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The Nation

September 6, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

Now that the Republican National Convention is done, there is much speculation about how Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will respond to questions from the media that she so pointedly attacked in his Wednesday night speech to delegates who cheered her "here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators" announcement that "I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion -- I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.

The interviews with Palin will be important. And everyone I've talked to from Alaska says that she will handle them ably. This is not a woman who is going to stumble on the "gotcha" questions. In fact, she will tear into them with the relish of the lipstick-wearing pit bull she described Wednesday night.

I'm more interested, actually, in the next serious sit-down interview with John McCain.

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September 5, 2008
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

Last night, John McCain went on at length about his imprisonment in Vietnamese POW camps, and indeed his time as a captive in Vietnam has been the spark to his political career since the 1970s. But both McCain -- and the video that introduced him -- glosses over an earlier event that might have shaped his approach to military affairs: the disastrous 1967 fire aboard the USS Forrestal.

Way back in 2000, I wrote a piece called McCain's Vietnam for The Nation, in which I described the significance of that event in McCain's life:

Like many potentially life-altering experiences, McCain's came as the result of a brush with death. On July 29, 1967, while preparing for his sixth bombing run over North Vietnam in his A-4 Skyhawk aboard the deck of the USS Forrestal, an accidentally fired Zuni missile ripped into his plane's fuel tank. Within moments, a chain reaction swept the deck of the carrier, triggering fires and explosions, setting off 1,000-pound bombs and engulfing planes, killing 134 men. McCain, slightly wounded, saw body parts fly and watched blistered comrades die before his eyes.

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September 5, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Wednesday night I did a CBS Webcast with Katie Couric and sparred with Republican strategist Barbara Comstock over Sarah Palin -- what she represents and where she would lead the country. Old-fashioned as I may be, I argued that "this is a big election about big issues. And while Palin's story is compelling... at the same time on the core issues so central to millions of women in this country -- Sarah Palin talked about 'every woman should have the opportunity to go through every door' -- well, you don't if you adopt the agenda of John McCain and Sarah Palin." You can watch the entire webcast here:


Watch CBS Videos Online

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September 5, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

ST. PAUL – In the eighth year of Republican dominance of the executive branch of the federal government, after an extended period in which Republicans also controlled the legislative branch of the same federal government, the party's nominee for president told its convention, "We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children."

Never in recent American history has the candidate of a party seeking to maintain its hold on the presidency seen its candidate so aggressively dismiss the legacy of the incumbent commander-in-chief and his allies.

John McCain, the man George Bush so brutally beat for the Republican nomination in 2000, accepted that nomination in 2008 by declaring himself to be at war with Bush and Bushism.

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September 4, 2008
Ari Melber
Ari Melber

John McCain's nomination speech was so flat, so disjointed, so utterly devoid of any vision or affirmative plan for the U.S. -- it's hard to say much about it, other than it sucked. That's basically what CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was driving at when he panned it in historic proportions on Thursday, declaring it the "worst speech by a nominee" since 1980. It was, Toobin added, a "shockingly bad," "boring," "theme-less" train wreck.

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The Notion
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September 4, 2008
John Nichols
John Nichols

ST. PAUL -- The numbers are in for Sarah Palin's Republican National Convention speech, and they're pretty remarkable.

Some 37.2 million viewers watched Palin deliver a sharp, frequently sarcastic address in which she identified herself as a a pit-bull wearing lipstick. And she was biting at Barack Obama's heels.

While Palin's speech was shown on just six television networks -- as opposed to the ten that featured Obama's speech last Thursday night to the Democratic National Convention -- the Republican candidate for vice president attracted almost as many viewers as did the Democratic candidate for president.

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September 4, 2008
Christopher Hayes

Organizers are not particularly practiced at taking things lying down.

Surprise!

"I have ‘actual responsibilities,'" said Jacqueline del Valle, a community organizer in the Bronx. "If Mayor Giuliani and President Bush cared more about working people instead of just people who can hire high-powered lobbyists, maybe I wouldn't have so much responsibility. Maybe working people would have an easier time in America today. But that's not our reality, and they don't have to mock us while we're trying to clean up their mess."

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September 4, 2008
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

Leave aside the fact that it's hard to imagine how to invest $1 billion in aid to the tiny rogue nation of Georgia. Dick Cheney, scowl and bluster on display, is cruising through the FSU [former Soviet Union] looking for oil, promising to push NATO up against Russia's southern and southwestern border, and otherwise making aggressive mischief.

As USA Today reported, Russia is already accusing Cheney of trying to bully his way into security oil and gas riches:

Russia was watching the trip with suspicion, and a top Russian security official accused Cheney of an ulterior motive: seeking to secure energy supplies in the South Caucasus in exchange for U.S. support.

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September 4, 2008
Katrina vanden Heuvel

"Here's the deal: Palin is the latest G.O.P. distraction," Bob Herbertwrote in a New York Times op-edon Tuesday. "She's meant to shift attention away from the real issueof this campaign--the awful state of the nation after eight years ofRepublican rule. The Republicans are brilliant at distractions."

Herbert's right on target. Barack Obama honed in on that point in Denver too, "If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

On cue, Sarah Palin attempted to paint an absurd caricature of Obama inher speech at the Republican Convention last night: "What does heactually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters andhealing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... takemore of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and toreduce the strength of America in a dangerous world."

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