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From the Mouths of Republicans

“Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she'd be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.” – David Brooks, conservative columnist at the New York Times

"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States." – Republican Senator Chuck Hagel

“One of the oddest choices in the history of presidential politics. This may go down as the most peculiar Vice President choice there has ever been.” – Ben Stein, Nixon speechwriter

"The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives.” – Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan’s primary speechwriter.

“Now that we've seen the entirety of the Palin-Gibson tete-a-tete, I concur with Rich Lowry and Rod Dreher. The most that can be said in her defense is that she kept her cool and avoided any brutal gaffes; other than that, she seemed about an inch deep on every issue outside her comfort zone.” – Ross Douthat, The Atlantic

“McCain’s opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir – the person in whose hands he would leave the country – is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not.” – Richard Cohen, conservative columnist for The Washington Post

“Palin has been governor for about two minutes. Thanks to McCain’s decision, Palin could be commander-in-chief next year. That may strike people as a reckless choice; it strikes me that way. And McCain's age raised the stakes on this issue... Can anyone say with a straight face that Palin would have gotten picked if she were a man?” – Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review Online

“The choice also says a lot about McCain. First, that he is a bit desperate … Second, that he is one arrogant SOB. McCain is essentially telling the world that he doesn't really need a Vice President.” – Shannen Coffin, National Review Online

"My perspective is that the ticket is Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden, that they have the breadth of experience, I think they are prudent, they are knowledgeable. We just can't use four more years of the same kind of policy that's somewhat hazardous, which leads to recklessness." – Maryland Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrist

“It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?” – George Will, conservative columnist for the Washington Post, who also said in the same piece “So, is not McCain's party now conducting the most leftist administration in American history?”

"If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?" -- David Frum, National Review

"If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself." Kathleen Parker, National Review Online.

Note: After watching Katie Couric’s recent interview with Palin, I suspect more Republicans will add their concern to the voices above. See a clip HERE and HERE.


I think I agree with some of the pundits who say this is a cultural war...not an intellectual war of ideas. Unfortunately, middle America wants someone like them, someone who does not think deeply about issues because God is on their side and whatever happens is His will. You don't have to blink when you are not really responsible for the decisions you make. Paraphrasing our lame duck President "Thinking is hard work!"

I thought Katie was the perfect choice to interview Palin. Katie's sweet demeanor would not threaten those women who seem to scold and attack the camera man or anchor who shows Palin's flaws rather than even look at the real Palin themselves. I was impressed with Couric and I thought Palin showed how unready she is to be our VP. Her quick defensiveness shows she really isn't a bright lady at all. (Like Bush) Wasn't it Laura Bush who just recently said that Palin isn't ready to be a VP but she is a "quick study"? What is to become of us?

I was embarrassed for Palin during the Couric interviews, but I felt that way many times for Bush and people still voted for him. I felt watching her that it was as if I was being interviewed, pulled off the street, a regular person. But I want my president and vice president to know more than me, not less.

I was impressed with Couric too. She was tough, yet fair and not condescending at all. Yes, Laura Bush made that tactful comment about Palin.

i love this post, colleen! amen to cohen and ponnuru, especially!

letterman said last night that paris hilton had been mccain's first choice for VP! :))

I'm out of the U.S. loop but wasn't there a 3rd candidate as well? Maybe like our Green party and hard to get coverage for as the dark horse.

btw, I've given you a nod as a Wylde Woman.

Very good piece, Colleen!! It is so very nice to find conservatives who agree with liberals, for once, on the merits of Sarah Palin as a vice presidential candidate. National Review is pretty doggone conservative, from my viewpoint!

This is, indeed, a cultural war - a war of religious zealots against everything the United States stands for. They are wholehearted believers in Bush, when he said that "the Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper". In their eyes, the only writing that counts is what appears in the Bible. It is time that everyone, conservative, liberal, and everyone in between started taking a very close look at what these people are promoting. A good place to start is here:


This is a thoughtful combination of quotes. I pose the same question as Deana...what is to become of us?

AMEN! I think I'll copy this and send it to some of my more misguided Republican friends.

Wonderful post, Colleen. Palin is soooo scary! And, that McCain would chose her is irresponsible! Had I been a McCain supporter to begin with - the choice of Palin would have sent me in a different direction.

Thank you. This gives me a bit of hope.
I wont watch the clips cause it just makes me too upset.
She reminds me of a page from Margaret Atwood's novel "Hand Maids Tale"

Another GREAT Commentary!! xo

Shocking, beyond words! This makes me filled with almost uncontrolable RAGE! McCain is about as irresponsible and self involved, PLUS, self-deluded of any Candidate I've ever witnessed in my lifetime. I think he has kind of lost it, in every way, too. This is worse than sad...it is deeply deeply frightening....Sarah Paln, as Prsident??? OY VEY!

Sarah Palin is very similar to my values. She's uncorrupted by the larger urban influences such as the pedantic, arrogant, liberal, secular, anti-individual rights, high-tax, entitlement-addicted left. You know how Democrats can be, they want to outlaw all things "bad".

October 2 debates will show us what she's made of, and I'm willing to bet she hit harder than Biden when standing up for conservative America's principles. BTW - I thought McCain definitively won round one of the Presidential debates drawing on his deep experience while simultaneously engaging himself in this week's national financial crisis. This is the kind of leader our country needs. Not bad for an "old dude" hey?

Thanks, Colleen, for putting together this list of quotes all in one place. I'd seen some of them separatately, but this forms a stronger sense that many Republicans are also worried that Governor Palin is not ready to deal with the Presidency should it land in her lap. Her lap looks pretty full these days. (Yup, this would be considered a sly sexist slur, asking if indeed a woman who has chosen to have 5 children, one a special needs baby, has time to run the country as well -- with little experience and minimal schooling).

And to Jim. Thanks for your comments. It's good to hear what people from all perspectives think. I respectfully disagree about who won the debate. McCain is just a few years older than I am, but he reminded me of my Dad who is 90. My Dad, and Senator McCain are intelligent men, caring and still somewhat involved, but their time to lead is past. They are elder statesmen, not President material.

Yup. Here's what I wrote last week: McCain's outdated worldview seems to revolve around losing Vietnam, like Bush’s worldview compelled him to pick up where the first Gulf War left off, at the expense of more pressing present day concerns.

And when you compare Obama's education background next to McCain's, which consists of only his military service, I am reassured that he has what it takes: a graduate of Columbia University, where he studied international relations, and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote.

Thank you for gathering these revealing and provocative quotes, Colleen. I can scarcely bring myself to even think of Sarah Palin any more because it fills me with such despair. What will be the world my children will inherit?

My thoughts mirror those from Sharry Teague.

As you know I could go on and on about Sarah Palin being out of her league, for now I'm nodding my head with the collection of quotes you offered.

There are those who are speculating that the VP debate won't go forward (the Oct. surprise). That remains to be seen of course. The guesses relating to this range anywhere from a miscarriage for Bristol, a wedding* for Bristol and Levi, to SP realizing she need to be home (light shines on marblehead) with baby son.

We'll have to wait and see.

* see here:
September 28, 2008
McCain camp prays for Palin wedding

Apparently, even the spambots agree with Frum's quote. When I was on yahoo today, a sidebar advertisement asked, "Who will win the election?" And the choices were Obama or Palin. I didn't think truth in advertising existed, but it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility.

Growing numbers of Republicans are speaking out against Sarah Palin. They are smart enough to realize that she is not qualified for the job.

We finally heard from Obama on the financial crisis today. He said, “rules that will make sure Wall Street can never get away with the stunts that cause this crisis again.”

So let me get this straight, McCain tries to reform Freddie/Fannie (which put Obama on the payroll) by co-sponsoring Senate bill 190 back in 2005 which the Democrats kill in committee, and yet we're supposed to trust that his "rules" will help? And let's not forget about the subprime lending that Obama advocated which resulted in this catastrophe. No thanks, I'll vote for the non-corrupt candidate.

And who graduates from school to immediately attain a senior level position before they gain real experience? That's what you are proposing for Obama - no experience to President. Again, no thanks. Now compare Obama's resume to McCain's. It's embarrassing to see the two side by side.

Maybe you may feel embarrassed the way I feel embarrassed for Palin over her lack of experience. I feel McCain is stuck in the past and that Obama has the right temperament and intelligence to lead. I think the banking crisis we are seeing today is an example of what you get with the Republican's "small government" model. McCain voted repeatedly against regulations might have prevented it.

I think the polls are reflecting the same perceptions you have, but I'm confident that it was caused by government intervention, which the Democrat party is advocating more of the same. I wonder if Americans see financial innovation as the main problem or if they see government intervention as the culprit? Either way, I agree this economy is hurting McCain. Whoever gets elected, they will have some serious poop to deal with.

Thanks for this. As a Canadian, I don't get to hear real conversation like this on the street. We watch with extreme interest and intrigue! I tend to side with Obama but I am fearful that he won't get in.
We have our own election Oct. 14th! Again, I will likely vote NDP but they will not get in.

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