Thursday, November 06, 2008

Post Mortem

We knew Sarah Palin wasn't very bright, but now that the presidential race is over we're learning just how embarrassingly clueless she really is.

According to Fox News Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, the McCain camp was concerned about Palin's grasp of basic geography -- the kind of thing a 9th grader would have a working knowledge of -- during the campaign. In particular, she didn't know which three North American countries were in NAFTA nor did she understand that Africa was a continent and not simply a country.

Palin was also, according to reports, a kind of "Vicezilla" -- refusing to prepare for her now infamous interview with Katie Couric, then, after the interview was roundly panned and ridiculed, berating the staff who had initially offered to help her. Palin would reportedly look through press clippings and media reports of herself and throw "tantrums" over the negative coverage. Aides say she reduced some of her handlers to tears.

But it's the details gathered by Newsweek that truly stand out and provide a snapshot of a woman who considered the McCain ticket her ticket to fame and fortune. Newsweek's "Special Election Project" has gone behind the scenes of every presidential campaign dating back to 1984; its reporters amass loads of backstage material with the promise that it will remain unpublished until after the election in question is over.

This year's Special Election Project is now releasing its report from the Obama-McCain race, and one segment of it paints a picture of Sarah Palin as little more than opportunistic white trash riding the gravy train as far as it would take her and her family.

"NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books."

I think it's coming out long before then.


Mark said...

It was only a sneaking suspicion of mine at first, but they really are just like Cletus and Brandine from the Simpsons.

Cletus: Hey Brandine, you could wear this shirt to work.
Brandine: Aw Cletus, you know I gotta wear the shirt what Dairy Queen gimme.

Anonymous said...

9th grader? Really? What school did you go to? I was expected to know that kind of geography by 4th grade. The countries in North America? The fact that Africa is a continent?

Have you seen the questions they ask on Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? They're a hell of a lot tougher than "Is Africa a continent or a country?"

In the interview you referenced Bill O'Reilly claimed that Sarah Palin isn't stupid.

She is. So very stupid. I can forgive not being able to find Iraq on a map without markings, especially in the age of Google, but to not know that South Africa is its own country belies epic and intentional ignorance. How is it possible to have lived in America for the last 20 years and not heard about Nelson Mandela and apartheid?

I hope that the press and the American people continue to audit the disastrous Palin candidacy after the fact and expose just how unprepared she was. America will not be fixed in 4 years. The Republicans will need to run a serious candidate in 2012 and 2016 and 2020.

Chez said...

It was kind of a joke. I'm taking the American education system into account.

Jen said...

i'm surprised that anyone is surprised at this. really. her career has been cronyism at it's "best" - hiring all her high school buddies, picking on her ex-bil. why anyone thought she wouldn't continue to do for her and hers just kind of makes me laugh. the republican party deserves every bit of excess and abuse she "perpetrated" on them.

Anonymous said...

I think whats more surprising is how many people are still excited by her and how many that are claiming shes the future of the Republican party and are already shouting 2012. As if she'd get through the debating and campaigning well enough to win the nomination....

Steve Saunders said...

Wasilla Vicezilla?
The Vicezilla from Wasilla?

Holy shit did we dodge a bullet with that one, eh?

I'm looking forward to hearing more about how fucked we could have been... It's like some kind of retro-running horror film with subtitles or something.

James said...

"This year's Special Election Project is now releasing its report from the Obama-McCain race, and one segment of it paints a picture of Sarah Palin as little more than opportunistic white trash riding the gravy train as far as it would take her and her family."

..and this would make her different to many other politicians how?

I remain in awe that she was ever considered, let alone put on the ticket. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

i protest. hillbillies are honorable, self-sufficient people. and ellie mae is ten times hotter than whatsername.

palin gives hillbillies a bad name.