t really want to be reformed.

The selection Palin as VP surprised a lot of people.  There are some poor choices she’s made in the past that should have been caught before her name was announced, and gave fodder for the Democrat operatives.  But it was the kind of un-managed selection that energized the base and pulled them back into the election.

Until the party bosses got ahold of her.

$150,000 for new clothes!  She would have been more genuine in the same three outfits over and over.  Show off her working class cred instead of trying to act like the Washington elite she railed against so often.

She’s got a great message, and is a great debater on issues, but the party has coached her into saying nothing.  No press conferences.  No town halls.  Few independent campaign appearances (don’t want to out-draw the headliner!)

The party advisers are also telling McCain to stump tired speeches over and over.  He was unimpressive in the debate and looks like an angry old guy on the campaign trail, so much that “thoughtful Obama” almost doesn’t have to campaign any more.  He expects to get to the top job on momentum.

And if Obama wins, the Republican party bosses can go back to their comfortable back rooms and pat each other on the back.  The “maverick reformer” will be returned to the back bench for the remainder of his Senate term and then retire to obscurity.  Palin they assume is damaged enough they’ll never have to hear from her again.

The seeds of a 2010 mid-term election upset are already planted.  Look for fertilizer next spring.

McCain on Education

September 13, 2008

Senator Obama this week claimed that McCain doesn’t have a plan for reforming education, even claiming that he hadn’t done anything on the issue for nearly 30 years.  “Not one real proposal or law or initiative. Nothing,” Obama said.  It’s a lie.

Read the rest of this entry »

Women who qualify as leaders

August 31, 2008

A blogger who calls himself “idot” wrote a post suggesting there were more qualified candidates McCain could have chosen instead of Sarah Palin.  Each choice he suggested has advanced degrees (usually in law) and has long histories of government service.

In rebuttal, I submitted my own list:

  • After graduating college, she married, and went with her husband to work on a Kibbutz, where leadership qualities were recognized. Returning to the US, the President of the US asked her to oversee Jewish affairs, and she was a signatory to the document that founded the Nation of Israel. She came out of retirement when elected to be Israel’s Prime Minister in 1969, serving until 1974. (Gold Meir)
  • After graduating from college in 1975, she took a job with Wilson Sporting Goods, but after 22 years in the workforce, she quit to take care of her family. Once her children were in high school and college she accepted a job at Sara Lee in 2004 and then the top post in February 2005, becoming the CEO of the largest corporation with a woman at the helm. “It was another case of sending in a woman to clean up a corporate mess.”
    (Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sara Lee)
  • She graduated from Stanford University in 1955, with a degree in history.  A few years later she was appointed to California’s women’s parole board. After serving there, she was elected a mayor for 2 terms. After failing her bid for Governor, she was elected to the US Senate. (Diane Feinstein)
  • After graduating from college, she married and followed her husband to California. She became a Democratic party volunteer and was eventually elected to Congress in a special election. (Nancy Pelosi)
  • After graduating college, she became active in family issues. As a leader in the PTA, her leadership skills were recognized and she was elected to the city council (2 terms) and then beat the incumbent mayor for her third term in local government, being recognized as a leading mayor in the state. As a reformist Governor, she returned the economic surplus to the state’s citizens and quickly gained a reputation as a competent administrator and a foe of corruption (Sarah Palin)

Idiot asks what he calls “the burning question” …”If something happened to John McCain, does she have the experience, today, to be President?”  It’s clear to me that education alone isn’t the qualifying characteristic, but rather demosntrated ability to lead effectvely.  Sarah Palin meets that qualification.

Sarah Palin’s Priorities

August 31, 2008

For all the leftist mud wondering about her qualifications, why is no one quoting official sources from the Government of Alaska? Opinion pieces don’t match hard facts.

I read last January’s Alaskan State of the State speech. It says she values good government, and has cut off wasteful and needless construction spending (including the famous “Bridget to Nowhere”) and an 11-mile road that was improperly awarded.

It shows a commitment to improve education, health care, public safety and defense, energy innovation and shoring up public infrastructure, even while lowering taxes.

To meet her education goals, she set forth programs to shift the discussion from “how much will it cost?” to “what will it do?” She called for “accountability and achievement … focusing on foundational skills needed in the “real-world” workplace and in college.”

Improvements in health care outcomes include “training more healthcare providers to meet huge workforce demands,” and changing state Children’s Services programs “to better protect Alaska’s vulnerable children.” And she improved elder care.

In a state the size of Alaska, infrastructure is a huge problem. Lots of long roads, plus maintenance of energy pipelines. She’s taken steps to end cronyism to get the best value on needed improvements.

As an energy producing state, she’s had increasing revenues, but rather than simply spend them on pet projects, she returned some of that money to the citizens, and invest in renewable energy.

She improved banking rules to provide protection to Alaska’s citizens.

Rather than simply “warehousing” criminals, she instituted rehabilitation and work requirements “for the 95 percent of inmates who will re-enter society.”

And she’s taken steps to strengthen the Alaska National Guard, both as a Homeland Defense initiative and to shore up their role in the nation’s war on terror.

As one article reported, “If it seems as though Palin has spent much of her first 10 days in office dealing with leftover crises from the Murkowski administration, it’s because she has.”

She hasn’t been in office long, but she has done more in 2 years than most do in a career.

McCain – Palin: Dream Team Off and Running

August 30, 2008

McCain announced his running mate today and picked one of my favorites, Governor Sarah Palin from Alaska. (see also here)

Compared to the ObamaFest of this week, the announcement ceremony was one for the record books.

  1. No press leaks until just before the event – and then enough buzz to guarantee a wide audience
  2. A big announcement right after Obama’s convention – bigfooting Democratic coverage
  3. A tribute by Gov Palin to the women before her – Ms ferraro and Sen Clinton – for “putting a thousand cracks in the glass ceiling, and then declaring her own goal of finally breaking that ceiling. (An obvious attempt to provide an alternative to disaffected Hillary supporters, whose candidate was never considered to be O’s VP.)
  4. Started on time, ended on time, and had appropriate breaks in the middle for broadcast station ID (source: Rush Limbaugh).

Look at what she brings to the ticket:

  • Young (JFK was 44 when he was elected, too), mother of 5, against abortion (kept her downs syndrome baby),
  • She’s been in politics since 92, when she won the first of two terms on City Council, and then became mayor in 99, defeating the incumbent. She was also president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She’s been Governor of Alaska for 2 years, making a name for herself as a reformer, with three cornerstones of education, public safety, and transportation. She’s the one who killed the “Bridge to Nowhere” and has publicly challenged Ted Stevens over ethics questions.
  • As Governor, she’s the head of Alaska’s National Guard, and is a member of the NRA. She has an 80% approval rating.
  • Her husband Todd, a Native American (1/4 Eskimo) is an oilfield worker for BP and runs a commercial fishing company. Her husband is a member of the United Steelworkers Union and championship snowmobiler.
  • She’s good looking, and is a competent speaker.

In an election where issues matter, Governor Sarah Palin is an asset.