Open Thread on McCain/Palin

RayMormon 106 Comments

If you haven’t heard by now, Senator McCain has chosen Sarah Palin, sitting Governor of Alaska, as his VP running mate.  Her bio is linked here.  She defeated an incumbent governor in the primary and a former governor in the general election.  She currently has an 80% approval rating in Alaska.  I just like the irony of typing “she” when talking about a Republican VP candidate.

Discuss, if you so choose.  Ignore, if you don’t care.

Comments 106

  1. It’s a smart move on his part for oh so many reasons. I hate to be cynical but:

    1. Romney was the more “natural” choice politically speaking, but because he’s Mormon he’s a liability not an asset in a national election.
    2. If you are going to most likely lose anyhow, might as well break a few glass ceilings and set things up better for a future election.
    3. Plays to McCain’s real strength and only snow ball’s chance of winning: i.e. appeal to independents.
    4. Gee, I wonder if this is meant to remind Hillary supports that they should stay home rather than vote for Obama.

  2. To be fair, the Wikipedia article does say she has opposed McCain’s policies for ANWR and has spoke publicly praising Obama’s energy policy. That’s why I was being humorously cynical.

    Maybe McCain needs some new legs to mack on 😉

  3. McCain is already getting enough flack about the 10 condo’s/homes his wife holds and how he ‘doesn’t get’ middle America. Romney would have provided further fodder for that criticism. I don’t know how many homes Palin owns or how wealthy she is, but there are enough other newsworthy subjects about her that it won’t come up as readily.

  4. Post

    Rigel, her husband is a commercial fisherman; she was born to two educators in Idaho, but has lived in Alaska since she was an infant; she was the mayor of her small town, then she beat an incumbent governor and a former governor to become governor; she has no family money to speak of.

    Read the bio; it really is fascinating. I know someone who worked in Alaska extensively last year, who was a staunch Obama supporter until this morning. He absolutely RAVES about Governor Palin, and he called her a “badass” reformer who doesn’t “take any shit” from anyone.

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  6. I was leaning towards Obama until this morning…. Now I’m not so sure…

    I loved her bio… Working mother and reformer. Nice.

  7. I’m just SO HAPPY to see that Romney can’t be “one heartbeat away” from the presidency. Sorry, LDS leaders, but you missed your hopes for a controlling (as in “the debate is over”) voice at the White House!

  8. Oh, and she went back to work as governor less than a week after having her 5th child.

    Ray, if Palin was a democrat, we’d be seeing conservative LDS criticizing her for this, rather than admiring her for it.

  9. Yeah, I’m generally liking what I’m reading of Palin a bit more than Biden. Agreed, Bruce. Good pull on the ticket for the Indies. My vote as an Indie for Executive branch will still be one firmly against Bush/Cheney. I don’t see the conservative lean of the Supreme Ct really at great risk with Obama, who I like more than dislike.

  10. As an independent, and a woman, I have to say, this is probably the only choice McCain could have made that gives me real pause. I liked both McCain and Obama best early on; since then, McCain’s lack of fiscal knowledge has really hurt him. Biden really leaves me cold. This is exciting news. And not to be crass, but McCain is no spring chicken; we could totally have a woman president (although Pres. Ford-style isn’t what I had in mind).

  11. 1. How does this choice affect the Mormon vote? Rachel Maw has said it is giving her pause…

    2. Palin is much more socially conservative than John McCain and can shore up his cred there as well as attract the few irrational Hillary voters who could care less what Hillary would do as president or who she’s voting for and just want to see a woman in the Naval Observatory.

    3. Is Palin conservative enough to reassure traditional Republicans?

  12. “And not to be crass, but McCain is no spring chicken; we could totally have a woman president (although Pres. Ford-style isn’t what I had in mind).”

    I’ve always thought that the first woman president will probably be VP first, though I didn’t necessarily think of this as the president dying first.

    Actually, if I could guarentee that Pallin was going to take the reigns at some point I’d re-think my vote for Obama.

  13. 3. Is Palin conservative enough to reassure traditional Republicans?

    If she’s a Pro-Lifer and evangelical, what else matters? >:-)

  14. Just an excellent choice for McCain to make. Practically guarantees his landslide LOSS to Obama.

    I was just thrilled to hear about this stunning lapse of judgment. Goes along with his program.

  15. Jeff,

    Wish you could’ve been in Salt Lake for our Obama rally last night! A picnic under the stars with Al Gore and Barack Obama speaking on a huge movie screen as the sun set in front of us, going down behind the lake, and best of all, all the “Cougars for Obama” buttons you can fit in your pockets.

    This choice may rally some of the more sane Clinton supporters back to the Obama ticket, and may reinforce voter registration in the South among young black voters. What does Palin have in common with them? She seems like a nice person, but I don’t see global warming, health care, or the ability to restore our prestige abroad as anything that she brings to the McCain table.

  16. 3. Is Palin conservative enough to reassure traditional Republicans?

    Well, she’s certainly on record with a number of anti-gay statements and positions. CNN mentioned today that she vetoed a bill to eliminate domestic partnerships for state employees, but failed to note that she did so ONLY because it was in defiance of a state supreme court decision, and the state attorney general advised her that it would surely be considered unconstitutional. She publicly made it known that she supported that legislation as a matter of policy. She is on record not only as opposing marriage equality, but also as supporting legislation to make any recognition of same-sex relationships, including domestic partnerships, illegal. That should help her with the right wingers.

  17. The VP debate will be a little more difficult for Biden now. He may have to pull a few of his punches…

    I know this was likely said with a grin, but you really have a point, John. If he wipes the floor with her, Biden could end up looking like a bully in comparison to this woman, who frankly looks like a newly-sustained ward Relief Society second (emphasis on “second”) counsellor.

  18. Well, I was certainly surprised. She does indeed have an interesting biography, and much to admire. I would be interested in voting for her for Governor of Alaska, perhaps, but I’m not warming to her as VP.

    It makes for great political theater. No one saw this coming, and it steals the news cycle from Obama and Biden leading into the Republican convention. She has certainly sparked a lot of buzz, and I can see how she helps McCain in some ways. However, I see a guy having some impact on next weeks news and stealing some thunder from the RNC Convention, and that guy is Gustav, bearing down on the Louisiana coast.

    I don’t anticipate a replay of Katrina, but there will certainly be a lot of memories dragged out, and old footage replayed on the news next week.

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  20. Ray,

    It’s amazing how really concentrating on work can cut into your blogging time. It’s a slow day today, so I am trying to catch up on blog-grazing.

  21. Well, regardless of outcome, one of our top leaders will break a barrier that should have been broken long ago. I’m excited to watch some debates again!
    I didn’t see where Palin is evangelical. Even if so, she’s not Bible Belt, so I have to wonder how nutty she really is. Maybe not bad at all. Kind of like how everyone freaked over Romney being a Mormon, but as SP he was very progressive and modern in his approach. Many LDS would find his liberal actions both as SP and as governor to be surprising. Or refreshing, depending on your perspective, but a far cry from the supposed varmint-killing, granola-munching image he exuded as a candidate.

  22. “But as for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell ya, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me, what is it exactly that the VP does every day?”
    – former Miss Alaska runnerup Sarah Palin, 8/1/08, on CNBC, “Kudlow and Company”

  23. Hawkgrrl: Palin is with Assemblies of God — evangelical and usually with a charismatic-leaning twist. Despite her stronger socially-conservative stances, especially on the litmus issues like gay issues and abortion that matter to the most right of the wing, it’s nice to see her practical background shows she can also demonstrate some balance.

  24. Post

    Dear Nick,

    I’ll call BS on you for that one. You can’t take what obviously is a very funny line out of context and post it here as an air-headed comment (“former Miss Alaska runnerup”). You are MUCH smarter than that, so consider this your public slap from someone who admires you too much to let you get away with that – especially since you know you would scream sexism if a conservative commenter did it.

    Love, Ray

    (I’d do one of those tongue-sticking-out emoticons, but I don’t know how to do it for this site.)

  25. Post

    Nick, you’re right. It does remain – as a comment that is quoted as an excerpt out of context. I was wrong; it’s not meant to be funny. It actually is part of a terrific response. The full paragraph is:

    “[A]s for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S. before I can even start addressing that question.”

    More than slightly different meaning, Nick.

  26. I don’t know how many homes Palin owns or how wealthy she is, but there are enough other newsworthy subjects about her that it won’t come up as readily. She eats mooseburger. From my experiences as a child, no one does that who can afford not to.

    “former Miss Alaska runnerup” But the bio I read had that in there. Wasn’t that correct as well?

    So, what happens if John McCain drops dead on the campaign trail? Who does she pick as V.P.?

    She is impossible for anyone to control, though I’m not sure that is a bad thing.

    See you all next week. 😉

  27. This will back-fire on McCain. An unknown Alaska Gov. selected for no other reason then she is female. Had Clinton won the nomination Palin would be no where near this ticket. It is a reactionary move that will come to be seen by Clinton backers as pandering.

    For good or bad, Palin is no Hilary and her supporters will not accept a stale substitute.

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    Everyone, please step back and realize that McCain’s biggest problem was NOT getting Hillary’s supporters to vote for him; it was getting the religious right to vote for him. They don’t like him, but they LOVE Governor Palin. Many of them were considering staying home, and that would have killed his chances, but they won’t do so now.

  29. Palin has some controversy following her too… seems she used her office to try and get her sisters ex-husband fired. She has little to no experience on national issues yet alone international. She IMO will do more harm than good to the McCain ticket.

  30. Actually, Ray, I’m not so sure her larger statement is so great. How many people are going to be encouraged to vote the republican ticket, based on her stated desire to use the VP slot to specifically benefit Alaska?

  31. #27, #29-31:

    Wow, context is everything isn’t it? What a difference just a few words can make in how we perceive things.

    Good example of why we need to not use dual standards too.

  32. Post

    Nick, she was the siting governor of Alaska when the question was asked, and she said it in context of what Alaska is trying to do “for the rest of the US” – meaning drilling in ANWR, I’m sure. In the full interview, she comes across as articulate, intelligent and poised. The statement is exactly what you would expect from a sitting governor being asked about the choice of a VP candidate. That was the context of the question, not “What do you know about the office of VP?”

    Let’s drop this. It’s not going anywhere.

  33. I have to ask- since when to do the religious right approve of a woman with five kids having a powerful carreer outside the home? I didn’t know that was their platform now…

    Someone earlier observed, if she were a liberal, the RR would be climbing all OVER her for leaving five kids at home and focusing on things not at home.

  34. I thought I’d be disappointed if Romney was not chosen, but I’m happy with Sarah Palin. I think she’ll bring Christian Conservatives together again. So, I’ll be voting for John McCain after all, but I’ll really be voting for Sarah Palin!

  35. I was being serious as I joked about Palin earlier. She passes the litmus test of the “Major Issues We’ll Die Over” for the strongly Religious Right. She is Christian (even though many evangelicals mistrust Pentecostals). She is pro-life. She is pro-death penalty. She is anti-gay rights.

    It’s a major plus that she has a clean family background, but that’s not a “Die Over” issue. The LDS distaste over moms working outside the home is not even a “Divide Over” issue with most evangelicals. For most, it would only become a “Divide Over” issue if she were a liberal who didn’t agree with their interpretation of “Die Over” issues.

  36. I’m very worried about this pick. How can she possibly care for 5 children and hold an important job in government? Both jobs require full attention. She is very flip and arrogant and does not seem to have a good grasp on issues.

    This reflects very poorly on McCain’s judgment. Why is it so difficult to discover her church on the internet?

  37. Susan– To learn about her church, read about Pentecostalism, and then Assemblies of God. And then you may just need to read up on her local congregation (Juneau Christian Center) to see how much outside governance or political involvement it has (or doesn’t) if that matters to you. An Assemblies of God Christian Center near us is quite energetic, charismatic, with a hell-fire preaching style, but largely autonomous in governance and doesn’t practice regularly in worship services the more outrageous (to outsiders) things like speaking in tongues. Like Baptists, some AoG congregations have more governance from the outside. Compared to the LDS faith even the more externally governed or politically-involved ones are still quite autonomous.

  38. Hey, totally unrelated. Totally. But I’m at the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City (Othello) and E. Oakes just walked in with his wife.

    If Palin is Pentacostal, that’s not too bad. More like tent revival stuff than going to GI Joe Bible camp. For some reason they seem more open to me.

  39. The female equivalent of Dan Quayle. She might be cute, articulate, smart, caring, tough and all that other stuff but is this who America wants as a possible president at this time.

    “I know Hillary Clinton and Ms. Pallin, You’re no Hillary Clinton!”

  40. And another thing, It is ok in my book for husband and wife to NOT abort a Downs baby, but what about abandoning it? Isn’t that what she is effectively doing? the child is only a few months old and faces a potential lifetime of challenges. Is this not where a mother needs to spend her full time and attention?

  41. I have never, ever, seen my husband so excited about anything political before. He was practically giddy when Palin was announced. I really like her too. I’m cringing at the criticism some of you are throwing at her for being a working mom. Are you serious? Her husband is a SAHD. Those children are not being abandoned.

  42. “Isn’t that what she is effectively doing?” No, Jeff, especially if the father is willing to be a SAHD, as her husband apparently has done since she took office. Also, she schlepped around the capital as governor wearing a sling and carrying the baby with her.

    There is NO evidence that she has neglected or abandonded her children in ANY way. None. How can we condemn someone for not following a standard we believe is a general rule but which even the Church leaders have made clear is not a mandatory requirement – especially when the “fruits of her faith” as seen in her family appear to be exemplary?

  43. David Frum echoing many conservatives who are having second thoughts already, and it’s been only 12 hours!

    The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. The wires are showing.

    John McCain wanted a woman: good.

    He wanted to keep conservatives and pro-lifers happy: naturally.

    He wanted someone who looked young and dynamic: smart.

    And he discovered that he could not reconcile all these imperatives with the stated goal of finding a running mate qualified to assume the duties of the presidency “on day one.”

    Sarah Palin may well have concealed inner reservoirs of greatness. I hope so! But I’d guess that John McCain does not have a much better sense of who she is, what she believes, and the extent of her abilities than my enthusiastic friends over at the Corner. It’s a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I’d be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it’s John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance.

    Here’s I fear the worst harm that may be done by this selection. The McCain campaign’s slogan is “country first.” It’s a good slogan, and it aptly describes John McCain, one of the most self-sacrificing, gallant, and honorable men ever to seek the presidency.

    But question: 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?

    She’s got a scandal attached to her. She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. She and McCain met in person only twice! TWICE! She was never properly vetted to protect against surprises.

    John McCain has successfully destroyed his most powerful weapon against Obama: the experience card. He can no longer use that against Obama. Not only that, but the shift is now towards McCain’s judgment and age. How sound is his judgment to place such an inexperienced person with no foreign policy experience at all, one heartbeat away from the presidency?

    This was a gimmick. This was a cynical ploy to steal the spotlight from Obama’s magnificent speech. He succeeded. For today. But he will lose the game. Think hard, Republicans. Is this the man you want to lead your country?

  44. Ray,

    “No, Jeff, especially if the father is willing to be a SAHD, as her husband apparently has done since she took office. Also, she schlepped around the capital as governor wearing a sling and carrying the baby with her.”

    Sorry, in this case, I am not buying it. Dads are great, stay-at-home dads are to be commended, but this is not a typical situation. He’s a Downs baby. He will require more attention and care. And, so she schlepped the baby around the Alaska statehouse. running for VP and being on the stump 24×7 is hardly the same. And, if by some miracle they get elected, the VP job, as dull as it might be, is much greater than a Governor of Alaska with more moose than people.

    I’ll bet she has a nanny.

  45. Wait… Let me get this straight,…It’s okay to have a stay-at-home dad as long as the baby is “normal”… but, not if they are special needs? So are you saying that only moms know how to take care of special needs children?

    If you want to attack her, attack her politics, attack her positions, but until you have been in her shoes how can you possibly attach her decisions as a parent.

  46. She allows John McCain to unify the Romney and Huckabee voters, both of whom love her.

    Furthermore, she is known to be an economic conservative too, and is loved by the Club for growth.

    Her husband is a commercial fisherman, who worked as a “production manager” (read foreman) in the off season, (he’s since left that job to avoid conflicts of interest). Before she became pregnant she would help him run the fishing boat on the weekends. She’s a country gal, and that is attractive to me, as I am tired of the big city thinking.

    I didn’t know she was a Pentecostal. I like Pentecostals, when I was on my mission they invited me to preach at one of their revivals. I taught a second discussion, and they really enjoyed it. (No baptisms out of it, but I figure I at least planted some seeds, and certainly let people know that Mormons are Christians).

    Apparently she started having contractions before a speech, she gave the speech before traveling home, and then going to the hospital. I’ve seen some complaining that she ought to have been on bed rest, but all I could think of was my mother who was the same way when my youngest brother was born. I was a rather nervous, but she just looked at me and said “don’t worry, I’ve been through this 5 times before, I know how it works”. Pioneer Women the two of them.

    All in all, I’m excited. Will it wear off, yes. But the memory will be strong enough that I’m sure I’ll be excited to vote for McCain in November, instead of just voting because I think it’s my public duty.

  47. Every one keeps saying Palins husband is a fisherman and stay at home dad… then why did he bring home $46,000 last year from BP Oil? Thats a lot of money to make for being a stay at home dad/fisherman…

    “His choice, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, comes from a state whose lifeblood is oil. Palin favors opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development, something McCain opposes. Her family even gets one of its paychecks from the oil industry: Palin’s husband, Todd Palin, earned $46,790 last year as a facility operator for BP Alaska in Prudhoe Bay.”

  48. Post

    The baby was born this year, Jeff.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Palin’s husband, Todd Palin, worked for the energy corporation British Petroleum at an oil field on Alaska’s North Slope and works as a fisherman in his hometown in the summers.”

    He is not employed by BP now, but now is a SAHD who “works as a fisherman in the summers”. I can’t find anything that says whether or not he worked this summer, or if he plans on working summers if she is elected. Somehow, I doubt it.

  49. I’ve read so many political blog posts on this one today that I can’t even remember where this is coming from (probably andrew sullivan) but someone referred to her as “Harriet Miers, Jr.” Putting someone who hasn’t even considered foreign policy positions, by all indications, seems to be a poor choice to be the proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency, particularly when the top slot is filled by a 72-year old man with a history of cancer.

    Both Romney and Pawlenty would have been poor choices for McCain, but after this brief honeymoon ends for conservatives, I do think there’s going to be much more hand-wringing over this choice.

    That said, as a Democrat who disagrees with most of her positions, I’m glad to see a woman finally being named as a VP selection on a major party ticket again.

  50. Ramesh Ponnuru said it best when he said, basically, do you think she would have been selected had she been a man? She’s not on the ticket because of her “qualifications.” She’s on there because she is a woman. While I am glad that Republicans have broken that glass ceiling, I find it disturbing that they would select a woman like this. It reeks of cynical gimmickry. Ms. Clinton was very qualified, on the other hand. Ms. Elizabeth Dole would have been qualified. Ms. Kay Hutchinson would have been qualified. Ms. Sarah Palin is, sadly, not qualified. When, not a mere three weeks ago, she asked “what does a Vice President do?” that ought to send chills down your spine. Mr. McCain has ONLY met her ONCE before talking to her on the phone last week. He doesn’t even know her. How does he know he will work well with her, or her with him? Will they actually get along? There was no vetting process to ensure no surprises (like her scandal, or her “I voted for the Bridge to Nowhere before I was against it”).

    This is, as Andrew Sullivan said, a F*** Y** choice.

  51. Cicero said, I didn’t know she was a Pentecostal. I like Pentecostals, when I was on my mission they invited me to preach at one of their revivals. I taught a second discussion, and they really enjoyed it. (No baptisms out of it, but I figure I at least planted some seeds, and certainly let people know that Mormons are Christians).

    You should have taught the first discussion and get to know more Pentecostals. They’re not even close to Unitarians. 🙂 As a collective, they have most of the same LDS hang-ups as evangelicals, and usually align with the most right of evangelicalism. Of course that says nothing on an individual to individual level or necessarily even congregation to congregation. So I’m glad you had a good exposure to it. It’s not like they’re all Montanist heretics, which is how I’ve often seen them viewed in the Christian Body.


    Pentecostalism also may be doing something that is attractive to its believers and prospects. It is one of the few Christian segments not posting negative market share growth in America. If the McCain/Palin ticket were to succeed it might help to moderate Penteostalism’s image within American Christianity. Good luck to her. It would be nice if Romney could’ve had a similar opportunity.

  52. #57: Ugh. You have got to be kidding me. So SAHDs are OK unless a child has a disability; those kids need SAHMs? That makes no sense.

  53. #63 The better question to ask yourself would be: Could any of those other women do for John McCain what Sarah Palin does?

    Palin was chosen primarily for her ability to appeal to the fractured Republilcan base. There were a bunch of Huckabee supporters who were dead set against Romney, and Romney supporters were dead set against Huckabee. None of them were too thrilled about Pawletry, however, Palin was the second choice of both those factions. It was a perfect choice that unified his base.

    Then add on the cream, Palin is a reformer who successfully challenged the corruption of her own party- she defeated an incumbent Governor in a primary! That’s incredible!

    Lots of rank and file Republicans are disgusted with the corruption they have seen in their own party. A ticket of John “Maverick” McCain, and Sarah “Barracuda” Palin sends the message that this Republican President is going to reject the earmark corruption that fills Washington DC nowadays. It emphasizes a McCain strength that has not got a lot of attention.

    Finally, the cherry to top it of: Palin is a woman. Not just any woman- She a small town America woman, who helps her husband run a fishery, and has 5 kids. In other words she appeals not to liberal women, but to all the blue collar Democrats who want somebody in Washington from their lifestyle, instead of all these elitists.

    Would she have been picked if she were a man? Yes, I think she might have.

    Palin brings a lot more to McCain than just her gender. The fact that people are insisting she was only picked for her gender is sad, and shows how much hatred there is for conservative women in today’s society.

  54. E,

    “#57: Ugh. You have got to be kidding me. So SAHDs are OK unless a child has a disability; those kids need SAHMs? That makes no sense.’

    Why doesn’t “make no sense? I think a young baby needs it’s Mom 24×7 for at least 2 years regardless of a disability or not. The disability makes it more critical. Do you really think a stay at home Dad is equivalent to a Mom?

  55. Just for the record, the Mormon Church’s official stance, outlined in the PttW, is that husbands and wives are to share their primary roles as equal partners, with all general counsel evaluated and adjusted to the needs of each partnership. So, yes, Jeff, if someone is in a situation where it makes more sense for the wife to work and the husband to stay home with the kids, I believe a SAHD can be every bit as good at it and for the kids as a SAHM would be. I also know some couples where the man is WAY more able emotionally to care for the children, while the woman might end up killing her kids or causing serious psychological and emotional harm if she stayed home with them. You probably know some kids who would have been FAR better off being raised by their father than by their mother, also.

    The problem with your question is that it classifies all women exactly the same and all men as exactly the same. There are some men whom I would not want to around their kids at all; there are some women about whom I feel the same. I support the general counsel fully, which includes the “work it out for your own situation” and “act as equal partners” counsel.

  56. Jeff, I don’t think whether the child has a disability is relevant. I am a big fan of SAHMs, even though I’m a working mom. My husband and I feel fortunate that we are able to care for our children ourselves (mostly). I disagree that children need their mother, and only their mother, 24/7. That seems pretty over-the-top to me. I think maybe if parents work together to raise their children, it might even be OK if parents care for them only 23/7. Yes, there you have it, a look into my cold, cold heart, LOL.

  57. “hat seems pretty over-the-top to me”

    funny, it was never over the top before, it is only in the last 10 or so years, that it became over the top.


    “husbands and wives are to share their primary roles as equal partners, with all general counsel evaluated and adjusted to the needs of each partnership.”

    I know how good you are at parsing the scriptures, but it really doesn’t say that. It says that Fathers are the providers and Mothers are the nurturers. the special cases are meant for where a spouse is not present, through death or divorce. Not so a Mom ca run for VP.

    of course, couples need to work these things out. But one does not have to be a politician and be away and campaigning 24/7/. In my mind that goes for both genders.

  58. Jeff, here is the exact quote from the Proclamation:

    “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES may necessitate individual adaptation.”

    Each parent is said to have a “primary” responsibility, but “in” these responsibilities, they are “obligated” to “help one another as equal partners“. Individual adaptation is justified in cases of “disability”, death, or “other circumstances”.

    Jeff, MANY members assume the Proclamation says what it does NOT say when you actually parse the words. My statement stands:

    There is NOTHING in the Proclamation that excludes an individual couple from having “other circumstances” that would be legitimate reasons to make “individual adaptations” to the general roles identified as “primary” for each spouse. Furthermore, there is NOTHING that indicates what those “other circumstances” might or might not entail. That determination is left completely up to the couple with the “other circumstances”.

    You are wrong on this one, Jeff, and I can’t make it any clearer than the Proclamation does by itself.

  59. Well, here I am on a slow wireless, doublechecking when Gustav is expected to hit (and where) … and I’ve snuck over to Mormon Matters.

    What is interesting is how three different groups see the V.P. pick.

    Lots of traditional conservative Republicans are positive. Lots of progressive Democrats are pretty hostile and dismissive. Independents, have so far surprised me. I’m related to a few who are very positive, which I did not expect.

    How mainstream Democrats and Money Republicans feel is anyone’s guess.

    But, I can tell more about a person talking than I can about the candidate from what I’m reading now.

  60. Palin shows McCain being reactive to the Dems, not pro-actively building a strong leadership team for the country. If the wheels start to come off the McCain campaign, expect to see her step aside for a more serious pick. (she will do it for family reasons)

    –the cynical side of me believes this is the plan all along, it has Carl Rove written all over it.
    –the other side of me thinks maybe what this country needs is a soccer mom president.

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  62. Post

    Jeff, it doesn’t matter what I think. Let me repeat that: It doesn’t matter what I think.

    The statement of the apostles and prophets says “other circumstances” without qualification and “individual adaptation” without qualification. According to that document, I don’t have the authority to make that call for someone else, and nobody has the authority to make that call for my wife and me.

    Therefore, it doesn’t matter what I think about Governor Palin’s circumstances. That’s up to her and her husband, and I have been commanded to not judge that decision for their “other circumstances”. Period. You can say the Proclamation isn’t comprehensive and binding, but you would be wrong to argue that the Church officially condemns Palin’s decision. It doesn’t.

  63. Post

    Btw, Jeff, if I am going to parse this, the word is “may” necessitate – NOT “might” necessitate. “Might” means there “might not” be “other circumstances”. If that word was used, you would have a reasonable argument. “May”, however, means that something is allowed. “You may do . . .” means, “You are allowed to . . .”

    So, if I reorder the sentence in question to emphasize that distinction, it would read:

    “Individual adaptation is allowed in cases where disability, death, or other circumstances make adaptation necessary.”

    Yes, I think the wife being (or campaigning to be) the VP of the United States would make individual adaptation necessary. I think there is no doubt of that whatsoever. However, again, I have no authority to say whether that would be the “right” decision for Governor Palin – only that the possibility of it being “right” is a core part of the Proclamation.

  64. On Meet the Press today they said that she is in favor of giving creationism equal time with evolution in school science classes. She apparently doesn’t believe in evolution. Even Romney wasn’t silly enough to raise his hand at the debates when they asked who doesn’t believe in evolution (neither did McCain).

  65. OK–

    McCain cannot win any of the Kerry states (252 EV). Maybe NH, but I actually think the debates will keep it in the Blue column.

    Iowa is going Obama. McCain didn’t even campaign there. So that’s Kerry + 7 = 259. So far NM has trended Democratic all year (thanks in part to Mormon Udall coattails), so that’s 264 for Obama. Then start to factor in the huge number of swing states–NC, VA, NV, CO, OH, and maybe even MT, and we see that McCain has to win every single one of these to pull it off. That’s quite a gamble…McCain plays defense the whole time. So Palin is brilliant, given Joe and Mittens wouldn’t change the scene at all.

    Now The Base in OH, NC, NV, CO, and VA can get all enthusiastic about this campaign. (Pop quiz…how many Obama bumper stickers have you seen so far? Watch and see how many for McCain will now pop up because of this). It’s McCain’s only shot.

    So my question is this: how much does this sway Mormon votes? In the Mountain time zone (MTZ), Mormons matter a great deal in NV, NM, and CO, all battleground states. Does the Palin vote selection do much for them, or is it insignificant because 95% of Mountain time zone Mormons vote straight Republican anyway?

    Which brings up a bigger question for me (a NY state Mormon): are Mormons, in essence, single issue voters? I have a sister in law…lives in CA, voted Obama in their open primary (meaning she could have voted for Mittens). Now, because McCain says YES to Prop. 8 and Obama says NO, she’ll vote McCain the fall. She’s already called it a “clothespin” vote on her blog. Unimpressed with Palin, actually.

    I’ve asked her how she thinks a McCain presidency will keep gays from marrying, or keep women from having abortions. (I haven’t gotten around to asking her if, given McCain’s voting against the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, she’s now being manipulated by a so-called “Maverick” who’s all of a sudden changed his mind).

    I mean, I know this will sound snarky, mean-spirited, and even rude, but aren’t all MTZ Mormons single-issue voters? Nothing about McCain’s “failed marriage” (ditching the cripple for the rich young blonde), nothing about tax policies slanted to the wealthy, nothing about a wars of choice, nothing about a Christian Democrat (who isn’t German) with a (first) wife and two cute kids who wants to move us past the wedge issues drummed up by the baby boomers. Nope. It’s all about who will stop The Gays. And if McCain says he’ll stop The Gays, he’s got my vote. Cut and dried.

    I mean, they’re worse than Cubans…who would vote for Fidel himself if he ran as a Republican.

    Mitt Romney can be treated like dirt in the primaries, and can be victim of overt prejudice from our so-called Christian brethren at various groups, McCain can refuse to even set up a single office in Utah (Obama has several, I’m told), he can make no effort to ask for your vote, but since he’s going to top The Gays and The Abortions (yeah right…GW Bush had 6 years with his own party in congress and where did these issues go?) we don’t even need to think we just pull the lever.

    I mean, with Evangelicals and Bob Jones University and their ilk, the hitlist looks something like this (in order):
    1. The Abortions
    2. The Gays
    3. The Mormons

    (Finally, as some of you may recall, I completely support the church’s involvement in Proposition 8. Just to complicate things further, I guess).

  66. I have been reading everything I could about Palin. The choice is extremely troubling. She has minimal education and not much experience with anything outside Alaska and Idaho which are not very representative of the challenges America faces.

    What’s worse is that the big accomplishment McCain touted was her ripping into corruption and earmarks. On the earmarks, at least, there’s already a record of her building the road leading to the point where the bridge was to be (and nothing else apparently) and speaking about getting the Congressional representatives to get the money from DC even after she’d vetoed the bridge construction. (If you want details goggle Ankorage’s Daily News and Fairbank’s Daily Miner)

    Meanwhile, she’s already under an ethics investigation herself and appears to let her husband meddle in Alaska government.

    This is a poor appointment indeed and makes me fearful what further appointments McCain intends. And apparently when other reporters went in search of the archives of Palin’s hometown paper they found out they were the first to ever request them. SHE HAD NOT BEEN VETTED. This is troubling.

  67. Well, my last post is stuck in moderation and I can’t unstick it. That happens any time I put more than one link in a post.

    Let me put this one in from 2007:

    Otherwise, visit donklephant — (dot com) for some interesting analysis.

    The real question is how will she hold up in public presentations and debates. We don’t know yet.

  68. Don’t know if this is true or not:

    Not only is the DailyKos disgustingly inspecting Bristol’s midriff with all the fervor of LA paparrazzi examining J-Lo’s or Jennifer Aniston’s washboard stomachs for evidence of a “bump” DailyKos is is wrong on when the photo was taken. It was taken, and published, by the Anchorage Daily News in 2006. Baby Trig, a Down’s Syndrome child, was born on April 18, 2008. That’s a long time for a teen girl to be carrying a “bump” which looks nothing more than the curve of a tight sweater.

  69. Oh dear. Now it seems her unwed daughter is pregnant and McCain knew about it. That doesn’t show much judgment on McCain’s OR Palin’s part.

    And the claim that she fought earmarks in the Bridge to Nowhere is collapsing as is her claim to be a reformer since she was chairman of the hideously corrupt Ted Stevens’ 527 campaign.

  70. Ray,

    Your responses to me seem a bit harsh. If I somehow offended you with my own opinion about Gov. Pallin and her situation, I really apologize. As it turns out, she now has a pregnant teen in her household. I wonder what will happen now. It is a very unfortunate situation for her and her family. The girl and boy will be getting married. at 17!

    Is this an “other circumstance” yet?

  71. Post

    Jeff, I apologize if they seem harsh. #72 probably was too harsh. I probably should have left out the last paragraph.

    Just so you know, I have a real problem with people being told they “must” or “should” do this or that because it’s what the Church teaches when the Church doesn’t teach it – especially when the people in question are not even members of the Church.

    I also have a hard time with judging others by a standard that would condemn some of our High Priests Group Leaders and Bishops and Stake Presidents and Relief Society Presidents and Apostles and even Prophets. Having a child with DS and/or a pregnant teenage daughter won’t make it easier to campaign or serve, but it also shouldn’t disqualify someone from important service. One of the men I admire most in this entire world had four severely handicapped children, and yet he served as a Bishop and Stake President while raising them. Should he have turned down those callings?

    “Other circumstances” is not defined by the Church. That’s all I’m saying. You and I don’t have the authority to make that call for someone else, just as nobody else has the authority to criticize Pres. Hinclkey or Pres. Monson for being home very little during their children’s formative years. Many outside the Church could make very cogent arguments that would condemn these men for ignoring or neglecting their families for their “careers”, and they could do so by denying that their individual circumstances constituted valid “other circumstances”. If I don’t want others making those distinctions for me or for our own global leaders, I feel hypocritical making those distinctions for others – especially when I can see very good ways to make it work.

    I also believe that any argument that says women should not run for political office until their children are grown and gone effectively eliminates them from consideration for the highest political offices in the land, since starting out so much later than men means they will never gain the same length and breadth of experience as those men. The men will always be able to say that they simply aren’t experienced enough in comparison.

    That probably contributed to how harsh my comments seemed. I really am sorry that they came across that way, but I just don’t like the implications of too many of these comments and claims.

  72. But what about being under investigation and deliberately misstating her positions on earmarks and corruption? That’s just plain dishonest and the thing is McCain didn’t have to rush himself into this important decision and come up with such a messy solution.

  73. Post

    Double standards, alice. Obama and Biden aren’t or have never been “under investigation”?

    Please provide quotes for the earmarks and corruption statement.

    Btw, alice and everyone else, I am not saying she is the best choice. If you re-read my comments, throughout this thread, there are some things I really admire about her situation, but she is WAY too conservative for me. I’ll probably end up plugging my nose and voting for McCain simply to avoid having one party control all of Congress AND the White House.

    All in all, this is as bad a field as we’ve had in my lifetime.

  74. Whatever else one might think about her, she is a fabulous speaker. Politically, her speech tonight was nails. Seriously, the delivery was brilliant.

  75. Sarah, given her religion, it wouldn’t surprise me if she thought Mormons were cultists headed straight to Hell – but we need a link to a source for a comment like that. Otherwise, it’s just a hit and run. Please provide a link.

  76. There was an article in the trib that said Gov. Palin’s sect is anti-Mormon. To Ray’s point, duh! Of course they are (they are anti lots of things). But the trib pulled that.

  77. I read that Gov. Palin took a long time to actually endorse McCain during the primaries because she was wanting to support Mitt Romney. There’s a quote of her saying, “I really like Romney.” I think if she were rabidly anti-Mormon, she would not have come so close to throwing her support behind the Mitt Mormon Man.

  78. “All in all, this is as bad a field as we’ve had in my lifetime.”

    Wow, what a different perspective from mine. I had a good friend express exactly the sentence above to me recently, and I countered with, “On the contrary, Obama and McCain are the two best candidates to emerge from either party’s primary.” I have a hard time with McCain, but he is the most electable Republican in the field this year, more so than Romney. And Obama appeals to more Americans than Clinton ever could.

  79. #88 “As it turns out, she now has a pregnant teen in her household. I wonder what will happen now.”

    Best Gov Palin comment (by Letterman)

    “Sarah Palin…likes the outdoors, likes assault rifles. Has a collection of rifles, likes to shot assault rifles. I’ll say this for her daughter’s boyfriend: The kids got balls!”


  80. Not my vote. I can’t vote for Madame Palin. Her family needs her for the next 8-10 years. I’m willing to giver her a chance – then. But not now. I will not be told my McCain, whom I never supported, that I now must support this ticket. Sorry, family first. Ms. Palin needs to realign her priorities.

  81. The first order of business for Sara Palin, as a pentecostal vice president, will be to ban the Book of Mormon. Pentecostals believe that it is the work of the devil. She banned books and had the librarian fired for protesting. It is a matter of Saving people, witnessing, and her divine appointment to the Vice President of the U.S. (possibly president, if McCain doesn’t last for 4 years).

    I’ll stick up for freedom of religion on behalf of Mormons. I hope that they don’t vote for the lady who will persecute them.

  82. What’s up, is there anybody else here?
    If there’s anyone else here, let me know.
    Oh, and yes I’m a real person LOL.

    See ya,

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