David Kirkpatrick

October 24, 2008

Palin’s makeup artist …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:01 pm

… was the highest paid campaign team member over a two-week period. I didn’t blog about the $150K clothes budget from the RNC because I thought it was non-story in the campaigning sense. It was a story in the sense the image crafted and nurtured for Palin was “one of the people.”

Over one hundred thousand dollars in designer clothes nullify that image. Of course, she hasn’t been “one of the people.” even in Alaska, for a very long time. Any politician working at the state level or higher is far, far from the people.

This makeup artist story is completely different in that it exposes a fundamental area of focus in the McCain campaign as it slowly circles the drain.

Is the most money going into deep-drilling polling trying to uncover a strategy for every last electoral vote? No. How about for an advertising professional to craft a last-gasp ad series to counteract the failing ad buys? Nope. Well, maybe just go complete slime and hire high-end voice talent for misleading robocalls, maybe over pay but make sure the recipients get at least of tinge of recognition when they hear that recorded voice. No way.

The most money spent on any individual in the campaign right now, less than two weeks out? Amy Strozzi, Palin’s personal makeup artist.

From the link:

Who was the highest paid individual in Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign during the first half of October as it headed down the homestretch?

Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staffer. It was Amy Strozzi, who was identified by the Washington Post this week as Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

Ms. Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records. The campaign categorized Ms. Strozzi’s payment as “Personnel Svc/Equipment.”

In addition, Angela Lew, who is Ms. Palin’s traveling hair stylist, got $10,000 for “Communications Consulting” in the first half of October. Ms. Lew’s address listed in F.E.C. records traces to an Angela M. Lew in Thousands Oaks, Calif., which matches with a license issued by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The board said Ms. Lew works at a salon called Hair Grove in Westlake Village, Calif.

October 3, 2008

Veep debate answers key question

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:06 pm

The reactions to last night’s debate have been highly predictable, with the exception of a few members of the right-wing punditry who before today have been fairly sober. Today everyone who liked Palin is promoting her style-over-substance as a positive.

My take is the key (unasked) question of the debate was answered.

The question: If the next president of the United States were to be assassinated by a terrorist, who would you prefer to take over as president? Palin or Biden?

The choice is between a long-time senator in Biden who in that terrible moment understands the office, and can personally call on lawmakers current and retired from both parties for advice, guidance and aid. Biden as president frightens me, but I would trust him completely to handle the immediate crisis and threat.

The other option is a self-described — really self-touted — complete and total outsider to Washington, D.C., who, once again self-described, would bring “Main Street” Wasilla, Alaska, to the table because as Palin put it last night, that’s what DC needs right now.

I know which I’d choose and which one would make me honestly fear for our nation.

Everyone who is happy with Palin’s “knockout performance” of style-over-substance, welcome to a Untied States led by Sarah Palin with her main street Wasilla bona fides.

I also don’t want to hear about any hypothetical “emergency plan” where Palin didn’t actually take over as president. I think the Constitution laid out presidential succession very clearly and I don’t think any party should be monkeying with that document. The GOP of old would agree with me whole-heartedly.

Vice presidential picks are always considered politically with the caveat being the politically expedient choice is also a plausible president in their own right. Palin is not that by any stretch and McCain essentially gave the American electorate the finger when he chose her as his running mate.

Last night’s vice presidential debate answered the key question, even if it went unasked.

October 2, 2008

Veep debate: Biden v. Palin

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:06 pm

The sole vice presidential debate. McCain team only wanted one debate, along with not allowing Palin to give a press conference to this day since the announcement of her as the veep pick an unprecedented event in US presidential politics.

It’s interesting because toward the end Palin made what sounded like an honest plea that she likes speaking directly to the American public instead of the canned media events — such as with Gibson, Hannity and notoriously Couric — which before tonight was her only real national exposure aside from the convention.

As for the event, I don’t how it’s going to play out in spinning the performances of Biden and Palin, but as an actual debate Biden mopped the floor with Palin by (mostly) answering the questions asked and more importantly, actually rebutting Palin’s points. In contrast Palin regularly avoided the actual question by giving a one word answer and immediately stating she wanted to talk about a completely separate topic.

At one point early on in rebuttal on the second question she actually announced she wasn’t going to answer the questions asked by the moderator or rebut points made by Biden. Incredible! It really seemed to me she was rushing into her talking points as they came to her, not when it would make sense to us them in answering the question at hand.

Tonight’s debate was held in St. Louis at the Washington University in St. Louis at 9:00 pm EDT. The moderator was Gwen Ifill from “The Newshour” and “Washington Week” on PBS.

Immediately Palin looks a little nervous, but it’s not a completely fair observation on my part because I’m expecting a nervous Alaskan governor.

8:03 my time, it’s on …

Head below the fold for some more of my reactions to the debate, plus a bit of news on Troopergate out of Alaska.

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September 29, 2008

Sully knocks one out of the park on Palin

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:21 pm

He’s been (rightly) hammering the issue of McCain’s veep pick from the get go. Sarah Palin is beyond unprepared to ascend to the presidency if neccesary. That executive decision alone disqualifies McCain in my eyes.

Over at today’s Daily Dish Andrew Sullivan makes the keypoint on Palin.

From the link:

And the real test of this, anyway, would be a real press conference, with follow-ups. But that, incredibly, won’t happen. For the first time in American history, a candidate who could become president will not have a press conference in the campaign! No, you’re not hallucinating. Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s idea of election campaigns in America.

The House scuttles bailout plan

And the market takes a big hit.

From the link:

The House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue package, ignoring urgent pleas from President Bush and bipartisan congressional leaders to quickly bail out the staggering financial industry.

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.

When the critical vote was tallied, too few members of the House were willing to support the unpopular measure with elections just five weeks away. Ample no votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle.

Bush and a host of leading congressional figures had implored the lawmakers to pass the legislation despite howls of protest from their constituents back home.

The vote had been preceded by unusually aggressive White House lobbying, and spokesman Tony Fratto said that Bush had used a “call list” of people he wanted to persuade to vote yes as late as just a short time before the vote.

Lawmakers shouted news of the plummeting Dow Jones average as lawmakers crowded on the House floor during the drawn-out and tense call of the roll, which dragged on for roughly 40 minutes as leaders on both sides scrambled to corral enough of their rank-and-file members to support the deeply unpopular measure.

From the New York Times and news on the Dow freefalling over 400 points on the news.

Update — Dow is down almost 700 points.

I’m glad the vote failed. And no, I don’t think it’s a case of cutting off one’s nose to spite the face. I think it’s a case of a failed administration making one more attempt at a naked and craven power-grab. Get Paulson out of the picture, bring in some adult nonpartisan brains and knock-out a real solution, not some BS version of, “be very afraid and give me unlimited power.”

I think the US public finally woke up, and maybe the GOP did too after the Bush 43 effort at corporate socialism and their presidential standard bearer choosing an unqualified religious nutjob as his running mate.

Go below the fold for additional updates as the situation warrants.

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September 26, 2008

Ace of Spades is one of the last …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:29 pm

… on the far right carrying water for the failed Palin veep pick.

Even the ladies at the National Review’s Corner have turned their backs. Here’s the article by Kathleen Parker that kicked off the to-the-curb kicking.

From the second link:

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

September 1, 2008

Palin’s teenage daughter …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:51 pm

is expecting.

I don’t see this playing all that well with the christianist base.

From the link:

The 17-year-old daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, is five months pregnant, the Alaskan governor announced Monday, adding a new element of tumult to a Republican convention that had already been disrupted by Hurricane Gustav.

The daughter, Bristol, plans to marry the father, according to the statement, which was issued by Governor Palin and her husband, Todd.

August 30, 2008

Sully on Palin

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:04 pm

As expected Andrew Sullivan has a lot to say about McCain’s veep pick, but this little item about Palin might just be the most interesting:

I would not be surprised if she is not the veep finally on the ticket. We’ll see.

Palin is McCain’s veep

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:51 am

In a very unusual move, McCain chose Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as his running mate. The first female on a GOP ticket, 44 years-old and socially conservative.

She might still take a few hits from parts of the religious right because she has a number of young children and I’ve already read some grumbles that she ought to be more concerned about being a good parent and less concerned about the halls of power right now. Sexist attitude since men don’t face those questions? Sure, but the “traditional family values” base won’t look kindly on that fact. They might look away, but the question of propriety will linger.

My take is the McCain team hopes this will be seen as a bold move and might pull the pro-Clinton, anti-Obama — the so-called PUMAs — vote. That simply will not happen. Those women will not vote-in an administration with an agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade, and McCain/Palin would certainly do so.

The reality is more likely to be something along the lines of internal polling showing McCain losing in any set of circumstances that don’t involve Clinton’s base. If so the Palin pick is hopelessly desperate.

She’ll get her lunch eaten on the trail and she has zero gravitas or clout to be the attack dog of the campaign team, the traditional role of the vice presidential nominee. Just watch Biden over the next couple of months. Don’t even consider the veep debates. All Palin can hope for is exceeding minuscule expectations, not unlike what Bush 43 pulled off against Gore in 2000.

All in all? A shocking choice and I think a tacit admission of practically insurmountable odds against a historic candidate in Obama. I’ve been strongly leaning Obama for a while now, although I’ve always liked McCain, the politician. The tone of his campaign of late has turned me off and the Palin pick ensures McCain won’t get my vote this year.

From the link way up in the first sentence:

Ms. Palin, 44, a social conservative, former union member and mother of five who has been governor for two years, was on none of the widely discussed McCain campaign short lists for vice president. In selecting her, Mr. McCain reached far outside the Washington Beltway in an election year in which the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, is running on a platform of change.

August 21, 2008

Obama’s veep choice coming Saturday

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:52 pm

Looks like the buzz was correct.

May 22, 2008

Veepstakes Obama

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:56 pm

No names are officially leaking out, but now that the Demo nomination is all but wrapped up, Obama is starting a quiet search for a running mate.

No names are offically leaking, but one candidate seems to be campaigning pretty hard and generating a lot of buzz — Virginia senator, Jim Webb.

Update — It looks like Clinton is out of the running for the position if this report is true.

From the link:

Time magazine’s Karen Tumulty reports:

What will Clinton’s terms of surrender turn out to be? Her husband, for one, seems to have a pretty clear idea what he thinks she should get as a consolation prize. In Bill Clinton’s view, she has earned nothing short of an offer to be Obama’s running mate, according to some who are close to the former President. Bill “is pushing real hard for this to happen,” says a friend.

The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said “no.” Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.

May 21, 2008

Veepstakes McCain

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:41 pm

McCain has begun the public process of vetting potential vice president options. First up to bat: Florida governor, Charlie Crist; Lousiana governor, Bobby Jindal; and former nomination advesary, Mitt Romney.