In case you missed it, Gov. Sarah Palin gave a great interview on Fox tonight with Greta Van Susteren.
Three things she’d like to accomplish as VP: energy independence, put government on the side of the people, and initiatives to help make the world more welcoming for kids with special needs
I really like how Gov. Palin has framed the climate change/environmentalism discussion. I’m all for better stewardship of our natural resources. As I’ve said before, though, all the yelling about global warming seems to be counterproductive; it’s such a huge issue that most people will decide there’s nothing they can really do (or they don’t want to go vegan or sit in a redwood for a year to prevent logging), so why bother even recycling their plastic and newspapers? Fine; argue about whether or not people are causing climate change or if it’s a normal part of the climate cycles or sunspots or whatever. But first do something about all of the many areas that we can fix. Make it matter and make sense to normal people again.
Gov. Palin reiterated the Republicans’ platform about “all of the above” energy policy. Given the way our energy costs are escalating, technologies that didn’t make financial sense before are starting to become economically viable. Once companies see money to be made in better wind, solar, etc., and some government encouragement, the research money should follow. In the meantime, though, we need energy now; solar and wind aren’t going to be able to pick up all of the slack tomorrow, and people are going to balk at environmental programs that ask for unreasonable cut backs.
“These children with special needs are not a problem, they are a priority… get that money into the classroom so that all kids, not just special needs kids, can benefit…” I certainly think schools need help. However, more money is not always the answer; look at DC, which has one of the highest spending per student and one of the lowest measures of student performance. Well spent and well directed, this could be good. Plus, 90% of parents who receive a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome for their child will choose to abort the baby. (The paper just had an article that there’s a new, safer test for Downs; I expect it will cause an increase in pre-natal diagnoses and abortions.) There is a strong pressure to “solve” Downs by aborting the children, since their lives won’t be “normal” and “successful”; shocked and grieving parents are bombarded with negative information, encouraging them to abort their child. Every effort to bring to light the positive possibilities of these children’s lives is a good thing.
On Title IX: “As Plato said, ‘You learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ ” Yeah, but she’s just a stupid moose-shooting hick with a substandard education. Or something like that.
Toughest decision as governor: “… personnel changes… firing someone, sometimes it gets personal, sometimes it gets political…” Wow… took that one on head-on. By the way, what happened to the “October surprise” promised by the guy running the “Troopergate” investigation? Seems to have just about disappeared.
Heck, this short interview was better than the entire debate last night. Gov. Palin shows a good command of the issues and some flashes of emotion where necessary. She connected the dots between the talking points, went after her opponents’ weaknesses, and promoted her running mate.
Even after thinking about it for a day, I still didn’t like the debate last night. It wasn’t really a “town hall” format; it was just a town hall-looking debate. People stumbled over wordy questions that they theoretically had written themselves. Nothing new came out; the candidates’ responses sounded pretty canned and many phrases were exact repeats of the first debate. And I really expected better from Brokaw. Heck, I liked Ifill’s performance as the moderator of the VP debate better (and I had expected not to like her as a moderator at all, after the news came out about her having a book coming out dealing largely with Obama).
I would have liked to see McCain hammer Obama on:
* his trustworthiness (or lack thereof). His school record said he was Muslim, why not just explain it was school policy to list the child’s religion as that of the father’s? Fox did, but Obama wouldn’t. Why won’t he let out his college records and thesis? Why are we only now finding out what he did as a “community organizer”? Does he really think we believe he was that oblivious in church that he didn’t hear any of the “God damn America!” and other tirades from Rev. Wright? If he wanted to promote his trustworthiness, he would’ve said, “Yes, he said some offensive things, but he does that to get people’s attention, and these are not major themes in his preaching, or else I would’ve left.” At least it would’ve been closer to the truth.
* his poor (to put it mildly) choice of friends. Ayers, Wright, ex-Fannie and Freddie execs as economic advisors, etc. This matters, because the president’s choice of cabinet members and other appointees makes a big difference in what will happen in any administration. President Grant was a great, honest guy… and he naively picked people he thought he could trust who turned out to be self-serving jerks, and wound up with a huge scandal. It was neither the first nor the last time.
* Biden. I would’ve really loved to see McCain hang that albatross around Obama’s neck like Palin did. Biden disagreed with Obama on all kinds of things; he even said he’d love to be VP for McCain… and then forgot all about all of that to run with Obama.
Gov. Palin is being agressive and going after this election. I think the fact that more people watched the VP debate than the second Presidential debate is at least partially due to the fact that people admire Palin’s candor and positions.
Sen. McCain needs to show a little of that temper and convince people that he’s going after the election, too. The time for modesty and restraint is over; it’s time to make the case much more strongly for why he should be the next president of the United States.