Whew. I don't even know where to start. Shall we?
The evidence that McCain didn't properly vet his VP nominee is really piling up. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the campaign admitted McCain had only met Palin once, and had a "lengthy" phone conversation with her. Then, after campaign manager Rick Davis claimed that they had an FBI background check done on Palin, the FBI promptly refuted the statement. Now the LA Times is saying that "A GOP source with close ties to the campaign said that McCain aides "vetted her through Google and clipping services."
The Huffington Post is reporting that the McCain campaign has sent a team of "a dozen communication operatives and lawyers to Alaska", although, if senior adviser Steve Schmidt is to be believed, "the campaign always planned to send a "jump team" to the eventual running mate's home state to work with the nominee's staff, help with information requests from local and national reporters, and answer questions about documents that were part of the review."
Despite the supposedly thorough vetting process, there's a lot of stories coming out revealing things that may hurt the GOP in November, continuing the trend of John McCain's attacks on Barack Obama being rendered practically useless.
Yes, we're going to back to the big "experience" question. Both Tucker Bounds and Rep. Stephanie Bachmann were ripped on CNN this weekend (by Campbell Brown and James Carville, respectively) for McCain's choice of a VP with even less than experience than Obama:
And Palin has hired a lawyer for the "TrooperGate" investigation.
And she was a member of a "fringe Alaskan independence party."
And she admitted that the war in Iraq was fought over oil.
And she's "so focused on state government, she [hasn't] really focused much on the war in Iraq."
Despite her lack of knowledge and focus on the Iraq situation, Republicans have claimed that her executive decision making (as governor of Alaska) has helped prepare her for the White House, mentioning that she's in charge of the Alaska National Guard (something, they're quick to mention, Barack Obama has no experience with), and believe that this gives her "national security experience." But hold on just one second. Again, from the Huffington Post:
Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin "extremely responsive and smart" and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.
But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.I feel like I'm missing something here.
Oh yeah, Palin's 17 year old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant.
I'm not going to make a big deal about this, because all in all, it isn't. I'm not going to get into the drama and gossip about whose baby Trig actually is (Google it if you want, but I think it's a lie, so that's all I'll say). But I will say that it affects the campaign in a couple of ways. First, it directly contradicts Palin's argument that "abstinence works," hence, we shouldn't be making sure kids understand how to stay safe if they don't choose to stay abstinent. Second, although the McCain campaign says they knew about Bristol's pregnancy before Palin was announced as the VP nominee, it casts a shadow of a doubt (among all of the other evidence piling up) that, as we discussed already, the vetting process wasn't as thorough as he'd like us to believe - which therefore becomes an extension of McCain's policy, proving (in a sense) that he's one to rush to judgement and make too-hasty decisions.
Obama's response, while speaking in Milwaukee yesterday:
"Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits," Obama said, "and people's children are especially off limits.
"This shouldn't be part of our politics," he continued, "It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.
"And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories," he said. "You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that's off limits."
A classy response, but obviously, one that's politically motivated, as it just looks bad to slam a candidate's family. It's the proper response, too, because he understands that the media will say enough about this story, and it won't do his cause any good to respond to it.
Anyways, it wouldn't surprise me if McCain has used the media to conduct his vetting process - in the next week, we very well may see Palin step away from the campaign with the "spend more time with my family" line, now that the national opinion on her seems to have been taken.
This is exhausting me, so it's time to go do something else.