The international media take shots at Sarah Palin
COMMENTARY | October 26, 2008
She is called a disaster, an albatross, a hypocrite. The Guardian predicts that after this election, we will have seen the last of her as a national candidate.
By Lauren Drablier
PARIS—Sarah Palin has been in the spotlight around the world this past week for a number of reasons, none of them favorable to her or John McCain. First, with high-profile Republicans, including Colin Powell, voicing their support for Obama, some in the international media have been speculating whether McCain has already lost.
Second, an interview in which Palin failed to accurately describe the role of the VP has left many questioning whether she actually has what it takes to be VP. Most that I have \read refer to her as a “liability”.
Third, her reference to “pro-Americans” as though there were “anti-Americans” has drawn international notice and criticism.
And finally, Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe courtesy of the Republican National Party has left many critical of the way she has presented herself as the “working-class candidate.”
It was difficult to find any positive opinion Palin. Most viewed her as the driving force behind the decline in McCain’s poll showings; many believe that if he loses the election she will largely be to blame.
In, Sarah Palin: disaster or superstar? Some Republicans want her to run in 2012, the Canadian Press is calling it “Sarah Palin schizophrenia” – to many she’s a “disaster” while for many Republicans she has “superstar status”:
“To many people, voters and pundits alike, she's a disaster, one of the single worst vice-presidential picks in American history.
“To core Republican supporters, there's an alternate Sarah Palin universe where she basks in superstar status and is a strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 should John McCain lose on Nov. 4.
“Her addition to the Republican ticket helped convince retired Gen. Colin Powell to swing his support behind Democrat Barack Obama.
“Independent voters have cited Palin as the reason they're opting for Obama on Nov. 4. And a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll conducted earlier this week suggested Palin's lack of qualifications to be president is voters' No. 1 concern regarding McCain.
“Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University and author of Pursuing the American Dream: Opportunity and Exclusion Over Four Centuries, wrote: ‘They will have to go into a major period of reassessment. Perhaps if Sarah Palin emerges as an extraordinarily different person than she is today - in other words she has gone to school and has learned all about foreign and domestic policy and has recreated herself as a knowledgeable figure in the Republican party - then it's a possibility she could mount a successful run.’
“It's really a crossroads for the party, and if they misplay it, they will wander in the wilderness for a decade or two.”
Israel’s Haaretz criticizes Palin for her wardrobe purchases when the U.S. is “in the grip of one of its worst economic crises.” In an article titled Palin as Olmert? Free flights, fancy clothes and life of luxury, she is compared to the Israeli prime minister who, enmeshed in scandal, has resigned from office:
“It turns out, the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom isn't just lipstick, its designer lipstick, Manolo Blahnik pumps, and a $2,500 Valentino jacket. That should keep you warm at the Iron Dog snowmachine race.
“It emerged this week that with the U.S. in the grip of one of its worst economic crises, the Republican National Committee had the clear and present judgment to run up a reported $150,000 bill to deck out Sarah Palin, the running-mate and rising Republican star who "is just like the rest of us", that is, if the rest of us drop a few thousand dollars at Neiman's on the way to the hockey rink.
“The revelations have the potential to be infuriating and puzzling to many mainly because they come from the campaign that has played the "elitist" card with reckless abandon, and has made a central issue of their campaign the idealization and ownership of working-class "small-town values", hard-to-pin-down ideals that presumably cannot be found within a hundred miles of a Saks or Neiman's branch.
“From an Israeli-American point of view, Palin's "makeovergate" and the revelations this week that she billed the State of Alaska for thousands of dollars worth of commercial flights for her daughters, and for luxury hotel rooms for a family vacation, bear a certain resemblance to the travails and scandals of our disgraced outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert, a man who came to power suddenly as vice premier, when the septuagenarian former warrior who swooped him into the halls of power fell terminally ill. Ring any bells?
“Palin's shopping sprees were legal, but they do display a lack of judgment or consideration for how the acts may be perceived by the public.
“In Palin's case, even if she was just following the advice of campaign handlers with blank checks who wanted to spruce up her image, the fact that she would take part in such a breakneck spend-a-thon at some of America's ritziest stores while the country is on the verge of depression…
“The decision is also indicative (again) of the McCain campaign's seeming ignorance of the power of the Internet and the instant fact-checking that has changed the nature of the news and political campaigns forever.
“…Palin's spending sprees show an ignorance of the instant access to information and the 24-hour news cycle, and possibly, in the worst case, an outright contempt for the very public whose values they pander to.”
In We've seen the last of Sarah Palin, UK’s the Guardian does not envision a Palin candidacy for the 2012 presidential election for a number of reasons:
“…if Barack Obama becomes president next year – and it's a bigger assumption than most liberals would like to think right now – Palin is going to have a devil of a time making a viable bid for the White House.
“The first factor holding her back is the same enemy that Palin often decries before her rapt audiences: the media.
“Given that the Alaska governor can barely keep her positions straight over a period of weeks on topics as sensitive as military action inside Pakistan and judicial refinancing of mortgages, you'd better believe that Democrats would salivate at the chance to fact-check her four years from now. Not to mention, operatives will be watching to see whether Palin's pricey designer clothes show up at the Salvation Army after the election.
“(Alaska) lacks a substantial fundraising base from which Palin can extract the cold, hard cash necessary to run for president four years from now.
“Palin had better start getting used to the pesky media tracking her every move on the local level, particularly her clashes with Alaska critics Andree McLeod, Andrew Halcro and Anne Kilkenny.
“Before Palin and her fans in the media-political-industrial complex get psyched about a 2012 run, she'd do well to bone up on policy. A good place to start might be learning that the vice-president doesn't actually rule over the Senate.”
The Australian in McCain's running mate that wasn't feels betrayed, says McCain’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, chose Palin for Republican VP candidate, and criticizes the Republican party for not briefing her on the role of a VP:
“McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, might have a hard time finding work after this race given his woeful inability to sell his man - and this ticket - to the punters. Schmidt's choice over Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, was, in American football parlance, a risky long throw for a touchdown from a team that panicked because it was losing ground, even though the game at the time was far from over.
“After first energizing the McCain ticket with her spunk and pluckiness, the latest polls indicate most Americans see the 44-year-old as a liability.
“Or perhaps rather than obsess over how Palin looks and sounds, McCain's Henry Higgins could school her about substance rather than style. For instance, she needs a debriefing on the role of a vice-president. Once again, Palin this week raised eyebrows by misstating the position, telling schoolchildren that the vice-president ‘runs the Senate’ and ‘can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes’.”
In Palin's Revamped Wardrobe Hurts Her Hockey Mom Image, Bulgaria’s Sofia News argues that Palin is weighing down the Republican ticket:
“Many Republicans, however, believe that such an image is unhelpful when lots of families are experiencing economic pain, and when the image applies to a candidate, like Palin, who has run for office in part on her appeal as an outdoors enthusiast and former small-town mayor scorning pretensions.
"’No longer a net asset to the Republican ticket, Sarah Palin may in fact be weighing John McCain down. Those voters crucial to the final outcome - the undecided and independents - don't quite like her, think her selection was cynical and political and cannot imagine her ever being president,’ writes the British Independent in a commentary about the Governor's revamped wardrobe.”
South Africa’s Daily News portrays Palin as a hypocrite for her expensive wardrobe in Shop, baby, shop?:
“She has often talked of ‘real Americans’ and projected a folksy demeanor in her vice-presidential debate. ‘Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card,’ she said in that debate. "Don't live outside of our means.’
In POSTCARD USA: The last of the Palin woman, the Daily Times of Pakistan believes that Palin’s time in the spotlight has come to an end as she now “hangs around McCain’s neck”:
“Our president may have thought Sarah Palin to be gorgeous, but she now hangs around McCain’s neck as the albatross hung around the neck of the sailor and his cursed ship in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Mercifully, the hockey mom and moose skinner extraordinaire will remain where she is: Alaska, which is good news for the American people but bad news for the moose population of her state.
“After their initial fascination with the hockey mom from Alaska came disillusionment, at least to some. Peggy Noonan wrote in the conservative Wall Street Journal, “The Palin candidacy is a symptom of a new vulgarisation in American politics. It is no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain.” But that is enough Palin for now, and one hopes, for the future as well.”
In A pit-bull with her teeth pulled, Scotland on Sunday points to the fact that high profile Republicans are crossing party lines to support Obama because of Palin, who has become more of a liability to McCain:
“The gutsy, moose-shooting, tax- cutting hockey mom was supposed to be the answer to Republican prayers. But with just nine days to go until the election, 'Palin power' has turned into a nuclear meltdown for John McCain with an opinion poll showing vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin to be more of a liability to his campaign than George W Bush.
“…Governor Palin was hailed as a right-wing heroine. But the honeymoon period officially ended last week with a series of controversies and gaffes, leading senior conservatives to call for her to leave before the election.
“Some commentators questioned whether Palin was qualified to be vice president after an embarrassing TV interview last week. In response to a question posed by a primary school pupil, Palin seemed confused about the powers of the vice president. In the interview she said the VP was in charge of the senate, a novel interpretation of the US constitution, which had some political commentators openly mocking her. Republicans said Palin was trying to simplify her description to make it understandable for children.
“That there are some parts of the country that are "pro-America." A number of commentators took this to suggest that Democrat voters were not "real Americans" and that America could be divided into "real America" (the Republican heartlands) and not-real, or unpatriotic America (blue states like New York and California). Palin has since issued an apology.
“But though Palin undoubtedly excites the Republican grass roots, several high-profile conservative commentators have publicly expressed grave doubts about her. They include New York Times columnist David Brooks and Kathleen Parker in the National Review, who wrote an article under the heading 'She's Out of Her League' in which she called for Palin to step down for the sake of her country. Brooks called Palin ‘a fatal cancer on the Republican Party’.
“The Palin meltdown comes as high-profile Republicans follow in the footsteps of former secretary of state Colin Powell, who announced he is crossing party lines to back Democrat Barack Obama. The 'Obamicans' – as the Republicans backing Obama are called – even have their own website www.republicansforobama.org.
“…Palin will not disappear into the Alaskan wilderness. Some insiders suggest she will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.”
In U.S. Presidential Election – Oops, She Did It Again, the Middle East Times describes Palin as a “liability” now that her novelty has worn off:
“U.S. presidential contender John McCain must be kicking himself these days. After the initial novelty wore off, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has become more of a liability than an asset.
“…’real America’ image Palin projected did not materialize.
“The shopping spree, first reported by Politico, stands out in contrast to the working class voters she has been trying to woo.
“This information coming out as greater numbers of Americans are facing financial hardships is not likely to help the Republican ticket.”
In a harshly worded commentary, The Road to the White House – Racists voting for Obama? the Nation News Barbados argues that the Republican choice for VP has pushed many voters towards voting for Obama:
“Moreover, McCain's campaign may be the worst by any presidential candidate in living memory.
“After spending the past six weeks with Sarah Palin exciting his base by depicting Obama as an anti-American-Muslim-terrorist-commie, McCain last week suddenly switched to attacking G. W. Bush, thus deeply dismaying the same base in a spastic, eleventh-hour attempt to now court independent voters.”
10/26/2008, 07:14 PM
The fact that she's had WH contact for nearly two years, she should have prepared herself better. Cheney/Bush Rove/Gingrich, all new last January what they would do if base was to go to McCain...play Palin....OIL in Alaska, Canadian Conservative Stephen Harper called early election. All this has to do with OIL and TransCanada Pipeline and more drilling in Alaska