By Gary P Jackson
The big talk yesterday was Dick Cheney had “walked back” his idiotic, insulting comments about Sarah Palin and the 2008 presidential race. Well, it’s not much of a walk back, though it speaks to Sarah Palin’s standing in the nation that Cheney found himself scrambling on Fox in an attempt to save face.
He tells Sean Hannity:
It wasn’t aimed so much at Governor Palin as it was against the basic process that McCain used…my point basically dealt with the process in terms of that basic requirement, is this person prepared to step in to be president of the United States when they’re picked? And it was my judgment — I was asked if I thought the McCain process in ’08 had been well done or was it a mistake and I said I thought it was a mistake.
That’s not…meant so much as a criticism of Governor Palin as it is that I just thought it was not — the process didn’t meet the standards I would like to see our candidate pursue when they pick a — a running mate.
Hannity does make a good point, Governor Palin had exactly four days notice, not a long time to wrap one’s head around such a monumental task as campaigning on a presidential ticket, but since then we have seen that Sarah Palin is more than up to the task, at least when allowed to do things her way.
Vice President Cheney speaks about “the process” and says that was his problem, not Sarah, but then he repeats his nonsensical claim that she wasn’t prepared to be president. Now remember Dick Cheney is the man George W Bush charged with finding him a suitable running mate, and after an “exhaustive search”, Cheney decided that ideal candidate was he, himself! What does THAT say about the “process”?
For the record, out of the four people on the presidential ticket in 2008, Sarah, John McCain, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, only Sarah Palin had Executive experience, and a lot of it. She was more qualified to be President than Obama and Biden put together, and was certainly as qualified, if not more so, than John McCain.
In fact, as we look at her accomplishments as Governor, and her record of great successes in office, she is more qualified, and has a far better record, than the presumptive Republican nominee going into Tampa. And we aren’t even counting her amazing accomplishments as Mayor or her time as the powerful Chairman of Alaska’s oil and gas regulatory agency.
If there was anything wrong with 2008 campaign it was the process McCain used for picking his campaign manager and staff. Steve Schmidt, Nicole Wallace, and company, are the most incompetent group ever assembled in politics. Not only did they give McCain poor advice, they worked over time sabotaging the campaign. And they had no clue whatsoever about Sarah Palin, or how to use her numerous skills.
The vice presidential candidate usually serves one purpose during the campaign. They are the designated “attack dog,” going after the other side, while the candidate at the top of the ticket stays focused on issues and sort of above the fray. You couldn’t have asked for a better choice for this job than Sarah Palin. She had Barack Obama’s number from the start, and has been whipping him like a rented mule since day one. Still is.
Unlike Cheney, Sarah Palin never misfires when going after corrupt politicians. [or bears]
The McCain campaign stopped her from doing her job though. Sarah was effectively vetting Barack Obama. She was pointing out his long associations with domestic terrorists, cop killers, and his America hating preacher of 20 years: Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright.
For some reason the McCain team lost it’s nerve [that is if it ever had any] and forced Governor Palin to back down. This angered Conservatives, the base of the party, greatly. They turned on McCain. While Sarah was filling stadiums with as many as 60,000 people, McCain was dealing with angry supporters at his much smaller events. This is when he started saying stupid things like “you have nothing to fear from Obama.”
I think history has proven McCain incredibly wrong.
For the record, I respect John McCain’s service to America greatly. He’s a true hero, and has endured unspeakable horrors while serving. Here’s a guy who was a prisoner of war, tortured, and almost killed. Being an Admiral’s son, he could have gotten out of the prison in Hanoi. He chose to stay and be a leader among the men. That takes incredible courage and must never be forgotten.
My problems with Senator McCain revolve around some of his questionable votes, and the way he ran the 2008 campaign. History shows that it was going to be hard for a Republican, any Republican to win, after the horrible mess Bush and Cheney allowed to fester. John McCain had one chance. Her name was Sarah Palin, and his campaign mishandled her, and didn’t use her to her full potential. It was a fatal error.
While Sarah Palin was pointing out that Obama’s closest friends hated America and Obama himself was a Marxist, the McCain campaign was freaking out and trying to stop her. It was campaign malpractice on the part of Schmidt and his lackeys.
Far from what Dick Cheney infers, Sarah Palin was the only one in the whole bunch who knew what she was trying to do. Sadly, she was surrounded by timid, incompetent political mercenaries with a record of losing campaigns.
I asked of ABC’s Rick Klein and Johnathan Karl on Twitter yesterday why someone didn’t just go interview A.B. Culvahouse and ask him if he thought the process used to pick Governor Palin was defective. I received no replay.
For those that don’t know, A.B. Culvahouse is a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and now runs one of the most prestigious law firms in Washington. He’s also been vetting prospective vice presidential candidates and Supreme Court appointees for years. He’s the one who vetted Sarah Palin.
In April of 2009 Culvahouse spoke to the National Press Club about the vetting process and described how thorough it was. He noted that he had previous experience with Sarah, as he represented Exxon-Mobil in the Exxon Valdez case before the Supreme Court. Before becoming Governor, Sarah was part of the litigation, against Exxon. He also noted that it came down to three vital questions about national security, the use of nuclear weapons, and killing Bin Laden. Culvahouse says Sarah “knocked it out of the park.”
In May of this year, Culvahouse took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to talk again about the vice presidential vetting process saying: “I stand by my advice regarding Sarah Palin: ‘high risk, high reward.’”
He goes on to write:
A short list of five to 15 leading Americans soon will be notified that the presumptive Republican nominee for president believes they are serious contenders to be his running mate. They will be asked for their agreement to join him on the GOP ticket if chosen, and in the meantime, to submit to a most intrusive and far-reaching vetting by lawyers and advisers working for the campaign.
No other candidate, not even the presidential nominee himself, is subjected to the same scrutiny.
I have been a lawyer on both sides of the Republican vice-presidential vetting process. I helped potential nominees navigate the vetting gauntlet in four elections, starting in 1976, and I had the honor of doing the vetting on behalf of John McCain’s 2008 campaign. For those of you who’ve managed to steer clear of the revisionist HBO movie about that campaign, I led the team that vetted Sarah Palin, apparently the five most newsworthy days of my life.
For the “vettees,” the process can appear ad hoc, opaque and at times capricious. Having enjoyed illustrious careers in government, they find the unfettered power of the presidential nominee to select his running mate, based on whatever unannounced criteria he deems relevant, as well as the ever more complex vetting process, to be without precedent in their political experience.
In 2008, our team began by preparing vetting reports on a list of more than two dozen individuals who, unbeknownst to them, had been selected for consideration by Sen. McCain. We mined public databases, media archives, political blogs and other sources that allowed our search to remain discreet. Those who survived the winnowing from long list to short were rewarded with the most intimate examination known to politics.
Short-listed potential VP nominees are required to hand over tax returns, medical histories, financial statements, court records, and anything else labeled “private and confidential,” while also answering the most probing questions about themselves, their spouses, their children and their extended family—questions I would not dream of posing in any other context.
Yet, as in all campaigns, if we had allowed good manners to intervene, anything we missed surely would have been dredged up by someone else. In 1976, the Ford campaign’s vetting questionnaire had 16 questions; the one we used in 2008 had almost 80, with multiple subparts. We asked about infidelity, sexual harassment, discrimination, plagiarism, alcohol or drug addiction, delinquent taxes, credit history, and use of government positions or resources for personal benefit. Nothing was off-limits.
The vetting of Sarah Palin was no less rigorous, just compressed. She was a late addition to the short list, catapulted into contention by the campaign’s calculus that a woman would broaden the ticket’s appeal. Our team of lawyers churned out the expected detailed written vetting report—only we packed eight weeks of research into less than one. We pulled information from Alaska-centric websites, including her local critics’ blogs and copies of Wasilla church sermons.
Assisted by the candid information Gov. Palin provided, we identified and reported every issue that subsequently arose (with one exception: her husband’s membership in the Alaska Independence Party).
That includes her daughter’s pregnancy, which the governor raised in a private discussion, and the ethics investigation into the July 2008 dismissal of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan for allegedly refusing to fire the governor’s ex-brother-in-law, which later became known as “Troopergate.” In fact, we presented the McCain campaign with a six-page analysis of that initial investigation, and in November 2008 the Alaska State Personnel Board found that Gov. Palin had not violated any ethics laws.
Gov. Palin’s responses to my standard hypothetical questions—Was she prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend our country? Would she authorize a strike against Osama bin Laden if she knew that numerous civilians also would be killed?—portrayed impressive resolve and sensitivity.
So, here’s a man who has been vetting candidates for some of the most powerful positions in the world for 36 years. Who’s judgment do we trust more, his, or a man who looked far and wide and ultimately chose himself as the best candidate for the job of Vice President?
I’ve always had respect for Dick Cheney, he’s served his country well, but all of that goodwill has been lost because of his continued idiotic statements regarding Sarah Palin.
I’m not sure to what ends Cheney is doing this. Some of us have discussed that Cheney’s first misfire was timed to harm her reputation, as well as her candidate Ted Cruz, here in Texas, as Cheney was backing the corrupt Establishment™ candidate, David Dewhurst, who got spanked by Cruz. Cheney had also backed Establishment™ candidate Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2010 against Governor Rick Perry, who had the support of Governor Palin.
Palin 2 Cheney 0.
It’s also thought Cheney has a favorite to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rob Portman, who was part of the Bush administration. Portman is another Establishment™ candidate and as the folks over at Free Republic point out, would be a complete disaster for the country. Portman is an open borders, big spender, who not only believes global warming is real, he voted yes on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. A 100% completely and totally unacceptable candidate.
It’s thought that Cheney’s attempts to belittle Governor Palin is also an attempt to insert himself in the vice presidential selection process and push his favorite.
If anyone’s judgment is to be questioned, it’s Dick Cheney’s.
Let’s also realize that while Cheney is saying idiotic things, he’s not an idiot. He knew exactly what he was doing a week ago when he attacked Sarah Palin. He knew how the media would cover it. He knew the media would attack Sarah Palin with gusto.
Thanks to the really stupid and insulting path Cheney is going down, it’s allowed the haters in the democrat party, as well as the Republican Elite™ to bring back the lie that Sarah Palin cost John McCain the election in 2008, not his incompetent team.
As I pointed out when this nonsense with Cheney started, Greta Van Susteren went through the Fox News polling at the time and showed that McCain was losing to Obama until he picked Sarah Palin, which gave him a huge bump and the lead.
McCain held that lead until the financial collapse and he suspended his campaign. He took off to D.C., with no plan whatsoever, and his poll numbers cratered, and never recovered.
Stacy Drake did a more elaborate study, even correlating the numerous polls with President George W Bush’s approval ratings. She proves beyond any doubt, that the only positive thing about the McCain campaign was the inclusion of Sarah Palin, and it was McCain’s actions, along with the financial collapse that cost Republicans the election.
The Republican Establishment™ have a vested interest in destroying Sarah Palin’s reputation. She is an existential to the entire ruling class. Sarah Palin is a reformer with her sights set on some of the most corrupt people in the world: Washington politicians in both parties.
The continued attacks on her and her record, is nothing more than an attempt by these corrupt politicians to hold on to power just a little longer.
That’s why we see the nasty attacks on the candidates she supports as well. Sarah has been backing true reformers all across the nation. People of great character, and strong moral courage. People who will clean up corruption, and help bring about sudden, relentless reform. This scares the hell out of the corrupt, inept Republican “leaders.” After all, they’ve got to protect their phony-baloney jobs!
Hannity-Cheney interview courtesy SarahNet.