- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2008


“Of all the advantages Gov. Sarah Palin has brought to the GOP ticket, the most important may be that she has gotten into Barack Obama’s head. How else to explain Sen. Obama’s decision to go one-on-one against ‘Sarah Barracuda,’ captain of the Wasilla High state basketball champs?” Karl Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“It’s a matchup he’ll lose. If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he’s running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president,” Mr. Rove said.

Michael Dukakis spent the last months of the 1988 campaign calling his opponent’s running mate, Dan Quayle, a risky choice and even ran a TV ad blasting Mr. Quayle. The Bush/Quayle ticket carried 40 states.

Adlai Stevenson spent the fall of 1952 bashing Dwight Eisenhower’s running mate, Richard Nixon, calling him ‘the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, and then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.’ The Republican ticket carried 39 of 48 states.

“If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own tissue-thin resume, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters he is up for the job, and diminish him — not her.”


“The Sarah Palin ‘boom’ that has so traumatized Democrats and intimidated the press will have little if any impact on the presidential election,” Bob Beckel writes at www.realclearpolitics.com.

“People don’t vote for vice presidents, they vote for presidents. This race is about John McCain and Barack Obama not Annie Oakley from Wasilla, Alaska. It is also about turnout numbers and the electoral demographics in 2008 which overwhelm any impact Sarah Palin might have on the election outcome,” said Mr. Beckel, a political commentator and former Democratic operative.

“First the Palin ‘boom.’ It is the product of surprise (a short lived but powerful force in politics), an emotional outlet for the GOP Right, and post-convention polls. In the intense coverage of politics by the ever expanding number of outlets for political information, what is new and surprising quickly becomes over exposed resulting in a short shelf life. The freshness goes away quickly. So it will be shortly for Ms. Palin. She has had the best week in this campaign she will have and the only direction now is down.

“The large turnouts at McCain/Palin events this week are a result of an energized Right (which will vote Republican anyway) and say as much about the lack of enthusiasm on the Right for McCain before he picked Palin as it does about any shift in the electorate. As for post-convention polls, they are the least predictive of the eventual outcome as any polls in a presidential election. Of course there was a ‘bounce’ after three days of what amounted to an infomercial for McCain and a negative ad campaign against Obama. It will not last.”


More than $330,000 was raised for the conservative Free Congress Foundation at a banquet Wednesday night honoring Paul M. Weyrich, a founder of the modern conservative movement, reports Ralph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times.

Many among the 431 guests, including Senate and House members, at the $250-a-plate dinner were seen dabbing their eyes as 30 leading names on the political right delivered in-person or video encomiums to Mr. Weyrich, 66, the Free Congress founder and president.

Mr. Weyrich, looking frail in his wheelchair (both legs were amputated in recent years after complications resulting from a serious fall), addressed admirers at the dinner organized by Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna and Rapid Response Media President Demos Chrissos.

Mr. Weyrich said he was “amazed” at the outpouring of appreciation and insisted that most of the ideas credited to him for turning conservative principles into political reality over the years originated with someone else.

But he was contradicted by speakers such as radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, commentator Pat Buchanan, Independent Women’s Forum President Heather Higgins, conservative movement godfather Richard Viguerie, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, and Bradley Foundation President Mike Grebe, who recounted anecdotes about Mr. Weyrich putting into action policies that originated in the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”


“As someone who would prefer seeing the Democrats back in the White House,” Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown writes, “I had one recurring thought as Palin was giving her speech last week at the Republican National Convention:


“You could see immediately that she was going to throw everything up for grabs and put the Democrats off balance,” Mr. Brown said.

“At some point, the Obama campaign ought to take my advice concerning Palin and, repeat after me, leave her alone. At the very least, leave her alone until the dust clears and they figure out a better way to go after her.

“With his [‘lipstick on a pig’] stumble, Obama managed to drown out a breaking story the same day that raised legitimate questions about Palin’s use of her Alaskan travel expense account to pad her paycheck, paying herself a per diem to stay at home. It also came just as we’re starting to get clarity on Palin’s bogus characterization of her handling of the Bridge to Nowhere. It turns out she was all for it, until she wasn’t, and kept the federal money.

“Either of those are fair game. He might even have been able to joke about the GOP putting lipstick on a pit bull, just not a pig.

“Obama tried to fight back Wednesday against what he called the ‘phony outrage’ from the McCain campaign over his ‘lipstick on a pig’ comment.

“Of course, it was phony outrage.

“Republicans weren’t outraged about what he said. They were gleeful. They were thinking, ‘How dumb is this guy? He keeps falling into our trap.’”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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