Dear Sarah,


I gotta tell you, girlfriend, you’ve been a huge disappointment to me.


It’s not that I wanted you and McMaverick to win.  Oh no, I did not.  But sister, I was counting on you to represent.


See, I believe—well, I used to believe—that every time a woman gets within spitting distance of the Oval Office the nation gets a little more comfortable with the notion of a female President.  And it becomes a little more likely that a woman will actually get elected.  If not the current candidate, then the next one, or the one after that.


The relentlessly knowledgeable Hillary Clinton, with her constant insistence on droning on (and on, and on) about policy, national and international issues, and other boring Washington insider stuff, brought us about 100 steps closer to the time when Americans will elect a woman. 


And in a short four weeks on the campaign trail, Sarah, you’ve knocked us back at least 75.


I thought you were going to wow us with your intelligence, your savvy, and your ability to use your staff effectively to help you learn what you needed to know, fast.  But frankly, there isn’t much difference between Tina Fey’s impression of you and the real you. 


When you burst onto the national scene, unapologetically riding a moose and waving a shotgun, I cheered for you.  I scoffed when people complained you were unqualified.  How is Obama any better qualified, I wondered.


But Sarah, he is.  Granted, he’s had the advantage of a year-and-a-half head start on you, and he benefited from Clinton schooling him in their many debates, but the fact remains—he’s got it; you don’t.  He can speak cogently on any and every topic related to the job of the President (or Vice President); you can’t.  He’s credible; you’re not.


McCain could have chosen any number of highly credentialed right-wing zealots to excite the Wacko Fringe.  He chose you because you’re female.  And when unqualified individuals receive promotions just because they are female/minority, it casts suspicion upon every female and minority in a high-ranking position.


When I saw your speech at the Republican convention, I thought for sure you would take the GOP nomination is 2012.  But no.  On November 5 you will head back to Wasilla, hang your gun back over the fireplace, and stable your moose.  I only hope that when the next female candidate comes swaggering in, your shadow doesn’t weigh too heavily on her.


No longer a fan,


Readers: I am happy to host civil debate, but please be polite.  Everyone’s views are welcome here.

Update: The Anchorage Daily News endorses Obama!


And if you’re interested, this is the study Palin complained about.



59 thoughts on “THE DAMAGE DONE

  1. Thank goodness you’ve seen the light T.R!  Hallalujah and amen!  In 3 months dear little Sarah has set women back 30 years.  She’s everything men have always accused women of being:  A vapid shallow airhead.  If the republicans were trying to lose the election and take women down at the same time,  they have succeeded mightily!

  2. First let me say that I am an Aussie and seriously I am done with all the US election stuff.   Generally my eyes glaze over whenever I see anything political here on Xanga.  BUT I’ve just read what you written and you are SO SPOT ON – congrats on a well written letter.  My only disappointment is that she won’t ever get the chance to read it.    V

  3. You had much higher hopes for Sarah than I did….but I totally agree on your assessment of her shortcomings.  What an embarrassment she is.  Every time I read a transcript of something she said, I am in disbelief.

  4. The first time I heard Obama speak he said something like “I know that if you are a minority you get a lot of attention at first but if you can’t back it up people quickly turn against you and whatever group you represent.”  That was when I started to think he knew what was going on. 

  5. I’m with venice … As a Canadian, I’m pretty much sick to death of your election crap clogging up my favourite cable channels (just get it over with, already! We had an election announcement, a campaign, our election, and the first sitting of parliament – just since the Democratic Convention! Ack!). But I agree about Sarah Palin … At first, I thought for sure that the Republicans had been very, very crafty by picking her … Now I think she’s about to shoot them right in the … moose. As it were. Her latest gaffe (shopping spree, anyone?) is something her handlers should have prevented at all costs. Makes her seem even more insensitive and out of it than ever. Every time I see her smug face on the TV, I just want to smack her. I yell at her too. (Not that she will hear me, unfortunately) If I had her money and perks, I could support five kids, too. (And the odd extra grandchild) Sigh. Maybe in 2012 there will be someone female running that is both competant and charismatic.Where’s Bella Abzug when ya need her?

  6. I totally agree. Despite the fact that I, as TR’s eleven year old, cannot actually vote, run for president, or anything else useful. I have definitely been following the election and completely agree about your asessment of Sarah Palin. I am very tired of her maverick-ranting-ness, and noo-cue-lur. Elect Obama already and get our troups out of Iraq and our lives back to normal.~Tigger~

  7. I wouldn’t count Palin out for 2012 or beyond – most of the public doesn’t believe the nutjob bimbo angle that the AP is advancing.  You get her in her natural element on conservative talk radio and she knocks it out of the park every time.  Even in a worst-case scenario her ticket will earn 45% of the vote – a big step forward from the barely 40 that the Mondale-Ferraro disaster pulled off – and she’s an absolute superstar in the diehard Republican community.  And in spite of manufactured controversy, more folks are concerned with her inexperience than anything else.  If Obama wins and she completes her term (or a second) the experience issue goes away and makes her a credible candidate.And I’m reasonably certain that if the press had treated her with the same kid gloves they use with Obama we’d have a much different (and more accurate) impression of Palin.  She still looks like a rocket scientist next to Biden.

  8. I’m voting for Obama partly for his eloquence and elan, I admit, but mostly because the Republicans have done such a miserable job these past 8 years.  I’ve voted Republican since I could vote, but the Aughts have been miserable because of them.That being said, I think people are being too hard on Palin (who I adore, but won’t vote for).  I would be worried if a young mother of five knew everything about everything.  Her appeal isn’t that she knows everything.  Her appeal is that she is appealing.  She’s charming.  She’s got enough of a head on her shoulders to be thrown into something and figure it out.  Her rise to governor was nothing short of spectacular.  Most of the mistakes she has made were only out of inexperience.Anyone that can nail her acceptance speech like she did at her nomination is someone to respect.  I don’t think she has set women back at all.  Not at all.  If the race was between Sarah and Hillary, I’d vote Sarah in a heartbeat.  Hillary knows more, speaks more intelligently, blunders less, but her personality is hopeless.  I have no faith or trust in anything Hillary says.  When I can make out what she’s saying (ha!), I trust Sarah more.  Can’t explain it.I understand what you’re saying and I’m not trying to convince you otherwise, really.  I’m just saying how she strikes me.  If Obama doesn’t pull our country out of this hole in 4 years, she will be a very serious contender in 2012.

  9. Wow, “fruit fly research”, as Sarah trivialized it, is actually one of the primary organisms used to study genes & development.  Those flies and a little worm called C. elegans, they are the poster children for embryonic development.  I think your analysis is just right – until the Republicans nominated Sarah Palin for VP, I thought (in context of Hillary Clinton) I would vote for a woman just because she a woman – girl power, and all that. Then they nominated her.  Eesh.  I hate being treated like I’m so stupid you can throw me an XX bone and I’ll jump over to your side.  Only someone who has absolutely no idea about what fruit flies are used for in research would mock them.  I wonder how shocked she would be to find out they waste valuable research dollars on silly things like bacteria and rodents and chicken eggs as well?PS. AliasUndercover’s 3rd paragraph is terrifying. PPS. You have raised a pretty amazing daughter! Tigger is clearly a very intelligent young woman!

  10. @transvestite_rabbit – I think everybody does.  That’s the only explanation for my own personal success Seriously, ever time Hillary’s lips are moving, I think she’s lying.  How can I vote for someone like that no matter what their record?  I realize it is my own problem and not necessarily the candidate’s, but it is impossible for me to be that objective.  If I actually believe what the words coming from his/her mouth, the candidate is likely to get my vote.I don’t have enough time or ambition to become an expert on every issue, and if I did, no candidate would qualify for my support because no one feels the way I do about EVERYthing.  So, I must vote based on which candidate I trust more and trust them to run the government.That hasn’t always worked for me 100%, since I’m one of those that voted for Bush 43 twice!  But, alas, my system is only as perfect as I am.

  11. @transvestite_rabbit – she’s not dissing basic research – she’s dissing the practice of using an earmark to fund basic research and I wholeheartedly agree.  There are tens of billions of research dollars available through legitimate federal funding bodies – NSF, NIH, DOE, etc..  These bodies allocate funds after reviewing grant applications and choose worthy projects and supported by sound hypotheses and skilled investigators.  Earmarks, on the other hand, circumvent the standard peer review process and serve the lawmaker’s friends and allies.  And as a marginally related aside, the reason I ditched my dreams of being a college professor is because I had moral qualms using public money to satisfy my own intellectual curiosity. 

  12. Now you’ll never get invited to the next moose hunt.I half-agree with S_Diddy on one point:  I think Obama has gotten too easy a ride from the media.  That said, I think Palin has been treated appropriately… and really does come off as a lightweight.  If McCain loses, I don’t think Palin will ever hold public office that requires votes from outside the state of Alaska.

  13. Hard core Republicans like Alias scare me because I know there are more of them out there.   The Great Mooseslayer hasn’t a clue about what the VP actually does.   She told some fifth graders that she would “run the Senate”.   Unlike the current VP, she should probably read the Constitution before she opens her mouth.   Her strong showing in speeches were not her words….they were written for her.  Any time she has to speak off the cuff, she shows her ignorance of almost everything….except clothes, of course.   Eight more days til it’s Good Riddance to her and the rest of those who wrecked the country over the past eight years. 

  14. @S__Diddy – Did you watch the video clip?  Yes, she’s talking about earmarks, but she doesn’t tag the fruit fly experiment because it should be funded elsewhere, she calls it out (in a scoffing, sarcastic tone) as having nothing to do with the public good, “I kid you not.”

  15. What scares me the most is that folks like Alias say “I trust Sarah more.  Can’t explain it.”  I can tell you why I give my trust to anyone.  I trust Obama more because he has been more consistant with what he says.  If he changes his mind, there are reasons behind it.  I think the issue of Flip-Flopping, is a media thing.  I can understand that if circumstances change or legislation you once championed now has 14 billion in pork projects added onto it so others will support it, then you might change how you vote on an issue.  With regard tothe WAR in Iraq, we all were given erroneous information one day and then told oops.  I can understand why some people supported the early days of the invasion.  But how can they continue to support an invasion by an aggressor nation in the name of Halliburton.

  16. @S__Diddy - Investing in basic science is good for a country.  We can get a jump on new products and train the future generation of scientists.  Not all research projects neatly fit into the granting guidelines that you mention.  In fact, the government will have pet projects, particularly when there is a GOP president.  Under Reagan it was AIDS.  Now  (or last I heard, I have private funding) it is anti-terrorism. Clinton was a better friend of basic research. No doubt the researchers could not link autism to terrorists and looked for funding elsewhere.  Her choice of an earmark to mock was a poor one. 

  17. What is disappointing is that there are some truly qualified and great women out there that McCain could have ran with. Olympia Snowe from Maine is one. Jodi Rell who governs in CT is another. The fact he literally offered her the job after meeting with her once for 15 minutes showed a grave problem when it comes to his judgment. I want someone with experience this is true, but more importantly I want someone who will think carefully about where they could guide the country…

  18. Another reason not to trust the voters of Alaska who brought us the Mighty Mooseslayer:   They also voted for corupt convicted felon Sen. Ted Stevens.   I vote to kick Alaska out of the Union.  

  19. @S__Diddy - Ah, but that’s exactly what we need in good, college professors!  People who want to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity, yet have moral qualms about wasting other people’s money!!!  How sad that you abandoned the dream.I made a C in college Genetics and I understand about fruit flies, for goodness sake.  On the other hand, I think character and trustworthiness and moral compass can mean a lot when it comes to an executive.  A Supreme Court Justice needs knowledge and education and ideology.  A legislature needs to be in touch with the people and the people’s needs.  An executive needs to have charisma and leadership abilities, but not necessarily encyclopedic knowledge of every potential issue.

  20. It scares me when she opens her mouth during any interview.  I can’t beleive a woman nominated to be the Vice President of the United States can answer some of the questions she is asked as poorlly as she does.  I think had McCain had chosen someone else to run with he might be in the lead right now.  I am still not sure who I will vote for on Tuesday…..But I can’t wait until this is over and hopefully people will begin to see the changes promised by either of the candidates, and maybe instill some of the confidence missing from life here as we know it.

  21. @Isismoon – yes, investing in basic science is good for the country.  Completely agreed.  But only when responsible peer-reviewing bodies like the NSF are reviewing the grants where knowledgable professionals are deciding where money is best spent.  Porkbarreling a grant that can’t get funded through proper channels is wholly unethical and smacks of dodgy science.  I’ve had the opportunity to review grants on behalf of national funding bodies and have been impressed with the overall objectivity of the process.  I can’t say the same about the earmark process.

  22. I agree! I had much higher hopes for the first female to come that close to the Oval Office. She just perpetuates the stereotypes people use to discredit a woman’s ability to run a country… and it is sad, because we all know there are women out there who could do it. But why, John McCain, why her?

  23. @Isismoon – I still think that you’re missing my point (and her point).  She clearly doesn’t understand the value of fruit fly research, but that’s not relevant to the point she’s trying to make.  The point is that earmarks are a dodgy way of funding these sorts of things.  And to the vast majority of Americans (and likely all four candidates) “fruit fly research in Paris, France” seems like a pretty suspicious use of American taxpayer dollars taken out of context.  McCain had similar fallout from the debate, when he mocked Obama for supporting a $3M earmark for an “overhead projector” for a Chicago planetarium.  Turns out that the “overhead projector” is actually a sophisticated star map generator, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the project doesn’t serve much of a federal purpose.  This is symptomatic of a general message problem that we fiscal conservatives have – just because we oppose federal funding for a thing doesn’t mean that we oppose the thing itself.   For example, I don’t want the government to pick up the tab for my health care.  This doesn’t mean I don’t want health care – it means that I believe that government meddling will hurt rather than help me.  And just because Alan Alda hosts a show on the Discovery channel doesn’t mean that the Dems are the guardians of science and reason in this country, if for no other reason that they fail to acknowledge the value of nuclear power.  And as far as funding it’s not a matter of for or against as much as different tastes -Dems prefer environmental science, science education and medical research while the GOP defense budgets favor materials science, physics, and biotechnology.  And it was the Dems who wouldn’t renew the corporate R&D tax credit, a huge boon for continued basic research in private laboratories.  They both use science when it suits them.@transvestite_rabbit –  Agreed, but I think the reason he wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand is not because he senses the value of the science but because he has broader criteria for what constitutes appropriate use of federal funds.   This is the dude who tried (and failed) to get $1M of federal dollars for his wife’s employer as a first-year senator.  But my guess is that none of these folks remember much about their freshman biology classes – especially not McCain. 

  24. @S__Diddy - I get your point and disagree with it. She singled that issue out and it was wrong of her to do so. She is a lazy thinker who reads whatever is put in front of her or she says things without thinking about them.  I don’t know which one it is.  I also see very LIMITED value in nuclear power. McCain likes it because his donors like it not because he is up on science. I have explained in my post on my site how I disagree with the lack of government funding for basic science and the overly optimistic reliance on the private sector. (I have worked in a lab in the private sector and do not use government funding but can see the value of it.)  I even think that it is a bit dishonest to get people worked up about earmarks when they are a very small part of the federal budget and are often used as economic stimulus or scientist training which would not be covered by the research grants you speak of. 1M for a hospital and 3M for a projector in Chicago is very small compared to the 100 Million in grants given to one Bush supporters for abstinence only education.  McCain no doubt forgets to mention Raymond Ruddy’s government hand outs and in fact he spreads some Ruddy smears of Obama. All in all Ruddy has gotten $700 million in no-bid contracts.  If you like Palin that is fine but you can’t expect us all to like her or what she says and we have valid reasons to not like McCain including that he cheated on his wife and has a bad temper and has said he has no interest in economics.

  25. @Isismoon – You’re right that it’s not about the science at all – it’s about the politics.  By the same token, Obama’s opposition to nuclear power is a function of his donors’ beliefs, not an objective consideration of the science.  But in this case the science is on the GOP’s side.  And I’m not expecting everyone to like Palin but to dismiss her as anti-science is, well, lazy thinking.  Her stump speech clearly wasn’t intended as a referendum on the value of basic research or science in general.  She was misinformed, to be sure, but she’s no Luddite.

  26. @S__Diddy - He says that the issue of waste has not been resolved.  Why don’t you give me a citation to show that it has?    Obama is more cautious than McCain who at one time said he wanted 100 new nuclear plants and then during the debate said he wanted 45 new ones.  Where would they be put?  Will the fuel be shipped all over?  Will the public foot the bill? Meanwhie, energy PACs are padding the pockets of the GOP.  Of course, Obama doesn’t take PAC money so he will be less beholding.  Most scientists agree that there should be a variety of sources of energy appropriate to the region.  The projected cost of Yucca Mountain is around $100 billion.  You could get a lot of windmills for that. 

  27. @S__Diddy - The lazy thinking is what TR is talking about in her blog. Everybody is watching her.  She needs to step it up a bit and show some good critical thinking skills.  She doesn’t inspire confidence.  She scares people. 

  28. @JustMeAndy - Absolutely. Tina Fey really, truly, is more intelligent (and hilarious) than Sarah Palin. Another thing I do not like about Palin is that she and Mccain want to teach religion in schools. Religion is supposed to be a choice, correct? How are you supposed to choose to be Jewish, or any other religion, if you’re learning Christianity at school? There are more reasons I support Obama, that’s just one that really gets to me. 

  29. Hey TR, you should dust off your “Mommas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be South Dakotans” for another round! They’re at it again, which I’m sure is not news to you.    All this VP argument over an office not worth a bucket of warm spit.

  30. @AliasUndercover – Most economists will flatly state that neither candidate can get us out of this hole in four years. Prices across the board should increase until at least 2010 when they should tapper off but remain at a peak level. The best we can hope for is Washington learning not to keep spending wildly. No matter who the next President will be they will be blamed for failing to fix a deficit that has existed since the Revoutionary War. We started off seventy million dollars in the hole and have dug deeper ever since. elliott

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