Tag Archives: Tim Pawlenty

The Pit Bull in the China Shop

Sarah Palin vs. Pit Bull

Sarah Palin vs. Pit Bull

At last the American right and left have one issue they unequivocally agree on: You don’t actually have to read Sarah Palin’s book to have an opinion about it. Last Sunday Liz Cheney praised “Going Rogue” as “well-written” on Fox News even though, by her own account, she had sampled only “parts” of it. On Tuesday, Ana Marie Cox, a correspondent for Air America, belittled the book in The Washington Post while confessing that she couldn’t claim to have “completely” read it.

Going Rogue” will hardly be the first best seller embraced by millions for talismanic rather than literary ends. And I am not recommending that others follow my example and slog through its 400-plus pages, especially since its supposed revelations have been picked through 24/7 for a week. But sometimes I wonder if anyone has read all of what Palin would call the “dang” thing. Some of the book’s most illuminating tics have been mentioned barely — if at all — by either its fans or foes. Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves.

The book’s biggest surprise is Palin’s wide-eyed infatuation with show-business celebrities. You get nearly as much face time with Tina Fey and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in “Going Rogue” as you do with John McCain. We learn how happy Palin was to receive calls from Bono and Warren Beatty “to share ideas and insights.” We wade through star-struck lists of campaign cameos by Robert Duvall, Jon Voight (who “blew us away”), Naomi Judd, Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, among many others. Then there are the acknowledgments at the book’s end, where Palin reveals that her intimacy with media stars is such that she can air-kiss them on a first-name basis, from Greta to Laura to Rush.

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How Sarah Palin and Tea Partiers are blowing up the GOP (Videos)

Wingnuts of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but election … after election … after election.

That’s the lesson from the far right’s stinging defeat in yet another Republican congressional district this week. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman harangued GOP Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava into dropping out – hailed as a huge victory for Real Republicans – and then the clueless teabagger-cum-carpetbagger went on to lose the upstate New York seat to a little-known Democrat.

Brilliant strategy.

But it’s one we’ve seen from Republicans over and over again, thanks to the shadowy anti-tax group Club for Growth. Its first scalp was right here in Michigan – moderate former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek), who was ousted by preacher Tim Walberg in the 2006 primary.

For the extreme right, victory was sweet. And short-lived.

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The GOP Stalinists Invade Upstate New York

The GOP have gotten into a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

The GOP is in a tangled mess with the ultra-conservative fringe lead by Sarah Palin battling the more moderate centerists for control of the Republican Party.

Barack Obama‘s most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.

The governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia were once billed as the marquee events of Election Day 2009 — a referendum on the Obama presidency and a possible Republican “comeback.” But preposterous as it sounds, the real action migrated to New York’s 23rd, a rural Congressional district abutting Canada. That this pastoral setting could become a G.O.P. killing field, attracting an all-star cast of combatants led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Newt Gingrich, is a premise out of a Depression-era screwball comedy. But such farces have become the norm for the conservative movement — whether the participants are dressing up in full “tea party” drag or not.

The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom has what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true.

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Sarah Palin’s Latest Blunder

HoffmanOwensScozzafava

Doug Hoffman (C), Bill Owens (D) and Dede Scozzafava (R) are battling for upstate New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

So Sarah Palin has endorsed a right-wing candidate, Doug Hoffman, running on the Conservative Party line for a House seat in Upstate New York, rebuking a moderate Republican in a forthcoming special election. And while it’s true that Palin’s politics probably mesh better with Hoffman’s, strategically, I have to wonder: What is she thinking?

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Time Out of the Spotlight Hasn’t Helped Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, effective July 26, 2009, eighteen months prior to the completion of her first term.

When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska last summer, it seemed she was finally taking the advice of many political professionals and retreating from the spotlight to rebuild her brand and find her message. With the exception of a closed-to-the-press speech last month in Hong Kong, she has not been seen in public. Palin has turned down interviews and declined to appear at GOP party events. Aside from the occasional op-ed, like this one published last week by National Review, and messages posted on her Facebook page, Palin has been laying low, no doubt preparing for what will unquestionably be a major publicity push when her autobiography, Going Rogue, is released next month. But has her time away from the cameras actually done Palin any good politically?

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Meg Stapleton: Bob McDonnell Personally Asked for Sarah Palin’s Help, then Changed His Mind

Republican gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Attorney General, Bob McDonnell along with his daughter Jeanine, during the 2009 Virginia State Republican Convention.

Republican gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Attorney General, Bob McDonnell along with his daughter Jeanine during the 2009 Virginia State Republican Convention.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell repeatedly and personally asked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for help this summer in his campaign for Virginia governor, a Palin spokeswoman said.

But by late August, Palin learned that the McDonnell campaign no longer wanted her assistance, Palin adviser Meg Stapleton said in an interview tonight.

Earlier this week, McDonnell reacted with a bit of sarcasm when asked whether Palin would be campaigning with him. “There was a time earlier on when she was governor when I thought she would come here,” he said. “But I think she seems to be busy with books and other things like that. We’ve still got about 20 different events scheduled down the road and she’s not one of them.”

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Thanks But No Thanks: GOP Candidates Ignore Palin Offers

Sarah Palin notably absent from gubernatorial races

Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidates, but neither seems to want her help.

Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidates, but neither Chris Christie nor Bob McDonnell seems to want her help.

Sarah Palin stands ready to stump for the Republican gubernatorial candidates running in the two most closely-watched campaigns in the country this fall, but neither seems to want her help.

Less than a month before voters go to the polls, it appears increasingly clear that the former Alaska governor, vice-presidential nominee and conservative favorite will not appear on behalf of either New Jersey’s Chris Christie or Virginia’s Bob McDonnell.

Palin is the only one of the most talked-about potential 2012 presidential candidates who has not yet campaigned for either Republican candidate.

Given her loyal following among many in the party’s grassroots, it’s Palin who could surely draw the largest crowd and perhaps raise the most money for the two candidates—her book, “Going Rogue,” is already the number-one bestseller on Amazon, over a month before it’s even released.

“The governor offered her assistance with both races,” said Palin adviser Meg Stapleton. “The ball is in their court.”

Neither GOP campaign wanted to discuss why they didn’t want Palin in the state—to say so would offend the conservative base that both Christie and McDonnell are counting on, not just to vote for them but to also volunteer time in the crucial final weeks of the election.

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