Sarah Palin’s Foreign Policy Experience

Earlier I suggested that neither Republican on this year’s ticket has any knowledge of foreign policy. I stand corrected. Via Josh Marshall I have learned that Miss Wasilla 1984 actually does have some foreign policy experience. As reported on Fox News, Miss Wasilla does have foreign policy experience as Alaska is right next to Russia. (They really do make such a claim–see the video below). Her experience defending the shores of Alaska will prove to be a tremendous advantage to a ticket which is otherwise clueless on the foreign policy problems we face.


Women and Electoral Votes

In her speech, Sarah Palin raised both Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro as the McCain/Miss Wasilla 1984 ticket panders to the PUMA vote. Today’s trivia question: who was the first woman to receive an electoral vote? The answer is under the fold.


McCain Picks A Far Right Cover Girl

After attacking Obama as a celebrity, McCain picks a cover girl, Sarah Palin, as his running mate.

It looks like a desperation measure, with McCain thinking that putting a woman on the ticket will be enough to pick up Clinton’s supporters. Once they realize how conservative both parts of this ticket is on abortion rights and other social issues this will hardly help. Prior to being chosen, Palin was planning to give a speech to the Republican convention opposing choice on abortion.

When Obama picked Joe Biden I noted that if McCain went ahead an picked a governor we would have a Republican ticket lacking anyone with knowledge of foreign policy. Marc Ambinder notes Palin’s lack of expertise on foreign policy. (“Not Ready ’08”, eh?)

This picks does show that the McCain campaign must realize that they cannot succeed with their attacks on Barack Obama based upon inexperience as they picked a running mate whose experience is limited to one and one-half years as governor, proceeded by being mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population 9000) after previously serving as Miss Wasilla 1984.

Barack Obama has successfully demonstrated that he has the intelligence and judgment to be president despite limited experience in Washington–experience which far exceeds that of Sarah Palin. The lack of a running mate who is qualified to be president will also increase concerns about McCain’s age as he celebrates his birthday today.

Voting for John McCain and more of the same Republican policies was already a risky move for American. Such a choice will now look even riskier.

Barack Obama: Eight is Enough

Barack Obama accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party on Thursday night with an acceptance speech which should help provide momentum to get him elected in November. He made his case that we must not continue the failed policies of the Republican Party which John McCain has supported for the past eight years. Eight is enough:

This moment, this moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.

Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.

And we are here — we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight.

On November 4th, on November 4th, we must stand up and say: Eight is enough.

Now, now, let me — let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect.

And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time.

Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but, really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time?

I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives — on health care, and education, and the economy — Senator McCain has been anything but independent.

He said that our economy has made great progress under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

Barack Obama challenged not only John McCain’s policies but his competence to be president when he stated, “Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn’t know.”

Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies, but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans?

OBAMA: How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people’s benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care; it’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.

For over two decades — for over two decades, he’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy: Give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.

In Washington, they call this the “Ownership Society,” but what it really means is that you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck, you’re on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You’re on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don’t have boots. You are on your own.

Well, it’s time for them to own their failure. It’s time for us to change America. And that’s why I’m running for president of the United States.

This was not merely a speech with fancy rhetoric. Obama discussed the measures he will take if elected president:

So — so let me — let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will — listen now — I will cut taxes — cut taxes — for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

We will do this. Washington — Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years. And, by the way, John McCain has been there for 26 of them.

Obama provided several more examples, but it wasn’t a speech from a stereotypical tax and spend Democrat:

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime: by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow.

But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st-century challenges with a 20th-century bureaucracy.

Obama showed he is ready to take on McCain about foreign policy as well as domestic policy:

If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.

For — for while — while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face.

When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.

You know, John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won’t even follow him to the cave where he lives.

And today, today, as my call for a timeframe 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 $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficit, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That’s not the judgment we need; that won’t keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don’t defeat — you don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.

If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice, but that is not the change that America needs.

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.

The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly and finish the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts, but I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease.

And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

The full transcript is below the fold.


McCain Comes Up With A Second Answer

For the past couple of weeks it has seemed that John McCain’s answer to every question was to discuss how he was a POW. In an interview with Time Magazine he has come up with a second answer: “Read my books.” Here is an excerpt of an interview which Time describes as prickly:

There’s a theme that recurs in your books and your speeches, both about putting country first but also about honor. I wonder if you could define honor for us?
Read it in my books.

I’ve read your books.
No, I’m not going to define it.

But honor in politics?
I defined it in five books. Read my books.

This might be a new answer to interview questions from John McCain. He still has no coherent answers to any of the problems faced by the country.

Posted in John McCain. Tags: . No Comments »