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« Reason

Palin should step aside

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published September 29, 2008

In the lead-up to a debate, the parties are supposed to build up expectations for the other side and lower expectations for their own. Fortunately for the McCain-Palin ticket, expectations can't get any lower than they are, given the interviews thus far, rare though they have been.

Sarah Palin is a disaster, and John McCain has to be embarrassed that he let himself get talked into selecting her. I'm sure he's glad to have the momentum her pick has provided and the dollars her campaigning and speeches have brought, but the PR of the past few days from the Katie Couric interview had to have played some part in the decision to take evasive measures with the campaign-suspension pretension.

The Palin-Couric interview was a mishmash of policy-speak from a deer-in-the-headlights candidate clearly out of her league. Palin threw every response she could recall at the questions in an attempt to get one of the darts close to the center:

COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the—it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

Is this someone you want extemporaneously addressing a crisis on the phone with a foreign leader? A friend pointed out to me that for all John McCain's efforts in the presidential debate Friday night to make Obama look unready for the Presidency, what he was really accomplishing was making the case against his own vice-presidential candidate. She's comes across as a freaking girl scout in these interviews. I'm sure she's done fine things for Alaska, but that's where she belongs. She's not ready for the big stage any more than Miss Teen South Carolina.

But my favorite quote from the Couric interview is here:

COURIC: When President Bush ran for office, he opposed nation-building. But he has spent, as you know, much of his presidency promoting democracy around the world. What lessons have you learned from Iraq? And how specifically will you try to spread democracy throughout the world?

PALIN: Specifically, we will make every effort possible to help spread democracy for those who desire freedom, independence, tolerance, respect for equality. That is the whole goal here in fighting terrorism also. It’s not just to keep the people safe, but to be able to usher in democratic values and ideals around this, around the world.

Okay, that's not specific. You can't just say "specifically" and—presto—what you're saying magically becomes specific.

I'm not the first to suggest Palin step aside, so I'm not claiming any originality. In fact, the chorus is growing from conservatives. Palin should call a press conference, explain she needs to spend time with her newborn, and let her party pick someone more qualified. On the off-chance McCain ends up getting elected, our country deserves someone who can handle the duties. Don't get me wrong: I have no doubt women can do the job, just not Palin. And if McCain is serious about "Country First," he'll accept her resignation.


Thanks to those who have sent in comments. Have a topic suggestion? Or just want to give your feedback? E-mail me at reason-at-tylersclark.com   


1valleyred(1103 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Who are you, a liberal on the far left, to say she should step down. She isn't your parties VP Candidate, so with all due respect, those who do support her do not want to here your opinion of her.

The left of this country hates everything Palin stands for, because it is everything Reagan stood for, which led to the rise of conservatism in America.

Thursday Night will shut you folks up on the left who hate her and say she is unqualified. She is most definitely qualified and will be the key to changing the focus of this election again!

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2JanKo(10 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Who are you, a conservative on the extreme right, to so flagrantly misuse grammar and logic consistently in all of your writings?


Why must the whole political discourse be so tied to the "cult of personality" which surrounds each individual?

whoever wins this election will appoint 15,000 jobs in the executive branch which will totally dictate the direction of this country the next 4 years, regardless of who wins. Decisions are made by appointees just as much they are made by those at the top.

Voting for a particular ticket because of the personality and physical attractiveness of a vice-presidential candidate is foolish - regardless of the party.

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3jfuze0905(82 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Vote "Freddie and Fannie" (Obama and Biden) for Change in 2008!

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4Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Yawn....more hate from the far left.

Governor Palin is the only candidate of either party with executive experience. While serving as an executive, she has demonstrated nonpartisanship (the haters may need to google that word), courage and fiscal discipline.

I am not surprised that you are not calling for Senator Biden to step down, who has demonstrated ignorance frequently, particularly about U.S. History, because your hate blinds you.

BTW, the party that you espouse such unending hate on behalf of (the Dems for the slow witted), has left your town for dead through decades of corruption and neglect.

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5andersonathan(687 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

So according to some people: you want OBAMA, BIDEN, PALOSI, REID, FRANKS, DODD, KERRY, SHUMER. Running things in Washington?

That scares me more than a Governor, that was a Mayor and a city councilmen, who joined the PTA to make a difference. The problem is She is a women, a mother, a wife, a conservative, with reagan views. That knows a little about main street.

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6JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

The problem is she is a babbling moron, look at the quote! Her inclusion on the ticket turned heads initially but now is eroding the base by simply opening her mouth. It's a shame, McCain is probably the better candidate yet he bet his career on this pick and she just isn't good.

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7tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

@JeffLebowski is right: It has nothing to do with her personally or with her as a woman. It has nothing to do with her as a Republican. I wouldn't want her on the Democratic ticket either. She's ineloquent, to put it mildly, and it's clear that she's out of her league.

You can take my opinion or leave it. I'm just putting it out there. After all, it's my forum to do so.

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8tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

And what's up with the whole "haters" thing? I can disagree with someone without hating them. I don't hate Palin or McCain, I just disagree with their policies and fitness for the positions for which they're campaigning.

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9tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

@TheLostPatrol You're seriously comparing Palin with Gore? Seriously? You are lost, indeed.

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10YoungstownKidd(40 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

I'd be interested in asking Governor Palin a few questions regarding what her understanding is of the challenges that face post-industrial, Midwestern, urban centers such as Buffalo, Youngstown, Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton, Flint, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, etc. or what her specific platform might include to address a number of important issues that would allow for such places to compete in a 21st century, knowledge-based, global economy.

Alone, the Youngstown metropolitan area (i.e. the Mahoning Valley) has a larger population than the entire state of Alaska. As the Mayor of a city of 9,000 and then Governor of a largely rural state completely removed from the mainland with a population smaller than our own area AND in addition to what I have seen from her interviews and the substance of her dialogue, I am concerned – and rightfully so – with the idea of Governor Palin (and administration that would accompany her) potentially serving as my Executive.

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11JanKo(10 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

If you were the moderator in the vice-presidential debate Thursday evening, what question would you ask?

here is one:

"The Secretary of the Treasury in the next presidential administration will undoubtedly be a position of important significance as the country attempts to steer through the current financial crisis.

Could you name two or three individuals who would personally be on your short list to become the Secretary of the Treasury, and why specifically have you chosen those individuals?"

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12Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

The population of Alaska is 670,000 and growing. The population of Youngstown is 81,000 and shrinking.

When the leftie smear machine is fired up, it means they're scared. They'll try to scare you, call you a rascist, or tell you Youngstown's population is bigger than the State of Alaska.

But don't fear lefties, there will be other things to lie about, hate, or scare people about after the election.

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13Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Nonsocialist, like most regions of any state, a population is not measured by one particular city, but by the towns that also surround it. This is why there are terms like Greater Youngstown, and Greater Cleveland, and Greater Pittsburgh. This is not a "left machine" tabulation, nor a "right machine" tabulation. This is simply a part of a normal lexicon (look it up if you don't know what it means) for talking about populations. The population of the Greater Youngstown area is over 500,000 people. When we are talked about in newspapers and magazines, such as the recent Forbes article, we are talked about not just within the city limits of Youngstown proper (as some would like to think) but as a region including Poland, Boardman, Canfield, Austintown, Warren, Liberty, Campbell, Struthers. I may have missed some other smaller town in there, but that is how regions are estimated, and they attach that number to the biggest city in the region, which, in our region, happens to be Youngstown.

As for using scare tactics and lies to influence people about anything, I think both parties have a history of doing that, don't you?

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14bobhogue(102 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Tyler's original posting.

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15lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Calling Palin unqualified isn't sexist or hateful or blind adherence to party dogma; it's merely observant.

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16YoungstownKidd(40 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago


(From ShoutYoungstown.com):

670,053 people lived in Alaska in 2006.

Now let's look at what is commonly called the Youngstown region:

251,026 in Mahoning County (OH)
217,362 in Trumbull County (OH)
118,551 in Mercer County (PA)
110,542 in Columbiana County (OH)

which in that same year of 2006 was
697,481 people

add the
91,795 people from Lawrence County (PA) which is less than two miles from the Youngstown city limits can you get a total of

789,276 people in 2006 for the Youngstown region.

Definitely larger than Alaska, and still, one of the top 100 largest metro areas in the United States even without Columbiana and Lawrence counties.

and the Youngstown region is smack in the middle, the central hub if you will, of the 7.5 million Cleveburgh mega-region.

An Executive and their administration must be able to present a platform that demonstrates an understanding of the issues that face such a large and important region as well as similar regions like it throughout the Midwest.

Asking for such a platform doesn't make left, right or a socialist. It makes me a good citizen willing to ask reasonable questions about the area I live, work, and fight for.

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17George412(161 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

OldManGrump, We have something in common. I would never have believed it. Palin might be a bright woman and a functional governor, but she is not prepared to run the country, period. That is the question. She doesn't understand anything about economics or foreign policy. She's clearly being sequestered in some kind of debate camp, and she doesn't even understand some basics about American history (the writing of the Pledge, for example). Tyler's right, she should step aside. It's the honorable thing to do. However, as someone who's voting Obama/Biden, I don't mind having her around so much.

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18cambridge(4142 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

Palin should not step aside. I want to see what the hell she says next. Her addition to the ticket ended up giving Obama his biggest bump yet.

I used to want this election to just be over, now I wish it would never end. You can't make this kind of s##t up.

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19lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

As for undecided female voters in Ohio, it is insulting to women to assume that we'd vote for any woman anywhere on the ticket. I'm going to give them more credit. I think they'll see Palin's apparent shortcomings.

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20ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

All I have to say is that I agree with Fareed Zakaria (esteemed journalist for ABC News, Newsweek & CNN) when he described her as "scary". She cannot name one publication or news media that she has received her information regarding world events? She didn't realize that the right to privacy was part of the Roe v. Wade decision (jeeze, I learned that in high school - maybe I should be VP or she should have grown up in Youngstown). Although she has a "communications" degree, she cannot formulate cohesive points or describe an original thought clearly. It is way too late for the Republican party to rectify this huge embarressment. I actually feel sorry for all the intelligent, well read, hard working Republican female Senators and Congresswomen who must cringe and writhe in frustration every time Palin speaks. Who would have thought I would actually sympathize with them?

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21lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 10 months ago

President Clinton was also a Rhodes Scholar. I think we can all agree the Governor Palin's educational background is spotty at best.

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22George412(161 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

clarkkent, I hear there are several decaffeinated brands on the market that taste as good as the real thing. Angry much? It IS possible to disagree without being so hostile.

We'll see how Palin and Biden perform at tonight's debate. We'll see if Palin has any more to offer than non-specific, circular reasoning and snarky one-liners.

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23cambridge(4142 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

The Republican ticket: McSame doesn't know how many houses he owns. Sara McScary can't name a newspaper she has read or a Supreme Court decision she disagrees with other than Roe v Wade.

Time for a change.

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24dmets(575 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

cambridge: LOL! I love the name Sarah McScary!!! I also like Sarah McAirhead!! She really doesn't know her a** from a hole in the ground! Can't wait to see her talk in circles tonight, like she does in every interview, just like a dog chasing it's tail.

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25tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

McCain just gave up on Michigan. What's next?

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26cambridge(4142 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

You are, truly lost.

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27long87(2 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

McCain lost this election by listening to the far right and not picking Mitt Romney. Mitt is not the VP choice for two reasons, first he and John can't stand each other. Second he is a Morman. I know McCain needed to solidify his base to win but in not picking Romney he has lost during this trying time on Wall Street what was Mitt's strength! Mitt as the VP would have been able to be out front talking about it without having to have someone explain it to him. Mitt would have made McCain look Presidential by picking someone that offset his weakness. Where is Mitt now? McCain gave in to the right wing of the party because of Mitt's religion, who some believe to be a cult. That is why he is down right now and my fear is that is the reason we all better get used to the term President Barack Obama!

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28valleyred(1103 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Did we all forget there was a debate last night? Where is the far left to attack Sarah Palin for falling flat on her face and blowing the election for John McCain.

Hahah! Dick Morris said Obama won debate 1, and Palin wins debate 2. Frank Luntz focus group says Obama won debate one, Palin wins debate two handily, and expects a poll shift.

PALIN 2012

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29dmets(575 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Palin did not win anything. She did not even answer many questions asked. All she did was refocus on energy. Go to cnn.com it show Biden as the clear winner. I can not beleive you think in 4 years Palin should be president. That is very very scary!

Obama Biden 2008&2012!!!!

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30lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Please, Palin was clearly reading from her cards for more than half of the debate, and she couldn't keep track of her sentence structure for the other half. She gets points for being "folksy" I suppose and for aggressively bringing up John McCain even when it was strange and completely non-responsive.

I'm sure we can always find someone who can spin the debate into a Palin win, but she was clearly out of her league, better prepared than usual, but still out of her league.

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31tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

You're right, she didn't fall on her face. She did far better than in her interviews. This is the new standard?

According to Ohio undecideds in a real-time CNN poll during the debate, 57 percent chose Biden as more intelligent versus 26 percent to Palin. 51 percent gave the win to Biden over 36 percent to Palin.

Next, a nationally representative CBS focus group of 473 uncommitted voters gave the edge to Biden by 46 to 21 percent with 33 percent calling it a tie.

Finally, note that Frank Luntz's focus group was on FOX and sponsored by Budweiser, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch, which is primarily distributed by the Cindy McCain-owned Hensley company--and only three respondents in that group admitted to moving toward the McCain-Palin camp.

And, by the way, some of us weren't avoiding coming here to gloat because we felt we lost; we've got work to do.

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32valleyred(1103 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

All you liberals and your conspiracies. Who cares if the Fox Focus Group was in the Budweiser HQ, that means nothing!

Those uncommitted voters in the focus group were split between Bush and Kerry in 2004.

And yes just 3 moved to McCain, to 1 for Obama. But they overwhelmingly believed Palin won it.

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33ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow, the Fox Focus Group was in the Budweiser HQ! Free brew for everyone like when we toured the Bud plant in Columbus? No wonder they liked Palin. Give me a few beers and I might just think she's making sense, too!

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34tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

@Lady, they were all popular polls. The FOX poll stands out because it's, well . . . FOX.

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